2013 marks the 10 year anniversary of the Burlington Toy Show, which has recently been rebranded as the Canadian ToyCon. Created by Steve Buckley, a former wrestling promoter, the events (four to five a year) offer old and new sci-fi, wrestling, horror and comic nostalgia.
Held at the Royal Botanical Gardens, joined by Casper Van Dien (of Starship Trooper fame), Ashlynn Yennie (Human Centipede 1 & 2), and author J.M. Frey, the convention opened it’s doors to hundreds of excited toy enthusiasts, young and old alike. The toy collectors, admirers and families came out in droves to find that special something they’ve been looking for, whether it was a comic book, a G.I. Joe, a Beanie Baby or even one of those Darth Vader heads from the 80s you could store all your action figures in.
First we stopped to meet Casper Van Dien for a small interview which can be read here before taking in the rest of the convention. I don’t even need to make a kid in a toy store comparison right here because that’s exactly what it was! The nostalgia that some of the items brought out was incredible. Yes, I remember the game I was playing when my Super Nintendo stopped working (it was Star Wars: Return of the Jedi) and they had it there, among other games of my childhood like The Lion King for Sega Genesis. Hell, someone even had a Barbie Pink Glamour Camper! The one thing I didn’t see? (Maybe because I wasn’t looking hard enough, I assume…) Power Rangers. There was a distinct lack of Power Rangers things, though perhaps for the better or else I’d be playing with them right now and wouldn’t be writing this.
During my browsing, I was lucky enough to meet Alfonso Espinos of StudioComix, selling his amazing prints, including some from one of their titles, All Jack City. My favorite print of theirs was of Adam and Jamie from Mythbusters that would look great when I find some wall space in my house. I didn’t, unfortunately, pick up a print, but the good news is they’ll be at Niagara Falls Comic Con too and I have high hopes of collecting the print then!
Shortly thereafter, the Canadian ToyCon became even more amazing for me… looking around, someone waving caught my eye. It turned out to be a very good friend of mine that I used to work with who, shockingly, was there promoting her newest novel! Now, I say shockingly in the nicest of ways as when myself and J.M. Frey worked together she often spoke about writing and her ambition, drive and passion was clear even then. I say shocking because up until today, I had no idea she was an author! Needless to say, expect a book review of Triptyck coming soon!
There was a horror panel hosted by The Blood Theatre as well which turned into an amazing near-two hour talk about everything horror and sci-fi with celebrity guests Ashlynn Yennie, Casper Van Dien and J.M. Frey. There were discussions of ‘how much is too much’ in the horror film genre, all the way to Casper’s story of how his role in Starship Troopers angered his then seven and nine year old daughters because he had appeared nude in the film. There was a podcast being made that will be put up by our wonderful affiliates at The Blood Theatre as soon as it’s completed!
Of course, I couldn’t leave the ToyCon without some kind of ridiculous purchase. I did make a purchase of Ghostbusters and Doctor Who cork coasters–practical, but not ridiculous. The purchase of the day? A dual Jedi and Sith lightsaber pack! Now all I need are some batteries (you’re damn right I’m taking them out of the original packaging to play with, sorry guys) and there will be some great lightsaber battles to be had down at the GCE.
Book, lightsabers and coasters in hand, I left the ToyCon a very happy geek! Check out our gallery from the ToyCon HERE! A big thank you to Ashlynn, Casper, J.M. Frey and of course everyone at The Blood Theatre and the Canadian ToyCon for an absolutely lovely day!