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Official Article

RetroCon 2017 Report

Imagine finding the camaraderie of the RetroDaze community in the real world. Imagine a place where the 100s of people surrounding you are all just as obsessive about old G.I. Joe figures, Darkwing Duck and Back To The Future as you are. This is RetroCon. 


For the 2nd year in a row, a group of us from the site met at this retro-tastic realm housed in a Pennsylvania convention center to make memories about memories (yeah, kind of trippy). We were sad that not as many RetroDazers had the opportunity to join us this time around, but the future holds endless possibilities.


On Saturday, October 14th myself, Vkimo and the Vaporman87 family dodged the attendees of a neighboring Minecraft convention to make our way to the floor of the con. It's hard to describe how at home retro fanatics like ourselves can be in a place where we don't get regular mail delivery.


The excitement began as we tried to take in the atmosphere and rows of tables absolutely stacked with toys, games and novelties that used to be found in our favorite stores growing up. Go ahead and take your time examining the photos above and feel the nostalgia bubble up inside.


I personally spent the morning digging through bin after bin of loose action figures, trying to find those discarded plastic heroes of my youth. Everything from Thundercats, MEGO, M.U.S.C.L.E. and Army Ants were up for grabs at reasonable prices. While vintage toys in their original boxes sold for more, no one seemed to be gouging their fellow retro collectors.


Vkimo found a rather unique item from the 80s wrestling boom. Yes, that is a World Wresting Federation light switch plate with a fully sculpted Hulk Hogan figure acting as the switch itself. I was just as excited to find some LJN Wrestling Superstars piled up in the ring I used to own, but broke making King Kong Bundy bash Big John Stud's head into the turnbuckle one too many times.


Of course there were plenty of Kenner Star Wars figures to be had and another alien life form made an appearance as well. Just check out this vintage ALF cake pan! There's something unsettling about the faceless Gordon Shumway, which gets even creepier if you imagine that it's actually the T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgement Day imitating everyone's favorite kitty munching extraterrestrial.


Also exciting were dozens of boxes of vintage trading cards out for purchase. Many of which I had never seen before. How did Michael Jackkson and Masters of the Universe cards pass by me unnoticed as a kid? I picked up a series 5 pack of Garbage Pail Kids for good measure, but soon was distracted by all the great cosplay action.


Just look at this WCW era Roddy Piper costume. This dude had the whole attitude down and any man comfortable in a kilt gets my respect. Hot Rod was also tag-teamed with a cool Murdock from the A-Team wearing a custom Napoleon Dynamite style shirt. This wasn't the only wrestler represented, I got to re-write history and kiss the "Royal Foot" of Jerry "The King" Lawler as Bret Hart should have done at the King of the Ring 1995 (lousy babyface gettin' the win).


I kept passing the unlikely, anachronistic duo of Sonny Crockett from Miami Vice and Pokemon's Pikachu, so I eventually had to stop them for a photo. This Double Dare contestant gal was also amazing, she was definitely ready to beat that obstacle course and win the praise of Marc Summers.


This Cobra Family looked so wholesome, but they were probably just smiling because they had Lady J and Duke tied up in a dungeon somewhere. This TMNT crew was an amazing site to see as well. Lady Shredder was spot-on, but it was the Rat Queen that won my heart. She even went to the trouble of attaching rubber rat's to her costume, just like the original action figure. So cool.


Special shout out to the unforgettable Pee-wee's Playhouse group cosplay that included a fully motorized Chairy and Conky! Cowboy Curtis and Miss Yvonne were guiding those fantastic remote control puppets all over the place and even ran into a Pee-wee cosplayer eventually. There was also a great Punky Brewster costume, but I never found her again to get a shot.


Of course I came to play as well, decking myself out as Teen Wolf from the prom scene at the end of the film (thanks to my awesome wife for the masterful sewing). Looking sharp, I entered the karaoke contest for the 2nd year in a row singing "Hungry Like The Wolf" by Duran Duran. The competition was tough against the guy who sang the entire Turtle Power rap from memory, but I still walked away with 2nd place and a Toys R Us exclusive Transformers Masterpiece Grimlock as my trophy.


My cousin's family also came along this year and hit the retro theme hard. They heard about all the fun I had in 2016 so they jumped on the RetroCon train sporting outstanding Sloth and Chunk from The Goonies costumes. In fact they won 1st prize in the costume contest and a $100 cash prize, which my cousin's son used part of to buy a vintage Battle Cat in full armor to go with the Masters of the Universe toys he recently found at my Grandma's house. The golden Skeletor trophy perfectly complemented his collection.


The kids also recently watched the entire run of the original A-Team series, so they were thrilled to meet this year's celebrity guests, Howling Mad Murdock and Face Man! Standing with Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz in front of a replica A-Team van was really a dream come true for them. These kids are being raised retro and they can't wait to come back next year!


I also got to meet a childhood hero myself, Rob Paulsen aka the voice of characters such as Pinky from Animaniacs, PJ from The Goofy Movie and Raphael from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles cartoon. In fact Vaporman hooked me up with a figure and autograph session with Mr. Paulsen, who was a super nice, even if I was a little awkward. (Thanks, Tony!)


Leaving the convention the RetroDaze crew waited for me to "De-Wolf" and after a quick dinner we spent the evening playing game after game of Retro-Manic, created by our very own Vaporman87. Retro Manic was so much more fun and addicting than I anticipated, even if Vkimo was constantly trying to psyche me out each time he drew a card. It's available in the Points Store and well worth your investment. My cousin's family loved it too, so I left my copy with them and am going to order another one!


We said our good-byes as Midnight came closer and I realized that despite all the fanfare of the convention itself, the most fun to be had is with like-minded retro pals. The next morning I had to figure out how I was going to fit all of my retro-treasures into 2 carry-on bags, but with many years of Tetris under my belt, I managed to get it done. 


Like I said at the top, those who couldn't make it were missed and we hope you'll be there to join us next year. I personally had to sell some rare vintage video games and action figures to afford the trip, but it was totally worth it. So start digging through your basement or attic to see what you can part with to make some new memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you travel by phone booth, DeLorean or Ecto-1, just be there!

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vkimo Posted on Nov 07, 2017 at 01:22 AM

Excellent summary of a most excellent tip! That trophy your family got is awesome! I'm also glad you finally got to meet up with Rob. He was a great guy and really in tune with his fans.

I enjoyed the retro goodies that were abundantly displayed, but like Vaporman said, the time hanging out with you guys was the best. It was a smaller group, but that allowed us more time to hang out and get to know each other more. Hopefully we can continue this tradition!

Vaporman87 Posted on Nov 06, 2017 at 07:53 AM

As miserable as the drive there and back were (UHG!!!), not to mention the aggravations I experienced just driving from one place to another while there, It was really great to get together again. It felt like forever since I had seen vkimo and Hoju. I actually left this con without buying anything for myself, but I came back with plenty that was precious. Great memories to add to those of 2016. It always sucks to have to say goodbye though.

Thanks to two super amazing fellows who I am very glad are a part of my life, both online and off. And the same to those who couldn't make it back this year. Here's to hoping I see you again when next Fall rolls around!

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