Contributed by collector and Overstreet Advisor Art Cloos
Photographs by Alice Cloos
ToyConNJ’s latest edition took place on June 24-25, 2017 with over 220 vendor tables packed with a wide variety of vintage and current pop culture collectibles. The location remained the same at the PAL Building in Parsippany, New Jersey.
The show has a new promoter now as its creator Phil DeMario passed the baton to Joe Veteri, who runs the Wayne Fire house show, and it is safe to say it is in good hands. Included with a paid admission was a wide variety of free family entertainment that included a classic arcade, video game consoles, TCG tournaments, table top games, slot car racing, diecast car racing, Gundam Expo and Contest, a GI Joe custom contest, and an appearance by LEGO master builders. There were numerous classes and workshops which included customizing action figures and Transformers, Gundam building, drawing, diecast modifying, and more.
The two dealers rooms were sold out, including Brook’s Nook, Robert Bruce, Toy Hunters Steve Savino, Hake’s Americana & Collectibles, Dylan Universe Comics, Super Mega Cons Ken Laurence, Andrew Heller, NECA, Toni Koehler, Vincent Delvecchio Jr., Fred Holder, Mike Spino, Pat Dunne, SkyOut UAS, Fat Guy Incorporated, Montaro Records, Ole Jade Jaw, Custom Figures and Collectibles, Mayhem Collectibles, Sure Thing Toys, Highlander Games & Comics, 3D Printing by Mucky Chris, cartoonist Michael Grassia, Garden State Comic Fest’s Dave O’Hare and Sal Zurzolo, and a lot more.
James Marsilia from the R2D2 Builders Club brought his famous R2D2 unit where fans could take free photos with the droid. SkyOUT UAS hosted Quadcopter 101 in which fans could try a real flight simulator on a PC, learn the difference between quadcopters and drones, and discuss rules as they apply to a hobbyist. The East Coast HO Road Racing brought two HO Slot tracks for racing the entire weekend. VideoGame911 which specializes in game console and pinball arcade repairs provided pinball machines for ToyCon. While there they accepted repair orders for game consoles and sold on-site games. Highlander Games & Comics sponsored multiple gaming events during the show as well.
Walking into the two dealer rooms was a bit of a sensory shock as they were packed with a very wide variety of items offered by the dealers. Despite its large size, ToyCon has the feel of a small show as many of the dealers and attendees know each other. However, there was a solid mix of regular and new dealers. You really did not know what to expect at the next table in any aisle.
The show was conveniently located near Routes 80, 46, 202, and 287. Red and yellow toy show signs on Route 46 East and West were set up to guide attendees to the show. There were several hotels and motels in the area for those who decided to stay for the weekend.
As at all the ToyCon shows there was a food truck and frozen ices cart set up in the parking lot.
The show opened on Saturday from 9 AM for the early bird special and 10 AM for regular admittance until 5 PM. The gaming rooms were open until 11 PM. On Sunday it opened at 8 AM for early admittance and 9 AM for regular passes closing at 3 PM.
Admission for the show was $15 each day with early bird admittance for $20, and a VIP weekend unlimited access pass for $25. Cosplayers attending the show had a special $8 ticket price and Children 10 and under got in for free.