By Melissa Shaw
Providence is the place to be for families this weekend, as game and toy giant Hasbro offers its first HASCON FANmily Event, promising meet-and-greets, photo ops, celebrities, interactive fun, and all the toys and games you can play with.
Everyone from preschoolers to parents will find their favorite brands on display, from Magic The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons to Star Wars, Marvel, Transformers, My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop, Nerf, Trolls, Sesame Street, Disney princesses, and many more.
Held at the Rhode Island Convention Center and the neighboring Dunkin Donuts Center through Sunday, the event’s biggest draw is the HASCON Experiences areas dedicated to their brands, where kids (and parents) can try new toys and games. Some highlights:
* The NERF area, featuring shooting ranges, build-your-own blasters, and an indoor arena, where parents and kids can take each other on in battle. Those outside the arena can watch the action live on a monitor.
* In the Star Wars area, families can check out movie props, build their own lightsabers, pose on the Emperor’s throne, examine a plethora of past and present action figures and toys, and interact with a rolling R2-D2, who has the run of the floor.
* At Hasbro Gaming, families can play life-size versions of their favorite games, from Monopoly to Pie Face, and try out new ones.
* The Littlest Pet Shop area features a paint-your-own pet, where kids can customize their own character.
* Hop in a stylist’s chair in the Tangled and My Little Pony areas, where guests can get braided like Rapunzel and “ponified” like their favorite Ponyville character.
* And in the Baby Alive and FurReal pets areas, kids can play with more animals and babies than they they’ve ever seen before.
Plan to spend a lot of time on the Experiences floor. There are unique and fun photo ops in every area, and your kids (and you) will want to spend some quality time playing and looking at all there is to see (and there is a lot to see).
In addition to the Experiences area, guests can attend panels, hearing behind-the-scenes info about their favorite brands from developers, artists, actors, creators, writers, and more. Celebrities lined up for the weekend include:
* Red Sox sluggers David Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr.
* New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola
* Musician Flo Rida
* Dancer/actress Maddie Ziegler
* “Guardians of the Galaxy” Director James Gunn, and more.
More pictures from Day 1: