Every spring and fall for the last six years, Collector Con comes to the Kankakee County Fairgrounds to give locals and tourists a chance to indulge in hobbies and nostalgia. Jason Denault, of Kempton and a Herscher High School graduate, founded Collector Con after he noticed a lack of collector and hobby focused cons outside of Chicago. As a result, Collector Con has become a community space for small regional collectors and vendors. The opposite of the celebrity filled mega-con C2E2 in Chicago, Collector Con offers patrons an intimate experience. “Vendors and collectors have become friends,” said Denault. “Without Collector Con locals wouldn’t know about the small collectors.”
Denault is a full-time vendor and collector. He turned his childhood hobby into a full-time career. As a kid his passion was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys and products as well as vintage video games. “I kept everything. Then I had no more space and needed to sell some stuff,” he said. Armed with his collection and knowledge about vintage toys, Denault has traveled all over the U.S. as a vendor and participates in cons of all sizes.
Denault’s heart lies with the smaller cons. He notes that as close to Chicago as we are, tickets and transportation costs to the big cons in the city are expensive (a one-day ticket to C2E2 can cost up to $55 per person and does not include activities like autograph signings). Denault has designed Collector Con with that in mind. A ticket to Collector Con is $3 per person and children 10 and under are free. Patrons can receive a dollar off admission by showing a Collector Con flyer at the door. Keeping Collector Con available to everyone is Denault’s goal. “I want families to be able to attend and their money go to the vendors.” As the years have gone by, Denault has moved beyond featuring only comics and toys. This year vendors will also feature art, coins, buttons, polished rocks, crafts, jewelry, video games, and all types of collectors. No matter your interests, there is truly something for everyone at Collector Con.
Collector Con will be held at the Kankakee County Fairgrounds, 213. W. 4000 S. Rd., Kankakee, Sunday, March 24, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside the Expo Center. For more information, visit the Collector Con event page on Facebook.