Once again, the NEC Birmingham was the venue for the first Memorabilia show of 1999. Every time the show gets bigger and better - there seemed to be a definite shift away from records and beanies this time, and whilst it's still not totally kit-centric, there seemed to be many more specialist dealers.
The benefits of the move last time round to a bigger hall seems to have already been swallowed by larger crowds. We arrived about 40 minutes before the doors opened and the queues were already immense! Down one side of the corridor outside was a queue for the ticket booths 100 yards long - luckily we'd ordered ours in advance! Then on the other side was the queue of ticket-holders, which curled into the empty neighbouring exhibition hall and then snaked back and forth down the length of the hall in a fashion that would make any Disney theme park attraction envious!
A 1/6th Barbie Cenobite from Lone Wolf, the new company formed by Chris Forward was available from the Star Wars Emporium stand and is a great companion piece to Chris' earlier CD Cenobite. Chris was also showing off his current in-progress project - Batman leaping through the air with his cape flying out behind him. This was an extremely impressive piece and a very fluid and animated pose. (Barbie picture is Chris' publicity shot, not mine!).
Mooncrest Models had some nice built-ups on display including this Mars Attacks martian with trumpet doohicky, an interesting Gremlin door-burster and a nice Godzilla in mid-gallop.
Dirty Dog's table had an impressive collection on show and had "guest stars" in from Swede Creations, Killer Kits and Needful Things. Bad Moon Resin may be a terrible pun, but I think this piece from Killer is the best American Werewolf interpretation I've seen. The other things that caught my eye were Killer's Birth Of A Legend, a clear cast Borg from Gort, and a flaming alien (presumably inspired by the cover picture of one of the Dark Horse graphic novels).
Blood Angel Chaplain is Creative Casting's latest offering - an huge piece of cold cast resin with an obscene amount of detail almost 2 feet tall and weighing in at over 15 lbs!! Another new piece from them is a rather muscular werewolf character (apologies if this guy has a name!).
Sevans Models were showing a prototype of a fantastic new movie Dalek kit that will be available shortly. It's about 2 1/2 feet tall and will feature resin, laser cut plastic and aluminium parts. The second picture is Sevans' publicity shot, not mine.
A large collection of props from Star Wars Episode One were on display - this sounded really exciting when I read about it, but seeing them at the show I was a little... underwhelmed. To be really honest, most of it looked like a pile of junk! More impressive was Matt Le Blanc's armour from Lost In Space on show elsewhere...
Twilight Zone were showing some great US kits, including Ballistic Rose from G-Zero and fellow Grem Jerry Buchanan's new lady vampire Dominique. They had also taken the trouble to display several of the kits "out of the box" so you could see just how good the castings were.
Timeslip Models had a great collection of large scale and full-sized busts - including this enormous Werewolf - I would guess his head was about 30" across. (More photos to come when I get the roll in the camera developed!)
Best of the rest. A cool Camerahead Cenobite from Scorpion - I meant to get back to their table and get more details on this one but forgot! Guys, if you are reading, drop me an email! Daywalker is a very animated Blade from Jay Dee. The base features the remains of a recently dispatched vampire.
Overall, another great show. If I had any complaints it would be over placing the autograph tables right next to the main entrance - this instantly created a major blockage at the top end of the hall which remained all day and made it impossible to browse any stalls in the area...