Marché Noir, a retro event with cosplay, toys, movies and games from the 60s, 70s, 80s – how could I say no? The only place where the Empire and Ghostbusters are recruiting!
I’ve been to many retro game trade shows in the past, even though I usually never buy anything there. When I saw the announcement for Marché Noir, it promised even more retro eye candy. So I quickly drummed up interest for this event in one of my WhatsApp groups.
Marché Noir was held at Depot Dortmund, a former repair facility for street cars. Depot opened in 2001 as a location for exhibitions, performances, markets, workshops and more. A single street car in the hall is a reminder of this building’s past.
This was the second retro market. It was billed as featuring toys, vinyl, comics, VHS, magazines, fashion, interior, books, art and design. Potential exhibitors had to apply for the event. The result was a mix of a market, nerd gathering and gaming.
Not for sale
Let’s start with the more instagrammable part of Marché Noir, the fan groups and cosplayers. The dark side of the force was strong with this event, as the 501st Legion German Garrison were looking for fresh recruits. They offer knowledge and a forum to build your Star Wars costume, group trips to conventions and more.
Equally well organised are the Ghostbusters. We are Ghostbusters also travel from convention to convention. I was very impressed by their props. Just like the Empire and the various cosplayers, the Ghostbusters were more than happy to pose for group photos.
Speaking of cosplayers without an association to a larger group, there were quite a few. I probably missed a ton, since we only stayed for about two hours. The first one was an original series Cylon centurion from Battlestar Galactica. The costume was appropriately shiny and featured a moving red scanner eye. The voice was also modified and I had no idea what the person inside the suite was saying.
Also impressive was Chewbacca. Chewie had his homebase next to the Ghostbusters – the 501st Legion is only for the bad guys and shady characters. Another visitor proved that a good costume doesn’t need fur and played Commander Keen. He wore an MS-DOS shirt.
Masters of the Universe had a strong presence at Marché Noir. Supervillain Skeletor showed up in a full-body costume, much to the delight of someone in our group. I felt equally delighted at seeing a female Joker, who was criminally funny. I would watch all her movies. And buy all her merchandise!
The 60s to 80s weren’t a strict requirement – otherwise there’d be no SNES, Wii, Nintendo DS, PlayStation or Sega Saturn games at the Marché. Vendors had the games and they had the hardware. I even found a few games on tape for the C64. I was somewhat tempted to pick up an original GameBoy for nostalgic value, but I already own enough retro systems.
Retronom on Tour had a gaming corner with various computer and video game systems. I played some Llamatron on the Commodore Amiga.
Also in Dortmund was a computer museum I never heard about: Computer museum Bielefeld Bicomm. This museum doesn’t have regular opening hours and is far outside the city centre.
Video, Toys & Vinyl at Marché Noir
80s toys are not my fandom, but those who are could find lots of rare items and sealed action figures. You could spend thousands of Euros at the Marché Noir.
Vinyl was more affordable and there were plenty of soundtracks on sale. Another group member digged into the stack of vinyl records and left the place happily with various soundtracks. Meanwhile, I was looking at the fashion stuff. Most of it was based on movie properties, especially monster films.
Last, but certainly not least: the films. The VHS tapes on display and for sale surely gave a flashback to video rental stores. That was the time when we rented movies based on the cover and description. More often than not, it was trash. But it was still better than what was on the few television channels!