I have the Power!...Con! This past weekend marked the start of the fall convention season in southern California. Things got off to a great start with the annual gathering of all things He-Man, She-Ra, Thundercats and now Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at Power-Con in Torrance. Taking over the Marriott, the P-C staff has done an incredible job of organizing a show. Parked outside was a replica of the TurtleVan complete with Michelangelo in the drivers seat so you knew you were in the right place. Once inside, the lobby bar again had special menus for the weekend featuring the Thundercats insignia, He-Man and She-Ra.
Know how I know this show is getting bigger? Because the banner was bigger than last year! All of the printed materials on display (program, directions, ticket breakdown) were really clever and added a nice touch of someone giving a shit. I volunteer at Comic-Con and hold up signs written in skinny marker for crying out loud. Further organization had you buying shirts online and picking them up at the show, that way you wouldn't get sold out like last year. Leonardo shirt and complimentary He-Man print in hand, we entered the exhibition room. Again, Cons are usually twofold, things to see and buy and programming to learn and be entertained. Cosplay is here to stay and around the floor were Casey Jones, Princess Adora, Mega Man and Ryu from Street Fighter among others.
The room was a little quiet when we first entered, I figured maybe because it was Sunday and the crowds had already come through Saturday. It was a little disheartening because Power-Con deserves to be a success. The floor was fuller than last year with just about every table manned with artists, vendors and actors offering their wares like comics, toys, original artwork, promo items and photo opportunities. My childhood came rushing back as I saw toys I probably have in a box in the basement somewhere as well as crazy variants like transforming Ninja Turtles and Arctic He-Man that shows you how popular these things were.
One guy was making He-Man buttons of random characters like Evil-Seed (the guy with an upside down artichoke for a head), another was selling Japanese Masters of the Universe movie ticket stubs (Dolph Lundgren alert!) from 1987, I saw an animation cel of King Randor doing the He-Man laugh and knew I needed one for my wall, luckily I found one of Prince Adam in full head back hilarity. There were some show exclusives from Mattel like limited edition figure Strobo, letter openers and not yet for sale models of Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain. Digging through tubs of loose figures, bins of cels and checking out tables packed with memorabilia is akin to flipping through boxes of comics, completing a run or finding a random issue that sets you on a course for more comics.
We had a packed day and were attending four panels back to back but between each we could run down and check out the floor some more. I was happy to see it was more and more lively each time and by the end of the show the floor was full and goers were walking out with armfuls of swag. The organizers of Power-Con put on a great show that I hope only gets bigger and adds more franchises. G.I. Joe anyone?
Come back soon for Part II: The Panels!