August 25, 2023

The TFcon 2023 Report

It’s been awhile since the event ended, but for posterity’s sake, I feel like I really need to put a cap on my experiences at Toronto TFcon 2023. The past 2 years were good, especially considering the world was still reeling from the pandemic, but 2023 was a fantastic weekend that signified a return to form. It was a good time without any major compromises and felt like TFcon I love. And unlike last year, the Internet wasn’t dead, so that was a plus!

It maybe almost didn’t happen for me, though! Earlier in the week, I suddenly got really sick! I was obviously in a panic about the possibility of missing TFcon if it was serious, as I was not going to mess around and put other people at risk if I needed to stay home, but I tested negative for covid. Thankfully after some rest it just went away after a couple of days as if it never happened at all. I got to the hotel a day early, which gave me the chance to (at least try to) get my act together and finish everything I needed to get done for the show. But I realized that in the chaos of getting ready, I had forgotten to pack my pajamas. What a calamity. Thankfully I was able to get some new ones before the day ended.

Right off the bat, I went to work! I presented a panel on Friday evening about obscure Transformers media from around the world. It was jam packed with Transformers clips, commercials, and other video from all sorts of different countries, spanning the entire history of the brand. I love uncovering Transformers videos that are different and/or weird compared to what we’re used to in North America, and panels like this are when I get to share this stuff with an audience and enjoy their reactions. I really enjoy Transformers theme songs from other countries, and I showed a number of those with subtitles that I added myself. In previous panels I tried to organize what I was showing into topics or show things chronologically to tell a story, but this time I wanted it to be all over the place and whiplash people from one and time and place to another. I think people had a great time with it. There were a few technical gremlins, but I knew that was going to happen so I just made it a part of the show! There were other presentations on Friday, and having more panels before the charity auction this year was great. It certainly made the Friday more fulfilling.

Speaking of the charity auction, it was wild! A Kingdom Ark that was customized into a Titan class Cosmos sold for $1000!

Here are some pictures from the weekend.

A wide look at the dealer room on Saturday.
Some awesome costumes!

As usual, there was a great group of guests from many aspects and eras of Transformers. I ran into former Hasbro designer Aaron Archer on Friday night shortly after buying the new Legacy Evolution version of Armada Megatron from a room sale, a character he pretty much created back in the early 2000s when he worked for Hasbro, prompting the photo om the left. Voice actors Venus Terzo and David Kaye were gracious enough to pose while I took their picture before their panel on Saturday. David got into the posing, as you can see.

The dealer room was full of cool toys and merchandise from all eras of Transformers, and plenty of other franchises too. Here is a video I took around the edges of the room on Saturday.

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For me, the main event of the convention was my presentation of the completed Secrets of the Ninja Transformers video on Sunday. I think a lot of other people were also excited about it, because there was a buzz about it all weekend. It had been a long time coming and there was a good turnout to watch the debut of this documentary that I put a lot of hard work into over a number of years.

I knew nothing about film making when I started, and now that it’s finished and people have seen it, I can honestly say that I know even less. But the audience seemed to love it and gave it a big round of applause when the credits rolled. No, it’s not available to watch online at this time, but here’s a few screen shots to give you a taste of what the final product is like.

I’m very happy with the final product and how well received it was. But for now, it will be sealed away, as it is only meant to be shown at conventions and can’t be uploaded to YouTube due to all the copyrighted material I used to make it. But working on this video did light something in me, so it’s possible that even though I won’t be sharing it on the Internet as it is, it could be the beginnings of something else. Stay tuned.

I think the main take away from the weekend for me was the feeling of being treated as a peer by people I respect. That’s a big deal for me, as it means I might be doing something right. I had some great conversations and even appeared on some podcasts. I sold some stickers too! I didn’t keep track of how many I sold, but the number was way more than zero so I count that as a win. And with all the great stuff that happened at the show, there was still plenty that I didn’t get to see or do, so it was pretty busy!

So, here’s some stuff that I bought. I did not hold back this year! I caught up on a number of recent releases and picked up a few figures that I missed out on from years ago. You can click on each picture to see more details from my Tumblr.

It has been a few weeks since the event ended and it took me awhile to write something about the experience because I didn’t know how to sum it all up. Even after writing all of that, I’m not sure if I have adequately expressed what a great time it was or what it was like to be there. TFcon was definitely the highlight of the summer for me, but in all honestly, that comes as no surprise because it always is. There were a few hiccups, like issues with the hotel room and rain during the Slurpee Run, but nothing bad enough to stop me from having fun. And even when the show officially ended on Sunday evening, it didn’t really stop until I left on Monday morning. It was the best time as a Transformers fan you can possibly have in Canada.

I’ll see you there next year.



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