To be that good Anglican boy, I should’ve attended eucharist at Christ Church Cathedral Sunday morning. Instead I was attending what one may consider a religion of its own.: a toy show.
Victoria’s Ultimate Toy and Hobby Fair happens twice a year at the G.R. Pearkes Recreation Centre and the first of 2013 is bigger than the last of 2012. To be there early on May 5th at 8am was a delight. When the doors opened for the early bird crowd, I was rewarded with two IMAX passes, good for a discounted group rate at the National Geographic IMAX theatre, located next to the Royal B.C. Museum. The first thousand attendees were awarded with these coupons. Before entering the show floor, I had already came away with goodies. But what was awaiting for me to see out on the dealers’ floor?
Free Comic Book Day and Star Wars Day are an annual event to get readers to visit Victoria, BC’s Nerd Row.
May the Fourth Be With You, because two pop culture events collided together to provide the public with a gaze at what it’s like to be a Star Wars fan and comic book aficionado. While people walked the streets in costume, the children may well be enjoying the sun in a park, reading the latest antics from popular brands like Spongebob Squarepants, Sesame Street or Strawberry Shortcake. An older crowd may have been going for regular favourites like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars or X-men.
But as for whether the latter events was intentionally planned to coincide this year or not, the late morning had downtown Victoria, B.C. slowly being occupied by fans from all walks of life — and curiosity seekers with their young ones — walking along the corner of where Johnston Street and Broad meet.
Nickelodeon and Dreamworks’ low-key promotion for Monsters vs Aliens the Animated Series isn’t helping.
Dreamworks’ movie Monsters vs Aliens (MvA) was a great tribute to the iconic monster movies from the 50’s. These creatures banded together to fight space invaders. The two direct-to-video sequels, Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space and Night of the Living Carrots played tribute to Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and Night of the Living Dead. They were hilariously well done. Fans could see that the production teams involved in those products clearly loved the genre, and that fondness is evident in how these three tales are produced.
But what happened to that love in the television series? The television premiere on Nickelodeon was barely passable. The team involved in bringing the series to the small screen must not share the same passion that the story creators of this series, Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon, had. The premise of the television show lack punch.
By episode two and three, all the fun drama and humor from the movie and direct-to-video shorts are gone in favor for more derivative product in the style of Spongebob Squarepants. Even when Susan loses her ability to turn into a giant, the depth she expresses for her lost ability is minuscule. Some viewers may well wonder if any of these any decent character development will occur in the series.
The headliner for this year’s Fan Expo Vancovuer was Stan Lee.
Expectations were very high by fans to see if the organizers could successfully pull off Fan Expo Vancouver for a second year. Problems were abound in its first year because nobody from the East Coast team knew what the West Coast interest would be like. The major complaint heard from the grapevine, especially on Facebook, was with the lineups. At least that looked better managed in this event’s second year. More signage could have helped direct traffic and one out of the many problems that still needs to be addressed is with hallway congestion. If that issue is not enough, detractors say Fan Expo is a form of Creation Con, a style of organization where the show is designed to take every penny out of a fan’s pocket, and true fan-run conventions are few and far-between.
At least the die-hard masses tends to ignore the naysayers and find enjoyment in everything that Fan Expo celebrates: pop culture.
This year, the show took over three ballrooms at the Vancouver Convention Center’s West Wing and it stretched out to the conference rooms on the second level. The exhibit hall was organized to have dealers for one-third of the space, exhibitors (like LEGO and Sony Playstation) in the middle and displays from special organizations at the end, near the loading docks.
With the Legends of Chima series, long time fans of animated products may well wonder about this property’s resemblance to Thundercats.
Some LEGO animated properties are downright hilarious and others do not know where to fit in. With the Legends of Chima series, long time fans of animated products may well wonder about this property’s resemblance to Thundercats. In this series, several animal factions that were once at peace are now at war. Friends become enemies and sometimes the truces are not easy. The Lions, Crocodiles, Eagles, Wolves and Ravens make up some of these groups.
The first two episodes made its premiere in March, and this program shows plenty of potential of unseating LEGO’s own Ninjago. But as for when the series will go into full swing, that will not be until September ’13 in Canada at least. The LEGO representative at Fan Expo Vancouver ’13 confirmed this detail.