It’s 1999 and I’m standing on the sidewalk outside a hotel in St. Paul, Minnesota. The sun is beating down from a cloudless sky and I’ve just embarked on one of the greatest adventures of my life thus far. My dad had chaperoned me as far as St. Paul, but now he’s dropped me off for the weekend while he does his own exploring.
I’m attending a BotCon, currently the only Transformers convention around. It’s not my first convention, I attended last year, but that was with an older friend who had traveled with me from Sweden, so I still had that kind of safety net. But this year, I’m on my own. Continue reading
“Third Party” Transformers – Transformers-inspired toys made in relatively small runs by fans with pretty clear disregard for copyright law – are a pretty contentious business in the community. A lot of fans draw a line between the add-on sets like iGear’s IDW-style Kup heads that require you to own an official toy and standalone toys like most of what Fansproject makes. At BotCon 2012 both types were strictly prohibited from the dealer room, though a distinction was made between them and artistic fan-works like, say, the Starscream dakimakura being sold at one table. This year (possibly due to the departure of Aaron Archer from Hasbro) there were no such restrictions.
For the first time I came face to face with these Third Party toys, and I fell into the abyss.
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