12 highlights to catch at Fan Expo 2013

by W. Andrew Powell
Master Chief at Fan Expo

Toronto will host one of Canada’s ultimate geek-out events next week as Fan Expo 2013 brings thousands of fans–plus dozens of celebrities and hundreds of retailers–to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for four days of collectibles, signings, panels, and general nerding out.

Running from August 22 to 25, Fan Expo has expanded this year to take over both the North and South buildings at MTCC, and it will include more than just comic books, horror, science fiction, Anime and gaming. This year Fan Expo will also feature major names in sports as Fan Expo Sports kicks off with Bobby Orr, Hulk Hogan, Gordie Howe, and a host of others from hockey, baseball, and football.

If you’re looking for some of the highlights that you need to check out at this year’s event, Fan Expo has provided 12 helpful tips to help focus you, and of course, to help entice you to come to the massive event.

  • Fan Expo Sports – The Ultimate Sports Celebrity Experience: For the first time ever, Fan Expo Canada introduces Fan Expo Sports, making it the only convention of its kind to marry the worlds of pop culture and sports. Fans can attend photo and signing sessions, and Q&As with sporting heroes like Bobby Orr, Roberto Alomar and Joe Montana, and browse over 70,000 square feet of sports retailers.
  • Knight Industries Two Thousand (K.I.T.T.) car from the original Knight Rider TV series arrives on Thursday, August 22. The Knight Rider himself, David Hasselhoff, is also appearing!
  • Hulk Hogan: Uncensored: An intimate and unique fan experience hosted by 14-time world champion and WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan, alongside wrestling personality and TV producer Eric Bischoff and special guest wrestling announcer David Penzer. Scheduled on Friday, August 23 at 8 p.m. in the John Bassett Theatre, the event is not included in general admission. Tickets range from $29 to $249.
  • Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary: Fan Expo Canada celebrates the anniversary of Doctor Who with the arrival of celebrity guest and Sixth Doctor on the series, Colin Baker. Plus, the March of the Daleks Guinness World Record attempt aims to make history with the largest gathering of Daleks in North America on Saturday, August 24 at 11:00am in the North Building in Room 104.
  • The Stars Collide: See some of the biggest names from Star Wars and Star Trek up close and personal in Q&As, photo sessions and signings. From Zachary Quinto (Spock), Karl Urban (Bones) and George Takei (Star Trek) to Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and The Emperor (Ian McDiarmid) from Star Wars, it’s up to fans whether to embrace The Force or to “boldly go where no man has gone before.”
  • Sailor Moon’s 20th anniversary and cast reunion featuring a special presentation by Linda Ballantyne (Sailor Moon), Susan Roman (Lita/Sailor Jupiter), Katie Griffin (Raye/Sailor Mars), Toby Proctor (Darien/Tuxedo Mask) and director John Stocker.
  • Lolita mania: Lolita, one of the biggest fashion subcultures in Japan, is invading Fan Expo Canada. Attend the Lolita Ambassador Appointment Ceremony, where an Official Lolita Emissary will be crowned for Toronto. Plus, have tea with Japanese guest of honour and Ambassador of Cute (Kawaii) Misako Aoki or attend the inaugural Lolita Style World Event fashion show, fashion panels and premium photo shoot.
  • Star Wars fans unite: 501st Legion of Stormtroopers kicks-off its 13th anniversary of the Canadian Garrison with the Grand March to the Grand Assembly photo opportunity, an anniversary Star Wars photo session, Star Wars Collectors Hour Q&A session, Star Wars masks, costumes and props workshops and the 501st Legion official party of Fan Expo Canada.
  • If They Came From Within: An Alternative History of Canadian Horror: A multifaceted art project held offsite at Steam Whistle Brewery, the show imagines a different world of uniquely Canadian genre films via fictional 20+ movie posters. Created by some of Canada’s top poster artists and accompanied by synopses from some of the country’s top horror filmmakers, the exhibit opens on Aug. 7 (7 p.m.-11 p.m.) with appearances by contributors Brandon Cronenberg, Astron-6, George Mihalka and Rodrigo Gudiño. Panels featuring several of the participating artists and filmmakers will also be held as part of Rue Morgue’s Festival of Fear at Fan Expo Canada™. The exhibit is free and open to the public until Aug. 31; Steam Whistle Brewery is located at 255 Bremner Blvd. (directly south of the Metro Convention Centre). Other Fan Expo horror attractions include legendary guitarist Slash, who will unleash Slasher Films, his company devoted to resurrecting 70s and 80s style horror movies. Slash will also talk about the long-standing relationship between horror and rock music.
  • Toronto Steampunk Society: Join the cosplay full of Explorers and Adventurers, Airship Pirates and Evil Scientists, Inventors and Thieves and sit in on a costuming panel. Plus, attend workshops on building gadgets and props, listen to esteemed authors share their thoughts on Steampunk literature at Steampunk Author Panel: Words Driven by Steam or partake in a Tiffin and even witness a “tea duel”.
  • Hot Game Previews in EB Gamer Zone: Get your game on and head to the Warner Bros. booth to protect the streets of Gotham City as a young Batman in the exclusive preview of Batman Arkham Origins (in stores Oct. 25), or attempt to defeat an unstoppable Nazi war machine as Captain BJ Blazkowicz in Bethesda’s Wolfenstein: The New Order, launching later this year. Meet Assassin’s Creed’s Aveline and Charles Lee and attend the exclusive Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed III cast signing with actors Amber Goldfarb and Neil Napier. In addition, Todd McFarlane, McFarlane Toys founder and Spawn comic creator, will appear courtesy of Ubisoft, in order to launch his company’s newest figures and toys.
  • Food fit for a fanboy (or fangirl!): For the first time ever Fan Expo Canada will feature specialty themed food items, based on iconic movies and television shows, from Metro Toronto Convention Centre vendors.

You can purchase tickets to Fan Expo at www.fanexpocanada.com/tickets/ and head over to www.fanexpocanada.com and www.fanexposports.com for more on the event.

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