I am finally getting around to writing my Expo post! The MCM Expo is held twice a year, usually on the last weekend of May and October. I attended on the Saturday only. The expected visitor numbers were 63,000 and figures show that about 60,000 people attended over the whole weekend. However, despite this number the expo seemed a lot less packed this year. When I went in May 2010 I could barely move but I did not have that problem this year. I arrived at around 8.40am (it opened at 9) and the queue was a reasonable length. When we joined I was just a few meters away from the ticket scanner area. Plus, I got my hands on one of the goody bags!
The items in the goody bags are mainly donated from Forbidden Planet. In previous years there have been DVDs, game demos, stickers, posters and lots of leaflets. I was a little disappointed with the goody bag this time. There was a 10 disc DVD box set of a show called Xcaliber but it looks so awful I am not surprised they are having to give it away! We had the usual expo event schedule leaflets, a sticker album based around London with 2 sticker packs, a sampler book with tasters from 5 books and posters for the new Green Lantern, Batman and X-Men films. James and I ended up throwing away a lot of leaflets and junk. We have decided to watch one of our Xcaliber box sets just to see how bad it is!
When the expo was held last October, it was decided that there would also be a fringe festival held outside the ExCel Centre. Unlike the stage events inside, the Fringe festival times and locations were easy to find online before the event. This year the fringe festival included a lot of photoshoots. Off the top of my head I remember a Pokemon battling and trading event, Panty and Stocking photoshoot, a CLAMP photoshoot, a Sonic the Hedgehog photoshoot, a Vampire Knight photoshoot and lots more. In previous years there have been a lot of people who have not paid to go inside and would photograph cosplayers in the hall. So the fringe festival was meant to provide some additional entertainment. However, I have read online that a member of the ExCel staff asked one photographer to move on because they had not paid to go in. So it looks as though some people had to leave.
And so, on to my outfit-
I was very ill and got about 1 hour sleep so I spent most of the day in a daze. Somehow, I managed to get dressed up but I had to do my make-up on the train! I decided to wear Wonder Cookie by Angelic Pretty. The bolero and shoes are Bodyline, the star clip is Chocomint (I finally got my hands on one!) and the Pocky bag is a previous expo purchase!
There were a few groups of lolitas going about. I took some pictures of a few girls and I also had my photo taken by some people. A majority of the lolitas there were wearing off-brand. The main colour combinations were black and white, pink and white and blue. I noticed that the 'old-school' style of lolita was very popular. From what I saw, gothic was the most popular style. I actually felt a little out of place! I also saw one or two of my blog followers (hello!) and I think I heard somebody call out my name somewhere. Sorry if I missed you but I was so exhausted and I left at about 1.30pm.
There were 4 stages with different shows going on. Some of the cast of Futurama were present, there were cosplay shows (I missed the main masquerade in the afternoon), anime and manga panels, movie previews and lots more. I am devastated that I was unable to watch the steampunk show. They were on stage for an hour and were answering questions and giving insight in to what steampunk was about. From what I have heard from other people, the show was really good. Thankfully they also had a stall. I wish I could have photographed all the beautiful hats and jewellery. It gave me a bit of steampunk lolita inspiration too.
One of the guests on the cosplay stage was Beckii Cruel. If you don't know who Beckii Cruel is, she is a girl who posted videos of herself dancing to popular J-Pop songs on Youtube. She was then spotted and gained loads of fans in Japan. She gets to go to Japan a lot and starred in a BBC3 documentary. Sadly, the pot plant kept getting in the way of my view! To be honest, I am not a fan of Beckii but I do admire what she has achieved. I think her popularity is starting to wane now but I noticed the seats by the stage were full.
There were lots of stalls selling anime and manga related merchandise but a few loli-able pieces were on offer. There were quite a few Hangry and Angry pieces such as plushies and keychains being sold. I got a keychain (I think it was Angry) but I came close to buying the plushies too. They are so cute! Lolita inspired sweets jewellery and stationary were popular items. I enjoyed the Tofu Cute store http://www.tofucute.com/ , Dragon Dreads had some realistic looking biscuit items http://www.dragondreads.co.uk/ , I got a pudding ring from the Tanabata stall and there was another cute stall called Saya Cafe.
One of the stalls I always enjoy visiting is the Artbox stall http://www.artbox.co.uk/ . Artbox have a few shops in London and every time I visit I want to buy the entire shop! Artbox had some of the Angelic Pretty Pullip dolls. The smaller ones were £42 and the larger ones were £169. The dolls can be found cheaper online but it was great being able to see the dolls in person. Sadly, the Artbox staff were hovering over me so I was unable to get any photographs! The Starry Night Theatre Pullip is especially pretty in person. They are incredibly well detailed and now I really want one!
And the reward for the strangest stall goes to...
Amongst the merchandise stalls there was this lady with a stall. At first I thought she was packing up but then I realised the stall was entirely dedicated to her dog! So there were all these stalls which looked the same and then there was a lady going "Come here and look at my dog!". Very strange and random but also very cute! The dog is a terrier and chihuahua cross. What a cutie! Her stall was very busy because a lot of people wanted to pet the dog.
And here is a very different sort of dog-
This is K-9 from a very popular series called Doctor Who. There is a Doctor Who stall at most of the MCM events. For £5 you could have your picture taken inside the TARDIS. K-9 and the TARDIS were autographed by cast members.
Now I would like to share a couple of my favourite cosplayers with you-
Pocky box! I felt this was a very creative cosplay. I would never have thought about doing a cosplay like this. She matches the bag I was carrying.
Black Swan. This photo does not do the costume justice. She has the full feathery wings and it was so detailed.
There were so many Pokemon cosplays. My favourite was this pair doing Entei and Suicune.
I left the ExCel Centre around 1.30pm and then went off to Camden and around some shops in the city centre. My main regret was I was unable to stay for the cosplay masquerade. And my friend Beau arrived literally just as I was leaving so I did not get to see her either! I am sorry Beau...
If I remember I will do another post with all the goodies I purchased!
I have an album on my photobucket with all the pictures I took. I have kept it unlocked and you can visit it here-