Another year, another amazing Con.
Here at The Geekiverse, our favorite cons are in our own back yard. Buffalo & Western New York’s ultra popular Nickel City Con, presented by Dave & Adam’s Card World, is back for its second annual iteration this weekend and the amount of things to do and see can be overwhelming. I’m here to give you a checklist of sorts to help you get the most out of your weekend! The Geekiverse is a proud sponsor and you’ll be hard pressed to visit the event without seeing us.
First off, some basic details.
Where: The Buffalo Niagara Convention Center – 153 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
When: This weekend, May 19-21. Friday 3:00-8:00, Saturday 10:00-7:00, & Sunday 10:00-5:00.
Tickets: The official Nickel City Con website. Children 10 & under are free.
1. Watch A Live Panel With Your Favorite Celebrity
There is no shortage of big name celebrities from some of our favorite Geeky properties (Star Wars, Star Trek, Pirates of the Caribbean) that will be holding Panels during the weekend. Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) & William Shatner (Star Trek) are two of the headlining attractions, while sports fans (this is WNY, after all) can also see legends Joe Montana & Dwight Clark. Each Panel is scheduled for 45 minutes and features a discussion and Q & A period. What makes this even cooler is that we get to host a number of Panels throughout the weekend. The following are Panels hosted by The Geekiverse:
James Rolfe aka The Angry Video Game Nerd – Friday 7:00, hosted by Seth Zielinski
Ken Lashley – Saturday 11:30, hosted by Jeff Pawlak
Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek) – Saturday, 4:00 hosted by Pete Herr
Noah Schnapp (Stranger Things) – Saturday 6:00, hosted by Chelsey Silvus & Seth Zielinski
Martin Klebba (Pirates of the Caribbean) – Sunday 1:00, hosted by Josiah LeRoy
What’s the over/under on how many times Pete will keep from throwing up on one of his childhood heroes during his panel? For the full list of appearances, refer to nickelcitycon.com. Oh one last thing – they’re free, but limited seats are available for each.
2. Meet A Celebrity
In addition to loving Geek & pop culture and supporting your city’s Con, the chance of meeting icons from some of your favorite films and shows is one of the biggest reasons to attend a convention. Last year, I was able to meet Ray Park, who played Darth Maul in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. It was completely awesome, and so was he. Sean Astin of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Seinfeld’s The Soup Nazi, and Brian O’Halloran of Clerks were just a few of last year’s celebs. This year is quite possibly even bigger, as you see the names listed in bullet number 1. Different celebrities are coming on different days, so make sure to schedule your weekend appropriately! Many are offering meet-and-greet packages, with varying levels of perks such as photo ops, signed pictures or memorabilia, and more.
Dressing up as one of your favorite characters is a way not only to express your passion and creativity, but is a great way to strike up a conversation with a fellow Geek. The amount of authentic, exquisitely detailed outfits and costumes from Nickel City Con ’16 rivaled that of any major Con you could possibly go to (Groot is a favorite of ours). Not into cosplaying yourself? Be sure to snag some photos. Better yet? Ask for a picture – cosplayers LOVE that! There’s just one rule: keep your hands to yourself.
Last year, a few of The Geekiverse’s staff cosplayed and this year will be no different. You can catch Jamie LeRoy as Harley Quinn & Lauren LeRoy aka Little Miss Funeral as Snow White, Ariel (The Little Mermaid), and Clementine (The Walking Dead). Don’t hesitate to ask for a photo! Lastly, there is a massive cosplay contest with awesome prizes from Dave & Adam’s on Saturday, so be sure to give it all you’ve got.
4. Try A Beverage From Community Beer Works
Community Beer Works is a Buffalo based brewery and also happens to have brewed the Official Beer of Nickel City Con 2017. We’re big fans of CBW and can’t wait to taste the specially brewed beer for this event. They even held a vote to decide the name of the new beer they are debuting. The winner? 1.21 Gigahops. It’s important to stay refueled – if you’re 21+, of course.
5. Attempt The NCC Exclusive “Heroes vs. Villains” Experience From Escape Room Adventures WNY
Escape Rooms are all the rage these days. We have it all in Buffalo, including the fantastic Escape Room Adventures WNY, headed by our very own Amanda Woomer-Limpert. Located on the first level of the convention center, Amanda and her family are hosting a 20-minute experience where guests can choose a side – hero or villain – and then race against the other to the end. The session costs $20 at the door, but if you want a heck of a deal, book now at this link before the event for $15. That $15 pre-sale purchase will also get you into the entire Con for that day.
Remember, this is an exclusive Escape Room experience and can only be visited at NCC. I can attest to the quality and general awesomeness of ERA WNY and the Woomer family. The Geekiverse’s Jamie LeRoy, Trevor White, Lauren LeRoy, and I (and Mom & Dad – hi Mom & Dad!) conquered their Alice In Wonderland-themed room this Spring.
6. Watch Flash Gordon with Flash Gordon Himself, Sam Jones
This one takes place Thursday, May 18 and is at Buffalo’s historic North Park Theatre. After watching the film, there will be an exclusive Q & A with Flash Gordon’s Sam Jones. Never saw Flash Gordon? Now’s your chance. You’ll also recognize Jones from Ted. Details can be found here.
7. Play A Game
Throughout the weekend, you’ll have loads of opportunities to play both tabletop games and video games. Organized Tabletop gaming includes Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, YuGiOh, and Star Wars X-Wing just to name a few. If video games are more your flavor, there are both free and paid tournaments that include Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Injustice 2, Super Smash Bros. U, and more. Our very own Jeff Pawlak & Sam Budzinski will be in the Smash Bros tourney, so good luck taking them down.
8. Visit The Geekiverse’s Booth
That’s right, you can visit us on all 3 days of the event. When we aren’t hosting Panels, interviewing guests, or kicking ass in tournaments, you can come visit myself and our wonderful staff on the main showroom floor. We’ll be there to meet & greet, hang out, and chat about some of our favorite geeky passions. Nickel City Con is one of our favorite events and we would love the chance to meet you.
9. Beat The Geek
While you’re visiting us at The Geekiverse booth, you can try your hand at our popular Beat The Geek challenge. You’ll have the chance to play against us in one a few select video games and if you win, you’ll receive a Geekiverse T-Shirt on the house. I went 9 for 11 at Buffalo Comic Con last year and just 1 for 2 at Buffalo Soup-Fest earlier this year. Good thing Brunner isn’t coming. Come at us, bro.
The main showroom floor will be filled with everything your geeky heart could possibly desire. From toys to comics to memorabilia, be sure to save some cash because you never know what you’ll find. I can’t leave a Con without a bag full of goodies. Also, you’re supporting your local community. Most of the vendors you’ll come across are based in Buffalo/Western NY.
If I could throw out a small plug, The Geekiverse will be selling tees from our Geek Swag Merchandise line, which can be viewed here. We generally feature exclusive show sales and we make your shirt custom, on-the-spot.
That’s just a taste of the festivities that you’ll see at Nickel City Con 2017. Be sure to use our guide to get the most out of your weekend and please, stop by and meet us!
Josiah LeRoy is the founder of The Geekiverse. Can you tell he is excited for NCC?
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