Sunday mornings are the perfect excuse to laze in bed. Or have a relaxing and hearty breakfast. But for some real TRANSFORMERS fans, that is not an option – they were already queuing to get into Cybertron Con 2012 long before it opens – some didn’t even go home the previous night.
When I went for the Cybertron Con on Mar 11, I didn’t really know what to expect. Growing up, I’ve watched my fair share of the TRANSFORMERS cartoon series and in the past few years, caught all three epic Michael Bay movies. But as fandom goes, I cannot say that I am a serious fan – at least not in the league of real fans that would queue overnight. My excursion to the convention was partly to find out what goes on in a convention for hobbyist (something rarely seen in this region) and partly to see if I can relive some memories. A mission, so to speak, to see what would catch my eye.
Stepping into the Resort, the first thing that struck me was the queue. By 8:30 am (a good few hours before the convention opens its doors), there was already a queue and a murmuring of anticipating voices.
Student Brendan Yip was first in line. Equipped with his TRANSFORMERS T-shirt, a camera and lots of willpower, Brendan had camped on the grounds since noon the day before. A true fan if there was one. For his feat of being first in line, he had his 5 minutes of fame, being approached by various newsgroups while we all waited for the doors to open.
Talking to the fellows behind him, they were not too shabby either – some were there since 9 pm last night. “A bit tired lah!” they chorused when I inquired about how they felt. Well, I would feel the same if I had a spartan tile floor for a bed. Definitely a ‘Like’ for their good spirits – they were looking forward to catch the figurines on display and exclusive merchandise to bring home.
For me, it was mission accomplished as I round up four gems I felt were worth sharing, starting from:
The Beast Wars collection at the 28 Years of TRANSFORMERS walkway
I remember watching Beast Wars in my primary school days. Something about humanoid-like robots changing or merging into animals and vice-versa was very popular back in the 1990s (case in point: the Power Rangers and the Dinozords forming Megazord). I remember Cheetor being my favourite simply because he was yellow (my favourite colour), and because he transforms into a cheetah (I like cats). What I don’t recall was there being so many of them; the figurines above are only a few on display. It’s a nice walk down memory lane and those who grew up with Transformers might get hit with a little sense of nostalgia, while the young ones will get an education on TRANSFORMERS Through The Years 101.
The creative entries at the TRANSFORMERS Re-Imagined station
Real fans dedicate a lot of time to what they are passionate about, and it is no surprise that fan-art is one of the most inspired works around. Celebrities, hobbyists and designers have re-imagined Optimus Prime and Bumblebee in new and creative ways, and set them in new scenarios. I fully appreciate the careful thought put into the creations, and was especially tickled by “Break Time” (above left) with a weary looking Optimus taking a breather, and “Hidden” (above right), of Bumblebee “hiding in plain sight” against the Chinese word of the same meaning.
Build your favourite TRANSFORMERS at the KRE-O Workshop
As the new kid on the TRANSFORMERS block, KRE-O has done pretty well integrating themselves with the popular brand. If you’re a fan of building blocks and TRANSFORMERS and have yet to get your hands on one of these babies, then here is your chance to give it a go at the KRE-O Workshop. Warning: it can be pretty addictive so don’t be surprised if you find yourself at the merchandise queue line with an armful of KRE-O products.
Drawing lessons at The Art Room
As a kid, most of us probably struggled to draw Optimus or Megatron. 10 years on, I’d bet that most of us still have the same problem. Enter expert Jose Lopez, Art Director from Hasbro Studios, who pointed out the finer points of drawing TRANSFORMERS. When I was there, the classes were filled so I didn’t give it a shot, partly also because I think I’m so bad, no amount of help can improve my (lack of) drawing talent.
There were some hits (fan-art!) some misses (cardboard standees, much?) and the expected (the much publicised 22 feet Optimus Prime). I went to the convention to satisfy my curiosity but I came away feeling a little bit “hey, I remember that”. Hopefully, other than the TRANSFORMERS merchandise, you brought home with you a sense of “awe and wow” too.