Birmingham Anime and Gaming Con (Haul Inc.)

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On Sunday me and Dane went to the anime and gaming con which was held in Birmingham. The con ran on both the Saturday and the Sunday and although we wanted to attend both days, Sunday stood out to us the most. We’re so glad we only went for the one day though. We had a lot of house stuff to do Saturday and if we had attended both days nothing would have been done. Oh the joys of being an adult and homeowner eh? πŸ˜›

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The con itself was amazing and everything we imagined it would be like and more, so I thought I would write about it today for you all, as well as share what we bought at the con as well. Sadly I didn’t get any pictures of the con as we were too busy enjoying ourselves. I’m awful at getting pictures at places like this. 😦

As old readers will know me and Dane have been to a couple of conventions now including Birmingham comic con and Hyper Japan and this one was very different to those two. For a start the con as tiny in comparison to both of those, but that wasn’t a bad thing! We liked that it was small as it meant we got chance to really look at what everyone was cosplaying as and even get the chance to talk to people if we wanted to. It also meant that we could look around everywhere without having to queue, there not being enough room to walk around and even the worry of forgetting about looking at anything.

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We also never bothered dressing up for the con as we’re boring farts and never really bother with anything like that. We could have worn our South Park outfits but meh. I wore my Iron Fist dress with Dane’s plaid jacket, tights and some brothel creepers. I loved my outfit and whilst I was a little self conscious in it, I felt comfortable for the majority of the time. I of course had to wear my Sailor Moon Luna bag that Dane bought me last year at Hyper Japan. I forgot how much I love that bag!

When I mentioned to people at work that I was going to the con I got a lot of questions such as, “Ooo will there be Japanese food there?” and to be honest I wish there was. Sadly there wasn’t any food stalls there but there was food offered by the place it was held at which was good! It was lovely weather on Sunday and it would have been lovely to have an ice cream van outside of the con… But I know that isn’t the organisers fault, problem, etc.

At the event itself there was always something going on which was great. There was the main hall where there were dealers and artists, a stage and a video gaming room. A corridor away there was the activities room and bar where you could go for something to eat and drink, watch anime, chillout, have your photograph taken in your cosplay outfit, play some games (TCGing, board games and RPG) and talks and workshops. Later in the evenings in this room they held karaoke and parties which we wished we had gone to.

We attended a couple of the workshops which were really interesting! The one Dane was most excited for was about the yakuza in Japan and although Dane knows quite a bit about it, I don’t and it was very interesting for me to listen to. The guy who got up to talk about it was great too and went into a lot of detail. The workshop I was excited for was about plushie making, which sadly got cancelled due to the host of it being poorly. There is always next time!

The stalls that were around selling things were good, although a lot of them were selling fake merchandise. As readers will know me and Dane collect Nendoroid figures so we know a fake when we see one! It was sad that we spotted three fakes and then saw that they had all sold. Very sad times.

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Speaking of which lets get onto what we bought at the convention! We bought quite a few things most of them being mine to be honest. πŸ˜›

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We picked up two Nendoroid figures from a seller who was selling legit merchandise. She was reasonable with her prices too! I bought Isabelle from Animal Crossing and Dane picked up One Punch Man. They’renow living in our Dane also bought me a cute little Umaru secret figure box too! I got one of Umaru lying down on her tummy which is so cute.

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As well as fakery there were also some legit and lovely sellers at the event. Some who were selling their own work which is what we bought most of at the event. One guy was selling prints to people… A bit too heavily and forceful for us two. He was trying to get us to buy 10 prints for Β£40. Would have been a good deal if we wanted that many prints! We ended up buying one, this water Pokemon print for our bathroom.

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As well as that we got two artists to draw for us, one of which isn’t actually finished yet. The first picture we got drawn was this chibi picture of me and Dane which is from one of our favourite pictures that we took not long after we got together. The artist is also going to draw and colour a digital image of us too, which we’re excited about! Another artist draw a picture of Dane from when he was in his band days. He would dress up in funny costumes whist on stage. This picture is from a costume he wore in Sheffield which of course is of him in a banana. It’s perfect and he loves it!

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These are probably my favourite buys from the day, which are these two adorable Eeveelution t-shirts by Ohayou! who I’ve been a fan of for a while through Etsy. She does more designs than this which I really want to get. The two I picked up are one of a Sylveon print that says “dragon slayer” (if you don’t get it look it up) and one of an Umbreon looking sad… I couldn’t not take that t-shirt design home! The only thing I don’t like about these is the plastic feel of the print but it’s nothing serious. I’ll be wearing these all the time with some jeans, shorts and skirts. I plan to buy more of their goods in the future, or at least ask for them for Christmas. πŸ˜›

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Alongside those goodies I picked up some little bits and pieces that were dotted around. I picked up some dog and red panda stickers, three Totoro pens, a Romantic Bear peel off lipstick (which I love! I have more of these on the way so I’ll be reviewing them all then), a pack of Eeveelution stickers, an ice verion of Ninetales sticker, a Lady Rainicorn sticker, a picture of Haiku in dragon form, and various badges.

As well as my opinion on the convention I wanted to get Dane to talk about his views.

Well, we had a really good time and were amazed at the incredible cosplay on show, but i think that was the biggest gripe for me. Too much emphasis on the cosplay aspect, not enough for those not so into cosplay to do. The talks were not very well organised and I felt sorry for a lot of the speakers as they had to alter their presentations due to technical errors and last minute changes and fillers. We didn’t watch any anime which is a disappointment as I was expecting a great chill-out atmosphere to watch anime and socialise. What we got was a tiny screen and a couple rows of chairs. To make people want to watch anything at an event you have to make it an improvement to what people may have at home. Personally, I can watch any of the anime shown on a much bigger TV, on a nice comfortable sofa with amazing sound. There was no incentive for us to take part.

I completely understand it is the very first one held in Birmingham so things may not always go to plan and there may not be enough funding to create the best convention ever. For the price we paid it was completely worth it and I can only expect to see it grow. I would like to see it in a bigger space with more artists and shops, more emphasis on gaming and the talks/panels, interesting food options and a more inviting experience for viewing anime.

Overall we loved our day at the convention and it reminded us how much we love going to events like this. It’s made us realise how much we really want to go to Birmingham Comic Con in November so we’ll be booking to go to that very soon!

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5 thoughts on “Birmingham Anime and Gaming Con (Haul Inc.)

  1. Pingback: A Geeky Collective Haul | There Might Be Coffee

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