The Next Montreal Comic Con: December 6th, 2009!

The success of September’s Montreal Comic Con means that the organizers aren’t going to waste any time prepping for the next one! And so, on December 6th, expect a one-day Comic Con featuring guests like Kane Hodder, Lloyd Kaufman and Monica Rial, plus a number of other guests soon to be announced! You can check out the official website for more info!

And coming up even sooner is the Montreal Toy Con–it’s a little out of the way for downtown-dwellers, taking place in St. Laurent’s Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, but if you’re looking for the best new and vintage comic, toys and collectibles, this is worth the trip! There’ll be a ton of dealers, plus cosplayers, LEGO and building enthusiasts and more! It goes down October 18th, costs only $4 (Kids 5 and under free) and is sure to be a blast! Click the pic to visit the site and find out more!

The Montreal ToyCon Part 3: The Toys!

Well, since we’ve already seen the guests, we can get to the meat of the show. What was there? Who was there? Well, we can answer both questions…

First of all, for a complete list of the dealers who showed at the con, just visit the Convention website to see who was there, or maybe to get connected to the awesome toy-sources you may have missed if you didn’t get to the con!

The Montreal ToyCon Post-Con: QueLUG!

Yes, the Montreal ToyCon has come and gone! If you were in attendance, here’s hoping you were able to find what you were looking for and, if you missed out, you can try to catch us next time, probably sometime this fall. It’s a small convention, but there are few places better for hidden treasures. (Personally, I picked up a Mr. Pink action figure, Batman: City of Crime and the Princess Bride’s Dread Pirate Roberts) But it isn’t just about the toys: there are also two groups that make the con even better, and here’s a look at who we got…

The Quebec LEGO User Group (or QueLUG) has been a presence at every Toycon thus far and they’ve outdone themselves yet again with some truly awesome displays of…Legoism? Lego-ocity? Truly awesome displays of Lego talent. As always, we were happy to have them enriching the whole ToyCon experience with their meticulous-yet-creative designs and can’t wait to see what they bring us next time!

For now, here’s a look what they had with them this time around…

Collectible Toys for all Ages – Montreal ToyCon

Steve Bonanno Legends Action Figures

Steve Bonanno, with The Joker, at his Legends Action Figures store on St. Hubert Street

By AL KRATINA, Special to the Montreal Gazette

To some, collecting action figures might seem a childish pursuit. Disclosing that this article is being typed in full view of an Edgar Allan Poe toy and an entire shelf of Batman villains will likely not change such people’s minds. But Montrealers can discover for themselves how grown-up toy collecting can be by visiting one of many local toy stores, or by checking out Toycon tomorrow at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel near Trudeau airport.

“(There’s) a little bit of something for everyone,” says David Mark, the organizer of the convention and owner of Outremont’s Toys on Fire retail store. The convention will feature 30 local action figure dealers selling everything from Hot Wheels to Spider-Man toys, as well as six tables dedicated to creations from the Montreal LEGO Club.

But as Mark explains, action figures don’t always revolve around comics and Saturday morning cartoons. Subjects range from hockey players to William Shakespeare to a semi-flayed man hanging from hooks and birthing what appears to be a boil of maggots, designed by horror author Clive Barker.

In fact, Steve Bonanno finds that his Montreal store, Legends Action Figures on St. Hubert St., attracts mainly the male 18-35 demographic.

Like Mark, Bonanno is passionate about action figures, and estimates he has more than 4,000 toys in his personal collection. “I opened the store, because my collection was getting too expensive,” he laughs, as I shop for Marvel Zombies Minimates, tiny undead comic characters that make my bookshelves resemble a decaying landscape of LEGO figures.

Bonanno and Mark agree the more popular toys are generally tied to new movies or TV shows, but nostalgic throwbacks are also well-liked.

“Everything from the ’80s properties, like GI Joe, Transformers, they all made a comeback in the last couple of years,” Bonanno says. “(But) Star Wars (toys) outsell everything else.”

But even those not particularly interested in pitting Cobra Commander and Starscream against a mob of Tuskan Raiders might be interested in “art toys.”

“An art toy is a (figure) that’s not based on a cartoon or a game,” says Olivier Petitpas, who opened his camiondepompiers store on Ontario St. in 2007. “It’s more of an art object than a product advertising a different (medium).”

Some art toys feature paint designs and accessories created by various artists, often noted for work in other media. Popular art toy creators include U.S.-based Frank Kozic, who once designed posters for the grunge movement, and Italian artist/clothing designer Simone Legno, whose Tokidoki brand makes everything look like the result of Hello Kitty mating with a robot.

But other toys are simply sold as blank figurines, and used as a canvas to create a one-of-a-kind art by the new owner. These are often displayed at contests or exhibitions, like the ones Petitpas occasionally holds at his store.

Art toys, Petitpas says, tend to attract a different crowd than other action figures, which is why Petitpas won’t be exhibiting at Toycon. But though the world of art toys might not overlap with other action figures, both can be equally appreciated by a mature audience. Or so I keep telling myself, and my Minimates.

Toycon was held Sunday, May 3rd, 2009 at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, 7000 Place Robert-Joncas, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission $4. Call 514-948-2627 or email for more details on the next show.

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