Welcome to day 11 of our 17 day commemoration of the website's launch. Today we shall take a look back at the year 2009.
This second live action Movie year ended with some changes to the Transformers Movieverse as well as seeing the sad end of Transformers Animated. Auto Assembly breaks the European attendance record for a convention becoming the first to reach the 500 attendee mark. Behind the scenes it also changes forever.
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Around the World
- Barak Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States
- Michael Jackson dies
- Slovakia adopts the Euro
- We start the year focusing on the news aspect of the website whilst adding galleries of the Botcon samples that we purchased at the end of the previous year.
- We publish a gallery on what we believe to be three different testshots for the upcoming Japanese prize campaign for a gold chrome Heneki! Henkei! Convoy. Later we uncover the truth that these toys are actually fakes.
- The British Toy and Hobby Fair takes place with Hasbro holding a private room to show off figures from both Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and G.I.-Joe The Movie.
- Unfortunately due to someone leaking an image of a G.I.Joe card onto the internet Hasbro UK cancel all appointments and close down their display much to the disappointment of retailers who have to decide what stock to buy when they attend these types of shows.
- In May we suffer a major server outage and lose 2 months’ worth of data from the website. We manage to recover or recreate most of the content from back-ups and online data caches.
- Once again we work with Paramount Pictures on promoting the 2nd live-action Transformers movie and as a thank you we were invited along to the FDA screening of the event though we had to sign an embargo agreement stating that we would not publish our report for two days.
- Ultra Convoy contacts us to say that he has tracked down and purchased the gold Beast Wars Convoy figure! Unfortunately when it arrives and he gets it out to photograph him it becomes obvious that the figure is actually a fake and is a chromed over re-issue of the toy. This can be determined most obviously by the date stamp markings however we also note that the toy uses the wrong shade of chrome for a mid 1990s prize campaign.
- We decide early in the year that we want to put on a Lucky Draw toy display at Auto Assembly and start sourcing cabinets. In all of our years of putting on toy displays for the event, only once did we not hire the cabinets ourselves. We just manage to have the elusive Black God Magnus figure from Car Robots sent out from Asia in time for the event.
- On the 24th July 2009 we along with four others are invited to join the newly formed Auto Assembly Committee (7 members) to discuss some of the plans for that years Auto Assembly. The “supporters”, for want of a better word, are invited due to their public profiles and/or continued active support for the event. In the September, after Auto Assembly has ended we are asked whether we would like to officially join the AA Committee. We have been promoting the event for free for years, put on toy displays and generally offered advice and insight whenever Simon asked during shows. We are asked to help out by officially taking over the AA toy display and also to share our media and guest contacts.
- We launch our Twitter account on the 29th August 2009
- Due to personal issues Sven Harvey stops co-running Auto Assembly leaving Simon Plumbe as the sole organiser. Thanks to the support around him, including Dean Holdaway (Big D’s Toy Chest) and Pete Brown, Simon continues to organise the convention and then brings in additional unpaid volunteers including Billy Edwards (TFNation.com) to help organise the event and generally help out during the show. The 2009 event is put together over a much shorter period of time than previous events but is the first to include Dean as MC as well as having a more noticeable Cosplay presence at the show. The event is the first to take place at the Holiday Inn which would become the events home for until 2012
- Hasbro close their UK Toy Shop at the start of February.
- Netease release a press release stating they are making a Chinese exclusive MMORPG featuring Transformers
- Both Weird Al Yankovic and Vince DiCola attend Botcon.
- Nick Roche makes his first appearance at Auto Assembly and the Transformers Collectors Club debut through Big D’s Toy Chest (the only time the TFCC worked with Auto Assembly)
- The fandom reacts when Frank Welker is confirmed as voicing Soundwave in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen with the late Leonard Nimoy also announced as voicing Sentinel Prime.
- Transformers Animated is confirmed as being cancelled during Botcon.
- Australia has its first “Lucky Draw” campaign when 25 of the gold chrome Leader Class Optimus Primes from the first live-action Transformers film are given away.
- Michael Bay comes out and “slams” Paramount Pictures before heavily pushing people to go and see the iMax version of Revenge of the Fallen.
- We attend a special FDA Screening of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen grosses $60 million on its first day alone, over $500 million dollars in the first month and by 26th July it breaks into the US top 10 highest grossing movies of all time. By September Megan Fox speaks out about the crew and her appearance in Transformers 3 looks unlikely.
- In October Orci and Kutzman confirm they will not be writing Transformers 3
- M&M release their limited Optimus Prime statue.
- The Transformers Animated Comic from Titan Publishing is cancelled at the start of the year
- Hasbro form Hasbro Studios from which they plan to produce new content for their joint venture with Discovery called The Hub
- Season 3 of Transformers Animated airs on the Cartoon Network within the US before the show is cancelled partly due to Hasbro’s plans to launch The Hub along with the formation of Hasbro Studios.
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has two soundtracks released titled “The Album” and “The Score”.
- Transformers Animated: The AllSpark Almanac is printed
- All Hail Megatron concludes as does Maximum Dinobot
- The Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen video game is released across multiple formats with Battle for the Allspark v2, LG Autobot Stronghold and Starscream Showdown being released online.
- Metrodome release the Generation One cartoons on DVD within the UK
- Botcon 2009 takes place and it is the year of the “Wings of Honor” set. Often considered one of the weakest boxsets, this years Botcon theme includes re-envisioned toys for Leozack, Skyquake and Banzai-Tron as additional figures. Famed Hollywood director Guillermo del Toro attends the event on the Sunday as an attendee along with his daughters who are fans of the Transformers Animated series.
- Auto Assembly breaks the European attendance record for a Transformers fan convention or the second time in a row, the third time in its history, as the official attendance figure is announced as 501. The show also marks the first time that a European convention has two Voice Actors in attendance as both Ian James Corlett and Gregg Berger attend the show. Theevent also features the world’s largest public display of Japanese prize campaign figures, better known as “The Lucky Draws” as we hire some cabinets and bring along our whole collection of pieces. The event marks a shift in fortune for Auto Assembly and was the first event to be organised with a group of advisors / support staff dubbed as the “committee. This team would change over subsequent months and years, but they would help to grow the event from 500 attendees to over 1000 by 2015
- Dutch TF convention B.O.T.S changes it’s name to TF CONversions
- Transformers Revenge of the Fallen is the main toyline for the year, with additional Generations figures being released to increase Transformers dominance of shelf space. The Generations figures include Dinobot, Cyclonus, Hound w/ Ravage, Leo Prime, Powerglide and redecos of the Engeron Combiner teams.
- Toys R Us within the US release re-issues of the Insecticons and Perceptor
- In Japan Transformers Alternity is released with three Convoys, three Megatrons and two Bumbles being released in this year.
- TakaraTomy continue their mini-lines with the release of the Device Labels along with the continuation of the Disney Label line.
- On the Encore front, Sunstorm is released by e-Hobby with Skids, Bruticus and the cassette teams also being released.
- Regarding our collection whilst we do purchase some Revenge of the Fallen figures we tend to skip most of the line with our focus remaining on the Transformers Animated, Generations and various Japanese lines along with further purchases of Lucky Draw figures.
- This is the year that the Fake Henkei figures start to show their heads, something that will become more of an issue in 2010
- We purchase two fake Lucky Draw Big Convoys (Gold and Silver) in order to prove that they were fake and stop some other collectors being fooled. We sell them on for ¼ of the price once we have photographed them.
- MP1 Black Convoy is announced by Part One Ltd’s e-Hobby Shop.
Toy Focus of the Year
The toy focus for the year was meant to be Revenge of the Fallen Devastator, but we only own the mini version of the toy and I forgot about it. Instead we went for a random Revenge of the Fallen toy, one which did not appear in the movie, that we like in Ransack. The figure is a transforming biplane, I don't think there is much more I need to say other than enjoy.