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PAX Melbourne 2019 … what a show!

So another PAX has come and gone … and as usual we we’re way to busy to update the website or share all the amazing things to be seen there!

If you’ve ever been to PAX Melbourne you’ll know there are two main sections in the convention space – Console/PC Gaming & Tabletop … and there is a stark difference between the two!

PAX Melbourne 2019
The main Console & PC Gaming floor is amazing … soooo much ‘shiny’!

By contrast the Tabletop section is much more subdued … as you might expect a gaming session in the basement to be.  That didn’t stop the crowds pouring in to check out what the vendors had for sale, or to grab a game from the Board Game Library to sit down and play at the free-play area, or to join in on the many play sessions and demos happening throughout the weekend!

PAX Melbourne 2019 - Tabletop
Not as much ‘stuff hanging from the roof’ in the Tabletop section

PAX is a MASSIVE event for our small team … it’s a huge amount of effort and I cannot say thank you enough to Scott and Aki who did an amazing job on the weekend, but also to Edward Jones our good friend who helped out on the Saturday.

The setup we take to shows takes a lot of effort, we are essentially setting up a small shop including metal shelves etc.  We start with an empty space and after a bunch of sweat, some tears and occasionally a little blood we have a stand that allows people to browse all our products and chat to us about what they use them for, customisations they’ve done etc.  The excitement is wonderful!

It’s a great 3 day show packed full of lots of awesome stuff to see … obviously we get precious little time to look around and I must do more next year to ensure we each get plenty of time to look around.  If you’re interested in a free 3-day pass and can help out on all 3 days, let us know and we’ll add your name to the list of volunteers!

One of the more amusing things for me (as it’s usually right outside door number 4 on the concourse – between our stand and outside where I can have a vape!) is the Maxibon Smash contest … essentially you and a friend each get a free Maxibon (and ice-cream like sandwich) and the fastest to finish it goes into the draw for the major prize.  It’s not easy, they freeze the living hell out of those treats making them super hard and difficult to eat … plus you have to deal with the ‘frozen headache’ from eating too quickly!

Maxibon Smash Zone
The fastest to finish their Maxibon wins!

Coming back to the tabletop side of things, there is always the usual things on offer … vendors galore, the free-play space (where you can setup a game and play what ever you like), the scheduled role-play campaigns, Reapers ‘paint and take’ … and then all the panels and discussions happening elsewhere in the Melbourne Convention Centre where you can listen to everything gaming.

The Reaper Paint-and-Take is always a smash hit. Hosted by Aetherworks, they bring LOADS of people in giving them the chance to pick a Reaper Bones miniature from those on offer and sit down to paint it using Reapers range of acrylic paints.  Typically, unless you are very lucky, you need to book a time so you don’t have to line up and wait … it’s amazing to see so many people enjoying the art of painting miniatures together!

Reaper 'Paint and Take' at PAX 2019
It’s amazing seeing so many people painting miniatures together!

 

There is so much to get involved with at PAX, they book out the entire Melbourne Convention Centre (this place is HUGE!) and it’s cram-packed full of everything to do with gaming … both console/pc and tabletop.  Last year, Scott and I did manage to get some time in the evening to pop into a panel or two, we also caught the tail end of the comedy show!  Next year, with better organisation and rostering from me, hopefully we get a proper opportunity to actually duck into the theatres and sit through some full panels!

PAX map at MCEC
The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is MASSIVE … and PAX fills it completely!

The wargaming and miniatures demo space at PAX has always been rather small (unfortunately), but several dedicated people put massive amounts of effort into representing their favourite games and enjoying the opportunity to introduce new players to the games they love!

There were several games on offer for people to try and like last year, the behemoth that is Games Workshop had their stand setup to introduce people to the world of Warhammer and the grim darkness it so desperately loves.

It’s great to see them back again at PAX this year (after having come for the first time last year), as they’ve really withdrawn from attending events in Australia.  Obviously with them thinking long and hard about what they are doing, and with new management really driving them back to the forefront they are looking stronger than ever!

 

Warhammer stand at PAX 2019
Warhammer stand at PAX 2019

It wouldn’t be a gaming and pop-culture convention without the traditional cosplayers … and I have to say the cosplayers at PAX really go all out!  It’s not hard to imagine the time and dedication these people spend on their costumes and outfits … and I’m just as awestruck at how patient and dedicated they are in waiting in lines to have professional photographs taken!

I didn’t get much of a chance to snap many pictures unfortunately, there really was an amazing amount of very talented crafters and cosplayers on display!

This year for some random reason Honda decided they would like to have a life-size lego build of one of their new cards … I guess they thought it was relevant to the attendees because it was made of lego … I can’t see any other reason for a car manufacturer to be at a gaming convention!

None-the-less the lego build was amazing, you can just imagine the hours involved in building that thing!  They had videos of the build process showing the lego team building the car … based around a support structure built from Lego Duplo bits that you can ready about on Brickmans website here.

Honda CIVIC Type R, PAX 2019 Melbourne
Honda CIVIC Type R but from Lego

One of the areas I love at PAX is the oldschool ‘Classic Gaming’ section.  It’s small but awesome.  I guess part of the attraction is seeing all the old consoles and games I played when I was a kid, it’s truly mind blowing how far gaming has come when you walk around the Classic Gaming area and see what we used to play on not that long ago … we’ll it feels like ‘not that long ago’, but I guess some of this stuff I played with 20+ years ago!

I didn’t get a chance to play on any of the pinball machines (there is always 3-4 people waiting at each one), but I was amazed to see these OLD pinball machines from 1943 and 1936 … I was stunned!

I’m looking forward to spending some time here next year … highly recommended if you like a good nostalgia trip.

And with the Classic Gaming section quickly zipped past … that is about it for the photographs I managed to snap at PAX 2019 Melbourne.  Next year I’m looking forward to checking things out in more detail … ahhh the life of a vendor, you get to go everyday, for stupid amount of hours, but get to see little of the actual show!

I hope you had a great time at PAX 2019 Melbourne … we’ll see you there next year!

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