Mark it down: Anime North 2012 is just around the corner

 Get those costumes ready, Anime North 2012 is finally here and with a new attendance cap that has pre-ordered tickets selling in handfuls.

 Anime North has never capped its annual convention before, but this year will be a little different.

Tan Irwin, co-chair of Anime North, said the cap was made out of concern for the conventions additional locations, such as the Doubletree and Sheraton Toronto airport hotel and how many attendees it could handle.

 “Fifteen-thousand weekend passes are being sold, and as of April there are only 550 weekend passes left.  So for those who haven’t pre-bought tickets yet, get on it, because by Friday May 25th, there definitely won’t be any left,” said Irwin.

Yup, that's a full grown mew. This photo was taken by me at Anime North 2011, there's a person inside the big mew controlling it's arms, and of course making it walk.

Anime North has been expanding since its 1997 opening, back when it was still a one day convention. Since then the con has exploded bringing in people from all over Canada and the United States.

“A lot of what we’re doing is provided them (con-goers) with a place where they can come together with their friends , show of their stuff, and be accepted,” said Ir

This expansion also pools over into Anime North’s other events like the Nominoichi, which is Japanese for flea market. At this sellers event, regular Anime North attendees can purchase half a table for $15 or a whole table for $30, to sell their used collections.

Chris McKenna, founder of the Nominoichi, created the market just six years ago and said it’s been a huge success.

“I’m still impressed at the turn out of this event, the number of people waiting in line to get in and go shopping, and the number of people who e-mail me requests for tables,” said Mckenna, “Both those keep increasingly beyond my expectations each year.”

This increase can be shown in the numbers, as the market first started with 20 tables their first year six years ago,  and has increased to 100 tables in 2011 and for this year said McKenna.

“The first year we moved from one room and 20 tables, to a much larger room the second year with 30 to 40 tables,” said McKenna.

“The flood gates to request a table opened  April 9 at 8 p.m.  and within the first hour 61 tables were already reserved. However, con goers looking to still sell  used goods don’t have to panic,” said McKenna, and adds that the last 40 tables can take up to a week or two to sell.

Gobilin King Jareth, this picture was taken by me at last year's convention. Loved this cosplay, awesome detail work who couldn't love this.

For  anime lovers who are selling for their first time at this year’s Nominoichi, McKenna’s best advice is to be flexible and be willing to haggle.

“Try selling bulk discounts, get five for the price of four, that way you can just unload and people will tempted to buy more,” he said.

Sellers must remember that 50 per cent of their collection must be anime related, and the other is open to any other “geekery” they can think of. A strict restriction is put on any weaponry, bootleg items, or food or drinks, an cannot be sold.

For those convention seekers who are the prowl for a good buy, McKenna said the Nominoichi is very tight and crowded the first hour so be prepared. For those looking for a thinner crowd, he advises coming around 9:30 p.m. when the crowd will have died down.

Anime North will kick off  on the May 27 weekend, and anyone planning to attend the con for the weekend or for a day can pre-order tickets on or buy them on site at the Toronto Congress Centre.

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