You won’t find another convention featuring nearly 200 vendors specializing in all things retro: Retro Con brings it all under one roof, from classic toys & collectibles to nostalgic television shows & movies! Held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, Retro Con was an action-packed 2-day event from September 14-15. (Be sure to check out the video at the end of this article as well as our full photo gallery online!)
Oftentimes when you think “retro”, you might think of the ’80s: Super Mario Bros., Transformers, Fraggle Rock, Bon Jovi, and the list goes on & on! And Retro Con seems to be able to capture that entire decade and so much more! In fact, it goes far beyond being just a convention for memorabilia but a complete walk down memory lane.
Brace yourselves! We’re talking about original G.I. Joe’s, vintage Kenner Star Wars figures, retro board games, and even old school video game consoles & cartridges (plus, an arcade cabinet demo area)! But you’re in great company because fellow fans & enthusiasts are all around, sporting their favorite retro brands & logos, looking for childhood treasures, and some will even be in cosplay!
And with cash prize cosplay contests (one for kids & one for adults), you’re bound to see some really cool costumes roaming the show floor! Check out this amazing cosplay of X-Men’s Cyclops & Dark Phoenix:
But one of my favorites moments had to be coming across an Indiana Jones cosplayer tracking down relics of his own at a vendor nearby!
Professional charity cosplay groups The Finest (G.I. Joe) and Central PA’s own 501st Legion (Garrison Carida) also had booths at Retro Con with some awesome photo ops and props on-hand like custom lightsabers, a life-size Endor Speeder Bike, and a Steampunk R2-D2 (complete with Gatling gun).
Retro Con also brought in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Phone Booth and vehicle replicas of the Jurassic Park Jeep, A-Team van, DeLorean time machine, and the Ghostbusters Ecto-1!
These were all perfect for photo ops as personal mementos to remember the con, or perhaps you’d be interested in a photo op or autograph from one of the fantastic special guests appearing at Retro Con like Robbie Rist (voice of the 90’s TMNT Michaelangelo), David Kaye (Megatron of Transformers Beast Wars), Melendy Britt (voice of the 80’s She-Ra), Gil Gerard (Buck Rogers), Felix Silla (Star Wars Ewok), Hacksaw Jim Duggan (WWE Hall of Famer), the Angry Video Game Nerd, and Tim Clarke (Jim Henson puppet designer)!
Just like at other conventions, autographs & photos were at an additional cost but were very reasonable and many fans were thrilled to meet these icons! We got to say hello to Robbie Rist, David Kaye & Felix Silla, and got a few autographs along the way as well!
But on top of the multitude of retro-themed vendors & guests, the original art on display at Retro Con was quite simply incredible to look at. There were artists like The Napkin Guy who were drawing on the spot (or commission-based) and had originals for sale:
(I bought one of his IG-88 napkin sketches and a custom magnet, too!)
And then there were artists who create special pieces of art like Jackie’s Copper Creations or 3D collage artist Naztalgic Art, who designs very creative pop-out montages:
Fan favorites SpiralRewind & Pac-Rats also had breathtaking displays for their original art. SpiralRewind upcycles VHS cases and turns them into custom notebooks!
Pac-Rats had an eye-catching wall of their original & repro arcade lightboxes:
And as if all of that weren’t enough, not to worry! I saw tons of tables also selling other retro & modern-ish collectibles like Legos, Funko Pops, comic books, and trading cards! So whatever you’re looking for, Retro Con seems to have a little bit of everything for every retro fan! (Be sure to check out the full photo gallery for even more phenomenal products.)
So hop into a panel, snap a throwback photo, or just shop around for all the things you wish you had when you were a kid. Retro Con is your place!
For more information on Retro Con like 2020 con updates, visit their website or Facebook page.