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Nothing beats the '80s

I make no apologies for my love of the '80s.  I am an '80s kid through and through. In my opinion, it's the decade that had the best movies, the best music and the best clothes. Yes, I'm waiting for parachute pants with bandanas and popped collar polos to come back in style. Due to my love of "the greatest decade ever," I was stoked when I read the first Nostalgiacon80s was heading to Anaheim at the end of September.  When the weekend came, it was time to jump in the DeLorean, put on the Ray-Bans and head down I-5 to the Anaheim Convention Center.

Upon entering the Convention Center, my colleagues (Mike and Charlene from the Honeynerds blog) and I quickly spotted a table for media check-in.  I went over and talked to the lady manning the table. I mentioned I had submitted a request for media credentials for the Positive Cynicism Podcast Network (The PCPN) but had not heard any response, yes or no.  She replied they had had an issue with some emails not being sent and was certain the media request was approved.  A minute later, Mike, Charlene and myself were wearing a cool blue wristband to let everyone know we were important. At least in our own mind.  Come to find out all the media wristband allowed was early access into the convention.  If there were other perks, we couldn't find anyone to let us know.

 Once on the convention floor, we made a lap taking note of where each celebrity was positioned and scouting out merchandise to potentially buy later in the day. While there wasn't a lot of unique merchandise, there were some very nice artwork that I knew I would be leaving with once the convention shut down for the night.

Since we were in before doors opened to the general public, we saw several celebrities setting up their tables putting out 8x10s and hanging banners. One of the celebrities that caught my eye was Steve Guttenberg Mike and I are launching the Out of Touchstone podcast in November. It's a show looking at the history of Touchstone pictures breaking down every release from "Splash" to "You Again."  The "Gute" was in the Touchstone classic, "Three Men and a Baby." I got the idea to try and secure an interview with him for the podcast.

Unlike other celebrities who were positioned behind tables fans could walk up to for interaction, Steve was inside a makeshift room. While I had seen him walk into the enclosed area, it took me a good 30-45 minutes after doors opened to realize he wasn't coming out. He had sequestered himself, I'm guessing, so fans couldn't walk by and take photos without paying for them. I may be wrong but I think this may have cut into his autograph/photo business as I don't know if people realized he was available. Anyway, I went to the guy standing outside the Guttenberg compound and asked about the possibility of doing an interview. I was told I would need to talk to Steve's manager, who was inside with Steve. There was some confusion as to whether I could go in to talk or if I needed to purchase an autograph or photo. In the end, I didn't get to find out any info regarding the differences between Steve's parenting skills compared to Ted Danson's or Tom Selleck's.

Instead of trying to figure out how to break the barrier of the "Mahoney Man-Cave," I switched by attention to another Touchstone alum sitting 50 feet away.  In front of a mock-up of the cover of "Adventures in Babysitting" sat Keith Coogan. As soon as I saw a break in the line of fans in front of his station, I went over, introduced myself and said I'd be honored to have him guest on Out of Touchstone. Keith then proceeded to go on a a 3 minute information dump about the co-production company for "Adventures." He provided so interesting tidbits that I wasn't aware of and am looking forward to discussing once we get to the episode featuring the movie that taught us to never "**** with the babysitter."  Since I had my "Adventures" DVD with me, I decided to get it signed. Keith was such a great sport (and persuasive) I ended up with the DVD signed, a plate signed with the phrase "Dishes are done man!!" (brilliant gimmick) and 5 photos with Keith.  I can't recommend meeting Keith if you have the chance. Not only was he fantastic but so was his wife. Watched them interacting with fans throughout the day and they seemed pleased to talk to anyone who came to their table.

In the afternoon, there were two panels which were not too be missed. First up was Sean Astin and Corey Feldman talking about "The Goonies."  Sean started the discussion saying this was the sixth convention he and Feldman had done this year. They had heard all the fan's questions and could answer in unison. There are no plans for a Goonies sequel but everyone is hopeful it will happen. Astin and Feldman shared stories about Astoria, Oregon and the owners of the house used in the movie. The panel was going along well until it was abruptly ended when "Poorman" from KROC walked onstage and things just kind of ended.

Once the Goonies were off the stage, it was time for the the most anticipated star of the day. Fresh from 1985, Doc Brown himself, Christopher Lloyd walked out to cheers and flashbulbs from cellphones.  Christopher's presentation covered his career including what roles he wished he would have gotten (all the ones he didn't) and if there were any scenes he'd like to do over in a different way.

Even though the day was entertaining there was one moment that put a momentary damper on the convention.  Mike and Charlene decided to get a picture with Christopher Lloyd and I decided to have Sean Astin sign my "Goonies" DVD since it was already signed by Corey Feldman, Jeff Cohen, Robert Davi and Director Richard Donner.  I paid more than I would normally pay for an autograph but felt it would be worth it. When I went to Sean's table, there were two people in front of me and one behind me.  After the first two people were done, I handed the DVD to Sean who quickly grabbed a marker, signed his name and handed the DVD back. No comments. Interaction took maybe 15-20 seconds. Very underwhelming.

Speaking of autographs and photo ops, this is my biggest complaint with conventions in general and Nostalgiacon80s.  According to the Nostalgiacon website, there were around 40 celebrities in attendance.  Autographs and Photo Ops cost on average $60-80 each.  Now, no one was probably going to want an autograph of picture from every celebrity, but even if you wanted 3 or 4, you're looking at several hundred dollars. I don't know who sets the prices, nor do I know the costs involved with bringing in celebs or how the money gets distributed so I'm not going to blame anyone in particular. Just think all parties involved should take the fans into consideration when either determining costs or deciding how many celebrities to have at the convention.  If there's any celebrity reading this, my one bit of unwanted advice, even if you couldn't care less about the fans, if someone is paying to have you scribble your name on something or take a photo, act like you care. You may not remember one person after the convention is over, but the fans will remember you. Just my two cents. That's enough negativity.

As I mentioned, there was some merchandise I knew I wanted to take home. The first merchandise was 80s inspired stickers from the ABC's of the '80s booth.  I had a good conversation with Erin Campbell about her book which should be in every nursery in the country. The stickers may inspire some future tattoo thoughts.

The other piece of art was an 80s inspired poster drawn by Michael Barnard of Sunburn Designs. This will be the first piece of art to adorn my apartment walls.

Overall, Nostalgiacon was a lot of fun. There were some obvious hiccups due to being a first time event. Hopefully there will be a second event as I can see this getting bigger year to year. If there is a second event, my dream would be to build up some clout with this blog and the PCPN to be able to suggest some panels to the powers that be and have them allow me to moderate. That would be, like, totally awesome. 


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