This happens to be my first review of a convention, but it isn’t the first convention I’ve attended. In my experiences as a convention goer, Megacon by far is the best sci-fi convention that Florida has to offer. Located in the vast Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Megacon is a massive convention.
Some interesting additions were added this year that made this Megacon a little different from its previous years. The Ghostbusters were a really nice touch to the convention and really made me feel like I was in a sci-fi convention upon the first steps of passing the “You need to have a pass to enter” zone. Sadly, that was one of the only good things I can point out about the convention. There were many major problems that were plaguing this convention that I cannot ignore.
First off, there was poor planning on Megacon’s part with moving to the old convention center. I understand that we are currently going through an economic situation, but this year there seemed to me more things in general. There simply isn't enough room to put a growing convention into a smaller place. Also, shoving major displays in front of the dealer’s room was a bad idea. Yes, I understand that people who paid money should be able to see the Flintstone’s car up close. I get it. When you put everything behind a line, everywhere was crowded behind and in front of that drawn line. When walking anywhere close to the area I always felt like I was tripping over or walking into people. There were many special issues with this convention inside and outside of the dealer’s room.
I had issues with the Dealer’s room as well. I don’t understand the logic behind the spacing of the halls in the vendor’s area. The entire time I spent shopping for goodies, I was pushing through crowds and crowds of people and was going nowhere fast. Every aisle in that area was packed almost to the point of wall-to-wall groups. The artist’s area and the autograph area were virtually empty compared to the rest of the convention. I gave up looking at the rest of the items people had for sale because I was frustrated at the amount of people packed into some areas.
I found problems with the actual vendors. Ok, vendors. Let’s knock it off with the bootlegs. Seriously. It’s getting really old. Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m a big figure junkie. The biggest pet peeve I have is vendors getting away with selling bootleg figures/items. Megacon did a bad job checking bootlegs this year. Almost every anime vendor had at least one bootleg that I could spot out amongst the rest. This kind of practice is looked down upon. According to the layout, it seems that Megacon doesn’t care about the quality of merchandise that is sold in the dealer’s room. Also, everything was crazy overpriced. 150+ For an Iron Man statue that sold for 100 six months ago? It’s such a shame. Going to a convention, you are expected to get deals for items because you paid to get into the room to actually purchase things. There were many items I found cheaper online with shipping. This is really disheartening to any figure collectors out there.
The biggest problem at the convention was something that of easily been managed, but lack of attention seemed to be focused on this. No one was controlling the kids acting stupid. There were several 13-16 year olds acting just plain stupid around the convention center, but no one seemed to tell them to stop. Stupid kids running about, laying on the floor in the middle of a crowed area, dancing in crowded areas, screaming at each other, knocking into people and being just a general annoyance. Some idiot kicked part of a wall in. I feel like Danny Glover when I say this, but I am getting too old for this shit. Megacon needs to do something about all of the people misbehaving at the convention, perhaps a “No person under 16 can be without an adult at the convention” rule? It’s worked swimmingly for San Diego Comic Con, maybe Megacon should check it out.
Filled with guests and vendors galore, this year the question comes to mind “Is this Florida the best Florida has to offer?" Sadly, it seems that way. As with larger conventions, the little details seemed to be swept aside and forgotten and some instances of common sense were thrown out of the window. This review may be a little harsh, but this convention has been much better in previous years. I’ve been attending Megacon since 2004 and I have to say that this was the worst experience I’ve had at this convention so far.