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Posted By Andrew

Steel City Con: Reviews, thoughts and more


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The Pittsburgh region has become synonymous with conventions. The Pittsburgh comic book convention is one of the largest on the east coast of the country, and while it is only a fraction of the size of a San Diego or Chicago con it is still an impressive gathering. Although it only occurs once a year there is a plethora of other gatherings in the area, often at the same venue. One of which is the Steel City toy and comic convention.

Steel Con began as a fraction of the size of the Pittsburgh comic con but due to what seems to be a booming interest it has grown immensely. Since I moves away form the area I haven’t been able to attend any conventions, but since my last trip Steel City expanded to a size able to feature the entire Monroeville Convention Center.

After such a long hiatus from these conventions I have finally found the time to visit once more. This time however I was able to bring my daughter along and we shared the experience together. I was planning to dress up in some fashion as per my usual, but I remembered how difficult it was to ambulate with a proton pack strapped to my back. So instead I went with a Zoolander shirt and instead encouraged my daughter to dress up.

She’s four and obsessed with Disney princesses and so she simply grabbed a Tangled dress and we were off. She was more excited about seeing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles after the convention, but she still had a decent time. I think we have something that the two of us will do together for a very long time.

We were only able to go on Friday, the opening night which ended up being a good decision as it wasn’t as packed with consumers. Apparently Saturday walking traffic was shoulder to to shoulder.

Price of Admission

The price per person to get into the convention was $15 which is a good deal. That’s ten less than the Pittsburgh comicon and my daughter was allowed in free of admission. Absolutely no complaints with this fee.

Vendors

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There were a lot more vendors tables and many of them had some very interesting toys and games. I am not currently in the market for collectible items that need to stay in a box or on display.

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A few years ago I would have probably dropped $500 on toys and collectibles of this caliber, but now I am looking for loose toys. Stuff that my kids and I can play with and not be worried about damaging them during play time.

For as many neat things that I saw there were ten overpriced items. Some of these vendors have their prices inflated so high that we would check ebay for price comparisons. Even when I did purchase the mint and boxed collectible I never spent as much as I would have this time around.

Many of the vendors had displayed carny like tactics as well and was an overall turn off. Everything Guardians of the Galaxy related was at least $45 and more. My daughter wanted a Rocket Raccoon toy so badly and I ultimately paid the $40 dollars for it, but it is something I can see in a crane machine.

The Cosplayers

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Cosplay has only grown in popularity and I was pleasantly surprised at how many people showed up at Steel City in character on opening day no less. One of the selling points for my daughter was that she would be able to meet superheroes and she was able to take pictures with Batman and Spiderman.

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The Batmobile (and other iconic cars)

Something that has grown in popularity at the Steel City Convention is people bringing in their replicas of iconic vehicles from film and tv. Advertised here was were cars from Batman, Back to the Future, The Munsturs, Ghostbusters and more. Lizzy was really excited to have a picture taken inside of the Batmobile and to be honest I was too. I thought it would be a really cool picture to have and a great memory for her. The advertisements even assured that customers could have pictures taken inside of the vehicles and showed pictures of people from past conventions sitting inside the cars.

However once we found the Batmobile and paid the $10 dollars required for a photo the guy said she couldn’t sit inside. So She stood in front of the car, and I still took the picture. She was still happy to have a pic with the car. This really upset me though. It was definitely false advertising and the guy had such an arrogance about him. It was clear immediately that he wasn’t a fan. This guy was nothing more than a dick ripping people off. He had two people dressed as Batman who would pose in the photo for another $10 dollars. I noticed that one of these Batmen was the one pictured above, who took a picture with us for free already.

Despite me really wanting to tell this guy to F off and I didn’t want to give him a penny I went ahead and let Lizzy take her picture and I am glad I did because of how happy it made her.

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The Comics

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I have been adding to my collection for a while now. A few years ago I had sold my comic collection and since then I have slowly, though more aggressively now, been rebuilding. There weren’t as many good paperback deals as I would have liked. I usually seek out back issues and graphic novels and I found one vendor that had some really good deals on graphic novels. These racks show each book that costs only $2. There’s a lot of Marvel Now books as well as more. I ended up spending $20 dollars here on Hardback graphic novels and I even spent $6 on some hardback fiction as well. I have been reading the lot and will review them on here after.

There weren’t many vendors for comics, but this one totally made up for it and I would have spent more here if I didn’t have a date with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to keep with Lizzy.

Grade

Overall I had a really good time despite not spending as much as I had wanted to. Lizzy also had a good time and made out with a few (very expensive things). She had bought a frozen plush that came up missing and I was able to rebuy it for the same price. It annoyed me that someone would take someone elses stuff, but like I said these vendors are worse than carneys anymore.

I had a decent lot of comics that I ended up with and anyone that we asked for pictures were happy to pose with us. I was able to see a lot of cool stuff and come up with better ideas of what I am going to look for at the next one. Lizzy bought some loose TMNT figures and that alone was worth the trip.

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I believe that this was the best Steel City yet and the the first time that I thought they were on par with the Pittsburgh Comicon.

7/10


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