The first thing I noticed as I entered the Excel exhibition hall was the layout improvements. An open plan style made a real difference with bigger spaces between aisles and even the odd patch to congregate. This was needed especially as the attendance for the overall weekend rose to an incredible 122,634, up from October’s event. These small layout changes and the improved queuing system that many weekend pass holders commented on made the event more enjoyable and attendees feeling less like sardines in a can. It was good to see that the event had actioned attendees suggestions to make the experience much more pleasant. For me this was probably my most chilled out, yet still productive MCM.
For the first time ever Friday started at 9am sharp rather than mid-afternoon, I preferred this – it meant more con time! I used Friday as the main day for exploring the exhibitors. Personal highlights included Sanrio’s Hello Kitty land, who were also sponsoring the cosplay contest providing the winner with a trip to Japan. As I entered Hello Kitty land I was greeted by Hello Kitty herself and enthusiastic staff covered head to toe in Hello Kitty accessories.The slogan #onekindthing meant children and adults alike could get their nails done, fake tattoos and themed photos all for free. There was even a place to charge your phone. It was the kawaii Mecca and I am sure just a small sample of what Sanrio land is like in Japan!
I often hear many con attendees comment that convention exhibitors all sell the same things, but I found that is simply not always the case as I encountered Beastly Beverages who make homemade tea and coffee themed for different fandoms. The tea are in unique flavours with customised artwork of different cult shows from Supernatural, Firefly, Doctor Who and Sherlock. I spoke with the founder of Beastly Beverages who shared more about the product and the future of the brand (interview coming soon). As a collector of retro MLP’s Alice Vandy’s new collection also caught my eye – how could it not with her giant 5ft My Little Pony outside her stand (I want one for my room!). If shopping is not your thing there were lots of novelty photo opportunities to do which are always fun! From Konami Metal Gear Solid, Back to the Future, Arkham Knight My Little Pony
I was particularly impressed with the guest list and as a huge Buffy and Supernatural fan was extremely looking forward to meeting Felicia Day, Queen of the Geeks so I even did a thing and booked a photo shoot online before the event! Arriving 30 mins early to start queuing I was about 20th in the line and boy did that line grow….Felicia was as lovely as you might expect, making an effort to talk to everyone in the short amount of time given and commented on how much she liked my dress which was super sweet! My biggest surprise was that it look less than five mins to print and get my photo – I even stared in disbelief at the photo ops guy as he explained which I think amused him! After the photo ops diaster at Asylum 14 a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t think this was even possible. Rogue Events could certainly learn a thing or two (I’m still waiting for a photo from them)!
Viewster were host to guest of honour mecha legend Hidetaka Tenjin, who I had the honour of interviewing taking time out from the Excel centre with a cappuccino in the Novo bar he indulged me in answering some of my questions about his work and shared some his wisdom regarding how to enter the industry (coming soon). I even managed to make him laugh as my pen soared out of my hand, through the air towards him just like one of the planes he is known for drawing! Damn that pen hated me! Viewster also played host to Vampy Bit Me, popular international cosplayers roaming with Viewster crew interviewing attendees for a chance to go to Tokyo.
MCM is most known for the large amount of cosplay it attracts with cosplay guests from around the world attending such as the return of Nigri whose table had been upgraded to that of where the cult celebs were – even the Eastenders cast didn’t have that luxury! Despite visiting in October her queue was just as long, with crew members handing out tickets to try and cut them down. Nigri was accompanied by Kelly Jean and Sheena Duquette. MCM is also home to some great cosplay contests so a big congratulations to Emi-zone and Felixize who won a trip to Japan in the CCCC and to Lewis Collins who will be representing the UK in the EuroCosplay Championship, finals held in October 23-25 October 2015.
As well as the cosfamous attending, MCM is the hub for cosplayers of the same series/fandom gathering in herds to grab a photo, or two…. MCM even created ‘fringe’ where communities can advertise meets online. For examples if you were cosplaying Mikasa (AOT), you’ll be sure to find your whole squadron at the statue or west entrance at a specific time. Despite not cosplaying, I made sure to attend the Studio Ghibli meet. Awesome as always, we had more cosplayers from the popular Spirited Away to the more niche Porco Rosso. Many photos were taken followed by cake – yummy! These meets are always fabulous and I have to say a special thanks to Saz who puts her heart and soul in organising them as well
as cosplaying. Sadly she won’t be able to make MCM for the foreseeable future. So again, big thanks and we will continue the meets in your honour! P.S Thank you so much for my Totoro bag, was not expecting it and sooo happy with it!!
Another highlight of the weekend was meeting Final Fantasy and Mass Effect Voice actress, Ali Hills who was signing on the MyM stand, watch my interview with her here.
I can’t wait till the next London MCM Comic Con taking place 23-25 October – will we hit the 150,000 mark?