It started at 4:30, Saturday morning, I woke up to go to a little convention called Toy Fair. This is a story all about how I covered my first event as press.
After breakfast, an hour in the car, and an hour and a half on the train, Bob and I were in New York City, headed towards the Javits Center for a 9 o’clock appointment with Mezco Toyz. But, before we hit the floor, the moment I have been waiting for since I got my degree in Journalism: my first press pass.
All during my schooling, I wrote about that moment, the feeling of being a real and recognized journalist, and I was finally validated by something other than my university. I was accepted by an event as press, and that meant that all my hours spent crafting, editing, and re-writing were worth it: I am a journalist. That piece of paper with my name on it is like the first dollar earned hung up in a restaurant, an end and a beginning. The end of seeking vindication and the beginning of a career.
But, that Saturday was also my first time at Toy Fair. Just as quickly as I got my press pass that morning, Bob (AFJ's Editorial Director) and I were headed to our first event: Mezco Toyz.
It’s difficult to explain the child-like excitement mixed with a professional restraint that hung in the air around the big company booths. While Bob explained to me that this is nothing like Comic-Con, (Noting that we can actually walk to where we need to without pushing through a crowd) it still had that feeling of wonder for the unknown, but specifically for toys.
There was no cosplay, (though there were people dressed up, and there were people juggling) there were no lines, and there was also nothing to buy (even if you wanted to). This was a professional event, and there was hardly a moment where we stopped moving.
I was filming everything, and trying to take it all in at the same time, which believe me, was not easy. It was overwhelming how many toys there were, and we didn’t see it all. By a long shot, the Javitz center is massive and it was full. Even then, Bob and I were working late in the hotel room trying to get out everything we saw the first day and then working hard over the next week to get the rest from day two.
We saw Mezco Toyz, NECA, Super7, Funko, Diamond Select, McFarlane, Square Enix, Bluefin, and Mattel (Bob went to Hasbro alone). All that in two days, and we still missed big companies. It was exhausting and exciting, but that is what I think I was supposed to learn from Toy Fair: The Con Life is hard but rewarding. It felt amazing to produce that much content, that quickly, and to have people see it.
Thank you, Junkies, if you followed all of our Toy Fair Coverage, and if you missed anything you can see all of it in a playlist on our YouTube channel. Also subscribe so you see all our content, Unboxings, Live Streams, and Toy Hunts in the Wild! A video of Bob and I Toy Hunting in New York is on its way!