SpyMagician here! Reporting from the great white north! Read on for coverage of
a really cool Fan Event at Metropolis Comics in the Greater Vancouver, BC area!
I first learned about the Metrocon event at Metropolis Comics via Renderform.com.
Being a part of Spy Monkey Creations Inc, I have a great interest 3rd party accessories,
especially small garage kit type operations. Luckily Metrocon happened to coincide
with a previously planned trip to Vancouver so I was able to attend.
The event was free admission and well attended by enthusiastic Transformer collectors.
Metrocon was a small fan event, but in many ways superior to larger “catch all”
conventions as it was very focused. Essentially a gathering of Transformers collectors,
there were about half a dozen dealers tables as well direct fan to fan trades and sales.
Metropolis Comics itself also had a very good selection of boxed and loose
Transformers and other toys available.
Prices were very reasonable, especially by Los Angeles or eBay standards.
I saw a complete loose G1 Monsterbot Grotusque for CN$15 and one very
happy fan bought a complete G1 Deathsaurus for a mere CN$40!
There was also an area where fans could display customs:
Another highlight of the show was the Exclusive item Renderform produced and
debuted at Metrocon!
The Metropolis Frost Axe debuted at the event and the first 10 purchases included
2 free Renderform gun accessories! (I was one of the lucky 10!)
The axe will also be available at www.renderform.com at a later date.
It was a real treat seeing Renderform product in person. Venksta, the man behind the operation,
does extremely good work. The designs are very precise and the casting is absolutely superior
to most hand cast resin product in the garage kit market. In addition to the exclusive, there
was limited stock of past Renderform items and well as some sneak peeks of in progress
and upcoming items.
In addition to Renderform, another 3rd Party company, Corbot V was in attendance.
Creators of the very impressive War Axe for War Within Prime, Corbot V had the axe
for sale as well as previews of upcoming projects.
Having 2 3rd party manufacturers in attendance really made Metrocon stand out as a
fan event. I really appreciated begin able to see actual product and interact with
businesses that, like my own, exist primarily online.
All in all I thought Metrocon was an excellent fan event and something comic
and collectible shops should consider as a way to drive interest and sales.
I spoke with the owners of Metropolis Comics and they seem to have found a
great way to keep the comic book store alive in a tough economy and age of comic book
downloads. After a year in the enormous Metropolis at Metrotown Mall in Burnaby BC,
they moved across the street to their current second floor location where they’ve been
for the past 2 years.
The key to their success seems to be having toys, collectibles, and other associated
productsin addition to comic books in their stores, and encouraging fan interaction
through eventslike Metrocon. Upcoming events include a series on customizing
Urban Vinyl and a contest for Godzilla and Kaiju kits. These events are excellent as
they not only offer a gathering and showcase for collectors but encourage newcomers
to the hobby to learn how to paint and customize from other fans. Metropolis has a
very active Facebook Page and the combination of social media and fan gathering
events seems to be a great way for the comic book store to expand awareness and build
a fan community. Not only does Metropolis stock new product they have an impressive
collection of loose and vintage toys, as well as hobby supplies.
I think other comic book and collectible shops would be very wise to consider
fan events and interaction as a way to keep the hobby alive. I know I’ll be
visiting Metropolis Comics anytime I’m back in lovely British Columbia!
‘Til Next Time!