For those of you who enjoy the convention life but have never experienced Colossal Con, need to adjust their schedules to insert themselves in the majestic world of water parks! The location is in Sandusky, Ohio inside of the Kalahari Resort and WATER PARK that takes place until 3am for four whole, wonderful days! Dedicated to mostly anime and video games, you already know what that means!
ALL the water cosplays, ALL the wonderful debauchery, and ALL the fun panels!! While there were some adjustments that could be made to make the experience a much smoother one, it is still one of my favorite conventions to travel to!!!! Please excuse the quality of my photos..I couldn’t be trusted with a camera with the high volume of water and cement everywhere.
While each person does a con differently, at this particular venue I personally prefer to spend the day frolicking with the congoers in the pool area (AND SWIM UP BAR HOT TUB!) while ingesting tremendous amounts of boozy frozen cocktails unless something tickles my fancy. While there are panels open beginning in the wee hours of the afternoon (trust me, looking outside at 8am made you think it was a total normal day and there wasn’t going to be an invasion of costumed epicness happening), the ones where you will see the most conscious of folks would be towards the later panels. The evening hours were reserved for more delicious drinks, MORE panels and dancing fun!
Highlights of the entire convention for me included the Mega Championship Wrestling, karaoke, burlesque dancing, NEW FRIENDS and as always JAPANESE ARCADE GAMES.
Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty parts of it!
First off, I know, I know, pro wrestling..at a convention?!? But guess what? It was SO SO fun between the wrestlers playing with the crowd as well as the outside of the ring battle that lead the entire ballroom around the con hallways to end with a literal photo finish! For those naysayers who still aren’t convinced by this awesomeness, my hotel mates were dragged with me with much hee-ing and haw-ing, however, their minds were quickly changed!! It was that much fun!
Although I’m not sure the wrestlers themselves were prepared for the heckling that accompanied their dialogue, they all did a fantastic and entertaining job. A big shoutout to the security crew, not only did they crowd control like the mightiest ninjas I know, but they made sure no one was actually tangled in the action, which was NO EASY TASK. We all remained relatively unharmed! Woo, efficiency!
As always, a good amount of time was spent in video game rooms between the super smash tourney (as well as many many others) and personal addiction to Jubeat. The tourneys were all very well attended and had a great variety of players. Also, while these events were not going on, there were plenty of consoles set up for optimal gaming fun. It was really great that they had the DJs playing in this area cause drum and bass always make gaming more epic. In fact, I preferred the music here to the ones that happened during the “glowstick” event. Even when there wasn’t a DJ, Rock Band was holding it down in terms of musical entertainment.
As for the Japanese side of things, the game room seemed to be missing several of the games from last year that really were straight outrageous and entertaining. Thankfully Jubeat was not taken away from us. This technicolor wonder game is essentially DDR for your hands. According to our research, you cannot play Jubeat anywhere in the US except an arcade in Seattle and the company that brought all these systems for our playing pleasure. There is always the option of spending a house down payment on your own arcade console…..which has been considered.
If you ever see these flashing cubes, immediately place yourself in front of it and be prepared to think about it for the rest of your days.
Oh and there were boobs! Yayyyy! Thank you to the Geek Goddesses and Pixel Vixens for two very fun burlesque shows! It was entertaining on so many levels and I hope it’s something that becomes a yearly things! You guys did a great job with all the different costumes and the moderators were hilarious. Just remember if you are going to have pictures of these lovely ladies, make sure you buy them and not take them secretly from the air vents.
Being a nerd never had better perks…eh..eh..
I have to show my appreciation and love for the security and staff who should be applauded again and again. First, it is not easy to handle con-goers, let alone extremely..inebriated ones with that much patience and even sometimes with a smile. Secondly, they were very inclusive despite the fact we were invading their space. Thanks again, we had a blast with you guys Saturday night as you were shutting down!!
Now for just a little constructive criticism…
The rave/”glowstjck” party, while a great concept, does need to be adjusted. Last year’s beats were definitely far more user-friendly because despite the fact that it is such a fun event, there may need to be some work in terms of the execution for the safety of the participants. The problem was that it didn’t seem like many people knew what to do with speedcore on crack.
BPM (beats per minute) is a super important element that one has to consider when creating epic tracks. Once you approach the 185 BPM line, you’re pushing it..and for a good part of all the nights, it was pushing past 200. When you put inexperienced rave kids trying to keep up with a steamy, steamy ballroom…well let’s just say it exacerbated the vomit situation. For an event like this, I would’ve like to see more Electro, Dub, or even some Trance to make it more accessible and a definite good time. This is something that normally would never leave my mouth, however, watching the crowd, it was clear the BPMs were not something they knew what to do with. The DJs should have read the crowd a bit more. The closer of Friday night however, more than made up for it. Give me some happy hardcore and life would’ve been golden.
Please keep this event but maybe mix it up, the amount of speed core and lack of actual breaks made it impossible to enjoy yourself, which is why there was not that many people in the actual space after midnight.
The panels and those who organized them had done a great job in terms of garnering great conversations from the crowds as well as making a point to keep everyone respectful. Karaoke was a great dancing time and everyone who participated did a fabulous job. Thank you moderators for keeping it (relatively) classy and controlling the audience!
Graaaassssss tastes bad was hilarious as were many of the more..tentacle-y of the panels. With each panel, you were able to play around with different perspectives under common ground, which made things that much more interesting. I was super sad not to see the horror movie panel from last year, the moderator was the most knowledgeable individual I had met on horror and she led a great discussion.
However..it tickled my pickle the wrong way when the panelists who didn’t show up. Aside from the two I had personally gone to, I had heard from several other con-goers who complained that at least four other panelists who did not show up. Not only was there endless waiting, but it was disappointing to be so excited for a panel and have no one arrive.
Another issue with the panels would be the technical difficulties that occurred in a good amount of the panels. There was no time to set up between panels and there was no dedicated technical crew that could travel around to help with these issues. If they were able to stagger the panels and give some time for set up, a crew could be made solely for the purposes of helping panelists who are unfamiliar with a specific room’s equipment.
These honestly could easily be fixed and did not affect the enjoyment level (aside from a little upset tummy the second night). The staff really did work extremely hard to make sure everything ran smoothly, some things were just accidentally overlooked. A lot of it really came down to trying to squeeze as many awesome things into only four days, things are bound to go wrong!
More positives of the convention include Artist Alley and the Symphonic Anime Orchestra.
Artist alley has to always be visited because of all the really beautiful things out for sale, the creative talents they brought in were great! I found myself very light on cash and very heavy on prints at the end of it all. I was also very much tempted by a bacon scented plushie. It would be awesome if there was a vendor who sold tubes or plastic cases, mainly because I am a moron and have to transport everything home.
One of my favorite closers for the convention would be the Symphonic Anime Orchestra. The concept behind this amazing group is both inspiring and beautiful, with Samantha Terry at the helm conducting. Each year, the SAO sends out forms for interested individuals to join and play a concert towards the end of the convention. Once accepted, these dedicated musicians receive sheet music that they practice individually on. All of their hard work comes together during the actual convention where they are brought together during rehearsals for the first time, organized by the master conductor! We lucky con-goers are then treated to whimsical renditions of all our childhood favorites including but not limited to Legend of Zelda, Naruto, and the closer..Kingdom of Hearts. Amazing job guys!
While traveling there may be a bit of a hassle, Colossal Con is absolutely worth it. There definitely is something that is so special about attending a convention where the con-goers are the ones organizing it. It is truly the people who make the convention worth attending and you could not have been in a better group of con-goers (just stay hydrated guys!). We had brought a spinning plate set with us and it was so much fun interacting with people with it. We even successfully taught several of them how to do it themselves! Yay, circus!
Overall, it was like visiting a old friend who just wants to show you a good time and chat about all the nerdy things. Again, thank you again to the staff and security for keeping things running smoothly! SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!
There is a playground by the outdoor pools and it is epic. Play on it, play on it so hard.
There are two fourth floors. Good luck.
Name and phone number on your badge THE SECOND you have it in hand!!
Bring a chair with you to wait in line for the next round of games, your body will thank you.
Food is where all your money will go. And booze. There’s always fun vendors but this con is definitely more about the events. Bring extra cash!
If you rent a car, go to the Walmart literally five minutes to the right of resort. It will save you some money.
Put your water pass badge around your lanyard and you’ll never have to worry about it getting wet on you or lost! It also makes it more distinguishable if you do lose it.
Make sure to book your room Saturday if you plan on returning because Sunday is a no go for booking!! It will also sell out Monday.
If you want some sort of decent liquor, please ship it to yourself because if you don’t like beer, you’re shit out of luck.
Keep your Kalahari cup!!! They will honor it literally forever!!
Please stay hydrated, I cannot tel you how many people I had to remind to drink water and take care of themselves. Remember, we want to keep having these awesome events!!!
And for all those wondering how the cosplayers were check out our full gallery here taken by our own fearless leader Rich!