Bendigo Record, Comic & Toy Fair

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Bendigo Record, Comic & Toy Fair

Kids will be in heavy competition with kids at heart as the Bendigo Record, Comic & Toy Fair returns for another day of fun-filled action. Making its debut earlier in the year, such was the success that vinyl traders, CDs, cassettes, collectables, comic back-issues, merchandising, figurines, retro-games and loads more will be up for grabs once again this month. Let the games begin…
How did you come up with the idea for the fair?
The ‘Secret Origin’ of the fair started as a car boot sale of comics to a mate at work who was looking to buy some comics for his son. Another mate Instagrammed the moment and that started me talking to someone else at work about the Record and Comic Fairs down in Melbourne and how great it would be if we had one in Bendigo. My mate said that if I organised one, he’d set up a table to sell stuff. And I did. And he did. The first one was in March this year.
How do you view the current revival of the vinyl and comic trend?
For many people, vinyl never died, and comics have been popular for over 70 years, so I’m not sure that a ‘trend’ would be quite the right word to use. But certainly mainstream popularity has latched onto records again, and the success of movies based on comics has made certain characters and stories household names.
For Marvel and DC characters, the drive to find 1st appearances of characters appearing in movies has collectors and sellers searching through old issues and has made collecting less of a hidden passion. And vinyl is really the sexiest way to buy music. Musicians who lie outside of the pop industry are chancing limited edition pressings of their music in a field that faces intense competition both from within and outside of the music industry. These are collectable right now, let alone down the track.
What was the reaction from you first event?
The attendance and support for the first event was surprisingly good! I had no idea how successful the first event would be, nobody does, and I would have been happy to break-even and call it an experience builder. But I quickly got in touch with passionate traders with lots of fair experience, as well as discovering new traders willing to give it a go, and the response to the first one was overwhelmingly positive. So it was a no-brainer to run with another one.
Who should attend the fair and why (what ages/interests etc.)?
Anyone between the ages of three and 93! Anyone with a passion for collecting pop-culture specifically, or a general interest in what’s happening at the grassroots level of trading music, comics, toys etc. would have a great day out. Anyone with a wish list prepared and ready to go; anyone looking for that special thing that they just can’t seem to find anywhere else.
What are some of the exhibitors/stallholders you will have at the fair and who are some of your favourites?
There will be a few back-issue comic specialists, as well as a couple of regional Vic stores with newer comic related gear, many, many record dealers, including a vinyl punk and heavy metal trader from Sydney, a specialist Star Wars toy trader, as well as a big toy trader from interstate – one trader recently booked with some retro-gaming. There will be several Melbourne graphic novel artists with stalls selling their own original material, a Bendigo fantasy author will be in attendance, and a Doctor Who Dalek that has been seen around Bendigo will be camped in the event zone. There’s a mix of traders from the first fair and new faces.
I’m looking forward to the heavy metal records, as I’m always looking for new material to play on my radio show. And as a big collector of comics, I’m really looking forward to the back-issue traders!
What are your future plans for the event?
I’d like to see the fair continue twice a year in Bendigo, if it stays fresh and people keep coming. I’d like to see the pop-culture element expand, with more original artists coming to bring their original material. But above all, it’s still cosy enough to take everything in that’s on offer … And there was a very friendly vibe at the first one that I’ll try hard to keep.
When&Where: Bendigo Exhibition Centre – September 21