"Slag Happens"

Richard's Report

crazysteve's Jazz story

Wow. What a week. I'm such a slacker, that most of the work involved in getting ready for CybCon 2005 took place in the week prior to that Saturday. Most of that work, for me, was putting the C-Bots into their packaging, putting the Jazzes into their packaging, finishing up the booklet, and getting all the stuff into 80 SWAG bags. I won't pretend that my work could hold a candle to everything crazysteve did with his, again, amazing work on our limited exclusive toy. Richard spent a lot of time on the C-Bot and Jazz packaging, but I wasn't being nitpicky this year, given the amount of time we had left. Jackpot and Allen G. both did some beautiful work for the character art. Jackpot's depiction of C-Bot alone is enough to make you want the toy, even if it's just a silly promotional freebie with a new sticker on it. ;-) Joebot contributed most of the C-Bots themselves, and Steve Kincade was our official camera man, survey maker, and creator of the new CybCon logo as seen above, and on the products this year. I was so busy on Friday that I completely forgot to order the pizza until like midnight. Good thing Domino's was still open. :)

By Saturday, we were ready to go, remarkably enough. Up early 'cus it was hard to sleep, I packed up and did some last minute preparations. On my way to the show, I did my usual stop at the grocery store for doughnuts and ice. By the time I arrived at the building, over half an hour before the dealers could go in, people were already there chatting with each other. Funny thing was that these weren't dealers, so they weren't getting in for over 90 minutes. I said, "It's not first come first served this year, you didn't need to come so early." They told me it had already become a tradition, and that one guy was there like an hour or more before then. Nut cases, all of them. But we still love you! ;-)

Larry, the gentleman who was there to unlock, watch over us, and lock up when we were done, came a few minutes later. I followed him in and took the "tour" of the facility where he showed me the fridge and stuff, and had me sign some papers. By the time were were done, Richard and his wife Zaetha were there, and we opened up the doors for them and the dealers that were arriving. Unfortunately, due to a shortage of supplied tables at the facility, I had to put out and APB to the dealers to bring tables if they had them. So the first thing we had to do was take stock of all the tables we had, and see how well our layout would work given the available tables. Fortunately, with dealers bringing tables for themselves, an extra table or two here and there, and the few that were supplied by the facility, we had enough for our floor plan, and dealers began setting up. We even managed to come up with an extra table for someone who was hoping to get a last minute spot.

Dealer setup continued at a fair pace, and we had ample time to get set up. Only Joeboy was finishing up when it was time to let people in. I closed the divider to the room so that only the door was available for entry, then went to the building entry and explained to people how it would work. Many people had pre-paid, so needed only to have their name checked off. Others paid at the door, but all had pre-registered. Zaetha did a great job checking people's names and handing out the SWAG bags. This year, instead of having people pay for every little thing individually, we asked for an entry fee, and then they just got everything... almost. The SWAG (Stuff We All Get) bags were actually Transformers Energon b-day party goodie bags. They were the perfect size to hold the 5.5x8.5" CybCon 2005 booklet, a toy, and a couple raffle tickets. This year the toy in the bag was a character we called simply, "C-Bot." This was one of those alphabet transforming promotional toys. We put a color coordinated CybCon logo sticker on all of them, created a character for him, and Jackpot made some GREAT art based on the toy and the character profile. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough C-Bots to supply all the registered attendees, and we filled out the rest with the Autocon toy, which was one of three of a set of recolored Energon Air Defense minicons recolored in translucent red plastic with blue/purple accents. Combined, they are called the Stormsword, and were available only at Dairyland Transfans, Dutchbot Con, and CybCon. The other Official CybCon toy this year, in VERY limited quantity of 15 units, was another crazysteve creation, Cybertronian Jazz in Minibot size. The toy looks fantastic in both modes, and fully transforms using the minibot transformation styles of Cliffjumper et al. Attendees and dealers were also given a survey to fill out, so that we can make CybCon better in the future... with the incentive of a raffle prize to a lucky survey filler-outer.

It didn't take long at all for people to begin filling the room and making deals for their favorite toys. With raffles happening every hour, half past the hour this year, it was pretty busy for me. By the time I managed to walk around the room once, I was back at the CybCon table to start another raffle. We had some technical difficulties with the PA system at first, but finally managed to get it working. It was nice to be able to talk normally into a mic rather than shouting at the entire room. :) We had so much raffle stuff, that we ended up giving two and three things away each time, and at the end of the day we still had like 10 things to get rid of. We also decided to have an auction to try to recoup some costs, as the $5 entry was not enough to cover all our expenses.

During the morning, we didn't have any activities other than the hourly raffles planned, so people simply checked out the dealers' wares, chatted, and hoped their number was called when the raffled happened. We had the first raffle a little late at about 10:40, then the second around 11:30, each time giving away a Throttlebot or two, and a couple other nifty bits. Noon came quickly, and the pizza was being put into the kitchen before I even realized the pizza person had arrived. Our androgenous pizza person brought in most of 20 pies, the rest being lugged in by a helpful attendee on his way in at the same time. $160 later, we started lunch. Since I had everyone tell me what kind of pizza they wanted, I was able to make sure we had plenty of most kinds, and a couple other kinds to fill the odd requests for combos Domino's doesn't make. This year, we kept the food and CybCon tables well apart, and there were no pizza accidents. All the pizza was on a counter, and people simply filed past it, taking the kind they liked. After everyone had had firsts of 2 pieces each, they were allowed seconds. By the end of the streams of people, there were only a few slices left, which is exactly what I had hoped would happen. I love it when a plan comes together. ;-)

12:30's raffle came and went, while I pestered the crowd to be sure and sign up for any contests they wanted to. Ok, so I told people not to be "chicken" and clucked into the mic a little, but come on... the tourey sheets weren't even half full. Either they were waiting til the last minute, or my tactics wre successful, and we ended up with completely full sheets for all three tournaments. One o'clock rolled around and with it so did the Toy Transforming contest. Click the thumbnail of the chart to see all the contestants and winners of each round. This year, the toy to transform was original G1 Scourge. Contestants had to transform the toy as depicted in the instructions, removal of head missile and left-handed gun holding included. The winner of each round was the first to have it properly transformed AND standing by itself on the table. Yes, there were a few rounds decided by mere "standing ability" alone. A couple rounds were also decided by completeness of transformation, as many people transformed Scourge so fast that one of the panels didn't get folder back completely. Were we being anal? Who cares!? It was tons of fun seeing people go head to head this year, and we'll definitely do it like that in future shows. Joebot donated the Scourge toys to transform, as well as the prize... Scourge! The winner had his choice of the Scourges used in the contest, as well as an uncut set of ReproLabels stickers for the toy, so that it could be made nice once again. As you can see on the tournament tree, Pat Nguyen won this contest, just like he did last year. Hmmm....

It wasn't long after the Toy Transforming contest before we had another raffle. Then at two o'clock, it was time for Trivia! Last year's trivia contest took so long, that we decided to try single elimination this year, just like for the Toy Transforming contest and theBW:TM game tourney. Two contestants would come up front at a time, and I would ask them each a question from my database of TF Trivia in turn. The first to get a question wrong, or not be able to answer, was out. Nope, not even checking to see if the opponent could get it. While some people might have moved forward that weren't well versed in TF trivia, it sped things up quite a bit. For this contest, as we did for the Toy Transforming and BW:TM Game tourney, there were a few kids, one that was pretty young, going up against adult fans. While the adult fans felt bad for beating the kids sometimes, they shouldn't have. Those kids knew their stuff, and in some cases, more than the adults. ;-) The winner of this contest was to receive a limited edition CybCon 2005 Cybertronian Jazz Minibot. Well, wouldn't you know it, but Pat Nguyen won THIS contest as well. Hmmmmmmmm.........

While the Trivia contest went faster this year, it was only a few minutes before we were turning around and raffling off some more toys. Let's see what I can recall from the raffle items: Armada Unicron; Throttlebots Freeway, Chase, and Searchlight each with decoy and full card back; A pile of comic books; some CybCon 2001 Scavenger tech specs and instruction booklets; Transformers UK Annual books; A set of G2 Gobots (Gearhead, Doubleclutch, et al); A UK basic toy (forgot which); Energon Prowl, Sharkticon, Slugslinder, Energon HotShot (the silver and red one); and a slew of CybCon 2005 Jazzes. Many of these were given away in the final raffle of the day after... the Beast Wars: Transmetals Playstation Game Tournament! See the tourney tree to the right for the players and winners. We also have the final round on film to be included in the CybCon 2005 video to be released soon. Anyway, at 3pm we started the game tournament, and again, it was amazing how many full three-round bouts there were. Unfortunately for Dan Dezotell, the final bout was a shut out, with Stephen Day winning two in a row for a victory. Stephen walked away with his very own CybCon Jazz.

Shortly before the last few rounds of the BW:TM tourney, we did the Survey raffle. A large container held all the surveys, and Richard's lovely wife Zeatha pulled a random sheet from the box for the winner of another CybCon Jazz. You'd think we had a ton of them this year, but we didn't. Just 15 total to give away, though we did hold one aside for auction. After that was taken care of, we finished off the BW:TM tourney, and dove immediately into the final raffle and auctions. This was when handed out most of the Jazz toys, the Energon toys, and a slew of things I don't even remember. We literally had more and more things as the day wore on because generous dealers kept donating things! We also had several no-shows, and raffled off the extra SWAG bags, which included their own tickets for the winners to make use of. As it was getting toward the end of the day, we tried hard to move quickly, which can be difficult when half the tickets you pull are unclaimed. For the Jazz toys, I literally just kept pulling tickets and calling out numbers until all had been rightfully claimed. :) Finally, with all the raffle items gone, we dove into the Auctions.

Up for auction this year were some interesting, and some desireable items. Of course, we had a single, the last, CybCon Jazz toy. After some very heated bidding, Kevin Hurd won it for $115. Always willing to help keep CybCon going, Kevin is a true fan if there is such a thing. We also auctioned the set of Jazz molds (minus key parts so you can't actually make any more) that were used to create the toy. There wasn't as much interest in these, but they did bring in I think about $20. We had a set of G2 Gobot recolors, including Optimus Prime, Soundwave, Ironhide, Frenzy and the rest that went for $61 to a bidder who desperately wanted at least one or two from the lot. We also had a bag of decoys, to which a dealer donated not only a decoy style Soundwave eraser, but also a genuine Ravage decoy! The set was drooled over a little more after that, but had only a couple interested bidders, and went for about $20 as well (I don't remember exact figures on most of these, so estimate some of them). And finally, we had decided, apparently mistakenly, to put a very good condition Wheelie minibot up for auction rather than raffle. I expected there to be a LITTLE more interest, but hey, everyone can make a mistake. I think he finally went for like $4, after having the starting bid lowered to $1. Poor guy. The toy really doesn't deserve the character's show deptiction. :\

By the time the auction was complete, we were looking around the corner of 4pm, nearing the end of the show. Attendance thinned out considerably, and a couple dealers even started packing up early. By the time 5pm rolled up on us, dealers were all started packing up and getting ready to go. Dealers finished up, we cleaned up, and helped Joebot haul his boxes and display stuff out of the building for him to pack into his van. He's always got so much stuff, the hour we provide isn't quite enough. :)

Overall, I honestly don't think it could have gone much better. It was a great day, and I had a lot of fun, even though I didn't have much time to shop or buy. I did fill one small hole in my collection when I picked up a HOC Megatron with Mace. The next day I gave in and bought Cybertron Starscream at Wal*Mart. Man that thing is big! Anyway... We've got some survey's to look through, and plans to make for CybCon 2006. See you next year!