73.1 MCM Comic Con – 21st March 2015

Troop Icons Crow 2015Location
National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham 11:00 – 17:00

Mission Report
It’s been a while since it’s been possible to take a trip down to the Birmingham Memorabilia show – mostly because previous occasions have resulted in expensive robot-like purchases – but being at loose end this birthday weekend, we decided to take a trip down as punters.

I wasn’t overly interested in the stalls, spending literally no money during the show only to blow all my cash on a wall clock in the Lake District on the way home, nor particularly the autographs, although John Leeson, voice of K-9 was an absolute gentleman. Seriously, you just want to steal the guy and cram him inside the body of your robot dog replica forever. In a good way.

Speaking of kidnapping celebrities, I gave thought to how easy it would have been to pretend to be a representative from MCM and lure the sunglasses wearing Colm Meany away from the coffee bar in our hotel when we passed him after breakfast. I wonder how far back towards Scotland we could have driven him before he caught on he was being abducted..?

But I digress… So… Not fussed by stalls or those appearing, I was more interested to see how the costuming members of the public would look really. The UKG were there, but General Grevious aside, once you’ve seen once Star Wars guy, you’ve seen them all.
Except…
This time round there was a group of Jawas in attendance. Boy being one of those looks like fun.

Apparently the getting away with murder in costume equation looks something like

STORMTROOPER < BIKER SCOUT < JAWA

It’s an appealing costume although probably more so in a group of them than as an individual, but I fear (somewhat unusually for a change) I come in just too tall to get away with wearing it at events.
S-t-i-l-l…

Visual Archive

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

51.1b MCM Winter Memorabilia – 25th November 2012

Location
National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham 10:00 – 12:00

Mission Report

Once again, with the drive back up the road pending we didn’t have a huge amount of time to wander round the NEC on the Sunday, but we did get the opportunity to try on Mr Morley’s Cyber-chest (or one of us did at least) I was pre-occupied with getting to say hello to PJ Wares at long last after admiring his Jack Nicholson Joker from a crowd enforced distance the day before.  Later that day, a couple of dozen miles up the road, I was kicking myself I didn’t think to pretend to be getting an electrical shock when shaking his hand!

By coincidence Marcel came into the changing area while we were there and took a great risk dekitting from his Arkham suit while I was hanging around!

Despite another chat with Gary Hailes, where he gave me a lead on a cape supplier, we unfortunately had to leave before he got into his gear, but, meh, I hear he’s not that authentic anyway… 

Oh…  is that a Dalek I’m cuddling?  Julie better be wary of what happened last time I hugged a replica prop down there…

Visual Archive

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

51.1a MCM Winter Memorabilia – 24th November 2012

Location
National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham 11:00 – 17:00

Mission Report

It’s taken five years to recover from the last time we attended Mem or maybe, having got engaged on the journey down back in 2007, unconsciously I didn’t want to risk what might happen by driving down that way again too soon, but luckily we made it without any life event incidents or really seeing any of the torrential rain or extensive flooding that the country had been experiencing the preceding few days.

Attending this time purely as punters it was an opportunity to experience an event on a scale we just don’t get in Scotland.  There were masses of people queuing for entry tickets and a huge turn out of costumers from the UKG, Rebel Command and Reel Icons meandering about the wing of the NEC the event was taking place in.

While it took us most of the day just to go round all the stalls inside, there were a couple of opportunities to pop out for a respite from the warmth in there and snap some photos through the day and though I was down there on business (the business of picking up some high quality Bat-cessories from a BoTB member, and buying the worlds largest Fozzie Bear replica) managed to grab quick chats with Marcel Prague about his (should’ve been mine) Arkham suit and Andy Morely regarding the progress of our mutual Cyberman projects.

Our Commanding Officer, Mr Hailes, ever the gentleman, took time out of his hectic schedule to speak to us and it was nice to see some familiar faces wandering about and catch up with some of The RPF guys who were displaying their wares over the weekend.

Despite being in the same hotel, we sadly missed out on the UKG Ball that night, but Good Lord don’t some of the UKG scrub up well when it’s needed..?

Visual Archive

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2b MCM Winter Memorabilia – 25th November 2007

Location
National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham 12:00 – 16:30

Mission Report
I’m writing this five years later and I recall after we check out of the hotel and before we head off on the long drive back to Scotland, we head over to the NEC once again. This time with no squad of Stormtroopers to distracte me and Julie being out of costume we have the chance for a proper look round the event and get some pictures with the costumers.
In hindsight it was an odd weekend all in. Met some people for the first time who would go on to play a large part in my life. Cuddled the astromech droid, who’d go on to take a large part of my bank balance. Met Chris Cherrington, who’d prove to be invaluable in helping with my future costuming and I came throat to glove with my first ever Darth Vader, which made me slightly more giddy than a grown man should be.

And here’s a a weird thing. I had my video camera with me all weekend and took a lot of footage. Stupidly, really, I’d have been better using it for photos as till now I’ve never done anything with the resulting MP4 files all these years, that was until our second visit prompted me to start started running a program to dump every second of footage as a JPG and sorted through the blurry garbage to pick out the best from those early events ofrom five years ago for this blog.
One of the files, number 48, from about 14:50 on the Saturday, is pretty unremarkable footage of a crowd of TKs milling about until just after 1 minute, 20 seconds in when group splits, and there, at the other end of the hall, in frame 89, stands Gary Hailes in his Batsuit. So, by my reckoning that’s Biker Scout from my first attendance, Artoo from my second day and from my third time at an event, hey, there’s the man who’d sell me my Returns outfit and with the the immense amount of assistance and effort on his part effectively be godfather to my own version of the Dark Knight. Who’d have thunk it?

Maybe I’d better check the footage from the John Lewis Christmas Party, cause at this rate if there’s a Dalek in it, I have a lot of saving up to do!

So thanks to my squad, Alex Parsons, Jo Marriott, Scott Phipps, Michael Forrest, Brett White, Matthew Mainwaring, Stephen Chafe, Craig Johnson and Julie Sword for making my weekend all those years ago…

Visual Archive

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2a MCM Winter Memorabilia – 24th November 2007

Location
National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham 08:45 – 17:00

Mission Report
Gosh. Look at me. Second event I’ve been to and I’m put in charge of a whole squad of Imperial characters!

While accompanying Julie to the Winter 2007 Memorabilia show at the Birmingham NEC, the Event Coordinators have graciously allowed me to spend the Saturday as a helper/spotter, something they allow partners/families/significant others to at larger events because of the number of costumed attendees. What was probably more unusual was that they decided to give responsibility for nine troopers to someone on their first time out doing that task. Now, the thing about the NEC in November is that it’s really busy. And the other thing about the NEC this particular day in November was that it was heaving with people in Star Wars costumes all crossing paths, UKG members and non-members alike, the majority of which are identical to the untrained eye. I was so scared that I was going to have misplaced half a dozen TKs by the end of the day..!

My concerns were unfounded though. Yellow Squad behaved impeccably and didn’t stray too far from our watchful eyes and if the interaction with the punters at my first event had converted me, the amount going on there at the NEC totally blew me away.

In what seems to be a developing theme, it was here that I first saw Artoo in action. Little could anyone have realised that a couple off months down the line, like the Biker Scout costume from Collectormania beforehand, he too would end up being mine.

This was a first opportunity to meet several names I’d become familiar with in coming months both from the forums and at events in other parts of the country. To mis-quote a certain B. Kenobi, I’d taken my first steps into a wider world…

Visual Archive

This slideshow requires JavaScript.