TRAFFIC was brought to a standstill on the outskirts of Bridlington over the weekend as a village hotel hosted what is believed to be the world’s first ever Moshi Monsters Convention.
Tail backs were reported up to a mile and half outside of Burton Agnes on Saturday morning as around 2,000 people from all corners of the UK made their way to the Blue Bell Hotel and Brasserie for the convention dedicated to Moshi Monsters - a toy craze that is currently sweeping the globe.
The event exceeded the expectations of its organisers, Blue Bell owners Alan and Rebecca Wilson, and now Mind Candy, the company who created the children’s toy have offered their support to the convention should it happen again next year.
“It exceeded all our expectations because the village got absolutely swamped with people,” Mr Wilson said.
Within minutes of the convention opening its doors to the public the Blue Bell’s carpark was full, shortly followed by the overflow car park at the primary school.
By 10.30am police officers called the Blue Bell to find out what was happening after reports of cars parked on the roadsides causing congestion.
The cars were eventually directed by the event staff to park away from the main road, some resorting to parking up to a mile outside of the village and walking in.
“This was one of the biggest events ever to happen on the east coast, which you can tell by the numbers, it was absolutely massive, beyond our wildest dreams,” Mr Wilson said.
“It gave 2,000 people their dream day,” he added.
The convention saw hundreds of youngsters travel in from across East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and even as far afield as Manchester, the Midlands and Glasgow.
It gave them a chance to meet popular Moshi Monster character Poppet as well as being able to swap monsters, some of which can sell for hundreds of pounds.
Moshi Monsters is a virtual game created by Mind Candy which has spread into the real world; becoming a merchandising machine now featuring toys, video games, apps, magazines, trading cards and small plastic replicas of the characters which youngsters collect and swap.
Rebecca Newton, Mind Candy’s Chief community and safety officer, said news of the convention created a real buzz in their London office.
“We hope it’s the first of many conventions across the UK as well as around the globe. But most importantly, it’s the first Moshi Monsters convention in the world, to our knowledge. and how appropriate that the first Moshi convention is being held right here in the UK,” she said.
Mind Candy have said they would be happy to travel up to Burton Agnes from London to enjoy the second annual Moshi Monsters Convention, should it go ahead.
The event was supported by toy retailer The Entertainer and manager of their Hull store Dan Barker said its success went beyond what they anticipated.
“The kids were fantastic, some of them were queuing for two hours, it was so much bigger than we anticipated and I even had to draft in my mother-in-law to help out. We had seven staff there on the day when really we could have done with 30,” he said.
If the event is held again next year Mr Wilson would make use of extra overflow car parking facilities in an adjacent field to avoid any future traffic congestion. Donations collected on the day raised around £200 for the National Autistic Society.