At the weekend we headed to the NEC for MCM Comic Con. We didn’t tell the kids where we were going until the day before and they were ridiculously excited, especially after I told Lydia that she might just see Supergirl! We were given press passes for the purpose of this post.
We were especially interested to see just how family friendly the con was – we love to take the girls with us on fun family days out, and as they get older they are starting to enjoy superheroes, gaming, and get favourite characters and so on. It can be a bit worrying going to an event like this where you know it is likely to get crowded and a bit hectic at times, but we found it to be a really great day for them.
There was a special KidZone at the con for children of all ages to enjoy, roughly in the middle of the hall. It was ideally placed as you could explore for a bit from the area, and then come back for a break from the crowds. Everything the girls enjoyed at the KidZone was all free of charge – they had their faces painted, read books and played with toys in the reading corner, were given balloon men, and learned some new circus skills.
The face painting was done by Colour Me Crazy and they were brilliant with the girls. Georgie had a blue S mask to go with her onesie (she was being Supergirl at bedtime!), and Lydia had a sparkly black bat mask to go with her Batgirl outfit. The circus skills area was being run by Party Rascals – the girls played there for a while, and were delighted with their balloon people! They also had lightsaber training sessions run by the Silver Sabres team for older children which looked really fun!
Another great thing they had on the go for children was the Mini Superheroes sticker hunt – you could pick up a free card from the information desk or the KidZone area, and then had to collect stickers from various points around the venue. Once all three stickers were found, we swapped the cards for free capes from the KidZone area – the girls were delighted with them! Georgie plans to take hers into school for Show and Tell.
There were some areas we skipped because of the children; although I would have loved to meet some of the stars that were at the con and get into the theatre for Peter Davison’s talk it was just too much queuing for them, or would have gone over their head. They explored most of the venue though and really enjoyed it – especially seeing so many cosplayers in their wonderful outfits. Lydia met Batman, Supergirl and Batgirl and posed delightedly for photos with her heroes. The Batgirl we met was delighted to meet her Mini Me!
Everyone we met at the con was really friendly, and everybody who had photos with or interacted with the children were really kind and considerate of them. People crouched down in their outfits for photographs and to speak to the girls, and we were blown away with how friendly people were, and also that everyone was really careful of them in the busy crowds – as soon as people noticed there were small children in their midst they made way for them and smiled at them. There were a few Disney Princess cosplayers at the con and they all seemed delighted to have a wide eyed tiny Batgirl staring at them, and they all stopped to say hello to our princess obsessed girl.
I wish I had taken a lot of spending money! If we weren’t a bit cash strapped at the moment (our Christmas shopping is almost done and our bank account is sad!) I could have spent a lot of cash quite easily at all of the wonderful stands. There was so much to see and buy that I wanted to take home with me! Lots of wonderful geeky stuff, countless Pop figures and action figures, collectibles of all kinds, and some wonderful art. My personal favourites were the superb crochet creations by Pixie Plunks Crochet, the gorgeous art by Spider Watson, and some brilliant cards, jewellery & other bits by Lynsey Luu. It was great to discover some local artists and creators too.
There was an eSports area where you could get some gaming time in – including some great retro consoles you could play on, a Slam Wrestling ring set up in one corner, a Robots area, a Steampunk exhibition – so much to see and do. We stayed from early in the morning to mid afternoon as Lydia’s little legs were getting tired (especially after being allowed to stay up late on Friday watching Children in Need), but I could have easily stayed all day or even gone back for a second day if we could have.
The MCM Comic Con is definitely family friendly, and we all had a great day indulging our geeky sides! What is even better is that children were free to enter – children aged 10 and under could enter free when accompanied by a standard ticket holder, and priority ticket holders could bring children 5 and under free in during the early access hour. I definitely recommend a day out at a con to other little superhero fans!