The 61st Philly Non-Sport Show was held once again at the Merchants Square Mall in Allentown this past weekend and as always it was a great time to pick up some cards your collection, get some free promos (over 50!), and visit with everyone who share our passion for the hobby. On to the details!
The vendors and Non-Sport Update staff begins arriving in the late morning on Friday and are busy setting up for the weekend, getting tables and displays ready, sorting out promos, making sure the dealers have what they need, and sorting out last-minute details. A lot of work goes into the show to ensure a memorable experience for all attendees. The Toser’s host a dinner for everyone who helps out and it’s the first of many gatherings over the weekend and is appreciated by everyone. The second gathering took place after dinner in the lobby of our host hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn Allentown Airport. The lobby is nicely set up for relaxing and hanging out and you can always find hobby friends there throughout the weekend.
The marquee at the 61st Philly Non-Sports Card Show (photo: Harris Toser)
The first surprise of the weekend was the unannounced appearance of our good UK mates Kevin and Cathy Worboys (“Hammer” on Card Talk), it’s always good to see Kevin and it was Cathy’s first Philly Show so it was extra special to have her here as well.
Saturday was busy and there was plenty of quality material in the room, modern and vintage for collectors to browse. Attendees received promo packs upon admission and the manufacturers and artists also had promos available, including Roxanne Toser and Non-Sport Update. Over 50 different promos were available (I think the official show list had 48 but I know of two cards that were distributed that were surprises that were not on the list, including Captain Citrus!). If you like promos, and who doesn’t, you were in for a good weekend!
Previews of upcoming sets are one of my favorite things to see at the show—Rittenhouse Archives had Star Trek Aliens autographs and Buffy the Vampire Slayer sketches on display, Cryptozoic had show worn memorabilia and the Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug sketches available for viewing. Breygent had Kringle Kards sample artwork at their table. Upper Deck had demos of their Legendary gaming card line set up. Topps and SideKick had current offerings on display.
One item getting a lot of attention were “Mystery Packs” produced by Breygent. You could choose from two sizes, a regular sized pack or an oversized pack which featured a print and the corresponding printing plate for subjects like Grimm and American Horror Story. The regular size packs held autographs, printing plates, and sketch cards. The Rittenhouse Archives tables are also busy and they hold an hourly raffle where attendees can win some great prizes. Getting these extras adds a lot of enjoyment to the show experience.
A staple of the Philly Show is the artists, and this show had an outstanding line-up—Ted Dastick, Jr., Laura Inglis, Gary Kezele, Eric McConnell, Dave Ryan, and Jeff Zapata. Ted and Laura had limited edition metal cards available, and all the artists had original sketch cards and other artwork available, as well as taking commissions. I always enjoy adding original art from these talented people to my collection.
Sons of Anarchy Seasons 4 & 5 box on display at Cryptozoic Entertainment’s table at the Philly Show. Under the box is one of Jax’s flannel shirts (played by Charlie Hunnam). (photo: Harris Toser)
After the show hours on Saturday several attendees travel over to the Sands Casino for dinner, shopping, and maybe a bit of wagering. A group of us had a wonderful dinner at the St. James Gate Irish Pub and Carvery. It’s worth a trip to the Sands just to see the old steel mills at night which are illuminated and are a spectacular sight at night.
The Red Robin has become another popular destination on Saturday night and its located next to the Hilton Garden Inn. It’s a great place to get something light to eat or get a dessert, have a drink, and do some trading or bust some packs and just hang out with other collectors. We had a nice sized group and another surprise was getting some nice promos courtesy of Breygent Marketing and Cryptozoic Entertainment. Breygent had four promos available including a signed version of Kris Kringle himself, Tom Breyer! Dexter and Grimm promos were also given out by Breygent. Cryptozoic gave Harris a Sleepy Hollow promo to distribute. Thanks to Tom and George from Cryptozoic for providing these!
Sunday everyone is up early for the Card Talk gathering. Non-Sport Update provides coffee, donuts, and bagels for everyone and Harris kicked it off with some announcements including the artist line-up for the Spring show (Tony and Elaine Perna, Axebone, Rhiannon Owens, and Sean Pence) and Alan gave us a preview of upcoming articles for Non-Sport Update. The highlight of the meeting was a presentation Steve Charendoff, President of Rittenhouse Archives, who talked about the 15 year history of the company, as well as products and ideas he has planned for the future. It was informative and interesting to hear about what goes on behind the scenes as we don’t get to hear about that often and it was clear that Steve is passionate about the hobby and putting collectors first. Prizes were raffled off to conclude the meeting and many collectors left with some great items.
Cathy and Kevin from the U.K. visited the Philly Non-Sports Card Show (photo: Harris Toser)
After the gathering everyone heads back to the show for another day of shopping at the tables and receiving new promo cards. Now matter how many times I browse the tables I always find something I missed the day before there are so many cards it’s not hard to do! I picked some nice vintage packs and a display box from the 60′s for my collection so I had a successful weekend as did other collector friends I spoke with.
May 2nd and 3rd are the dates for the Spring 2015 show. Makes plans now to attend! It’s a great weekend of non-sports cards, gatherings and friends. If you have not been to the show yet it’s time! I also have it on good authority that the Brits will be invading once again as well!
Be sure to keep an eye out for many more Philly Show photos and more coming soon to this space.