Indie Retro News went to PLAY Expo Margate 2016!

During this weekend Indie Retro News had the pleasure of going to the awesome retrogaming convention of ' PLAY Expo Margate ', which lasted from the 23rd to the 24th of July 2016. It was an event that was to have a fair slice of gaming and merchandise stalls, cosplay, retro gaming hardware with games to play, modern gaming, competitions, arcade machines and much more. It was an event that we have been eagerly awaiting to go to all these months past, and finally after going we can show you if it was worth another trip down memory lane. ( Warning Pic Heavy )

As you may remember we have been to every Geek and Replay event so far and when it comes to the stalls, this latest event did not disappoint. In actual fact unlike last year I found it very difficult not to buy anything, having to hold myself back from an original master system while also nagging each seller to see if they had Wonderboy on the Megadrive! There was a lot here for you to get your grubby hands on, even merchandise such as cuddly toys and POPS. Prices were not to bad either, although don't expect boot fair prices as some profit does need to be made!

Another added bonus to the stall hall was the stage area at the back, this was a great part of Replay Expo Margate and allowed viewers to take part in drawing and even cosplay, you could even watch a number of talks done by people in the computer and gaming scene. It was just a shame that my time was limited on the day to involve myself more towards the stage.

Now this is where I come to a major negative , as the Cosplay was a less than an enjoyable experience for us, brought on by a rather rude lady from Thanet Cosplay and a security guard with a sarcastic attitude to match. As one of the cosplay/event photographers and my other half in an awesome trooper outfit with her friends, we were told by the lady at the entrance to change at a place that was just far to small for any type of costume change. Thanet Cosplay however said we could change NEAR the disabled out the back ( away from the main crowd ). Please note we were not going to change in a disabled room as that was completely wrong!

But not long into changing with the costumes beside us, we came across a rude security guard that not only spoke down to us, but pretty much demanded we move as it was a health and fire hazard and not giving us just 5 mins to do so. He continued to speaking to all of us like children and completely ignored the fact that we clearly explained that we were told by Thanet Cosplay that we could change here if needed. If he had spoken to us in a different manner in a more apologetic tone, this would not have happened and we would not have had our disagreement and happily moved on.

We did end up moving however as we still had to grab our costumes. but the attitude continued and a finger pointing " See this is a changing room " was the response.. Believe me I was not to let that slide. Not long after this discussion, the lady of Thanet Cosplay came in after being called and instead of apologising for a miss understanding spoke down to us, telling us " I TOLD THEM where to go ". Thus rather than continue I said I no longer wish to continue this argument and to draw the line.   This was the only negative part from the event , a disgusting attitude from both the security guard and Thanet Cosplay and the bad organising from Thanet Cosplay themselves. Please note this was not the fault of REPLAY EXPO Margate, as I could not fault them in this at all.

Moving on.........

Putting that annoyance aside we headed downstairs to my favourite place, a place of wonder filled with Arcade machines, computers and all those retro games ready to be played. Thankfully our storm troopers were in full gear ready for such amazement and came along. This added an extra wow factor to the event as even the kids got involved in joining the empire!

When the Storm Troopers went back to their Death Star, it was time to check out those drool worthy computers and once again, Replay Expo Margate was at it in style. From an Amstrad CPC 664, to an Amiga, C64, ZX Spectrum and Neo Geo, it was pretty much all there, just lacking the really rare systems and handhelds. I couldn't find Grannies Garden on the BBC Micro, nor could I find any Game & Watches. Oh well, just being too fussy I guess as everything else was jaw dropping for any retro geek - Just check out the Amiga, nice!

Next we moved on to my personal favourite and what blew us all away was the Arcade Machines and the Pinball Machines!  The entire area of the show, which was once surrounded by Minecraft were once again all Arcades and Pinballs. I didn't know where to start! Should I bang some balls (ahem!) or should I try my hand at Blasteroids or Dig Dug. There was just too many to go on, in actual fact it was probably the most crowded of the entire event! ( Don't worry, Minecraft was still at Play Expo )

So how did everyone else get on, those who went with Families and those who went on their own to relive a better era? Well it seems everyone was having a blast, both the young and the old. From the very retro to the more modern system, most of them were being enjoyed. Which is exactly what this event aimed at, to bring everyone together to play some of the very best PLAY Expo Margate 2016 had to offer in retro and modern gaming! - So let's show those pics and if you find yourself in any of them, give us a shout ( Please note where applicable we do have the Parents permission )

And that was it, another year over at PLAY Expo Margate 2016, it was such a shame to leave as I could've spent many more hours playing and having a blast watching the competitions, or spending all my money at the fine stalls. But as ever we are hugely grateful to the event organisers and friends for allowing us to cover this fine event. Pretty much the only issue we had was with Thanet Cosplay and one security guard, everything else was damn good fun! As for improvement ideas, it would've been nice to see the history lessons back, showing a card of info for each system such as dates and release. Oh and more advertising on the beach front to really bring in the crowds!

See you next year guys n girls and don't forget to check out our favourite Facebook groups.

Links : 1) Source 2) Commodore Amiga 3) Commodore 64 4) Retro for Sale 5) Retro for Show

( All images are copyright @IndieRetroNews and exclusive to us )

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