It’s that time of year folks for the people from up north to have their day in the sun. I’m talking about the 2011 GI Joe convention in Toronto, Canada. It is a fun filled day of toy shopping and guest speakers. On top of that is what I’m sure a decent amount of people go to get, the boxed set. For one day it has enough packed into it and still gives you time to get stuff done in between before the next guest.
To start off, this was the first year they did pre registers and it went super smooth. They actually let those that did it get their sets on Friday during the early bird walk through. This is great so you don’t have to stand in line. Speaking of, from what the guys who run it said this was quick how the line went this year. I stood out there with someone I came to the show with and I’d have to say it did go pretty smooth. 10 at a time and no major back ups. Of course some people will complain but it was a minority from the sounds of it.
Two of the guests speaking this year were Ron Rudat and Mark Bellamo. James Kavanaugh Jr (author of R.A.H.C.) and a few artists were there with books and artwork. It was great to hear Mr. Rudat talk about how GI Joe pretty much started. His son and himself have done a documentary on the history that they were part of and I can say that they were a pleasure to talk to. They show a lot of emotion in what they have created and it is really a joy to see. I was never familiar with what he was part of but after listening to his speaking and having a small discussion I am truly impressed with what he’s done through his career with the brand.
Mark Bellamo came in to discuss a project he is working on and wanted feedback from the people of similar likes. At first I was a little leery about what he was pitching but towards the end it sounded like a pretty good idea. I will have more on it later and a (long) video of the sit down. Hopefully some of you that read this will chime in on his facebook page to let him know how you feel and give some ideas.
The dealer room was a lot of fun to walk around. There were a bunch of figures I have not seen in person so it was cool to get to actually get up close and take a look. Of course you could buy about anything you needed and prices were hit or miss. There were a few people with loose figures for $5 each which is not too bad in my opinion. The boxed sets were the real lure though as they seem to be every year. This set was done in a stunning red that really looks nice and came with eight figures, file cards, a comic and a patch. They are all customs too. Not produced in a factory like the GIJCC.
All in all I had a blast and this was great for my first time. I got to meet some folks from different boards and even did some trading. I also won a raffle for two canceled items and got to see some new product that Hasbro of Canada brought along. It’s too bad I live so far away because I would love to go to this every year. The atmosphere is amazing and being able to talk with the guys who put the whole thing together at the end was a treat.
Here are some things to check out and please chime in and share your thoughts! This will get updated throughout the week of 6/20 so please check back to see what’s new.
Boxed set figures:
Ron Rudat sit down:
Mark Bellomo segment: