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!
(In case anyone is thinking that me carrying a big gun on day four of this event was counterintuitive I should probably clarify that by this point I was pretty much using it just to stay upright by leaning on it…)
Movement has never been my strong point in the stealth costume at the best of times and with the oppressive heat, being stood in one spot was pretty tempting. Compounding this, after a slow start the first few punters in the door were short in stature making any movement until I could be sure they were out of injury range a dicey proposition, but it while I could justify it by saying the behaviour played to the character, the truth is I get a giggle out of playing statues while in the black armour.
At the naggi- erm… insistence… of my spotter though I became somewhat more mobile and interactive as the day went on and the bank holiday Monday actually ended up being busier than even the Saturday meaning this last stint went in at a reasonable pace.
As enjoyable as the whole weekend and the welcome the staff gave us across the four days was I was glad when we eventually reached the end and I could tend to my battered and bruised arms that always fall victim to armour pinch and unlike the previous day we weren’t standing for ages in the service corridors waiting for the broken lift to actually turn up before I could de-kit!
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…
While Saturday was naturally a busier day at the store, a protest meeting in George Square and overhead line fault stopping trains reaching Glasgow Central doubtless resulted in the keeping the crowds slightly down.
This didn’t have a huge impact on me personally as I was down to spot for this second day but it led to some quiet spells for the guys in costume, which anyone who has trooped will know, only encourages them to make their own entertainment (obviously my own behaviour the previous day such as the swapping shoppers potential purchases for a set featuring Jawas or bartering ownership of significant others for boxes of Lego is considered being in character and not mischief) although outside of these periods we had some exemplary Kylo Ren-style abrupt marching up to passers-by which really must make his neck hurt after a couple of hours. Still irritated he missed the opportunity to challenge the woman standing with the shopping centre floor plan in her hand to “hand over the map” though…
(Real late with these, partially because I haven’t actually trooped four days in a row before during my 10 years of service and ended up exhausted as a result, but then I wanted to do something special for my 100th troop*…)
I haven’t trooped in my Jawa for a while, long enough at least for me to forget how hot as hell it is to wear, and having recently finally gotten round to soldering my new sound board though I thought the Lego Store would be a good environs to take it for a spin.
Not being a public holiday the Friday turned out to be slightly quieter than the rest of the weekend, much to the detriment of the staff as this left plenty of scope while their backs were turned to remove the items they were restocking the shelves with and place them back in in the container they’d just been taken out of. I should probably feel bad about, that given how well Andrew and his staff look after us at these events. But I don’t.
*this is not my hundredth troop. Sometime in the past decade the UKG changed the way they counted events and it turns out my hundredth troop was last year, either this one or this one, depending if you count the mysterious extra event which didn’t happen between February and April 2013…