Tuesday, July 28, 2009

G-Fest Day Two: Vinyl Valhalla

After the first sessions concluded, it was only a matter of minutes until the opening of the Dealer's Room. This is almost certainly the most intensely anticipated event at G-Fest. The line, which began forming hours beforehand, snaked through the cafe out into the main lobby. While waiting, we were visited by a costumed Jet Jaguar with realistic sound effects. Also helping to break (or add to) the tension was the announcement of the Dealer's Room Raffle--the lucky winners of which were allowed to enter the ultimate toy store a half-hour before doors officially opened. Alas, our numbers were not called.

But then, seemingly without warning, the line actually began to move. It became apparent that we were going to get in fairly quickly. And after about three stops and starts, the door opened, and we were in.

A tidal wave of sights and sounds enveloped us; fortunately I had a mission to keep me focused so I didn't stand there dumbfounded. Earlier in the day I had seen a flyer advertising back issues of G-Fan at a discounted rate, so I quickly located the G-Fan booth and starting poring through the stacks. That gave me time to get my bearings; enough that Andy and I could begin our exploration in full.

Like awestruck kids on Christmas morning we made our way past table after table of action figures, movie posters, trading cards, gashopon (vending machine, or capsule figures), DVDs, T-shirts, plush characters, model kits, and much more. There were many classic toys I had only seen in collectible guidebooks, and many more that I had never seen anywhere before. It finally became so busy that we decided to return in the morning when it would hopefully be a bit less hectic. Our first taste of the Dealer's Room had only whetted our appetite for a more prolonged repast.

In one sense, this was the culmination of a two-and-a-half year wait. In another sense, it represented about a thirty year wait for me--to be able to walk into a room filled with hard-to-find Japanese monster toys and memorabilia was nothing less than a dream realized.

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