June 8th 2008, the day of the dutch Transformers convention in Nieuwegein, the Netherlands is behind us. The second one of the current team, of which I am am proud to say that I am a part of. After the huge success of last year's convention, there was no other choice but to make this one even bigger and better. And that's exactly what we did.
After the overwhelming response and turnout last year, there was no doubt that we would give a repeat performance for 2008. For months we had been preparing and putting this event together. Along the way we have were faced with setbacks, like Hasbro in the U.S. requesting us to change our name, but Hasbro Netherlands was behind us all the way. But all the highs definitely outweighed the lows.
Unlike last year where we had hired two separate conference-rooms. This year we had reserved an entire gym for the event. Which had to have been at least 4 times bigger then the two rooms of last year combined. We started building the day before the event. We needed all the time we could spare. We had the eight vitrine cabinets to build to form the "Towers of Fame". They were filled with exclusive figures that are very hard to come by, a couple of repaint-kitbashes and some of the figures of Transformers: Animated. The convention was the first place in Europe where these first toys could (officially) be seen. A true exclusive for our event.
I myself was busy with our technician building up the stage and sound system we would use. All in all we were at it from 20.00 hrs until around and about 23:00. It was past midnight when I saw my bed. Problem was,... I needed to get up again at 05:00 hrs in the morning to start building for the actual event.
The core team consisted of myself and four others. For the last two weeks or so, the jitters had been shaking for some of them. Anxiously writing E-mails and calling each other on the phone. And who wouldn't with such an event on your shoulders?
I had a couple of other things running in the back of my mind that may have calmed my nerves. But when we finally arrived at the location again around 07:00 in the morning, I have to admit that I left my everyday worries behind me, and I too was starting to feel the jitters. I was actually not at 100%, being struck with a flu. But high on adrenaline for the event ahead, I wasn't going to be beat by something as minor as the common flu.
More help troops arrived, as we started the slow "transformation" from sports arena to Transformers convention. Around an hour into it, the various dealers started to make their way into the gym. Some of them were just as anxious as we were. Some had already posted pictures on various dutch forums, showing the stuff that they would be selling at B.O.T.S.
And it wasn't just a box or two... There were pictures of a small trucks being full of Transformers related stuff! The fans had also been anticipating this day and were eager to get their wallets out and grab what they could. The mood was really set, when one dealer helped the other dealer out building their stall, working together as neighbours. For me the event was already a success watching this, and the event hadn't even started yet.
After the various obstacles we had to overcome during the weeks and months leading up to the big day, we had another problem this day. Public transportation went on strike that day. All the buses and trams that needed to lead our visitors to the Merwestein complex in Nieuwegein, they weren't running. Because of this some people had already decided not to come. But despite that setback, the turnout didn't disappoint. We easily had 400 visitors during the day, which is almost twice as much as we had last year.
There was also an international flavor to the even this year, as we didn't just have people from the Netherlands. We had Belgian and German people there. Paul Hitchens from the UK who manned one of the dealer shops. We had one guy in the crowd who came all the way from Sweden to experience the Transformers culture. Also the younger kids seemed to enjoy themselves. One of my best friends Marcel from http://www.leukemensen.nl took pictures and made balloon animals for the kids (and some of the ladies that were there), while they watched Transformers Armada, drew and coloured and played with Transformers that were donated by Hasbro NL especially for the event.
Throughout the day, the fans seemed to enjoy what we had set up for them. I have the pleasure of talking with many of them. I hardly had any time for myself. In fact. I didn't even make it half way past all the stands to see what I could add to my own collection. Heck, I didn't have time to speak to some of the people I wanted to speak at all! But it was all good. And it was all worth it.
As the day was nearing to a close, we were coming to awarding all the prizes that we had to give away. And there were a lot of prizes. From exclusive leader class movie toys to actual U.S. BotCon 2008 exclusives. All were donated to us by Hasbro NL. I tried my best to make something out of the presentation. But with the flu I had caught, my voice wasn't in the best of shape, but I think people enjoyed what we did.
The event(s) rank as some of the top things I have done in my life. There is no explaining the thrill you experience when you see so many people enjoy themselves due to something you and a bunch of your friends have put together. People have been thanking me for the event, but it really should be me thanking them.
Right now we have started to work towards the convention for next year. With a changing of the guard with the team, it will be like starting all over again, only this time taking more of the responsibilities upon me. But with the experiences I have gained over the last two event, it will definitely be worth it. We have some nice surprises in mind for next year, but we will reveal them all in due time.
Dutch Transformers Conventions, Where all are one!
Transformers comic book artist Alex Milne, known for his work on IDW's "The Reign of Starscream" and "Transformers Animated", will be signing comics, sketching, and taking commissions at the Canadian Action Figure Expo on Sunday September 28th.
The show features 2 halls filled with dealers selling Transformers (a huge focus on vintage and Japanese import Transformers), Star Wars, GIJoe, Super Heroes, and tons of other Action Figures and collectibles. Many of the same dealers from TFcon Toronto will be setup at this show. Located at 3063 South Service Road the location is directly off the QEW with free parking for everyone. For more details go to the Canadian Action Figure Expo website or you can also RSVP via Facebook for the event.
If you'll be in the Toronto area and you're looking for a good deal on new and vintage Transformers, Joes, and Star Wars figures or maybe you'd like to say hello to your fellow Transfomers fans (myself included) stop on by and pick up something you've been searching everywhere for.
Michael Bay's 2007 blockbuster movie, Transformers has been nominated for a 'One Show Entertainment Award'. The award goes to the company that recognizes outstanding creative achievements by brands in the realm of entertainment.
In the catagory of Films for a 'Short or feature-length films that incorporate a brand as an integral component', Hasbro's Creative Artists Agency will be in the running against Freixenet - JWT Spain for "The Key to Reserva", Nissin Food Product - Ground Tokyo for "Freedom Project", eBay - Creative Artists Agency for "Force 1 TD" and "Tobias_427", Eurostar - Mother for "Somers Town" and Renault Germany - Nordpol+ Hamburg for "Teletheatre".
For more details and full listings of the awards you can read the release here
Chara-Hobby exclusive Wildrider and Boss Coffee exclusive Minibots have been spotted on eBay by a few of our members. Both of these figures were released in Japan over the past week.
Henkei Wildrider is a repaint of Hotrod and was released at the C3xHobby convention on August 30th. This figure was sponsored by e-Hobby. The number of sets released is not presently known, though reports claim that the figure sold out quickly.
The Boss Coffee Minibots were launched on August 26th and are part of a special promotion with Boss Rainbow Coffee. These can be obtained by purchasing specially marked Boss Coffee in convenient stores. There are 15 figures in total. Two transforming minibots; 3 Golden figures; and 10 miniture figures. Japanese residents are already reporting that these figures are harder to find than expected. They seem to be only available at select convenient stores and each store seems to be limited to one set.
Transformers @ the Moon members Snakas and Yokubarion have both posted images and a report of the event that took place at the Chara-Hobby Convention 2008. A full gallery of all the goods is available along with a good look at the Alternity Convoy (Silver Edition) and release of Henkei Wildrider (Henkei Hot Rod repaint).
Another goodie in the pics is a repaint of Ipod Convoy which looks like a repaint to fit Robots in Disguise Optimus Prime.
Herb Trimpe, artist on Marvel 80's movie and toy franchise comics, The Incredible Hulk (including the first WOLVERINE picture for publication), and of course, early issues of the Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Shogun Warriors, will be attending the Baltimore Comicon on September 27th and 28th.
I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you all know that long time Marvel artist Herb Trimpe will be attending the Baltimore Comicon on September 27 & 28 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Please come and say hi, get some books signed, and if you have some extra money and would like a sketch, Herb would be happy to oblige.
Herb is widely remembered among Transformers fans for his work on many of the early issues of the original Marvel series.
If you can't make it to Baltimore, Herb is available for commissions and recreations. Just visit www.comicbok-art.com for the price list. (You can also find info on Marvel Transformers writer Bob Budiansky there as well.)
We also have the original artwork to the cover of issue #2 of the Transformers/GI Joe mini-series there for sale as well.
The BBC has updated its site with a full report on the happenings that took place at Auto Assembly 2008. It's reported that over £30,000.00 worth of Transformers were purchased or traded over the one day event, which is being called "the largest Transformers fan convention in Europe. "
Simon Plumbe, co-creator of Auto Assembly, spoke with the BBC after the event. Here's what he had to share: "It was absolutely fantastic. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and we had a blast doing it. The official attendance record is 423. That's more that any other unlicensed Transformers convention in Europe. We're really very pleased - all the hard work organising it paid off."
Plans for Auto Assembly 2009 are already in the works and Simon and Sven plan to shatter this year's attendance as well.
To view the complete article and picture gallery of the event, click here.
We have here our first look at live in action video of the new ANIMATED TRANSFORMERS game for the Nintendo DS portable game system, shown at Auto Assembly this weekend.
The video starts out talking about the characters involved showing video clips from the animated show.
Then it moves to showing samples of each character in a side scrolling action. Each character has special abilities they can use that are are shown in the video, like Prime's axe throwing, and grappling hook, and Bumblebee's speed, stinger, and thrusters.
Next you get a look at how the driving portion works with Prowl, Prime examples. It shows how you can transform mid-drive to robot mode, and keep running, jumping, etc., and then transform back to vehicle mode basically without losing much forward momentum at all.
If you're a video gamer, check out this video and see if it helps sell you on this as a purchase when it comes out.