I've never really been a collector of television-related stuff, whether it is merchandise, DVDs or Blurays, clothing, books or memorabilia. In fact, my obsession with all things television really only started when this blog did, in late 2010; I figured that if I was going to be talking about television (almost) every day, I'd need to immerse myself in the culture. So I did.
This is one of the reasons I love going to Armageddon Expo, the most recent of which was held in Auckland over Labour Weekend. Armageddon is like TV Dork heaven: stalls packed with toys, knick-knacks, jewellery, clothing, books - anything you can imagine about your favourite cult shows, not to mention the movie, comic book and video game parts of the show, too - fill the main hall at ASB Showground, and it takes nearly a whole day to make sure you see absolutely everything. I could spend thousands of dollars in there. I'm not even kidding.
Want one of the geeky T-shirts Sheldon famously wears on The Big Bang Theory? You got it. Want to buy a bottle of Tru Blood, the fictional drink from True Blood? Here, have a four-pack; it's not really blood though, its Blood Orange fizzy. Want to wear a necklace adorned with pendants in the likeness of Finn & Jake from Adventure Time*? My daughter got one - and the matching earrings. Want a talking TARDIS-shaped cookie jar? Ex-ter-min-ate your choc-chip biscuits in this one.
Merchandise is okay, and goodness knows I've got more than my fair share of TV-related stuff. However, one of my favourite attractions at Armageddon is the autograph booth.
If you've never had the experience of queuing up to meet a star from one of your favourite television shows, I highly recommend it. At one end of the exhibition hall, a long row of tables is set up, each one featuring an actor or actress - this year's panel included Jim Beaver (Supernatural's Bobby Singer), Christopher Judge (Stargate SG-1's Teal'c), Miltos Yerolemou and Finn Jones (Game of Thrones' Syrio Forel and Loras Tyrell, respectively), and many more.
Each star has their own table, with a string of velvet ropes leading the queue straight to him or her, and high attendance (and interest in the stars) means that you can be waiting as much as half an hour to get your photo signed. The result of queuing for so long means that you have plenty of time to figure out what to say, replaying your brief meeting with such recognisable talents over and over in your mind ... before dribbling something like "I love your show, bluuurghh" and then forgetting your name when they ask who they should make the autograph out to.
I'm a sucker for meeting famous people, and for acquiring autographs. Time and cost meant I could only grab two this year - Christopher Heyerdahl (who I interviewed for the blog last week) signed his with "You give great interview!", while Mark Pellegrino (Lost's omnipresent spiritualist Jacob) wrote "it only ends once", part of a quote from his infamous role on the mysterious island (the full quote is "It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress"). I've put pictures of the autographed photos, now framed and awaiting a home on my wall, to the right.
For today's post, I'm interested to know if you have any prized TV-related stuff that you've collected over the years - any merchandise you keep in a safe spot, any clothing you wear constantly, any prized autographs or photos. Share your stories in the comments below.
And aside from that, did you go to Armageddon Expo last weekend? What were the highlights for you?
(*) The cult-like following of Adventure Time is baffling to me; my daughter is 11 years old and loves it, but I also saw kids in their late teens dressed up like their favourite characters. I mean, the show isn't even that good - weird but not really in a funny way, and it has a strange, half-finished look about it. Expect a much longer rant about Adventure Time at some point.