Operation: MCM Expo London, England…A Success!
As many of you know we recently had a huge event in London, England. Many of our soldiers attended!
If any of you would like to send in a story of this event I will gladly add it to this blog. So feel free!;)
After much prodding this story was sent in from Engineer Airhead!
So yes, a story…
Might be a bit late but yeah… This so called meatspace was asking a lot of time from me.
I HAVE STUFF TO DO OKAY!!!
Anyway, first time going to a big convention, first time leaving the country without any guidance.
Although, it could have gone worse… I guess…
We start our adventure, on a Thursday evening, flying over to UK at around 21:30 local time.
And arriving at the hostel at around 00:30 (tip #1: Take the train from Stansted Airport, It’s faster!).
After waking up half of the room we had to rent on our own (a room on the third floor), we went downstairs for a drink and a chat. Before going back upstairs and waking up the room again.
It took some time for me to fall asleep though… Seems like London doesn’t fall asleep till around 04:00 and wakes up at 06:00 (tip #2: They give away earplugs at the reception FOR FREE!)
After the first night, we enjoyed free breakfast, followed by second breakfast (a routine that went on for most of the weekend) like the hobbits that we are!
We had to skip out on elevensies, luncheon and afternoon tea though in order to get our suitcases back downstairs whilst waiting for the rest of the soldiers to get to the hostel.
It wasn’t until this point that we realized that Silent and Sophie were in the hostel as well during the night (tip #3: Get your data straight before going somewhere or you might miss out on your companions)
Whilst waiting for Iron “responsible” Davis (we had to replace Dutch during this con for reasons) to get us back into another room (this time on the first floor) and giving us the basic information for the weekend. (he had the tickets, we had to listen).
We unpacked (again), organized a bit, got dressed up and went out to the expo center in the afternoon for our first day of epicness!
It’s a good thing the tickets were already being paid for and printed out, the line for the wristbands wasn’t that bad in comparison to the other lines. It was even worse on the Saturday (but we’re getting there as the story goes).
Once tagged by the expo crew (nice wristband guys, very uncomfortable) and inside of the main hall, it was a feast on the eyes!
All those people, who spend days upon days trying to get their cosplays done in time.
I almost felt under-dressed. It was a good thing that it didn’t take long for the first Attack on Titan cosplayer (an actual Titan) to pass by in only his underwear. My doubts were gone and I knew that there was nothing wrong with my uniform!
Now, the main parts of getting inside, tagging people, finding people, losing them again and taking photos with more random people went on for the entire event.
I’m not going to bother you with all the details, it was basic con stuff for the most of it.
What I am going to bother you with on the other hand (I should keep note on my own story line for the next thing I write) Is with the highlights that happened in between the con moments (the rides, the nights and the after parties).
To start this list:
Every morning, WAKEUP CALL!!!
Because we took the nerf guns with us for a reason!
Having had target practice, the weekend before (As I said, we had to replace Dutch because of reasons) it didn’t take long for the first victims to get hit.
On second place:
Sunday night, PIZZA PARTY!!!
Because of the rain on Saturday (which made me realize why Comic Con is also known as Line Con) we had to move the pizza party to the Sunday.
This didn’t take away any of the fun though!
Also, it was the first time I saw so many pizzas on a bench.
Best thing about this, was the generosity of the TSU to give away the remaining pizza when everyone was done eating.
Although, it could have gone a bit better, the result was awesome! (all the pizza was gone at the end of the evening, that’s what counts).
And in first place:
Every big invasion requires some sort of sacrifice.
And we salute our own JD for getting his body between the sub’s doors in order to get everyone on the subway.
Was it worth the pain? He didn’t say…
Was it worth the delay? We’ll never know…
Was it worth the laughs? Yes and all the jokes related to it!
(tip #4: When in doubt, put JD in between the doors and you’ll be fine!)
I have to say, it took some time getting used to the many strange things in London.
Like strange money, strange traffic laws, strange directions.
But with the best of the best around me, it wasn’t half as bad as it could have been.
11/10 would go again.
Now… If only I could get the monies for it in time… Perhaps a summer fundraiser?
Thank you for that delightful story Airhead! Glad you all had fun!
For more information and comments about this event please check out the thread:
MCM London Expo May 2014 – Operation: Back to Basics
There are tons of photos of this event out there. You can check out many of them in our Toy Soldier Gallery!
MCM Expo in the gallery
We have another entry to this MCM Event from: YJ Lieutenant JDUK …gonzo journalism style! ;)
Fear and Loathing in London MCM Expo
I awoke one morning to find a message, a reminder on my smart phone telling me that there was an event. I opened the message to find it say MCM Expo, London, 23rd-25th of May 2014 BOOK TICKETS NOW. Well considering my manager had been biting my ass for a story for the last couple of days, I thought that this would be the perfect time to find one. I called my attorney who went by the name of Airhead who advised me to pack a bag with everything I needed then head on over there.
The great hike to this heralded place was fraught with dangers, you would say its like any other commute to the city but it was full of lookyloos all standing slack jawed staring, I remember thinking “God dame idiots have not taste in shirt” or was I thinking, I had no idea whether or not what was in my head or out my mouth. I needed to find shelter, I needed to concentrate on getting to this expo and away from Jo public, his thousand eyes and his dog, God I hate that dog.
I found myself in this twisted hybrid of the subway and a train, they called it the DLR. God knows why they called it that, all I knew is it was a fine piece of public transportation yes sir. Feeling safe, I stuck my eyes to the window as the carriage pulled up to Custom house. ALL OF A SUDDEN there was a terrible whiny/ whooping sound and what looked like huge herbivorous equestrian humanoids came swooping and jumping around the station and then I heard a voice screaming JESUS CHRIST WHO ARE THIS GOD DAME PONY BOYS.
I stumbled out of the door in a daze, frantically trying to collect my thoughts. Like I was stuffing them into the crumpled blue plastic bag I brought with me on the trip, as if they were fragmented mementos of a curious mind…..
The bag contained everything I needed. Two Dominican cigars, a hip-flask of port, camera, matchers, a whole rainbow of uppers, downers, laughers, screamers, cigar cutter, bottle or rum, case of beer, and a bunch of cash. Most of this stuff didn’t exists of course but when you get locked into a serious Hunter S Thompson impression, the tenancy is to ham it up as much as you can.
The only thing that really worried me was bumping into more Thompson’s. There is nothing in the world more outrageous and irresponsible and narcissistic then a man in the deeps of a fly swat duel with himself, and I’d knew I’d get myself into that rotten situation soon enough.
This was the brutish time of 2014, four years after the “naughty’s” were let out to pasture with the coming of the teenage years of the new millennia, a time of falling political giants, new rule that may or may not be wanted and ears made by a newfangled 3-D printer. Strange and scary times but not without its wonder. I found myself asking why am I here? what did it all mean? what was the score here and who’s god dame idea was it to wear slacks and a polyester summer shirt in this British climate?
The reason was simple to find the facts, to find the expo dream.
I found myself in what you Brits call a queue, personally I see it as an oppression of the soul but I struggled with it and suffered in my journey to find the expo dream, leaving no stone or business card unturned. BECAUSE THATS PROPER JOURNALISUM DAME IT!!! gonzo journalism; I invented it, have you heard of it you New York Times jackasses!!!! Where was I, oh yeah I was queueing for what seemed like days, I was told from my sources that previously Expoians used to line up inside the building but this time we where made to queue outside. Luckily I had the weather on my side so I came out fine, well externally any ways.
My weekend pass, a piece of paper that seemed so precious, a key to this alternative kingdom of nerdom and geekary. It said priority on it, I thought “why do I have priority? aren’t we all equal when we finally lay bare in front of our maker and face the beginning of the end? Why is it that because I went on the Expo’s website and pre-booked a ticket means I’m higher on the pecking order?” The women who finished attaching my armband looked perplexed as she hit a speed bump in the mandatory of her morning…. Dame it! thinking aloud again, I need to stop that.
I meet up with Airhead my attorney and members from the Army of Toy Soldiers, a hard working group that fell on hard times but where still going strong. All in all I thought they where as crazier than a sake load of drunk monkeys so it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see why I found them so appealing.
One thing that bothered me was the guards. There is an occupation that ranged from fine to barbarous, loud mouth sapien who though if they shout at the public long enough, they would do what they where telling them to do (even though the majority of them where already) It seemed like I was in an alternative world, a cross between a county fair and a high security prison although the sheep dogs where wardens and the prisoners where sheep, being shoved over and around hurdled. You show your security pass a thousand times but you still get bite. I’m not a sheep, nope no sir, expo put down the sheers!
The group wondered around the bustling stalls, occasionally approached asking for photography’s. Clearly my Journalism is prevalent in this country, however comment where made like “this is bat country” these people are trying to use my phobia of bats against me or am I just being paranoid?. They followed up with things like “hay cool costume” COSTUME? I’m not wearing a god dame costume, what the hell are you talking about? The only costume I’m wearin is a mask, a veal that every hard workin Civilian wears. The mask of freedom as we try to chisel some sort of existence in this bureaucratic hell hole we call life.
We went back outside to see what the score was and see what the comparison was like. The result where hard to say for as soon as we arrived outside, we where requested to meet people in a near by hotel while they got into costume. Without warning, hail stones ripped through the sky like little icy bullets descending on the unsuspecting crowd.
I have never seen a body of people so large,scramble so fast, it was like firing buckshot over head of a flock of feeding city pigeons. The scene was spectacularly dramatic. What was worse was the fact they all had to queue up outside again in order to get into the shelter of the Expo as they got pelted with hail. Noah and his ark had nothing on this. That day I could foresee a wave of correspondence to Expo HQ demanding a change in the entry and exit system in one giant unified fuck you.
After the worst of the rain had cleared, we headed back. Getting into the expo was a daunting task but not so daunting as passing the queue of poor souls who had yet to get there ticket, walking pass the never ending hoard as it snaked around the riverbank. Their wet faces twisted with the battling emotion of excitement and over whelming boredom. Thinking “my fellow Expo comrades, I used to be like you, I feel your pain”, I felt what theses poor bastards where going through, every single one of their thoughts and feelings where recycled versions of mine own from a few hours ago, it was so strong that it was almost palpable.
Waiting in the weekend pass queue I found a rugged stranger who looked exactly like me…. wait he was me, either this guy is an imposter or I have taken something I really shouldn’t. Fly swat in hand I pursued this double-ganger and pressed him about his identity. He seemed as startled as I when I
confronted him. We where exactly alike, the only differences was he was shorter than me and I had the beginnings of 5 O’clock shadow.
We had a heated debate and crossed words. Words flew like sparks until it got to much and swats where drawn, we duelled, flailing our fly swats around like cutlasses. It was a grueling battle full of grit and testosterone. The people around us laughed hysterically, they where under the impression that we were two guys in costumes pissing about for everyone’s enjoyment but I can assure you it was a very serious ordeal.
Exhausted we agreed we where equally matched. I lost him after that but I was pretty darn sure it wasn’t the last I’d see of that wily son of a gun. True enough the next day I say him and chased him for several minutes, I had to be dragged away only to find yet another double-ganger, I saw a total of three other me’s and I can tell you, nothing in the world could compare to that kind of mind screw.
Over the duration of Expo I saw a great many weird things, everything the brain could muster was there; from Deadpools to steampunks and Miku Hatsune guys and stormtroopers. I was plunged into new found knowledge like= A pokeball was what they told me, a vessel fro strange creatures…. this truly is a terrible drug.
We decided to retire for the day so we took that fine piece of public transport to somewhere called Canning town, they said we need to take something called “the Tube” in order to get back. I felt
this great feeling of terror as what I could only describe as a giant snake with a hundred jaws that ran along its entire body, side winded its way into the station. My fellow friends entered one of its gaping jaws, I noticed some slower members. I tried to stop the jaws from closing so my they too could get in because this clearly was some kind of sacrifice to this benevolent god. I think I displeased my comrades because I faced myself with them shouting JD GET ON THE GOD DAMN TRAIN.
Who was this JD? Did they think I was that Johnny Depp guy?
To my surprise, we where spat out at London Bridge and hurried over to the nearest pub for sustenance and booze. We burst in there and said “you god dame bastards get out there and kill a cow, we’re not your run of the mill pub goers, we want steak”…. well maybe we didn’t say that word for word maybe I’m paraphrasing or maybe I’m extenuating the truth, or maybe I am flipping it up, spinning it round and tickling it under the chin, all I know is you probably haven’t got this far, gave up reading and done something better with you life like watch cat videos.
I learnt one very importance thing that night= You can turn your back on a person but never turn your back on a toy soldier, especially when its waving a razor sharp steak knife in your eye.
I was right in the middle of a TSU zoo, and somebody was giving steak and booze to these god damn things. Won’t be long now before they ripped me to shreds. I ate my steak and high tailed it out of their before things got hairy.
I saw that the night before had affected the final day. Chaos I tell ya, within the same hour I was nearly strangled by Airhead with his own TSU flag without any cause. I still don’t know if the bastard was trying to be symbolic in some kind of righteous statement of an death of an event compiled with the death of a guy going to the event. Or whether he just finally had enough of this asshole doing a terrible impression of Hunter S Thompson err I mean Me….. Anyways.
I managed to fight him off and was set upon by Batman. I should have known better, I had full recollection that it was Bat Country. I tried to fight him off with my fly swat but it clearly wasn’t up to the task (note: buy a better fly swat). Broken, I found comfort with the TSU and remained with
them for the rest of the time. I joined them with there traditional singing and
rite of the pizza where hoards of pizza boxes filled out little camp outside.
My time with the Toy soldiers came to a close when we said goodbye at the tube station, it was a sad occasion, not only for the fact I wont be seeing these bunch of crazies till October but I had no idea if I’d have the same luck when facing off with that demi god named “tube”
I learnt a great many things during my time with the Toy Soldiers but to sum up,
“when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro”
Hunter. S. Thompson
(YJ Lieutenant JDUK)