TransForce 2004 was the fifth TransForce convention, and the first TransForce for two years. The event featured "Transformers Fan Awards", an idea later picked up by BotCon in 2006. Transformers @ The Moon was the only website, and ourselves the only people, nominated in every category. We won Biggest UK Transformers Collectors.
Here is our review of the event.
Transforce 2004 - Mitcham - 28th August 2004
Transforce 2004 was the fifth and final Transformers convention organised by Paul Cannon. The first Transforce was in 1999 and had 101 attendees (including us). The event ran yearly until 2002, when Paul annouced it would be his last. Two years later he was back from retirement for a special 20th Anniversary show, and a fifth Transforce was born.
The convention was due to start at 09:00 and run until 17:00, although the start had to be delayed by 1/2 an hour, to allow dealers to finish setting their tables up. This year was different for us as we had been asked to help set-up one of the tables ... well 6 tables, belonging to UK Transfan / Dealer Paul Hitchen, better known as The Spacebridge. As this was the case we left the house at 6:00 in order to get to the event by 07:00 (set-up time).
We rode to the event on our motorbikes, and just as we were locking them up Paul arrived, with a car two cars and a trailer full of goodies. After a quick scope around the hall, to find out where Paul would be set up, he got put us to work unloading the trailer, with help from both his parents. Once the cars had been uploaded the next step was to build up a few shelves and move some extra tables in place (he had 6 selling tables and extra display tables). Once that was finished the fun begun ... setting up the tables.
Paul and his parents did most of the worked, helped out by the guy on the stall next to him (whom I never did catch his name). We wer set to work on the Beast Wars section, grouping and sorting all the BW / BM toys, stacking up the boxes and then adding a few RID items as well. After this was setting up the combiners (which meant combining them - hehe) and then getting them to stand. They were all in good condition, and pretty stiff, which meant it was easier then trying ot get ours to stand. We then got about filling up his bagged G1 toys in their cabinet and moving various other bits around.
It was our first time doing that, so we probably didn't do the speediest work. It was fun seeing the dealers move thousands of toys into the hall / setting them up and displaying them in only two hours. As a regular attendee to events you really don't realise or appreciate just how much of a mad rush that is.
This years event was held in the apply named Cannon's Leisure Centre in Mitcham. The event consisted of one large hall, both dealer room, guest pannel room and video room. There was an "upper floor" which also had some Transformer computer games being played and another video section.
The hall was vast, by far the biggest venue of any UK Transformers convention (so far). There were 14 dealers in attendence (Transatlantic Toys, Xyber-Toys, T4E, Andrew Wells, Ellis Models, unknown, The Spacebridge, Maz, Reed Comics, Andy Warren, Tripitaka Toys, Otaku, AutoCon, unknown) with both Metrodome, Wildfur and Transmasters selling items as well. Metrodome were selling copies of their Series 3/4 DVD set.
This was by far the biggest collection of dealers at any UK event.
The dealers were set around the outside of the hall, with three dealers and Metrodome making a square near to the middle. The lower projector screen / seats were on the remaining wall and the guests had a large section to themselves at the back wall. I went and said hi to both Simon Furman and Andy Wildman before the attendees got in, and got a quick picture of this review.
After taking a few pictures of the setup, and the que, we waited for the event to start and the fans to poor in. It was interesting to see them trickle along the same path, for the most part, and you had to feel sorry for those dealers in the far corner.