Give your inner child a treat. Visit floor 3 (yes, there are three floors in Building 2) of AmericasMart, and you’ll find some amazing, little-known gems. I ventured behind the first building to the second, managed to find the escalators to the second floor of building 2, and heard that those escalators way over on the right side led to a third floor of shoppers delight. “Ah, you’re talking about the comics, right?” you say. No. I didn’t stop there. I pushed on, crossed the expanse of printed heroes, and came at last to the magical land at the back of the building. What did I find there? More venders with loads of cool stuff.
Beyond Half Price Books, which I passed with an aching heart and an already-heavy backpack, I stumbled upon my childhood dream: thousands of Lego minifigures lined up like a miniature Dragon Con Parade! Yodas and Stormtroopers, superheroes and villains, Elves and Hobbits—you name the Lego minifigure, they have it here. I stopped to speak to the vendor, Chris Cott, owner of The Atlanta Brick Company. Chris has a lot of custom items, too, such as Lego fidget spinners, Doctor Who minifigures, Walking Dead minifigures, Alien Xenomorphs, and baseplates with cool prints. As if that wasn’t enough, they have a purple dragon minifigure, made exclusively for Dragon Con!
“We’ve got about 3,000 minifigures here,” Chris said. The Atlanta Brick Company is a local store, too, only about 45 minutes south of Atlanta in Newnan, Georgia. “We have the largest Lego selection in the world,” Chris said. “So far we’ve been uncontested.” Chris also carries a lot of new and retired Lego sets, as well as third-party items that are made to be compatible with Lego, like custom brick arms, weapons, movie posters, and more. They even have a party room attached to the store, 1,000 square feet bursting with Lego, baseplate-murals on the walls, a life-size Lego throne, race track, and building tables available for rent. (Wow. I know where I’m headed once I recuperate from Dragon Con.)
Across the way from the Lego display, something big was attempting rather unsuccessfully to hide under a couple of undersized covers. Something big. And shiny. And silver. Do I detect the unmistakable lines of a DeLorean? Not only a DeLorean, but THE DeLorean from Back to the Future? Unfortunately, its owner was away, watching the parade, so I didn’t get to see its full glory or sit inside and get pictures of me geeking out. (Wait. How did they get that thing all the way up here on the third floor, anyway?) I hear that last year, they had a full-size Toothless that you could ride! I wonder what they’ll bring next year?
After dragging myself away from the DeLorean, I found myself at a role-playing gamer’s heaven. You know how those dice can be uncooperative sometimes? Bouncing where no dice have ever gone before? Hiding on some unknown Earth in a different multiverse? Fret no more.
Roger Zimple and Julia Berks at the nearby Moria Silver display carry gorgeous fantasy crowns that would satisfy anyone’s inner Elven queen, some in actual silver. They are currently working on superhero designs as well as evil crowns. Can one of those crowns give me evil powers? No, Roger assured me. They only dabble in evil.
And then I came to Period Panties by Harebrained, the wildest, comic-inspired panites I’ve ever seen. Their designer, Anthony, owner of Harebrained, told me that this is their first time at Dragon Con, so they’re giving out free pins and stickers. They have cool T-shirts, too.
So don’t restrict yourself to the first building or the first two floors of the second. Explore the full craziness of Dragon Con. You never know what you’ll find.