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Gamers, fans find RetroWorld on top of its game once again

HARTFORD — This past weekend was a blast for many gamers and their families with the return of RetroWorld Expo to the Hartford Convention Center featuring games, guests, tournaments and vendors.

This year’s lineup of guests included Blitzkrieg Pro Wrestling’s and special guest Gangrel, along with Mike Levy from the skit-based review show “Dude, You Haven’t Played This Game?,” auctioneer Travis Landry, video game reseller Caleb Ashton of “Phoenix Resale,” video maker Tito of “Macho Nacho Productions” and Dan Larson, the host and writer of “Secret Galaxy” on YouTube.

For Wallingford’s Cossette Francis, a vendor of Silvered Fox Creations, the expo is an enjoyable retreat every year.

“This is my best year so far,” Francis said. “I enjoy coming to the convention and started when the convention was at the Oakdale Theatre.”

Francis creates custom, cat-like ears and tails in various styles and colors. She started the business during the pandemic as a way to help her family with income. She does the business out of her home in Wallingford.

Number of attendeesgrowing

Also on display at the convention were cars from Rad Stallions and several vendors selling video games and consoles.

Lance Cortez, co-organizer of RetroWorld,  was pleased with the weekend turnout. He said this year was a much bigger turnout than last year. His co-organizer, Kris Krohn, has been working the show with Cortez since the beginning.

The convention has been taking place since 2015, the first two years at the Oakdale Theatre and the others at the Hartford Convention Center.

“More people were hanging around on Saturday night, and we’re seeing a lot of good turnout,” Cortez said. “We definitely saw more this year than last.”

He said many people come to the convention for the vendors, the top asset for the event.

“Being a family guy myself, I just really enjoy seeing people bringing in their kids and just having a good time like the kids losing their minds,” Cortez said.

Among the vendors were video game setups and demonstrations for adults and kids to try out from Origin of Play. 

Panels at the expo included discussions on collecting and reselling and how to find underpriced video games. 

Rotating special guests

“Every year we try to swap out the guests and include people like voice actor Ian James Corlett, who is known for (the Japanese anime television series) Dragon Ball Z, as well as other 90s icons like Cheetor in Beastwars/Transformers, the original Megaman and Bob in ReBoot,” Cortez said. Corlett was a guest this year.

Cortez was relieved to visit the convention on Sunday as it's his favorite day, and everything is typically in place with minimal issues.

“We are looking forward to returning to the convention center next year and looking to expand as well,” Cortez said. “We still love doing it.”

To learn more about RetroWorld, you can visit the website www.retroworldexpo.com.



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