Wednesday, April 02, 2008

My most memorable moments in Transformer conventions moments PART 1 OR: Robos before bros, with hos a distant third

Botocn is a little over three weeks away and I've been thinking about all the fun I've had at the one or two Transformer conventions I've been to here and there. I've had some good times at these shows even though I always seem to make a total dork out of myself amongst the other roboplastico fans. This is harder than it sounds. A little social dysfunction at a toy robot convention is not surprising considering I'm better at preserving 20 year old toy robots than maintaining friendships with real people. I've done a horrible job at keeping in touch with friends I've made at Botcon but holy crap you should see how well I take care of my Dinobots.

While much of my time at Botcon is spent in the bathroom hiding from angry people who thought I knew how to use email, I do sneak out often enough to take part in some of the show activities. One of my most memorable convention moments was the figure customization class at Botcon 2006. The customization class was a big deal because Hasbro provided each participant with the raw parts to assemble two complete Transformers. And by raw I mean these parts were still on the sprues, fresh from the plastic injection molding machine. Outside of working in a Chinese toy factory this was the closest you could ever get to a Transformer in its most embryonic state. Finally I could play out my fantasy of being the Chinese factory worker who de-sprues toy parts all day for $15 a week.

Because of a miscommunication with Hasbro, everybody in the class got twice as many parts as they needed. All the parts were in bags and each bag had enough for two robots, and each person got two bags. We all got to make two toy robots and we got to keep an extra bag with the raw parts still on the sprues for two more. It was pretty cool from a collector standpoint and I've never opened my extra bag. Although I sold off and gave away all of my other convention exclusive toys from that year, I never got rid of those two Transformers I made myself in the class, or the bag of raw parts. Part of the reason is that the convention organizer made us take an oath that we wouldn't. We even raised our right hands and everything. I'm not sure, but I think at the age of 32 in the middle of a toy robots convention I may have joined the Boy Scouts.



It was a real pain in the ass to put those things together and even after five hours most everyone in the class didn't have theirs fully assembled and painted. I gained a new appreciation for the work of the people who do this stuff for a living, and these were just your basic seven dollar Transformers. I also feel really bad about every toy robot I broke when I was a kid, knowing that some Asian guy really busted his butt to put it all together in the first place. I don't know if I could do that job knowing how destructive little kids are. It's like working in a factory making pants and knowing that eventually, somewhere, someday, somebody is going to crap all over your hard work.

NEXT WEEK: When you say Bud, you've said it all.

6 comments:

VICEGRIPX said...

So, hypothetically speaking, if someone were to e-mail you about the unassembled toys, you could perhaps do something with them?

Just throwin' it out there. I mean, you did Scout-Swear after all.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Hell no. Savage runs the GI Joe Con. He knows Sargent Slaughter's phone number.

Rob said...

"I don't know if I could do that job knowing how destructive little kids are. It's like working in a factory making pants and knowing that eventually, somewhere, someday, somebody is going to crap all over your hard work."

Better yet, it's like working in a factory making pants and knowing that eventually, someday, they're all going to explode.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, rent Knock Off (1998) starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Rob Schneider.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

I will definitely Netflix that. I still need to see the Donner cut of Superman 2 and I currently have The King of Kong in the house. I use the film mentions and recommendations you guys give on the Paunch Stevenson Show as guides for my Netflixing.

fairplaythings said...

The build-your-own-custom class was what broke down my defenses and lured me to Botcon in 2006. My second set remains unopened in my study. Joy!

Shame we only got one firgure in 2007. And this year I'm not in the class - I think it is going to be a good figure though.

Rob said...

"I use the film mentions and recommendations you guys give on the Paunch Stevenson Show as guides for my Netflixing."

Cool! Let me know what you think of Bicentennial Man. It's the second worst robot movie I've ever seen.

 

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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.