Posts Tagged ‘Expo’

Technology has truly come a long way in short time. In the 1990’s, many people did not know of the internet, and those that did had to deal with the frustration of dial-up. Just a decade ago, smartphones had just made its introduction to the world, revolutionizing information technology by placing the world in your hands. Many other gadgets have surfaced since the smartphone, including many wearables and other useful tools. The way we view electronics has changed greatly over time too. Touch screens started off as resistive, meaning it relied on physical pressure to measure taps and touches. Touch screens later evolved into capacitive, which senses the conductive capacity of an object that touches the screen, such as human skin. In addition to touch screens, 3D and virtual reality has existed for a long time too, but had not made it into the mainstream as much. Times have changed, and you can now possess virtual reality in your hands, which the VRLA Expo 2017 showcased many forms of VR.

The general public used to think of virtual reality as a luxury item, but in today’s economy, anyone can experience VR, and the VRLA Expo 2017 exhibited the many ways that one can experience VR. This all-ages electronics expo took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center’s west hall this past weekend, and contained dozens of vendors all showcasing their entry into the VR market. Within the expo hall, the convention center staff had the lights dimmed the entire time so that attendees can better witness the spectacle of virtual reality. Most of the demos involved a VR headset that you either hold up to your eyes or have them strapped around your eyes so that you get the full immersion of the video clip or game. Most commonly, attendees got to use the HTC Vive (a complete virtual reality headset that includes a viewer and controllers, but no headphones) or other similar VR headset such as the Samsung Gear VR or Oculus Rift. Other VR demos at this expo included mixed reality (MR), full body motion capture, physical/cardio machines (bikes, elliptical, etc), and a 360 dome that simulated perspective distortion, where you lie still in a room surrounded by a round screen, and that screen displayed a video that made you feel like you moved with the video.

The future has arrived, and the future includes virtual reality. We live in a future where we put clocks in our smartphones so that we do not need to wear a watch, yet we now have smartwatches so that we do not have to pull our phones out of our pockets. In this future, we now use a USB cord to charge books and cigarettes. Virtual reality does not have to cost you much – if you have a smartphone (I recommend at least a five inch screen), you can use a Google Cardboard with it, which should only cost a few dollars on third-party sites. If you missed out on the VRLA Expo 2017, fret not, as they normally run their expo twice a year. In the meantime, check out the VRLA Expo on Facebook and Twitter for more info about future expos and all the vendors that participated in this past weekend’s expo.

The Spring 2017 edition of the Los Angeles Comic Book & Science Fiction Convention returned to The Reef this past Sunday. This small gathering for comic book fans occurs quite often throughout the year, but does not draw crowds as huge as the major conventions such as the big one in San Diego. This event caters well for fans looking to actually browse and shop for comic books, toys, accessories, and other merchandise. Unlike other comic book conventions, I did not witness any artists or writers at this past weekend’s event, although the event certainly has the space to host them. I also did not encounter many cosplayers – I saw no more than ten people dressed up in character during my visit. However, this event still managed to bring out some celebrities from film and television for fan meet & greets.

If you want a good way to shop for items for yourself or the friends & family into comics, the Los Angeles Comic Book & Science Fiction Convention makes for a fun local event sure to deliver what you need. This event occurs a few times a year, so make sure you like them on Facebook to see when they will return with another event.

Arcade Expo 3.0 returns to Banning this upcoming weekend. Taking place at their exclusive facility across from the Banning Municipal Airport, this hall of arcade machines houses hundreds of classic and modern video games for thousands of visitors of all ages to come and relive their childhood. Entertainment types vary from arcades to video game consoles to pinball machines and more. Admission grants all visitors full access to the expo hall for unlimited free play for the duration of the visit. In addition to all the free games available, visitors will find various movies, seminars, vendors, live music, tournaments, and more to keep them occupied. The building that houses the Arcade Expo has various rooms all with different types of arcades in them. The two main rooms represent the main halves of the expo: one half holds all the pinball machines, while the other half holds all the arcade games. The arcade half has hundreds of nostalgic video games, most of which resemble 8-bit games such as those found on the original Nintendo system. While most of the arcade games fall under the category of 8-bit to 16-bit, visitors can find a few modern games, such as Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Beyond the arcade room, visitors can walk outside to find the main stage, where live bands, DJ’s, and speakers set up.

Visitors can find Arcade Expo 3.0 at 700 South Hathaway St across the street from the Banning Municipal Airport. Early arrivals can park for free in the venue’s parking lot; otherwise, visitors should look for street parking nearby. The expo runs from 2:30pm to 12am on Friday, 11am to 2am on Saturday, and 11am to 7pm on Sunday. Adult general admission for Friday and Sunday costs $35. On Saturday, adult admission costs $55. Children admission costs $20 per day. A three-day pass costs $110 for adults or $55 for children. The venue has vending machines and a snack bar, plus they usually invite mobile food vendors and food trucks to keep visitors fed, so bring extra cash for food and drinks. The venue only has one set of restrooms, which almost always has a line. As such, I highly suggest eating and using the restroom prior to traveling to Arcade Expo – visitors can find food throughout Banning, or in Beaumont or Cabazon nearby. If traveling via 10 freeway eastbound, consider passing through Riverside or Redlands as they have lots of food options.

Last year, the bulk of the expo’s action took place in the pinball half of the building. This side contains hundreds of pinball machines, ranging from the traditional classic 2D machines to the modern machines with ramps and lighting effects. A pinball machines exists for virtually any theme in the world, and this expo has a pinball machine for it all. They even have some adult-themed pinball machines, one of which has actual nudity in it.

For more info direct from the source, check out Arcade Expo on Facebook and Twitter.

They said the classics never go out of style, but eventually they do. But when looking at trends, things that have goner out of style also eventually rebound back into popularity. Trends and fads ride a wave where they peak at one point then fall down and rise back up, repeating this cyclical process over time. Take a look at Pokémon for example. It had its prime time in the early 2000’s then slowly faded down, but then it surged in popularity again with the release of Pokémon GO last year. The Power Rangers had its glory in the 1990’s, then faded away for some time. However, a new Power Rangers movie will release later this month, hoping to revitalize the franchise. It helps to pay attention to the classics, as they will always find a way to come back into our lives, as we witnessed at the 2017 Pasadena Comic Con & Toy Show.

Pasadena gets their own event dedicated to comics and toys of new and old with the Pasadena Comic Con & Toy Show. Taking place this past Sunday at the Pasadena Convention Center, this all-ages convention represents a smaller, localized version of some of the larger comic events known throughout the world. Unlike those larger events, this one only costs $10 to enter for a decent amount of content. The main show floor had dozens of writers and artists all showing their work, as well as a handful of vendors selling toys, video games, and accessories. Additionally, some of the convention center’s side rooms contained more content, such as more toy vendors, guest cosplay booths, and a seminar/programs room. Altogether, this represents a nice scaled version of the big comic cons.

As a comic expo, we cannot forget about the diehard fans dressing up as their favorite fictional character. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into an art of fans sporting outfits and accessories to appear like another usually recognizable character. Mainstream characters such as Harley Quinn and Deadpool often get selected as the costume of choice due to the fast recognition by many fans, while lesser known characters tend to receive more praise by the fans who recognize the outfit. As one of the smaller comic expos, the Pasadena Comic Con did not have as many cosplayers in attendance throughout the day. However, a good amount still showed up, and I got to interact with them at the same character level that I do at larger events.

The Pasadena Convention Center hosts a handful of related events, such as events dedicated to Legos, Transformers, Power Rangers, and more. Check out the convention center’s website often (linked above) to see when they will have an event next. Also make sure you like the Pasadena Comic Con on Facebook, as they will post links about the aforementioned similar events that will take place at the Pasadena Convention Center.

Like a flash, the 2017 Long Beach Comic Expo came and went this past weekend at the Long Beach Convention Center. This convention for all things comics returned to the convention center’s Hall C just like previous years, and visitors had to enter from the east side instead of the usual west side due to another convention taking place along the western rooms. The main operations of the expo had not changed – hundreds of local comic book writers and artists exhibited their merchandise, art, books, toys, and more, either for sale or for show. Elsewhere in other rooms across from Hall C, a number workshops and seminars occurred, ranging from speaker panels to art workshops to live activities. Cosplay Corner returned to the expo as a part of the show floor in the same side of the room as previous years. Nothing else drastic changed from the previous years of the Long Beach Comic Expo, but due to the weekend’s storms, a few things got moved around – notably, anything vehicular moved to the other side from the entrance, such as themed cars and the mobile food vendors. Many cosplayers often remain out in front for photo shoots; however, due to the weather, most attendees preferred to remain inside the expo halls. Overall, I experienced lower attendance than usual this past weekend, and many attribute that to bad weather.

As a comic expo, we cannot forget about the diehard fans dressing up as their favorite fictional character. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into an art of fans sporting outfits and accessories to appear like another usually recognizable character. Mainstream characters such as Harley Quinn and Deadpool often get selected as the costume of choice due to the fast recognition by many fans, while lesser known characters tend to receive more praise by the fans who recognize the outfit. Check out this collection of the great costumes from the 2017 Long Beach Comic Expo. If you recognize any of these awesome people, please leave a comment with a URL to the person’s website or Facebook page, as well as the reference costume & photo! If the image links go down, click here for the album.

The Fall expo, the Long Beach Comic Con, returns in early September. The Fall event should return to the exact same location as this past weekend’s event, and generally has a greater turnout due to more famous people in attendance. Until then, keep an eye out for other similar expos, such as WonderCon at the end of March, or Anime Expo in early July. You have plenty of time to work up that unique and amazing DIY costume that everyone will want to take a picture of.

The 2017 Long Beach Comic Expo returns to the Long Beach Convention Center this weekend, taking place over two days in all its glory. Returning to Hall C and the Pacific Promenade area, hundreds of local comic book writers and artists will travel here to exhibit their merchandise, art, books, toys, and more. Eager fans can gain access to the entire show floor for $30 per person for Saturday, $25 for Sunday, or $50 for both days, with children 10 and under entering free with a paid adult admission. In addition to the expo on the show floor, various workshops and seminars will occur in the surrounding meeting rooms for those who register ahead of time. Diehard fans will recognize the various celebrities sitting in for meet & greet and autograph sessions.

Some general tips to make your visit pleasant:

  • Peak time: 12pm-2pm on Saturday, as you will encounter the most amount of cosplayers at this time
  • Wear comfortable shoes, as you will walk a lot.
  • I advise staying for as long as possible to see more and interact with other attendees. Also have enough energy to last the entire time.
  • While mostly indoors, a lot of the cosplayers like to hang out outside for photo shoots. Regardless, it would behoove you to dress for chilly or possibly rainy weather.
  • Have extra cash available for food as well as merchandise if you think you will buy something inside the expo.
  • Get into character! Even if you cannot dress up, cosplayers love to act their part and interact with others.
  • Expect to take a lot of photos, so bring an extra camera or power bank for smartphones.
  • I know we normally tell our kids to not talk to strangers, but at this event, attendees encourage others to chat with the cosplayers, especially children.

Even to those not interested in comics, everyone should attend a comic expo/con just to see everyone dressing up in costume. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into a staple for any sort of expo in this industry, and the fans proudly don their best gear for this expo.

Legos – we all grew up with it, and while it has largely remained a toy for children, it has captivated our hearts so much that we can still enjoy it as adults. Thankfully, the world has Lego expos and conventions for those still young at heart, such as at Bricks LA 2017, a Lego exhibit. Taking place at the Pasadena Conference Center this past weekend, this exhibit for all things Legos contained multiple aisles of carefully curated works of art constructed with Lego pieces. Visitors paid an admission of $10 and gained access to the floor full of Lego sculptures, landscapes, artwork, Lego machines, and more. While visitors could interact with the master builders behind some of these works, most of the tables simply had the Lego artworks with no one else around to inquire about the work. The center of the floor primarily contained Lego art on display, while the outer areas had more. The back wall had all of the vendors, most of which sold Lego sets and other paraphernalia. The front area had some of the interactive demos, such as a medieval-themed board game.

Compared to last year’s Bricks LA, not too much has changed as far as content goes. On one hand, the price of admission doubled from last year’s $5 admission, and at the same time the event did not get any bigger. On the other hand, this year’s Bricks LA felt a lot more interactive. While last year’s event only had exhibits and vendors, this year featured a “sandbox” area for anyone to construct whatever they felt like. A few of the exhibits allowed attendees to interact with the constructs, such as the Ultimate Nexo Brick Battle near the front of the event. This game resembled a medieval board game of four teams trying to take out the competition to remain the last team standing on the field.

If you love Legos and/or art in general, you owe it to yourself to check out Bricks LA when it next returns. When will it return? To find out, give Bricks LA a like on Facebook and a follow on Twitter. I attended Bricks LA on Saturday afternoon, prime time for most people to attend. Still, it did not have as many crazy kids running amok as I had expected. Sure you could see everything in less than an hour, but at that low admission price, Bricks LA makes for a fun activity that anyone can enjoy.