He may be dating himself, but Matthew Purdy is looking forward to rubbing elbows with Star Wars legendary princess Carrie Fisher again, along with The Flash star Tom Cavanagh, Doctor Who’s Alex Kingston, Lucifer’s Lesley-Ann Brandt, and several other celebrities expect at this weekend’s Fan Expo in Vancouver.
Purdy is the owner of Toy Traders in Langley, and said his local toy and collectible store will have a huge presence at the Vancouver equivalent of Comic Con this weekend.
He’s bringing a team of 15 staff to help cover a 100-foot-plus booth being set up at the three-day fiction fan convention.
It’s a venue – under the sales at the Vancouver Convention Centre, where last time more than 50,000 fans came for autographs, photos with their favourite movie and TV show stars, and a chance to see the latest in film, TV, and pop art collectibles.
In addition to having a huge chunk of his store at the show, Purdy has also arranged to have cosplayers at his booth offering to have photos taken by donation to Variety of Hearts.
This event is like having Christmas arrive early, Purdy said, who is a personal collector, as well.
This is also about more than his obsession for collecting, however. It’s also about business, he quickly acknowledged.
“For us, it’s a chance to promote the store to the Vancouver market. A lot of people don’t even realize that Canada’s largest independent toy and collectible store exists right here in Langley, at least not until they meet us at Fan Expo.”
That’s how Fisher apparently became a “big fan” of the Langley store.
Purdy met Fisher after the last Fan Expo in April 2015, and she was so impressed with Toy Traders that she autograph the life-sized carbonite of Hans Solo that Purdy has on display in his store.
He noted a big component of this year’s booths will be a special backdrop being created for him by friend and Langley artist Shane Molina. He’s created walls that speaks to many of the event patrons, and to Purdy – who among his passions admits he’s a lover of all things Star Wars.
“There is such a good energy at this event. I love the feeling there. It’s going to be awesome” he said, expecting to meet thousands of new people, but also looks forward to reconnecting with many “old friends.”
Purdy will be joining all the fellow geeks, he said, expecting to cross paths with like-minded comic enthusiasts, sci-fi fans, video gamers, and other self-labelled nerds who enjoy fantasy, horror, anime, manga, animation, toys, collectible cards, games, and so much more that is now encompassed at comic conventions and fan expo events like this one, on both sides of the 49th Parallel.
The event runs Nov. 11 to 13, with more than 500 exhibitors and numerous autographing sessions, demonstrations, Q&A sessions, and more packed into 250,000 square feet.
The show runs 2 to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Info and tickets: fanexpovancouver.com.
Caption: Langley artist Shane Molina created this backdrop that will be used at the Toy Traders’ 100-plus-foot booth at Fan Expo in Vancouver this weekend.