GenghisCon is billed as "Denver's largest gaming convention," and since it's been around for over four decades, that only makes sense. (We all get a little bigger as we age, don't we?) The 2018 GenghisCon has taken over the Hyatt Regency Aurora through Monday, February 19, and organizers already think they'll see a larger turnout than at their fortieth anniversary event in 2017. Day passes are available at the door, and even if the gaming tables are full, plenty of geekery goodness is on display, both as cosplay and as merchandise for sale.
There's dice, of course (Chessex, one of the old-guard dice companies, has brought its usual impressive display), and games, and miniatures, and general gaming paraphernalia. But there's more than that, thanks to some Colorado-based artists and small-business owners who're displaying awesome and unexpected items. Here are seven of the most sublime.
7. Dice Bags While You Wait
Okay, more than a couple of booths sell custom dice bags — mostly images from sporting gaming memes, but sometimes other stuff, like baby Cthulhu or Pokémon or Wonder Woman. But only at this booth, run by Colorado Springs entrepreneur Midnight Geek Creations, can you pick your bag material (both inside and out — the bags are reversible!) and have it sewn up for you while you wait. Awesome (and maybe mandatory) if you've just given in over at the Chessex booth and bought an entire pitcher of dice.
6. Knitted Character Hats
Cosplaying is hard. It's expensive, it takes a ton of time to prep, and, honestly, it can be a pain to wear a costume around all day. But don't despair: If you just plain don't feel like cosplaying, you can at least wear a hat. Choose a character you like, then let your geek flag fly courtesy of Denver's own Loopy Llama, which lets you express your love for Cookie Monster, Jack Skellington, Pokémon, Spider-Man and a whole lot more just by donning some hand-crocheted headwear.
5. Laser-Etched Flasks
If you like a little nip at the gaming table — or simply need to sneak a bit of whiskey into that Faygo Rock N'Rye — then SandDragon Design has just the thing for you. They make coasters, too, in case you prefer your alcohol on the rocks and in a glass and don't want rings on the tables. (That's water rings, Tolkein estate, so please don't sue us for copyright violation.)
4. Nerdalicious Bags and Blankets
Whatever your nerd-niche, Whitney Stewart (aka Craftifox) has the bag for you. Harry Potter, Wonder Woman, Darth Vader, Spider-Gwen, My Little Pony, Captain America — any of them can carry those books, groceries or gaming supplies for you and make a statement at the same time. And if you're a bit chilly, that blanket not only has the big-four Avengers ready to keep you warm, it's also great if you want to insult Black Widow and Hawkeye, who are clearly the Professor and MaryAnn of Marvel's signature team.
3. Dragon's Blood Moisturizing Bath Bombs
If you've ever been to a nerd convention, you know that it's really important to support regular bathing habits. Honestly, they should just hand these out with the badges.
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2. Custom Dolls
These dolls are commonly referred to as "BJDs," which stands for "Ball-Jointed Dolls." Because that's pretty much all they are when they arrive from Japan: They're completely featureless, and must be fully customized. The doll on the right is in-process, and Brass Rabbit Custom Dolls has more examples of the intricacy of the painting and costuming involved in taking these dolls from blank-faced nightmare fuel to something worthy of display.
1. Dice Dice Holders
Because the only thing better than dice is dice that hold more dice.