Sunday, April 29, 2018

Kummacon 2018 Summary

Hey every geek out there!

Yesterday I came home from my first con since Kitacon 8 back in 2016. As you guys know, I haven't visited any convention during 2017 as I needed a break from this fancy hobby. I originally didn't have plans to visit Kummacon but had mildly considered it, if the chance would occur and it did. A few weeks before the con, I came across mom and stepdad during a mid-day walk and they told me that the family is going to Oulu at one of the days when Kummacon is being held. I was taken by surprise! This because mom and stepdad also had business in Oulu. They drove us all to Oulu and while they did their business in the city, I and Shiro Samurai spent said time at Kummacon instead.

Our car hit the con building's parking lot somewhere around 11:30 (Finnish time) if I recall correctly and from there, I and bro walked to the front of the con building. My first impression was neutral until I stepped inside and explored the place. After the first look around, I must say that the peeps who organized this event did a really good job. Kummacon got its stuff done right and the good atmosphere was there too! It was a notably better event this time around than it was back in 2016 (in my opinion) when it was held at the Pohjankartano building. This year the con was held in the city's international school (kansainvälinen koulu) from 28th to 29th April and there was no entrance fee. If you ask me, a free entrance is always appreciated at small cons ^w^

A short summary about the con itself can be found at the end of this post. Now, let's see what my con day was like!

All photos taken by Shiro Samurai.

Part of the con building's front.
Omake's table near the entrance.
Kummacon's schedule booklet. The con's theme was Cosmos.
With said theme, we all could expext to see our favorite characters from a galaxy far, far away scattered all around the place.
First floor.
This trooper was standing next to Omake's table.
When we got inside, we headed straight towards the Dealer's Hall as Shiro Samurai said that there might be a seller selling Pokémon TCG singles there. Since I was looking for specific cards myself, I decided to tag along with my fingers crossed. Luck was on our side and we quickly located this one seller who was selling varied Pokémon cards, ranging from the very first Base Set to the newer sets. They also sold these non-playable Pokémon "picture cards" with just the mon against a background featuring colors of its typing. I have no idea if these cards go under a specific name though. Anyway, after checking through the collection of cards she had for sale, I ended up buying 5 holofoil cards. One of them was Base Set Nidoking. A card I've been wanting to hold in my hands at least the past 10 years, after trading it away as a child and regretting it. Hard. This particular card has a lot of emotional value to me as it was one of the very first holofoil cards that I pulled as a child and man, I treasured it so much. It was one of those finest memories in my TCG childhood... until I pulled Base Set holofoil Blastoise! :D

Yeah, I was that kid who pulled holofoil cards out of my ass -almost- every single time I got a booster in my hands and, sadly, I was dumb enough to not realize their value and did some really bad trades as well. I still regret one of them deeply.

With the cards in our hands, we headed towards Urumi's table and from there, we grabbed more Pokémon merchandise, this time in the shape of keychains. I hesitated to buy at first because I wasn't sure if Urumi was selling official goods or not, but my worry vanished when bro confirmed me that they only sell legit stuff.

Part of Urumi's table.

Pocky stand. No con without Pocky, I guess.

Next to Urumi's table was this seller who was selling mostly beverages and bakeries. They also had some Harry Potter items for sale. The Slytherin scarf tempted me but not the price, lol. I might just as well sew my own, we'll see.

Bakeries and beverages.
Colorful yummyness.
The seller's mini Harry Potter corner.
When we had seen everything the Dealer's Hall had to offer, it was time to change the course and take a peek to see what lies upstairs. So we headed there. Upstairs we were met by a big Artist's Alley that took almost the entire floor! The sight of this made me smile. We checked the sellers through and several of them had really pretty stuff for sale! But I personally would have liked to see more magnets and creative, self-made stuff and crafts such as scarfs, pillow covers, bracelets and rings for example. It didn't take long before I and Shiro Samurai was standing in front of Waittiz and Sysirauta's creative table of awesomeness. Everytime I spot these two talented peeps table at a con, I can't help but marvel at their beautiful creations! I hope they start selling magnets in the near future, as I'd be a customer for sure! Be it original or fanart. Sadly, I didn't end up buying anything from their table this time but I ended up buying this small, sticker-like dragon magnet from SaQe-Art's table. I love dragons and the magnet I bought reminded me of Fatalis from the Monster Hunter series so I just had to get it, haha.

Second floor.
Part of the Artist's Alley on the second floor.
Waittiz and Sysirauta's table.
Aside from the Artist's Alley, the second floor also had the big scene where Kummacon's cosplay date, cosplay competition and other activites would take place, or so I assumed. As per usual, I didn't attend any panels or the like as I barely knew what was going on during the con days. I know I could easily figure it out by looking at their schedule for example, but I just couldn't be bothered since very few activites even catch my interest to begin with. The second floor was also where the con's free water point was for those thirsty among us. I always greatly appreciate it when a con has a water point located somewhere in the building because then you don't have to scout the -often- unfamiliar town/city for the nearest supermarket or kiosk to fetch a drink or two. Once done checking through the big Artist's Alley upstairs, we decided to head downstairs again to check out what more Kummacon had to offer. It didn't take long before the two of us found our way to the board game room, the anime karaoke and last but not least, the fleamarket.

Best supervision sign I've seen at a con *thumbs up*
A table with various board games from the board game room, duh.
Since I have no interest in board games I just took a quick peek around to see what's hip and happening and afterwards the two of us hit the fleamarket. We went to see what was being sold there just for fun and so my journey towards the best deal of the con began. What I found in the fleamarket was a copy of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for Nintendo 3DS. The price? A measly 10 euros for an amazing, legit good game! Guess twice who bought that game in a heartbeat ;)

You see, I'm a big fan of Monster Hunter since the days of Freedom Unite for PSP and I also own 4 Ultimate. For a while now, I have been thinking about adding 3 Ultimate to my MonHun collection as many of my friends own it too, but what was holding me back all this time, was the game's underwater mechanics and a dumb fear of fighting Gobul. I have read much opinions, many negative, about the underwater fights/mechanics and it just didn't reel me in (pun intended). Despite all the opinions and reviews I read about the game, I was still curious about it and so I ended up saying to myself "If I can find 3 Ultimate for a really good price, I will get it" and this is exactly what happened at Kummacon's fleamarket. A great game for a great price. According to my friends who own the game, they enjoy it greatly and say that it's pretty different from 4 Ultimate and that it has this nice, tropical/paradise feel to it. A paradise that is -in disguise- filled with waay too many quest bombing pickles :'DD

To say the least, I was really happy to find a copy of 3 Ultimate. With the game in my hand the rest of the con hours was spent on laughing silently at memes and funny pictures placed around the con building and to play some Pokémon Go upstairs. I was hoping to get that Shiny Wailmer or Magikarp but I had no luck this time. Yeah, there was this statue at the con's front yard and said statue was a PokéStop. The best part was that someone was burning lures on it during Kummacon's opening hours (at least during Saturday, I wasn't at the con on Sunday) so it was free lures for everybody.

Kummacon's Cosmos theme wasn't limited to just Star Wars.
Outdoor area, not the main entrance.
In the main area there was two Daleks standing. They were well-made and in front of them -as far as I know- stood at least 1 or 2 people kinda guarding them. Close, behind them, on the window, this hilarious picture:
It says "Don't annoy the Daleks!".
 That one was easily the funniest picture in Kummacon, in my opinion. Man, I got the day's laughs from it. Thank you Kummacon for this beauty! xD

During the con day, there was one thing that surprised me and that was the lack of cosplayers. Sure, it's a small con and all but it felt there was less than usual, even in small con standards. This actually made me happy that I didn't cosplay. Because if I did, I would have needed to get up at flippin' 05:00 (Swedish time) to put on my Galen Erso (Star Wars) costume, as this was my original plan. Yeah, we left fairly early towards Oulu. This is also why there was no cosplay plans post before this summary, as I went to the con as a filthy casual feat. my Hetalia t-shirt. No regrets. I'm not keen at all to get up very early to spend hours on makeup when neither I nor Shiro Samurai knew about the location the con would be in, in other words; if there would be a good photoshoot location nearby or not.

Mom and stepdad came to pick the us up like a hour or so before Kummacon ended for Saturday. With everyone crammed in the car, we started driving homewards. All went well and it was a nice little family trip. All in all, I was more satisfied and happy with Kummacon this year and I'm very likely to visit Kummacon in the future, if my job/life situation allows for it. End comment: Totally worth it.

Kummacon 2018 Summary (only for Saturday the 28th April):

So what made Kummacon good? I would say a good, correctly-sized location (despite kinda crammed at times with congoers) for the event's size and helpful and friendly personnel. The con also had plenty of activities for the visitors to take part of. At least, people didn't seem to get quickly bored. Myself, I was only missing a video game room but luckily I had Pokémon Go and my Nintendo 3DS with me, that I didn't end up playing, lol. This must have been the first small con where I didn't feel that time was standing still. Kummacon's Dealer's Hall was rather small and crammed but I was happy that they got at least Urumi's store there, as they are known for selling legit goods and that Pokémon TCG seller who also sold geeky/alternative clothing. I was perfectly content with that. I'm not a shopaholic and I'm also very specific and critical towards con merch nowadays. The selection was small-ish but there was a decent variety of goods that the stores sold. A big plus goes to Kummacon's Artist's Alley. The peeps there got -almost- the entire second floor to them and that was much needed, as there was surprisingly many sellers this time around. Great job, well done! *pats con personnel and crew on their shoulders*

The building was also easy to navigate in and I just really enjoyed the feeling and overall atmosphere of Kummacon. The memes and those random funny pictures placed around the con surely did their job. All in all, Kummacon was a small con with a laid-back feel to it but it also had enough life in it to keep me interested to stay there for a few hours. For being a small con with free entrance it was surprisingly good and easily one of the better local/nearby cons I've been to, if not the best. When it comes to the con's activities, I can't speak for that as I didn't attend anything. Overall the con seemed to be well-organized and it was nice and thoughtful of them to add English translations to their activity/location signs for those -possible- non-Finnish visitors. Oh and that water point upstairs was a great add now when the weather is getting warmer up here in the north, thanks! I don't think Kummacon was located in the heart of Oulu though (as I didn't recognize the area) but it was alright for my part, as I just came for a "few hours visit". I left Kummacon with a good feeling and this is always a great thing.

Before I end this post, this is what came with me back to Sweden. Photo is taken by me.

Looking forward to get into MH3U.
Thank you Kummacon and everyone reading this shit. Now I'm out.

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