Sunday marked my two years here at Maisto as a product designer, and to be honest you get kinda focused on product so much you don't realize who buys and supports the brand. Well this past weekend I had the honor to attend and be a special guest along with Castro and Brad Trimmer as representatives for Maisto at 2012 Super Convention presented by DieCastSpace.com.
This being my first diecast convention I had no idea what to expect. I have attended Comic-Con, APE, MAGIC, ASR, and many other conventions but this show is truly different. The real stars in my opinion at this show are the die hard collectors, customizers, and the individuals who keep the die-cast community going generation after generation. The passion that fills this event can be felt as soon as you walk in the door. This post is a brief look at the five days that the convention takes place.
Thursday night was a special Die Cast Hall of Fame induction by Top Fuel Legend and Die Cast Hall of Fame Shirley Muldowney who inducted another drag racing legend Doug Herbert. This special induction was held due to Herbert having a event on Friday night at Wally Parks NHRA Museum.
After this very intimate induction ceremony maybe a 100 people were attendance for this special event. The first autograph session was held in the Bel Air room. The line for those who did not attend the ceremony was held in the hallway and it was hard to see around the corner.
Brad Trimmer Product Designer getting his signing on with a line that ran really deep with very thankful fans.
Art Director Eddie Castro aka CASTRO getting busy with the chrome sharpie.
I was sitting to next to Kazy Kustom from Japan and I had to get a pic of his Die Cast Hall Of Fame ring. Now that is one super legit ring that the die cast community presents to the inductees.
Friday morning we set up a booth in the Pebble Beach room with the other manufacturers. We came loaded up with the Muscle Machines® first prototypes for the very enthusiastic crowd to check out.
If you are of the age to have watched CHIPS like many of us you will recognize some of these guys. Brad was quick to set up this photo op with Robert Pine (left) and Larry Wilcox (right).
Daisy Duke herself Catherine Bach was signing to a very deep line of fans.
The huge 1:6 scale Muscle Machines® Willys flanked the room.
Friday night was the Die Cast Hall Of Fame Dinner and induction ceremony held in the Grand Ball Room.
Hall of Fame Class of 2012 can been found here.
Carson Lev (Die Cast Hall Of Famer) inducted Cookie Lind and did something special. This oiler was given to Carson by Cookie many years ago, Carson restored it and did the paint and lettering and presented it back to the Lind family.
Everyone who attended the ceremony was asked to sign the back of the oiler before it was handed over to the Lind family.
Another guest signing session was held right after the ceremony ended.
Here is the Maisto crew including Rick Berman I even got in this photo this time. Hard to take pics and get in them at the same time. We signed well into the evening to all the fans this was a really great experience to meet the collectors face to face.
My son Gunner got in on the signing action also.
Here is the oiler after it was hit by everyone by the end of the night.
I was staying on the third floor at The Golden Nugget and this is what was happening on my floor.
Saturday morning came and I stopped to check out the auction preview.
Check out these custom Maisto RC Volkswagens.
We donated this new prototype 1:18 Muscle Machine Boss 302. The real story on this piece is this sample is done in die cast. The actual production of this particular vehicle will actually been done in plastic as a 1:18 RC car. So this is truly a one of kind item.
And then the Saturday morning autograph session began. I jumped out of my section to take a quick photo from the other side.
After the autograph session had concluded the customized judging began. Castro was the judge from Maisto, so glad it was him and not me. So many great examples of custom work were presented. Here are only a handful shown here.
Rick Morgan doing some serious chop to this Maisto piece.
I'm a KISS fan so I had to snap this one.
The DieCastSpace.com vending machine
A fan managed to get a last minute signed piece by Castro before we packed up for the night.
This event was so awesome CJ and the whole entire crew at DieCastSpace.com did an amazing job. I'm a collector of many things, shoes, skatedecks, vintage thermos items, and die-cast among other things granted I only collect 66-67 second gen Novas. But this event has shown me what the impact what we do here has on people beyond our office. The die cast community is a group of individuals who have a common love for automobiles and auto culture.
It was an eye opener and I got an insight on who some of the collectors are. Some are car builders who decided they had to hang up there tools and they still wanted to enjoy the hobby. Others were drag racers who just couldn't justify the expense to keep racing, but still wanted to get the thrill of the cars. And even other who love cars, and would rather own thousands if not tens of thousands of cars they love in a smaller scale. This goal is much more obtainable then buying full size vehicles.
We were honored and humbled by the love shown at the 2012 Super Convention in Las Vegas this year. This is a great community of like minded people that has love for all brands of die cast and they show it. I for one can't wait till next year. FYI we will be coming hard with Muscle Machines® so please stay tuned.