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Con Report: TerrifiCon

I’ve been to TerrifiCon a few times, but this visit was a chance to get my Star Wars Role-Playing Game signed by Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), which would add to the other signatures of the Star Wars principal actors from the film franchise. So with family in tow, we made the trek to Mohegan Sun.

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It bears noting that Mohegan Sun, traditionally a mecca for gambling, has caught on to the enormous popularity of geekdom – particularly in the off-season when gamblers are less likely to be present. Mohegan Sun’s properties are essentially malls built around slot machines, with restaurants and shopping all within easy walking distance. The convention itself is small in comparison.

TerrifiCon is primarily a comic convention, which means it is an eclectic mix of comics, cosplay, with a smattering of gaming thrown in. Because it’s located in Mohegan Sun, the facilities are much better maintained than most conventions, with clean bathrooms and plenty of food to purchase nearby. There’s also a kids’ area (known as the Aw Yeah Comics Fun Zone), tucked into one corner of the convention. My kids enjoyed the magic show but otherwise weren’t too interested in the comics-related events.

The vendors varied from impressive cosplay couture to individual artists hawking their comic books, to venerable geek icons signing autographs. In addition to a lightly attended video game space, The Dragon’s Lair carried the bulk of tabletop gaming, with some high-end dice and board games. Their focus was primarily on Magic: The Gathering and other card games – the staffer I spoke to was surprised to hear about Pathfinder’s 2E release.

TerrifiCon bills itself as a kid-friendly event and it largely is, but there’s a stark contrast between the comics of scantily clad women prominently displayed at some of the booths and the cute kid-friendly content on display. Speaking of eye-popping displays, Skinwalker Studios had an enormous, intricately detailed Monsterwood booth. It’s positioned as a franchise rather than a comic book, and it’s clear the company has big plans for the franchise.

As a veteran con attendee, there’s little I can’t buy or make myself online, so I’m always interested in what artists bring to the convention that I can’t find anywhere else. I was amused that there wasn’t one but two artists selling their 3D-printed wares along with several comic artists and writers pitching their books. I was particularly impressed by two artists who engraved beer glasses (GlassCannons) and copper plates (Jackie Stier) with geeky logos, both of which made for excellent birthday gifts.

My wife waited in line for Mr. Williams while I took the kids around the floor and then we joined her when it was time to get the book signed. I met Mr. Williams at Gen Con years ago and he wasn’t particularly fond of crowds (or, for that matter, Star Wars); I’m hopeful that his role in the upcoming Star Wars film may change his mind.

My son got a Waluigi cap and an Infinity Gauntlet costume prop; my daughter got an Eevee Pokemon plush and a Poke Ball with a toy in it. My wife got some DVDs on Blu-Ray and although I eyed a really cool potion-holder that doubles as a dice holder, decided it was probably too impractical to wear it while sitting at a table.

My kids rated TerrifiCon highly and thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone in costume. My daughter got pictures with a cosplayer dressed as She-Ra, who gave us helpful tips on where to find the hilarious adventures of She-Ra’s loyal steed Swift Wind on YouTube.

Given that TerrifiCon takes place in August, it’s ideal for those in the northeast to attend when kids are out of school. TerrifCon gets high profile guests to attend, so it’s likely we’ll be back – especially if there’s a Star Wars cast member’s signature I need to complete my collection!
 
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Michael Tresca

Michael Tresca

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