Birmingham NEC - 29th - 30th November 2003
We attended the Memorabilia Fair in Birmingham on the 29th November, looking forward to seeing what Transformer and Anime merchandise was available - as well as hoping to catch up with a few of the well known Transformer dealers (Spacebridge and SKRV) and who knows maybe even have a word with Simon Furman and Andy Wildman as well.
Although the Memorabilia fairs are not the first place you'd think we'd gain some information regarding the Transformers, we managed to. Below you will find various snippets of information which we learned, as well as see a few pictures which we took whilst there.
Dreamwave Comics - War Within: The Dark Ages
Whilst walking around the convention we noticed two guests (who at the time had no-one queuing up for signings) which we recognised. They were of cause Simon Furman and Andy Wildman (of Wildfur and Transformers fame). Dave immediately got out his camera for a quick picture (kudos to the pair for instantly grabbing a Who Runs The Engine flyer).
We decided to do something we haven't done before, and talk to the pair (we've only spoken to Simon at OTFCC earlier in the year). After saying hi, and getting them to agree to do an interview for the site (yay) we started to chat to Andy Wildman about War Within: The Dark Ages, interview questions and a few other things.
One piece of information which we learned from him was that he was just finishing of drawing Issue 4 of War Within (due out in Dec). Andy also told us that Steve Baskerville (the original Inker on the UK Transformer comics) has just taken over as the inker for Panini. Hopefully his talents will help improve the look of the book.
We left Andy and Simon (who'd just been given a Grimlock by Paul Hitchens) with Paul
Metrodome's Transformers: The Movie Special Edition
We learnt that work is already underway on some extra features for the upcoming Transformers: The Movie Special Edition, by Metrodome.
Auto Assembly 2004
We saw several people take flyers for the event, some people commenting "Oh, a Transformers Convention .. cool" - Sven's reflex passing out of flyers was something to be in awe of.
Sven gave us a hint at something he is trying to organize for the event, as an exclusive. We cannot say what it is but we hope that he can finalise the deal.
Sven also let us know that Atari are already working on the sequel to Transformers: Prelude to Energon, which will of cause be Transformers: Energon. He said they are hoping to add both an online and multi player options to Energon.
One other person who we spoke to about Auto Assembly was Pride Display, the company behind the Transformers Stand we recently featured on our News Page
Retrobilia Industries Ltd - Transformers Pride Displays Stand
Memorabilia 2003 was the first official launch of the Retrobilia Industries Ltd limited edition UK Exclusive Transformers Stand. We spoke to them about it, after taking a couple of photographs.
The stand is huge, longer that Fort Max's box (possibly 1 1/2 times that of Fort Max). It is made from vacuum formed plastic and is the only Fully Licensed Transformers stand in the world.
The item on display was a prototype of the actual thing. The stand will retail at £79.99 and will only be available via their Website, Conventions and Ebay. The stand is ONLY available to people within the UK and Ireland, and currently they are not selling to Dealers - though they have shown the most interest.
Retrobilia told us that they will only be making 5000 of this design. They are toying with the idea of making a highly limited Gold Edition - to go with the Japanese Gold Armada Convoy and Jetfire. This would be limited to 10 worldwide!
They also have plans for a US launch next year, although that would be a different design yet again. Speaking of different designs they are currently in negotiations to make a limited display stand for Auto Assembly 2004 and another limited display for OTFFC Europe 2004 (both of which would ONLY be available at those conventions). This is still pending agreements.
We later heard from Sven and Simon (AutoAssembly), there have been no plans for one of the stands at AutoAssembly, which has led to some confusion. At present, we are no longer sure what to think
The stands are fully Licensed and come with a Certificate of Authority. Before Memorabilia opened they had already sold the first 2 stands, and are very excited about this product - thinking it will prove very popular and sort after due to it's limited status. They have also made a My Little Pony stand and a Care Bears cloud stand.