IX was such a treat as always I was lucky enough to get to meet Jarel Threat the artist behind the 2023 Asian Vintage Championship Black Lotus and get a signed print along with Fisher, Mark Poole, Zug, Donato and so many more. I also picked up a ton of artist proofs and signatures.
I got to meet the cast of Dukes of Hazard. I had them sign a card from Fight a Bear, the Good Ol' Bear card. John Schneider aka Bo, looked at the card, read it, chuckled, and said "I never saw that before--that's pretty funny." Tom Wopat was also so nice. He laughed at it and asked if John "Bo" saw it because he would like it. Such an amazing day! Catherine Bath signed a card, too, and she was so kind. It was a great meeting original cast-- they were so fan friendly. Then at the end of the show Cody rang up someone for Pop Rocks. I looked up to see that it was Catherine Bach, aka Daisy Duke. I offered to comp her candy but she said no and told me the candy is for her 90 year old mother. Crazy when you meet people you grow up watching on TV. Even crazier when you get to sell them pop rocks!
Embarking on a thrilling journey into the local heart of toy and comic and pop culture, our team set up at two iconic conventions – Zolo Con and Retro Con – week after week. As the dust settled from these fun events, we set yo in front of our shop for the West Reading Fall Fest, a delightful outdoor pop-up festival that promised fun and excitement for all.
Zolo Con 2023: The Zolo Con experience was nothing short of a whirlwind. Surrounded by fellow enthusiasts and collectors, our booth became a hub of activity, showcasing an eclectic array of toys, comics, and memorabilia. Engaging with the passionate Zolo Con community, we exchanged stories, shared laughs, and reveled in the unique spirit of this one-of-a-kind convention. From rare vintage finds to the latest collectibles, every item at our booth had a story to tell, and we cherished the opportunity to connect with fellow fans.
Retro Con 2023: Following the adrenaline rush of Zolo Con, we dove headfirst into the world of Retro Con – a haven for lovers of all things retro and nostalgic. The convention floor buzzed with excitement as attendees explored aisles filled with classic toys, vintage video games, and iconic comic book treasures. Our booth, carefully curated to evoke a sense of nostalgia, drew in crowds seeking to recapture the magic of their favorite childhood memories. The joy of witnessing visitors rediscover beloved characters and franchises was truly infectious.
West Reading Fall Fest: A Local Extravaganza. As the sun set on the convention circuit, we transitioned to the charming streets of West Reading for the Fall Fest – a celebration of community, creativity, and the fall spirit. Setting up shop in front of our store, we brought a taste of the convention experience to our local community. Families strolled through the fest, enjoying the festive atmosphere, live music, and delectable treats. Our booth became a focal point, attracting passersby with a blend of convention treasures and nostalgic-themed goodies.
The back-to-back experience of vending at Zolo Con, Retro Con, and the West Reading Fall Fest was a rollercoaster of excitement, nostalgia, and community connection. Each event brought its own unique energy, and we cherished the opportunity to be a part of these diverse celebrations. As we packed up our booth after the fall fest, we couldn't help but reflect on the incredible journey we had undertaken – a journey that showcased the beauty of fandom, the power of nostalgia, and the joy of bringing people together through the universal language of toys and comics.
Magic The Gathering (MTG) goes beyond being just a card game—it's a gateway to forming new connections and becoming part of a welcoming community. In an era dominated by digital interactions, MTG stands out for its ability to bring people together through shared passions and face-to-face engagement.
The Power of Interaction
While MTG's gameplay is captivating, it's the interactions between players that truly shine. From pre-game conversations to post-match reflections, the game fosters genuine communication. These moments build personal connections that extend beyond the cards and contribute to lasting friendships.
The MTG community is renowned for its inclusivity, making it easy for newcomers to join. Experienced players readily share their knowledge and skills, ensuring a warm welcome for all. Local game stores play a crucial role in nurturing this environment by offering spaces for trading, competing, and connecting.
Diverse Bonds, Shared Passion
MTG transcends borders and backgrounds. Players from all over the world, diverse in culture and profession, come together due to their shared love for the game. Tournaments and events amplify this unity, providing opportunities to learn from others and forge international friendships.
Magic: The Gathering offers more than strategic gameplay; it's a conduit for forming genuine connections. The game's community, bolstered by local stores and global events, creates an inclusive space where friendships thrive. In a digital age, MTG reminds us of the power of personal interaction and the joy of discovering common ground with others.
Historical Significance: Reading has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1748. The city played a role in popular culture making it onto the monopoly board ever since 1903.
Economy: Historically, Reading was known for its iron and steel industries, earning it the nickname "The Pretzel City" due to its strong pretzel-making tradition. While these industries have declined, the city has diversified its economy to include healthcare, education, manufacturing, and distribution.
Culture and Arts: Reading offers a variety of cultural and artistic attractions. The GoggleWorks Center for the Arts is a creative hub with studios, galleries, and workshops. The Reading Public Museum features art, science, and history exhibits. The Santander Arena hosts concerts, sporting events, and entertainment shows.
Education: The city is home to Albright College, a private liberal arts college, as well as Penn State Berks, a regional campus of Pennsylvania State University. These institutions contribute to the city's educational and cultural vibrancy.
Diversity: Reading is known for its diverse population, with residents representing various ethnic backgrounds and cultures. This diversity is reflected in the city's cuisine, festivals, and community events.
Natural Beauty: The city is surrounded by scenic landscapes, with the nearby Blue Mountains offering opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and nature exploration.
Transportation: Reading is well-connected by major highways, making it accessible to nearby cities like Philadelphia and Harrisburg. The city also has public transportation options, including buses.
Reading, Pennsylvania, with its historical background, diverse culture, and efforts towards revitalization, continues to evolve as a city that embraces its past while striving for a vibrant future.
West Reading is a charming borough located in Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States. Known for its vibrant atmosphere and welcoming community, as you stroll down Penn Avenue, the borough's main street, you'll find a delightful array of boutique shops, art galleries, cozy cafes, restaurants serving up a variety of cuisines, and so much more. Explore the unique blend of local businesses making West Reading a haven for shoppers and avid collectors.
West Reading is also home to several annual events and festivals. Nature enthusiasts can enjoy the scenic beauty of nearby parks, including the West Reading Playground and the Reading Public Museum grounds, offering opportunities for outdoor recreation, picnics, and relaxation. West Reading provides residents and visitors with a welcoming and vibrant environment to live, work, and play. Experience the warmth of West Reading, PA, and discover why it's a beloved destination in Berks County. Bellow are some of the best things to do in West Reading.
October is always a fun time of year so we are happy to show off all the fun things we will be doing this spooky season! We at Symbiote Collectibles are happy to announce we helped put together the West Reading event calendar this calendar will let you see all the happenings of West Reading! Lets get right to our shops events, we have a lot of fun things going on. We added all of our event images bellow along with more useful information on the events.
Reg. 1:00, Start 1:15, Fee $25 This is a qualifier event for the DreamHack Tournament!! The first 32 in shop players will get a Thraben Inspector. Selfless Spirit for the top 8 players plus top 8 pins, 1 top 8 lanyard, 1 promo pack, 1 set booster. The winner will receive all included top 8 prizes plus a Selfless Spirit foil, 1 collector booster pack, 1 foil promo pack and one 3-Day DreamHack badge (picked up at Dreamhack)! Be crowned the best Magic: The Gathering player in the United States at the next round of competition at the DreamHack Regional Championships. This event is invitation-only and awards $130,000, Pro Tour invites, and World Championship invites in prizes! Save $1 if you have a paper deck list and have your deck list uploaded to Melee before the in shop check in. Click Here to Register. We will also participate in this months Wine Walk witch will also include a $100 costume contest more info for that HERE.
Symbiote Collectibles set up at Zolo Con Game On 2022 at the Fuge! It was a great show were we did a lot of fun and free demos of Fight a Bear!!! We also had a large verity of vintage video gaming figures and in box games. The convention was a ton of fun and we got to see a ton of our fellow vendors and familiar faces at a great venue. The next event at the Fuge will be Zolo Con 2023 date not yet announced. We will be at Retro Con 2022 in Sept. more info. at our convention page [HERE].
Arts on the Ave. was amazing!! Big thanks to Visit West Reading for hosting such an amazing event and everyone for coming out and enjoying the beautiful weather!!
Max H. owner of Symbiote Collectibles.
Check out other Symbiote Collectibles news story's by clicking the links bellow.