It's been almost a month now since MAGFest 2013 and I'm just now getting around to writing my review. But! To be fair I jumped right in to work and classes that following Monday so sorry if it reads weird my brain is still a bit fried.
Anyway I'd like to start by saying MAGFest is by far one of my all time favorite conventions. I'd say I like it more than Anime USA but AUSA has My Cup of Tea Maid Cafe and MAGFest does not have a special cafe like that. Moving on…attending this year was very different for me because I worked the Anime USA table and promoted both the convention and the cafe. I think I did pretty well since I may have convinced the Gamer Symphony Orchestra at the University of Maryland to come to 2013's AUSA
I got to wander around talking to people about the cafe and such but I also got to see a lot of cosplays. I know the theme was post-apocalyptic but I felt the cosplay's were lacking somewhat compared to the year before :/ oh well. Beyond cosplay I only attended two panels the Video Game Improv and the Charity Auction for Child's play. Theses two are why MAGFest ranks so high for me even though I don't do much there. I was a bit disappointed this year because I really wanted to see the Protomen perform but I missed the concert because I was at a photo shoot. Ah well hopefully they'll be at MAGFest again and I will get to see them.
Like I mentioned above I attended the Charity auction Sunday afternoon. Even if you don't bet on anything you should go! It's so much fun to see how crazy things can get and the reactions from people are amusing to see. There were a lot of big ticket items this year I'll list some of my favorites along with a description and what they sold for:
Protomen swag, like albums and posters and such including Panther's glasses and the Commander's glove, my friend's Zach and Vince won for $1,200. A set of correspondence between the MAGFest staff and other people at Otakon which really ended up being a bunch of picture's of dicks sold for $100. A box of (still good!) Twinkies signed by all the musical and panel guests at MAGFest went for $256 under the stipulation that a dick representing Zombieland be drawn on it. So one of Twinkies on the box was turned in to a clown dick O.o A voice actor from Oblivion (who was also the Washington Cap's announcer) donated two $90 tickets to the first game including a tour of the rink and that sold for $600. Two guys pooled their money together to become John Saint John's best friend which included his personal number and him buying them drinks and food and such at next year's MAGFest for $2,500. The gentleman who ran the table top games donated a steak dinner at a swanky and a night of drinking on him which went for $70. Prints from the Super Art Fight Panel went for $275. Penny Arcade donated a 3 day ticket to their Expo in Boston and that went for $150. The MAGFest Challenges booth banner and a Princess Peach print went for $125. Pencil Sketches of Sack Boy from Little Big Planet donated and signed by the developers of the game sold for $210. New this year the con chair Big Adam and a few others auctioned off the right to shave their beards: Big Adam's for $200, Angel's (the head of the Theater section) for $40 and his right hand man Dan for $60. The highlight of the auction was a mint condition desk model Portal Gun that lit up and changed colors which was signed by the entire Valve team and one bidder bought it for $1,620 which was the highest SINGLE bid in the auction. In total the auction raised $24,500 this includes money from the the new charity event: Table Flipping for Charity which netted $6,500.
Overall the final numbers for the convention were: 9,000+ attendees, and $28,000 for Child's Play.