So, there was this little get-together these guys would have once a year at one of their houses. And they would share stories, the latest rumors, toys, books, and food. A nice little yearly summit between friends. Then after six years of this, the summit got a little bigger because friends were bringing friends, and then the friends were bringing friends... And so, to expand the exposure of the public to the venue, they decided to move into a small convention center. They weren’t looking to become a huge annual event, but still a get-together where people could enjoy what they knew best.
And they called it the Cybertron Conference. And it was good.
2008 was the third year that CybCon was held at the King Oscar Motel & Convention Center in Tacoma, Washington, on August 23rd.
I regret that I was only able to attend the last hour and a half of the con before they started packing up, so I missed most of the highlight events (in no particular order)-
- Table displays of Transformers-related art, oddities & rarities
- Screenings of random TV episodes across the franchise
- Play “Beast Wars: Transformers” for PS1 in head-to-head matches on a big projection screen on the wall
- Trivia throughout the con
- Speed transforming contests for both kids (10-and-under) and adults- how fast can you change a Transformers from alt. mode to robot mode?
- Silent auction
Several tables were set up along the walls, where pre-registered dealers could put up their wares, as well as for simply displaying your collection.
I can tell you- those second-hand prices were killer-deals- I filled a few long-empty holes in my own “Beast Wars” collection, as well as a replacement for a G2 Constructicon that I accidentally broke right out of the packaging over 15 years ago.
One notable toy manufacture made an appearance, CyberFembot.com. Their largest agenda- promoting toys of female Cybertronians, which Takara and Hasbro largely ignores- is to create the first mass-production, fully-transformable Generation One Arcee figure. Parts of the prototype(s), molds, and a finished model were all on display at their table. (Their website claims two original Cybertronian female designs not seen before on-screen are in pre-production stages.) Also on display were several completed designs of their in-house built G1 Devastator [the fusion of the six Constructicons], and one of the repaints. (I mean, this thing stands 18” tall, and has ridiculous articulation & elaborate detail!)
Two of their current projects were also on display. The first is an attempt to make a steam train engine version of Optimus Prime! Standing almost 12” when completed, the coal tender would change into a small fold-out base- of which details they did not have on display, but were planning on. The other was a fixed-pose 3” figure of the nine year-old human girl Sari Sumdac from “Transformers Animated”; several of which they sold throughout the con for others to paint up.
For all four of these projects, a photo album was available to view painted finals, pre-production sketches, early molds, prototypes, and finished models. Regretfully, they were closing up shop when I walked in, so I got little time with their rep!
It was indeed a small venue, taking up only three small conference rooms with the dividing walls retracted. The guy who was running the con, Greg, said that over 88 people showed up during the entire eight-hour event- most of those walk-ins. But he said that even with the pre-registration closed a week earlier, a few walked in from off the street, so that number might have been a little higher.
As promised, I must send out a big thank you to Greg. I missed the registration deadline without realizing it, but when I said that I wanted to cover the CybCon online, he let me come down anyways! So if he hadn’t approved, I wouldn’t be writing this article! (It’s a two-and-a-half hour drive south from my home to Tacoma, so to show up and be denied entrance at the door would have been a huge waste!)
Well, hopefully I can make it in sooner next year so I can give you better coverage and more photos than this!
See the official CybCon 2008 homepage here!