The first annual Vinyl Toy Network Holiday Show was held this past Sunday (12.10.06) at the Pasadena Convention Center. Lured by the chance to get one of the 100 VTN gift bags, people lined up at least a half-hour before the 9:30 AM start time. The bag was loaded with stickers, an Alpha Cult T-shirt, several minifigs (Unipo, Qee, Invisible Plan figure), tokidoki fan, lots of magazines and more.
The turnout was quite strong and people wasted no time to start their shopping by picking up Chris Lee’s Cleabus figure — the first Urbanite released by Wheaty Wheat Studios. Chris was on-hand for this release event to sign figures and sketch for collectors. Congrats Chris!
VTN filled two rooms a larger main room (the same one used by the now dormant Qeeology) and another smaller secondary room. The vendor turnout for this first show was impressive. Nearly all of the main SoCal stores were there joined by a few toy companies including Wheaty Wheat Studios and October toys. VTN definitely lived up to its billing as an excellent vinyl shopping opportunity for the holidays.
Drawing comparisons to Qeeology seems unavoidable and natural — both shows were held at the same venue and the structure is similar, though VTN is much broader than Qeeology’s primary focus on Qees. Without a doubt, VTN has improved on Qeeology’s formula. While artists often dropped by informally to sign at Qeeology, VTN scheduled several artists to sign throughout the day as an integral part of the event. This provided collectors the rare opportunity to get signatures and sketches from multiple artists in one venue. Collectors eagerly waited in line for the chance to meet and get sketches or on-the-spot customs from Luke Chueh, Dez Einswell, Thomas Han, David Horvath, Kerry Horvath, Chris Lee, El Maz, Cameron Tiede and more. Unlike the pressure packed environment of SDCC, VTN was fairly relaxed allowing artists to take the time to complete very detailed sketches and to chat at length with their fans.
While there were very few vinyl retail outlets during the time Qeeology was run, the industry has clearly grown and now supports several retail stores in the SoCal area. It’s good to see the vendors supporting one another collectively at VTN — cooperation will be key in increasing growth.
For the first show, Vinyl Toy Network was a definite success on all three fronts — vendors, artists, and of course collectors. Here’s hoping for at least two VTN shows per year and a larger single room to maximize accessibility. Props to Wheaty Wheat Studios and 3D Retro for organizing the event. Want more pics? Click through to the full post for an eyeful 😉