Welcome To The Party – Calgary Expo 2014

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While I do occasionally take photos in below zero weather, I generally prefer to stay indoors while drinking a nice cup of hot chocolate and playing video games. That being said, not much really goes on with FlyingPenguin during the frigid Canadian winter months.

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Once spring hits however, there is one particular event that I especially look forward to: The Calgary Expo. Being the largest event of its kind in Western Canada, this is always one event that I always encourage people to visit at least once to see what all the fuss is about as you are about to see, but first…

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…things started out for us in our hotel room once again where we were working on the finishing touches on a couple cosplay outfits.

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Some of you League Of Legend players may recognize this insanely large sniper rifle.

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I don’t cosplay myself, but it’s amazing to see how much work and dedication goes into these elaborate outfits that might only worn only a few times a year and then stored away for the rest of time.

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We were up early the next morning to get a head start on getting dressed (cosplaying isn’t as simple as slipping on a top and bottom!)…

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…but not before some breakfast! Did anyone else know that Arby’s had breakfast? I certainly didn’t.

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As soon as we got to the BMO Center we were greeted by this gigantic Nemo…

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…which was sitting next to this gigantic Kermit The Frog, which would later be joined by an equally humongous Elmo. Yup, welcome to the Calgary Expo.

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Armed with my media pass, I was able to sneak into the grounds before the event opened up to the general public, so without wasting any time…

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…I quickly made my way straight to the Cyanide & Happiness booth. This would later be swarmed with a sea of people.

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I am a huge fan of these guys so I was very excited to meet the people behind these ridiculous yet hilarious comics!

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Rob DenBleyker was joined by Joel Watson of HijiNKS ENSUE and boy, do these guys ever enjoy themselves. For example, the face you see on that plushie is not the actual face. Instead, it’s one that was drawn on by Joel after I had asked him to sign it. There’s one more face on the other side and to top it, er, I mean bottom it off, one of the poor plushies bottom. Man all I wanted was an autograph.

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That should pretty much give you an idea of what these guys are like in real life; they’re just as nutty as the comics they create!

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Here’s Joel drawing me his idea of a flying penguin. Check out those wings!

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Perhaps the coolest thing for me though would’ve been when both Rob and Joel would doodle on the same page at once. They weren’t drawing two separate things however, they were actually working on the exact same thing on the very same page! Too cool.

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With my books signed and new plushie violated, it was time to move on.

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By now the Calgary Expo had opened its doors to the public and I was already on the verge of blowing all my money. Trust me, it doesn’t last long here!

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As we’ve seen in every other convention before, there ares all sorts of things to see and buy such as useful household items…

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…to not such useful household items.

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Since when did Minecraft have guns?!

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This game has not slowed down one bit in popularity and now we’re seeing all sorts of things such as these pig plushies. Lego is also in the works of releasing a new Microworld as well!

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Dat bag.

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There’s always an abundance of stuffed characters and what not…

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…but one thing I am started to see that’s new is the arrival of more League Of Legends items!

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The only problem is that it all seems to be Teemo plushes, slippers hats, etc…

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I was able to at least come by some things that weren’t Teemo themed.

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The urge to buy so many things I don’t need…I must resist!

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Overall I’d say that there’s been a huge rise in popularity in League Of Legends as you’ll see soon when we take a look at all the cosplayers from the expo!

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Fun Fact: Grumpy Cat’s face is the real cats natural face and is not edited in any way.

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If only I could make my camera bag levitate so that I wouldn’t have to carry over thirty pounds worth of gear with me everywhere I go…

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It’s also great to see the Harry Potter cast starring in new movies as well as TV shows outside of the world of Hogwarts. It’s almost weird to think that we’ve basically watched them grow up throughout the Harry Potter films!

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Over at the Weta booth, there were quite a lot of things to gaze upon.

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Being the main special effects team for The Lord Of The Rings as well as The Hobbit series, their stuff is as detailed as ever.

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Absolutely nothing gets overlooked by these guys, and it really shows.

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I absolutely love how they can take an idea turn it into as close to the real thing as possible. If you can imagine it, they can make it!

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Now THIS is badass.

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Weta’s creative director and co-founder Richard Taylor was present yet again at this years show. Here we can see him demonstrating the removal process of the makeup involved in turning a person into an Orc. This was done during the Middle Earth EXPOsed event which we will be taking a look at in the near future!

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While not everyone gets the chance to go through such an extravagant transformation, there were plenty of other groups that were on hand to help people transition from human to, well, anything else!

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As if Lego wasn’t popular enough, The Lego Movie has got everyone talking about the little building blocks of childhood once again. SALUG even went and built an exact replica of the Lego world that the movie takes place in! I wonder if this would technically be classified as a movie set…

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They even had this giant donut which seemed to have landed right on top of the Simpson residence.

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The best thing about Lego is that you can create pretty much whatever you want. This life-sized Dalek is a prime example of that!

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Loving this Coffee Time shirt.

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Another group that has insane attention to detail would without a doubt be Valve. There are so many fine details that go into their work and it really shows when playing through their topnotch games. The world of Portal for example has taken the genre of puzzle games to a whole new level.

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“We do what we must because we can”. Gotta love them for it.

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I couldn’t help but snap a photo of this incredibly derpy looking Bender.

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It’s sad to know that Futurama isn’t with us anymore, but it certainly gave us some memorable moments!

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Not your average piggy bank, or should I say, steampunk piggy bank.

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The guys over at Ragnorath had some very neat and tiny figurines such as this overly happy looking ghost. The companion cube is also by them, and they also have much more to offer from all your favourite games and comics!

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A very cool Captain America styled Munny, topped off with a Burger King crown.

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These handmade Thor and Hulk pillows were just too adorable to pass up!

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Notebooks like you’ve never seen before.

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I couldn’t help but imagine how creepy it would be to have these as actually living plants. Good thing it’s just a video game!

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I’m not exactly sure what these are, but I was glad to see Haruhi from the Ouran Highschool Host Club series get thrown into the mix!

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Here’s something I wasn’t expecting to see at the expo: a full 3D scanner that was paired with a small 3D printer which would make tiny sculptures of people!

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I’ve always been intrigued by the design of the bags from the Taiwanese duo JumpFromPaper.

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These two-dimensional looking bags look completely flat in appearance, but actually offer quite a bit of space inside!

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Just like Futurama, the Initial D series is coming to an end as well after almost ten years of heavily inspiring racing enthusiast such as myself.

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It’s not completely over yet though as there is still a movie about Takumi’s humble beginnings set to be released this summer. On top of that, there is also a mini-series being released at around the same time that will once and for all conclude the epic final battle between Takumi and Shinji!

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Okay that Magikarp shirt is just too good.

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I’m not actually sure what these are made out of but this Eevee just looked too good to not post.

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Zombie Apocalypse Response Unit anyone?

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I also ran into Manu Bennett who is probably best known for his roles as Azog from The Hobbit, Slade Wilson from Arrow, and Cirxus from Spartacus!

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I also ran into what appears to be the same RC R2D2 that we saw back at the Edmonton Expo, but apparently there are actually a few different ones around the Alberta area.

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I didn’t even know that there was a Gundam edition of the GameCube. Like, what?

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It even comes with a mini Gundam figurine! Like, what?!

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How I did not go home with this is beyond me.

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Personally I still quite enjoy the older generation of video games. Good thing there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of them yet!

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I don’t really know what to say about alpacas except that they’re pretty awesome.

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Oh and so are sheep.

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Big sheep, small sheep…

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…and I guess toast with weird faces on them are pretty awesome too.

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There are so many POP! Vynal figurines these days that it just seems impossible to keep up with. Did you know they had Finding Nemo ones now?

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Okay now that’s pretty sweet.

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Lightsaber chopsticks are nothing new, but ones that light up?! That is certainly new to me. Now I can eat my noodles in the dark!

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Now you can just be as fly as Marty. Hoverboard not included.

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Zachary Sterling from BOOM! Studios (Adventure Time) was also present and doing commissions!

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While we’re on the topic of media guests that were present, cosplay phenomenon Jessica Nigri was present dressed up as Vegetta (DBZ) on day one, and Battle Bunny Riven (LOL) on day two!

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These tiny little models were too cute! Check out the superheroes on the left.

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A better look at the mini heros.

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It’s nice to see South Park getting some love at an event such as the Calgary Expo. This is one series that we really don’t see a whole lot of despite being as big as it is.

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With that being said, I’m glad that a lot of the more old school characters haven’t been forgotten at all.

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In fact, many of them are still going strong!

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If anyone knows a thing or two about keeping a character alive, it would have to be the people over at Kidrobot.

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As most artists probably know, it can be difficult to come out with original ideas on a regular basis, especially in this day and age when so many things have already been done before…

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…yet Kidrobot shows no sign of slowing down!

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You can even buy yourself a blank model so that you can make your very own art toy!

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While we do see a fair amount of Asian imported candies and drinks are the expo…

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…these homemade Star Wars themed cookies was certainly something new.

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Even though it’s an airsoft gun, I’m not sure I can take someone who is shooting me with a Hello Kitty M4A1 seriously.

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If I ever own a semi-truck, this is exactly how I am going to paint it.

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That’s it from the Calgary Expo for now, but stay tuned for more as we’ll be looking at the Doctor Who panel, Middle Earth EXPOsed, and my personal favourite, the cosplayers!

-brandon.

Click HERE to view the full photo set on Flickr.

View part two of the Calgary Expo HERE!

View part three of the Calgary Expo HERE!

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2 responses to “Welcome To The Party – Calgary Expo 2014

  1. Pingback: Imagination Is Everything | flyingpenguin·

  2. Pingback: The Doctor, The One Ring, And The Wizards? | flyingpenguin·

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