If you’re anything like me, you spent the whole summer seeing signs for HasCon and wondering what the heck it was all about. Having never been to a convention myself, they conjured images of costumed adults waiting for hours in line to get Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s autograph. And while there were certainly adults waiting in line to get Stan Lee’s autograph, HasCon was so much more than I expected. I shouldn’t have been surprised of course–it’s Hasbro. They are THE toy brand, so it stands to reason that they understand children and would put together a fantastic event. But still. I was more impressed than I expected to be.
The convention floor was a sort of magical children’s paradise. If you can imagine what it would be like if you mixed together a children’s museum and a toy store, you can begin to imagine HasCon. As far as the eye could see were activity stations centered around all of my children’s favorite brands: My Little Pony, Transformers, Littlest Pet Shop, Play Doh, Baby Alive, Trolls, Nerf — each with an activity that the kids could do. All set to the background of giant Trolls, a several story high Optimus Prime, and a life-size Bumblebee walking and leaving my children slack-jawed and awestruck.
As a mom, I particularly liked that once we were in we did not have to pay for every single extra thing. Don’t get me wrong; there were some ticket upgrade options that were enticing (I got a behind the scenes peek at the My Little Pony sit down dinner event and the 10 year old in me wanted to go SO. BAD.), but the events included in general admission ticket were great. So often, I go to an event advertised as “family friendly” and find myself being charged for every bell and whistle. At the end of the day, my children are exhausted and frustrated at being told “no” all day and I’m frustrated with all the whining. HasCon, to the contrary, really was family friendly. My kids did leave exhausted, but in the way that leads to passed out children and a successful car-to-house transfer. And since that’s basically the life goal of every parent I know, I’m going to go ahead and call HasCon a win.
Photos courtesy of Ashley Antonellis.