This past Saturday, I spent my rainy afternoon over at Galactic Con, a small (and pretty new) comic convention that’s held in Delaware. Despite its size, the con had a lot to offer, including an artist alley, vendor hall, cosplay contests, and special guests, including my favorite, the BB-8 Builders Club (they built a real BB-8 and it is ADORABLE).
But for what it’s worth, I really go to cons for one thing: shopping. There’s something about browsing through boxes filled with books and pouring over toy-laden tables that’s so exciting. And this con didn’t disappoint.
While most of the vendors specialized in American comics and retro finds, there were a few booths that catered to the anime and manga crowd. Naturally, I gravitated toward those.
At first, I was a little discouraged by the selection. A lot of the merch was from mainstream titles that I honestly don’t know too much about, like The iDOLM@STER, Super Sonico, Yuri on Ice, and My Hero Academia. But even though I don’t watch or read most of the series represented, it was still fun to look at all the products, which ranged from collectible figures and plushies to keychains and t-shirts.
The real treat, I later discovered, was to be found at a nondescript toy booth. Hidden among vintage G.I. Joe and WWE figures was a treasure trove of retro anime goods.
I saw a lot of Ultraman and Astro Boy merch, like pins and old vinyl toys. Kamen Rider goods were also common; these giant plastic action figures were a little pricey, but in superb condition. In hindsight, I really wish I brought more money!
As I looked around the booth, something on one of the shelves got my attention. I caught a glimpse of the somewhat jarring logo on the packaging and immediately thought, “No way, that’s a knockoff or something.”
But lo and behold, this was the real deal: an absolutely stunning Devilman figure:
This figure, produced in 1998 by now-defunct Japanese toymaker Uni-Five, was part of a four-figure series that included Devilman -TV Version-, Devilman -Comics Version- (this one), Devilman Lady, and Silene (or Sirene, depending on who you ask). The booth’s owner told me this was the last one he had, so yeah, of course I had to buy it.
Devilman looked pretty cool in his original packaging, but I’m no toy purist, so I took him out. Sorry, hardcore collectors. But he looks amazing on my bookshelf, and he’s going to look even better once I get my grubby little hands on the hardcover Devilman editions coming out in May.
If you’re in the Delaware area around this time next year, you should definitely check out Galactic Con. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon with friends and family. I can’t wait to go back!