Collectormania 24 rolled into my home city of Birmingham with high hopes of fun, fans and famous faces aplenty. With names such Colin Baker, Bonnie Langford, Beth Phoenix, Kristian Nairn and many more, it’s not hard to appreciate the exceptionally steep expectations that surrounded it.
Held in the iconic National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, England, Collectormania brought with it a wave of fans, eager and able to have most enjoyable time available to them. Although not necessarily as large as some of the moment prominent Conventions around the world, this felt much more of an intimate affair, with stalls far enough apart that the fans were not forced to crawl over one another to get the best bargain. Subsequently, what followed was a professionally managed event that did not waiver from its purpose.
In addition to the perfectly laid out wave of stalls was the eye-watering prospect of meeting and interacting with a number of famous faces. Unfortunately, due to the popular demand of some, the opportunity to converse with a lot of people was obviously difficult, even impossible at times. However, I was more than lucky enough to speak with WWE Hall Of Famer Beth Phoenix, and Game of Thrones actor Kristian Nairn who discussed with me their appreciation for the cultural differences between Conventions held in the UK in comparison to those held elsewhere.
Furthermore, Collectormania held, like they do at all of their events, open Q&A sessions with certain stars, allowing fans to ask those burning questions without the need to wait in line. Of the ones held on Sunday, the ones I was able to attend were the Ernie Hudson, Colin Baker/Bonnie Langford and WWE wrestlers Q&As. With questions varying from a favourite role, to plans for the future, the participants bathed themselves in respect and dignity by the way in which the questions were both asked and answered.
Next, the cosplay. The cosplay at Collectormania 24 was as typically interesting and concise as anyone could imagine. There were Power Rangers, Orcs, Daleks, Doctors and Companions, Comic Book Characters (not as many Harley Quinns this time I must add) and much more I either didn’t see or unfortunately did not know. It’s a testament to those who spend so long making and purchasing each individual element of these costumes as to how close to the real thing they genuinely look. I was completely blown away by the fully operational Dalek costume someone had clearly spent painstaking hours to finalize.
Finally, I must make clear that the atmosphere and overall experience of Collectormania was enjoyable and comfortable from beginning to end. With fans ranging from newborn to elderly, literally, everyone attending was made to feel welcome.
Overall, although reasonably meager in its appearance, Collectormania managed to stand high proud above some of its more recognizable competitors. Conventions are still something of a niche market in the UK, meaning those that attend must make the most of what’s on offer in the best possible way. Birmingham, I’m not afraid to say that you did it in abundance.