Pop Culture Extravaganza: Bendigo Record, Comic and Toy Fair

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Pop Culture Extravaganza: Bendigo Record, Comic and Toy Fair

The Bendigo Record, Comic & Toy Fair is the place to be for all your pop culture fandom, cosplay antics and collectible records and items in regional Victoria. Forte chats to organiser Peter Pascoe.

Hi Peter, thanks for taking some time to talk to Forte, you must be busy with the Bendigo Record, Comic and Toy fairs date getting closer, anything in particular you’re excited about with this year’s fair?
This September we are attempting a World Record for the most amount of Doctor Who Cosplayers. The current record is 492, and we will be trying to get as close to that, or beat it, in a few short days. It’s something different, and any attempt at a World Record is an interesting undertaking.

Pop culture fans and Comic Con are a global phenomena, have you had people from far off places coming to Bendigo to get their fix?

Right from the first fair, we had visitors from WA and Sydney, and early on we’ve had visitors from as far away as Queensland. I haven’t taken a post-code poll for a couple of Fairs, but I’m always surprised at the response I’m getting from events I’ve travelled to recently (in Sydney and Adelaide, for example) from people that have heard good things about the Fair, or who have been. It’s very gratifying.

And for those who wouldn’t really join a Whovian club or try cosplay themselves, what’s in store for the record side of things?
There is a core of Vinyl dealers from mainly Melbourne (one couple regularly make the trek from Sydney) and there are always new vinyl dealers popping up. With the fairs growing on every occasion, this keeps even the regulars on their toes. I’m always personally finding something I’ve never seen before. There will be over 30 tables of collectible vinyl and people seem to be spending more money with each event too, which is usually a good sign that quality vinyl is coming to the Fair. I’m a bit of a Pink Floyd tragic, and I just keep finding more out there that I never knew existed!

Will you be dressing up in cosplay yourself? If not who would you go as?
I should, but my schedule has left me a bit short on the cosplay! I have parts of a cosplay, and they will likely be out for the day. They are bits and pieces, the start of a Tom Baker Doctor Who costume. Having cosplayed at previous Melbourne events, I can appreciate how uncomfortable the experience can be over the course of a day, and throwing event management on top of that in my case, well, maybe I just need to find something a bit more comfortable?

You have quite an extensive comic collection yourself, are there any editions in your collection you’d take a bullet for?
Is any comic worth taking a bullet for? Well, maybe my Stan Lee signed Fantastic Four #10. Oh, and my Hulk #181. Oh, and my Amazing Spider-Man #33.

Are there any unusual fandoms holding a stall this year?

There’s a Dark Ages re-enactment society that have made contact, and we’re sorting out some PL issues on that one, but they are keen to get out there and show everyone the joys of Life in the Dark Ages! I can’t wait!

Photo by Ian Stubber

When & Where: Bendigo Exhibition Centre, Bendigo – September 18