MCM Comic Con – London Excel – May 2014
The weekend of the 23rd May saw the MCM group bring the now legendary MCM Comic Con to London's Excel . The London shows continue to get bigger , with the October show usually being the highlight of the year for many cosplayers.
This May saw a host of stars from TV,Film,Comics and Games appear to sign autographs and get interviewed on stage , with stars from Games of Thrones, Star Crossed and Street Fighter ''Assassins Fist'' appearing with many others.
Spanning two main halls and a food hall ,there was more then enough to occupy the thousands of visitors who turned up .
Nintendo's Official online UK store had a huge stand with Mario Kart 8 competitions running over the weekend and you could also pick up a official T-shirt ,cap or other exclusive Nintendo collectable for a price.
With Mario Kart8 releasing on the 30th May it was a important showcase for Nintendo to show how good the Wii U really is , the crowds queuing up to get hands on with MK8 before release was a good sign ,whether it will sell any new consoles for them in huge numbers where have to wait and see.
We must admit from a games point of view the show was a little sparse, compared to the October show last year. Literally Nintendo showed MK8 and that was it.
Bandai Namco put on a good show with playable versions One Piece Unlimited Red , Naruto,Pacman Ghoslty Adventures ,Soul Calibur Legends ,there new FTP game on PSN and a new Ace Combat game.
Codemasters where there with ''Grid Autodrive'' and Warner Brothers with Lego games ,Marvel Super Heroes and The Hobbit .
Capcom showcased the latest iteration of the Street Fighter IV series with Ultimate Street Fighter IV, as well as Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on Wii U and Monster Hunter 4 on 3DS.
Other then the new next gen game ''Evolve '' from the makers of Left for Dead '' there was not much else to get excited about , not even Ubisoft showed to show Watchdogs ,which I thought they might considering it's imminent release, maybe it's not as good as they are hyping it and did not want o hurt sales by having people play before they buy.
Tecmo Koei had a new Warrirors Orochi on show ,which we played ,i liked it ,but it's much the same as previous games. Tecmo also showed Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn on PS3.
This actually was quite a good game, Nice looking and easy to get in to
It seemed that the Game makers where trying as hard to attract visitors to there new games as well as trying to sell them some collectable with both Nintendo,Tecmo Koei selling soundtracks,figures and more.
Manga video where there with a good selection of Anime for the fans to buy as were a host of other sellers from Tokyo Toys and many independent sellers with Plushie's,figures and trinkets for all.
From a retail point of view the sellers could not hope for a better turn out , and when you looked around you saw many people with bags of goodies,carrying pictures,canvases and props.
With a fat wallet you could spend a fortune ,even more so if you drove there as you could fill up your car without having to lug it about all day.
Must admit there where temptations but knowing that whatever I bought would sit in the house and not get used for ages I was very good and resisted ,i still have sealed DVD's from our visit to the Birmingham Comic Con in March..
It was funny show this year as the stage acts and interviews where varied but most of the stuff we where interested in was happening on the Sunday and Saturday we just didn't know what to look at.
OK we wanted to see the Eurocosplay qualifier ,but as it was on last knocking we chose not to wait for it.
Saturday was spent browsing the stalls ,playing games which we where interested in playing and getting to meet and photograph some of the cosplayers in their costumes.
For Saturday I chose to go as Ms Scissorhands , it was a inexpensive costume bought on ebay and thought doing a gender bender version of Edward Scissorhands would be fun especially as being a guy it was a like a double gender bender. Version. .
It's Mario and Ms Scissorhands
Must admit it was fun though a bit chilly outside and I got some good shots to. My colleague went as a Zombie Umbrella Corp Policeman which got some attention which was cool.
Why Can't Zombies stand straight?
Some of the other cosplays where really cool with many looking like they cost a bundle to do. Some of the highlights was a armored Samurai ,it looked like wearer had hand crafted the suit it looked wonderful and got a lot of attention.
A barrage of characters from The Mighty Thor,A Samurai to a Fox
Funny thing with cosplay I find it how what people wear is so dependent on what's in vogue in Anime,Film or game.
We all know the Anime Attack on Titan ! Well everywhere you looked there seem to be another member of the Anime walking about. Along with quite a few Harley Quin's , Hit Girls and characters from Vampire Night ,which I must admit I am tempted to do myself in the future.
Of course you have the regular series that always get cosplayed like Street Fighter , I think I spotted about three or four Ryu's and Ken's over the weekend and a few Chun Li's to.
I myself went as ''REMY '' from Street Fighter Third Strike on the Sunday and even spotted Cody ,Cammy among others.
REMY - Street Fighter Third Strike
It was funny really as Sunday saw the stars and director of Street Fighter Assassins Fist appear for a autograph signing (which was free ) and a Interview panel where they showed a episode of the series and some behind the scenes clips as well as take questions from the audience.. Appearing where Director and actor Joey Ansah ( Akuma) ,Christian Howard (Ken) and Akira Koeiyama ( Gouken) who I got to meet as well and are a great bunch of guys .
Joey Ansah, Christian Howard and Akira Koieyama - stars of Street Fighter
It was good panel and lasted nearly one and half hours.
The series was launched on Machinima on Youtube last week ,all twelve episodes are up to view with a DVD/ Bluray release coming end of the year with a extended feature length episode and extras. There's also going to be a six part TV series to complied from the web series.
Like I said we viewed a episode at the event and at home I have viewed a couple on Machinima and it really is the series all Street Fighter fans have been waiting for.
Joey and Christian have a done a great job of writing the show and have put over three years work into it and it shows.
Even Scott Adkins ( Ninja,Undisputed ,Expendables 2) was in the audience ,taking time out from his autograph signing to support the guys ,but they did say they where looking to do a sequel to the series providing Capcom give the go ahead. They say he would be ideal to play Guile.
Scott Adkins signing a fans Photo
Sunday seemed less crowded and it was more easier getting around.,but then the weather was good on Sunday so people ventured outside with out the fear of getting drenched and blown away as we did on the Saturday .
Another star to appear on Sunday was Henry Winkler (star of American sitcom ''Happy Days'' ) where he played the now famous The Fonz.
The Fonz at MCM Comic Con London
Queues for his autograph where long and apparently , MCM have standard rate for their guests charging £15 for a autograph with photo supplied and £20 for a photo shoot by professional photographers.
I met a friend at MCM on Sunday and he was telling me that it all went up in the air when Henry Winkler demanded £20 for a signed photo and MCM gave in . Of course this did not go down to well with all the other stars appearing .
And to be honest some of the other stars are in vogue and in big TV series or films presently , What's the last big thing Henry Winkler was in? OK he's a bit of a iconic actor and I'm sure from the crowds to see him people didn't mind the extra five pounds.
But one thing MCM Group do and is known for is how they make the show accessible for people with less free cash to meet the the stars and get a piece of memorabilia for a decent price. Compared to other organisers of such events where guests set the price and in some cases make it nigh on impossible for fans to afford to get there autograph.
For instance at the forthcoming London Comic Con in July at Earls Court ,they have the guy that played the Emperor in the Original Star Wars trilogy appearing, I can not even remember his name and the charge for a autograph is £70 and £65 for a photo. . So what is it ,he has no work and wants to rip of the British public.
So in my book MCM group try and do it the right way ,yes its a little more to get into the shows then some others ,but what you get for free and at a reasonable rate makes up ten fold for that.
Sunday seemed to fly past , and after the Street Fighter event I had to get in place for the cosparade. ,lucky enough the panel for the TV show ''Once Upon a Time'' was just finishing next door so I ventured in and stood by the side . On stage was Megan Ory and Beverly Elliott concluding their Q&A with the audience..
So as the Guests left and the crowds dispersed and the cosplay fans where getting into place I jostled for a seat and grabbed the last one in the front row .
It was not long before our host was ready to start the cosparade , with a good size stage and some dynamic lighting for effect the stage was set for a cosplay show to rock the audience.
Unlike the smaller Birmingham show or the cosparades I have witnessed at London Film and Comic Con ,this was on par with what the organisers at Hyper Japan put on. This was the London cosplayers putting on a show and showing why what they do is the best. In the country.
From a basic walk on to small performances to dance routines each and every entrant gave it their all , some of the highlights where the Pokemon girls and a in your face dance routine ,the Power Rangers robot which had the crowds singing the theme tune.
Pokemon with a difference
A team performing a Attack on Titan routine put on a good show with some clever props and a really quick costume change by one of the team.
Attack on Titan
Dragon Age proved to another popular series portrayed with more then one entry performing as characters from the RPG series.
Of course Game of Thrones is still in vogue in cosplay with another routine performed by three young ladies.
Disney's Frozen also made a appearance as did Princess Jasmine from the classic Aladdin.
There where a few characters I did not know ,but looked fun but on of the most unusual must have been the Beetle Juice Worm from the Tim Burton film. I remember seeing this on Saturday outside one of the halls and thought what a strange cosplay mainly because of it's impracticability.
Beetlejuice '' Beetlejuice '' Beetlejuice''
But once on stage it was a brilliant to see.
It's just amazing the work that goes into some of the costumes and my hat of to all the cosplayers on and off stage.
The main event went on for about one and half hours, I did not stay for the cosparade results as I wanted to get away before the big exodus at 5pm from the Excel when the show finished.
The first of the MCM London shows was another good event , I did find the new queuing rules for entrance and re-entrance a bit of a chore as going back to the car is simple enough ,but having to walk around to the entrance door to get back in a pain compared to how it was done prior to October 2013. Especially when the weather was crazy like it was on the Saturday.
We look forward to the October show ,but before then there are a few more alternative shows where be attending to get our cosplay kicks.
This is Cosplay88 signing of , the show may have ended but the hero still lurks within us all ,thing is who will escape from our inner selves next time.?
May 27th 2014.
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