Despite the groggy 4am start and a last minute train ticket purchase, we were still very excited for the day ahead at London Film and Comic Con, hosted at Earls Court. Although I had attended twice before, it was Robin’s first time and I was determined to show him just how great it was.
Once we arrived, just one thing was on Robin’s mind – meeting Charles Martinet (better known as Mario, Luigi and a bunch of other guys). After a short wait, we were finally at the front of the queue and face to face with a man who looked more excited to see us than we were to see him. Not only did he take all items for free (despite us previously being told that it was around £5 per item) and address them to “Super Robin”, every minute or so, he let out an excited “wahoo!” or “yippee!” in what may be the most famous voice in the gaming world.
Then he got to me. I’ll admit it now, I wasn’t too bothered about meeting him, but thought I may as well while the opportunity was there and I’m glad I did. I sheepishly handed over my Luigi hat and watched as a grown man’s face filled with excitement as he proclaimed how amazing this piece of merchandise was. He then proceeded to put it on and pose as Luigi to no-one in particular while many cameras snapped away. This fun-loving attitude carried on with every fan he met, making him the best guest we met, one who truly seemed to care about us nobodies and appreciate us all travelling to see us.
We managed to fit a quick lunch break in, before joining the massive queue for Norman Reedus (hey, he was in a game. Once. A terrible game, but still) and Sarah Wayne Callies who were both lovely people. But they were obviously very rushed in order to fit everyone in, making the whole process seem more like a production line rather than a chance to say hi. This wasn’t helped along by the staff, who more than once seemed rude and quick to snap at us visitors, as well as having their own conversations with their friends and the guests while you’re trying to get a word in (meaning that all I got out of Norman was “how are you?” – needless to say, I was fairly disappointed).
Then it was time to shop and watch as my hard earned cash slipped away in a matter of minutes. There seemed to be a severe lack of stalls compared to what I remember when I went in 2009 and 2010, but those that stuck around all had a high quality and varied range of stock, making up for the small number. What I noticed (that Robin didn’t) was that the missing stalls all seemed to be the ones focused on Japanese media – anime and manga stores, as well as those with the word “kawaii” pasted everywhere, while gaming stalls seemed to be on the rise along with the ever-present comic and film stores (although the convention name kind of gives those away). We both spent up minutes before closing time and decided that we’d call it a day, stopping for a rest outside the building before we made the trek back home.
This is where one of the best moments of the day happened. As we were opening packet after packet of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, David Hasselhoff strolled out (with another rude Showmasters crew member) donning his own t-shirt “Don’t hassle the Hoff” walking straight past us and another small crowd of attendees. In a small turn of events, the nerds started to pick on the popular kid – and by kid we mean aging man, who’s way past his time anyway – claiming that he sings as well as he acts, causing us to chuckle away to ourselves. If those guys end up reading this write-up then I’d like to give you a big, virtual thumbs-up. Job well done.
So despite the few crew members getting me down, we both had a very enjoyable day and can’t wait to go again. Unfortunately we won’t be able to attend the winter convention. Boo.