Nestled in a Holiday Inn lobby, located on a stretch in New Jersey, lies an event that takes place several times a year and unbeknownst to myself, it had been an ongoing event for many a years now. During this event, a particular breed of people frequent to meet up with others of their kind, to converse and have fun and more importantly to enjoy a common interest. A spectacular event to say the least and one that I recently had the pleasure of partaking of this past weekend. That event, ladies and gentle is no other than the New Jersey Collectors Con.
Held three times a year at the Cherry Hill Holiday Inn, the New Jersey Collectors Con or better know as the NJCC, is an event that brings people together with a common interest; collectibles. But unlike other events this one is themed specifically along the lines of collectibles , both the selling and purchasing of them as well as showing off large amounts of classic items that you simply can’t find in stores. And for someone like me, who not only loves collecting things but I’m also a huge fan of all thing Transformers, Gundam, Figma and may others, which was heavily on display throughout the event, this event is akin to a little slice of heaven. However toys and other items weren’t just the only thing at the show, and in fact I was able to catch up with none other than Dan Khanna. If you’re a fan of great artwork and frequent Deviantart.com, or IDW’s Transformer comic then it’s pretty hard not to know who this guy is. But he wasn’t the only recognizable face there either as toy and comic collector Mark Bellomo, was also in attendance.
For those who know me, every time I meet up with Dan, I make it a point to pick up one or prints from him. This time around I picked up a sweet 11 x 17 print of Optimus Prime shaking hands with his second in command, Ultra Magnus. Needless to say that this picture is behind fantastic.
While there wasn’t anything going on that would prompt the press or larger organizations to get involved, a shame on their part in my opinion, this event was truly enjoyable. Sure it was small, it didn’t have a huge headline or have tons of celebrities there taking about their latest project or something trying to push something on you, it was fun and more importantly it was intimate. Thoughout the entire time I was there, I never encountered one sour moment or any negativity. The people that were there selling their wares were friendly and encouraged your to check our what they were selling, something that you wouldn’t encounter at a larger event. A point that was made to me when I started looking several items of interest and as typical flair I looked from a far. That is until the gentleman who was running the booth I was drooling asked me if I wanted to in fact hold the figure, a Badcube Warrior Wardog or better known to everyone else as the Autobot “Warpath”.
Now folks, this wasn’t a $30 or $40 dollar, not by a long shot and in fact that figure easily goes for $120, sometimes higher. Yet there was no hesitation, on his part when I asked to check out the other figures that were on a shelf behind him that were even more expensive than the one I was already handling.
If you were to try that at say, the Toy Fare event, well let’s just say that more than likely wouldn’t happen unless you were someone of high interest unless you wanted some dirty looks pointed towards you. And it didn’t stop there, I fact had at least 10 different conversations from the people there, both from sellers and via random conversations I overheard and then were invited into. Trust me when I say that the NJCC is definitely one of my more enjoyable experiences when it comes to cons and will definitely add it to my list of repeat journeys. A lot of good and passionate people there, truly a joy to be surrounded by so many people that made the experience a pleasure (hang in their Paddy).
Head on over to the New Jersey Collectors Con website at www.newjerseycollectorscon.com to find out when the next event will be, I believe it’s going to be around November 2nd or 3rd. The NJCC website will be updated with that information eventually. In the mean time I’ll be damned sure to try and save up enough coin so the next time I can bag several items of extreme interest to me that I saw over the weekend; a Masterpiece Optimus Prime or Year of the Horse Optimus Prime and a Macross YF-11B (Fully transformable) and a rare and no longer in print Masterpiece Grimlock (You will buy me, Grimlock!). I’m already broke just imaging getting all of this.
Update: The next show is November 8th, 2015.
Oh, and be sure to check out photos of the event below. Just don’t get to frustrated that you weren’t on hand and just try to make the next one when it comes around.