The Las Vegas Super Toy Convention was held in a little section of Circus Circus this year and like many things in Vegas they tend to play big even when in a small space. This was my first year attending but there was a lot of talent and vendors crammed into the convention area with over 6,000 attendees showing up, mostly on Saturday.
The convention has been around a few years but is still trying to get a bit organized. Enough comic vendors showed up that they changed the name to the Las Vegas Super Toy Comic Convention on some of their literature but not on other things. If you hear someone talking about either one they are both the same show.
The cosplayer tables didn’t get set up until Saturday so that also caused a bit of confusion but it was nice to see them circulating. Then the cosplay stage wasn’t setup on Saturday the ladies stepped up and got it running and done then setup their own panel room on Sunday. There was a definite feel like they didn’t expect the success of cosplayers arriving but with Las Vegas being such a hub for it and large communities nearby in SoCal and AZ I think it could really grow into a larger part of the event. Kudos to AZ Power Girl, Wind Of The Stars. Anti Ai Chan, Cosplay Butterfly, and Mzre Yuen for taking control of the cosplay events and making them run.
The guest stars were definitely the big draws to the event and not all that you might expect. There was an amazing line for the Ric Flair signing, The Nature Boy really drew them in with a long line being kept secure by the 501st Battalion (huge Star Wars primarily stormtrooper and imperial cosplay group). It is quite a sight to see tons of wrestling geeks being kept in line by half a dozen stormtroopers and an imperial guard. Most people expected Ric Flair to be loud but it was the suspendered and bowtie sporting All American Boy Bob Backlund who during photo ops headlocked his fans and shouted in a voice so loud that people jumped at the other end of the convention and the official photographer missed the shot half the time due to shock. For a guy who has been around the ring a few times he is still quite a sight.
There were a few celebs from the film world there too, Jennifer Rubin from movies such as Nightmare On Elm St. 3: The Dream Warriors (she was the punker dreamer, a fave in my house), Screamers and the sleeper film Bad Dreams is still stunning and stops you with a smile. Daeg Faerch who played young Michael Myers in Rob Zombie’s Halloween movies has grown into a cool young man that you might not recognize until you make eye contact and see that wicked stare.
On the subject of Halloween, one of my favorite poster designs done for the first Halloween was made by Joe Simko, most notably known as one of the main artists on Garbage Pail Kids trading cards. He has also put out Stoopid Heroes and my personal favorite Cereal Killers. I commissioned him to create a custom Garbage Pail Kids comic cover with a Halloween theme based off Nasty Nick. It is now a prize to be hung in my Halloween room. Simko is also taking part in a Garbage Pail Kids documentary so keep an eye out for that.
When all the above is said and done it is after all a toy convention and that was not forgotten. Big wigs from Mattel and designers from Hot Wheels and WWE action figures were on hand to talk shop and show off the new lines. Bill Miekina showed off a Sting action figure with him holding his bat that is sure to sell out quick when they hit the market later this year. The Arizona Outlaws were there with a 50 foot race track to race Hot Wheels on and gave away thousands of dollars worth of Hot Wheels cars to kids and kids at heart who came up and wanted to get into the race. They added a ton of excitement and a lot of smiles to the event and I look forward to seeing them again.
The Las Vegas Super Toy Convention has it’s rough spots but it is still growing and adapting and I can’t wait to see what they bring us next year.