I can’t believe I managed to do four days at this event last year, clearly I’m getting older because after just the one day of trooping I was wiped out for the next 48 hours!
As ever Andrews staff looked after us to an excellent standard and despite being a Sunday all four of us were kept busy enough with photo requests to make the hours fly past. Only one incident right at the end of the day slightly spoiled the event when a parent started encouraging his child to start pulling components off of the costumes and worse, while the child was being kept at arms length began to do the same thing himself.
Although our spotter didn’t get the opportunity to take any photos to validate our event attendance for the applicable detachments luckily pending Denizen Leo was working in-store that day and sent on the couple of photos he’d had taken…
While the marching from the management suite to the shop was occassionally hairy it was probably preferrable to the five of us being lost forever in the maze of service corridors of the Buchanan Galleries.
And as an even more stranger thing, we 100% did not see the secret Lego set being launched in at the midnight opening of the Leicester Square store on 15th May!
National Sports Training Centre Inverclyde, Largs 09:00 – 16:00
I did one of these Big Glasgow Comic Page events about two years back and was pleasantly surprised that about the quantity and breadth of attendees. There are other comic con events where our presence barely gets a second glance having attended so often over the years, but local events like these with a token admission cost bring a more diverse mixture of nerds and families, especially with younger children who may otherwise not be inclined to hike all the way to your SECs or Braeheads who may never have seen us before.
That said on the long uphill drive from the sea front in Largs up to the Inverclyde Sports Centre I did wonder what attendance would be like, as unlike the Rutherglen event it wasn’t located in the town centre and with the limited parking already crowded with vendor vans and transport for the Paralympic Boccia athletes who were using the premises at the same time…
After kitting up and wandering into the hall the event was taking place in my heart slightly sunk. There were easily 50 dealer tables there, but the space was so large it made the number of public attending look tiny in comparison. On the plus-side, this meant that the aisles were also huge, allowing ourselves and the Rebel Legion… er… not “troopers”… rebellers? rebellionists? …whatever… to navigate easily and remain spread out for individual photos while easily coming together for any requested group shots.
The flow was steady if not overwhelming throughout the day, similarly dying off as the afternoon wore closer to the cosplay competition allowing us to de-kit and have a limited look round the stalls as the vendors commenced their packing up…
A slightly curtailed Sunday event due to the vagaries of public transport, but with our Rebel Legion counterparts present in a larger number the day seemed much busier (indeed the number of photos seemingly confirms this with near double the number taken over even the Saturday of this event weekend). Unfortunately with the sun splitting the sky all, it also seemed much warmer to be in costume for even those few hours!
We were lucky to have Chewie present as I’m pretty sure it’s obvious he was the big draw for the crowds. His popularity is hard to compete with and sometimes it’s easier to just go with it and just sidle into the background of people’s snaps with him, but I think the Empires finest held their own in the photos stakes on the day…
With one of the patients recently having had passed away and the family preparing to leave for the funeral, the resultant air of melancholy over Robin House meant that this ended up being a short, quiet, event with a few photos before we de-kitted.
I’ll just refer you back to the closing paragraph here, as to why for this cause the effort is still worthwhile…
It’s been a good long time since we were last at the LEGO Store (in an official capacity I mean, obviously with Brickset saying we’ve north of £10,000 worth of plastic bricks in hand we’ve been there shopping about once a month) and due to the timing it wasn’t possible to bring R2 along on this occasion as we’d wanted to. To be honest I’m not even sure that the Biker Scout would have been my first choice as an alternate costume, but still being massively jet lagged and aware of the heat in the store when the overhead lights aren’t off I didn’t figure on having many options.
After being warmly welcomed as always by Andrew and his staff, we were dispatched upstairs to the secure office to change before being led out to parade the upper floor of the shopping centre to allow their social media manager to post videos and photos of us on behalf of Buchannan Galleries, ultimately making our way down to the first floor and the LEGO Store itself.
For those who have never shopped there, the store is a decent size, but has a number of pillars and displays on the floorspace, while all three walls are loaded with the stock and further display units which unfortunately meant that with a TK either side of the door I felt that regardless of where I stood I was always blocking someones access to something, especially with the find the minifigure hunt that was running in-store. Fortunately, for me at least, the TKs appeared to be somewhat uncomfortable or bored in the one sport at the door and soon began wandering about allowing me access to the slightly cooling breeze that it provided.
While our previous visit had a requisite to trudge all the way back up to the offices for lunch, the stock room was a lot tidier this time round enabling us to use it to sto for something to eat, albeit compounding my feeling of just constantly being in the way what with the staff coming in for sets or breaks of their own.
As the shop got busier in the afternoon, so the heat increased leading me to seek the sanctury of the nearby air conditioning vent locations on more than one occasion. A quick lids-off late in the afternoon led to an unfortunate incident where one of our newer troopers strayed too far from the safety of the shop just as the detritus from the Old Firm game that day was floating past which unfortunately only more experience would have told him was a bad idea resulting in a knock to the helmeted head. An unfortunate incident to be sure but hopefull one that won’t put him off future events…