The Ultimate Hobby Experience
Date: June 25 - June 27, 2004
Location: Ontario Convention Center, Ontario
Dragon Hobby Expo 2004
A Weekend of Heroes 2004: Experience the Dragon Expo was a resounding success!
During the weekend of June 25 - 27 , Dragon Models Ltd. and Best of USA Marketing partnered up for the second year to organize the Weekend of Heroes convention . This year's themes were the Battle of Anzio and Stalingrad , and collectors and dealers from all over the world flocked to the Ontario Convention Center to witness what is probably the best 1:6 scale military themed convention ever!
This year's featured guests boast three high profiled World War II veterans who have fought in two of the most historical battles in the war . The Friday night guest of honor / VIP speaker was retired US Army Lt. Col. James "Maggie" Megellas , the most decorated officer in the history of the 82nd ABN , and the author of the best selling book "All The Way to Berlin" . Saturday night's guests included two men who have fought on opposite sides in the Battle of Stalingrad , and have come together for the very first time in a historical and touching reunion. German Maj . and Austrian Prince Alfred von Habsburg-Hohenberg, and Russian Col. Anatoly Kozlov were both on the same battlefield 62 years ago in Stalingrad and was later revealed in an interview that both fought in the same building on the same day ! This historical meeting between the Russian and German VIPs were met with gaping mouths by those who have witnessed it.
Dragon Models Ltd. , in honor of the three VIPs , created two twin packs of 1:6 action figures . Lt. Col. Megellas was featured in the twin pack "Airborne vs. Airborne" along with a Luftwaffe Paratroops Officer while von Habsburg and Kozlov were featured on the twin pack titled "Stalingrad Stand-Off" . Each figure was created with stunning detail and accuracy that was done through extensive research with the VIPs themselves . Each of the figures were personalized to what the VIPs had worn on the battlefield, including von Habsburg's favorite weapon , a Tomahawk axe! These two twin sets are definitely a must have for all collectors!
In addition to the World War II veteran VIPs , Dragon invited their very own female action figure soldier , US Army Supply Specialist Heather Bard of the 1st Infantry Division . Ms. Bard was the basis of the Dragon action figure appropriately titled "Heather" , and was available all weekend to sign autographs and meet and greet with her fans ! Also present were renowned Dragon artist Ron Volstad and military historian Tom Cockle , who both shared their vast knowledge of WWII uniforms and armor in their respective seminars.
A brand new addition to this year's show was the plastic model contest . Also sponsored by Dragon and organized by well known model clubs such as the International Plastic Modeler Society (IPMS) , Tank Factory (T-Factory) , Pasadena Modeler Society (PMS) , and the Los Angeles Miniaturists Society (LAMS) , the contest boasts some of the most talented modelers in the country . To add an international flavor, and for the first time ever , Dragon invited some of the best modelers from Japan to compete in the contest as well . Those in attendance included the famous "Diorama King" Mr. Takuji Yamada , Mr. Tatsuya Kaneko , Mr. Masahiro Doi , who is also the chief editor of Armor Modelling magazine in Japan , as well as the winners from Japan's JMC contest . Also in attendance was Hasegawa Corporation's very own Mr. Masato Hasegawa, who along with Mr. Freddie Leung from Dragon Models , were amongst the presenters for the contest winners . The plastic model flavor was a welcome addition to the show as many 1:6 scale collectors were impressed by the fine detail of the models , and many of the modelers were also fascinated by the world of 1:6.
For the Weekend of Heroes: Experience the Dragon Expo , Dragon introduced several other convention exclusives in addition to the Friday and Saturday night twin packs . Special exclusives available at the show include a special edition Heather figure (limited 500 pcs) , a 1:144 PzBefWg III Ausf K PzGrenDiv "GroBdeutschland" Can.Do tank (limited 999 pcs) , and a Dragon Armor King Tiger Henschel Late Turret sPzAbt 511 (limited 999 pcs) . Also, Cyber Hobby joined in on the fun and released a convention only Friedrich Paulus special edition 1:6 action figure . These are a must have for any collector! Also, as a thank you to the collectors and the dealers attending the show , Dragon also gave out free 1/35 scale "Pure" Can.Dos of US Paratroopers , Normandy 1944. You can be sure that everyone went home happy!
With all the excitement , activities , and a cornucopia of 1:6 and other military products available for sale at the show , not to mention all the goodies that were available , there's no doubt that Dragon throws the best party in town!