Only a week late... better late then never.
To save you the preamble, I went out to Ontario to visit my old friend Matt and we took in TransformersCon last weekend as well. Here, now, for the first time... are my thoughts on the show. :)
Saturday: Matt and I got up at six in the morning and got ready. After a quick breakfast, we hopped in my rental G6 and zoomed off to Toronto, the Canadian center of the Universe. We stopped somewhere along the way and had a drink/donut at Country Style Donuts (they’re all out of business where I live) because I was getting tired from the drive (like I said, I didn’t sleep that well for a lot of the trip. I had these sexy nymph ghosts in Matt’s spare room that kept trying to have me–it was all I could do to stay awake and alive!)
We got to Toronto around 10 (I think). We quickly found the Doubletree International Plaza Hotel–the site of TransformersCon (the second largest annual gathering of Transformers fans™). This was my first time at a TF convention that wasn’t Botcon (of which I’ve been to five). Anyway, the show had already started but hadn’t been on long... they’d had some sort of get together the night before for pre-registrants but I hadn’t bothered registering because I knew we wouldn’t be able to be there anyway. That morning also had a pancake breakfast (really, what goes better with Transformers then some flapjacks? :) But, again, we didn’t get there in time for that so I didn’t sign up for it either.
We paid $20 to get in the door and I bought a souvenir t-shirt. We also got free TF movie posters–Matt got the Autobot one (“To protect”) and I got the Decepticon one (“To destroy”) We also got little Decepticon logo pins... they had a limited edition repaint of WST Slag (green, like G2) but I skipped it as well as skipping the comic (it was an old Dreamwave one left over from a couple years ago). They also had an Alternators lithograph by Alex Milne but I didn’t buy that either.
We got through the door security (they were a bit too into their jobs) and checked out the Dealer room. It had lots of interesting junk in it... I noted kooltoyz.ca had MP Megatrons there. I went out to get some money from the cash machine for one and returned shortly thereafter to find they’d already sold out! (There was a literal swarm of fans around their table because they were the only dealer with it).
At the cash machine, I ran into Colin. He’s a fan from Ottawa that I met at last year’s Botcon. We chatted a bit–I recall yakking about this year’s Botcon set and saying I likely wasn’t buying it and some other TF nonsense. He said he’d see us later but actually we never did see him afterward.
I noticed a CityTV van outside in the parking lot and believe they were the ones going around with cameras and covering our little show. I guess it’s cool a geek gathering gets TV coverage on the news (now they know what we look like! Quick, hide!)
We sporadically went to the dealer room throughout our day there and I bought four TPBs of the Marvel US comic series (now, I have about half of it). I also got a $10 KO of the Macross Veritech fighter/G1 Jetfire toy (the Happywell one). Matt got two DVDs–one bootleg of B5 bloopers and one of SW fan films (hope those people are getting something for someone putting their stuff on a DVD). I looked at other stuff too but held off buying anything.
We also checked out a TV playing TF episodes in the lobby. They had some G1 the first time I looked and later on were playing Victory eps (the TV had chairs near it which is why I mention it at all).
There was a panel room too. We went to the first panel–“Customizing Panel” starring that guy from marksprojects.com (not sure what his name is... ;) and some other guy too. He had a large, unfinished Metroplex he was building and an MP Ultra Magnus with blue light-up optics. The panel was a bit technical and I almost nodded off several times throughout it (damn sex nymph!) Mark and the other guy were out in the lobby later with his famed transforming TF costume.
The second panel was, by far, the best. It had G1 voice actor Michael Bell present. He answered many questions and told many fascinating stories (somehow, I snapped awake for his panel and listened intently). I missed the Botcon he was at (whichever one it was) so this was a new experience. Michael Bell is as interesting a guest as the best voice actors I’ve yet seen at the Botcons that I have been to.
After his panel, Michael went to sign autographs outside in the lounge (where the TV was). The line-up was long and frankly, I don’t feel like having someone sign something just so I can hauck it on ebay so I passed.
The next panel was “Transformers Movie 2007 Panel”. The MC guy (an east Indian/mid-eastern fellow–I didn’t catch his name) hosted it with another guy and went over several slides basically clarifying what is definitely known of this project. This panel also had me awake and interested... it also had some entertaining moments. One, was an Asian fan at the front of the room that kept interrupting to “clarify” facts for the people hosting the panel (apparently they’re idiots that aren’t in the “know” like him). When discussing the police car Decepticon and his “to maim and protect” logo he commented that “nobody could possibly fall for that”. Because, naturally, all the peoples of Earth know what a Decepticon logo means and that it’s not some kind of logo for a special unit/something. Another amusing moment was when a different fan in the audience asked “If Scorponok’s on our side then why is he fighting our troops?” The guy hosting the panel gave him a funny look then explained the obvious–the Decepticons are bad guys! (You can’t make this stuff up).
Next up, was the “Transformers Comic Book Panel” with Alex Milne, Matt Moylan and Matt Hansen. Of the three, only Alex is really doing anything with IDW while the other two were more Dreamwave related. One guy is editor in chief of some sub-branch of Marvel that adapts sci-fi novels into comics while the other guy does a Lilformers web comic. The panel was okay but not overly informative and we learned little new (except that Alex hates movie Megatron’s design–but who doesn’t?)
After that, we’d had our fill of nerds and robots for the day and decided to return to Belleville. We missed “Live Script Auditions and Reading” (yawn!) and “One-Shall-Stand Transformers Trivia” (also, yawn!) They’d also had a showing of Transformers: The Movie later in the day–but since I’d rather gouge out my optics then see that movie again, we passed.
All in all, not a bad show... I still prefer Botcon but this was a decent stand-in.
Hopefully, that didn't bore you too much. If it did, I apologize--but you can't have those minutes of your life back! Ha-ha!