September 28, 2016

Break's Over-- Geek Stuff from Vancouver Toy Junkies

Just over a year ago, I wrote with absolute vigor in regards to attending the Vancouver Toy Junkies Show with my dad and little brother. While I didn't know it at the time, it would be an entire calendar year-- practically to the precise date-- before I would be bothered to write another post here on this slightly delapidated and sadly neglected blog. And of course, it wouldn't be just any old blog post-- but a post recounting my attendance to the exact same toy and collectible convention I had attended the previous year.

Go figure.

While it may not seem like much to the un-trained eye, this small show floor is cram-packed with fantastic finds. While it's only my second year recounting the venture in writing, I've attended the show several times.

I'll be completely honest with you guys-- a lot of the toy shows and smallish cons I've had the opportunity to attend in the surrounding area have a habit of blurring together in my memory. You tend to see the same sort of things over and over and over, making a lot of these sorts of shows rather forgettable. 

But Toy Junkies in particular always stood out to me for two significant reasons:

Reason one-- the passion of the people involved. The vendors, volunteers and attendees alike are all there for the same reason-- they love collecting. Whether that means toys, games, or specific franchise memorbilia, they all share a common ambition and understand that zealousness of each other. You can see it in a vendor's eyes when you ask them about their favorite product on their table or from fellow attendees when you've both been drawn to the same booth display-- they get it. We're all in this one together. It reminds me a lot of the atmosphere of a comic con, but on a much smaller scale. 

And reason two: video games.

I know, I know-- much less grandiose. But still arguably valid from a personal standpoint.

Most shows will constitute a handful of leftover N64 sports titles, better-off-forgotten SNES titles and plug-and-play throw aways as "games." 

While, yes, technically, these are certainly "games," they're games that have typically been designated as leftovers for a reason. Often times they're common, cheap, uninteresting, hold little monetary value, or are just plainly not fun to play. 

That being said, this show hasn't failed yet to provide something in the video game department to pique my interest. Last year it was a table of seriously neat modded or otherwise difficult to find retro games, including a Japanese Pokemon stadium game which I promptly purchased and added to my steadily growing collection of loose N64 titles. 

This year many of the tables displayed a wide range of halfway decent titles, as well as extensive collections of various game consoles.

... I also happened across this set of dragon quest games that I really, REALLY wanted.

Oh god. My heart. I don't have to have ever played dragon quest to recognize the beautiful art of Dragon Ball Z artist Akira Toriyama gracing the covers of these Japanese games. 

I love you babies. We'll be together...Someday.

Ok, honestly now, are these godzilla-esque monsters sick, or what? The right answer is sick, btw. Jeez. I have a handful of Japanese toys (both loose and boxed) in my slowly growing collection, and I was seriously tempted into adding some kaiju to the mix. Maybe next year.

All right-- now he moment you've all been waiting for!
You know what I'm talking about-- what in the world did Krystal buy this time?

As you can see, mostly games. In fact, all of this junk is video game-related in one way or another.

I picked up three video games: Doom 64 and Quest 64 for the N64, and Primal Rage for SNES. I own several primal rage action figures already, so I thought it'd be neat to go ahead and get the game while I'm at it. 

As you might've noticed, all these games are loose. While games displayed in unopened boxes are nice to look at, I personally prefer having something that I can actually play. I almost bought a boxed F-Zero game for SNES, but ultimately decided to spend that money on several smaller purchases.

When I was in the 2nd grade we would take trips to the third grade classrooms in school, and I remember that the third grade students had those desks that opened from the top in their classroom. We always sat in the same assigned seats. Being a generally nosy and overtly curious kid, I tried to lift the desk top when the teacher wasn't looking to get a peek inside and see what was in there. And what did I see?!? These little suckers. Needless to say, I was wildly jealous. 

And then there's this thing. I mean, where do I start?

This is a promotional VHS tape that I imagine consists of some game play and maybe a trailer for Rareware's Diddy Kong Racing. I'm pretty certain it was never the "must have title of the year," as the box unabashedly exclaims, but I love Rareware and did enjoy this title for what it was when I borrowed it from a college friend of mine. This is totally going on display. I don't know where, but I'll find room. I'll make room if need be.

So there you have it. Vancouver Toy Junkies 2016.
While it's still fresh in your mind, go check out Mechamania's recap of the show!

My writing is a tad bit rusty, to be perfectly honest-- it's been a while since I've written much of anything at all. I'm no longer writing paid articles, and I've been out of school for over a year now due to a series of circumstances. You could argue that that's all life really is, you know-- a series of circumstances.

Here's hoping the break's over!
We'll see what happens next. Until next time!

Krystal Dawn

Twitter: KrystalDawnArt
Facebook: Krystal Dawn
Google+: Krystal Dawn
DeviantART: KrystalDawnCreates

September 27, 2015

Vancouver Toy Junkies-- Collectible Toys, Perler Bead Sprites, Custom Video Games and More!!! EEEP! (PICS)

People were already lining up to get on the show floor as we arrived on-site for the annual Vancouver Toy Junkies toy show in Vancouver Washington. 

The first table I stopped at was lined with stacks of old-school cartridges-- but if you look a little closer, you might notice something is a little amiss...

Hmmm... Seems legit.

Nah, I actually I totally love this! I didn't buy it, but I totally would've If I had a working Game Boy Advance. I used to play GBA games on my Nintendo DS Lite, but it met an...Err...Untimely demise. The guys at the this table carried specially modded and customized games ported onto vintage cartridges-- most of them look pretty believable at first glance. They also carried hard-to-find games and games from other countries. I picked up an AWESOME Nintendo 64 game from them-- but you'll have to skip to the end of this post to see that! You CAN check out their YouTube channel if you'd like at, however. Get on that!


As far as comics, I didn't see any key issues that were particularly exciting or unusual. The amount of graded comics was little to none as well. But as many of you know, I have a love for comics that are just a little bit peculiar, so I couldn't help snapping a shot of a couple of these unusual covers.

Why does Kitty Pryde--of all people--get a 6 issue mini-series with ol' admantium skeleton and bad attitude himself? And Frankenstein's Monster is his own Marvel character, I guess? I mean, I already knew that he was, but jeez. Actually seeing it is different. Notice he's the Monster of Frankenstein, NOT Frankenstein himself. Yes, the creature is the creature, Frankenstein is the scientist who created him. This is why everyone should read books.

Are you going to tell me these guys aren't the cutest?!? I mean, their innards are exposed and they're completely bathed in blood...But "The EWOKing Dead"? Quality craftsmanship and clever puns are what set these custom toys apart from the rest of the crowd.

I've seen perler bead sprites many times before (although, not at a toy show I must admit), but the bright, snazzy colors and familiar pixel faces catch my attention every time. Not to mention, this particular assortment included, like, literally all the things I love, making it IMPOSSIBLE for me to choose just one.

Putting the flowers in pots and creating stands to give these quirky game sprites something to actually be standing on was a nice touch. I usually see sprites that are coasters, magnets and key-chains-- like people aren't sure what to do with them once they're made. The ready to display pieces are quite refreshing-- Check out the creator's instagram, @taylor_dubbs.

So many choices! But I'll show you what I got at the end. 

To put a fun plot twist on an already long day, our vehicle broke down in Portland after the show. The above is my "I'm-stranded-in-Portland-and-was-volunteered-to-stay-with-the-car" selfie, and next to it my little brother (a video game and toy enthusiast at a tender,early age), sips a coke glamorously in the tiny office of the auto repair shop some hours later.

And now, what we've all been waiting for! :D

Check out my haul of geek goodies from the show!

 ... As they appear in front of my Legend of Zelda 2015 calendar.

This game is actually just the Japanese version of Pokemon Stadium for Nintendo 64, despite the front of the cartridge clearly touting it as "Pocket Monsters stadium 2." But seriously, how cool is that? How do I pass this up? It was the only 64 cartridge visible on the table, and it looked bad-a**.

Also, notice the back pieces? Pieces were removed so that it would be playable in American consoles-- apparently they keep the cartridge from fitting in the machine. This is actually the second Japanese game I own now, which is two more than most casual gamers... What's the 1st? "Naruto: Saikyo Ninja Daikesshu 4" -- the Japanese equivalent to Ninja Council 3 for DS, which my parents bought for me as a christmas gift ages and ages ago.

I got these little guys, too. Y'know, just because. 

And the perler sprites! Sonic, Link, and the N64 logo. I've always wanted the N64 logo on something, and now I have the logo itself to do whatever I want with. I'll probably just hang it on my wall with some of my other geek stuff for the time being until I find a better home for it. Same for link. Sonic's going on the desk.

Alright, I hope you guys had fun perusing all my photos and got a kick out of seeing some of the cool stuff I saw at the show. What's the point of buying cool stuff if nobody else gets to see and enjoy it?

I've got some cool posts planned for you guys, including what I learned as a first time vendor at Rose City Comic Con, some bargain bin comic book reviews, and more.


Hey, you made it to the end of the post! Isn't that something? I had complete faith in you (sorta).
Anyways, until next time!

Krystal Dawn

Twitter: KrystalDawnArt
Facebook: Krystal Dawn
Google+: Krystal Dawn
DeviantART: KrystalDawnCreates

September 25, 2015

Back from Rose City, Ready for More

"Dude, I had a BLAST at comic con-- Seriously, I met a bunch of AWESOME people, checked out some REALLY NEAT stuff, and sold TONS of art!!! A++! Would recommend!! Will do AGAIN!!!!!"

...That's what I want to say (in a gradually more silly, and sarcastic yet somehow still somewhat genuine sort of way-- if that makes any sense). Yet even with all those superfluous exclamation marks and the overtly zealous capitalization, it just doesn't do justice to just how much of an impact this experience has actually had on me as both an individual and a creator, and what this all could mean for my artistic career in the near future. 

Check it out--above is a picture of my table setup and background display pre-floor opening on Saturday-- everything looks pretty darn sweet (if I may say so myself), except for the fact that I practically look about as strange and socially awkward as I actually am. *sigh*

Honest to god, I had a lot of fun. 

The con itself-- the 30,000+ attendees, the setting, the environment-- just the overall atmosphere was a flared up contagion of bubbling excitement and non-stop geek adrenaline. Despite how awesome it all was, the months leading up to this point, and even the two days spent at the show itself, were cram-packed with seemingly insurmountable quantities of craziness and infinite obstacles to overcome. 

My stress levels were off the charts-- but I wouldn't have changed it for anything. 

Each day I got to talk to and interact with people who not only were excited about my work and the connections they made to it, but had more questions, suggestions, and compliments than I have pokemon cards (...which happens to be a LOT, OK?!? It's not weird...Stop judging me).

I also had a lot of people stop by and ask to take pictures of my booth-- which I was happy to oblige. I even got to see some tweets of my work on Twitter, which you can check out there on my Twitter page.

I met someone who bought a print of my princess peach collage from the stain glass window of the castle in Super Mario 64, went home and framed it, then came back to show me a picture of my framed print the next day. One woman recognized my "Skin Deep" artwork (above) from when it was on exhibit at Linn-Benton Community College and came over to tell me how excited she was to see it at the con-- and that she couldn't wait to follow me on Twitter. I got to watch multiple people catch sight of my Jurassic Park lunch boxes (which sold out, by the way-- *wink* *wink*) and custom-painted Star Wars action figures, and witness the exact moment that pure nostalgic excitement overcame their entire faces in the form of this fantastic, excited grin, again and again.

Every time someone saw a print that made them smile automatically or got genuinely excited about something they saw at my table, my heart just about burst. Every. Single. Time.

That's when it hit me. I like this. I like this a lot.

Maybe... ... .... ....Maybe I should do this again.


Only this time take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Because somehow I forgot to photographically document my first con as a vendor...Who does that?!?

...But I did manage to somehow get a photograph of this cosplayer dressed as Foxy from Scott Cawthon's Five Nights at Freddy's. So maybe not all was lost?

I learned A LOT from this con, and frankly, I'll probably make an entire post dedicated to that a little later on. Something along the lines of what NOT to do when headed to your first con-- complete with tips and advice from my experience. I'm headed to the Vancouver Toy Junkies show tomorrow, so expect a cool post about that too--I was going to suggest you check out my old post about it, but apparently I never actually got around to posting it. This girl has GOT to get organized.

On one last note, I'm seriously considering making prints of my artwork available online. So if you're interested, make sure I know! Your comment could be the deciding factor in my decision, after all. Leave it here, tweet it at me, draw a fanart of the Foxy above with a hidden message-- or something.

Sooooooo, while I take care of figuring out what's next for me and organizing my social media life, enjoy my awkward "End-of-Rose-City-Comic-Con, Trying-to-take-a-selfie-without-looking-like-that's-what-I'm-doing," selfie:

And that's a wrap! See y'all on the flipside, lovelies!
Krystal Dawn

Twitter: KrystalDawnArt
Facebook: Krystal Dawn
Google+: Krystal Dawn
DeviantART: KrystalDawnCreates

July 29, 2015

A New Challenger Approaches: RCCC 2015

So, it's official-- I'm going to have my own booth at Rose City Comic Con this September.

I'm absolutely ecstatic-- yet, I'm also downright terrified. It's going to be exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time, and every fiber of my being is telling me that I can't possibly wait another moment for this tumultuous event to be upon us.

But like most good things, you've got to wait for it.

I've been busting out new artwork, products, and all kinds of neat stuff for you guys-- some of it which you'll be seeing sneak peeks and previews of over the course of the next few weeks leading up to the con...And I may not be talking just original artwork and prints-- you might even get a sneak peak of something a little more unique-- so keep checking back here every few days and keep your eyes on my Twitter feed and you may just catch a glimpse of some pretty darn neat stuff before the show.

Anyways, that's it for now-- pretty quick and painless, eh? But no need to worry-- I'll be back to writing more paragraphs than you feel comfortable even glancing over in one sitting soon enough.

If you're wondering what #RCCC is all about, you can check out their official website here.
And if you want to recount one of my very first forays to RCCC, check out this older post from 2013.

And here is a picture of Nightcrawler and my asymmetrical haircut from the above-mentioned post so we can an all reminisce. 

Alright, until next time!

Krystal Dawn

Facebook: Krystal Dawn
Twitter: KrystalDawnArt
Google+: Krystal Dawn
DeviantART: KrystalDawnCreates



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