Before I get into this, I just wanna put this disclaimer out there: I won’t engage in any conversations regarding if this convention should have or haven’t had happened. Simple as that.
This past weekend, for the first time since 2019, Saboten Con was held. I opted to only go one day for a few different reasons and decided on Sunday. I got there a little after 11AM when the exhibit hall opened and panels kicked off and there was already a decent amount of people in attendance. The first thing I noticed was the remodeled lobby of the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown. The hotel remained closed during the pandemic and used that time to completely give their lobby a new look. The space is very bright, very open, and has very “clean” look to it.
I made my way up to the third floor where the exhibit hall is located. This is probably where I spent the bulk of my time, exploring each and every vendor table. As the day went on, the crowds got larger with some aisles becoming crowded, easily dissuading attendees from making the aisle worse. I was surprised with the attendance of the convention honestly. The line to buy badges remained steady through out the day but it never got terrible. I had heard on the previous day that the line to buy badges was intense. It was evident people were ready to get back to a pop culture convention that many love.
The individual creators and artists had a nice variety of merchandise they were selling, you can a lot of these individuals used the downtime to create some cool stuff to sell when conventions returned. It was a little disappointing to see the usual booths selling the usual stuff (I don’t have to give specific examples but if you’ve spent any time at a local con, you know which I am talking about).
Back on the topic of how many people attended, Saboten had a mask mandate for the event and I have to say, I was impressed. Out of the entire time I was there, I literally only saw one person not wearing a mask. Everyone was respectful about it and it was good to see.
The biggest draw about Saboten for many is the cosplay, whether they are cosplaying themselves or enjoying seeing others dressed as some of their favorite characters. Sunday at Saboten definitely didn’t disappoint the cosplay fans. There was a huge amount of attendees in cosplay from various anime and manga properties as well as video games, comic books, and more.
It was only a day but I definitely had a good time at Saboten Con. With the size of the convention, one day is probably the perfect amount of time for me. Did you go to Saboten? Let me know what you thought over on Twitter or IG (@legionofsand on both spots).