A Day at Gen Con

A five-hour whirlwind tour of the Gen Con vendor hall. This Saturday marked my very first Gen Con. Over all, I expected enormous event but instead found the convention to be merely huge. As you can tell from this blog, my interests run to war gaming, miniatures, terrain, resin, and sculpting – most of these areas were underrepresented in the vendor hall. The majority of the vendors catered to RPGs and CCGs, fortunately, I’ve enjoyed these genres in previous gamer lives. Finally, I was surprised by the number of costume & weapon sellers – never realized that Gen Con was such a draw for dress up.

The big find for me was Wyrd Miniatures. Their miniatures were familiar to me, but I had not given them much thought until seeing the figs in person. Their prices are reasonable too, the pics below left was only $6.50.

wyrd1 wyrd 2

Aberant Games was a pleasant find. I liked a number of their figures, but was disappointed when the figure I wanted was part of a $30 box set. They have Saga – a Conan style fantasy game coming out soon, which should be a good source of human fantasy figs.

Aberant 1

I could not pass on the opportunity to drop by the Hirst Arts booth. I wanted to meet Bruce & thank him for his support of the Adepticon Hirst Arts seminars.  Also, the new Ruined Fieldstone mold is out – lucky me, I was able to buy the last one right off the display table.

Other random coolness: Picked up ProCreate from a Kraftmark rep working the paint and take.  Ninja Magic was there with both their space ship figs & their magnetic connecter system. The new 40K RPG is due out Spring 08. Apparently the due date was pushed back when a third author was added. I have a mini-adventure book – the stats look a lot like the INQ game. Dark Age was there – unfortunately all of my pics failed to come out.

In addition to evaluating the products for sale, Dan (friend of mine with an eye for design) & I had great fun in evaluating the presentation of the booths themselves. Many sellers need to focus on their sales efforts – on more than one occasion we were forced to ask what the vendor was selling because the booth flash was confusing or incomplete.

Best Booth: Privateer Press did an excellent job of presenting their wares. The sales area contained 6-8 demo tables, a wealth of staff, many painted figure examples, a painting contest, accessible product and a central information booth.  Now I just need to find those pirate figs they had in the display case.  EDIT:  make that Sea Dogs.

Worst Booth: Rackham was a mess with just three demo tables, only a handful of painted figures & product hidden in the back corner of their area. This is a company that wows me every day on line, but all the super cool painting and exceptional terrain must have been left in Europe.

Honorable Mention Worst Booth: Somebody is learning how to throw money away on RPGs. This booth took up an entire row, featured 2 actors in high quality Angel/Demon costume and a full-length professional backdrop. But their whole sales effort were two staffers doing demos with non-descript figures on a generic square grid. No sales material was available & the staff was busy running demos. You notice I don’t include a company name or link- I never did learn who they were or what the name of the product was.

Meta Gaming Two vendors were on site to help gamers turn their own games into reality. Lulu is a print on demand publisher – here is your chance to publish a book, one customer at a time. Toy Tech is a Chinese game manufacture that can create cards, board games and tokens.

Figures from the Gen Con painting contest.

gen con 2

gen con 3

Gaming tables that caught my eye.

gen con table gen con table 2

  1. #1 by CorpCommander on August 20, 2007 - 9:36 am

    Great article. Love reading your blog and glad I added it to my blog roll. Keep up the excellent work. Also, I think you just set in motion the dreaded Money Drain Ray which after seeing some of these figures will be squarely aimed at my wallet!

  2. #2 by chicagoterrainfactory on August 20, 2007 - 3:27 pm

    That’s for the hook up.

    I was almost caught in the wallet black hole at the Wyrd minis booth. Luckily I escaped with just 1 fig.

  3. #3 by xenite on August 20, 2007 - 11:35 pm

    I had a good time this year at Gencon. I was similarly impressed by Privateer Press’ booth. Rackham was weaker this year than in previous years where they had very strong set ups.

    Booth design, and performance of those manning the booth is a common topic of discussion amongst my friends and I when we are at Gencon. There are some booths that you get the feeling that are asking to be ignored. I really think that some people just don’t realize the opportunity that they have, or what they are getting into.

  4. #4 by Frustrated Father on August 22, 2007 - 2:08 pm

    You managed to actually escape the wallet black hole … lord, we’ve got to do a better job.


    Nathan Caroland
    Wyrd Miniatures

  5. #5 by supervike on September 20, 2007 - 1:58 pm

    Nicely done! You’ve captured the essense of gencon in just a few short paragraphs.

    Only one note, I think the Angel/Demon thing was called Alpha Omega, although after walking past that booth countless times, I’ve still not a clue on what the heck it is either!!

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