Convention Impossible: Omni Expo 2016

DISCLAIMER: THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON OPINION AND OBSERVATION! PLEASE RESPECT THE THOUGHTS and feelings of the one writing this review. If you don[‘t like, don’t read it!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Well, another convention has passed where we done press and it’s time for Convention Impossible for Omni Expo 2016! Yay! This year was new location, new guests, and new interviews as well! So, we got a lot of new experiences from this convention and had a lot of fun! Let’s see what I think and if it is a Convention Accomplished, Complete, or, doubt it would be, Aborted?

Hotel: Too bad this convention was not at the Rosen Center this year even though that was a nice place, but of course a convention does grow out of its location like Holiday Matsuri had. This year it was at the Double Tree across from Universal and man it was a very good choice! How so? Well, it was all in one building versus more than one like the one near SeaWorld. The only thing I wished some of the conventions and hotels would do is to put up signs to indicate the location they are at instead of people guessing where to go if they aren’t staying at the location, especially if you are at a huge location with a lot of levels to it like the World Center back in year one. What was also weird was that some of the parking lots were blocked off and like with the sign thing, no signs to show where to park either. Yet again, signs please and thank you. We did get to have free parking even if we had to be in the Kobe Steakhouse parking area which it looked like where we parked was in there. Hey, better than nothing. Speaking of restaurants, there were restaurants where you could walk to and we did that Friday night with GOlden Corral since it was right there and we did drive to other places nearby which was very convenient. I hope they stay at this hotel for next year if they are doing another one because it is so easy to navigate inside for one thing, everything was in one place than having to walk building to building to get to events like how the Ramada near Kissimmmee was with JACON and the Double Tree with MythiCon near SeaWorld, especially with how unpredictable Florida weather is where it’s hot, it’s been seasonably cold which is good, and of course rainy even around summer if they decide to move the dates. I also heard that Spooky Empire was at that same one and can see why they hold it there. I also liked the set up with the vendor’s room and Artist’s Alley being in two different rooms which we don’t have to go far in the vendor’s room to find artist’s alley. I didn’t get to see it so much but knew where it was. Then there were smaller rooms near the bathroom area for viewing rooms, gaming, both tabletop which was a first, and video gaming. There was also a smaller panel room as well for open discussions which was also fun and that was the Sci-Fi room.

Vendor’s Room: Since I mentioned vendor’s room in the Hotel section, it was pretty nice and well…not many vendors this year like the last. I did have a bit more money this year and was hoping to find some of the vendors from Holiday Matsuri to buy from besides the Japanese Snacks guy, which I will get to him next, but there weren’t that many! I think it was also because of ConjureCon taking place that Saturday and Sunday. I just hate it whenever I have a bit more money to spend this year that there is not much. I did get three items and it shows since I tend to go spend crazy at these things but not so much even with limited space in my room. What did I get? Well, one thing is a sleeping Raichu beanie baby! There was a stand that sold imported plushies of Pokemon, Digimon, and many other items and man there was a lot! You know me I do love Pokemon and have been collecting plushies of them and now got back to the card game which I have braille labels on my decks. At first I almost bought a Skitty plushie that had a face going “Nya!” It was so cute! You know me and cats and even have a Skitty on my team in Alpha Sapphire. But Gondras had to break me and it was with a Sleeping Raichu! What do I mean by this? Well, at the Pokemon Center stores lately there has been versions of the Pokemon plushies like they are lseeping and they have the little animated faces to show they are sleeping. They mostly did it in the Ty Beanie Baby style and have Pokemon such as Mew, the Evees, Cyndaquil, and of course, my all time fave, Raichu! It is sooooo cute! If you find these anywhere with your fave Pokemon or go to the Pokemon Center website, get them! I will get Skitty another time if I see this dealer and hoping I have more in my money pouch since she also sold the Cosplay Pikachu plush of him as Lucario. I wish they made one of Lugia since that was my fave legendary.

Now onto the other place where I bought from and that is my buddy Mr. Japanese Snacks! Hey, made a new name! I bought cheesecake flavored Lucky Chocolates! I heard about these before a long time ago actually and seen videos of people having them and they are basically chocolates that spell out “Lucky” and they are packaged in the style of Hershey bars but they are already separated for you. He had many flavors but the cheesecake ones appealed to me like crazy! They do taste like cheesecake but with a hint of fruitiness. I want more of these because I love Japanese chocolates a bit more than American ones except for Ghiradelli, I love that brand the most and if I end up as a guest and ask for gifts for fans to bring (which I hear stories about), Ghiradelli is my number one. Anyways, the main thing I bought from him was all thanks to PikaBelleChu! She posted back around January a picture of a tin of Pokemon cookies that has Pikachu and a few other Pokemon on it and I asked her on Facebook, “Where can I get them?” She told me that only the Pokemon Center in Japan has it and was kind of sad but then realized that I knew Mr. Japanese Snacks and shoot him an email and he said he was going back to Japan in February and will drop by the Tokyo one and get me a tin. I was happy! What made it more fun of the story is that he was at another convention before Omni and had it on display! An attendee sees it and asks for it and he tried telling them nicely it was for someone else and the person begged him because you can’t get this anywhere in the US and this tin is made for the 20th Anniversary for Pokemon. He sold it and did ask his buddy to overnight him another tin and glad he did! It was $15 but worth the pretty penny because you can’t find this unless you’re in Tokyo. The flavor he got me was mil tea and they are DELICIOUS! My patience was very rewarded and of course will keep the tin since it is gorgeous. I suggest if you see Mr. Japanese Snacks, buy from him! He gets very good stuff from Japan and does go back for more of it. All in all, there should be more vendors for this convention, hoping next year!

Guests: Oh man, this year’s special guests were awesome! They did get Austin Tindle back and of course everyone remembered the shouting his name multiple times from last year. I wasn’t expecting the panels they put on being very fun! Maybe I should talk about that here as well since they were very entertaining with what we went to!

RJ Heady was a blast to see! We went to interview him and found his display at the signing area and didn’t know he also made a Mrs. Doubtfire costume! He even does a very awesome impersonation…I bet you’re wondering who? First, RJ Heady was the fan favorite during Face Off in Season Two and if you have seen that season, that was with the Tim Burton challenge where the contestants had to do a Tim Burton version of certain people like the toymaker, baker, and what he got was the bell hop. I don’t want to spoil that for you since he talked about it in detail in the interview and I would say search for videos of that challenge if you’re curious. While Mrs. Doubtfire on the other hand, if you were a 90’s kid like I was, it was the movie where Robin Williams took on a nanny persona, which was a very funny flick. If you guys want to stay tuned for the interview, he was a very nice guy and very awesome to talk to about visual effects stuff since that was a major first to do for Nerdy Shique Universe and made sense due to how I mention makeup from drugstores and highend for cosplay. If you seen my cosplays, that is where you see some of the stuff I used.

Brian Beacock was another guy we interviewed and was funny is that he never played Cards Against Humanity and there was a panel where some of the guests played with the Co-Head of Omni at a game of it. Oh man, it was hilarious at first but then died a bit down. It was fun seeing him reading some of the ridiculous stuff and he was awesome interviewing him. I got to learn more about his background and the series he is working on called Acting Dead. We will have that video and the links to that website up for you when it does go up.

Jeff Perazzo and Kevin Duhaney were the Power Ranger guests and of course our first Power Rangers interview ever. I was glad that two of the Dino Thunder rangers were there since we get to see any of the Disney year rangers, even though the SPD cast was at Ranger Stop last year. Also AFO did get JDF for many years. Still, awesome to know that this convention got these guys to Orlando and they never been until now. We did get to learn a little more about the series in the interview and during a panel that took place when we got back to the con on Saturday and got to know about their own movie project. Stay tuned for that as well! And of course, we did attend a Dino Thunder commentary panel where we got to see their favorite epsodes and talk about the series and interesting enough, I did tell them about Linkara’s History of the Power Rangers since they never seen it. Now they know who he is.

Paul St. Peter was the last voice actor guest which made the convention an all round experience! Even though we didn’t get to interview him since it would be tough knowing what to ask him but able to do that during his voice acting panels. We attended his Villains of Paul St. Peter panel, VOicemaker panel, Pirate Curses, and Voice Performance and man they were awesome and interesting! With Pirate Curses, it was more about the history of pirates and how they came to be. He even was dressed in pirate garb and had the voice to fit! Oh yeah, he is not playing around! He even did a small contest where he handed sheets of paper with pirate curse sayings and some of them were pretty ridiculous when you hear them but more censored in what we tend to say today. If you see this panel in convention guide, I highly recommend it! Even keep tally if you were to make a drinking game out of it, which Gondras did and the tally was over 100! While the voice acting panels, on the other hand, were even more interesting because he was talking about the different ranges he uses, how he layers his voices like with Wormmon in Gigimon Adventure 2, and how to sound nasaly as well, he knows his stuff and how to do it well! He even had people volunteer to try out voice acting, as in doing villains and how to do advertisements and trailers by Sunday. Gondras did try it out since he does have theater experience during his high school days. I also highly recommend to go to Paul St. Peter’s voice acting panels if you’re interested in doing voice work. He also said that Todd Habercorn and Steve Blum do their own panels and of course, anyone who has been to a convention with Chris Sabat, he also does his own voice acting panels too! I would say if a voice actor do panels like these and you want to go into voice acting, go to any of these panels because it gives you pointers, trying it out, and feedback from the audience and the actor too. So glad panels like these exist and there should be more of them!

Verdict: Convention Accomplished! Yes, a third ACCOMPLISHED in a row! I almost thought about a COMPLETE due to how Friday was a bit dead but I can’t base it off of one day. I bet you’re wondering, why didn’t I go to CongjureCon? Well, I did hear that they offered free admission for Sunday but we didn’t want to leave Omni since they have been good to us and the very first convention to reach out to us for press. Plus, they also put in a good word for one of our interviews on top of it. Not only that, you can’t find voice acting panels as much at some of the other Orlando conventions nowadays and Paul St. Peter brought it and talked about it very well and we need more stuff like that since we do live in a place where Disney is around and of course a lot of studios are asking for new people. I hope Omni brings more pros like these even Steve Blum.

Needs for Improvement: Well, there were some things we did notice that need more work on and the first thing is of course more vendors. I did mention this in the MythiCon 2014 review that there weren’t many vendors that sold stuff and we seen it here. Plus, there weren’t many attendees browsing them either due to how less there are from the previous year. The main thing about a convention that a lot of attendees tend to go for is buying from vendors. I am not sure how many people went to Artist’s Alley but I think a lot were there. Still, there should be more vendors like last year and didn’t help with ConjureCon either since knowing them they may have had a vendor room too. Still, more vendors for next year.

Another thing is more security volunteers! Like Holiday Matsuri, there weren’t many volunteers on standby at the doors. I noticed it like Fox Warrior did and felt a bit weird since knowing when I did security for JACON 2009 and MegaCon 2009 that having volunteers for conventions are a big help even keeping people safe. I mean what if a mace spraying or even worse a fire broke out? People will panic and not know where to go and which exits to use if a volunteer is not there to help. I seen more volunteers at the past two Omni Expos but the lack this year kind of needs to be improved.

What I Want to See: New section! Knowing a lot of conventions like feedback in what attendees want to see for next year and since doing reviews on here would help show what I want to see as well!

Guests: I definitely want to see more voice actors appear since last year and the year before there were a lot of them. Like year one, there were a lot of variety of them ranging from Ellyn McLain from Portal to Team FourStar’s Big Three showing up. Then Year Two was all about Attack On Titan! This year, it did focus a bit more on cosplay and visual effects, but there is one more voice actor that should be brought and that is definitely Steve Blum. Why is that? Not only he is the major voice of our childhoods along with Scott McNeill but it would be awesome to see how he teaches voice acting since so many people teach differently. Chris Sabat shown it with his recording panels, Paul St. Peter did it this year with bringing different scripts to play with, I definitely want to see what Steve Blum brings!

More Open Discussion Panels: Why I am I mentioning this? Well, the thing was in the Sci-Fi room there were open discussions with people from NecroNomeCon and it was fun doing it. Of course we have the usual guest panels but having open discussions help with meeting other people and hearing their own convention experiences. Hell, even got to have fun with Doctor Who discussions. I did remember AFO 2012 having a ranting panel with how people are frustrated with certain things and I miss something like that where people talk about what they like, don’t like, and so on.

More Props and Vehicles: This year the vendor’s hall had the vehicles from Supernatural, Back to the Future, and Jurassic Park, along with props, they even had the Tardus two years in a row! That should expand a bit more and bring in the Ghostbusters mobile even since there is the reboot movie coming out and would be nice for next year.

Well, that is it for this review! So glad to do press for this convention for another year. They have been good to us and have been going through the sweat, blood, and tears to keep it going! I know the feeling, I write this blog as well and it can be hard. We did get to meet and interview great people and even had fun afterwards since we haven’t hung out with anyone after conventions end in many years. Heck, I still remember CiCi’s Pizzeria being our after convention spot and during convention spot for food. We need more of that! I am hoping 2017 brings another and that we get to do press again or even more stuff along with it.

What is next? The clips from Opening Ceremonies!

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