The world is opening back up, and that means the return of conventions and trade shows like Collect-A-Con, an explosion of popular culture blasting into Frisco on June 26-27.
“Collect-A-Con is a place where you can find all types of amazing collectibles,” says event co-founder Cody Wirz. “You can meet celebrities, get autographs, take pictures, and meet other fans with similar interests.
It's an encore engagement for the event, whose debut was so well-attended last March, Wirz says, that they're going bigger.
"Our first convention ... was so well-received by fans and vendors that we had strong demand to have a second convention, this time double the size, with double the vendors, and double the fun,” he says.
Wirz, who grew up and still lives in North Texas, collects comic books, toys, sports cards, and Pokémon cards — all items that will be for sale from hundreds of vendors at Collect-a-Con, along with video games, action figures, Funko Pops, and related ephemera.
“I have been collecting my entire life,” Wirz says. “Collecting is a fun and exciting hobby. It's not only nostalgic, but it’s about having something representing your favorite character or player. Also, the hunt to find a specific card or other item that you absolutely want is an exhilarating experience — it's like a treasure hunt.”
In addition to a sprawling vendor room filled with geeky goodies, Collect-A-Con will host a number of minor celebrities for autographs and photo opps, including Austin St. John and Walter Jones, who play the Red Power Ranger and Black Power Ranger respectively; Kenny James, who voices Bowser in the "Mario Kart" games; and Brittney Karbowski, the voice of Camie in "My Hero Academia" (as well as other voice actors from the series).
An artist alley at the event will feature such creators as Cole Hays, David Sanchez, and McClain McGuire.
These aren’t exactly household names (though some work on famous properties), but that can be a good thing for budget-conscious fans who would rather spend most of their money on the vendor’s room floor. Lesser-known industry folks also tend to be more approachable and generally have more time to chat.
“Many of the celebrity guests will be signing autographs and taking photos for free,” Wirz says. “Other guests will charge a minimal fee for an autograph or photo.”
Wirz says Collect-A-Con came about because of “the market dramatically increasing in interest over the past few years,” and the fact that you often can’t find specific cards or other collectibles in local stores.
Wirz says the entire event will be family-friendly, so all ages can set their phasers on fun. Kids will be able to get balloon characters, play video games, get their faces painted, and more.
Collect-A-Con will take place at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas/Frisco Convention Center on June 26-27. Two-day passes are $30 for adults, $20 for kids ages 4-12. Individual tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for kids. For more information, tickets, and a hotel discount code, visit the website.