So there I am lying in bed when I get a text from Atom that his bus is almost in New York. I am rather unawake when I receive his text and I sort of forget what planet I am on that morning and realize I only have an hour and a half until we have to be at the Hasbro private showroom. That woke me up real quick. I managed to get there at a decent time and met up with Atom. We walk over to the New York Times building where said event is being held. Lo and behold there is Optimus Prime with full trailer right in front of the building. Did I notice? not yet. Atom was kind enough to point out the red and blue flamed truck with polished trailer for me since my brain cells were still waking up.
So what was I to expect from this outing? Surely we will go in and Transformers toys will fall from the sky. Surely I will be given a golden ticket to redeem free Transformers at any participating retail store. Surely we will sit at a desk one on one with Hasbro reps. NOT. We walk in and we find ourselves submerged in a sea, not of water, but of nerd. It is a gigantic steaming pile of nerd and I am part of it. I immediately had camera envy. Everyone had some kind of super Japanese camera with lenses that require mortgages to own. What did I have with me? I had my little Sony Cybershot which I use for my reviews. It was only later on that I would realize that it is I who had the upperhand.
Atom warned me that the presentation was long, arduous and sleep inducing. What? how? Oh I will tell you how. First, they slowly reminded me of how many licenses they had under their banner. Not only did they have Transformers, but they have Marvel, GI Joe, Star Wars blah blah blah ....blah blah. Each one had their own reps with their long presentations. Some parts were fun, some were mind numbing. I guess it all depends on your liking on the subject being spoken. I was itching for the Transfomers presentation which was of course saved for last. The moment finally came! I was able to see....um, well the same pictures of figures I have been looking at on transformers fan sites for the past 2 months...Boring.
The time finally came to go check out the actual toys. Time to get the camera ready. I assumed there was some sort of organization as far as photography etiquette is concerned but I quickly realized it was survival of the fittest. There were ogre photographers with huge fancy cameras and lenses just hogging up 2 shelves worth of Star Wars figures. Seriously, is it necessary to take 23 pictures of Obi Wan's face? I made full use of my limited zoom and waited patiently for the mass of annoying photographers to move onto their next photo ops before I went in for the kill. It pays to be patient and have a small camera to sneak in some shots. Within 20 minutes, the Star Wars section was empty. I had Lando Calrissian all to myself.
By the time I had finished Star Wars, Marvel and GI JOE, the Transformers room had all but cleared out which allowed me and Atom to take our time with the new figures. While exciting, you quickly realize that a lot of these figures look homemade since they are prototypes. Good from far, far from good. Most had wires coming out the back until electronics get finalized, some looked hand brushed. Ill fitting panels were abundant. Now, some looked really good, like the Leader Class Ironhide. It was nice and black and glossy. Somehow, I don't think Hasbro will paint it the same way upon release. Some figures had non-functioning gimmicks. "Can you open up the trailer on Ultimate Optimus Prime so we can see what's inside?" the rep grabs the Optimus in robot mode and says "this back part here is what's inside". So that meant "No, I will not open it so you can see inside, it will probably explode in my hand."
The next day after the Hasbro presentation is when the real fun began. It was time to really work. Atom was on top of things more than I expected. He has done this before a few times so he was prepared. I had done the whole events thing before, but not in toy form so a lot was new to me. I had a quick crash course in cinematography. Atom would hand me a fancy camcorder with a dozen buttons, a HUD type screen with levels, timers and
X-Ray Vision. I think it even shot missiles. BAM! I'm filming. I had to really hold back on some filming habits Ive built up over the years, but through Atoms insistence, I quickly (maybe not so quickly) realized his reasons for doing it that way. Shortly thereafter, I had to get in front of the camera myself. I have been interviewed various times in front of a camera in my stints as a Drifter but I had never been on the interviewer side of the deal. Overall things went smooth and I believe the footage we got was great.
The rest of the Toy Fair was filled with booth visits, appointments with manufacturers and the occasional free toy. Some of which treated us like nobodies and some that really gave us the time of day to talk with us. The guys over at Blue Fin were great guys and I really enjoyed my time with EMCE toys. There were times I was privy to some amazing information that almost made me pass out when spoken of and some news that made me and Atom do simultaneous "we're not worthy-kneel-down and bow -at-your-feet" type stuff. There were also some let downs, some pleasant surprises and the sickening feeling of never wanting to see another toy again. It was an amazing experience. I was happy to be a part of it
In the end, there was so much darn footage- almost 2000 pictures, 5 hours of video, all of which had to be sorted, edited, cropped, enhanced and posted quickly before it turned to old news. I was in charge of photography so it would have been fine if my vacation had not been shortened by 4 days. So instead of having 4 extra days of article writing time, It was narrowed down to one day. I had to chop off the last day of Toy Fair so I could get to work on the articles. The rest of the week I worked in spurts because I work insane hours for a banker. So that meant Atom tied up some loose ends to keep everything on track (THANKS!) Everyone here at CollectionDX puts forth a lot of time and energy to deliver the best content each and every day in between our day jobs. It's not all fun and games ALL the time, but we do it for the love of the hobby and the readers. I can't thank everyone here enough for their effort in making this site what it is. I heart this place.