Wednesday, August 28, 2013

By the Power of Con!

Autumn is coming and it's bringing a few conventions with'em!  That's right, September 14th sees the return of Power-Con in Torrance, Comikaze on the 1st of November in Downtown and The Long Beach Comic & Horror Con on the 22nd in well, Long Beach.

Each represents a segment of fandom but Power-Con is literally the convention for all things He-Man, She-Ra and the rest of the Masters of the Universe, Thundercats and new to this year, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Power-Con is the smallest show of the upcoming season; taking up a ballroom for exhibitors (swag for sale/celebrities meeting fans) and three rooms for programming (guests speak/interact with fans).  But don't let the absence of unneeded crowds fool you, Power-Con packs quite the wallop.  The organizers have curated an extremely rich slate of programming while fostering a very friendly, near familial

Last year was my first time attending and I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  I grew up on He-Man and Thundercats so any con dedicated to them seemed like a trip.  There were exclusive tee shirts and prints, Mattel brought show only variant action figures and the lobby bar even had a themed menu for the weekend.  The exhibition floor wasn't huge but there was about all the He-Man memorabilia on display and for sale that you could imagine.  Toys, posters, Halloween masks, birthday party kits, slippers, on and on.  Even though it's touted as a Thundercats show, there just wasn't as much of it around in comparison to He-Man, probably gives you an idea of how popular the blonde guy was.

The panels were varied in subject matter and each had a strong roster of talent involved.  One brought together writing and voice actors from the original 1985 Thundercats cartoon as well as the 2011 revival.  I specifically remember the voice of leader Lion-O, Larry Kenney, being particularly funny and gracious with the crowd, even calling some of them by name.  Watch and laugh here.

Another panel was for one of my favorite films of all time, Masters of the Universe!  Guests included director Gary Goddard, Evil Lynn actress Meg Foster (They Live and Best of the Best 2!), sword master and villain Blade Anthony De Longis and Richard Szponder, a young boy who won a sweepstakes contest to appear in the film! They each had great stories about working on the troubled production which was one of 80's mini-major Cannon's most expensive projects and they shuttered a few years later.  The final panel of the day was a sneak peak at Toy Masters:  How He-Man & Mattel Conquered the Universe, an in-production documentary about the rise and fall of one of history's most popular toy lines.  Apparently He-Man and friends created something like $400 million in revenue one year then dropped to $40 million the next...

When you've been to the big show (Comic-Con, 100,000+) and seen what the fuss is about or to the medium show (Comikaze, 50,000+) that is good but doesn't warrant lines or a crowd, coming to a specific fan event like Power-Con is a dream.  Everyone is nice, the lines move fast, there's always room for you at a panel and there's more than a few pieces of your childhood to buy.  I can't wait for this years show to see how it's grown.

Good journey!  And remember, You have the Power!

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