A Gathering of Frights

It used to be that buying a toy for a kid for the holidays was an easy if not slightly annoying venture. That was the holiday shopping of yesteryear — many of those kids grew up, and their hobbies got a little more sophisticated. Last decade’s hot ticket item might be the collectible you’ll find yourself hunting for this year, and there’s no better place to rummage for that hard-to-find, one-of-a-kind gift than at the original Ultracon of South Florida. With hundreds of dealers plying their wares and thousands of items to pick from, browsing through the vendors might be a little too much to take in all at once. Thankfully, there will be plenty of gaming and cosplay events to keep things lively. Panels and appearances are always a welcome distraction, and this year there will be an interesting and decidedly varied roster of characters around, like famous Walking Dead zombie Larry Mainland, G.I. Joe writer Larry Hama, Disney artist Clinton Hobart, and legendary artist of iconic femme fatales Vampirella and Red Sonja Gonzalo Mayo. There will be plenty of tournaments too, if competitive “Magic: The Gathering” is more your speed in a sea of anime, manga, and sports cards flanked by the aforementioned vintage specialties. Ultracon will run on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Broward Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Admission is $25 at the door, but discounted tickets and two-day pricing are on the event website. Call 954-765-5900, or visit ultraconofsouthflorida.com.
Sat., Dec. 13, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 14, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., 2014
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Abel Folgar