On October 5th, fans of Macross and Robotech gathered in Torrance, California to attend the 13th annual Macross World Convention (MWcon). Celebrating the 30 Year Anniversary of the groundbreaking anime series, some 400 fans came in force to geek out on everything from toys and model-kits to cosplay and even hot pork buns. The organizers went all out this year and brought in two special guests who can almost be deemed Macross royalty. Mari Ijima, the original voice of beloved main character Lynn Minmay performed and current Macross master mecha illustrator Hidetaka Tenjin traveled directly from Japan to meet fans as well.
MWcon is a non-profit, fan produced event that is organized by members of the online forum, Shawn & Graham’s MacrossWorld. The forum focuses on all things Macross including discussions about its various anime incarnations, characters, vehicles, artwork and more. This year’s convention was brimming with events including appearances from the special guests, an art gallery, a silent auction, toy transformation contest, toy and model-kit customization contest, a live art competition, cosplay talent show, a marketplace, raffles, and even a Macross themed cafe.
Let’s let the pictures do the talking. Here are a few sights from the con. This first gallery gives you a feel for the venue and its decorations.
There were plenty of impressive private collection displays to gawk at. How many items do you recognize?
For those who got hungry, there was a Macross-themed Nyan Nyan Cafe serving up boba tea and pork buns as well as a food truck feeding the soldiers of UN Spacy.
Everybody loves cosplay and Macross fans are no exception. There were many more cosplayers who attended than over previous years. Let’s hope this trend continues!
For the first time at MWCon, there was an art show featuring very cool pieces by talented Macross loving artists. Some of the works featured at the show are still available. PLEX International Design’s Tsuyoshi Nonaka, designer for Bandai America’s Power Rangers, Ben 10, and more was on hand to illustrate two Macross-themed pieces that were raffled off. The proceeds from the raffle went to Japan Relief efforts.
Also an MWCon first, a silent auction was held featuring autographed items and one off sketches from special guest Hidetaka Tenjin and Haruhiko Mikimoto. Tenjin also made an original sketch which was raffled off to a lucky MWCon goer.
A perennial favorite of Macross enthusiasts is seeing the customized toys and model-kits that are displayed at the con. Which is your favorite?
Original voice of Lynn Minmay, Mari Ijima, sang a few Macross songs along with some of her original songs too. If you’ve never seen her live before, Mari has a very funny stage presence, and quite the potty mouth too. There’s nothing like hearing “Minmay” say a few four letter words in the course of telling a story! As you can see, Tenjin is a fan too.
A special treat direct from Japan was the appearance of Hidetaka Tenjin. He’s famed for his illustrations of Macross vehicles on Hasegawa box art and more. He took to the stage and discussed his beginnings, his Macross fandom, and what he’s been working on. He shared a few photos from his iPhone including one of his cat piloting a Valkyrie. He also had some banter going on with both Mari and Nonaka. Towards the end of the con, Tenjin was nice enough to draw a VF-1 Valkyrie on the MWCon media wall banner.
Like a bunch of elementary school kids, contestants got in line to out duel each other in a Bandai 1/55 Valkyrie “Chunky Monkey” Transformation Contest. Winner won prizes, but more importantly, bragging rights as king of the playground.
Probably the best cluster of vendors and private sellers of vintage Japanese mecha toys in one place ever, the room was teeming with 1980’s-era toys and ultra rare resin kits, books, model-kits, and more.
As you can see, otaku-ism was strong that day in Torrance, CA. If any of this appeals to you (and it should), be sure to attend next year’s Macross World Convention. Until then, visit Shawn & Graham’s MacrossWorld.com to get your fill of Macross.
images: Jerry @ Plastik Dolls