April 13-15, 2012
Story & Photos by:  Chris "Darth" Spice

 

SANDTROOPERS ON A MISSION!
There are a lot of words one could use to sum up the experience of driving into the city of Chicago. If the reward is making it into the McCormick Place Convention Center for the pop culture phenomenon known is C2E2, then no question we won't have to mention any foul language for the sake of our young recruits. I have attended all three years of this event and it has seen some incredible growth spurts in that short time. We scaled our operations back tremendously and decided to conduct a charity raffle with the help of our good friends at Sideshow Collectibles, Gentle Giant, Dave Dorman, and a super cool print from Matt Busch donated by one of our Premium Membership Program members. There were many celebrities attending throughout the weekend, but Anthony Daniels was the lone representative from the Star Wars saga. 

We positioned our Battle Station near the 501st Legion / Midwest Garrison booth. It was actually much easier explaining what Sandtroopers.com is having them right next door. We directed each other in the proper direction, making everyone that passed by was aware of our raffle, as well as the Droid Hunt they were conducting that offered a ton of great Star Wars prizes too! We also had the support of the Midwest Base, the branch of the Rebel Legion based in Illinois. There were a couple of Star Wars related events that I missed Saturday. The Anthony Daniels Q & A was very entertaining from what I was told, but we were doing so well with ticket sales, I didn't dare leave the table. In fact the only time I found myself away from the booth was Saturday morning when I spent several hours in costume and participating in the Midwest Garrison Droid Hunt. I would have liked to go a little longer but I forgot to detach my battery cables so the fans in my helmet died faster than normal! Another big miss for me was the Imperial Academy event the Midwest Garrison put on for the kids. The mini Trooper training course was a huge success and they had a line that ran nearly to the parking garage!

When we went into our weekend mission, I could have never expected to average per day what I'd hoped to total for the three-day event. The Battle Station may have been missing a couple of the props that I'm used to seeing, but nobody really seemed to notice. We really have to thank everyone who stopped by and contributed to our charity raffle and I was floored we were able to donate $1560 to the Baby Leah fund. This event is now the ultimate pop culture event in the Midwest. The growth rate is unprecedented for any show I've ever attended and the most advertised as well. The crew at Reed Pop does a great job and there's no doubt you're going to make C2E2 part of your yearly convention schedule going forward. We would also like to thank each and every one of our sponsors and affiliates for helping us bring the Battle Station to this event. With a jump of ticket sales by 44%, I can only wonder how much they'll increase next year. The great thing is we can learn from this experience, and only prepare for bigger and better next year. United We Find!

PHOTO GALLERY
Check out the photo galleries from Friday , Saturday and Sunday !