Otakon 2011 Wrap Up

By Loran

Otakon has run its course once again, and I’d say it was pretty good to us this year. I got to see lots of people, work autograph sessions for Bandai Entertainment’s booth, and get my feet all cut up by boots that were two sizes too small for me. Whoops. All in all it was a pretty good con; not the best but very very enjoyable, despite finishing it off with a migraine Sunday night. But I’m not here to talk about all that stupid stuff! I’m here to talk to you guys about Otakon’s Model Kit Contest and the Gunpla Builders World Cup!

Unlike previous years, the contest wasn’t held in the Artist’s Alley—it was held in the dealer room at Bluefin’s booth, something I see as a VERY smart move. More people who are interested in Gunpla are going to look in the dealer room, and where they kept them in the Artist Alley always felt kind of far away from everything else. I personally wish they did a better job stating which ones were contest entries, though. They kind of just blended in with all the other merchandise.

There were quite a few entries this year! A total of 38 kits were entered this year, with 26 of those entered in the World Cup division and 12 just in the Otakon division. I got pictures of all the entries, with the exception of a GM Light Armor entered at literally the last minute. Yes, I actually brought all of those kits I talked about bringing, plus a Zentraedi Power Armor from Macross for good measure. I regret not bringing my Federation Action Base for the Hi-Nu Gundam to the con, because it fell down no less than seven times over the course of the weekend! Stupid backheavy kit…

I spent a lot of time talking with the other modelers this con. It’s always fun to talk with other people in the hobby, especially ones who are really serious about it. I probably spent more time talking with them than anyone else at the con while we were all nervous waiting for the results of the judging.

The judging ran at the same time as one of the autograph sessions I was working at, so naturally I was anxious and jittery the whole time. And you know what? It was totally worth it, because this time I won TWO categories! My Gouf Custom won Best Small Scale in the GBWC division and my Zaku F2 won best Small Gundam in the Otakon division. Monty won Best Large Scale in the GBWC division with his Sinanju, of course. Other winners included the fantastic out-of-box 1984 Dom Tropical Test Type and the modded-to-hell HGUC Zaku, which won Best in Show.

My prizes this year included a Real Grade Strike Gundam and an HGUC Geara Zulu Guards Type, both of which more than make up for the SD kits I got last year. Monty almost got awarded one of the same kits he got last year, but he managed to get something else.

New York Comic Con is only two months away, and I might be dropped in myself and entering the Gunpla contest once again. I hope some of you readers out there choose to enter yourselves!

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