“I still believe…”
If you had told me fifteen years ago that I would be watching Tim Capello perform the iconic ‘I still believe’ from The Lost Boys, I wouldn’t have believed you.
I could only have dreamt of watching this performance, or attending an event where The Lost Boys cast were reunited.
Yet this dream became a reality, brought to life by Monopoly Events at For the Love of Horror 2019.
The reunion came about through an unexpected cancellation a few months earlier, as Monopoly CEO Andy Kleek explains:
“It basically came around through a cancellation believe it or not, so there was a little bit of fortune in the beginning. It did not feel like it at the time though. Jason Patric cancelled for our Manchester show in June 2019, so we rescheduled him at For the Love of Horror in October.
We added Tim Capello and had the idea of performing the soundtrack onstage. Then The Lost Boys Reunion started forming. I was then set about contacting all the other guests and one by one, we secured them. Keifer [Sutherland] was playing with his band in Manchester the same weekend, so we asked and he was the icing on the cake that made it complete. We are proud to have facilitated the biggest and most complete Lost Boys Reunion in the world”.
The atmosphere at For the Love of Horror was electric. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of walking through the Catina Bar at Bowlers Exhibition Centre, as the anthem ‘Lost in the Shadows’ plays.
From meeting actors such as Alex Winter, visiting the outside fun fair and braving the Scare Maze (and believe me it was scary), the convention was one unforgettable weekend. To this day, I’ll never forget the clowns in the last part of that scare maze…ever.
Mix that with the incredible guest line up, which included Kane Hodder, Bill Moseley and the cast of the IT TV Film, and it is easy to see why fans keep returning to Monopoly Event Conventions.
From myself as a fan, I wanted to celebrate the conventions that Monopoly Events have organised and share some of the memories I have of their brilliant events.
Monopoly Events CEO Andy Kleek also shares some of his memories of the events and what the future has in store for the conventions.
So where to begin?
When Comic Con in Liverpool was cancelled in 2018, thousands of fans were disappointed. I certainly was.
Hearing the news, Andy and the team at Monopoly Events worked quickly to organise their first Liverpool Comic Con within a few months. It was the first of their conventions I attended and it certainly won’t be the last.
The Company organises a range of events and festivals, including For the Love of Horror, For the Love of Sci-Fi and For the Love of Wrestling.
For the Love of Wrestling 2019 featured legends including Bret Hart, Jimmy Hart, Tim DiBiase and Ric Flair, talking about their experiences of professional wrestling.
Fans could also purchase wrestling memorabilia, meet guests including The Undertaker and play wrestling video games from past decades.
My friend who attended the convention described it as “an absolute rush – buzzing with fun. The weekend had so much to offer”.
With conventions held in various places including Liverpool, Manchester and Scotland, there is something to appeal to all generations of fans.
At Comic Con Manchester, which celebrated the themes of ‘For the Love of the 80’s’ and ‘For the Love of the 90s’, who could have expected the reunions they had in store?
Zach Galligan, Judge Reinhold and Frances Lee McCain reunited to celebrate the beloved film Gremlins. You could even have your photo taken with the cast on the Gremlins Kitchen Set!
Steve Guttenberg, Michael Wimslow, Leslie Easterbrook and Marion Ramsey delighted fans by sharing their memories of making the Police Academy films. There was also a Baywatch special, featuring Angelica Bridges, Brande Roderick and Erika Eleniak!
Police Academy, Gremlins, Baywatch – and that’s just the start of the amazing reunions that Monopoly Events have organised!
A favourite reunion of mine was the gathering of Power Rangers at Comic Con Liverpool 2019.
Like many fans, I grew up watching Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. It was great to talk to the lovely Steve Cardenas, who starred in MMPR. Then to turn a corner and meet Bulk and Skull (the fabulous Jason Narvy and Paul Schrier), was incredible.
From Time Force to Ninja Steel, it was the largest gathering of Rangers I had ever seen.
It was also a joy to see my nephew meet his favourite rangers. He loves Power Rangers Megaforce. To see the delight on his face when he met Ciara Hanna (Gia) and Azim Rizk (Jake) made the entire event extra special.
It was his first ever Comic Convention. The great atmosphere and experience of meeting the Rangers made him so happy that he wanted to visit more conventions in the future. Thank you Monopoly Events!
“I love making the fans happy”, says Andy.
“To see the smiles on their faces and how happy they are when they meet their idols and see some of the things we build – it makes it all worthwhile. That’s why our motto is ‘By the Fans, for the Fans”.
Monopoly Events always have a phenomenal guest line up at their conventions. With every year, the events get bigger and better.
Comic Con Liverpool 2020 had its largest line-up ever, featuring Elijah Wood, David Harbour, Lori Petty, Melissa Joan Heart, Ryan Hurst, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker and Lucie Pohl.
There were also reunions featuring the casts of American Pie, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Never-ending Story and a 40th anniversary celebration for Sci-Fi Classic Flash Gordon.
Previous guests have also included Christopher Lloyd and Jean Claude Van Damme at Comic Con Scotland and Charlie Heaton and Danny Glover at For the Love of Sci-Fi 2019.
Danny Glover’s appearance at For the Love of Sci-Fi was a dream come true. He is one of my favourite actors, starring in films including Predator 2 and Jumani: The Next Level. My favourite role though is Detective Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon films.
I’d love to see Danny Glover return to a future Monopoly Events Convention. It would also be very cool to see him reunite with the casts of some the films he has starred in.
Others on my guest wish-list include The Princess Bride’s Cary Elwes and the cast of Stargate starring James Spader and Kurt Russell – a reunion that perhaps would suit For the Love of Sci-Fi? Imagine a set-build of the Stargate!
When choosing guests for conventions, the process goes back to the Monopoly Events motto of ‘By the fans, for the fans’:
“Some are personal favourites and others we research fan demand and try and provide what the fans want. We always get a lot of fans emailing in, asking for certain guests”.
But which casts would Andy love to reunite at a Monopoly Events Convention?
“The A-Team and Rocky – Those would be one hell of a reunion”
Rocky star Burt Young attended Comic Con Liverpool 2019, while Rocky IV’s Dolph Lundgren appeared at For the Love of Sci-Fi’s 5th anniversary convention in 2019.
I’m sure there would be lots of fans who would love to see the Rocky film casts reunited at an event. It would certainly be a thrill to see actors including Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren talk about their experiences of making the films.
With Monopoly Event reunions, anything could be possible, which makes their events all the more exciting.
Guests aside, there are so many reasons why Monopoly Events keep attracting thousands of guests every year.
One is their out of this world set builds. Made by fans, the set builds have ranged from The Lost Boys Cave, to the Stranger Things Alphabet Wall, The Simpsons Couch, Del Boy’s Flat and Falkor the Dragon from The Never-ending Story.
Walking around previous conventions, I’ve been met by Tweekie from Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century, Gremlins and Daleks. The Daleks even welcomed you with a tray of Jelly Baby Sweets, a witty nod to the Doctor’s treat of choice.
I’ve loved talking to the fans who have built these sets. The attention detail is spectacular and the passion the fans have for their builds is inspiring. Plus, they provide once in a lifetime opportunities – who couldn’t resist a photo with the Lost Boys cast on the cave set build?
The set builds continue to grow at each event, with Andy promising one of their biggest builds to date at a future convention:
“Having time out will make our imaginations run wild, but expect more exclusives and crazy builds! We are working on a very exciting build we cannot reveal yet, but it’s so big, we are seeking planning from Trafford Council! That’s as much as I can tell you, but this will be an epic build”.
The atmosphere at the conventions is always warm and welcoming. I have made a lot of new friends through the events, sharing our love for the films, television shows and games that we have grown up with.
These events would not be what they are though, without the fans.
At every event, lots of fans in costume raise money for charities. Their kindness throughout the events helps to support a lot of causes and from myself, I want to say thank you to everyone who helps to make this possible.
The CosPlay at every convention is phenomenal. There have been regenerations of Doctors, Monty Python characters, Michael Myers, Pennywise, John Wick, Dorothy Gale and Glinda and the Scooby Gang, to name but a few.
My favourite CosPlay outfits from the past few events though, has to be the group dressed as Buzz, Woody, Bo Peep and the Aliens from Toy Story. As soon as I saw them walking through Liverpool’s Exhibition Centre, my face lit up with happiness. Plus, they looked like they were having so much fun – which is what being at a convention is all about.
Monopoly Events recently went live on their social media to update fans on their conventions in 2020.
Comic Con Scotland is now rescheduled to be held in 2021.
For the Love of Horror and For the Love of Sci-Fi are still currently scheduled for later in 2020.
Looking towards the future of Monopoly Event Conventions, Andy reflected on the months ahead:
“I think the next few months will be difficult, and when conventions start we may be reduced on numbers and have social distancing rules in place, but eventually they will get back to normal. When they do, they will come back with a boom. They will be bigger than ever and people will really appreciate them. Let’s look forward to an exciting future and the bad times will make us appreciate the good even more”.
Until then, I hope you have enjoyed looking back on some of the amazing memories that Monopoly Events, the guests and everyone involved have created.
From me and I’m sure lots of fans across the world, thank you Monopoly Events!