HasCon was announced in October last year and to be honest very few of us knew what to expect from Hasbro’s first foray into the world of fandom conventions. While Magic the Gathering Grand Prix tournaments have slowly moved towards becoming miniature conventions (e.g. GP Vegas), there had never been a dedicated event for Magic as a brand.

And, to be fair, Magic is just a small slice of the massive pie that is Hasbro’s intellectual properties, all of which were on display in Providence from partners like Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars to major brands like Nerf, Transformers, and My Little Pony. How would everything fit together?

If you’ve been following the coverage in the past few days on social media then you know by now that HasCon was immensely successful in bringing together Hasbro’s multiple brands and turning the Rhode Island Convention Center into a family-friendly environment for children and adults of all ages and all fandoms. But no one expected that when we began planning things out 11 months ago.

Details on HasCon were pretty slim for a long time but I knew that I wanted Hipsters of the Coast to have a large presence in Providence. For starters, unlike PAX West or Grand Prix Vegas, Providence is practically in our backyard with the majority of our content creators based out of New York and Massachusetts. So it was a no-brainer to get as many folks to Providence as possible.

More importantly though, these days we stand at a crossroads for Hipsters of the Coast as we grow as a voice within the Magic community, much like how Wizards of the Coast stands at a crossroads as they try to grow that very community and their game into the modern digital age. With programs like Magic Digital Next announced, and Wizards reduced presence at events like PAX, it was a foregone conclusion that if there were major announcements to be made they would be made at HasCon, and I wanted Hipsters of the Coast to be there to bring the good news back to the fans of Magic.

Over the coming months things began to solidify into a solid picture of what HasCon would be like. Grand Prix Vegas, Magic’s own convention of sorts, is where much of the information coalesced especially regarding Iconic Masters and the 25th Anniversary Celebration.

I think it’s fair to say that I probably bugged someone at Wizards of the Coast for more information about HasCon at least once a week every single week since Grand Prix Vegas. Probably multiple times a week and sometimes multiple times a day.

Soon Magic the Gathering Arena was announced and we had a solid plan for what to expect from HasCon. My team of content creators plus myself were ready to get as much content as possible from what was sure to be the event of the season, and we weren’t disappointed.

What we got out of HasCon was more than we ever could have hoped for. Live coverage of panels. Exclusive demos of video games. The world’s first live stream of both Iconic Masters sealed and Iconic Masters draft. The official kickoff 25th Anniversary party. Interviews with a number of Wizards of the Coast employees. And of course, providing all of this at a high level of quality to you, our fans.

Throughout the rest of the week you’ll get to see more of the fruits of our labors including more interviews and videos and recaps of the event. Know that going forwards we’ll be working hard to include more and more content like this as we continue to expand our operations. We’re always looking for feedback so don’t hesitate to reach out to us on social media and share your thoughts.

Last but certainly not least I want to thank Zach Barash, Zac Clark, Pat Euglow, Aaron Gazzaniga, Kate Gazzaniga, and Jerry Mee for making the trip and working through the weekend to create all the great content you’ll be reading about. I also want to thank my wife Sara for providing production assistance to the team throughout the convention.

Most importantly I want to thank Dana, our photographer/videographer, without whom none of this would have been possible. Dana came to us several months ago expressing a desire to help us put together amazing video and photo content, and the results have far exceeded anyone’s expectations.

Rich Stein is looking forward to seeing more members of the community come out for an even bigger and more exciting HasCon next year!

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