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Transformers Day??? Yes. Well, at least that's what Wal-Mart called their lame excuse for promoting Beast Wars and Anibarfs (Animorphs ;-). I had heard about it on a recent IRC chat on the #cybertron IRC channel on Dal.net. The person sharing the info didn't know anything more than that is was today (Saturday, November 13th) and that there would be some kind of "activity."
So, I decided to hit the local Wally-world (Wal-Mart ;-) while running some errands. I brought my digicam along in case there was anything really cool. Some speculated that there might be some test marketing of Beast Machines toys, or something similar, but I had no such luck. When I got to Wal-Mart (WM from here on), I saw no indication of anything special occuring. No banners, no signs... nothing. So, I continued inside, thinking that if anything is happening at all, I might as well make sure. I went in, and there were no signs or anything. I wondered if this WM wasn't doing the event. I went back to the toys, figuring to check for new TFs and look around. I got to the TFs, and there wasn't anything remarkable. They did have Depth Charge and Rampage on sale for $14 and change, but I already have them. As I was looking around, I noticed a little man sitting in a chair at a table crammed between a couple of the aisle displays of toys and Christmas kitsch (junk). I mosied on over to find that the table had a TV/VCR, some boxed toys, and about 5 Stinkbombs in various conditions of transformation.
"What's going on?" I said innocently.
"Transformers Day!" said the geeky middle-aged man. Yes... it almost seemed like they chose the *geekiest* middle aged dork in the entire store to man this table. Or maybe he was the toy person of the day, but anyway...
"Really?" I asked, masking my disappointment of the event.
"Yep! Transform this toy in the least amount of time, and win this big one!" he said while tapping a boxed Optimal Optimus.
"Is there an age limit?" I asked with a little hope.
"Nope!" he said.
So, I sat down at the table, since there was no one else around. I was simply going to look at the instructions, but he jumped up and rewound the video to play it for me. It was of a kid, maybe 10 years old, transforming Stinkbomb while calling out "Step One. Step Two." and so on. After he was finished, he stopped the tape, and waited while I did it once. As I was transforming the toy back to beast mode, he was timing me. When I finished, he called out some number like one minute, twenty seconds.
"Oh! I thought the trick was to change him from beast to robot. I didn't know you were timing me. I figured I'd change him to a robot while you timed me." I said.
"Oh, OK" he said.
"Tell me when to go." I asked
I transformed 'ol Stinkbomb as fast as I could, having only one practice run. He doesn't really have any tricky bits, so I wasn't fumbling... much. I managed to get it in 25 seconds. He informed me that I had been the fastest yet, while most of the others were 45 seconds or more. He asked my name, and wrote it down on the certificate (note the horrible penmanship) and proceeded to write down my name and time in a little notebook he had for everyone's info. He told me to come back at 2 to see if I had one, and that I had a pretty good chance since I was the fastest yet by a longshot. He also gave me a little temporary tattoo of the "T" from the new Transformers logo in Beast Machines. I got another one for my son, and was on my way.
I figured, even if I already have an OpOp, I should come back to see if I won, and I can give OpOp to my son, who would be absolutely overjoyed to get such a HUGE TF. I hurried on to finish my errands so that I could get home, have lunch, and head out with the rest of the Gaub bunch to WM at 2. Of course, when I got home, I told wife and kid about it, and my son was stoked at the chance of getting a nice big TF.
After tossing down lunch and stuff, we headed out to WM. My son was stoked about getting a new TF, and was cocky enough to start being a little snotty, so threats of not getting a TF even if I did win were employed (not with complete success, though). My wife decided to stay in the van with baby, and we went into the store, expecting all to be said and done. Not so. When we got back to the toy section, there were about ten people, kids and parents, crowded around the table getting in last minute tries for the prize. So, we waited patiently for the outcome.
While waiting, a little hottie (very attractive young woman) come up and asked if the 20 seconds had been beat yet. "20 seconds?" I thought to myself. It looked like I wasn't going to get OpOp. I also marveled at the fact that i was beaten to the punch by a blonde-bomshell of a young-woman (ok, dark roots, and hip, but still a hottie ;-). I figured I'd have to get her e-mail addy or something and get her on the list. No such luck. As she was talking with one of the mother's there, she mentioned that her little brother was amazing with TFs, while she couldn't do it if her life depended on it. Shucks! ;-) So, I was beat out by an 8 year old kid. Oh well.
As we were waiting, I was telling my son that it seemed we would not win the prize, but that it looked like there was a second prize, maybe more. In a few minutes, the dorky guy got up and went to the intercom to announce the winners. The babe's little brother was first, I was second, and some other kid was third. Of course, first prize was OpOp. Second was Scavenger (BW, of course), and third was an Anibarfs t-shirt. YAY! :)
We took home the prize. Since I had that one too, my son would receive it into his own collection. He was just as exited about that as he was about OpOp, so no biggie. The rest of the errands were run, and the toy was opened upon arrival at home. Good thing Scavenger is one of the more simple megas to transform. He's pretty much got the knack already, except that some of the legs like to pop off, as does the shell on the abdomen.
All in all, it was a good day.
The following images are linked to larger versions...
|The front of the goofy certificate for participating in the "event."|
|The back of the certificate.|
|The "T" tattoo. Of course, it's backwards here, so that it's frontwards when on your skin! ;-)|
|My son showing off his new toy, yet to be opened...|
|Opened! It's now his favorite TF! :)|