Transformers fans, assemble!13 March, 2012 by Mus
As detailed earlier, the Singapore Transformers Cybertron Con 2012 is now ongoing at Resorts World Sentosa. With the first in Shanghai, this is only the second time Cybertron Con has been staged. We visited the convention over the weekend to see what it had in store for visitors.
After a long (but fast) queue to get the tickets, we got into the event. The first thing one sees are standees of various Transformers. Many were taking 2-shots with their favourite robots, with panels showing information of the two robot clans – the Autobots and Decepticons.
Up next was every toy collector’s dream. Showcasing Transformers over 28 years, it is a literal walk down memory lane, with toys from Generation One to Transformers Prime being featured. Some were also loaned from collectors in Singapore and Malaysia. Many visitors were seen photographing the toys, some recalling the toys of their childhood.
The displays were also accompanied by information panels, detailing the history behind each of the generations. Given how many visitors were new fans, it was interesting to read the little nuggets of trivia one could glean from these panels.
Also shown were videos of the various generations and the live-action movies. Some crowded around these monitors; adults with children in tow were seen watching the early generation videos, reminiscing about the Transformers together with their kids.
The new console game, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, had its own booth. Crowds gathered to see players trying out the action shooter. The kids seemed to have fun with the game, no doubt because having the power to transform at will is pretty nifty.
At this point the view opens up and one can see the 22-foot tall statue of Optimus Prime in full. Towering over the convention hall, a scaffolding was set up to allow visitors to take photos with the giant statue. At $20 for a 5R photo, some skipped and instead took photos with the statue at ground level. Nevertheless, the sheer size of the statue was captivating to all.
At one corner of the convention hall was the KRE-O augmented reality section. A large screen was set up where visitors were able to interact with a moving KRE-O version of Bumblebee. KRE-O was Hasbro’s foray into building blocks. There were assembled KRE-O models of various Transformers characters on display, as well as a section where one could try building one with the help of assistants on hand.
In what was the highlight of the convention for me, there was also a section dedicated to ‘Transformers Re-imagined’. Showcasing custom Transformers model kits from hobbyists and celebrities. Kits of all forms were posed in varying situations, some elaborate enough to take up a whole exhibit box.
Toy enthusiasts are not the only ones to benefit however. All throughout the length of the convention, there are talk panels featuring various people involved with the Transformers franchise. Anyone interested in the TV series, movies or the workings of the franchise can grab a seat beforehand, or otherwise stand at the stage as people from Hasbro reveal some insights. At the end are also Q&A sessions where the public can also pose questions to the creators.
Art sessions can be had at The Art Room, where attendees will be given art lessons on how to draw characters from the TV series, free-of-charge. Next door, selected episodes of the TV show as well as other Hasbro programmes are shown in the Hasbro 30-min Theater.
Fans looking to commemorate their visit to the convention would be able to get some from inside the convention itself. With all manner of goods on sale, one can find anything from KRE-O kits, to t-shirts and masks. The merchandise was evidently very popular, with long lines snaking the length of the section.
All in all, Cybertron Con is enjoyable even as a casual fan who followed the series on and off through the years. It was especially heartening to see such a wide demographic enjoy the convention, and learning how one series of toys and TV shows linked so many people together of all generations. In the opinion of this writer, it is definitely worth the entry price. Cybertron Con will run till the 14th of March.