Comic culture brings thousands to Mander Centre's GeekCon event

There were superheroes, dinosaurs, timelords and much more in store for comic fans as a Black Country shopping centre was turned into a preserve for all things geeky.

Four-year-old Ashish Gharu meets a Star Wars stormtrooper at GeekCon
Four-year-old Ashish Gharu meets a Star Wars stormtrooper at GeekCon

The Mander Centre in Wolverhampton was the host for GeekCon, a mini-Comic Con event designed to bring the world of comics, films and geeky collectables together and raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

Taking place on the lower mall of the centre on Saturday and Sunday, there was a range of traders taking part and touting their wares to fans of comic culture and shoppers taking an interest in the event.

Items on sale included Lego figures, Funko Pop vinyl characters, film and comic merchandise and a large range of film collectables.

Marnie Thomas, nine, checks out the Tardis from Doctor Who

People attending could also have their photo taken with Doctor Who's Tardis, the Stranger Things Demogorgon and a host of people cosplaying as their favourite characters, including Star Wars stormtroopers and Batman.

Mander Centre marketing and events manager Laura Taylor said the event was a great free event for families to come to and brought a touch of the bigger Comic Cons to Wolverhampton.

She said: "For an event like Comic Con at the NEC, you'll be paying £35 for an entry and hundreds more meeting guests or posing with props, whereas we do it all for free.

"The Mander Centre works for this as it's a really nice and open plan, so we can fit lots of different bits and pieces in to get people travelling to the centre.

Arman Dehor, 10, not fazed by a dinosaur from Raptors UK

"My job here is to get people in here, not just for events, but to actually go to the shops, so this opens it up to more people because shopping centres aren't about shopping anymore, they're about a different experience."

Laura, who said her favourite superhero was Danger Mouse, said the event had brought double the number of people into the centre over the weekend, with more than 60,000 people passing through the doors.

She said: "It's been really good with the number of people coming in and it helps to show it's not just a shopping centre, it's an experience.

"I also get to indulge one of my own passions and enjoy myself as well."

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