Before there was the event, there was the pre-event dinner with Chris Stephens from the Portland area, who was in town with his family on Spring Break. Chris, Mike Senna, Roy Powers and I got together for a bite to eat at Downtown Disney. It's always great to meet up with R2 Builders from out of the area who are in town.
On to the event. I wasn't planning on doing this one, but at the last minute R2 signed up for the Kinect Star Wars launch event at the local Microsoft Store at South Coast Plaza, in Costa Mesa, CA. The event benefitted Make-A-Wish, with a contribution for each character going toward the charity, and an extra donation was arranged on R2's behalf.
This was the object of attention.
Given that it was a worknight/weeknight, I wasn't able to do the preferred schedule of 10:00pm-1:00am. (And I wasn't particularly desiring that shift either.) Instead, I brought R2 out from 8:00pm until about 10:30pm. R2 met the excited staff at the store, and greeted customers.
At 9:00pm, the store temporarily closed, while it was rearranged to host the launch party. R2 interacted with the folks on the outside looking in, and later interacted with them outside the store while they were waiting. (Don't ask me why kids under 10 were out so late, I don't know...)
A professional photographer and a 3-member DJ crew were also on hand. In the meantime, somewhere between 50 and 100 people lined up outside, waiting for the launch party to start. At 10:00pm, the store reopened and the crowd came in to take pictures, play the game, and buy the product.
Since it takes a while to load R2 back into the Droidmobile and get him home, I had to leave around 10:30pm, but the party was still going strong when I left. It seemed like everyone was having a good time.
The full photoset is here.