Apologies for submitting this kinda late, but I've been so tired the passed few days, didn't think I could do this justice... anyways, here's my TFCon experience this year:
Friday, July 15th:
Got up at 6:45 am to prepare to leave for the day. Didn't get the chance to pack the night before because I was still working on my art for the voice actors. Thankfully this trip doesn't require much. As per usual, the trip to TFCon turns into a family trip. My middle sister and I attend the convention, while our Dad and little sister meets up with his friend (who also attends to con on Sunday) and they travel all around the GTA. When all the scrambling was accomplished, we finally departed around 9 am.
Thankfully the traffic was pretty light. We managed to get to the destination around 12:30 pm, although we did have to scout out a certain part of the 401 before getting there (more on that later). Anyways, we eventually met up with my Dad's friend at a restaurant called the Mandarin, aka best Chinese buffet ever!! I kinda wish I had spoken up to say that the trip there should have been a dinner trip, cus its definitely hard to do some serious walking afterwards... and that's precisely what we did. We made a stop at Square One, Ontario's largest mall so everyone could do some shopping. That mall is sooo packed! It's always hard to navigate around there too! We spent a few hours there, but I definitely had to take a lot of breaks. lol After our trip there, we all agreed to go to the hotel so we could all crash for a while.
Oddly enough, even after a giant lunch, we were all a little bit hungry. We ended up going to some place called Panera Bread, which is basically a place that serves all sorts of soups in bread bowls. I ordered the mac n cheese... but sadly they were out of said bowls. Thankfully though, that mac n cheese was one of the greatest versions of that dish that I've tasted, albeit quite a small amount. We were going to go back to the hotel to get our badges, but we noticed they had a freaking Krispy Kreme in the plaza across from the Panera Bread! We used to have one near us, but it shut down, and that was probably over a decade ago. At the very least, we had it before my youngest sister was even born! We got a dozen of those original glazes, along with a couple other varieties, and man could I feel the nostalgia! If someone reading this has never tried one, I can definitely say they're the best donuts I've ever had!
When we got our badges, we waited around for a bit until the opening ceremonies started at 8. Around 8:15 the charity auction began! This year it was hosted by Dan Gilvezan, Bumblebee himself and it was definitely great to watch! The most exciting bid of the night was this pass to get in early to the dealer room by 15 mins on the Saturday, and it resulted in a bid war between two women that went until one had dropped out at 210 $. After that, it was pretty much the end of the night for us. Always have a hard time sleeping in hotels... think I got an average of 3hrs of sleep per night sadly.
Saturday, July 16th:
So this year I wasn't planning on getting in line for the dealer room, or submitting work for the art contest, but here I found myself waiting in line with a said piece of work. There's really no point in getting in line for the dealer room until it opens unless there's this new hot figure that you want to get before it sells out... otherwise its always easy to get in. Anyways decided to get in line, cus the store called captured prey was allegedly giving out free legends figures to the first 50 in line. We went down pretty early and it looked as if there were less than that amount of people in line. I misjudged the whole affair by assuming it was the first 50 people to line up at their store, so I thought I'd definitely have a good chance at getting the freebie. Sadly though it was for those who were actually in the dealer room line... and of course the freebies ended like 3 people ahead of me... OTL
The doors finally opened and it was time to go in! It's definitely always like that scene in Willy Wonka where the kids walk into that main chocolate room, except instead of sweets, it was a bunch of TFs!
Forgot to mention earlier that for once TFCon finally gave out some swag with the badges and gave everyone these really nice giant tote bags! It's something I really hope they continue with in the future! Anyways, had a real nice big bag for any possible purchases. Since we were relatively early in the lineup, tried to skate around the showfloor before many others could get in! Even saw my friend David who was tabling in artist alley! Definitely got ahold of some great deals, and sadly missed out on some too (particularly ones involving Combiner Wars Sky-Lynx). Submitted my art piece and basically just kept browsing/ shopping for a few hours, taking breaks here and there.
At noon the beast wars QnA started up! Definitely didn't want to miss this especially since Jim Byrnes was one of the panelists... and as far as I know he definitely doesn't do a lot of cons. Surprisingly though, I guess Ian doesn't either. He literally said this was his 3rd con that related to Transformers. Anyways got these cool/ funny stories from both, like how Gary Chalk would refer to both as Jimmy... that and how Ian would annoy Jim with a parody of some baseball song/ ad he did. XD For the most part it was a really good QnA session... but I definitely cringe at certain questions... like some of them were the stereotypical kind of "in episode 305 when so and so did this, what did you think about X"? Now maybe the people who ask these questions literally don't think anything of it, but I wish people would tend to avoid those types of questions.
After the last QnA, shopped around for a bit until the G1 QnA started at 1. It featured the voice actor Dan Gilvezan and the writer Flint Dille. Gosh I wasn't expecting it, but I think I enjoyed this panel even more than the BW QnA! Both were full of great stories! Dan Gilvezan was really funny and Flint had all this awesome behind the scenes stuff to talk about. They never usually have show writers as guests, so its always cool when people can actually ask about characters or plot points and get some type on an answer.
Had some more time in the dealer room to kill until it was time for the art contests results. Guess I could have probably used this time to go and get autographs, but I tend to leave that to the Sunday when there's less people. Basically on Saturday you might have to wait at least 10 mins for autographs, but on Sunday the most you'll probably wait is 3-4 mins. At any rate, the results for the art contest were going to be announced at 3, although there was lots of confusion as to what was going on with them. I remember texting Mythcraze from DA a few times about info on it, but it wasn't quite clear. Usually it's announced in the panel room, but it said everywhere else it was being announced where the art table was. My sister saw that they were judging the entries and she actually kind eavesdropped. lol I guess as far as she could tell, they sorta just picked pieces at random in order to have something selected. The judges were on their way to the panel room, despite a panel that was going on, so we followed suit. They interrupted the panel to announce the winners. Sadly neither myself or Myth won. I will have to say though, for those who won... the art contest was kind of pointless ultimately. They didn't seem to win any prize, or even a certificate for that matter! The only people who seemed to get recognition was the 3D art winners, and they got some cool looking trophies. If TFCon doesn't want to acknowledge the 2D art winners with a prize, wish they would at the very least take a pic of the winning art and post it on their looping slideshow that plays in the panel room so more can see the work of the artists.
After the results, we took a nice break in the hotel room. You may ask why the panel room couldn't serve as break room, but my gosh are the chairs so uncomfortable in that room! lol Anyways, we eventually lined up for the Frank Welker panel. There was this huge line going all the way into the lobby, but it was actually the line of VIP badge holders! Thought there was a chance we wouldn't get in, but thankfully the regular badge line was pretty short at the time. We did notice as they were letting people in the VIP line enter, there were some who were non VIP who had not realized... which was a shame. Thankfully though that panel room is a lot larger than I give it credit for! They seated the dozens of VIP members first and we still managed to get a relatively close seat to the front, with a ton of seats left for anyone else! I will say though, the room did fill up entirely eventually. It was REALLY cool to see such a legend in the voice acting community, especially since he never did cons before last year! I definitely got the chills when he was saying some of his lines! Oddly enough he was actually telling us that both Megatron, and especially Soundwave have their vocal origins as impressions of Barry White no less! Now what I'm about to say might be a little salty, but please hear me out. So the way the panel functioned was that fans submitted their questions via email, and Frank's agent selected which ones could be asked in the panel. For those who sent in a question that was selected, they were called up to ask that question on the mic. I think it was all pretty fair up until the last 5 or so questions. They called up this whole group at once! Normally wouldn't be an issue, although I detect a high degree of nepotism was going on! It was a bunch of people who seemed to be part of the main clique that goes on at the con, who are all friends with/ are the organizers. Not blaming those people directly since they seemed to be surprised, but moreso whoever selected them. The rules for questions were quite clear for the panel, and I think it's kind of a shame that those who actually submitted questions for the panel lost out on asking them in place of this group going up together who had not submitted questions. At the very least, I really hope the questions that they read were not ones written by other fans... I'd really want to QnA to be more fair to all fans next time, and if said group of people submitted a question like everyone else, that would be fine too! Guess to continue this mini rant, I wanted to touch on the VIP experience as a whole. I learned from my mistake last year of going for the VIP ticket. It was great to meet Peter Cullen, but not so great to pay 150 for a signature and non pro photo. What made it worse this year, is that they increased the price from 150 to 175, BUT instead of getting the weekend tickets with that price, you had to pay separately! On top of that, there were these weird online charges and taxes, so the whole VIP experience totalled out to 260-270 all for just a single autograph and a picture! If the con does any more of these VIP sessions, I REALLY hope they make it more like the Peter Cullen one! Heck, I just wish they'd stop charging for autographs too, or at least work in some sort of deal for multiple signatures!
At any rate, our day wrapped up at 6 pm! It was time to get some dinner! At any rate, the family surprised me with a custom shirt they made featuring Tankor!
Thought we'd get back in time to see faction feud (was still a little sad that I had to miss the Flint Dille commentary on the original movie, but c'est la vie), but we ended up going to Sherway Gardens mall so my sisters could shop. Eventually we made our way to a Boston Pizza in the same area, although we ended up going there instead of turtle jack`s because my cousin manages at BP. It was definitely a great experience! Felt like we had VIP treatment! XD Had probably one of the best fettucine alfredos ever! Our cousin was really nice and she actually told us our meal was on the house!
Eventually we returned to the hotel, but I think it was passed 10 at this point. Walked around the hotel for a bit, but kinda lingered in the lobby for a couple hours since I didn`t want to go to bed too early (which I thought was one of the reasons I didn`t sleep well the night before). I REALLY wish I had brought a sketchpad with me so I could doodle some TFs while I was lingering about. I`ll have to remember that if I go to the next TFCon. Spent the time looking through the slides of the Third Party Panel since I didn`t actually attend the panel. My gosh! I`m REALLY looking forward to some 3P figs in the near future! There`s so many that look great! Had my eye on an IDW Whirl (sadly not MTME style though), MTME Rodimus, TFA Dirtboss, TFA Mixmaster, MTMTE Tarn, IDW Overlord, BW II (or is it neo?) Unicron, Thunderwing, WFC bigger shockwave, WFC Perceptor, WFC Trypticon and of course MTME Helex (and it also looks like Tesarus is in the works)! Continued through the slides, did some more snapchatting, inspected all the new Miis on my 3DS (and Finally unlocked Find Mii 2), etc... eventually decided to leave though when a bunch of peeps sat pretty close to me... and things got SUPER overkill raunchy... really started to feel uncomfortable...
Sunday, July 17th:
Sunday started REAL early! Didn't get much sleep regardless of the time, but the day pretty much started at 4:30 am! You see there's this Co-op that my sister's doing and of course this trip to Montreal they planned happened to take place at the same time as TFCon on Sunday! Sadly she was informed of the trip less than a week before they even had to leave, so there wasn't many alternatives. Thankfully though, they agreed to pick her up at an OnRoute while they were "on route" which was 30 mins away on the Sunday. Basically never got sleep passed that point cus both she and her phone kepy being noisy. We eventually left the hotel at 6 am, only for her to be picked up at 7:30... still with many hours til the con opened at 10. After she was picked up, we actually went back to Krispy Kreme to pick up two dozen donuts for the trip home! XD
Anyways still had a bit of time before the con started, so we just sort of lazed around the hotel. Didn't have to wait in line this time because my Dad's friend is always one of the first in line on the Sunday, and he saves us a spot! Decided to bring my youngest sister down to show her what the dealer room was like! I guess she got a little star struck when I mentioned one of the people sitting at a table was actually the person who played Bumblebee. XD
Shopped til 11, but then took my sister back upstairs, cus she was done with the whole con. LMAO Thought this would be the perfect chance to get mu autographs! Guess unlike a lot of my other cons, this time I didn't spend much time talking, just sort of went up and got things signed. Guess normally have more to say to guests who I'm more familiar with, but to be honest didn't know much of their credits outside of TFs. Anyways, first went to see Jim Byrnes. Felt kind bad all weekend cus there didn't seem to be many people visiting him. Anyways went up to him and thanked him for his work on Beast Wars, Beast Machines and Shadow Raiders. At any rate, gave him my stuff to sign (Beast Wars DVD, Beast Machines DVD, print and sig book). Will show all the combined sigs at the end.
Went to see Ian Corlett after! Asked him to sign the same things as above, although when I gave him my art, he seemed to genuinely really like it! He hinted he might even tweet it out! He was definitely kind and actually deduced a 20 from the total because of the art. Was asking his handler too if I could do a charity auction donation with the extra print I had from the art contest. Was hoping they'd get Ian to sign it. He pointed me towards another organizer so hopefully people can bid on a signed Cheetor pic next year!
Next up was Dan Gilvezan. Sadly don't have the G1 boxset, so I just had my art and book for him to sing. Told him I really wanted to check out Devastation and he was telling me about the game. He spent a bit thinking of what to write on the pic, he said we wanted to write something clever. XD Told him I couldn't wait to see the script reading too!
I had planned to see Flint Dille, but at this point we had to go pack stuff into the vehicle because checkout was at 12... that and Flint had like a group of people who were not leaving any time soon from his table. Got all our stuff packed and returned to the con. It was actually time for his panel to start, so I figured I'd get his sig later. He had lots of great points about writing in his panel. I especially loved the bit about how plot doesn't necessarily need to be mathematical and that it should really exist to explain why your story can only take place in this world. Once the panel was finished, figured I'd go snag that sig... but he didn't return to his table... and he never did for the rest of the day... OTL It was actually sort of confusing with his autographs, cus they had various times listed for him, but never and end time... unlike the other guests, he seemed to be signing for a fixed time. Just wish TFCon will clarify in the future.
After all that, decided to return to the panel room at 1 to watch the one and only internet personality Vangelus do a live review, which was pretty interesting to say the least! He asked people to come up with bullet points for the new RID Starscream (which I'll assume is pretty hard when one has not interacted with the figure). There was actually the Swedish Chef and Dr. Evil giving out bullet points in character there! XD One day I'll have to say hi to Vangelus at some point... just never know what to say! XD
The rest of the day was pretty much shopping at this point and grabbing last minute deals. The last thing I knew I'd be doing was watching the script reading at 3:30. From the time Vangelus' panel ended to the time the script reading started I decided to go to the dealer room since that whole slot of time would be filled with voice auditions (which can be fun to watch, but its usually very time consuming). I don't think it was at this point, but at some point on Sunday I saw Myth again in the dealer room and was really happy that I was able to find her a reasonably priced Devastator! Really hope you enjoy that figure Myth!
When 3:30 eventually came around, went to go to the script reading. To my dismay, it seemed they had started way early on the actual reading without any sort of warning! I really hope the reading goes up on youtube, cus its one of the best parts of TFCon. It's great getting to see the VAs actually go through their process and voice their iconic characters for a good length of time (without being requested to say X in Y's voice). Since the script reading started early, it ended early too, so I got a wee extra bit of time in the dealer room where I think I ended up buying like 4 things! LMAO
The dealer room shut down at 4, and usually we leave at 4 too. Unexpectedly, the family was still out shopping! I actually decided to attend to feedback panel for the first time. I'll say one thing, when it comes to this panel, there's a lot of tension on both sides of the room, whether either side is justified or not. One complaint I definitely agreed with was over the comic they had for the con. It had some things going on in it which really offended female cosplayers. Tbh, the comic as a whole was kinda meanspirited, poking fun at the fans in a few different ways. Don't mean to sound judgemental, but the art was definitely lacking too... like it honestly looks like a 12 year old drew it... compared to previous years where we've had people like Alex Milne and Josh Perez work on the comic! If you guys want to know more, I'd just search TFCon 2016 either on twitter on tumblr to see what's going on.
Anyways, finally left at 4:30 on a three hour trip back home! We had some pizza as we got in which was really nice, but was definitely suffering from post con malaise. lolol
Kinda went overboard this year... but in all honestly there were some of the best deals I've ever seen at a TFCon going on (that isn't to say there wasn't the share of horribly priced stuff... like a 1100 $ Botcon set, or a 800 $ BW Megatron repainted from RID Megs).
- Legends Slipstream
- Legends Blackarachnia
- Legends Nightbird
- Unite Warriors Bruticus: Okay so I really want to hear back from those who may have this. Does your Bruticus have lots of QC issues? Mine had some horrible ones like Onslought's knees not working... and even worse... Vortex's blades won't stay connected to him! I really want to know if there's a particular fix for those rotor blades on Vortex, its such a frustrating issue! OTL
- Energon Cruellock (gosh sorta wasn't expecting that awesome T-rex to be kind of a lame figure)
- Beast Machines Blastcharge
- Maketoys Rearend (AKA MTMTE Tailgate): I sort of wonder if I should email Maketoys... my Tailgate has like two different coloured legs... and I'm really not happy about it lol
- Generations Brainstorm: This guy never came out here, so was really happy to finally get ahold of him... despite being rather loose in some areas.
- Millionpublishing exclusive Trainbot Shouki: Now this figure may just tie or even beat Vortex for QC issues... everything is just so floppy on him! His wings don't stay up at all and neither do his arm guards... they just flop... I emailed The Chosen Prime to see if I could exchange it... but still haven't had a reply... (He was one of the more expensive figs too, literally going for more than some of the MPs)
- Combiner Wars Trailbreaker, Hound, Smokescreen and Wheeljack: Including these all together cus I bought them as a set, and from Dan Khanna no less! They were way cheaper than retail and the only caveat was that they were opened to remove their cards for whatever reason... just wish I had a Sky-Lynx to go with them. XD
- Masterpiece Shockwave
- Masterpiece Hot Rod
- RID Heavy Load: Never did have him, and wanted to complete Landfill finally! XD
- Masterpiece Tracks + Collector's coin
- Bluster and Trench (AKA TFA Huffer and Pipes)
Post Con Haul:
With a bit of leftover TFCon money, and some nice TRU sales, managed to pick up Combiner Wars G2 Menasor, RID Paralon (AKA BW Scorponok's first ever figure since the original, with a way more accurate head too!) and RID Starscream.
Anyways, would like to thank anyone who's actually read this far! Like that's incredible that you read through this giant dissertation and I definitely appreciate it! If you got any questions, feel free to hit me up!