Thursday, May 21, 2009

PRELUDE TO VINTAGE SPACE TOAST TOUR PASADENA (part 2): Unidentified Flying Robot Tyrannosaurus

As Botcon draws closer I'm wondering if my reasons for going are good ones. I usually skip every other year but this would be the first time I go two years in a row, which is strange because I'm not really as big a Transformer fan as all those other guys who have been to all the conventions and know all the robot names and have all the toys. So I feel a little out of place, but not as much as the other 51 weekends in the year where I'm surrounded by people who don't know what a Computron is. Still, to be going two years in a row makes me wonder why exactly I'm doing it. Is it for myself? Is it for my friends? Is it for my country? While other people just go on vacations for the sake of going on vacations, my robotardation turns even simple thoughts of taking a break into a Rambo poster.


I sometimes forget what makes toy robots conventions fun for me as I live my Darth Vader-like existence spending all my time in my meditation chamber and thinking about roboplasticos. As I was at the hobby store yesterday looking for parts to fix my crappy Star Wars kite that keeps breaking I was surrounded by hobby stuff and it stirred up some old feelings. It got me remembering how Botcon is more than just a toy show, it's my favorite break from my normal life of overseeing the construction of various Death Stars. Between being a single dad for 6 months while my wife was deployed and her return a week ago and my in-laws visiting and packing for the move and getting the house ready for inspections it has been pretty crazy lately. Sometimes I just wanna go where everybody knows what a Computron is and Botcon is one of mankind's great traditional gatherings of like-minded individuals united by some common ground, like an Iron Maiden concert or the Academy Awards or New Year's Rockin' Eve with Dick Clark. Botcon is what you do because of what you are when what you are is a fan of toy robots, like how Special Olympics is that thing you do if what you are is retarded.


And now here in the eleventh hour as I get ready to attend the Botcon that I would usually not be going to, I am reminded of another roboplastic tradition-that of making little plastic trinkets to take with me to the show. Resin casting projects are monumental consumptions of time and I saw no way it would be possible given all the stuff going on around here, but I was in that hobby store and I just couldn't see going to Botcon without doing something-making some little trinket at least for myself to commemorate the occasion. To not do so would be an unthinkable breaking of my personal Botcon tradition! It would be a disaster! A roboplastic apocalypse! So I came up with an easy to execute idea for a refrigerator magnet based on two of the voice actor guys that will be there-the Grimlock voice guy and the Cosmos voice guy. Since all I did was smush some existing toy parts together I went from initial concept to first casting in 24 hours. That's a record for me. Once it's painted I will have something for Grimlock voice guy and Cosmos voice guy to sign and my tradition will have continued. Unfortunately so survives another tradition-the one where I'm painting stuff in my hotel room at the show because I do all this crap at the last minute.


Armed with my unidentified flying robot Tyrannosaurus trinket I am ready to board my Shuttle Tydirium and get on with Vintage Space Toast Tour Pasadena. Like a time capsule, these little plastic projects I make have a way of capturing memories of the era during which they were created. So for years hence whenever I go to the refrigerator to make a sandwich I will remember clearly this crazy point in time filled with house inspections and visiting in-laws when I went to Botcon 2009 anyways to get Gregg Berger and Michael McConnohie to sign my refrigerator magnet. Because sometimes a guy just wants to get away to someplace cool where there's robots. I UNDERSTAND NOW WHY DARTH VADER WENT TO HOTH.

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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.