They were the dream--resin cast beings able to transform their bodies at fan conventions, meetings and gatherings; a last line of defense against the realization that there could be no convention exclusive original molds! Or at least that was the idea back in 2004 when a couple guys from Washington and I made some trinkets for an unofficial Transformers fan convention called Cybcon. It seems like ages ago because since then we've seen many really great unofficial fan groups cranking out all sorts of Transformers inspired professional grade accessories and even entire robots. But back in '04 this sort of thing was entirely unheard of. Transformer fans were pretty much resigned to accepting that entirely new original toys were too cost prohibitive for Hasbro to produce and release at Botcon or to satisfy a small niche like crazy roboplastiholics. But nobody said anything about just a couple guys with a dream, lots and lots of cartoon screencaps and a whole buttload of resin.
ALL MY CASTS REMEMBERED
So as part of a group effort we produced a bunch of handmade original "convention exclusive" toys that were essentially scratchbuilt prepainted resin garage kits in custom packaging. I did the figure design, casting, painting and assembly and the other guys did all the rest. I never was good at resin casting and the toys attest to that-they really do look like something a guy who didn't know what he was doing made in his garage with some sharpie markers, countless ounces of resin, a couple pounds of mold rubber and a couple hundred bottles of yellow Testors model paint. I refer to it as the time when I had more ambition and materials than talent but they were good times nonetheless and a very special part of my experience as a toy robots enthusiast. That aside, if I never see another bottle of yellow Testors model paint again it will be too soon.
THE WAGES OF RESIN IS ABOUT 200 BUCKS
It was a cool little project that lasted for a couple years and every now and then one makes its way onto eBay-like what's happening right now with the Cybcon 2004 Bumblebee. The end prices for these Cybcon exclusive auctions usually run the gamut of absurdity-sometimes they're lucky to pull 20 bucks and other times they pull hundreds. I've never quite understood that. My understanding and intention was the only people who'd really appreciate or care about these would be the couple dozen convention attendees who got one. That these trinkets would attain any significant secondary market value has always been perplexing, but maybe that's because the difference between me and the buyers is I know how amateurish the execution is. Call me crazy but if I had 200 bucks to spend on a yellow robot I sure as hell wouldn't blow it on a fanmade anything when there exists perfection in roboplastimetallic form.
HE WHO IS WITHOUT RESIN CAST THE FIRST BID
I don't blog every time one of these goes on eBay but I have done it before and I want to clarify that things have changed a bit since I went on my last rant. I guess I've mellowed out a bit and my perspective has changed and I'm not so incensed by the profiteering anymore. Boy it's almost embarrassing how I used to go off on everyone involved in these auctions with such fury and rage, calling everyone on both sides of the transaction a bunch of soulless profiteering corruptors of my ideals and selfish retarded assholes and other things I usually reserve for the production staff of the live action Transformers movies. I guess that came from the insecurity of knowing the sculpts aren't all that great and my imagining how horrified the buyers must be upon realizing just what it was they bought. I've since learned to let go and not worry about some sucker getting taken by pretty pictures and a mysteriously worded auction description. I wish nothing but luck to all my selfish, soulless, asshole brothers!