|First iteration||8-10 March 2002|
|Organizer(s)||Pawpet Live Experiences, Inc. (PLEx)|
|Charity||The CARE Foundation |
|Resources||Photos, videos, reports: Megaplex resources|
Megaplex is a furry convention first held in March 2002 as Pawpet Megaplex. The latest edition, Megaplex XIII, was held 25-27 July, 2014 in Orlando, Florida. The convention's slogan is Florida Sun, Furry Fun.
Megaplex's stated goal is to provide "a celebration of interactive arts and performance, with a primary focus on anthropomorphics and fantasy". Programming has focused on fursuiting, puppetry, improvisation, and other types of performance.
Megaplex has featured musical performances by Toxic Audio, 4:2:Five, Matthew Ebel, Fox Amoore and Rhubarb the Bear, stage performances including musicals Julie Bunny Must Die! and Fosgate: Ferret Loan Officer, and out-of-fandom honored guests including Trace Beaulieu, Paul Zaloom and Noel MacNeal.
|Pawpet Megaplex 1 (2002)|
|Pawpet Megaplex 2 (2003)|
|Megaplex 3 (2004)|
|Megaplex 4 (2005)|
|Megaplex 5 (2006)|
|Megaplex 6 (2007)|
|Megaplex 7 (2008)|
|Megaplex 8 (2009)|
|Megaplex 9 (2010)|
|Megaplex 10 (2011)|
|Megaplex XI (2012)|
|Megaplex XII (2013)|
|Megaplex XIII (2014)|
|Megaplex XIV (2015)|
|Megaplex guests of honor|
Pawpet Megaplex came into being as a replacement for Furry Spring Break, which was held in 2001. Furry Spring Break was unable to secure hotel space for a second convention in 2002, and folded. In its stead, Pawpet Live Experiences, Inc. was formed and on short notice held the first Pawpet Megaplex at the Ramada Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The convention supported the animal rescue C.A.R.E. Foundation, featuring a live animal presentation. The convention has continued to support the same charity each year.
The convention moved to the movie-themed Sheraton Studio City Resort for its second and third years, closer to Universal Studios Florida. In 2003 the convention had its first guest of honor, Susan Rankin, and first of many musical guests, a capella group Toxic Audio. In 2004 Megaplex officially dropped the "Pawpet" from the name. Megaplex 3 was the first year to make heavy use of the convention theme ("MP3", derived from the abbreviation of the convention name) with posters and hallway decor.
The convention upgraded to larger quarters at the Sheraton World Resort, right next door to the SeaWorld Orlando theme park, from 2005 to 2006, continuing to introduce new traditions such as a Saturday Night "Rocky Horror Picture Show" viewing complete with staff members as cast members.
Due to rising hotel costs in Orlando, Megaplex temporarily moved in 2007 and 2008 the Wyndham Jacksonville Riverfront in Jacksonville, Florida. In 2008 at Megaplex 7, with its comic book theme, the convention fursuit mascot Pounce the Panther was introduced as Megapanther.
Returning to the Orlando area, Megaplex was held at the Worldgate Resort in Kissimmee, Florida from 2009 to 2012, a short distance from Walt Disney World's main gate. The convention was rescheduled from March to late July to achieve better costs and hotel rates, and to help space the event out from the growing FWA. The con expanded its meeting space to include a larger Dealer's Den, an Artist Alley, and lounge area dubbed "The Lair."
In 2013 Megaplex returned to Orlando proper and expanded into larger meeting space at the Marriott Orlando Airport hotel. The convention has increased its focus on quality main events and immersive theming. As a gift the convention received a large "Megaplex" flashing sign to go along with the 1950s "Rocking the Hop" theme which was on display in the foyer; the staff started a tradition of unplugging the sign at the end of the con, at the completion of Closing Ceremonies.
Megaplex has introduced many ideas to augment the convention's programming and atmosphere:
- Pre-registered attendees can provide a personal avatar to appear on their convention badge.
- Megaplex was the first furry convention to introduce a convention fursuit mascot, Pounce the Panther, in 2008.
- Starting in 2012, Megaplex has created a commemorative poster celebrating each year's convention. One copy of the poster is offered for sale at the convention's charity auction.
- Collectible glassware is given to all attendees.
- Megaplex offers high dollar member levels above supersponsors, Megasponsor and Gigasponsor. Both receive all the perks of a Supersponsor level, plus special unique gifts each year such as engraved pocketwatches.
- Game show concepts have been introduced such as "Fursuit Deal or Big Deal," partly mirroring Deal or No Deal, with fursuiters instead of models.
- The convention's main events have been streamed live online since 2005.
- An exclusive hospitality lounge with hot meals is provided to sponsor and higher level attendees.
- The convention has donated "con badge number 1" for the following year in the charity auction since 2010. This badge number is usually reserved for convention chairman. The auctioning of badge number 1 raised over $300 for charity in 2010.
- Hall prizes called "Achievements" are awarded to attendees who accomplish them at any point during the convention. Most achievements are typically kept secret until the time they are rewarded.
- Megaplex archives all of its past con books, artwork, badge imagery, photos and videos on-line, available for all individuals to view on its web site.
Staff and organization
Pawpet Live Experiences, Inc. (PLEx) is a class C for-profit corporation operating out of the State of Florida.. PLEx, Inc. was incorporated in January 2002, a mere two months before putting on Pawpet Megaplex 1, and went the faster route of incorporating under the less stringent for-profit statutes. The Board of Directors runs the convention on a not-for-profit basis.
As of 2014 the Board members are:
- Randy "Yappy" Fox - President, Registration Director
- John "K.P." Cole - Vice President, Hotel Liaison, Programming Director
- Zachary "skippyfox" Friedrich - Promotions Director
- Kyle "Wolfpac" Bergeron - Security Director
- Matthew "STiTcH" Pence - A/V Director
- Carlton "Shy Matsi" Hurdle - Hospitality Director
- Erik "Hino" Johansen - I.T. Director
The convention actively recruits new staffers through open face-to-face meetings and on-line chats. A more comprehensive listing of Megaplex staff and their roles, including former staff members, is available on the convention's website and archives.
|Title||Dates||Theme||Venue||Location||Guests of Honor||Guest Performers||Attendance||Parade count||Charity Amount||Notes|
|Pawpet Megaplex||8-10 March 2002||-||Ramada Resort and Convention Center||Orlando, FL||-||-||126||?||?||Replaced Furry Spring Break|
|Pawpet Megaplex 2||21-23 March 2003||Hollywood||Sheraton Studio City Resort||Orlando, FL||Susan Rankin||Toxic Audio||197||?||?|
|Megaplex 3||19-21 March 2004||"MP3"||Sheraton Studio City Resort||Orlando, FL||Trace Beaulieu||Toxic Audio||357||23||?|
|Megaplex 4||11-16 March 2005||Road Trip||Sheraton World Resort||Orlando, FL||John Kennedy||Orlando's Potpourri of Puppets||387||32||$2,210|
|Megaplex 5||17-19 March 2006||...Teh Horror!||Sheraton World Resort||Orlando, FL||Brian Reynolds||4:2:Five||257||41||$3,100.40|
|Megaplex 6||2-4 March 2007||Game Shows||Wyndham Jacksonville Riverfront||Jacksonville, FL||Mike Kazaleh||?||185||31||$2,825|
|Megaplex 7||28-30 March 2008||Comic Books: Heroes & Villains||Wyndham Jacksonville Riverfront||Jacksonville, FL||Adam Wan||Matthew Ebel||255||45||$1,185|
|Megaplex 8||24-26 July, 2009||Toyland / Christmas in July||Radisson Worldgate Resort||Kissimmee, FL||BigBlueFox||Matthew Ebel||425||80||$1,500|
|Megaplex 9||23-25 July, 2010||Mad Science||Radisson Worldgate Resort||Kissimmee, FL||Paul Zaloom||Matthew Ebel||410||81||$2,928|
|Megaplex 10||29-31 July, 2011||Retro Arcade||Worldgate Resort||Kissimmee, FL||Chad Krueger||Matthew Ebel||553||86 / 64||$1,368||Hotel name change|
|Megaplex XI||27-29 July, 2012||Steampunk: Turn Back The Gears||Worldgate Resort||Kissimmee, FL||Noel MacNeal; Ron Schneider aka "Dreamfinder"||Julie Bunny Must Die!||625||142 / ?||$4,257|
|Megaplex XII||26-28 July, 2013||Rocking At The Hop||Marriott Orlando Airport||Orlando, FL||Fox Amoore, Tirrel||Fosgate: Ferret Loan Officer||821||185 / 86||$4,038|
|Megaplex XIII||25-27 July, 2014||The Candy Factory||Marriott Orlando Airport||Orlando, FL||Mary Mouse, TaniDaReal||Fox Amoore, Rhubarb the Bear, Husky In Denial, Pepper Coyote||1,281||320 / 76||$10,696.98|
- About Megaplex (22 September 2010)
- Some Candid Comments on Megaplex, from the Chair - Carl Fox, (24 December 2006)
- Goodbye, 2007...Hello, 2008! - Carl Fox, (7 March 2007)
- https://twitter.com/TheDanteOxalis/status/441613535224008705 Twitter photo of a Megaplex mug found at a Goodwill store
- Pawpet Live Experiences - Florida Department of State
- Contact Us/Staff List, Megaplex official website
- Megaplex History: Past Convention Archives
- Megaplex official site
- Megaplex on Fur Affinity
- Megaplex: Furry Fun, Florida Sun on Facebook
- Megaplex on Twitter
- Megaplex on YouTube
- Megaplex on LiveJournal
- Photos, videos, reports: Megaplex resources