On first approaching the Vancouver Convention Center, just ahead of the doors opening at 10am on Saturday morning, the venue seemed rather quiet with very little activity outside. To begin with, the aisles in the main hall were relatively clear, allowing for a somewhat unimpeded tour of the exhibitors tables, and fellow scummer D. Martin Myatt scoring a stellar deal on a couple of astromech droids! The small crowds soon grew however, and before midday the hall was filling up, making it a little more difficult to maneuver. By the time we left for lunch, there was a long line-up of people waiting to get into the venue and we later heard reports of people being turned away when the building was filled to capacity. That certainly bodes well for the feasibility of a future event!
Scheduled throughout the day were various panels, presentations, Q&A sessions and much, much more, offering something for everyone.
In addition to the guests from both TV and movies, there were also many others from the worlds of Anime, Video Games and Comics, as well as a replica of the Batmobile from the sixties series. One end of the main hall was used for the artist alley and the celebrity autograph area, while much of the remaining space was occupied with more than fifty exhibitors and also a number of community groups, including the Ghostbusters of BC! Among the more than forty actors at the event were Adam West and Burt Ward, who played Batman and Robin in the 1960's television series, Star Trek
luminaries Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis and John Delancie, and also Lou Ferrigno, the original Hulk from the seventies TV show.
In terms of actor guests, Star Wars
was solely represented by Jeremy Bulloch who was on hand to sign autographs, pose for pictures and be his typical pleasant self when spending time talking to fans, as well as holding a Q&A session on Sunday. Similarly, Ken Steacy was the only artist with any connection to Star Wars
, having provided the cover artwork for Star Wars Galaxy #1
and The Art of Star Wars Galaxy
. The 501st Outer Rim Squad
were also in attendance, partnering with Variety Children's Charity of BC to promote the gold heart pin featuring R2-D2 and C-3PO. Everyone who bought a pin was offered photo opportunities with their favorite Star Wars
character, and the 501st also hosted a Star Wars
kids activity hour and a group photo at 5pm each day.
As far as collecting was concerned, there was a distinct lack of modern day Star Wars
collectibles on all but one of the exhibitors' tables (hats off to Toy Traders for their impressive stand), with figures from The Legacy Collection
being amongst the most recent! Generally speaking, very few dealers were selling toys and there seemed to be more emphasis placed on those offering comics, posters, books, costumes, t-shirts and other pop culture paraphernalia.
It was great to see many of the fans wearing costumes from all manner of genres, some very familiar, such as Iron Man, Captain America, Daenerys Targaryen and some not so, among them Mark and Jason from G-Force, and Number Six from The Prisoner
With close to 10,000 tickets being sold on the Saturday, Sunday was a little quieter, but attendance was significantly higher than anticipated, and based on the success of the event, it's looking good for next year...