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CyberCon Expo 2003 - Small Con, Big Fun

by Anthony Brucale

Having attened the first Cybercon (not the same organizers though) back in May of 1999 in Tom's River, NJ, my expectations were not very high. I didn't expect to see many interesting items for sale nor did I expect much of a turnout. I was in for a surprise.

The Holiday Inn in Cherry Hill, NJ was not a far or complicated trip from my home base in Queens, NY. The only travel issue that Saturday morning was the rain and how I was going to tape Ultimate Muscle and TMNT on the Fox Box.

The dealer room was a little more than twice what I anticipated and it was packed when I showed up at 10:30 AM. The merchandise spanned all eras of Transformers; plus there were many dealers will Go-Bots, Masters Of The Universe, t-shirts, G.I. Joe, and a multitude of other related 80's lines. There seemed to be a large amount of loose Beast Wars at cheap prices, and boxed Japanese Beast Wars at rediculously cheap prices; such as Archaedis boxed for $1 and the Japanese release of Beast Wars Buzz Saw for $7 (and I'm kicking myself for passing on that, since we need pics of it here for the archive at TFU.INFO). Some dealers had Japanese G1 figures, though at unfathomable (read: unreasonable) prices, like a loose Lio Kaiser minus Hellbat for $300+. On the other end of the spectrum, Micron Legend (Japanese Armada) toys were well available and reasonably priced, like Starscream for $30. John Runski's table had the first and only Tiger Track at the convention, as seen in the pics below. As with all conventions, there are always deals to be had, but I'll go into that a little more later on.

Just to the left of the Optimus Prime statue that greeted me when I arrived was the table for Hard Hero, where they were showing off their newest busts: Devastator, Grimlock, and Wheeljack. Hard Hero has yet to impress me with any of their busts, though their Wheeljack is a pretty good likeness. Devastator looked much more menacing unpainted at Botcon 2002. Below are some images from the Hard Hero table.

 



Another nice thing to come of CyberCon Expo was the friendly batch of people that were attending. Normally at Botcon, I tend to find myself in groups of 5 or 6 people of a pool of 50 or so long time Transfan friends, which never leads to being lonesome. However, aside from one dealer, no one I knew personally were attending the 'con. Fortunately, dealers and fans were feeling talkative and friendly throughout the day. I had the pleasure of running into Transfandom.com's Aerosurge, who introduced me to his compatriots and invited me to lunch. He also pointed out to me the kickass batch of off-brand transforming motorcycles, one now being ridden by my Kid Muscle figure (left) and featured in this month's knockoff spotlight, at Tony Bacala's table. You can order them from his store here.

Lastly, there was the art room, which I nearly missed. I'm glad I didn't. It's always fun to take some time to check out people's hard work in kitbashing. On piece that caught my eye was someone's rendition of Galvatron made with Gundam parts (right). Very nice and well done. The show's winner was a rendition of Devastator and Optimus Prime (below) as seen in Dreamwave's first volume of Transformers comics. In the 3-D categories there were a number of Armada and RiD figures painted up like G1 characters; such as Armada Cyclonus as Springer, Armada Hot Shot as Wheeljack, RiD Prowl as G1 Red Alert, and BM Skydive as Swoop (all art images below). In the 2-D category, there were lots of battle scenes, a painting of Unicron, and my favorite, the G1 Dinobots set in Beast Machines (below).



All-in-all, it was a great convention. My finally haul was more than I expected. I came home with a boxed set of Crystal and Black Rodimii, a carded Bulletbike, a loose-complete Actionmaster Snarl, a loose-complete Pretender Bumblebee, loose-complete G2 Starscream and Ramjet, a Go-Bots Super Vamp, and all 4 of the off-brand diecast transforming motorcycles.

The show seemed to have done well. At the convention, the show's organizer mentioned to me the possibility of a sequel in October. Since then, the offical site has announced there will be another CyberCon Expo sometime in Novemeber. So, if you missed the fun the first time around, be sure to come next time.

For further information and more pictures from CyberCon Expo, check out thier offical site.


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