MCM Comic Con London 2023 Highlights

Posted on November 6, 2023 by

MCM Comic Con was back at the Excel Centre again this year and was filled to the brim with stages, panels, artists, stalls, food, interactive experiences and live music. I was lucky enough to be able to attend again and I’m here to share some of the highlights with you.

This time around, I felt like MCM was very focused on gaming (both tabletop and console) with the bigger panels focused on D&D, a huge selection of card game areas, a variety of arcade games, PC and console game experiences (and sneak peeks), plus a larger number of game and dice stalls than I’d seen before. There was also a tabletop game themed pub photo area too! I’d been interested to see the Critical Role panel but that was impossible to get into, so I’ll have to check their podcast (and videos) out instead as they were super popular.

Figures are always a huge feature of MCM, from the new releases announced here to sought after older ones and those shipped in from Japan. Hasbro Pulse was a late addition to the roster but their booth was always buzzing, especially after the new figure announcements in their panel and a first look at their buyer backed HasLab creations, like The Ghost ship and figures from Star Wars Rebels. Blind boxes were a big draw too, with Popmart back again and Mighty Jaxx had a central booth too. They had a range of their hugely popular Hidden Dissectibles figures and their  Sanrio Kandy range was very cute too.

Aside from figures, the show floor is always filled with such a huge amount of interesting stalls. Irregular Choice had their Sanrio Halloween collection out, Kodansha had Attack on Titan Monopoly amongst its huge table of manga, Padawan Outpost had an enormous selection of lightsabers, and even Miffy, Paddington and Tintin joined the other fandoms on a stall of their own. Then there were the more ‘unique’ offerings, such as a variety of characters represented in crochet figures, drinking horns and mead, alongside guys dressed as Vikings offering axe throwing and a huge T-Rex from Jurassic Park!

Artist Alley was, as always, a huge attraction for me, and it felt even bigger this year! I discovered lots of new creators there and on other parts of the show floor too. A few highlights from the new discoveries I made were Sonoeha (stunning Japanese prints), Jed Henry (traditional Japanese style artwork incorporating modern fandoms), By Miicha (original compositions and fan art in a gorgeous colour palette), Kukapuddin (both her OCs and fan art were drawn in such a beautiful style and she even has a cool Webtoon), Knight of the Galaxy (prequel era Star Wars and clone merch!), and Walking Whales (original character coasters and glassware) among many others. I could mention more, but I’d be here all day, although I did pick up pieces from Lucasfilm approved artist Nick Gribbon and one of my returning favourites Andy the Lemon.

One thing I really enjoyed trying for the first time was the Bridge Command experience, where you could play at being in one of the bridge positions on a starship. You take on the roles of captain, comms, weapons, helm, science and engineering and each one is very different. Our experience only lasted for around 10 minutes to give us a taster of what to expect, but once the company launches next year they’ll be from 90 minutes and I think it’ll be fantastic for groups of sci fi fans to do.

Pop Asia gave us the most from live performances again, with K-Pop dance groups, live music, sumo and even gymnastics. However, the new after hours parts of the weekend offered up DJs and comedy performances in other areas of the convention hall too. The after hours sessions were definitely a good idea for allowing the crowds to disperse more slowly at the end of the night, as it’s always madness, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to experience any of it myself this time.

One of the most popular attractions to any convention, especially on the Saturday here, is cosplay. MCM has an entire cosplay area dedicated to the art and craft of creating cosplays (I’ve shared quite a bit about this in my previous posts), and there were an enormous number of meet-ups and gatherings of cosplayers from different fandoms – the area outside the Excel centre was absolutely packed with them on the Saturday. I always have such fun dressing up and made sure to have an outfit for all three days, but I ran into so many fantastic cosplayers, from ones in shop bought outfits to entire handmade masterpieces (the Queen Amidala one was spectacular). However you do it, dressing up as your favourite characters is always so much fun.

You can see more in my saved Stories on Instagram and look out for a Reel later today. MCM Comic Con London will return in May & October in 2024 and tickets are on sale now. Will you be attending the next one?

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