[UK convention/other meetups]

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Flimflammery
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Post by Flimflammery » Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:35 am

Yep, was wondering if you'd notice ;-) it is a very cunning disguise on my part, I do admit.

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numbat
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Post by numbat » Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:56 am

Knightdramon wrote:Depends on availability numbat...which ones are you looking for?
inflatable dalek wrote:Flimflammery! We've spoken on twitter before! I didn't realise it was you because you use the handle Flimflammery.

Numbat, I will try if it helps but I suspect my big hard envelope for these things will be quite overflowing by the end...
No worries guys.

The Mayhem Attack Squad with the big Tarantulas would be wonderful, as would a MTMTE Autobot and/or DJD cast shot if he has anything like that. I believe they are £10 each, so happy to spend £30 (then whatever postage is and a friendly handling fee ;-) ).

No worries if you can't manage though.

:up:

New sale thread added with a range of Transformers including Masterpiece, Botcon, CHUG, RID, Movies etc.

Looking for MP-11T Thundercracker and MP-9 Rodimus v2 (Takara version with as few QC issues as possible).


Check out my new sale thread now!

Also items on eBay.

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Knightdramon
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Post by Knightdramon » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:01 am

From memory, he has a S1 Lost Light, S2 Lost Light and villains of MTMTE prints, if those are the ones you are referring to.

Any preference on which season you'd be after, if not both? We'll renegotiate who'll stand in the line and who'll hog the glory at the event...:lol:
Few stuff in the UK to trade/sell. Measly sales thread.

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numbat
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Post by numbat » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:08 am

Knightdramon wrote:From memory, he has a S1 Lost Light, S2 Lost Light and villains of MTMTE prints, if those are the ones you are referring to.

Any preference on which season you'd be after, if not both? We'll renegotiate who'll stand in the line and who'll hog the glory at the event...:lol:
Damn, let's go S1, S2, villains & Mayhem Attack Squad at £40 then, if poss.

:swirly:

New sale thread added with a range of Transformers including Masterpiece, Botcon, CHUG, RID, Movies etc.

Looking for MP-11T Thundercracker and MP-9 Rodimus v2 (Takara version with as few QC issues as possible).


Check out my new sale thread now!

Also items on eBay.

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Knightdramon
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Post by Knightdramon » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:59 am

Cool, so re-iterating...

4 prints if available for numbat, 40 pounds [10 each] before shipping.

Hopefully we can find all 4 in time.

:up:

PS: Will be in touch via FB mostly over the weekend ;)
Few stuff in the UK to trade/sell. Measly sales thread.

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Denyer
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Post by Denyer » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:05 am

If not, I think I got one or two of them when he first did and wouldn't mind parting with -- can have a look at home when I get back if needs be.

Will see people who're going in a bit. Wearing black Ghostbusters tee at the mo.

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Knightdramon
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Post by Knightdramon » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:07 am

Ah cool. Will see some of you in a few hours I guess.
Few stuff in the UK to trade/sell. Measly sales thread.

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numbat
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Post by numbat » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:11 am

Thanks guys! Have fun!

New sale thread added with a range of Transformers including Masterpiece, Botcon, CHUG, RID, Movies etc.

Looking for MP-11T Thundercracker and MP-9 Rodimus v2 (Takara version with as few QC issues as possible).


Check out my new sale thread now!

Also items on eBay.

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Post by Denyer » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:41 am

Brendocon 2.0 wrote: Somebody grab me a Fansproject (Six)Knight if you see one for under £80 please.
Yes, if they're still there when I go back down and I read the sticker right as 70.

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Post by Denyer » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:05 am

Sorted.

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Post by Brendocon 2.0 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:45 pm

WINNER :up:

Cheers dude. I'll drop you a PM when the con's over, so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle. :)

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Knightdramon
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Post by Knightdramon » Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:04 pm

Numbat, prints sorted. ;)
Few stuff in the UK to trade/sell. Measly sales thread.

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numbat
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Post by numbat » Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:14 pm

Knightdramon wrote:Numbat, prints sorted. ;)
Dude you rock!

Turns out the internet is down at the B&B I'm staying at tonight and mobile internet is pretty poor in this corner of Scotland so hope it's ok if I pick up any messages and get money to you tomorrow evening? If not let me know via email or text (will PM you my details).

Cheers,

Chris

New sale thread added with a range of Transformers including Masterpiece, Botcon, CHUG, RID, Movies etc.

Looking for MP-11T Thundercracker and MP-9 Rodimus v2 (Takara version with as few QC issues as possible).


Check out my new sale thread now!

Also items on eBay.

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Knightdramon
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Post by Knightdramon » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:15 pm

Awesome. Got your pm but tricky to respond via mobile. Can sort Payment after I am back tomorrow, no worries
Few stuff in the UK to trade/sell. Measly sales thread.

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numbat
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Post by numbat » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:59 pm

Knightdramon wrote:Awesome. Got your pm but tricky to respond via mobile. Can sort Payment after I am back tomorrow, no worries
Brill! Thanks man!

:cheers:

New sale thread added with a range of Transformers including Masterpiece, Botcon, CHUG, RID, Movies etc.

Looking for MP-11T Thundercracker and MP-9 Rodimus v2 (Takara version with as few QC issues as possible).


Check out my new sale thread now!

Also items on eBay.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:00 pm

Back, but on my way out the door after a hard day playing with Shockwave.... So here's all my TFN pics with more thoughts to follow...:


https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 72ac3368aa
TRANSFORMATION: ALL GOOD THINGS
END OF AN ERA IN MY LOOK AT AOE 5!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

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Post by Knightdramon » Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:58 pm

Not as many pics as Dalek, but overall thoughts for this year's convention...

Convention/set up

I prefer this year's set up to all previous years---it was mostly very similar but this time panels were not clashing as often [I think there were only 3 instances in which they run at the same time?]. The panels were sufficiently quiet so that you could enjoy and absorb info.

I did feel that Friday this year was more of an afterthought. In 2013 [or 14?] there was a chunky hour long Overlord panel that made the day worth it but not this year. It was all Rock lords stuff and a screening of TFTM which is fine, but I've already watched the film 30 times and vastly prefer to do so in my comfortable living room with nobody shouting behind me :up:

Thankfully epic times did follow on Friday [see "fandom"].

Saturday and Sunday had great panels and it felt like you had enough of a breather between them to go on the stalls behind or out for a drink. The panels were varied and interesting to all walks of the TF life; you had cartoon-y panels, you had comic panels, you had actors panels, you had a few BW panels...all in all great fun. Only panel I attended and did not enjoy as much as I thought was the 3P panel, as the info was very light, the big reveals were made on the opening ceremony hours ago, and it featured fansproject majorly, with their staggered and delayed releases that we knew of two years now.

Creators/merch

I think that it was a mistake to put Nick Roche next to James Roberts on the tables as that created a massive queue which bled out to the adjoining but much quieter tables. I had to wait a good 40+ minutes for each person but made the most of it as they were both very friendly and very chatty.

I did not queue for the other tables [or if I wanted, did not have to] as my interactions with Alex Milne left me very cold a few years ago ["Hey big fan since your Megatron Origins art, I loved it since way back then" "Uh-huh"] and I did not have things for the others to sign. Would have visited Paul Eiding but we had a nice chat on Friday. In the coming years I'll make sure I'll have some of Furman's work. Geoff Senior was amusing in that he did not really remember much of what he drew but delved into some nice commentary of the comic industry/going to other industries in the mid 90ies. Hayato Sakamoto actually had dinner on his own next to us on Friday but I did not know who he was at the time!

The toystores had overall a very nice selection, with Kapow and ID toys having almost twice the space of others. ID Toys had an entire part of the room, door to door! Very good selection of current things and 3P from the past year, with enough things at killer prices. A few Binaltechs still kicking around at places.

The 3P showroom was one of the highlights of the show, with a chance to see many upcoming 3P toys in the flesh. MMC, MT, TFC and fansproject featured very heavily. Maketoys Devil Stinger [Black Zarak] looked gorgeous and was revealed for the first time IIRC on the event.

Fandom

Maybe it is because I knew more people than all previous conventions, but the fandom was very strong and supportive in this convention. Despite the low-burn Friday we had a great time with the archive gang, doing the rounds in a new place [thanks to the new Mall-like structure across the lake, you no longer have to be robbed willingly for drinks and food] before venturing back to the hotel.

All I can say is that Ryan sure knows how to drink but the only good memento we have of the night is dalek's "one of the worst taglines ever" picture.

It was on the same night that we had a lovely accidental chat with Paul Eiding and his wife and I met in person a few tfw2005 regulars. Good interactions happened throughout the weekend with always a person to go for a drink or walk. Unfortunately what appears to have been a bad case of stomach problems dampened my enjoyment gradually throughout Saturday and Sunday.

Props to a lovely chap in a nearby table that let me mess around with his new MT Striker Manus and had a lengthy discussion on toys and classics prime. The guy could have just said no but the interaction was wonderful, and I got to handle a few other toys via other forum members.

Kudos to Denyer for the colorful G1 Razorclaw gift; the toddler next table loved him but the figure is back home with me now :lol:

So overall, for a great recipe for next year, I am definitely having far less experiments with food and more interactions with people. Such a shame that Simon and Luke were not around this year, and Chris should definitely make good on his promises one year! :up:

Obligatory haul pic below.
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Post by Denyer » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:15 pm

I'm sure things only felt as relaxed as they did because of all the furious paddling underwater that goes with running a convention, but that seems to be the consensus from reactions on the weekend and after. The panel scheduling and locations made for less toasty rooms, less milling and allowed things to run on a bit if needed.

Really liked the inclusion of some other 80s stuff, which will hopefully continue, and particularly getting to listen to Emiliano on toy design and touching on other series he's worked on -- the enthusiasm for stuff from him, Andy, Jim, the TMUK/Toy-Fu lot who'd produced a fanzine and prints as well as sourced lots of Rock Lords stuff, et al were infectious. Lot of attention to detail in the way activities were named and given a visual identity, too, which translated well into the con shirts that were on sale.

Collection and 3P displays were very impressive, and I can't decide between the FP original dino characters and may end up getting both. From the panel it's nice to know the FP headmasters are also still a going concern, and from a slightly completionist POV the not-Hardhead is of interest as much as the Horrorcon-style designs, personally.

There was a little bit of TR wave 2 stuff around, the titan masters, which from talking to one or two people the bigger stores probably were just getting into stock but hadn't brought because they're fiddly and low margin. So got three out of four and have tacked Clobber onto an existing order from Forbidden Planet.

Got a custom Black Tracks from Sid's table, which scratches that itch in ways the Decepticon MP reuse doesn't at all for me. Other than that mainly a smattering of loose/pre-owned smaller items that appealed, including a neat Til All Are One pin from http://londonprophecy.storenvy.com/ Was cool to see a few vendors with Vitruvian HACKS figures, one who'd apparently found a case of a sealed Robo Machines character, and curios such as the Glacialord sticker album. The vintage TF book was just something that turned up in the post over the course of the weekend (decent on a skim, better-sized pics than Generations, but be aware it only goes up to 1990 and seems to just be US stuff; hopefully a vol 2 will happen).

The Hilton seemed a bit better organised -- fewer events running concurrently, advance check-in that resulted in a welcome twin room upgrade (the bathrooms have doors), wi-fi that worked decently enough (even if a bit cumbersome with different passwords for rooms/downstairs and a lack of clear instructions) and the "street food" stands were a reasonable option for hot drinks even if it probably still wouldn't be a good idea to trust them to cook meat and am still not entirely sure what we got wasn't. Was still an improvement in most respects, assuming the hotel wasn't what poisoned Nick.

As ever, good to catch up with and meet people, new ones including ff, MISB fans and the reptile collector I believe Dalek got talking to in a previous year. Lots of familiar faces with names already attached I've never had much/anything to do with, too, plus a lot of international fans -- it does feel like there's a convention community and that a lot of that's carried over from AA.

Next year if he's got copies I'll be aiming to catch up with JR scripts.

Constructive criticism -- the rooms available meant that the craft and photography areas didn't seem to get much footfall, and it felt like the creators on the side of the hall closest to the entrance and at the end on the other got a bit lost in comparison too; it wouldn't have hurt to have Nick and James on the side closest and some guide stands so that queues didn't go in front of other people's tables. In terms of space, the first aisle with Kapow on one side was a bit of a bottleneck because people need space to stop and look at stuff whether it's boxed or loose vintage.

Anyone I owe mail, including Brend, apologies but work stuff this week means I've pecked this out whilst doing other stuff and am mostly going to have to catch up with things towards or at weekend.

I believe there's podcast news coming, which you can possibly work out from Dalek's pics.

Haul pics attached apart from nifty Sorceress commission which I think is public and is posted here -- https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =3&theater
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Post by inflatable dalek » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:54 pm

SUPER LONG POST ALERT.

This is my default sharing thoughts on TFN post, so it may contain things I've already mentioned here...



In many ways the new Birmingham TF Convention had a pretty tough challenge. Auto Assembly had been very well established and had a pretty loyal base of people who went every year. On the one hand capitalising on the rough connections (many of the same people involved, same venue and week of the year) between the two as as to encourage a smooth transition was sensible.

On the other, it was still a new event with all the potential teething troubles that come with that and if it got too firmly associated with the prior convention people might not be as forgiving of the learning curve as they might otherwise have been, plus anyone who had previously been put off by AA for whatever reason might not be so keen to give the new thing a chance. It was a balancing act, and one more than a few jokes were made about during the event itself (TFN Drinking game 1: Down something every time a guest or host says "This entirely new event" with a twinkle in their eyes).

Effectively though it was a balancing act they clearly got right in the lead up to the con as not only were most of the familiar faces there (and those that weren't were due to other circumstances), but so were many others. People who had never been to AA, or perhaps had drifted away from it. I don't think I've been to a con where so many people I know from Facebook, Twitter and various forums were there.

I was constantly making eye contact with people and thinking "I must go say hello!" but not getting the chance, or not realising I knew them until I was already five steps past them and wondering why they said "Hi Stuart" (this comically awkwardly happened with Nick Roche at one point as well. But it wouldn't be a TF convention if I wasn't mildly embarrassing around Nick Roche at some point). It wasn't as many people as last year's AA but it actually felt like a much bigger con as a result.

Also, any worries around people not giving the convention chance to get its shit together were groundless because it was an incredibly well oiled machine from the start. Those with prior experience of AA and the Hilton were able to use it well alongside the fresher blood's new ideas.

So events run on time, and when outside circumstances forced a change (such a Nick being ill on the Sunday. That's not ill in a Scott McNeil euphemistic sense by the by, it wouldn't be a Brum TF convention without one guest struck by something horrible) the reworking of the panel was done quickly enough for it to start on time and without fuss.

In fact--and I was joking by the end that I'd said this enough for it to become my catchphrase--it was the single most relaxed convention of any sort I've ever been to. Everyone was mellow, no one was fussed or tense or even over excited. Guests and attendees all seemed to be enjoying themselves in the most jazz (with a small J) way possible and it really made for a most pleasant experience.

Was it because it was a slightly smaller convention than last year's? Possibly, but even the smaller AA's (and we're talking when it was a couple of hundred people) didn't have that same atmosphere. Have I changed? Equally possibly, I know I'm in for the long haul with these things. My two biggest disappointments were not getting a Geoff Senior sketch or the new Nick Roche prints, but knowing there's a good chance I'll be seeing both men again (and possibly at events before the next TFN) meant I was fairly accepting of somehow never being at Geoff's desk when he was there or Nick's queue being capped on the Sunday.

But then, everyone else agreed with me about it being more relaxed so perhaps the con itself did something different? That's unhelpful really as it's vagaries But do it again next year!

Sadly on Saturday night I was upstairs doing the thing that isn't quite ready to be formally announced yet but which those of you who've seen my pics will be able to guess (and big thanks to Adam White for organising that), but the photos do show one advantage of a new con: New everything. I don't think I'd realised quite how tatty the AA props were after five/six/longer years of service, but all the signage and dressing being freshly created did make a big difference.

In terms of hosting, Chris McFeely and Andrew Turnbull both did great jobs on their panels. With the former being especially impressive on the MTMTE one considering he'd barely been able to speak during the day.

For the general hosting, David Paul Wallace and Petrina Witt both did a deceptively easy job. Dave might have the experience (and goodness me he knows how to milk a crowd), but he'd built up a rapport with a different partner and it might not have been so easy to make his style of presenting work with someone new, or worse still to completely overshadow them because of his prior experience of dealing with this bunch of loons. Instead, they worked well both solo and as a team and quickly set up an easy back and forth that looked effortless but probably took some effort.

The guests long stopped being the main focus of conventions for me, but there was a good selection here. Highlights included a nice chat with Simon Furman about his new project with Geoff Senior that led to talking about Dragon's Claws (a few people at the bar were surprised I didn't ask him about what I thought of the copy of my book I gave him last year, but whilst he fully deserved a free copy I'm pretty sure he just took it politely and put it in a drawer along with the many other "Oh...that's nice" things guests at conventions get given over the years). I also got him to sign one of the very last TFUK specials (thanks to Mr Turnbull), and as he was unfamiliar with it he was very pleased to see the colour Big Shutdown got another outing.

Alex Milne did me a great Spinister cover sketch and I got all the latest James Roberts scripts (as well as getting introduced to the joys of whisky by him and Marian Hilditch), and all the other guests were lovely, though my own inability to talk sensibly caused the language barrier to limit me to "Hello" and "Thanks" to those who weren't experts in English. The highlight though was getting an early copy of Sins of the Wreckers. Not so much for the book which after all has been formally released for less money under a week later, but for the queue. I have never been in such a tense line as everyone involved was eyeing each other up and thinking "Who's going to be the last one?" with an evil glare.

Yes, Nick Roche is such a talent he can make even a line of people a tense experience.

Getting Paul Eiding (and later after Andy introduced us, the artist Herzspalter) to sign the article I'd written for the program was exciting as well. "I haven't had chance to read it yet", oh Paul, it's OK, you don't have to. Him interrupting my lunch on the Friday when I was reading out the program to the others at my table ("You don't want to see that Paul Eiding panel... he's a wanker") was a joy as well.

Actually, nothing made me happier than standing behind people in the various queues who had the program out to get signed. Because no one is going to use something they think is complete crap for autographs so everyone involved must have done something right.

People of course are the main thing for me, and I mainly hung out with my now usual crowd of Marian, Ryan Frost, Philip Blake and Stuart Denyer, with special guest star Jamie Crowther on the Sunday. All were a delight as always, highlights include being mocked for my drinking of coke by a certain someone who was very ill on the Sunday ("Have an ice cube from my nice refreshing soft drink to cool you down"); discovering you can't match beers with Ryan and Stuart doing the exact same "It's the unsigned ones that are actually worth something" joke to each person who picked up a copy of The Book. I think I especially loved a discussion of Crap Tie In Cuckoo Clocks (seriously, Trek and Who both have them!) which quickly saw me and Marian spontaneously decide a Lost Light one with Swerve's ring tone as the chime was needed.

All the other good people passed in a blur, and I feel especially bad for taking money off Karl Thurgood and basically running away without having a proper chat. But there was a strange moment when various TMUK Eugenesis owners (and as mine, Marian's and the sold copy were all in the building does that make it the largest collection of copies since the con they were first sold at?) all happened to be together in the main hall in a state of shock over the £400 sale of one. I think we all began to eye up how much we really loved ours (when James signed mine he cheerfully said "I'm going to put such a specific dedication you'll never be able to sell it", so that temptation is removed for me...).

There were lots of lovely little chats throughout the weekend, especially with poor old Llama God who only said hi when passing but got sucked into a conversation about how terrible Star Trek V is with good grace. I'd have loved to have talked more with everyone, but there never seemed to be the time!

With all the pros there, what about the cons? What's interesting is that every single person I spoke to involved with the direct running of the con on the Sunday (Adam, Andy and Billy himself), were all incredibly down. All they could focus on was what they thought went wrong and all said pretty much identical things about doing it better next year. They were clearly being too hard on themselves, but as they asked for constructive criticism, my relatively minor niggles:

The first one should probably be the wrist bands that were used instead of lanyard passes this year. Pretty much the first thing I said to Andy was "I bet these won't work", amazingly he didn't punch me in the face for starting by pointing out something that not so hot.

Yet despite being initially smug about getting mine on a string around the neck, I think I was pretty much the only person to have come round to them by the end of the con. I was actually impressed everyone's seemed to have survived showers and drunken stumbling without being destroyed. The one advantage I had was I get to keep mine as a memento, though I suspect something different will be done next year regardless.

I suppose the main area that will need work next year as it didn't feel it quite worked is the Forge. Or at least worked as a separate section, especially as the room was slightly out of sight. All weekend I kept thinking "I must go look in the Forge!", but never quite got round to it, and based on what I heard from people who did this seems to have been a common thing as it was constantly described as being empty.

I'd say the problem is that, whilst people would go out of their way to see an Alex Milne or Geoff Senior the fan creators (however good) aren't automatically a draw in themselves and need that passing trade to sell their wares.

My suggested solutions for next year would be either have a section in the main hall (if it gets upgraded to the bigger room, IIRC that's what AA did with its Artists Alley last year), or put something in with the Forge that will draw people in casually and let them see what's on sale at the same time. Some of the toy displays maybe? Or even the registration desk? That's armchair quarterbacking of course.

I suppose my only other suggestion is it would have been nice for the convention to end with the more formal announcement of the next one, dates and maybe even a few guests. That always added to the buzz at the end of AA and is really helpful in starting the struggle for me to get the time off work! But I get they probably need to be sure how well this one went before finalising the details of the next so this would probably have been impracticable.

Overall though, a blooming good convention, I think the only other things that annoyed me (two instances of managers at the hotel belittling their staff in front of customers for example) were nothing to do with the convention itself. You achieved something!
TRANSFORMATION: ALL GOOD THINGS
END OF AN ERA IN MY LOOK AT AOE 5!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

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Post by inflatable dalek » Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:44 am

And I'm so excited for the next TFN I've booked the probable weekend of it off already before it's even been announced.


(Or the extreme twatery I went through at work last year to try and get the time off for 2016 is kicking off again and I decided getting in their early was the best bet whilst my department again goes through the six month process of proving what the handbook says the holiday policy is, is in fact the holiday policy. Now the tension of whether I picked the right dates adds some excitement and tension to the announcement build up!)
TRANSFORMATION: ALL GOOD THINGS
END OF AN ERA IN MY LOOK AT AOE 5!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

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