In 2013, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Indy Toy and Comic Expo, held on the northwest side of Indianapolis. While I did write about my experiences with this first-time show, the TL;DR version was that for a first time show, it was excellent. I met a lot of great people, saw a lot of cool things, and generally had an outstanding time. Fast forward to 2014, and they have moved to a bigger location, pulled in more vendors and local artists, started pushing the cosplay aspect, and changed from the Indy Toy and Comic Expo to the Indiana Toy and Comic Expo. I wrote about it a few weeks ago to try to help promote it a bit, and was able to make it out for the show at the Wyndham West Hotel in Indianapolis, to check out.
The show ran from 9 AM to 5 PM, and I was able to pull in around 9:15 AM after I made a pit stop to grab some cash (always remember: At a small, fan-run show, cash is king!). There was already an impressive line of folks wanting to get in to the convention, which I gladly joined. The line went swiftly, and I focused on the bright light coming from the exhibitors hall and made my way inside.
This was definitely a much larger and more spread out hall than the 2013 show! It looks like the Wyndham did right by the ITCE crew, as even with the crowds, it didn’t feel as cramped as the Caribbean Cove felt the last year. There was an awesome mix of dealers, ranging from toys and models, to comic books, to locally produced items from folks like the members of the Indy Webcomics Group, and the Aero-Soul Project. After my first go around of the hall, I went back out into the hall and saw more of the vendors, more friends, and then realized there was MORE tucked away back in a corner! Well, “tucked away in the corner” makes it sound like they were hidden, I was just distracted when I first walked in and didn’t notice the corner with delicious cupcakes (I chose the breakfast cupcake with bacon over the Death Star by Chocolate I had originally zeroed in on!), the booth with the 501st & Rebel Legion costumers, GameStop with their demos, and the Jasper chapter of the Ghostbusters, with their unlicensed nuclear accelerators and full size painting of Vigo, the scourge of Carpathia. I swear, he needed a kitten or something. He looked like he was suffering from Carpathian Kitten Loss!
This year, they also had a second hall that had a stage and chairs for their costume contest, as well as tables for kids to color their own ITCE show posters. They had two separate costume contests: One earlier in the show for the kids (a wise choice, because the kids normally wear out after a few hours) and one later in the day for the adults. While I got roped into conversations during the contests, I did see a lot of the contestants wandering the show floor, and the costumes were pretty cool.
Overall, the show was a good step forward from the previous year. The folks I talked to had a good time, and most of the folks I talked to who tabled felt it was worth their time and money, even if they didn’t earn back their table fees. I also know most of the people who attended as guests enjoyed themselves, like Tim Briscoe who wrote this piece for the Top Hat Sasquatch blog, which details his visit as a con newbie. I do enjoy a good one-day convention, which this one definitely is. The price is right, it’s not huge with giant lines for celebrities, and it is still chock full of cool stuff. For example, while I wasn’t planning on buying anything, I did end up with a pile of “Star Trek” model kits like the Reliant, Enterprise B, a Voyager 3 pack, a Maquis ship, and figure models of Kirk and Scotty from the original series. The first three were five bucks a pop, and the last three were on end of show mark-down for a buck apiece! These are the deals you find at local shows, folks!
Keep your eye on the blog for information about the 2015 Indiana Toy and Comic Expo, folks. This is worth the price of admission!