DroidBuilders UK

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R2TK MCM London Trip Report

By: Wayne Allen

R2-TK had his second major outing of the year with a trip to MCM Comicon in London with the UK Garrison.

Thursday was setup day and a good opportunity to drop the droid off. Access is via the loading ramps at the back you just need to check in with security, do a covid pass check and you get an allocated time – 1 hour for a transit to off load.

Friday was the first day of running and R2 Hit the floors early as UKG’s brief was maximum exposure. The UKG stand was close to an exit so R2 could play in the central atrium, with picture opportunities all over the place. It was at time hard to appear not to be there and yet still control the poking kiddies so I grabbed a spotter. I always try to troop with R2 in such a way so people don’t know who is controlling him – maintain the magic, hence no large RC gear. Its even possibly to convince adults that there is a person inside R2!! The result is very sore shoulders from holding my 360 controller behind my back, but it’s worth it.

Obligatory picture infront of the MCM sign.

Interesting enough the central atrium has weird floors and R2 had a number of issues with static and crashing the dome lights system… but in the main halls he had no issues.

I planned for 2 Hour stints, and R2 ran faultlessly over the weekend. I ran quite long distances, but be aware if you breakdown and have to push back and MCM is long, MCM don’t really want to see a headless droid, (maintain the magic!!) so plan for it.

Saturday was the busier day, and we had official charity collectors with us, who managed to bag over 2K over the 3 days, mainly down to R2, Chewie and the UKG Speeder bike display.

Sunday was a repeat of Saturday, with a fast break down and a push of R2 via a dolly out to the carpark. Be aware if you need to bring a van in to collect your droid, you will be queueing for hours with the other traders, and officially EXCEL don’t allow trollies onto the main concourse until all the public have exited.

Tips for doing MCM London

Book a hotel early…they fill up quickly and the earlier you book the cheaper. Try to get a flex booking – events do get cancelled as we all know. Parking is around £20 per day – we no longer get free parking. Van parking is more. Be prepared for long days. Have spares. I was lucky the only things I needed were extra batteries for both R2 and my hand controllers. Lots of kids with pokey fingers, so if you are feeling delicate towards your creation, have a spotter. Hide your tool box, its hilarious how may people troop and forget they might need a screwdriver to put their costumer together 😊

Any journey takes 45 minutes with the number of people who want to have selfies with R2.

Floor surfaces are great for droids, only a few glitchy bits at the entrances to the halls where the doors close. R2 Builders rules say no charging overnight on site, and the power is cut on stands anyway, so plan for that if you need to recharge.

Total raised was £2046.46 for “Hope and Homes for Children” Charity.