Banzaicon staff was on a mission to get canned food to donate to locals who were in need. It was the first year the convention put such an event in place so there was no telling how it was going to go. They offered up a candy giveaway to those that promoted the event and the convention as well as those that donated to the cause. In the end the result was 326 canned items donated with the top person having personally donated 76 items. For a first time event it was a great success leaving those in charge proud of convention goers. There are hopes for future can drives to be even bigger successes with the next one occurring at Ichibancon over New Years weekend.
Banzaicon was a Japanese Animation and gaming convention located in South Carolina held between October 30th-Nov 1st at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Along with the can drive, Banzaicon was pleased to host a pachinko parlor by Pachinko Fever! Pachinko is a mechanical game that originated in the 1920′s in Japan. It is used as both a recreational arcade game and a gambling device, and many machines are anime themed. This was one of the many unique events that Banzaicon offered along with the normal guests, panels, artist alley and dealer’s room that most conventions have.
The candy prize for the social media and canned goods events that was given out was donated by Japan Candy Box which is a website that delivers a box of random Japanese goodies to your doorstep once a month. The subscription rates start at $18.20 a month with various options for how long you want your subscription to last. Each box contains 8-10 Japanese sweets and snacks and they ship worldwide. You can see what other items were in previous boxes on their website and some of the brands included in the boxes include Pokemon, Hello Kitty, Meltykiss, Hello Panda and more.
Lexy Bohland donated the most canned goods with 76. Derek Gunning brought in the next highest amount at 36 with Bryan Jolly and Michael Ranos each donating 27 cans. JR Tyner was in charge of the event and was also the one hosting the social media event and he also helped by donating a large portion of canned foods to help kick it off. He also plans to continue with the social media events at future conventions to bring more awareness of the charity events.
Banzaicon and Ichibancon are both run by Nostalgia Conventions who host events in North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and more. Ichibancon is their next event which is going to be host to a $500 cash prize for the best craftsmanship in their cosplay contest on Saturday night. This is the second year they will be awarding the cash prize. Sign up for the event was opened up online and filled up within a couple weeks. There will be a limited number of openings available at the convention itself for those that missed the sign up but still want to take part. More information on Ichibancon can be found on their website.