I've been wanting to attend a Power Morphicon since the idea was first conceived. For those that don't know, Power Morphicon is a biennial Power Rangers and tokusatsu-themed convention, which takes place at various convention halls in the state of California. The first Power Rangers convention, took place in Los Angeles, in 2007. It celebrated fifteen years of Power Rangers on the air at the time, from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to Power Rangers Operation Overdrive. There have been five other conventions since then, with a seventh convention planned for 2020, which will take place in Anaheim, California.
For years, the only way to get even get a taste of this many things Ranger would be to travel to California, and while I'd love to do that, traveling alone to a Power Ranger convention is not on the top of my list of priorities. So, when I heard the crew was hitting the road, my interest was officially piqued. Let me introduce you to Power Morphicon Express. This traveling two-day show is a new joint business endeavor between veteran convention show runner Scott Zillner and Power Rangers mega-star and veteran actor Jason David Frank. And with the first stop being in my backyard, you know I had to make an appearance.
I've attended a few events at this particular location, and parking is always good at the Pasadena Convention Center. So, while I can't necessarily applaud Zillner and crew for the parking situation, I can say that having the expo take place in Pasadena rather than downtown Houston was a solid choice. It was nice being able to walk to and from my car without having to dodge the ubers around every corner.
The staff was extremely helpful. They were easily accessible and knowledgeable. Literally, every exchange I overheard was resolved with ease and, on top of that, every member of staff just seemed happy to be there. I've attended many conventions over the years, and this isn't always the case. I welcomed this change of pace, especially when a staff member had no issues letting me use his bottle opener. Good times.
To give you some back story here, Michael Copon did an Indiegogo campaign back in 2015. While his project didn't get funded, he still raised quite a bit of money. Money that didn't go towards the project that it was meant to. Because of which, everyone, myself included, that contributed to this project didn't receive any of the promised perks. Thanks to PMCX I was able to discuss this issue with Copon face to face. Not only did he offer me anything off of his table to make it right, but he also discussed openly the issues he faced with the project. Oddly enough, he just e-mailed me, so his promise to keep me updated on what he's working on seems to be holding up.
As far as vendors go, there wasn't much variety. While most of the convention space was occupied by celebrity guests, the rest of the convention consisted of a handful of artists and a few overpriced action figure peddlers. So, because of which, if you weren't there to see the celebrities, or if you were like us and only wanted to see a couple, you could walk through and take in the entire expo in less than an hour.
Speaking of vendors, we couldn't find one selling children's shirts. There were seas of XXLs, but I found it a bit weird that all the kids being dragged to this thing were just out of luck. I get it, this event is meant more for adults, or at least that who is going to spend the most money, but us adults want our kids to like the things we like, so the fact that I couldn't find one mini-me shirt, even from the official Power Morphicon vendor, made me question my sanity. And when I question my sanity, I tend to look for alcohol. Speaking of which, where was the alcohol? Again, who is this convention for?
I heard about this event a while ago, and when I did I immediately hit up the internet to apply for press passes. I never heard anything back. I tried messaging through Facebook, I tried contacting the website. I reached out multiple times with no response. It wasn't until that I heard Jason David Frank on the radio that I thought I'd give it one final go. This time I heard something back, and in fewer words, I was told that I was shit outta luck. I've never dealt with someone as rude as whoever was on the other side of that e-mail. I'm not exaggerating when I saw that I almost didn't attend the event because of the brief online exchange.
I ended up back on the PMCX Facebook, and I saw a request for a Japanese translator. I already had a bad taste in my mouth because of the recent press dispute, and when I saw that the convention was grasping for the proverbial translator straws... the day before the event, I felt some sort of weird pleasure overcome me. Looking back, it is possible that someone canceled last second, but based on the way I was treated, it wouldn't surprise me if there was a disagreement that led to PMCX making the desperate Facebook advertisement.
As I stated earlier, depending on what you were there to see, you could easily walk the entire show floor in less than an hour. That being said, I think $40 for a Saturday pass is a bit steep for a show of this size. I've never had to pay for a comic guests signature, so when Kyle Higgins requested $20 after he had just taken a photo of my shirt to share with his friend, I was a bit taken aback. It'd be one thing if he hadn't just taken my photo, but I mean, he's not Rob Liefeld! Also, as much as I love Steve Adreno, I can remember when he was asking $5 a signature only so he could donate the money to his church. Times. Have. Changed.
The panel we attended for Power Rangers Time Force was a lot of fun, and talking to Mike O'Laskey (Check out the interview HERE) about his career was fantastic, but while we had a great time navigating through the nostalgia, it was hard to look past the obvious cash grab that is PMCX. The prices weren't reasonable at all, and when a convention is giving away posters with blank spaces for autographs, with even the smallest guests charging for a signature, it's not a good look. In conclusion, we had a good time, but I don't think my wallet will allow us to attend the next one.