Judging from the reactions on our Instagram, everyone had as much fun as we did! Just in case you missed it, don’t worry we got you covered…
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at this year’s Lexington Comic & Toy Con. It had been a couple of years since we were in attendance and having enjoyed my last visit so much I was afraid my expectations would be too high. I do try to manage these expectations realistically but you know how it is right? You think of retro games from the past and given you have had a positive experience; the game can be placed on a pedestal of sorts. A few years later you dig the cartridge out of the bottom of a dusty cardboard box while cleaning out your closet and decide to give it a play through. All of your memories are shattered as a cherished piece of your childhood just simply isn’t as good as you had remembered it. Now don’t get me wrong it’s not like I grew up going to this event, but I have attended quite a few conventions like this and the Lexington Comic-Con is by far my favorite.
I’m not quite sure that I can pinpoint the exact reasoning behind my opinion, but I can say that the level of crowd interaction and participation is a huge part of it. One of my favorite aspects of these events is the Cosplay portion and seeing the lengths that people will go to showcase their interests, talents, and even acting ability. I have been to many other conventions and while there is typically always a percentage of attendees who dress up, but my favorite had always been the crowd in Lexington. (Just to clear the air I’m not too biased, I am a Louisville Native) One other aspect I remembered enjoying quite a bit was the dedicated and active lobby for arriving guests. This may not seem like a big deal but too many conventions these days allow for guests to pass through the ticket gate and be immediately greeted with the show floor. I enjoy having a lobby area that serves to kind of set up the mood and allow for general mingling if you will. I enjoy seeing a central location that allows for attendees who participate in the Cosplay portion to gather and show off their attire. Lexington Comic-Con was one of the few local events like this that managed to include such an area. Whether it’s a negative or positive thing, these aspects managed to stick in my memory and gave me something to measure other events up to. Fair or not, it’s the small things that make a difference and in my opinion can make a big difference to customers.
I only mention these thoughts to help place you in my mindset as I revisit the Lexington Comic & Toy Con of 2016. Was I going to be let down? Was I going to be blown away like last time? Let’s get to it shall we?
Coming from Louisville I wasn’t subject to too long of a drive. It tends to take me a little bit over an hour to travel to the Lexington Convention Center. Why do I begin the story here? I start here because I want to compliment the staff for making parking such a painless endeavor. I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is to drive for an hour and have the ability to park and get inside the door within five to ten minutes. Once inside you are of course subject to due process depending on your ticket status. Did you purchase in advance? Obtain VIP status? I do realize this aspect could vary substantially, but as far as the parking lot was concerned it was a breeze. Some events I have attended in the past were simply a nightmare in the parking lot and barely worth a visit due to the stress and headaches involved in entering and leaving the designated areas. This is absolutely something that the Convention Center staff has well worked out and at the very least doesn’t get in the way of having a great time.
After arriving and working my way to the main entrance gate, I was quickly greeted by a wonderful and familiar sight….dozens and dozens of creative and amazing costumes. I quickly realized I was at home with so many members of my peer group. If nothing else Comic-cons are great for interacting with and meeting so many others that share the same interests and passions as you. After stopping to admire a few of my favorite costumes I made my way towards the entrance and once I passed through the gate a wave of relief and excitement hit all at once. The lobby I once remembered was intact and more active than ever. I was instantly surrounded by Stormtroopers, Ghostbusters, Droids, and Superheroes and loved every minute of it. The sight of Roxy the 700 pound, 17 foot long Rancor was looming in the distance and I couldn’t wait to go check it out.
Arriving in front of Roxy was an event in its own right. This thing is massive and wonderfully sculpted. The best part about this “exhibit” is you are free to pose and take as many pictures as you like. A small donation is humbly accepted but ever once demanded. You are also welcome to purchase many different forms of Roxy merchandise that ranged from super cool to geekingly clever. (Yes, I’m pretty sure I just made up that word.) Sure this creature was amazing, but I didn’t manage to keep me from noticing the Stormtrooper disco dancing a few feet away. This was obviously my next stop.
In a section called Blast-A-Trooper put on by the always amazing 501st Legion, kids or well… anyone is welcome to pick up a nerf gun and take aim at one of the Troopers on hand that is absolutely tearing up the dance floor. If you haven’t managed to see a Stormtrooper doing this….
You are clearly really missing out. One of my other favorite attractions that frequented the lobby was everyone’s favorite droid R2-D2. Artoo moved freely around the convention the entire weekend and happily interacted with anyone who wished a meeting. I must also commend this little guy for being so photogenic.
One thing I quickly realized was how much fun I was having in the lobby area and still haven’t even gone through the main entrance yet. While I did stay for a bit longer and admired new costumes as they arrived, I did eventually make my way into the main show floor.
Honestly this is exactly what you would expect from an event like this. If you have never been to anything like this, prepare to be saturated with all things geekdom. (That’s probably another made up word, but at least I can admit it right?) Whether you are looking for that Psycho Circus Gene Simmons figure to complete your collection, a Kylo Ren Lightsaber, or brand new Funko Pop figure to bring home to the wife this place has you covered. The main floor (and an additional wing on the third floor) provides attendees with multiple aisles that vendors can showcase their collections and creativity and provide us all the opportunity to bring home a small piece of it for mostly affordable prices. If you didn’t come here to shop or look at Cosplay, perhaps the incredible line-up of stars will suite you.
This year had a huge variety of talent present that included Karen Gillan, Walter Goggins, Eliza Dushku, and so many more that I hate to start listing in fear of leaving someone out. But whether your interest includes Star Trek, Doctor Who, Z Nation, Power Rangers or even WWE, the Lexington Comic-Con had this area covered. For a complete line-up you can visit the official site at http://www.lexingtoncomiccon.com. All of these stars were present for multiple events the entire weekend as well. So if you wanted to have that photo op with Jessica Nigri, get that Diamond Dallas Page figure signed, or just listen to a Q&A session with the cast of Z Nation you only had to pick up the event program. This was completely free and included a detailed map and schedule that never left me questioning the location or time of events.
You never know, you may even catch a glimpse of this guy…
I could go on and on about what to expect or see from this event, but I really wouldn’t be doing it enough justice. The Lexington Comic & Toy Convention is something that I highly recommend seeing for yourself. I had an absolute blast and look forward to going back next year. I strongly recommend gathering up the biggest group of like-minded friends you can and plan a road trip to Lexington. If you don’t have any friends, don’t worry. There is also Sci-fi speed dating on site to find that special someone to share all the festivities with. If you still can’t get anywhere with that, just look for us next year because we were won over and will most definitely be back.