HasBeen at HASCON
Hasbro, the global toy company, participates in many conventions (Star Wars Celebration, BotCon, GI Joe Con, Comic Con, etc) every year, but this weekend was the first time the company itself celebrated all of its brands in a family focused celebration at HASCON it’s “premier FAN-mily” event .
The Good Doctor was working so when it came up in my social media feed I wanted to go for a couple of reasons:
- I have kids. Hasbro has toys. Kids love toys.
- It would get us out of the house on Saturday.
- I could see friends (I used to work at Hasbro–yes I am a HasBeen).
For those uninitiated into the world of The Con, there is usually a main floor with booths or areas dedicated to a specific brand or product. At Comic Con it has movie studios, TV networks, toy companies or comic artists. I also once walked the floor at the ultimate Con for the Good Doctor–The American Society of Anesthesiologists or The ASA–Got my eye on a Sa-WEET Draeger Anesthesia Machine. They also have panel discussions, seminars and vendors selling goods.
At HASCON they had the floor divided up for its major toy brands. We spent the time wandering through the various brands and enjoying the toys in the play areas and cool memorabilia on display. Kylo-Ren’s Light Saber. T’Challa’s Black Panther Costume. Rey’s Speeder Bike and BB-8! Vintage Bumblebee from the first Transformers movie, etc. We steered clear of the Toy Boutique as I had told the kids that the trip was the treat.
We enjoyed it. Highlights include:
- My youngest daughter weeping openly when we left the My Little Pony area so her older brother could see the NERF booth.
- Having my eyes clawed out by my 2.5 year old (twice!) as I had to move him from one area to another.
- Having to wait for someone in the bathroom stall to finish a phone call before I could take 2 of my kids to the bathroom (just made it!)
- Only losing sight of my 2.5 year old twice (located in the same area we were in after about a minute)
Overall it was a great day. The kids loved playing with all the toys and getting stamps on a passport. Managing these types of experiences with kids of ages from 2.5 to 11 is tough though. I think our 11 year old would love a panel discussion on making an animation series or how to create a comic book, but the younger ones wouldn’t go for it. We also arrived too late to get in a short line for face painting or hair “Ponyfication.” Kids also have different interests. My 4-year-old girl could have lived in the My Little Pony booth but my 5-year-old boy was done with it after 20 minutes. I just have to remind my self that these things take time, and eventually we will have more flexibility in how we use our time. Having my wife or a friend there would also have helped as we could have divided up how to spend the day.
Probably my favorite part was catching up with several former colleagues and friends who still work at Hasbro. Like any job there were days I thought “I can’t believe they are PAYING me to do this!” because I loved it so much. Then there were days I thought “They ARE NOT paying me enough to do this!” But the people I worked with were great. I had good managers. I had products and brands that made people happy. Seeing these people and chatting for a few minutes gave me some adult interaction that is tough to get sometimes and reminded me of those good times.
As I was wrangling kids and catching up with the manager I had right before I left to stay at home with the kids, she mentioned she had been thinking of me and said “I don’t know if you are ready to come back yet, but when are, you know who to call.” It was a nice sentiment and a nice conversation to wrap the day with.
In the next 3 years all our kids will be in school. I don’t know what I will do then. Do I get a full time job again somewhere? Do I go back to Hasbro? Do I just find a part-time thing so we can still have some flexibility? I don’t know what the future holds. It’s a tough call to make.
Once call I can make is heading back to HASCON if they have it next year.
I would go earlier and bring The Good Doctor so we can catch all of the things we missed. It was worth the time, money and brought a little magic to our weekend.