Nestled just before the annual Crisis show, there is FACTS in Gent`s Flanders Expo. The name is short for Fantasy - Anime - Comics - Toys - Science fiction, and as it suggests, that is what the show is all about.
Now for us wargamers, Salute and Crisis are two of the largest shows around, and I managed to convince the full Far Side to tag along this year, just to give them an impression of that aspect of the hobby, things like cosplaying, collectibles and the likes.
The Far Side in all it`s glore: Creepy Corridor Andy, myself with the pikachu hat, Sgt Looney Bjorn, Centurion `my nemesis` Guy, Mr Skratch Wim and lying in front Mechaniak Sven.
That cap is for sale for 9.99 pounds at Tokyotoys.co.uk, oddly enough I had quite a few people asking where I got it since they didn`t see it in the halls.
Their jaws dropped open! The cue at the morning was a whole football pitch long, yet filed in under 15 minutes due to advance ticket ordering (sorry for the Salute organisers, but this is what que busters are meant for), and a first guess would be about 5000 people in the early hours alone. Minus the Early Birds that could already enter at nine, and the fact there is a second day on sunday, we`re talking I guess somewhere around 7000 to 8000 visitors. Making it a small con if you view it against american monsters like ComicCon, but still, for little belgium, that is mightilty impressive.
So let`s have a look around, first off, the trader and dealer halls, there where two of these, as in total the Expo counted 3 halls for the event alone (1 hall being about the size of the whole Metropolis hall we have at our disposal for Crisis).
But FACTS is of course also about the cosplaying. Yes, where considering going fully costumed next year as well, so I better start studying how to work with fibreglass to make myself a Saint armor teeheee
In the third hall, most of the clubs we`re located as well as a heap of videogames like ubisoft and the likes. Here, the mainstage also ran the cosplay competitions as well as some acts by cosplay groups
So that birngs us to the dribs and drabs that caught my particular eye, for a variety of reasons whatsoever and don`t fit into the mass material above...
A Beast cosplayer, I thought his look just awesome
The venerable M41 Pulse Rifle from Aliens, it must be the coolest looking scifi gun ever made, but I`m afraid 790 euros is even over my budget for a decoration piece
Even though that gun could come in useful...
The return of the pinball machine. There was a whole lot of them on display, and I was most impressed by how gorgeous they looked
This was pretty neat, a girl, not associated to the demo stand, was playing a dancing game with a character she was dressed up.
We are your friends, we come in peace. I`d hide my hamster though...
The R2-D2 Builder`s Club was present once again. I keep thinking that the idea of a group of people tinkering in some garagebox to build droids is sheer awesomeness.
Go Go Power Rangers! One thing I admire about cosplayers, is that not only they have the balls to walk around playing dressing up, but they spontaneously pose for every camera pointed their way. Something those overpaid sportstars and the likes can really learn a lesson about!
A beat em up featuring Pikachu... maybe it`s time to buy just one more gameconsole... Speaking of which, there was a dealer selling USB `classic` gamecontrollers, like the old Nintendo 8 bit, or those arcade joysticks with the 8 big buttons (4 black, a yellow, a red, a blue and a green - you`ll fondly remember those if your older then, I`d say 25 years), and compatible for PC, PS3 and the likes. I was severly tempted to buy one though (but in all honsesty, we where already returning to the car when I remembered to get one)
Glassfibre costume building... I`d better start studying that picture then.
Here`s a quiz for you: where does the original 4 bit Space Invaders screen end, and Mechaniak`s sweater start?
Creepy things go on in the Creepy Corridor
I`m not sure who should be the most afraid... poor Freddy, better slaughter those scream queens
And so the day ended as we where waved of by the inhabitants of Azeroth on the way to the car. Will the Far Side return next year? I think they will, I haven`t heard complaints of people being bored and stuff, only about `my wife will kill me if I buy that` kinds. And we are considering to dress up for the occassion then as well...
Which leaves me with one last, traditional convention picture: The Loot
I`m a VERY happy camper. First of all, there was a pre-order I did with Archonia, for about 30 comics. I found one of the SEED Destiny manga`s there, as well as three volumes of the Saint Seiya manga. Only 4 left for full completion of the series.
But then the jewels are found. Two sets of 3 Gundam manga, namely G-Fighter and The Last Outpost, for only 10 euros a set. A hadfull of button badges to fill my messenger bag I carry to work even further. A few sleeves with cool vampire art for my Magic deck and a Pokemon deck box for something special I have in mind.
But the jackpot... Nachi, Bronze Saint of Wolf. This is one of the most hard sought after saints from the Myth range. if you look for him on ebay you`ll find him costing between 110 to even 200 euros! I found him from a small traders stand for... 35 euros!!!!!
I was exstatic (and sorry Guy for the shove, I needed to get to my prey as soon as possible...)
Ciao ciao and up to the next convention!
Te-Ke (15mm Japanese Armoured car With tracks)
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