Lexington Comic & Toy Convention was my first NERD Convention I have gone to, and boy oh boy was it a blast. There were vendors of all sorts selling anything a Nerd would want, Cosplayers dressed up to the T of some of my favorite characters and then you had the celebrities or the people behind the stuff we all enjoy. Let’s all take a journey through what I experienced for that day.
It all started at 8:30 a.m. which was the time we were supposed to leave from the Mobot household. Had a late start due to someone showing up a little late (I’m not going to say any names……Becca). Once that unknown named person showed up we headed out in two vehicles. One was Claire’s SUV, and the other was the Mobot Swagger Wagon (Honda Van). The trip there is another story. Now I’m a bigger guy and they told me I would have to sit in the back of the van. Needless to say after what I think was the longest minute of my life I managed to squeeze myself into it. Once in it wasn’t so bad. Now to let everyone know the last time I rode in the back of a Minivan was early 2000’s, so roughly 15 years ago. We didn’t have DVD players or iPods. We just had our thoughts and the window we looked out of. Nowadays with technology and Aaron’s three little girls I got to enjoy what I never had growing up. I don’t remember much about the trip there till we reached Versailles, but the in ride movie choice was fitting (“Annie”). When we arrived at the Convention Center parking wasn’t that bad due to the fact we went on the Sunday instead of Saturday, but who can’t beat FREE parking.
Once we parked we started our trek inside. Where the convention is held is a place with so much history. Not because it has anything to do with Comic Cons or Nerd Fandom but sports history. The place I’m talking about is RUPP ARENA. With most of our crew being Kentucky Wildcats fans we all appreciated being so close to the home of the men’s basketball team, except for one of us who is a die hard Indiana Hoosier fan. He let us know every time we spoke of Rupp Arena that his ears would burn from us saying it so much, so we made fun of him pretty much the whole day.
As soon as we walked in what was there to greet us but a 30 ft tall Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. At that point I knew we had made it, and I was about to have the time of my life. We proceed to get out passes and walked through what I could only imagine was the pearly white gates, but it was just a basic glass door but above it read Lexington Comic & Toy Convention START HERE.
The first room we walked into was nothing but vendors. It was on the top floor away from the main convention floor, but it was still a wow to see. I never knew of all the things I have been missing. There was POP vinyl figures, characters, all sorts of glasses from shot to big beer mugs with all kinds of different etchings on them and drawings from local artists. Aaron gave me some advice, first look at everything and remember prices. There were a lot of people selling the same stuff so he said keep a mental note where they were and what price so you can get the most bang for your buck.
After looking through there we ran into what was Toothless the dragon. Now me and that dragon have a history together. I first met him in Elizabethtown at the Via Colori festival. Towards the end of the festival a big rain storm came in. Knowing that this dragon does not like the rain the Tuesdays with Mobot crew jumped into action to help him into an old bread truck. As the storm got closer it was starting to look like we was not going to be able to get Toothless all the way into the truck. I sprang into action and grabbed a tarp that was sitting on the ground and helped cover Toothless and the people getting him into the van. After that point I was forever known as Tarp Man. Now that you know a little backstory let me get us back on track to the Comic Convention.
After we finished exploring through the top floor we made our way down to the main floor of the convention center. Let me ask you a question? Do you know that feeling you have on Christmas morning as a child of excitement to see what Santa left for you? That’s how I felt when we stepped through that door. First thing I see standing right in front of me were Ghostbusters, and to my right was like a scene out of star wars with storm troopers, speed bikes and a life size AT-Scout Walker.
I wanted so badly to have my picture taken on one of the speed bikes, but I held my cool and just took some photos on my phone. Next week walked down a little bit to see this group of people with different costumes on from Star Wars taking pictures. We stopped there to get a group photo. After the photo we trekked our way to the main floor.
I’m a huge Supernatural fan and Power Rangers fan. When looking on the website before we came, they had said they would have the Winchester car and some of the actual power rangers from the series there. Once we stepped into the main building what do I see but not twenty feet away from me? The Winchester Car. Now if you don’t know anything about this car it’s a staple part of the show. It’s a 1967 Chevrolet Impala and my what a beautiful car it was. Just so everyone knows the car at the comic convention was just built by someone who was a fan of the show who built one to look just like the vehicle in the show. Still amazing though and I kinda kicked myself for not getting a picture of me inside of it. Next we walked down the side of the building right along where some of the celebrities were. I saw Theo Rossi (“Luke Cage”, “Sons of Anarchy”), Ric Flair (Nature Boy WWE), Sean Gunn (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) and the original black Power Ranger just to name a few of the over 5o celebrities there. There were two celebrities that just made my day.
The first one I met was John Wesley Shipp. If you’re scratching your head about who he is so was I. He played Flash for one season on TV in the early 90’s. He was also on “Dawson’s Creek.” If you’re still shaking your head he plays Barry Allen’s father on CW’s “The Flash.” Now that I have caught your attention, our entire group got to go talk to him. Aaron had a his season of “The Flash” from the 90’s for him to sign and got a photo with him. Next thing I knew John had stepped around his table and shook all of our hands. Let me tell you one thing, you always hear of celebrities that don’t care about their fans but John Wesley Shipp seemed genuinely interested in what we were talking about. Next thing I know he is personally asking us to come to his panel. So what did we do? We went to his panel. It’s always so interesting to hear the stories of people who have done so much. He also let us in on a little something in an upcoming episode of “The Flash.” Over all, if I see John again I will get a picture with him.
After the panel I decided to take a walk around the vendors one more time to do some buying of items I wanted. While walking around I walked by a booth that had a cool hat in it. I love hats and this one was kinda special because it said Blue Crew on it for the Power Rangers.
The blue power ranger will always be my favorite and the Blue Power Ranger from Power Rangers Turbo was my favorite when I was a kid. So..now back to the hat. I walked up to the booth and asked the lady behind it for the price of the hat. She proceeded to tell me when I heard someone from the side of me say, “Hi, I’m Blake Foster.” Now I knew that name from somewhere, I just couldn’t remember who it was. As I looked up, behind me was a man holding the Blue Turbo Power Rangers helmet with his hand out wanting to shake. This is when I realized why that name sounded familiar. He was the actual Power Ranger from the Turbo series. I talked with him a little bit about how I was such a huge fan and watch the movie and series he did. Which, if you don’t know, he was just a kid when he did the Power Rangers.
Eventually, we did end up back on the topic of the hat. He said, “Here take the hat but do me one favor. Take a photo of you in the hat and post it on Instagram and tag me in the photo and you can have the hat.” I was befuddled with happiness and agreed to those terms . He handed me the hat. I was so overwhelmed I forgot to ask for a picture or autograph, but I took that hat and wore it with pride out of the convention.
Well, that was my day and I would highly recommend if you have or have not gone to a comic convention to check out the Lexington Comic & Toy Convention. This has been your friendly neighborhood Tarp Man signing off till next time…..
The Mobot crew trekked up to the Lexington Comic & Toy Con again this year, and again, I was able to go. After going last year (it was only my 2nd trip to any type of con), I knew better what to expect. We went on Sunday so as to avoid some of the super heavy crowds we experienced last year (some of the insanity was due to the fact that the con was taking place on the same day as a Disney on Ice performance in Rupp Arena so the place was an absolute mad house).
Sunday crowds at the con were still high, but not as intense as what we experienced on Saturday last year. If you are anti-crowds, I suggest going on a Sunday. We were able to walk the floors without constantly touching some other person, and I felt we were able to take in more of the sights without feeling like we were holding up traffic in the aisles.
The vendor count seemed to be about the same from last year to this year. I always enjoy looking at all the fan art (being an art nerd, myself). There are so many talented people who sell their wares at the con, it’s so hard to decide what to buy. Last year, I scored this sweet, hand-made ceramic mug that was Doctor Who themed. The artist was One Eyed Cat Crafts; you can find him on Etsy under that name if you love nerdy ceramic mugs.
This year, I scored some super cute prints to hang in my home from Beckadoodles. She takes all things nerdy and turns them in to cute, cartoon-ish prints. If you want to check her out, visit her website: www.beckadoodles.com.
Before we went this year, we checked out the list of celebs that would be there. I think the list for this year was better than last year. I don’t really remember being excited to meet anyone last year; I was just there to take it all in. This year, I recognized several names on the list & wished I had the money to meet a lot of them (like Jewel Staite & Michael Rooker). I did get to meet John Wesley Shipp and that was pretty awesome.
I was also present when Jeremiah met Sean Gunn (and told Sean that Guardians of the Galaxy wasn’t his favorite of “Jame’s works.”) It was pretty cool to see that interaction (and I got to take the pictures of them).
If you have never been to a con and are thinking of hitting the Lexington Comic & Toy Con next year, here are my suggestions: If you are a person who loves to be in the middle of all the action and the crazy, I suggest you go on a Saturday. That’s when the crowds are the highest and most of the celebs are available for meet n’ greets. If you like something a little more low-key, I suggest to go on a Sunday.
Overall, I enjoyed this year’s experience more. Not sure if it was because the crowds weren’t as crazy or if it was because I got to meet some cool people; maybe it’s a bit of both. But I am glad I have a group of friends with whom I can share these cool experiences.
My first con was only a year and a half ago. Not even quite that long, really, but close enough that it might as well be. It feels like it’s been longer than that, that I must have been to more than the five I’ve done (I think, anyway, though it’s possible I’ve forgotten one in my internal count).
I’d been curious about going to cons for much longer than that – the first time I can remember putting active thought into actually doing it was in college, after a friend of mine went to Dragoncon in Georgia to meet one of her favorite authors – but there weren’t any in the area, at least that I knew about, until much later. Even when I did find out about some not too far from where I live, I always just assumed that they were either tiny things, not worth my…
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I’ve had the good fortune to have gone to several Comic-Cons in the past few years. Heck, I even got to host panels at a couple of them. One of the big draws at every con, what gets people excited, is which celebrities are going to be appearing. No one is immune to the excitement they feel when they hear the names of their heroes from wrestling, TV, movies or any other fan media coming to their hometown-or close enough. Sometimes your desire to shake hands, get an autograph from, or get a picture taken with one of these people can quickly dissipate when you realize that any and all of those things will cost you. At a lot of cons now, you can’t even get close to the big names because they’re sequestered at the end of long line queues. You want to even get close enough to tell them you enjoy their work, it’s gonna take some money.
Sometimes it can be off-putting, and you pass more often than not at the chance to get figures signed.
Other times, however, there’s just the right celebrity announced, someone who hits you right in the perfect balance of nostalgia and wallet and you know you have to meet them, you will get a pic and shake their hand…no matter the price.
In the fall of 1990, I was a junior in high school. In September, I tuned in to the season premiere of The Flash on CBS. I was floored. Here was a show with amazing (at the time) effects, exciting stories and It even had a theme song by Danny Elfman! My favorite part of the show was its charismatic and likeable leading man, Barry Allen, played by John Wesley Shipp. Every week I was glued to the TV, seeing who Barry and his friends at STAR Labs would tangle with next. John was so great on the show, he even went toe to toe with Mark Hamill, another childhood hero, who chewed up the scenery as The Trickster.
Alas, the show was incredibly expensive to produce, and it only lasted one season. I kept it in my heart, and on my worn out VHS tapes for years to come, until it was finally released on DVD.
When the CW announced they would be producing a new series of The Flash to begin in 2014, Ii was dead-set against it, until I learned they signed John Wesley Shipp on as Barry’s Dad, Henry Allen. That felt like the right torch-passing for me. I tuned in.
This past weekend, at The Lexington Comic and Toy Con, I had the pleasure of meeting John Wesley Shipp. He had a table with photos you could buy, but I brought my old DVD to get signed, and got a picture with him.
He was exactly how I hoped he would be, extremely friendly, and completely approachable. He came out from behind his table and said hello and shook hands with everyone in my group. As I got next to him to get a pic with him I said, “It’s a real pleasure.” He put his arm around my shoulder and said, “It’s a pleasure for me, too.” And I believed him.
All that happened within the first hour of being at the con. I could have left right then and felt like the whole trip was worth it And it was. It was worth every penny I had budgeted to spend on the chance to meet him.
There’s a large contingency of celebrities like John who do these cons as a way to connect with the fans, to get out in the community that supported them and interact. Even though they’re getting paid for every interaction, every second is genuine and they take the time to make sure it means something to you.
Yesterday the crew went to Lexington Comic and Toy Con.
Getting over a nasty stomach bug, I almost didn’t go. I’m glad I didn’t skip.Yes, I may have been almost 30 minutes late…I blame the bug.
I enjoyed the day but I did forget to do half of what I went to do. Again….I blame the bug.
I came home to discover I had only spent $20, which is a record. Then I realized the big thing I forgot, John Wesley Shipp’s autograph.
I met him and everything. Totally forgot.
We went to his booth, a couple of friends got their photo with him and he came out from behind the table to greet us all. Totally forgot.
We even went to his Q and A section. Still…totally forgot.
But aside from my major misstep in what I planned to get while there, we had a fun time. I was hanging out with my nerd family and I got to be the Aunt who let a 5-year-old get a Mountain Dew and bag of Swedish Fish as a snack on the ride home. Yep, I’m that aunt. You know the one who will always give you a quarter for bubble gum.
And that’s why we go. It’s always fun to meet the celebrities and buy cool stuff you can’t find everyday. But to spend that time with friends who are like family, that’s what it’s all about. That’s what Tuesdays with Mobot is all about.
We have fun wherever we go. Last week it was a field trip to a pizza place in an old jail (Jailhouse Pizza), this week it’s a comic con. It’s always an adventure.
This was my 6th or 7th comic con, I’ve lost count. I may have forgotten to get The Flash’s autograph and my feet hurt like crazy the next day but the experience to hang out with these peeps is priceless. I’ll always be grateful for these peeps, even the one who doesn’t like “Guardians of the Galaxy”…maybe.
The Lexington con is definitely a good one. Plenty of major talent guest, lots of vendors and some cool photo props. They just need a little bigger space to make it even better.
Thanks for having us Lexington! We hope to be back next year.
One of the best things about our group is the multi-generational aspect of the people at our gatherings.
From young to old each person has a place in the group.
Recently, one of the youngest members, 5-year-old River had a birthday that fell on a Tuesday.
Instead of having a house full of other 5-year-olds she wanted to celebrate with us, her Tuesday family.
The night’s activities?
She requested that each of us bring a cake or cupcakes for her to judge.
In the end, all of us won in fresh baked goodies and a prize because she didn’t want to pick just one winner.
She opened a few gifts and then we all sat down to watch, and sing along to, her favorite movie, “Trolls.”
It was meant to be because the movie was released digitally on her birthday. What are the odds?
At the end of the night River may have been excited that we were all there to celebrate with her. But we were the ones that were truly blessed by the evening. We were all touched and honored that she wanted to share her birthday with us.
She’s one of a kind and we all love her for it.
Sometimes, when you see things through the eyes of a child it appears a lot bigger and bolder than it does through adult eyes.
It’s something I experienced first hand recently.
One evening I visited a friend’s house and learned her preschool aged son now is obsessed with Captain America — a good choice and one of my favorites as well.
He talked about him non-stop and became my instant best friend when I wore a Captain America T-shirt to their house.
In fact, for him, Captain America wasn’t a two-word name. It was “CaptainAmerica!” shouted out with exclamation and no pause.
So for the evening’s entertainment, we ventured downstairs to watch “Captain America: Civil War.”
The boy and a friend were very excited every time they saw their heroes in action. They lost interest a little when the heroes appeared out of costume as their alter-egos. But as soon as they saw the costume, the excitement built once again.
And then it happened. Every superhero you could think of in the Avenger universe, except Thor and Hulk, showed up to fight in a battle scene.
For this, the little boys couldn’t stay in their seats. They were up in the floor, eyes glued to the television, jumping up and down while cheering on their favorite heroes.
One was definitely Team Cap. The other Team Iron Man and on occasion cheering on Spider-Man. They were probably too young to realize they were on opposite sides of the fictional war. They just wanted to cheer on their favorite heroes.
Many times “Captain America!” was yelled out in excitement. Other times the Iron Man fan yelled, “Don’t hurt him!” when he saw others battling his favorite.
These two boys probably had little idea what the film was about or realized their heroes were fighting one another. All they know is their favorites were on screen with most of the superheroes they had seen before. To them, it was pure awesomeness.
Watching them I realized although I am a fan of superheroes, I’ve never been a “jump up and down and cheer on my favorite” fan.
When you watch something like that with a child, you remember what it was to have that innocent excitement.
In a world where we grow old and cynical, it’s fun to be reminded of that simple joy of cheering for a superhero like you did as a child. Life was fun, you were fun and your imagination was endless.
Thank you, boys, for the reminder and I hope you never lose that childlike excitement for the things you enjoy in life.
Aside from providing fans the chance to meet their favorite horror stars and indulge in a full weekend of all things spooky, DAYS OF THE DEAD will also be host to a tattoo expo, featuring some of the most talented artists from across the country, and live music performances after hours.
For more tickets and info, visit http://www.daysofthedead.net/