Monday, March 19, 2012

My Take on Cybertron Con 2012

Cybertron Con is a bi-annual convention for Transformers fans in Asia. This year, it was held from the 11th - 14th March 2012 at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore. Here's my take based on the first three days of the event.  

I bought the VIP ticket. It allowed entry for all 4 days of the event. The package included a Kre-On figure, the lanyard and a voucher to take a photo with the 22 foot Optimus Prime. If you do the math, you got what you paid for. That's fine. I'm just a little annoyed that it was available cheaper as it got closer to the event.    

Now for the event itself. I've broken comments down for each zone.

1) Entrance
Apart from some confusion on Day 1. Queues were largely orderly. I've got a request, and that is to make longer entry wrist bands.   

2) Intro Zone
I'm okay with this area. Great for families. Quick photo opportunity. Holds them up while we adult fans go see the toys. LOL. Maybe a way to improve this is to use some flashing lights and have the characters say some lines.

3) 28 Years of Transformers
A couple of gripes for this area. First, several series were missing like Victory, Masterforce, Classics and Generations to name a few. The Japanese series are not much of an issue as they are rare and not many people have them. But surely there could have been a display for Classics and Generations. Secondly, some of the shelves were half empty. I don't know if they limited themselves due to the deco. If there wasn't enough Transformers of a certain line, they could have possibly squeezed the display and opened up some shelf space for other series. Packaging could be used to fill up the space if they had them. Or display the same characters in alternate mode. Third, some bots on the top shelves could use higher stands.

Having said that, I was happy to see what I saw. It was a decent enough display for the neutral attendee. And I liked the wall deco which provided some information on each series. Maybe could have taken a cue from the Takara Tomy booth and screened toy commercials as well. It would allow people to see some Transformers in both robot and alternate modes. 

4) Takara Tomy Booth
Was okay. Great to see some Diaclone. And the upcoming Transformers Prime Arms Micron were on display.       

5) Activision Game Station
Nothing to comment here. Maybe have more consoles. Or have a larger screen so more people could watch the game play.

6) Street Artist Gallery
There were long queues for this. There should have been more artists.

7) Battle Station
This is where people signed up for the Fastest Fingers Competition. Nothing to comment here.    

8) Kre-O Diorama Display
I liked the vehicle display. Nice racing scene and it showcased several Kre-ons. The robot showcase was rather static. Should have put the robots in some poses.

9) Kre-O Workshop
Kids could try building things with the Kre-O pieces here. Nothing to comment. The mini statues of the Kre-ons were cute.

10) Kre-o Augmented Reality Interactive Zone
Great for kids. It got boring after awhile. Bumblebee did the same thing over and over again. Maybe consider having him do different routines or have another character in it.

11) Transformers Re-Imagined
Everything was fine here. Great displays. And voting could be done on site.

12) 22- Foot Optimus Prime
The replica was nice enough with the lights. Would have preferred a G1 replica. If you wanted a photo the cost was SG$20 each. I think its rather expensive.     

13) Hasbro 3D Mini Theatre
In the Battle Plan, it was stated that there would be sneak peaks of various cartoons. A check on the schedule on site showed that practically the whole days' program would be screenings of Transformers Prime Season 1. The new cartoon episodes only had slots at night, some starting as late as 8pm. I would have expected only the new cartoons to be screened. Disappointed about this. And the queue for this was always long. And there was confusion about whether you had to take a ticket in advance for a later screening. This area could have been better. The organisers did screen the shows on main stage from Day 2 onwards due to overwhelming demand. Great decision on their part.

14) Cybertronian Base
Nothing to comment here. Basically a room for presentations.

15) Art Room
Good for the kids and families. After drawing, maybe have them do some colouring as well. The class conducted by Jose Lopez was great. Enjoyed it.

16) Merchandise Zone
Day 1 was chaotic. The place was overcrowded, people got into the wrong queues, you had to queue just to get into the area and so on. I felt the place to be too small. The different stores were sectioned up on Day 2 which helped with queues. But it also meant that aisles became narrower. There weren't as many people on Days 2 and 3 so there wasn't much issue. I would suggest moving the merchandise zone out of the ballroom. At most keep the Universal Studios Store. There's more than enough room in the exit corridor to accomodate the other two stores. Also there wasn't enough stock. Shelves were half empty on Day 2. There should have been more dealers. One other thing is that stores selling apparel should carry sizes bigger than Large. Really wanted a shirt.   


17) Main Stage
The last row of chairs and the barrier of the merchandise zone were too close to each other. People walked through that area to get to the exit and it got very congested whenever a panel was in progress. As mentioned above, move some of the merchandise zone out of the ballroom. 

Everything Else
The event started with a bang but ended very low key. And like many others, I found it odd that the event began on a Sunday and ended on a Wednesday.

Panels were great. We got world first reveals. The next step is to have the prototypes or finished product of the upcoming toys put into a display after the panel. 

The MC for the event was Mr Edmond Khoo. Thought he did a good job.

Overall I enjoyed the event, especially the first 2 days. Loved the panels. I always wanted to be in the room when new products were revealed. Exciting. Hope it returns to Singapore even bigger and better. That's all for now. Pictures upcoming!

No comments: