Fan Expo 2013

Toronto Fan Expo 2013 preview

Toronto Fan Expo 2013 is taking over the Metro Toronto Convention Centre once again later this week. For four full days, fans will get a chance to line up, shop around and experience the sights, sounds, and smells of Toronto's top convention for gaming, comics, sci-fi, anime, horror, and, uh, sports?

Yup. Looks like this year will be particularly special because Hobbystar, the creators of Fan Expo Canada, are now expanding their target market and including the wild world of professional sports. Not sure what brought that on. All I know is it's a field I don't play on (wah-waaah), but I'm still excited to see what's in store.

Read on for what to expect from the 2013 edition of Fan Expo.

THE GUESTS

Looks like Stan Lee hasn't had enough of us, and is returning once again to bedazzle the true believers. However, he's going to have a hard time wrestling the hardcore fans away from the charismatic whirlwind that is Nathan Fillion. This year also sees the arrival of the new Star Trek's Spock and Bones; the old Star Trek's Sulu and Uhura; cast-mates from The Walking Dead, Murdoch Mysteries, and Firefly; and other major players from Carrie Fisher and David Hasselhoff to Hulk Hogan and Alice Cooper. Full list here.

THE FLOORPLAN

As always, Fan Expo is the place to shop 'til you drop for merchandise and gear, homemade and otherwise. The Artist's Alley and the Indy and Small Press Pavilion will be populated with the likes of Sketchkrieg, Spent Pencils, Rachael Wells, Lamin Martin, and more. Local stores will hock their wares. Major companies like Space, Rue Morgue, and WB will be showing off the future of entertainment, while other exclusive booths, like the one for the animated series Max Steel, will be dominating the grounds. Here's a map! (PDF) And be sure to hunt around for some Fan Expo exclusive merch, too.

THE EVENTS

What's a Fan Expo without events? Aside from the autograph signing sessions, the game tournaments, and the multitude of panels, attendees can expect much more. This year will host the very first set of Lolita Style World events, which will range from panels and fashion shows to something called the Kawaii Emissary Crowning. Plus, speed-dating hosted by 25Dates.com will take place, for any Han Solos hunting for their Princess Leias, Apollos hunting for their Midnighters, Sailor Neptunes for their Sailor Uranuses (or is that Uranes? Urani? Discuss in the comments!). Photo-ops will be legion, and expect a big Fan Expo party with special guest appearances and a kicking DJ on the Saturday evening. More major attractions can be found here.

SKYNET

...Or as everyone else calls her, Hatsune Miku. Yep, it looks like the starlets of the Vocaloid Project will be hosting a major concert on the Sunday. To explain: Vocaloid is a Japanese voice synthesizer for aspiring musicians, and the mascot for this program became so popular she burst off the box and onto the stage in the form of an elaborate hologram show with a live band. Basically, expect this.

This gets its own section because Miku has become a digital rockstar among anime fans and game fanatics, making the character so popular that she's starred in car commercials. Tickets are going for ten dollars. I might avoid the concert on the off-chance she finds a way to download her consciousness into our phones and take over our minds. For you fearless challengers of the unknown, however, find the tickets for sale here.

Fan Expo 2013 will run from August 22nd to August 25th. Visit the event''s web site for more details.


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