Convention connection - ToyNews

Convention connection

This weekend MCM Comic Con hit London attracting thousands of excited fans. With more fan conventions springing up across the UK, there has never been a better time to get fans engaged with your brand.
Author:
Publish date:
mcm.jpg

This May bank holiday weekend the annual summer MCM Comic Con Expo hit London's Excel Centre to sold out crowds of thousands of fans hungry for fun, food and merchandise by the truckload.

MCM is the country's biggest fan pop-culture expo, taking its cues from the US counterparts San Diego and NY Comic Con, which have now both come to be associated with Hollywood movies and gaming as much as they have to do with comic books. While the UK expos don't quite carry the cultural cache of the gargantuan American affairs, so too have these cons come to encompass all of pop culture from movies to gaming to anime and even music.

Mainstream film branding was everywhere at this year's MCM. Greeting you at the door was a giant minion diorama promoting the latest Despicable Me film which many attendees were quick to snap their first photo op in front of. Further in and the minions were out in force, with a giant inflatable minion, photo activities and another diorama on the show floor. Elsewhere, the upcoming Tom Cruise reboot was featured heavily with booths available to watch an exclusive preview of the film as well as a sample of the Universal Dark Universe film series.

Image placeholder title

Outside of the world of movies, expos are the perfect place to showcase video game brands. As the largest entertainment industry in the world, games were simply everywhere with many of the major gaming firms having their own booths where attendees could come and try out the latest games and hardware. Notable additions were Playstation showcasing their VR tech and Nintendo, hosting a plethora of fun events to get as many gamers as possible on board with the new console the Switch. Meanwhile, competitive gaming arenas had sprung up across the show floor with a giant colosseum playing host to a tournament of the latest fighting game Tekken 7.

With gaming fresh in attendees minds many sellers of licensed gaming merchandise were showing off their wares. Gaming fashion brand Insert Coin was in attendance, clothing many attendees with stylish gaming gear, whilst elsewhere Game Legends presented a huge range of officially licensed gaming goods from brands like Halo, Assassin's Creed and Overwatch. Another new gaming brand, selling products hand-over-fist was RetroGT a firm that also encompassed clothing label Battle Tiger, selling clothing from classic video games as well as newer games from the world of eSports. Of course, top level Japanese firm Square-Enix was also out in force with high-end figures and collectables from their own brands like Final Fantasy to licensed names like Marvel and DC Comics.

Image placeholder title

This year saw record-breaking crowds flood the south London convention centre with up to 133,000 in attendance on the show's busiest day. The thirst for these kinds of events is now stronger than ever, with comic book franchises and video game series becoming increasingly mainstream. Brands no longer have to fear appealing to a small niche. Shows such as this are a great way to get the word out, especially when it comes to building recognition for fledgling brands and start-up companies. There is a sense of excitement in the air at events like this, as well as a strong community. As conventions gain steam, they are increasingly becoming the perfect place to launch a new brand or raise awareness for a new product.

Events like Comic Con are also the perfect place to encourage organic engagement with your brand. MCM was abuzz with social media hype, with fans posting pictures and videos in droves. The festival-like atmosphere fosters a culture of enthusiasm and excitement, meaning the potential for word-of-mouth marketing is incredibly strong. The are comic con events happening all over the country throughout the year, in Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff and another in London in October. There are also more specialised events like Hyper Japan in June, that specialises in Japanese culture, food and entertainment and for gamers EGX in September. With so many ways to engage with fans and bring new customers on board, there has never been a better time to expose yourself to an expo!

Related

1645_mypictr_300x300(2).jpg

How kids connect

Children have become as comfortable using multimedia tools and digital technology as they are throwing a ball or skipping. ToyNews looks at exactly how these digital natives connect with each other...

5_RightConnection_72pg34.jpg

The right connection

This month, Hasbro?s former head of Europe takes us through how to connect customers, competition, company and consumers with his latest seven point plan for success?.

shuffletv.jpg

Connected play

Richard Heayes takes a look at the wave of new products fusing digital and traditional forms of play, making a case that we shouldn’t be afraid to mix things up.

Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 16.16.30.png

Diversity Dolls: Introducing One Dear World

With the UK becoming increasingly diverse, there has never been a better time to debut this unique product. We sat down with the creator of new doll range One Dear World, to find out what makes this product special.

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 11.27.34.png

Generation Gaming: The rise of video games in the toy space

With gaming overtaking film as the largest entertainment industry in the world, there has never been a better time to embrace the cross-generational appeal of licensed video games product. With more game franchises pushing into the toys space, Jack Ridsdale examines why this growing market has not yet cracked the mainstream.

Featured Jobs

Copyrights Group

Marketing Manager

The Copyrights Group is one of the licensing arms within The Vivendi Group. Acquired by Vivendi in 2016 Copyrights manages the licensing for a portfolio of properties to include Paddington Bear. Some of the other companies within the Vivendi Group include Universal Music Group, and their licensing arm Bravado, Gameloft and Studiocanal to name a few.