Monday, 30 May 2011

Anime North + MLP = Win!

Just back from AN and an amazing weekend.  I can't say enough to thank the organizers for putting on such an amazing con, and for inviting me to take part!  I'm already looking forward to going back next year!  I also want to thank our catsitters/housesitters for taking care of our place for the weekend and freeing both Roomy and I up to go to the con.

Roomy and I took off Friday morning from home in order to be in Toronto in plenty of time.  And that plan worked out well until about halfway through the trip when the car suddenly started to make ominous noises.  Luckily we were in the town beside my hometown at the time, so navigating to the garage wasn't too bad.  And three hours later we were back on the road.  Canadian Tire FTW!

After our five hour drive was unexpectedly extended to ten, we arrived just in time for my first panel on MLP Collecting Friday night.  There was a great turnout and some really great questions and feedback.  We covered topics such as differences between the four generations, tips and tricks for cleaning and restoring, convention exclusives, etc.  It was also great to meet a few collectors from the online community in person!

The next morning we were up bright and early to hit the dealer's room.  It's overwhelming to see that much merchandise in one place at one time.  There was a crazy amount of stuff, and I'm sure that we missed at least half of it.  I did get to pick up a few volumes of manga though, as well as enjoying some amazing artwork from many talented amature artists.

Dealer's Room

More Dealer's Room

Still more Dealer's Room
My second panel was on MLP customizing, where I went through the basics of customizing, talked about some of the techniques and materials that customizers generally use, and offered advice on issues people were having with customizing.  I had several of my own customs on hand as examples and got a lot of positive comments on those.  Thanks, everyone!

 Sunday was the last day of the con and had the panel dealing with all things Friendship Is Magic (FIM) moderated by DJMidli.  Before this I had known that FIM had gained a huge popularity outside the collecting community, but I hadn't really realized how far it had gone.  People were actually lined up to get into the FIM panel, and had to be turned away because the room had reached capacity!

Crowds at the FIM panel
Full house at FIM
 The FIM panel was a great mix of people who've been familiar with MLP for 30 years or more and people who are new to the brand with FIM.  Everyone brought some interesting points to the table and it was great to share information and learn from each other.

Of course, there was also a lot of cosplay going on at the con, and MLP wasn't left out.  Seeing the costumes was great, everyone was really creative!
Doctor Who and Doctor Whooves
Applejack, Big Mac, Spike, Applejack, Rainbow Dash x3, Doctor Whooves
It was a bit odd for me to be the MLP "Expert" at the con when there are so many other collectors and customizers in the community who have been around as long or longer and have as much or more experience.  I hope I was able to represent the community well.

AN was a blast.  I hope to see you all there next year!


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