Toy Wizards Convention Coverage: TF-Con 2019

Dear TF-Con

You’re welcome for the free coverage. Next time, please allow qualifying press outlets entry into your show without a hassle. You’ll get a more comprehensive review.

Hugs and kisses,

Toy Wizards

Man, that felt good. Unless…I’m non-qualifying press!

*gulp*

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TF-Con, formerly known as Transformers-Con before Hasbro cracked the legal whip, is a twice annual show. It’s flagship location was/is in Ontario, Canada, and it has a US location that seems to move around quite regularly. Because Bot-Con (which was another fan-run though Hasbro-recognized Transformers convention) is gone, TF-Con is really the only Transformers show local to the Los Angeles area. That said, the Los Angeles does have its own robot-centric annual show called Robo Toy Fest, the next one happening on June 9th, 2019. But TF-Con is the only one dedicated strictly to Transformers.

For this edition, TF-Con (Sponsored by The Chosen Prime) settled into the Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in Burbank, CA for two days of Transformers inspired fandom and fun.

And lots, and lots of toy shopping. 

The  Transformers crowd loves themselves some toys and they are ready to spend money. It was completely amazing, and everything an high sized small toy show should be. But in addition to being a toy show, TF-Con had a fully fleshed out programming schedule, including one specifically dedicated to 3rd party Transformers toys (which I was sadly unable to attended).

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David Clarke from Bluefin Brands assembling their new Optimus Prime model kit

There was so much to look at and experience at TF-Con, I was actually inspired to write two separate articles about my findings, one about Transformers crossover toys, and another about Korean third party toys and the conspiracy theory behind them. Another incredible find was the 90+ Grade original Jetfire toy from the 80s. It’s the highest quality one on record, and it was right there at my friend Steve’s booth.

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While Transformers toys (G1-current) were the bread and butter at TF-Con, there was tons of little treasures and trinkets. Kaiju, G.I. Joe, Masters of the Universe, Gundam, model kits, Funko Pops, even those transforming robot McDonalds toys from the 80s (which I collect and bought all that I was missing) were hanging out at TF-Con. Not to mention dozens and dozens of mystery bins and treasure boxes to dive and shuffle through.

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It was really amazing to see the ‘big boys’ show up for this event. In addition to well known toy vendors from the Los Angeles area showing up, we had brand presence such as Bluefin Brands, Super7, The Chosen Prime, TF Source, Flame Toys, and some 3rd party chaps ready to party.

One thing I’ll say, which really surprised me, is that few people seemed interested in the celebrity guests. And believe me, there were a lot of celebrity guests! Really, I’d say there were too many. It was the opposite scenario from that I found at Vegas Toy-Con recently. Call it ‘Toy-Con’ all you want– it was a celebrity show. At TF-Con, it was, at the core, a toy show. I loved that personally, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want the voice acting and celebrity guests to have just as much a successful show as my vendor friends did. I think there’s a balance and ideally, in a perfect world, everyone attending a show is happy. From customers, to exhibitors, to artists, to guests and panelists– no show wants their attendees to walk out having had a bad time.

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I loved TF-Con and I truly hope they come back to Burbank next year. I think the show will absolutely continue to grow. I think for now, the Marriott holds the show nicely. With a little more professionalism and organization on the administrative level, I think TF-Con will rocket forward on that upward trajectory.

 

Toy Wizard’s TF-Con 2019 Image Gallery:

 

 

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