From crisis to fight back
Invasion Colchester is a fantastic cosplay event that takes place annually in Essex, England. The event was born out of the near-death experience of our good friend and Invasion founder, Simon Leonard, who nearly died of swine flu (H1N1) in 2011. He beat it thanks to receiving treatment involving an ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) machine which acts as an artificial heart and lung. There are very few of these machines available in the UK and so Simon was very lucky indeed that a bed became available at a hospital for him to receive the treatment.
The life-saving treatment that he received inspired Simon to raise funds and awareness for ECMO and so he launched Invasion Colchester in 2011. The event saw cosplayers invading the historic town of Colchester, which as 'Camulodunum' was the first capital of Romain Britain and is also the oldest recorded town in Britain. This vibrant town is full of fantastic architecture and shops and provides a fantastic backdrop for the event, which now raises thousands of pounds for charity every year.
A cosplay event with something for everyone
It was fantastic to be back at Invasion Colchester after a hiatus of 2 years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. What's so great about this event is that it has grown to provide something for everyone. It's really quite eye-popping to see so many cosplayers from near and far descend on the town for a costume take-over but the event is so much more than that:
Themed areas provide opportunities for photos with your favourite characters, with everyone from Disney princesses to Marvel and DC Superheroes to Ghostbusters and Star Wars characters.
Show cars from the movies are parked around town. This year Batman vs Superman Batmobile proved a huge draw.
Movie props like the Game of Thrones chair are available for you to have your photo with.
There's competitions and prizes, special guests doing signings and live performances from talented local musicians.
Mind Magic Studios were invited to do some live sculpting and chat to visitors about costuming as part of the event. I also kitted up as Cad Bane later in the day for some Star Wars costume action. Whilst I was busy sculpting and answering questions, I sent Mrs Mind Magic Studios off to capture some footage of the day and some of the incredible costumes the fantastic visitors to the event wore. Thanks to everyone who agreed to be filmed, you all looked amazing!
We send our heartfelt thanks to Kerrie, Invasion Colchester Event Co-ordinator, from Ace Comics and all her town centre colleagues who work so hard every year to look after everyone and make the day such a success. You can follow Invasion Colchester on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
So here it is, the most metal day ever...