This was absolutely the best show since we began holding it in Allentown, PA in November of 2007. It’s hard to believe this was our 10th show. We work very hard trying to make the shows interesting in order to draw more people. Everything seemed to work this time and our efforts paid off. More than 600 people attended the two-day April 21 & 22 show.
Here are some of the reasons why the show was such a huge success. Twin Galaxies, score keepers for the video game world, contacted us about setting up at the show with their new Video Games Trading Card set. In this set, there are pictures of celebrity video game players, official record holding gamers, commemorative cards and history of the games. The set grows all the time and Harris and I were even awarded a blow-up of a card (#228) added to the set in our honor for having Twin Galaxies at the show. When the local Allentown paper (The Morning Call) found out such celebrities as Walter Day, founder of Twin Galaxies, and Billy Mitchell, perfect Pac-Man gamer—both of whom were in the documentary film The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters were going to be at the show, they wrote a great article and listed everything happening at the show. This was in the Friday edition of the paper and brought in many new people. There were two actual floor model video machines in the room for anyone who wished to play the games.
On Sunday only, two beautiful Bench Warmer models were there to sign free autographs for attendees. There was a constant line for the autographs. Brian Wallos, Bench Warmer CEO provided six promos for the admission promo packs, two cards for the models to autograph and a dealer-only promo which was a quad-signed card. This was more than generous and certainly appreciated. Another manufacturer who deserves a special thank you for providing promo cards is Tom Breyer of Breygent Marketing—I believe he had 21 different.
Others who provided prizes and/or promos were Rittenhouse Archives, Cryptozoic Entertainment (all the way from California), Frank Eachus Publishing, Twin Galaxies, SideKick, Topps, shopTopps.com, Famous Fabrics, 258 West Authentic Signatures, 5FINITY, Bad Axe Studios, Bags Unlimited, Press Pass, Versicolor Productions and Cult Stuff. We are thankful for their generosity. Various collectors also gave us items for prizes at the show and at Card Talk. This shows a genuine love of the hobby. The staff of NSU surprised Marlin and I with a special Philly promo in honor of the special birthdays we are celebrating this year—I believe he’s 39 and I’m 34 (lol).
Frank Eachus Publishing debuted their new set of Tattoo Art Trading Cards. The set was very popular and we have a feeling there will be more series to come. Lots of people with “tats” these days. And speaking of artwork, we had an outstanding artist lineup. The artists were Axebone, Rhiannon Owens, Sean Pence, Veronica O’Connell, Elaine Perna , Tony Perna and David Gross. If this wasn’t enough, Meghan Hetrick and Laura Inglis were also available to do sketches. George Wright was selling Wacky Packages and also had some of his artwork.
There was a documentary of Twin Galaxies being filmed during the two days. A writer from Beckett Publications was there and an Allentown ABC affiliate TV station filmed on Sunday. One thing we haven’t seen for a long time is young people at the show. There was a good number and I personally thanked parents for bringing them to the show.
The Card Talk (NSU’s online forum) gathering on Sunday morning at the Hilton hosted a standing-room only crowd. There was an artist Q&A panel and the artists did a great job entertaining and informing everyone. We hope to have a video of the session on YouTube so check it out.
It will be hard to surpass this show but we have a couple of great things planned. On June 10, there will be the first-ever Pop Art Con in honor of the artists who help make the sets beautiful. The show will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fort Washington, PA (near Philly-$109 + tax rate includes two breakfasts). Cryptozoic will sponsor a Saturday night buffet dinner for artists and preregistered attendees for the Sunday show. There will be more information about how to register on our site soon. Hotel reservations can be made now by calling 215-646-4637 and using the Group Code POP or online at bit.ly/pac-hotel. There will be several dealers selling the latest cards, several manufacturers and Cryptozoic’s art director who will look at portfolios to find artists for their future sets.
Begin planning now to attend the October 20 & 21 Philly Non-Sports Show at the Merchants Square Mall. The theme will be Mars Attacks!!! Lots of great prizes and lots of fun. Please don’t say it’s too far to travel. We had three U.K. collectors and a collector from France at this show.