I typed this post a while back, but life was in the process of happening and it never got posted. Here it is at long last:
After a year’s absence, I returned to TransFormerCon last month to promote my books and sell my toys. The former didn’t work out so well. The latter, however, was extremely lucrative.
The con was held at the Hilton Meadowvale in the wilds of Mississauga. Once again I booked a room (at the reduced TFCon rate, thanks to the con staff), and packed up all I could carry – 2/3rds of my collection in two suitcases and an enormous Tardis bag. Good thing Tardis bags are bigger on the inside!
Last time I spent about 3 hours getting to the hotel on Mississauga Transit. This time I took one bus from Finch Station. Thank you, GO Transit!
And thank you to Marco, the stranger who helped me get my luggage from the bus stop to the hotel lobby. I figured him for a fellow con-goer. Not so! He’d been driving past, saw me laden down with all my stuff, stopped his car and came to help! What a terrific guy. Who’d have thought a convention about robots would provide such a fine example of humanity?
Checking in was no problem, nor was setting up my table. I also had no issue at all with waking up with plenty of time to check out before I needed to be at my table. What became problematic, however, was finding a cheap breakfast. Unless you have a car (which I did not), there is nowhere that can be described as close by when it comes to fast food or coffee shops. No Tim Horton’s, not even a Starbucks or a Coffee Time! I spent a fruitless half-hour walking and getting nowhere before I returned and settled for tea and a muffin from the hotel cafe. Why is that an issue? One cup of tea cost $4.50. And I blew $20 the night before on a plate of poutine and an ice-filled glass of Coke (itself $3.50).
Once the con started, however, all thoughts of overpriced food vanished. I got down to business, made lots of sales and earned some serious money. After the first hour I’d covered all my costs for the weekend. Good times!
I was also delighted with all the Transformers cosplayers I had the pleasure of meeting. Here are just a few…
I also couldn’t resist making a few purchases. I kept it to a minimum – I was there to purge, not replace one batch of toys with another – but some new acquisitions were inevitable. The Ice Cream Twins, for starters. Only $10. In package! Darth Maul Infiltrator and Obi-Wan Starfighter. Brown Wreckage (technically Bludgeon), with swords. Sky Hammer and Generations Kickback, just because. But the pride of my new buys, hands-down, is a giant Darth Vader (supreme class?). Who transforms into the Death Star! For $20!!! I could not say no to that. I wanted a few more, which is like saying I wanted to breathe oxygen, but I restrained myself.
Were there disappointments? Yes. I still haven’t been able to sell my Powermaster Optimus Prime. It doesn’t help that he’s damaged – a shoulder cannon broke off transporting him back from TFCon 2014. It seems that every collector who wants one, has one. I also couldn’t sell Rodimus Prime. He’s my favourite character, so putting him up for sale was hard. But nobody wants him, either. 😦 However, I did sell Pretender Bumblebee to a friend for a price we were both happy with. He’d been eyeing that one for four years, so I’m glad it finally worked out.
And, I parted with my collection of Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future action figures (and Lord Dread‘s Interlocker Throne), too. Don’t know who Captain Power is? Don’t worry about it. Maybe I’ll blog about them someday…
I couldn’t leave my table for any great length of time and by two o’clock I was pretty darned hungry. Lucky for me the guy at the table beside me made a run to McDonald’s. A quarter pounder, poutine and large Coke kept me ticking over, for less than the cost of my previous night’s hotel meal!
As far as promoting my novel went, the weekend was a bit of a bust. I only sold one copy of The Five Demons You Meet In Hell. However, the man who bought that copy was none other than Flint Dille! Yes! Writer for the 80s G1 series. Script supervisor and writer for the animated movie in ’86! Personal hero of mine! It doesn’t get much better than that, folks.
When the dealer’s room closed, I’d managed to move 2/3rds of what I’d brought with me. Not bad at all! I stayed for the screening of Transformers: The Movie, hosted by Flint (who also provided commentary). I ran into him afterward and we chatted – how cool was that! – but eventually I had to leave to catch the bus home.
All in all, a great weekend. Will I go again next year? Not sure. I don’t have enough toys to sell to justify getting a table. At least, not at the moment. A lot can happen in a year. Especially with a new movie – and movie toyline – due next summer!