The MCM Comic Con and Memorabilia show in Birmingham has always been one of the convention highlights for me. In fact, their 2009 show was my first time at a comic-con style convention. Although I had been to a similar event a few months before; Dalek Invasion. A small scale Doctor Who convention at the Yeovilton Fleet Air Museum. It was full of Doctor Who merchandise, prop displays, and even a special appearance by the 6th Doctor, Colin Baker. I loved it, and couldn’t wait for my next event, MCM Birmingham.
Although I must admit I was feeling a little nervous. MCM Birmingham was our first, large scale comic con after all, and we weren’t too sure what to expect. None of us knew how the meet and greets worked, what stalls there would be, or even how busy it could get – answer: very – and I imagine many newbies are wondering the same thing.
So whether this is first your time at MCM Birmingham, or perhaps even your very first comic con, I hope reading this makes planning your weekend a little easier. 😊
Read More: Tips for your first comic con
Firstly, what is MCM Comic-Con?
MCM Comic-Con is a bi-annual convention, normally held in March and November respectively at the NEC in Birmingham. With other events held at The Excel Centre in London during May and October. I’ve attended dozens of these conventions over the past 12 years, and they seem to get bigger, and more expensive(!) every year. But no matter how many I attend, they’re still one of my favourites and definitely one of the convention highlights for me.
What to expect at The Birmingham NEC
The National Exhibition Centre (NEC), in Birmingham is a large scale events venue, and MCM Birmingham Comic-Con usually sees ~30,00 attendees through its doors each day of the weekend. So you can expect to see a lot of queues, crowds, and a wide range of cosplay at the event! But you should also consider that the trains, car park, and nearby hotels will be busy too. So, make sure to pre-book well in advance if you can. The same goes for tickets to the event itself, in case the event sells out and there are no pay-on-the-door tickets available.
MCM Birmingham Tickets
MCM Birmingham Comic-Con typically offers two different ticket packages – the early bird for 9 am entry and general admission for 11 am. We always choose early bird tickets, trust me, those two hours before general entry will be much quieter, and the ideal time to look around the stalls, and meet some of the bigger named guests. There are often weekend tickets available as well.
When it comes to food and drink these can be very expensive inside the venue. Instead, take a packed lunch with you, or try one of the food stalls at the nearby train station or airport (which is a short shuttle ride away). Also make sure to carry a water bottle with you. This will come in handy when you’re queuing for autograph and photo sessions. Honestly, I seem to spend most of my comic con weekend queuing! 😅 But that’s not all you can expect to see and do here.
Read More: What’s in my bag? – Comic con edition
What to expect at MCM Comic Con Birmingham
Meet and Greets
Many events host celebrity meets and greet, autograph sessions and photo-ops. Giving fans a chance to say hello to and chat with some of their favourite actors, actresses and content creators. Often there is a charge for autographs and photo-ops but this depends on the show, the guest and their management team. So make sure to check beforehand.
My first meet and greet with ‘The Doctor’
At my first MCM Birmingham Comic-Con, we met Doctor Who’s 6th doctor, Colin Baker, having met him at Dalek Invasion beforehand. He was very friendly and we were able to have a long chat with him where he said he recognised us from the Dalek Invasion event the year before. Which was lovely to hear! 😊 I got an autographed photo signed by him and my dad snapped a couple of photos. If you ever get the chance to meet Colin Baker, do it, he’s such a friendly person. Definitely the highlight of our day at the MCM Memorabilia event that year.
Meeting Colin Baker at the Spring Memorabilia Show 2009
Creative Cosplay at MCM Birmingham
Dressing up as your favourite characters (commonly known as cosplay) is very popular at comic-con conventions and MCM Birmingham is no different. There are so many characters to see and have your photo with – just be sure to ask permission first! – from so many different fandoms, from sci-fi movies like Star Wars to Disney Princesses. You may even have a parade of Stormtroopers greeting you as you make your way through the entrance hall.
If you’ve been following me for a while, or you’re reading this and know me in real life, then you’ll know I love horror movies. It’s my favourite movie genre and I have quite a large collection of horror movie DVDs on my bookshelf. Luckily for me, MCM Birmingham also boasts a great variety of horror movie cosplayers too.
These two are definitely two of my favourite horror cosplays.
Funny story, at the Spring 2009 show the Xenomorph from Alien (pictured above) came up behind my mum and hissed at her… She jumped a mile. 😅 My dad and I couldn’t help but laugh.
So. Many. Collectables!
Comic-con conventions are probably one of the best places to buy official or fan-created merchandise. But what I love most about the MCM Birmingham events are the sheer amount of stalls there. You’ll find everything from vintage Star Wars toys to fantasy model kits, and retro video games to Buffy collectables! I often come away with a large selection of Buffy the Vampire Slayer memorabilia to add to my collection. 💗
But it’s not only merchandise you’ll find here. There’s also a wide range of professional and independent comic book artists selling their work as well. I’ve previously come away with a custom Dennis the Menace, Iron Man and The Flash artwork.
A winning team of sports stars
MCM Birmingham always has a wide range of sports guests from footballers to wrestlers and even snooker legends. I was lucky enough to have a snooker cue signed by Steve Davies a few years ago.
If you’re a fan of BBC’s hit TV show Robot Wars. Then you’ll love this! Robots Live put on shows throughout the weekend where mechanical inventions inspired by the show will be fighting live in the arena.
MCM Birmingham often have a wide range of props on display, from charity photo booths, to screen-used film props, and even steam punk style prop replicas. So there’s usually something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’d like a seat in the Star Trek captain’s chair, to catch a ghost with the Ghostbusters proton pack, or to sit on a Star Wars land speeder.
One of my favourite prop displays from the Spring 2009 event – a 1964 Dalek from Doctor Who.
Have you ever been to MCM Birmingham? Or another comic-con convention? Let me know in the comments – I’d love some recommendations.