What a weekend! What a month! Though November has only just started, we were startled to realise that we had two mall events so close together, a feat we haven’t seen since Cape Gate’s mall convention was still around. Nevertheless, we threw our effort behind both and were so grateful for the response, support and turn out both events got from the community! But today’s post is about Bunker Con 2018, so let’s get to it!
Battle Bunker is a well-established business that has been around for years. Although they primarily deal in board games, their stores offer a variety of merchandise for the geek with money to spare, and they have quietly been sponsoring prizes at a variety of the events they attend (which is just about all of them!). It was only a matter of time before they decided to give their customers a chance to taste the con life from their perspective, and so it was that Tygervalley Mall experienced that most startling but fun experience of hosting a board gaming and geek market bonanza for three days straight (from 2-4 November).
As all great events do, Bunker Con has a humble start but great potential to grow further. It slots into that time of the year when the stress of big events have passed but the looming holidays send us scrambling for gifts and experiences to share with loved ones before the clock ticks away another year. The setting of Tygervalley Mall (in the convention-rare North), with all of its additional entertainment and shopping opportunities, is perfect to attract a variety of interested parties while still giving ample space for its target market to spread out, browse and play games.
The weekend boasted a variety of tournaments, demos and casual gaming, including Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon, while artists and merchants (selling items such as tshirts, jewelry, comics, paintings and wands) set up shop within the barricade demarcating the event area on the banking level of Tygervalley. The contests offered great prizes and were highly competitive, while the goods on sale were reasonably priced with some offering fantastic on-day deals, including the comic artists and Reader’s Den (some of their prices were practically a steal!). While we missed the demonstration of the Blood Ball board game, many on site offered explanations and pointers for it and many other games on display.
Overlooked by the food court, the position of the event meant that cosplayers drew quite the audience and attention, even without a mic or stage to perform on. As many of the cosplayers were entering a contest for the first time, some were shy as they walked out to pose in front of so many strangers but they did admirably well! The audience within the barricade cheered loudly as they paused their rounds of Yu-Gi-Oh to give the cosplayers their full attention and the warm camaraderie kept the atmosphere light and exciting as they waited for the judges to decide the winners. Difficult as it always is decide on just 3 winners (1 main prize and two judge’s favourites), Battle Bunker gave every entrant a voucher for their participation.
The overall winner of the casual contest won a R500 voucher, with the Judge’s Favourites winning R250 each. The main winner was Jin and Mariana, picked for their creative designs, the effort put in and their in-character representation on and off the ‘stage’, as well as awarding their fantastic work for first-timers. The first judge’s choice was Aiko Cosplay, whose bright colors, detailing and whimsical look was immensely pleasing to the eye, while the second judge’s choice was to little Annemari, who stole the judge’s hearts with her shy demeanor, hand-crafted wings and careful picking of her costume design. There were plenty of beautiful and fun costumes on display, all of which were carefully considered, and all of which can easily stand to win any competition. We hope to see many of them – be their veterans, novices or first-timers – return again to the scene next year!
Our deepest of thanks to Nigel Perry and the Battle Bunker team for making this happen and inviting us to be a part of it! We look forward to many more collaborations in the future. The Cosplay Cape Town team would also like to thank all those who supported the event and the cosplayers who entered/attended, because without your work, the day would have been greatly reduced in its beauty and impact. We are always grateful to have our efforts supported and for the trust you place in us. May 2019 be an even greater year for us all!
List of Participants:
1st place: Jin and Mariana, Vlad the Impaler and Wife (Van Helsing)
Judge’s Favourite: Aiko Cosplay, Autumn Leafeon (Pokemon)
Judge’s Favourite: Annemari Luus, Fairy Rose (Tinkerbell’s Adventures)
Mittel Elf Cosplay – Kassandra (Assassin’s Creed Odyssey)
Whitney – Pocahontas (Disney)
Alroy – Itachi (Naruto)
Gunther – Seiji Aino (Love Tyrant)
Black Rose – Elsa (Frozen)
Jolanie Luus – Ravenclaw student (HP)
Zeo Loubello – Slytherin student (HP)
Melissa Jacobs – Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games)
Captain Steve Cosplay – Captain America (MCU)
Gemma – Sailor Moon
Grace – Unicorn Pegasus
Potato Sack Cosplay – Arato Hisako (Shokugeki no Souma)
Zoeleena Cosplay – Magical Mei (Overwatch)
FrostyKitty Cosplay (CCT Team)
Ubersan (CCT Team)
Out of Water Photography (representing Battle Bunker)
All photos provided here are from the CCT Team.
Additional photos can be found here: Out of Water Photography