Play Expo Manchester 2015

PLAY Expo (Oct 10-11 2015) is brought to you by Replay Events and is jam packed with hundreds of games and consoles, an arcade, huge traders area, exhibitors, guest talks, cosplay, board gaming, tournaments and a whole lot more.  Held at Event City in Manchester you can check out the Facebook event here and a full line-up of what’s going down this weekend can be found on the PLAY Expo website.

PLAY Expo 2015

My event photo gallery has been uploaded. Due to a double family emergency over the weekend my visit was a whirlwind so no video this time. Were you at Play Blackpool this April? If so take a look at my blog and YouTube Video from this fun filled event.

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PLAY Expo 2015

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Donkey Kong mash-ups by Pixel Baz

Pixel Artist Pixel Baz presents Donkey Kong mashed with pop culture movies and TV shows in classic 8-bit pixel-art style. As a retro gaming fan, and massive geek, these designs tick all the right boxes. Aliens, Adventure Time, Doctor Who, Star Wars and Sesame Street characters climb those sloping levels trying to reach the top, save their ally and hopefully take out the fiendish kidnapper at the end of the game (with a big sword, pulse rifle or in Cookie Monsters case a giant cookie distraction).

Donkey Kong mash-ups by BazNet - Adventure TimeDonkey Kong mash-ups by BazNet - Sesame Street

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Donkey Kong mash-ups by BazNet - AliensDonkey Kong mash-ups by BazNet - Prometheus

Donkey Kong mash-ups by BazNet - Star Wars The Empire Strikes BackDonkey Kong mash-ups by BazNet - Star Wars The Return of the Jedi

Donkey Kong mash-ups by BazNet - Game of ThronesDonkey Kong mash-ups by BazNet - Doctor Who

Multicade of the Universe – custom He-Man arcade cabinet by Tom Ace

Toy collector, customiser and all round master tinkerer Tom Ace picked up a vintage arcade machine about a month ago, with 620 games built in. “The guy told me it was called a Multicade, so naturally I had to put a Masters of the Universe twist on it, and I turned it into Multicade of the Universe!”

Tom designed, printed and installed all of the graphics, replaced the T-trim, changed out the buttons and joysticks, replaced the clear plastic over the control panel, tinted the glass and added an LCD monitor. The entire cabinet is smothered in retro Masters of the Universe imagery originally used to promote the hugely successful Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe toy line and the animated television series produced by Filmation.


“[It’s] been a fun project and the games are a ton of fun to play!”

Tom is indeed the Master of the Universe when it comes to creating something that toy collectors, arcade enthusiasts and 1980s kids would love to get their hands on. Some might even be prepared to trade their precious Wonder Bread He-Man and Laser Light Skeletor for such an awesome looking arcade cabinet.

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Geeky gaming cross-stitch by JMC Craft

Self proclaimed geeky cross stitcher and upcycler Janine, of JMC Craft, has showcased a selection of cross-stitch gaming badges via her JMC Craft Facebook page and Twitter account. Retro gaming classics Mario and Space Invaders take centre stage on these bright and colourful hand crafted badges.

Geeky gaming cross-stitch by JMC Craft - Mario badges
Also featured on the JMC Etsy store are a selection of embroidery hoop Pokémon cross-stitch panels. Each Pokémon has been lovingly cross stitched on white 11 count aida using Anchor embroidery floss, mounted in a wooden 4″ embroidery hoop that has been hand painted and tidied up on the reverse with calico material. Crafting goodness.

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Geeky gaming cross-stitch by JMC Craft - Pokemon Squirtle

Geeky gaming cross-stitch by JMC Craft - Space InvadersGeeky gaming cross-stitch by JMC Craft - Pokeball

Geeky gaming cross-stitch by JMC Craft - MarioGeeky gaming cross-stitch by JMC Craft - Mario Fire Flower

Geeky gaming cross-stitch by JMC Craft - Mario MushroomGeeky gaming cross-stitch by JMC Craft - Super Mario Star

Geeky gaming cross-stitch by JMC Craft - Mario BooGeeky gaming cross-stitch by JMC Craft - Mario Goomba

PLAY Blackpool Arcade, Indie and Retro Gaming Expo

The UK’s favourite Arcade, Indie & Retro video gaming expo was back for 3 days at the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre on the 2nd, 3rd & 4th May 2015.

UPDATE! Flickr Saturday photo album and the YouTube video.

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015

PLAY Blackpool is brought to you by the organisers of PLAY Expo and was jam packed with hundreds of games and consoles, an arcade, huge traders area, exhibitors, guest talks, cosplay, board gaming, tournaments and a whole lot more.  PLAY Blackpool was sponsored by the wonderful folks at funstock.co.uk, who gave attendees the chance to win a Retron 5 console. You can check into the Facebook event here and a full show line-up of what occurred this weekend can be found on the PLAY Blackpool website.

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UPDATE! Flickr Saturday photo album and the YouTube video.

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 SkySaga

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Wulver Blade

PLAY Blackpool had an exclusive preview of SkySaga: Infinite Isles on the show floor as well as a PS4 Zone featuring loads of cool PSN titles such as the brilliant multiplayer Towerfall Ascension. The Xbox One Zone featured the best in download and Indie games for Microsoft’s next-gen machine. Fantastic indie games such as the award winning Wulverblade and latest virtual reality projects from Llamasoft were featured along with the awesome Oculus Rift. Plus, for the first time at PLAY Blackpool there was a dedicated Minecraft Zone running the Hunger Games map as well as a standard Minecraft world where you are encouraged to build and explore.

UPDATE! Flickr Saturday photo album and the YouTube video.

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015

A great line up of nostalgic retro consoles and computers were featured running classic and modern games including Sega, Nintendo, Atari, Sony, Commodore, Sinclair, Xbox, Amstrad, Neo Geo, PC Engine and more. The retro arcade was brimming over with classic machines, all set to free-play, including Outrun, Pacman, Donkey Kong, Street Fighter, Space Invaders and Space Harrier. Game tournaments included Super Smash Bros, Fifa & Halo Master Chief Collection on Xbox One, PES 2015 & Drive Club on PS4, Ultra Street Fighter IV on Xbox 360 and 16 player Halo fee for alls. The Gamers lounge area featured multi-player games including Mario Kart Double Dash. It was a gamers paradise!

I got a pre-show walk round from one of the event organisers Dave Moore, who went through everything the event had planned for the long bank holiday weekend. I grabbed a few pictures of the arcade machines just after they had been delivered. “It’s our fourth year in Blackpool and this is the first year the show will be over three days. We brought in over 4000 visitors last year and we are expecting up to 6000 this year” said organiser Andy Brown.

UPDATE! Flickr Saturday photo album and the YouTube video.

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015

Guest Q&A sessions for the weekend include the famous Oliver Twins, the legendary Jeff Minter, Artist David Rowe (along with exclusive limited edition artwork), Steve Lycett from Sumo Digital, Andrew Hewson and a Q&A panel with other former Hewson Consultants including Stewart Gilray and Simon Cobb. The first European public screening of a brand new documentary telling the story of Atari and how they created a new industry, hosted by Jeff Minter, was being shown at the hotel cinema. Also, as a PLAY Blackpool exclusive, the unreleased Llamasoft TXK VR project made an appearance this weekend. Boom!

The dealers area was choc full of gaming goodies, board and card games, action figures, consoles and a dedicated board game demo area. Clickable images below are linked to source so go exploring to find out who’s who!

UPDATE! Flickr Saturday photo album and the YouTube video.

PLAY Blackpool 2015: Retro Collect
PLAY Blackpool 2015 PS4 ZonePLAY Blackpool 2015

PLAY Blackpool 2015 Tempest Arcade GamePLAY Blackpool 2015 Mr. Do! Arcade Game

PLAY Blackpool 2015 Grim Tree GamesPLAY Blackpool 2015 Grim Tree Games

PLAY Blackpool 2015 Paul's Custom CabsPLAY Blackpool 2015 Mini Arcade Machines

PLAT Blackpool Expo 2015 Warp ZonePLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Estatic Arts

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Retro GTPLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Oh Japan!PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 David Rowe

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Geek is Chic T-ShirtsPLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 MishPrint T-Shirts

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Extreme Fliers Micro DronePLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Retro Gaming Roundup

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Console Passion PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 The Computer Shop

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Retro GamingPLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Retro Gaming

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015

In August the team take PLAY Expo to Margate. More gaming fun!
PLAY Margate 2015

Street art by COMBO Culture Kidnapping

Paris based artist COMBO aka ‘COMBO Culture Kidnapping’ focuses on hijacking spaces with comic book, video game and pop culture art mixed with real life imagery and environments. The results end up on public view on the streets of Paris, in varying scales from side walls to huge building sides.

With the subject matter covering the likes of Star Wars, Batman and Street Fighter all COMBO’s work is recognisably attention grabbing yet also becomes part of the commonplace environment in which it is situated.

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Street art by COMBO Culture Kidnapping - Pacman
Street art by COMBO Culture Kidnapping - Pirates of the Caribbean / Captain Harlock / One Piece
Street art by COMBO Culture Kidnapping - Robocop
Street art by COMBO Culture Kidnapping - Batman
Street art by COMBO Culture Kidnapping - Sonic the Hedgehog
Street art by COMBO Culture Kidnapping - Street Fighter vs Bruce Lee
Street art by COMBO Culture Kidnapping - Street Fighter vs Muhammad Ali
Street art by COMBO Culture Kidnapping - Mortal Kombat
Street art by COMBO Culture Kidnapping - Dragonball
Street art by COMBO Culture Kidnapping - Star Wars Yoda

Life-size paper craft Zelda, 226 hours of pure crafting.

This life size paper craft Zelda took 226 hours to build, 88 hours of cutting and 138 hours of folding and building. She stands 1.7 meters tall (5’6”), the upper body is built in 160/g-paper and the skirt in 200/g-paper.

The builder, minidelirium, used templates from PaperJuke and the completed model has been shipped off to a new home. As life sized gaming characters go, this is one heck of an accomplishment.

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Life-size paper craft ZeldaLife-size paper craft Zelda

Life-size paper craft ZeldaLife-size paper craft Zelda

Life-size paper craft Zelda

Manhattan bedroom arcade, a collection of retro games that came with a high price

Chris Kooluris’s Manhattan apartment comes complete with an unusual feature, his bedroom is a shrine to video games complete with restored arcade cabinets, art, an (expensive) emulation console, pinball tables (in the lounge) and collections of action figures from his youth.

The bedroom looked far more sedate until Chris read the book Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. “The book just blew me away. It awakened something in me and I started thinking that I can’t believe I’m not surrounded by all these things that I grew up loving.”

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Chris Kooluris's retro gaming Manhattan bedroom

This amazing looking room cost $32,000 and took up most of his spare time. The major problem with this project stems from the fact he lost his fiancée in the process. His ex-partner was supportive at first, but when his hobby turned into an obsession the relationship broke down and he found himself sleeping alone under a Ninja Turtles quilt on his newly acquired futon. He does, however, host weekly games nights with his friends.

“There’s a fine line between a hobby and an obsession, and I think what happened is I just got so consumed by it all. There probably should be therapists for hobbyists. It can take over.”

On a far more positive note Chris has this to add “Men and women of the world who have passions, don’t let other people make you feel ashamed of them.  And for the love of god, let those passions spill out into your physical space.  So many people live in cookie cutter spaces.  Not me, and neither should you.  Cowabunga!”

Chris Kooluris's retro gaming Manhattan bedroomChris Kooluris's retro gaming Manhattan bedroom
Chris Kooluris's retro gaming Manhattan bedroomChris Kooluris's retro gaming Manhattan bedroom
Chris Kooluris's retro gaming Manhattan bedroomChris Kooluris's retro gaming Manhattan bedroom

Retro Gaming Zavvi ZBOX March 2015 = Retrotastic!

The March ZBOX from Zavvi is a retro gaming stash of all things cool and groovy.

My shoebox arrived this morning and I opened up the seal with eager anticipation. No messing about, you know the score as soon as you lift the lid (see images below). BTW this review will contain [SPOILERS].

Retro Gaming ZBOX from Zavvi

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Lemmings Door Hanger from GB Eye and either a Pac-Man or Ghost Pixel Brick from Paladone. I’m part way through building the fiddly little Pac-Man but thought I better stop and write this article. Dropped a small piece on the floor, somehow it ended up at right at the back of my desk…. torch, ruler, squinting, fiddling…found a peanut. Boom!

Retro Gaming ZBOX from ZavviRetro Gaming ZBOX from Zavvi

Retro Gaming ZBOX from Zavvi
These Sonic the Hedgehog Socks by Numskull will certainly make me run faster, no doubt about it. Sweet Green Hill design will clash with everything I wear, I shall be sporting these to go retro clubbing this weekend along with the epic t-shirt from Joystick Junkies, an exclusive design for this months ZBOX.

Retro Gaming ZBOX from Zavvi
Retro Gaming ZBOX from Zavvi

Old School Gaming Notepad by Numskull, there are four designs to collect, I got the classic Sega Dreamcast but it could have been a Mega Drive, Saturn or Game Gear. I can write down all my secret password’s and Jet Set Radio cheats in here.

Retro Gaming ZBOX from Zavvi

Full game download of Tango Fiesta (worth £9.99) from Steam. Tango Fiesta is a top-down cooperative shooter for 1-4 players. Imagine the events from every single 80’s action film ever made actually happened to one guy – well you & up to 3 friends get to blast, shoot & knife your way through procedurally generated levels as the ultimate one (or 2, 3, or 4) man army!

Retro Gaming ZBOX from Zavvi

The box is also very arty, with a retro gaming theme on the inside of the lid, I shall be keeping this for a special occasion. To top things off you also get a magazine and a fat free Flumes. Mmmm free foamy sweet *drools*. Overall, the ZBOX represents great value for money, you would pay way more than the £19.99 asking price to get all this tip top merch delivered to your door. Ordering the next one, I see Thundercats…. hoooooooooo!
Retro Gaming ZBOX from ZavviRetro Gaming ZBOX from ZavviRetro Gaming ZBOX from Zavvi

Atari Joystick Lamp by seamster.

This lamp is a scaled up model of the classic Atari joystick built by seamster.

It’s made from medium density fiberboard (MDF) and stands almost two feet tall. The red button turns the lamp on and off, and the lampshade is a collage of printouts of classic Atari game covers.

“This project was a fun challenge for me, and posed a lot of little dilemmas along the way. In the end I was quite happy with the way it turned out!” Agreed, it looks great!

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Atari Joystick Lamp
Atari Joystick Lamp
Atari Joystick Lamp
Atari Joystick Lamp
Atari Joystick Lamp
Atari Joystick Lamp
Atari Joystick Lamp
Atari Joystick Lamp