If you’ve ever dreamt of flying a fighter jet capable of transforming into a 42-foot tall battle ready robot, you’re not alone. Would be pilots of these fighter-robots gathered to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the anime Macross at the eleventh annual MacrossWorld Convention. Some fans may be familiar with Macross in its export trim, which with an altered storyline forms the first chapter of the Robotech saga. Macross as well as its subsequent versions are well known for their blend of mecha – the most popular of which are transforming fighter jets called “Valkyries” – a love triangle storyline, and the use of music woven throughout the fabric of the story.
The original Macross TV series first aired in 1982 and has gone on to spin off multiple movies, TV series, OVA’s, manga series, and even a musical. To commemorate its 30th year, members of the fan created online community, Shawn & Graham’s MacrossWorld held their 2012 edition of the MacrossWorld Convention at Concept Cube, a design school in Arcadia, California.
The gathering included displays of original concept art, showcases of rare memorabilia, contests, vendor’s tables, heavy doses of hardcore fandom and even a live performance by Mari Iijima, original voice actress and singer of the character Lynn Minmay.
There were plenty of displays featuring figures and toys on hand to gawk at. (As you can see, that’s an understatement.)
As our eyes bugged out at the displays of vintage toys, figures, and rare model-kits, we came across some original hand drawn sketches and artwork from the anime’s creators. The lucky owner of the ones shown here is of course, MacrossWorld’s founder, Shawn Klueck.
Egan Loo, Creator of the Macross Compendium [http://macross.anime.net/wiki/Main_Page] and Senior Editor of Anime News Network, displayed one of a kind autographs and sketches by Macross series creators, character designers, and voice actors.
What’s a con without cosplayers? These cosplayers played characters from Macross Frontier, the newest of the Macross properties.
A live art contest was held; all the entrants were very talented.
Japanese animation studio, Statelight Inc. [http://www.satelight.co.jp/], contributed a couple of Macross Frontier posters autographed by series creator Shoji Kawamori especially for this event. Two lucky winners of raffles walked off with these posters.
We ran into Scott Zillner, creator of Robo Toy Fest and featured collector on the TV show, Collection Intervention on Syfy Channel. This modest display is literally a fraction of his overall collection.
Along with delighting the crowd by singing Macross classics such as “Ai Oboete Imasu ka” and “Sunset Beach”, Mari Iijima launched her newest album, “Take A Picture Against The Light”. She went on to perform a couple of her original songs and finished off her appearance with an autograph signing.
For the collectors out there, professional artist Rhoby handcrafted an exclusive VF-11B Valkyrie figure for the convention goers to nab. They were so limited, that only the first 20 people were able to get one.
Another highlight of the convention was the MacrossWorld Customs Contest. Members of the fan site showed off their custom built or modified model-kits and toys, which were judged by convention goers as well as Concept Cube founder, Tony Yao and Rhoby.
The winning entry was submitted by Alex Villareal for his customized Yamato 1/48 VF-1D Valkyrie, which depicts a scene from the first episode of the Macross TV show.
Runner up Dan Salas spent two years on and off completing his incredibly detailed Hasegawa 1/72 VF-1D Super Valkyrie “Minmay Guard” kit. It was kitbashed using parts from several kits.
The crowd was excited by all the great raffle prizes were given out throughout the day.
As far as fan gatherings go, the members of MacrossWorld.com sure know how to put one together. It was a great place to meet fellow fans to celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of anime’s iconic series. We are already looking forward to next year’s festivities.
For more information about this event:
Shawn & Graham’s MacrossWorld: www.macrossworld.com
Event Date: October 21, 2012
Images: Jerry @ PlastikDolls, Concept Cube, Macross World