September 28, 2023

Of weekend getaways and comic cons…

My wife and I charge most of our purchases to our travel points credit card. This normally gives us the opportunity to make one or two weekend getaways each year. For the last couple of years, we have made the short trip to Ottawa in order to attend Comic Con, and our points cover the hotel cost. I love Comic Con because I get to meet all my favorite sci-fi stars, and browse through aisles of cool stuff that I don’t really need. My wife enjoys perusing all of the artisans and jewelry booths. We also both get a change of scenery, and a break from work. It’s really a win-win.

This year, I got to meet to John Billingsley, who many might know as Dr. Phlox from Star Trek Enterprise. I greatly enjoyed that show, and Mr. Billingsley is the second actor whom I have met from it (the first was Captain Archer himself, Scott Bakula). It was a very pleasant experience, and Mr. Billingsley took the time to chat with us a little and crack a few jokes.

Other than that, I had a look around the convention, and was a little disappointed at the total lack of LEGO. That was not really a surprise, mind you. The only convention I have ever attended that has had any LEGO presence was Fan Expo in Toronto. Montreal Comic Con also never has LEGO. At Ottawa Comic Con, I have noticed a growing presence of FLego figurines though. I even bought a couple of them last year to write one of my first blog posts, a comparison of LEGO and FLego Harley Quinn (click here to read it). What really bothered me this year about all the FLego is that prices are going up. I visited three booths selling FLego, and it was going for $6 a figurine. That is more expensive than the real thing. A blind Minifigure package costs about $4, the LEGO Batman Movie ones cost about $5. FLego has always been, in my experience, an inferior quality product. It really bothered me that it was more expensive than the real deal. Yes, I know, it allows consumers to get just the figurine without having to buy a whole set. Yes, it allows people to pick which figurines they are buying. But, really, $6? You can order the same stuff on eBay from China for less, and probably get free shipping to boot. I am a bit of a LEGO snob, so I am not really keen on FLego to begin with. But, I certainly did not buy any at those prices.

Otherwise, our little weekend escape has been very nice and relaxing. I left all my work at home, and am actually taking a weekend for myself for the first time in months. I even took a nap in our hotel room today! I can’t remember the last time I had one of those… maybe the last time I was sick? It sure is nice to get away and recharge those batteries once in a while.

Everyone should take little breaks every now and then. When/where do you take your little escapes?

Until next time,


p.s. if you are in the Ottawa region this weekend, I happened across a toy store that I have never been to before, Mrs. Tiggy Winkles. They are celebrating their 40th anniversary this weekend only, and are offering 20% off on all purchases, including LEGO!

Minifigure me hanging out in our hotel room at the Hilton Garden Inn in Ottawa. It was a nice hotel right beside the convention centre. Crappy free internet though…