Okay I was dubious about attending this con. Perhaps dubious isn’t the right word. Without sounding negative if you have been to one event put on by Showmasters you have essentially been to them all. Which is a good thing. We are after all creatures of habit. The reason I didn’t want to attend this con was because the previous 23 incarnations of Collectormania took place in my home town in a venue with free entry. It felt dirty attending! Collectormania took place in Birminghams NEC. So for me a forty minute train right, trains aren’t cheap man. But I can’t hold the good people of Showmasters responsible for that! Standard entry was £11 which compared to free seems extortionate but realistically for an event this size is more than reasonable. For me any entry of £20 better be a special experience. A goody bag thrown in at the very least.
On to the convention. The biggest advantage the NEC has over the venues previously used for Collectormania in Milton Keynes is the space. This was well laid out. I’m assuming Saturday was the busier day as the con only took place Saturday and Sunday. It didn’t feel busy because of the lay out and space. I can testify it was busy from the size of the queue getting in and the people milling about outside. The space was well utilized with vendors occupying the middle and then the signings flanking on two sides. If guests were popular there was a slight crowding on one side of the venue with queues heading back into vendors but it was minor. Over all there was no bottle necking down aisles. I was even able to find space to sit on the floor and eat/drink comfortably. You were able to get your hand stamped so you could come and go to the food vendors outside or make use of the sunshine if you had a packed lunch. There were also vendors inside hall 5 along side the convention. There was a Subway and then just a standard sandwich/snack seller. As well as a pulled pork van and a fish and chips vans. I plumped for the pulled pork. It was delicious and not terribly over priced. For £6 it was a decent sized roll crammed with pulled pork and stuffing. The pork was very succulent. That’s my Man Vs Food section over with. For those of you familiar with the previous Collectormanias and London Film and Comic Con (From here on in CM and LFCC) I would say this weekends was bigger than previous CM’s but smaller than LFCC. For me I found it low on the era of comics I want and thus was unable to make an real dents in my Daredevil and Master of Kung-Fun runs. Perhaps at last summers LFCC I just got lucky. It was my first convention since I started collecting Master of Kung-Fu and I picked up a decent handful of issues without breaking the bank. One seller I spoke to had just acquired a stock of Master of Kung-Fu but hadn’t got them bagged and boarded in time for the con. So hopefully I’ll see them at another one soon. From them I picked up #130, #140 and #142 of Daredevil all VFN all £10. I got them for £28 in the end. There was lots of recent comics, TPB’s and a few £1 boxes. I don’t have anything against £1 but I know the majority of issues I’m looking for won’t be in there so why waste my time when they aren’t in order? I was looking for a Incredible Hulk #340 (Because I can’t afford #181) and a Daredevil #132 (First Bullseye). One guy had the Daredevil but it was in a top condition so out of my price range at £75. I also picked up two Punisher Max TPB’s from a seller with 20% sale. Both came in at £11 which is very reasonable. Also I went through a period of Punisher MAX trades being hard to find. It seems obligatory to pick up a Funko Pop at a con nowadays. I picked up two! Netflix Daredevil (£10) which I missed at LFCC last summer and Sabertooth was a steal at £7. Lastly I picked up the recent Marvel Legends Old Man Logan action figure. I paid a little more for this than I usually would at £25 but I save money on comics and I really wanted it!
Over all Collectormania 24 was a solid B+ event. Probably geared more towards film and TV fans, with plenty of toys and memorabilia. Hardcore back issue searchers like myself may not be overly pleased. With this in mind I probably would not attend yearly but if I went once in a blue moon I would find it enjoyable.