Hobby-x is a hobby expo held 4 times a year in South Africa. JHB has 2 events a year and DBN and CTN one each.
While it does not cover the whole range of hobbies available in SA, it’s rather exhaustive- you would need more than the three days that it runs to go to all the demos’ and workshops. Even if you were just browsing, you would still need a whole day just to look around.
I was planning on spending a day at Hobby-x as my hobbies are vast and cash consuming. The discounts and show specials tend to make things easier on the wallet. Due to personal reasons I thought that I would have to skip the expo altogether.
As luck would have it, I needed to fetch my car, which is another expensive hobby, from my mechanic who was about five min away so I popped by for a few hours.
I did not have my camera with me, as I was in a rush, but I was only planning on visiting two stands in the short time that I had; Boardgames SA and Skycastle. Luckily for me they were both under one banner this year “Unplug Yourself”. While I cannot give you a full rundown of the expo I can give you an overview of my experience. If you are a board gamer and have never been to one then this might help you to decide if you would like to go.
I thought that was a rather clever stand name, also sharing floor space, a cashier and a large demo area was a good way to display a large gaming foot print to the public. Much better than 2 separate, smaller stands.
The more I thought about the name the more I liked it. Eventually I figured that there might be more to it than just a name and I decided, on a hunch, to Google it. I found this site. It turns out that Unplug Yourself is an initiative by 3 of the bigger suppliers of table top games in SA to get people to play more games face to face.
Having missed Rage 2014 this was a bit of a surprise. I’ve signed up to the mailing list and the Facebook page and I’m very keen to see what they have in store!
So there I was at the stand, wondering what to do and the staff on hand started engaging in conversation and I even got to play some games. One was just a demo of a turn from a game in progress and the other was a full three player game.
This is one of the things that I really like about hobby-x, hands on time with the things that you are interested in. I usually walk around and see what’s new, watch a few demos and even try some things out for myself. I am very keen to see what’s happening with 3D printers, also the arts and crafts helps a lot when it comes to the kids school projects but I just did not have the time.
Last year I got to play 2 games of Legendary Encounters : An ALIEN DBG, I got to look at Takenoko and Black Fleet. This year I looked at 2 older games Memoir ’44 and Bananagrams, expect reviews sometime soon.
I also had a good chat with staff from both Boardgames SA and Skycastle; very friendly and helpful people. If they served coffee I might have stayed there even longer 😉
Anyway, I did walk away with some loot:
Ok, that is a small lie, I ordered Golem Arcana before Hobby-X and it was delivered on Monday. So I didn’t walk away with that.