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Everything posted by Rainbowchazer

  1. Appreciated the increased number of artists, illustrators and writers there this time. They really made my day. Because it was smaller, in the afternoon it was a lot less busy. We were able to find somewhere to sit down and eat that wasn't at the noodle stall. Prices were still eye watering, mind, but once in a while we can manage that. I'm still not sure why my husband bought me a ticket without asking me to check if there was anyone I wanted to meet, mind. Oddly enough, what I thought would be the biggest inconvenience actually turned out to be a find. Liverpool Street to Shepherd's Bush to Kensington Olympia on the tube is much simpler than King's Cross via wherever to Olympia. Sure, the journey down on the train is longer - and it was busy yesterday because King's Cross was closed. But the rest of it was a doddle. Glad to be warm and dry again now. By the way, what is that big glowing thing in the sky? Can anyone tell me, please?
  2. People sitting on the stairs. That is exactly the problem. SEATS. Maybe an area with a small charge (yes, London. SMALL, as in a couple of quid for daily access) for access to seating would be an option? Because everything else was charged for, and then some. £2.25 for 100ml of water, ffs.
  3. Yes, why can't the people asking for extra assistance have a fast track entrance into the building as well? We must have walked another mile from the station to the entrance. At that point my legs were fresh and I wasn't having problems walking...it was actually almost FIVE HOURS before I collapsed against the wall.
  4. My hips, knees and feet are definitely telling me the standing and moving at slow pace was a problem for me yesterday. It was worth it but I really must get fitter so I can enjoy these events fully without thinking my feet will give out from under me at any time. That comment was unforgivable though. I have never been to an event where wheelchair users didn't get priority. If I'd overheard it, I would have been wishing fervently for my cane so I could have brutalised her ankles. But then again, the last time I used a cane was over 10 years ago and I'd rather not go back to having to use it again, if I can help it. Hence why my first stop tomorrow after work will be the campus gym, so I can swim out some of these kinks. Hope everyone is having a fabulous day today. One of these days we'll do it properly - 3 day pass, DPs and hotels. I've been working on it ever since arriving home yesterday.
  5. I'll agree with you. They were everywhere yesterday. As were the 'mystery loot bags' which probably contained more of the same kind of stuff. The only reason I'd buy one is to sell it on ebay for more than I paid for it. But trying to research which one of those soulless bobbleheads to buy would cause me to lose the will to live, so...
  6. My husband and I arrived back a couple of hours ago from London. The two things that really caught us out this year were: a) that the only way to the venue by train seemed to be to go to West Brompton and change there. Wasn't there a direct link from Earl's Court before? b) the lack of seating in the venue. The only place which seemed to have seats was the cosplay stage and most rows were blocked by exhausted punters slumped in the nearest available seats at the end of each row. When I eventually collapsed in an untidy heap up by the gaming area, because I can't get up off the floor easily, it took the combined efforts of my husband and a friendly security guard to get me back on my feet. When my legs give out, they give out. By that time I had been on my feet for over 3 hours and although I only had about 10 minutes on the ground before the guard came along and asked me to move, that was all I needed to get my second wind. I would suggest that a designated rest area with seats should be provided. I know there was a large area to sit on the floor and eat (but did you see the state of it by the end of the day?) but seated rest areas did seem to be at a premium, even near food outlets. Apart from that: the amount of talent at the far end of the signing area was amazing. Alfie Allen, ZQ and John Barrowman all in a line.
  7. Oooohhh. Planning on melting my credit card on this one. May even go for a Gold Pass rather than a DP. Newbie question, because it's been a long week and I'm out of spare functioning braincells: How does a GP or DP work with a joint photo session? I really would like the joint Shatner/Quinto photo sesh but I can't tell if the passes include that option or not. If I've already blown £175 on a DP or more on a GP, I don't know if my card would hold another £150 for a joint photo when I'd already have had one with Zachary Quinto anyway included in the pass. Could someone with a bit more spare brain capacity please enlighten me? Is there another thread or a FAQ that I've missed somewhere here? I've already met William Shatner and he's an absolute gent. Never managed to get to the front of the queue for Leonard Nimoy on his last visit, so to have a photo op with Shatner and Quinto would be the next best thing. My tired brain thanks you for your assistance.
  8. Merlin. But that's only because I'm an Anthony Head fan. Otherwise: Babylon 5. Bruce Boxleitner, anyone? Game of Thrones. Lord of the Rings reunion for the Hobbit films.
  9. As the OP's wife, I can see both sides... I'm not a fan of the kid-centric, everything-must-be-family-friendly society, but on the other hand, SM events are one of the few places I have not seen too much of that. I'm short (as you can see in my avatar) and do have trouble walking, on occasion having to use a cane, but the biggest problem I have is people looking elsewhere and walking smack into me because they're not looking down to my level. At least the buggy-pushing parents at SM events are generally looking downwards towards their offspring so can see and avoid me. SM events appear to be havens for wheelchair users, little people and others who would otherwise perhaps be marginalised by society. I have the biggest problems with the elaborately attired cosplayers who don't see where they're heading because of masks or other costume obstructions, as well as those who are so engrossed in looking at the guests or merchandise that they're not looking where they're going. Generally, parents with buggy-size children aren't among them. That said, I doubt very much that a STROLLER PARKING HERE sign such as those at Disneyland would win many fans. The invitation to kleptomaniacs would be too great, for a start. And the parents would not thank anyone for making them carry their child for the whole day! Yes, as a cane-user, I would appreciate more space. But the atmosphere would be lacking without the element of having to wait, push or queue for what or who you wanted to see.
  10. KEVIN SORBO. What a guy! Want more. Want another autograph...might even be persuaded to pay for a photo op. I already know what a charmer Anthony Head is - that's why I wanted to see him again. My bad for getting there so late! Ditto re the photo op. Must try and see Dave Prowse, Kenny Baker and Warwick Davis for autographs some day soon as they acknowledge where possible when I wave and say hi as I'm towed past their places. More Game of Thrones cast, please. My husband was entranced!
  11. Next time I am taking a cane, to whack people out of the way with...LOOK WHERE YOU'RE GOING PLEASE? Not all disabled people have a wheelchair and I was pulling my poor husband's arm out of its socket at some points trying to keep my balance, and avoid being walked into or shoved. I saw a number of little people as well as Kenny Baker get walked smack into because you lot with your heads in the clouds weren't looking DOWN. Little people and children do exist, you know. Look for us before you wind us up to the point of having a sore shin, why don't you? Directions to venue - poor. Can be improved. Whose idea was it to let booze in? The tube at the end of the day was full of drunkards. Beer and BO. *HURLS*. Should have bought my own food and cold drink though, as the prices... *wince*. An enormous shout to Kevin Sorbo, gorgeous guy, all the time in the world, want to see him again. And thanks to all the crew, too. It was manic and I do not envy you. I knew it was going to be hot, but it was hotter than I had expected with the crowds. The one gripe was that my husband missed the chance to get a photo of the Iron Throne. Can the times for limited-viewing props such as this be better advertised next time? And can we please have the Throne back again? Other than that, for me at least, it was a cheap day out. Didn't stay for Anthony Head although I would have liked to: I had ticket 760 and he was only up to 655 at around 5pm. Saw Kevin Sorbo (for my US friend who shrieked so loudly when I told her I had an autographed pic that I swear you could have heard it in Olympia) and raided the ssecond hand book stall and the Beanie Babies stall. Glad I missed the early bird fiasco but I think we're going to have to get there a bit earlier next time. With food, drink and a cane...
  12. Ditto! If I got the chance to meet Leonard or Zachary........ well, ecstatic wouldn't even come close! Oh, do not even go there. My joy would know no bounds! Trouble is, I too hear Leonard Nimoy has retired from cons, which is an almighty shame.
  13. Nor us. Would have been great to have had a photo to go with the two signed cast member photos my husband bought. Discovering we'd missed that was not a good moment.
  14. Was busy but nowhere near as bad as Collectormania MK as there was enough space for everyone, their buggies, their children, their canes and their cosplay costumes. Queuing for autographs seemed much more logical than the space at MK allows. Never used the photoshoots so have been spared that hell. Much appreciated the chill out zone upstairs on the balcony as I was dead on my feet by about 4.30. (I find walking slowly very difficult and painful.)
  15. Have to admit TfL did not make a good job of signposting that Olympia tubes were running today. My husband and I followed the very clear notices to take a tube to Brompton and then get a connection overground from there, only to find that the signs at the other end were directing us back to Earl's Court again. Wasn't the only one caught out, as I saw several cosplayers wandering around Brompton too. Perhaps a pinned thread giving transport options next time? Especially as an increasing number of international visitors and first timers are attending these events, as well as many people who don't travel often in London.
  16. Joining you in the squeeing stakes. And I know I'm going to be there as Felice has set up a meeting with our particular London bunch of mates specifically for the event too! *jiggityjig*
  17. Really useful post, Westiesx2, thanks. Sounds like by the time I come back to CM:MK again it will be much improved in venue terms. Really, really would like to be inside rather than just on the concourse, however, because as others have said, the weather for CM weekends is often shocking! One friend refuses to come with us now as she was so cold last time (yes, she would have loved the steaming hot LFCC, she's a bit of a tropical flower, to be honest). Still had a good time, if the niggles could be sorted out with the running of it too, that would truly make it head and shoulders above any other similar event in this country.
  18. The way the half marathons I have completed work is that the photographer takes the shots as you're racing then, in around 10 days, you go to the website, type in your race number and get a choice of photos indexed as featuring your race number. You can then choose downloading a copy of any you like for a fee or getting a physical copy sent for a higher fee. If the photoshoots were indexed by guest and maybe time, that would allow fans to choose in the same way, wouldn't it? No use if you want something signed on the day, but to me, that's what the standard shots are for. Perhaps with the multi-day cons it might be possible to have a faster system in place so that photos could be ordered and signed within the duration of the con? I know at San Diego Zoo they have a guest photo system where the shots are taken on the way to the bus tour and are ready by the time guests return from the tour around 90 minutes later, but I would imagine they have a bigger team working on that and it can employ a system which doesn't have to be portable like anything at a con would. Just my thought. And for the record, I prefer the stock shots for the autos and a digital version for anything else, mainly because I am not photogenic, as you can see from my icon! Then I have the option of walking away rather than feeling obliged to buy something which shows the guest looking their usual cool self and me looking like a dork on speed.
  19. I voted 1. Norwich (because it's close by) 2. Birmingham (because it's well connected) 3. Newcastle (because I went to Uni there and need little excuse to return) but to be honest I think Showmasters should concentrate on ironing out the issues with the existing events (photo pickup, guest location and comfort, visitor comfort and safety, queuing and so on) before expanding into new locations.
  20. Fair enough, thanks for the feedback. Just seemed to me that the question of chaotic queues was one which had caused undue problems, but maybe that was more in the photoshoot areas than the autograph queues. Didn't have any trouble ourselves, at least not this time, but we have had issues in the past. Disclosure: you're reading the words of someone who would rather have liked the rules bent so that our prized photo of Shatner and Nimoy together could have been signed by Nimoy when he was at CM:MK a few years ago. However on a day when we had to catch a train to Edinburgh mid-afternoon, we ran into a crew member who wouldn't let us queue jump and refused to take our photo and guarantee its later safe return signed. So they were doing their job and we lost out. Our tough. Too bad that it means we'll more than likely never get that photo signed by both of them now.
  21. The chap cosplaying Darth Vader on Saturday was a scream! Making remarks about cheesy snacks and reminding the youngsters about the proper way to address him... He also breathed down my neck on one occasion, causing me to turn to my husband and say 'I think we have Darth Vader behind us.' 'You do.' came the soft reply.
  22. Two or three further things which occurred to me overnight. 1. Families. Why not offer a group ticket for families to come in together? I have read so many posts saying 'why couldn't my child come in to x photoshoot with me?' It is unfair to charge for several tickets when there will be one photograph resulting. Why should the children suffer and have to wait longer because some erk has pushed in front of them when their parents have bought VTs? I take the earlier poster's point about autistic youngsters not having the ability to stand still and wait, but that applies to many youngsters who don't understand the concept of queueing. Now that the original event attendees are old enough to have families and bring them along, more attention should be paid to the requirements of families. Perhaps a special time for particularly popular guests to meet with the families where the rest of us childfree types are not allowed in? 2. Wheelchairs, Canes, Buggies A film con is always going to be popular with those who find movement difficult, as enjoying films is something everyone can do. But it is impossible to move safely when it's so crowded. I had my bad foot stood on more times than enough and I didn't take a cane because I knew what it would be like and so leant on my husband instead. However, I did see many people with canes, in buggies and chairs. It became very difficult to move around many parts of the circuit on Saturday and I really feel for the partially sighted chap I saw being escorted around. He was waving his cane in a vain attempt to draw people's attention to the fact that they needed to give him some space, but it wasn't working. More consideration should be given to the numbers of people allowed in at any given time - I would have hated to have had a fire alarm when it was so busy! 3. General facilities The toilets needed to be kept better stocked. The stadium seating was supposedly cordoned off, but loads of people were using it because there was nowhere else to sit. A stewarded rest and relaxation area somewhere away from the noise would be really useful. I've crewed such places in the past at events like this and it is a welcome addition for many. Especially given the numbers of families and disabled there, whose stamina isn't always up the same level as fully mobile adults. I found it very tough going to constantly push and shove, shuffle and weave - and I've walked four Half Marathons in my time. The parking...needs to be sorted out. Ticketing needs to be more rigorously enforced than it was, especially early in the day. We had ticket 504 for Sean Astin and were able to get in when the advertised numbers were 0-500, around 4.30-5pm. Chap in front of us had 548, and if that had been us we would have waited until open q or 0-550 was called, especially as there was a queue still for him even that late in the day. Yes, I know telling people they'll have to wait won't be popular, but that's what pit bosses and senior crew should be sorting out. If people create a scene, they should be ejected. I see some of the crew were telling people to wait their allocated turn, even if the manner in which the news was conveyed wasn't ideal. Am sure I'll come up with more ideas in due course. Simply put, the lack of space hampers everything from parking to waiting for guests to picking up photos to simply moving around at all. Can't be helped as things are.
  23. Great effort by Showmasters. All fault lies with others, MK Council and stadium developers mainly. As it stands the stadium is not up to the job. I just wish the politicising would stop already and the arena could then be built! The parking was DIRE and the venue was cold and drafty, but what else do you expect on a football stadium concourse? This region badly needs a big indoor arena suitable for large events and concerts as everything else is either London, the Midlands or the west side of the country. And with transport costs the way they are, I for one of many am not willing to traipse into London for an event. Kudos to the guests for appearing to remain calm and staying as warm as they could. Sean Astin was a revelation, big smiles and all the time in the world for the public. The cosplayers were brave, or in Darth Vader's case, well dressed for the weather! Just hope that by this time next year that arena will have been built to a degree that means we can at least be indoors, even if it may still be cold (have yet to find an indoor area that is decently warm). Trek con in a few months? Three words: Bring. It. On.
  24. Rainbowchazer. Married to Felice, who has been going to MK Collectormania cons for 10 years. I started attending after I met him in 2003. I've met William Shatner, Anthony Head, the two Coreys, Sean Astin, Warwick Davis, Kenny Baker and a few more I can't remember, mainly LoTR and Star Trek related. Have also been to LFCC to see Corey Feldman. Am hoping to go to the Trek convention as well - can't resist the 5 Captains and if someone manages to persuade Leonard Nimoy to come over as well that would be fantastic. (Would he be able to resist the combined might of William Shatner, Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine?) I'm a University administrator by day and an editor, proofreader and writer at all other times when I'm not asleep. I'm also a bit of a petrolhead, a retro technology geek and a music fan. I blog, tweet and contribute to numerous online forums as the urge takes me. Hope to contribute here at times too.
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