London MCM Expo - May 2009
Report by Jonathan Cullinane (nert) posted Wednesday 26th August 2009
The Day The DLR Stopped
Bright sunshine, little breeze or cloud cover, and a distinct lack of working transport links. A recipe for a very quiet MCM Expo? Evidence proves otherwise!
With another World Record attempt for Largest Gathering of People in Computer Game Costumes on the cards, the Saturday saw yet another enormous attendance, a full hour even before early entry tickets were valid the queues filled an entire ExCeL unit length three or four times over!
Space inside has expanded again, but it's hard to tell with such an influx of attendees making their purchases and trying out some of the games on display; DDR:UK as ever in full swing. All the regular stalls were available, with some major new releases flying so fast they don't get time to be on shelves, they're coming straight out of the boxes into buyers' hands!
The cosplay desk saw one of its busiest and most successful events this weekend, larger space, dedicated masquerade queuing area, full cosplay repair kits, refreshments on hand and an excellent band of helpers making sure things ran as smoothly as possible! Many thanks to all who stopped by, offered help, and of course those in costume at all, you all make this event what it is.
With the fair weather (possibly a little too fair!) the ExCeL grounds were absolutely packed, photoshoots going on every which way you look, interspersed with groups practising dances and skits or just enjoying the weather with a picnic!
The world record attempt was successful once more! Passing the old record held in Germany I believe, by approximately 20 entries (!), and absolutely dominating the front steps for a massive photo opportunity.
Sunday was much, much quieter. With travel links even worse than Saturday and without a world record to break, attendance was much calmer, still busy, but those who find Saturday all a bit too much may find Sunday a much more relaxed alternative.
So what were the trends this time? With the gaming record attempt on the cards we naturally saw a huge amount of video gaming characters, Final Fantasy costumes spiked an all new high by my estimate! Some very clear preferences came forth too, with at least a dozen Fallout 3 cosplayers, and countless Vocaloid characters were to be seen all over the event. Team Fortress 2, Resident Evil and Dynasty Warriors also saw some sizeable groups roaming the grounds.
On the anime front, not to be outdone, there was clearly a large variety on display. No less than two full groups from Rosairo+Vampire, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and Code Geass each, and a massive 24-person group from AXIS Powers Hetalia! Macross Frontier, Elemental Gelade, Toradora, Air Gear and Saint Seiya also had their own representatives. Naturally, the usual Naruto, Bleach, Sailor Moon and One Piece levels remain undaunted!
We're not done yet! A fantastic amount of non-anime/game costumes balanced things out this year, classic cartoons such as Captain Planet, Scooby Doo and The Simpsons recieved due tributes, as did Kung Fu Panda, while more live action related matters were settled with Lord of the Rings, Scrubs, Labyrinth, Batman, The Mighty Boosh and BBC's Gormenghast! Quite the lineup.
On a slight down note, litter was a sizeable issue this year. Of course we all know it's only a minority responsible for the worst of it but if everyone makes sure they take care of their own rubbish, and encourages everyone else to do the same, they'll be much happier to have us back next time.
There are a lot more photographers out in force nowadays, many offering their services on the Expo forums or on our very own Cosplay Island forums, so if you're finding yourself without photos of your weekend appearance, be sure to take some of them up on their offers next time, more and more are finding appreciation for your costume creations and are more than happy to spend some time doing them justice on film!
The next London MCM Expo is slated for 24th-25th October, so lets hope transport is a little more readily available and the weather treats us just as nicely then!