Aloha! Welcome to Comic Con Aloha!

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“Cosplayers: @meozura and @smallplanet6 | Photographer: @fzeo on Instagram”

Hopefully, the stereotype comic book geek who lives in their mother’s basement has been banished for good. Not that it was ever particularly true, but over the last decade, comic book franchises have dominated pop culture. Comic conventions are huge events that bring diverse people together, showing that just about everyone is a fan.

The basement-dwelling stereotype is especially untrue for people going to Comic Con Aloha.

This up-and-coming convention lets people grab a bit of sunshine and see their favorite voice actors and comic artists all in the same weekend! It is the perfect combination of sunshine, relaxation, and enjoying your fandom.
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Replay FX Retro Gaming Convention Pittsburgh PA

Replay FX - Pittsburgh PA
Replay FX – Pittsburgh PA

I attended Replay FX, a retro gaming convention in Pittsburgh PA. I really enjoyed my time there, and definitely plan to return next year as well. The convention includes hundreds of arcade games, console games, and board games. All of the electronic games are from the 80s-90s with no modern games in sight so it’s definitely aimed at Retro gamers.

They had tournaments for Dr Mario, Tecmo Bowl, and Smash Brothers, to name a few. They also had a cosplay competition. There are large cash prizes for all of the competitions. We didn’t enter any competitions this time, but I did cosplay, just for fun. I brought out my Love Live School Idol Festival Kotori Cosplay Costume again – I’ve been wearing it a lot lately, and also plan to wear it again soon for Animu at the Zoo also in Pittsburgh, PA.

Some popular games that we saw other than the ones mentioned above, included Pac-Man, Zelda, Animal Crossing, Paper Boy, Soul Calibur, Mr. Do, Dig Dug, Maniac Mansion. Mario, Sonic, Battle Toads, Zookeeper, Tetris, Xandu, Centipede, Metroid, Dark Stalkers, Virtua Tennis, Tekken, Donkey Kong, lots of racing games, and tons of different Dance Dance Revolution and Beatmani style arcade games. There were also hundreds of pinball games.

All of the games are free of course, because you’re paying for admittance to the convention. There are lots of vendors too selling stuff – some of the things they’re selling may be questionable – like rom/emulator things that come preloaded with thousands of games – pretty sure that’s illegal to sell lol. I almost bought one though, because it is pretty cool – I’ve seen similar on wish and aliexpress. Or you can of course get your own roms online for free – which is illegal if you don’t own the actual games – but in my case, I do own like 80% of the games still I have all my consoles, from 80s, 90s, 2k, etc. But of course I can’t have them all hooked up all the time, too many wires, not enough space, etc, which makes having the roms very handy.

The board games were out in a separate more quiet space and provide a nice break from the flashing lights and sounds of all of the electronic games.

Back in the main hall they also had a giant ferris wheel that lit up later in the evening. I didn’t ride it, because it was a very unique ferris wheel – it flipped upside down…. It looked scary as heck to be honest lol. Each car rocked and shook back and forth and occasionally turned completely upside down. The cars are all enclosed of course so you don’t fall out, but still uhm no thanks lol.

Later in the evening, they also had live music, but it was hard to hear over the sounds of all the people and all the games.

There are food concessions on site, including alcohol, but it’s over priced, and most of the food is terrible. You can bring your own food – even if it’s against their rules, no one checks bags there.

Which brings to the next point, with all the crazy things happening in our country, you’d think they would have SOME type of security there…. There were no metal detectors, no one checking bags, and I didn’t see a single guard or any kind of personnel…. With thousands of loud chaotic games and thousands of people…… this is just a recipe for disaster… And it would be hard to contain or control the chaos, there’s 2 escalators, 1 up/1 down, and maybe some stairs somewhere but I didn’t see/know where. And the escalators and halls and everywhere were super crowded. It’s billed as the largest retro gaming convention in the US.

I didn’t really think about that at all while I was there though, and felt perfectly safe, but in retrospect, looking back, I wish they had more security in place. You just can’t trust crazy people these days. I don’t want to get into politics of it… But I will say video games are not to blame. Think about it… They have the exact same games in dozens of other countries, Europe, Asia, Japan, South Korea, Canada, even South America – and you know what they don’t have? Mass Shootings… you know why? Because they have gun control laws and mental health care (or any kind of health care for that matter).

Games are not to blame… I don’t play super violent games like shooting games, call of duty, rainbow six,  and whatever else, they just aren’t fun or interesting to me (no story, no cute graphics, snoozeville lol) … So I could care less about if people sell them or play them… But I just think it’s ridiculous that they think banning them will do any good to stop these events from happening. United States needs to look at the rest of the world and “get it together” when it comes to these 2 things, gun control, and health care including mental health care, before it is too late.

We also are more diverse than most other nations. And for some reason, a large number of Americans don’t like other Americans who are different from themselves, and it’s not just white people either. My hispanic boyfried told me that he and his friends consisting of another hispanic and 2 asians and 1 white person, were rejected/kicked off a soccer field by some indian people the other day.  All this hatred and racism towards each other is at the heart of all this violence, and until we address those issues, these problems are only going to escalate. Even if we do get reasonable gun control laws and better health care, we still need to find a way to stomp out racism.

Anyways I diverted a little bit from the topic here… but yeah… the only complaint I REALLY have with Replay FX is that it might be highly unsafe due to lack of security measures especially in midst of current events in our country right now. I would like to see metal detectors, guards checking bags at the gates – even if that means I can’t bring my own food/drink next year, and guards walking around up and down inside the convention also. We have to be smart and be safe. That whole convention center really needs to step up security. I was there 2 weeks ago for my boyfriend’s sporting tournament and again no security, no bag checking, etc.

I’ll still go next year, and still have a good time. I won’t live life in fear of what could happen. That’s what terrorists want. Live each day to the fullest with no regrets. If I were to die at a gaming convention, at least I would die doing what I love lol.

But in all honesty, Replay FX is great. For $35 for an adult day pass, or $100 to go all 4 days… And unlimited gameplay once you’re inside…. it can’t be beat. We spend more than $35 at Dave and Busters and it’s gone in an hour or two. Replay FX is also open late into the night, midnight this year, and opens at 9am, which is great. For 35 bucks you can play unlimited games for over 12 hours. Like I said, it can’t be beat for great value and more bang for your buck! Highly recommend this event for all gamers, especially those who grew up with retro games like Colecovision, Atari, and old school Nintendo. They had them all, plus Dreamcast and more rare retro finds. Very nostalgic – but I think young kids would enjoy this event too! It’s fun for the whole family.

I Want To Take an Anime and Manga Tour in Japan

Animate - The World's Largest Anime Store
Animate – The World’s Largest Anime Store

OMG… I want to do this. (Maybe Next Year – I don’t have Vacation Time left this year since I will be going to Peru this summer) Their next tour is in just a few weeks, and seems to only happen once a year, in March coinciding with the International Anime Festival AnimeJapan.

https://japandeluxetours.com/japan/group/anime-japan-tours#anime3

Visiting Japan is my life long dream. (sadly, mostly just so I can go shopping for anime, game, and doll stuff lol. Although I do want to do the museums and cherry blossoms and hot springs and other cultural things too – though mostly, I’m just a big geeky nerd who loves anime and wants to go shopping – which is what this whole tour is designed for <3)

It’s not that much money (well OK it is, but it’s cheaper than I expected honestly). Guided 6 Day Anime Tour in Japan which includes hotels and Guides through all the “anime” spots in Japan (since I can’t speak Japanese a Guide would be helpful…)

Only $1,500 a person, includes hotels for each day. I’d just have to have airfare, and LOTTTTTTTTSSSSS of money for food and shopping. Like seriously I’d probably want to have another $1,000 with me just for shopping lol. If I buy a dollfie dream or custom volks doll or something that’d eat half that budget right there. Then there’s all kinds of cheap (but cute) dolls / toys / figurines, etc.

I wouldn’t want to go by myself either – I would hope my boyfriend would go with me but if not then I’m pretty sure that I could find a friend or family member to take… If I had to pay for both of us that’s $3,000… The tour includes several meals but I’d need money for more meals (Let’s say $100 a day food budget X 5 days $500) Airfaire is probably close to $1,000 a person too So not counting shopping expenses I’d need $5,500… I want to mainly go shopping so I’d want at least $1,000 for shopping for myself that’s $6,500…. which still… isn’t that bad because of all the things this tour includes.

This tour includes all of the Ghibli and other museums, the largest anime stores, and even admission to an anime convention for one day. OMG and an anime theme park another day… OMG it includes real life mario kart racing too…. omg…

The number 1 place I want to visit actually isn’t on this tour – that place is Doll Point Akihabara – Volks store where you can buy Dollfie Dreams and Asian Balljointed Dolls and Accessories – including some items available only in the store and not sold online.  But that’s OK because the tour gives you free time in the evening and one free day where you’re on your own without a guide.

My dream / life goal / bucket list… lol…

Now that I have my passport I can actually do stuff like this O_O!!! Now I just need money (lots of money) (and to wait for my vacation time again lol).

https://japandeluxetours.com/group/tour/anime-japan-tour-6-days-a

Tour Includes

  • 6 DAYS
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • 7 MEALS
  • 5 breakfasts
    2 lunches
  • TRANSPORT
  • All transport shown

Details:

  • 4 nights Western hotel
  • Daily Breakfast-Buffets and 2 Lunches included
  • All ground transportation in Japan during the tour
  • Complimentary Airport Transfers (see details)
  • Admission Fees, Tax & Gratuities at all included Destinations
  • Full time service of licensed English speaking tour guide & separate bus driver
  • Japan Deluxe Tours Handbook and Tour Goods Package
  • Free Wi-Fi in Bus & Most hotels
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    Wizard World Returns to Pittsburgh, PA November 4-6, 2016

    Charlie Cox, Jon Bernthal, Elden Henson, Evan Peters Among Top Celebrities Scheduled To Attend Wizard World Comic Con Pittsburgh, November 4-6

     

    Nichelle Nichols, Sonequa Martin-Green, WWE® Superstar Finn Bálor, Talented Comics Creators, Variety of Exhibitors, Cosplayers, Robust Programming At David L. Lawrence Convention Center

     

    PITTSBURGH, October 2016 read more

    Ript Apparel – $11 Tshirts For Geeks and Gamers – New Designs Every Day

    Deadpool Tshirt from Ript Apparel
    Deadpool Tshirt from Ript Apparel

    I just discovered a great new website for Geeky Tees. The prices start at just $11 – although they do charge more for some designs, or for plus sized clothing. They offer both men and womens, and even youth clothing. They also have hoodies and lots of other goodies. Here are a few of my favorite designs. You can click on any of the pictures to go to the Ript Apparel website where you can see how the shirts look on an actual live model.

    They have a really cool Exclusive Deadpool X The Walking Dead T-shirt. Deadpool is so hot right now.

    The one thing I noticed is that their selection of sizes could use some improvement. If you’re a man – they’ve got you covered with sizes going all the way to 5XL. However, if you’re a woman, the sizes only go to 2XL. I’ve seen other sites that go to Women’s 3x or even 4x. And on the opposite end of the body diversity scale – they do not offer Extra Small which many of their competitors have. Luckily I can fit within the range of sizes they offer – but if you’re larger – or smaller – you might have better luck else where.

    Despite that one small snaffu – the site has a lot of appeal. Their prices are far more competitive than similar sites, and they have new designs every day.

    Today they have an awesome Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tee. Which also happens to be exclusive. (Among a lot of other awesome designs – but being born in the 80s, I found this design the most appealing myself.)

    Some of their other designs totally speak to 90s kids (like myself). They have cool Mashups like DBZ (or Deadpool) and Fresh Prince of Bellaire or Minions and Dr Who. They also have childhood favorites such as AH! Real Monsters.

    I think my favorite one though is this ADORABLE (KAWAII!!!) Lego Deadpool Chimichunga Tshirt!! I’m totally buying this one when I get paid. I Love, love, love the color and how cute it is! OMG!.

    While going through their site – I also noticed they have completely different designs for Women and Men’s tees – including their Exclusive line up. Both of the Deadpool shirts featured in my blog post here are available only in Women’s. – I kinda like this fact 🙂 I feel like they’re aiming designs and characters directly to us geeky girls. I haven’t seen this approach used on other graphic tee sites so it’s just an extra layer of awesome. Of course though it’s a double edged sword as some of the men’s designs I wish were also available as women’s and there may be men who want the designs on the women’s tee, like the first Deadpool X The Walking Dead shirt in my post – or heck – even the Lego one. Who says Men can’t be Kawaii? LOL. And men definitely love Legos and Deadpool and chimichungas.

    Still, the neat, exclusivity of their tshirt designs is really awesome. Some designs only stay available for one day. This makes me want to buy more! It’s definitely worth checking out each day to see what their new designs are. You can jump to any of the shirts pictured here by clicking on their picture, or browse their whole collection at www.riptapparel.com

    Top 10 Subscription Boxes for Geek Girls

    Subscription boxes are taking over the internet. If you’ve never heard of such a thing, you must be living under a rock. The basic premise is you subscribe by paying a monthly fee and you get a box full of monthly goods delivered to your doorstep (or digitally in the case of a few subscription services out there). You don’t get to choose the items inside, so it’s like Christmas, or a birthday, opening a box and being surprised every month. How exciting! Of course, you run the risk of not liking what’s inside either though so it’s a gamble. They have boxes for everything from beauty products, to cat toys, dog treats, and yes, even anime and gamer and geeky boxes too.
    This post has been modified but not “updated” to introduce new boxes, or remove boxes which may no longer be available on the market – since its original publication in December 2015. When I initially wrote this post, it was based on “second hand” research, such as watching box opening videos, reading reviews, looking at photos, visiting the websites, etc. However, over the course of 2016, I have personally tried and purchased several of these subscriptions. To see some of the boxes I’ve reviewed look here: http://geekysweetie.com/category/review/subscription-box-review/

    I would also like to take a moment to give a “shout out” to Boxychan since I did not know about it in my original post below. It is my favorite anime subscription box. I’m currently signed up with their 9 month program at $28 a month. You can read my Boxychan review here http://geekysweetie.com/boxychan-anime-box-june-unboxing-photos-review-monthly-subscription-box-anime-manga-fans/:

    And one final shout out to Pusheen Box – I signed up in Spring and am still signed up and expecting the summer box to ship at any time. You can see my Spring Pusheen box review here:

    http://geekysweetie.com/pusheen-box-spring-pusheen-box-box-opening-review/ read more