Fan Expo Chicago 2022 Photos, Part 2 of 4: Fandom Artifacts

Black Label me!

Now I come in a deluxe version with slightly more points of articulation! Soon to be on clearance at Target!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: this past weekend Anne and I attended the inaugural Fan Expo Chicago, the comics/entertainment convention formerly known as Wizard World Chicago, and before that the unbranded Chicago Comic Con. As a proud continuation of that chain of comic-con provenance, a 50th-anniversary logo featured in their decor and con souvenirs. Their initial guest-list game was strong enough to lure us back to the suburb of Rosemont for our first time in four years to see what we could make of this latest iteration. Would it be an all-new all-different Chicago Comic Con, or Wizard World under a bed sheet with two eye-holes poked in it?

Before we attempt any real storytime and show off our latest round of jazz-hands photos, why not run through a gallery of Stuff We Saw Around the Show Floor. In hindsight we took far fewer exhibit hall pics than expected because we’re well acquainted with what comic-con booths look like and weren’t in a constant state of mind-blown-ness. We did dawdle a bit more than usual at the handcrafted displays of two charitable fan clubs, who brought their homemade replicas of props and vehicles and whatnot, which as usual made us regret letting our own artistic skills atrophy since high school.

As any comic-con attendee might predict, one of those clubs was naturally the 501st Legion, represented by Illinois’ own Midwest Garrison, who celebrated their 25th anniversary earlier this year. The 501st presence is unmissable at nearly every con we attend, but this time they upped their Star Wars display game quite a bit. It helped that we had plenty of free time Friday, no major appointments on our docket, and felt relaxed enough to hang around a bit before the activity onslaught that would be our Saturday.

Anne on Tattooine!

Welcome to Tatooine, home of the galaxy’s most famous cargo-hold Han-Solo-putter-inner.

Anne and 501st backdrop!

Goofing off in front of geek backdrops: one of many simple pleasures the pandemic took away for a while.

action figure Anne!

Anne in classic Kenner packaging.

Black Label Anne!

Same figure but with a different head-sculpt and for three times the price.

action figure me!

Collect 15 Kenner UPC codes and mail them (plus $2000 shipping and handling) to a redemption warehouse in Pueblo for a free Me figure!

501st IG-88!

IG-88, I presume. His kind are hard to tell apart, or maybe I’m just robo-racist.

501st mouse droids!

Mouse droids sporting custom paint jobs.

501st mannequin!

UPDATED 10:00 p.m. EDT: We thought this was a custom character or someone from the newer novels Anne hasn’t read yet, but this is in fact the regalia of Baze Malbus from Rogue One, which we haven’t watched in a while. (Thanks, Reuven!)

Salacious Crumb vs. BB-8!

Salacious Crumb vs. BB-8: who wins? Now we know.

BoBa-8 and Missing poster!

Tiny bounty hunter BoBa-8 and the droids it’s looking for.

Around the corner from the 501st was another clan likewise showing off their wares and accepting donations for charity — The Finest: A G.I. Joe Costume Club. As a kid I owned far more G.I. Joe toys than I did Star Wars toys because those extra points of articulation were important to me. To me the invention of the swivel-arm battle grip was more important than home computers. Well, until seventh grade, when I sold all my Joe stuff — including the rather huge G.I. Joe Headquarters playset — to a younger neighborhood kid for thirty bucks. Anyway, The Finest seemed like nice guys, perhaps a bit awkward like me, and Anne bought a Cobra shot glass from them for her brother.

Cobra A.S.P.!

Life-size recreations of classic Joe toys included the Cobra A.S.P.

Cobra Ferret!

The Cobra Ferret, which I believe was after my time.

S.N.A.K.E. Battle Armor!

The S.N.A.K.E. Battle Armor, which I’d completely forgotten I owned till I looked this up. Ah, the weird elation of resurfaced memories.

Cobra Viper helmet!

A Cobra Viper helmet, which resembles Cobra Commander’s own, but isn’t the same thing.

…and there were other random objects around the show floor that caught our attention throughout our two-day experience. Fun times.

Jurassic Park accessories!

We’ve seen the Jurassic Park jeep at other shows (more than once) but never noticed the accessories on the inside, such as dino DNA and Newman’s shaving cream.

Senpai Squad car!

If Senpai Squad or Gamers’ Heaven are things you recognize, then this car is also your thing.

Loki BB-8

Remote-control Loki-themed BB-8 puttering around.

Mandalorian chalk drawing!

Chalk Twins were in the house drawing Grogu and the Mandalorian live. We’re embarrassed to admit we forgot to follow up on their progress.

bingo unicorn!

Inflatable bingo unicorn welcomes you to actual bingo! With prizes!

Anne and 50th column banner!

The convention that has comics and is in Chicago should start receiving its AARP membership offer any day now. Trust me, we know.

To be continued! Other chapters in this very special MCC miniseries:

Part 1: A Dash of Cosplay
Part 3: Apollo and the Clone Wars
Part 4: Stargirl and the Hobbits

3 responses

  1. Wow! Yet another great entry of MCC!! Thank you for sharing it w/the world!

    I confess to literally laughing out loud at the sight of the both of you as action figures!!1! And I’m pretty sure that there guy is neither a custom character nor someone from any of the newer novels; pretty pretty sure he’s intended to be a (clean-shaven???) Baze Malbus from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. If he’s not, well, he’s wearing his clothes and holding his gun and has an identical hairstyle.


    • Thank you kindly for the correction! We haven’t rewatched Rogue One lately and, while Chirrut Imwe burned his image and catchphrase deeply into our memory banks, somehow his mega-BFF slipped our minds. (A fake beard and some spirit gum on the mannequin face might’ve helped, but perhaps this is Young Baze?) The caption has now been corrected, as well as your little italics issue. HTML tags be quite the scalawags.


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