MCM Comic Con London (October 2018): The Mark Searby Review

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Was there something in the water? Or was it because it was coming up to Halloween? It might not have been either of these but this past weekend’s MCM Comic Con felt, to me… strange. It didn’t have the pizzazz or Wow factor that the Spring show did. Sure, the Autumn one is normally the more reserved of the two events but it still didn’t have the same energy to it that previous year’s have had.

MCM’s London event has grown massively and this year you could still see and feel it growing. There were many more interesting and different things to do: activations (i.e. photo ops with props etc from films/TV shows) were much more prominent this past weekend, it is a fun activity to do. Who doesn’t want their photo with THE GRINCH (courtesy of Illumination Studios)? Or to hold Nicolas Cage’s axe from the Legion M film MANDY?

Also, the idea of giving away a limited edition branded MCM coin drew in the crowds. Every time I walked past that booth, there was a line all the way out of the stand and trailing far back. These activations are all a bit of fun away from the hustle ‘n’ bustle of the main floors.

Sam Payne Pic 17 - MCM London Oct 2018
Sam Payne Pic 18 - MCM London Oct 2018
Sam Payne Pic 19 - MCM London Oct 2018
Sam Payne Pic 10 - MCM London Oct 2018
Sam Payne Pic 16 - MCM London Oct 2018
Sam Payne Pic 14 - MCM London Oct 2018

The show floors are never less than busy and at times swapped where you’ll have to shuffle like the walking dead to even get anywhere. It is a testament to the pulling power of MCM London that it still attracts big attendee numbers even for those that are just there to look and wander. There was a wide range of vendors that sold items from figures to art work through crockery and even mobile phone charging leads.

It is to be noted that exclusives are coming into their own at MCM as well. Funko continue their assault on selling exclusives only available at MCM. There were also exclusives from RICK & MORTY (not Rick or Morty themselves, but the people running the stand, you understand!) and Hasbro. I even spotted a limited-edition double figure set from John Carpenter’s THE THING.

Sam Payne Pic 12 - MCM London Oct 2018
Sam Payne Pic 7 - MCM London Oct 2018
Sam Payne Pic 6 - MCM London Oct 2018
Sam Payne Pic 5 - MCM London Oct 2018
Sam Payne Pic 4 - MCM London Oct 2018

The Asia section of MCM London continues its excellent run of having items on display that are fascinating and curious. The smell from the food trucks is so difficult to ignore. They say that if you go to Las Vegas and don’t gamble then you are a true winner. Well, if you go to MCM London and don’t buy anything from the Asia food stalls then you are a very strong-willed person. Mmmmmm, Katsui curry.

Sam Payne Pic 8 - MCM London Oct 2018
Sam Payne Pic 9 - MCM London Oct 2018

While the panels on offer were plentiful on the day I attended, the only huge stand-out panel was CRITICAL ROLE and I’m not even a fan of the show. It is pleasing to see something like CRITICAL ROLE come over to the UK. However, we need more like this. Where is Netflix? Where is Amazon? They both have shows that would, and do, appeal to nerds yet they don’t bring them to a nerd event such as MCM?! How odd.

Sam Payne Pic 1 - MCM London Oct 2018

One big problem I noticed at the event was the confusion between staff. I asked several staff and stewards questions about autographs, panels and locations. They seemed lost and without any full knowledge of what I was asking them. It got to the point where I eventually asked another attendee who gave me the answer I needed. There also seemed to be a lack of starting things on time. Special guests arriving late and panels not starting on time were an on-going issue.

Sam Payne Pic 13 - MCM London Oct 2018
Sam Payne Pic 15 - MCM London Oct 2018
Sam Payne Pic 11 - MCM London Oct 2018

In conclusion, I came away from MCM Comic Con London having had a nice time. But this is MCM London! The flagbearer! The numero uno UK event for ReedPOP! And yet I came away having a “nice time.” The dazzling sparkle that was present for the Spring event had faded to a shimmering haze for this Autumn show…

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