The Convention: Day 1
The Mexican Fan Club pulled out all the stops for this years con and had several great display areas, participatory events, presentations and a huge dealer room which helped keep everyone entertained for the entire weekend.
After the convention attendees registered and passed under the large Encuentros entrance, the first area for them to explore was the dealer room. This area was quite large (although at times it didn’t seem so due to the large crowds) and featured a number of sellers from both Mexico and the US. LEGO was set up with a great display area and of course, there was a wide selection of both vintage and modern Star Wars collectibles as well as several other toys and collectibles from a bevy of other lines. The Encuentros store offered up a large selection of exclusive show items from both this year and last, including hats and t-shirts and back issues of Universo Star Wars, the Mexican Fan Club Magazine.
While the dealer room was certainly impressive, there were of course, many other things to take part in. The autograph rooms, or rather the lines for them, were down the hall and to the left of the dealer room. Several guests were on hand for photos and autographs including Ray Park, Daniel Logan, Michonne Bourriague, Femi Taylor, Shannon Baska McRandle, Amy Allen, Paul Rudish and Steve Sansweet who all had incredible busts handmade for them by a local fan.
Across the hall from the autograph area was the games room where fans could interact and compete with each other in a fan friendly environment. For this area, the Mexican Fan Club organized Mos Eisley Bingo, Hologarabatos (Star Wars Pictionary), and a large scale “Kessel Run” Trivia Pursuit game where the players themselves were the game pieces on a huge playing board! In addition to the games, this area also featured the “Jedi Duel” - an inflatable jousting arena, and a Jedi Training maze.
A little further down the hall was the kids room where younger children could make Star Wars themed crafts such as paper R2-D2s and Boba Fett masks or draw Star Wars pictures which would then be hung on the wall outside of the room. This area looked to be one of the most enjoyable and I wish I had taken the time to sit down and have some good old-fashioned arts and crafts time.
Further down and across the hall from the kids area was one of my favorite places to visit - the Permanent Toy Exhibition. This room featured the Lili Ledy collection on loan from Luis and Josefina Galvez as well as some incredible hand made wood sculptures from a local artist. The Ledy collection contained a complete set of Lili Ledy carded figures as well as several rare and historically significant prototype samples from the Ledy line.
The last room at the end of this long hall had two life-sized custom speeder bikes, several amazing dioramas, and a plethora of interesting Star Wars themed pińatas on display, all made by local fans.
Finally, the last area open to convention attendees was the auditorium where the opening ceremonies were held and several presentations were made over the course of the weekend by many of the VIP attendees. The presentations for the first day were as follows:
Chris Georgoulias – Prototype Terminology
Alonso Vilches – The Force of Our Time
Duncan Jenkins – Action Figure Packaging From Around the World
Alejandro Castellanos – The Collector’s Profile
Gus Lopez – A Tour of the Bobacabana
Paul Rudish – The Creation of the Clone Wars
Todd Chamberlain – Star Wars Posters
The Clone Wars cartoon seems to be very popular with Mexican fans and Paul Rudish’s presentation garnered a lengthy Q & A session. During this time Paul admitted that the Shaggy-esque, Padawan character seen in the final episode was his idea and he also alluded to the fact that the new season of Clone Wars will be even more action packed and will bring the series right up to Episode III with the characters featuring new costumes and hairstyles similar to those found in the last of the prequel films.