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SABRETRON 2004

Facts In Brief

 

Date: November 6, 2004

Location: Sydney, NSW

Preregistrants: 66

Total Attendance: 130 (approx.)

Organisers: Goktimus Prime, Griffin and dirge.

Events: Random trivia, trivia competition, fan art competition, Throttlebot Grand Prix, episode and movie screenings.

Exclusive Toys: Autobot Chainmasters (free to preregistrants)

Exclusive Comic: "Prelude to Chaos" (free to all attendees)

Ashfield Catholic and Community Centre

 

CONVENTION REPORT

by Goktimus Prime

Friday November 5: Prelude to Chaos

The Minesweeper exclusive figures arrived at my office at around 9am. I nearly cried when I saw what an absolutely terrible job had been done with the paint application. It became immediately obvious that these Minesweepers were not fit to be given to pre-registrants. Several phone calls later, and it became clear that the Spectre figures hadn't been delivered. Double-you tee eff?! Later that afternoon I spoke with dirge, and we both conceded at the end that the convention would have to go ahead sans two exclusive characters, which we would have to mail to pre-registrants after the convention. The plan was to show attendees samples of the two figures that were ready and unpainted samples of the figures that weren't ready (although I used Glyph as an example of the Spectre mould) and explained to them what the concept of those other figures would be, and give pre-registrants a choice between taking either a Breaker or Muckraker home now or giving us a mailing address for us to send a Spectre or Minesweeper to afterwards. Prime Colour Digital told me that the comics would be ready for pick up at 11am. So we printed out tokens to give to attendees that they could exchange to redeem comics. Spent most of the night packing up for the convention.

Saturday November 6: When All Were One

Demonac, a fan who'd driven all the way up from Melbourne, kindly came to give me (and all the crap I was carrying) a lift. And a good thing too, as his stationwagon sure held all the equipment much better than my little hatchback. We arrived at the Ashfield Catholic and Community Centre shortly after 7am and started setting things up. To my dismay, there was no central music system, as I wanted to play ambient Transformers music throughout the hall. Griffin and dirge both arrived around 8am and shortly after, other volunteers trickled in. But even at this early hour, we could already see fans walking around the street and getting ready to line up. By 9 o'clock, we had over 30 people camped outside - some of them tried to wander in, but I reminded them that we didn't start until 10am. Sikcow Toys and Cool Collectibles came in and set their stalls up. Rokdog came along and set up the fan-trade stall. Madman Entertainment gave me a call and Sly told me that his stock hadn't arrived yet and that they'd be coming late. Prime Colour Digital gave be a call and told me that there was some issue with the cover alignment, but that was easily fixed and printing was soon underway, keeping to the same deadline of 11am. 10 o'clock rolled by and we let fans in. 45 fans poured through the door and filled the hall! I had Transformers Victory playing on the main screen, but I quickly changed it in favour of classic season 1 eps. I greeted the first fans with a hearty, "Bah Weep Granah Weep Nini Bong!," but sadly received no Energon goodies. Feh.

I met jetfireinthesky and one of his mates (whose name escapes me now as I just met so many people) and they'd brought along lots of toys to sell at the fan trading table, which was by far the most popular table. I had another table brought up, but they decided not to use it (shrug). Some fans were asking where Madman Entertainment was, and I simply told them that they would be here later. Sly called just before 11 and told me that their stock still hadn't arrived! Apparently their courier had screwed them around which meant that the stock didn't arrive yesterday nor had it arrived that day! Anyway, Sly said that he'd come over straight away and he'd left instructions for the stock to be delivered straight to the convention hall as soon as they arrived. Sly came around midday and while I felt sorry for his stock situation, I was (and still am) very grateful that he came to show his moral support and that of Madman Entertainment's itself. As one Transfan pointed out on the day, this really was a case where the messenger should be shot. Sly did show some fansubbed Headmasters episodes on his laptop though, which was cool.

We had random trivia questions throughout the entire day and gave away a slew of prizes. Stephen Jesson came along and donated a big ol' box of loose and sealed toys which we also used as trivia prizes throughout the day. We had a main trivia competition with four competitors. Gekisou won the comp and he got a Micron Legend Hot Rod. Wayne got the most incorrect answers and won an Animorphs Marco/gorilla! Congrats to all the competitors for having a go. The Throttlebot Grand Prix was really popular - I heard one competitor had stayed up the night before testing his Throttlebots to see which was the fastest. There were several heats and prizes were won by Nemesis Wheeljack, Devil Catbus and Pat. The comics arrived during lunchtime and fans quickly grabbed them up.

Towards the end of the day, I'd exhausted the pool of prizes so we just continued doing trivia for fun. We booted fans out just before 6pm and then packed everything up. Demonac gave me a lift back to his hotel and then we (Demonac, his wife and I) walked over to Michitaro restaurant where we and the rest of the crew had dinner. Demonac gave me a lift home that night and I just quickly crashed into my bed... snooooooooze!

Overall

The convention was a resounding success. In total, we had some 130 people at the convention, which is a substantial attendance for a first convention and in fact is only 50 people shy of the number of people who attended the first American BotCon, meaning that we've more than tripled the number of attendees per capita! (click here to see comparative statistics) Attendees seemed to enjoy themselves and were very patient and understanding with our problems regarding the figures and comics.

The most difficult part about running this convention was the lack of sponsorship. This convention was primarily funded by fans... and it's just too much of a financial burden. For this convention to continue, we are going to need sponsorship. If anyone is willing to sponsor our next convention in 2005, please contact me as soon as possible! Thank you.


PHOTOS

The following photos were taken by roadyprime.

* The Ashfield Catholic and Community Centre from Ashfield Station steps

* Ashfield Catholic and Community Centre main entrance

* Display of various Japanese toys (part 1)

* Display of various Japanese toys (part 2)

* Convention exclusive figures: Breaker and Muckraker (front). At the back is a black Windcharger and Glyph (BotCon exclusive)

* Super Link gestalts and TV Magazine exclusives

* Left side of the convention room

* Right side of the convention room

 

These photos were taken by "unicron"

* e-Hobby, Super Link and mail away exclusives

* The Binaltech display

* Transfans abound!

* Toy trades amongst fan dealers

* Loose and boxed G1 Transformers on sale from SikCow Toys

* More G1 Transformer goodness from SikCow

* A happy Transfan - jetfireinthesky

* Madman Entertainment's Slykura addresses fans as four contestants await the start of the Trivia Competition

* The Stunticon Obstacle Course used for the Throttlebot Grand Prix races


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Comparative Statistics Between First Transformers Conventions in the USA and Australia

US population = 281 million

BotCon USA 1994 attendance = 180

Attendance ratio = 180:281,000,000

Australian population = 20 million

Sabretron 2004 attendance = 130

Attendance ratio = 130:20,000,000