The Wingate Inn, Prospect Heights, IL
September 8, 2005
Story and Photos by Chris Spice (Darth Spice)

 

DAY 1: ONE LONE SANDTROOPER INVADES THE EXPO
The fourth mission for me to the Chicagoland Entertainment Collectors Expo was pretty interesting for this being a smaller show with a lot of bang. The Wingate Inn was a bit smaller vs. the venue last year but the room was filled up pretty nice for a day when most people can’t take off work. Agent Tweeny who has been a loyal supporter of Sandtroopers over the years accompanied me. We decided to go over the dealer room in case there was anything we decided we needed to add to our vast collections. I stopped in and visited with our friend Jim from Federation Toys and dropped off some of my gear to lighten the load. The trip through the room provided just another ride down memory lane with such vintage treasures like a B-Wing Fighter, AT-AT, Ewok Village and a variety of other carded figures. One of which was a 12-back R2-D2 that was priced at 80, but had a pretty vicious wound to the bubble so I was forced to pass. There were also many G.I. Joe, Thunder Cats, Masters of the Universe and so many of the other toy lines I loved and grew up with. There was even a couple of old Six Million Dollar Man figures and a playset I clearly remember my older brother owning. It was my living room floor in 1978 all over again!

After that it was time to walk around and mingle with some of the guests. I met Dean Mitchell for the first time and what a gentleman he was. We are looking forward to an interview with him this weekend that will be a part of our Saturday coverage. I also stopped and said hello to Felix Silla who vaguely seemed to remember our interview a couple years ago. Felix also mentioned something about an interview that is supposed to be hitting StarWars.com in the very near future so be on the lookout for that. I promised to mention it to the Troops and he vowed not to call any of his furry friends! By this time I had donned my Sandtrooper armor and I thought it was pretty funny of him to crack a joke like that. Mercedes Ngoh had caught a late flight and was not there yet and C. Andrew Nelson had to cancel due to personal reasons. Bob May was also there with an exact replica of the robot from Lost in Space the TV series. Mr. May was only in for Friday only and wouldn’t let me get a shot of the Robot without purchasing a photo for $40. There was a voice in the back of my wallet screaming “Danger, Danger”! While I do have a big heart for charity, I just couldn’t part with that kind of money so early in the day. Whatever I’d spend would have to say Kenner on it! After a couple of more laps around the room, it was time to suit down and try to beat out traffic. There were sure to be many Dewbacks on the highway! Overall I have to say I do like the smaller shows just as much as the larger events. They aren’t as expensive, you don’t get as tired walking all over and you get a chance to actually speak to the guests and do feel the need to move along! If any of you Troops are in the immediate area, please stop by and visit this weekend! United We Find!

PHOTO GALLERY
To see the photo gallery containing 23 photos click here.

EXTRA COVERAGE
Check out day 2 coverage here and Boba Binks' bonus coverage here.