Last year I blogged about my amazing day out at Kupocon Mind the Pom. Kupocon is a Final Fantasy fan event made by fans, for fans of the amazing game series that is Final Fantasy.
Kupocon 2018 Pomingham Palace
This year Kupocon returned once again to London with tickets selling out in less than 24 hours. Over 600 Final Fantasy fans descended on The Royal National Hotel in London to celebrate and unite in their love of all things Final Fantasy.
A quick reminder for those of my blog readers who don’t know what Final Fantasy is…
WHAT IS FINAL FANTASY?
Final Fantasy is a mainly RPG game series that debuted in 1987 on the NES. Changes in gameplay have happened throughout the years but the series has a massive fan following. I started playing Final Fantasy VII when I was 15 and was besotted with it. Never had I played anything like it and the storyline had me hooked, I’ve since played all the games in the series.
If you have never played a Final Fantasy game in your life stop reading this blog post and go and play one NOW!
I attended Kupocon with a group of like-minded Final Fantasy friends. I previously said I would cosplay this year but between running the blog, playing Final Fantasy and daily life it just never happened (sad face). Registration this year was BUSY. We arrived as early as possible but it was still mega busy even with priority registration.
As Top Tier Knights of the round ticket holders we grabbed our gold wristbands and got to met Final Fantasy VII novelist Mo Gallagher. We got a signed print copy of Mo’s new book ‘The Man In The Black Coat’. Mo was as friendly as ever and remembered us from last year. Seeing as we were unable to stay for the evening celebration last year I was impressed that anyone had noticed us from last years Kupocon. My book has taken pride of place on my dedicated Final Fantasy section of my bookshelf. If you want to read the book yourself you can do for free here. You can also keep up to date with Mo’s project on Facebook.
Next step was to take our seats. As Knights of the round ticket holders we had the luxury of reserved seating right at the front of the panel. Sam and I managed to grab exactly the same seats that we sat in the previous year at Kupocon Mind the Pom. I’d definitely try to purchase top-tier tickets again, just for the reserved seating alone.
Whilst waiting for the ceremony to start we came across many familiar faces from last year. Kupocon is no ordinary fan event. The fans attending are the friendliest people who I have ever met. It was so wonderful to catch up with so many people as well as make so many new friends over the day and evening (but more on the evening later!)
Wall Market this year got a serious upgrade! An entire room of Kupocon was dedicated to merchants selling the most amazing wares. I’d set myself a budget for wall market but went immediately over before Kupocon even got underway (whoops). Possibly one of my favourite purchase was this amazing hand painted bag from the owner of Etsy shop Sarmander’ Stuff. My friend Sam was the lucky purchaser of some gorgeous hand painted Moogle canvas top shoes. I’m going to get myself a pair commissioned in my size as they were so cool. The siganture you see at the bottom (that I managed to smudge, grrr was an addition from Adam Croasdell one of the guests at Kupocon).
Another of my favourite online stores was on Wall Market this year, Chibi Panda. Chibi Panda had the most amazing Final Fantasy imported goods. I couldn’t resist picking up this cute Moogle light and Final Fantasy headphones
There was countless other stalls featuring the most amazing fan art, badges, magnets, charms, crocheted Chocobo’s and giant square Moogle, Chocobo and Cactuar cushions. Next Kupocon I will have to save up even more money to buy everything I want. Almost all of the merchants were in Cosplay too which added to the magical aura of Wall Market. Talking about Cosplay…..
I cannot talk about kupocon without talking about Cosplay. I don’t think I could even mention all my favourite cosplay’s I saw here. A special shout out to the extremely cute baby moogle and little girl I saw dressed as a Chocoobo, both costumes were ridiculously cute! Also a huge shout out to Vicky of RinoaFreya Cosplay for the most amazing Ultimecia I have ever seen. I only briefly got to talk to Vicky in the evening and was tipsy to say the least. I don’t think I actually managed to tell Vicky just how great her cosplay was.
As last year I tried to grab a photo of everyone who lined up for the Cosplayer Catwalk, an event for Cosplayers to show off their amazing cosplays. This year there was so many to capture a few of my pictures were too blurry and didn’t make the cut. I managed to capture almost everyone that did the Catwalk, check out the video below for just a selection of the amazing cosplay on show.
As a KOTR ticket holder it meant we got upgraded loot plus a very swish blue bag emblazoned with a rather cute mail Moogle too. As with previous Kupocons there was a complete new set of Tri Pom cards to collect. Last year I managed to collect every single card. This year I for lack of a better word sucked at my card collecting. Having blown a lot of my budget at Wall Street it meant I decided to not attempt to collect all 105 cards – well for now anyway!
The book of Mog was back with a whole bunch of new quests to get rewards in the form of cards or Gil. A very cute commemorative ticket with Pomingham Palace artwork, a download for Mogzart volume one, a Kupocon Gen 2 pencil and some Gil was also included. The Gil in my photo is what I ended up coming home with (not how much KOTR ticket holders got included in their loot bags!). You’ll also spot a Chocobo Crystal Hunt card game included. This was my gift from the brilliantly thought out ‘Secret Sephiroth that attendees could take part in. A bit like secret Santa you brought along gift worth at least £10 and then could exchange for another random gift bag. I was thrilled with my gift as it was actually very similar to what I had bought to gift to someone else!
Guests & Signings
A nice touch to Kupocon is the guest involvement and guest signings throughout the day. This year we were graced in the presence of
- John Campling – Motion Capture of King Regis and Ardyn Izunia
- Adam Croasdell – Voice of Ignis Scientia
- Liam Mulvey – Motion Capture and voice of Libertus Ostium
- Will Bowden – Pelna / Voice of Pruvia Colpus
Priority guest signing was available for us as top-tier ticket holders so we managed to meet everyone on quite early on in the day as well as get signatures. I picked up a set of amazing art prints and got them signed. All of the guests were so friendly (despite my inability to think of anything meaningful to ask or say to keep the conversation going).
All of the guests attended the evening session of Kupocon as well. I cannot think of any convention that would have the guests so involved, whilst allowing everyone to mingle with them. Another reason to love Kupocon even more!
I especially enjoyed chatting to Jon Campbell and Liam Mulvey. When i say chatting to them I mean awkwardly blurting out complete nonsense. I dread to think how many times Adam Croasdell was asked to say his famous line from Final Fantasy XV……
Pomingham Palace was filled with fun events an panels just as Mind The Pom was last year. This year there was even a marriage proposal, which i sadly only managed to film the end of. I’ve featured below some of the most memorable moments of the day for me.
Chocobo Range Extreme
This year Chocobo range got an upgrade and became Chocobo ranch extreme! I was selected as a runner for our team. My goal was to pick up balloon from the room behind the seated crowd and throw them into the crowd. The crowd in turn would bat the balloons down to Nerdstrodamus to pop them and find the gems inside. Which ever team had the most gems won a coveted Tri Pom Fat Chocobo card.
I ran as fast as my little legs could take me (I surprised myself how fast I could run seeing as I’ve done almost zero cardio since my last kid was born). But in the end it wasn’t enough and the other team beat us!
I loved Yevon Yoga last year so I was stoked to see it back again. It was great to take some peaceful time out of a busy day to complete some much-needed chill out yoga time led by a real yoga instructor. Completing the Yevon Yoga session netted me the Seymour Tri Pom card!
Mo Gallagher gave a book reading from his latest book that I had netted a copy of in my KOTR loot bag. There’s something special about listening to a story being read by the author themselves. You can hear the tension and emotion in the script in a way that I probably wouldn’t deliver when reading the book to myself. I managed to grab a clip of the start of the reading.
A massive highlight of the day was the FFXV panel held with all of the guests taking questions from the audience. Questions varied from all important beard care!? , best victory poses and of course THAT line from Ignis in Final Fantasy XV (see below!)
I managed to be late to the start of the closing ceremony so was right at the back to watch, making me even more grateful for being able to sit at the front for the remainder of the day. The closing ceremony saw several awards being given out to outstanding members of the community and cosplay awards. The Nobleman Cosplay awarded to this awesome Dragoon Cosplay
The cosplay award as decided by the event runners was this awesome Moogle costume (the same cosplayer that I had given by people’s choice vote to).
Dan Seto Community Manager from Square Enix (wow) attended Kupocon and gave away some very rare and highly coveted prizes during the closing ceremony. A massive congratulations to anyone who was lucky enough to win (sadly not me but I have my fair share of competition wins!)
Last years Mind The Pom I sadly missed the evening event so I was glad to make up for it this year by drinking probably twice as much as I should have. Most of the evening was a blur (I have photos and videos to prove this). The evening event format followed a quiz, another marriage proposal (awwww!!), Nerdstrodamus Tri Pom rap with raining Gil and several Kingas (a giant conga initially led by King Regis)
I met some amazing people during the evening event who I hope I can stay in contact with and meet up with again at my next Kupocon. The evening was a mash up of conga lines, pizza, shoving as much gil as I could into my top and talking to absolutely anyone I had previously recognised from last years London Kupocon. If you’re one of the people I spoke to then thank you for being awesome and listening to me drunken ramble about Final Fantasy.
Kupcon High and Lows
There were so many highs from my day and evening to Kupocon. The fans, volunteers, guests and everyone involved in Kupocon make the event a joy to be at. From the on point presenting from Nerdstrodamus, the organisation skills from Alex the creator and organiser to the comradeship and love from the entire Kupocon community I think this will be an event I will be attending for life.
There was also one very sad moment during the days proceedings. Nerdstrodamus the Youtubers who have supported Kupocon since the beginning announced they would be stepping down and talking a break from Kupocon for while. As much as i was upset by this (these guy’s rock and have made all Kupocon’s beyond epic) I understand why they are taking time out and wish them all the very best. I really hope to see them again eventually at another Kupocon one day.
The Next Kupocon..
I am having some serious Kupocon withdrawals and am desperately trying to find out when I will be able to attend another Kupocon. There’s another UK event happening in September this year named Kupocon Pomathon. As the event is in Birmingham I sadly won’t be able to attend. My husband however is actually very keen to possibly visit a Kupocon based in Canada one day and bring the kids with us! However for now I’m sitting with bated breath waiting to hear if another London date will be announced eventually…..
I’m going to leave you with some of my favourite pictures I grabbed during the day below. If you’re hungry for more, I’ve also uploaded all of my videos to a Kupocon playlist on Youtube, or hit up the Kupocon Community Facebook group to chat to the nicest bunch of Final Fantasy fans you’ll find anywhere on the net. Did you attend Kupocon, are there any other fan events quite like this? Let me know in the comments below!