The longest continuously running Transformers convention, The Cybertronian Conference, aka CybCon, is set to have it's biggest show ever! For the last 14 years, Greg Gaub and a cadre of friends, helpers, and contributors, have been putting on a Transformers fan convention in the Pacific Northwest that has always had a focus on the fans. Although the dealer tables have always been a very big part of the convention, the all-ages activities have stolen the show every year, from toy transforming contests to trivia, and even voice acting!
"This year promises to be the biggest and best event I've had the pleasure of bringing about. I'm changing a few things, but almost everything remains the same. For example, this year, rather than piles of pizza, I've brought in a popular local food vendor. The Hot Dog King will be on site to provide lunch to anyone with the taste for some exceptional gourmet (and regular) Hot Dogs of all kinds. Bringing in a food vendor allowed me to completely open the doors to the public. No more attendee registration is required. Now someone can decide at the last minute to come by and enjoy the show. This also significantly cuts my cost, allowing me to charge much less at the door than in previous years. Only $5 per person (3 and over) to enter the event room and enjoy the festivities. With a secondary room for seating and eating again this year, the dealer space has again increased, with almost 30 tables set to be full of Transformers and related merchandise of all kinds, from super deals to super rare.
"I'm also very pleased to announce our very own miniature Artists Alley. Renowned artists Matt Kuphaldt and Ben Hansen both have tables to show and sell their excellent and inspirational works of Transformers fan art. Matt has provided Transformers art professionally for several years for a variety of projects. He was also one of CybCon's creative contributors with his fantastic portrayal of the CybCon 2005 exclusive C-Bot toy. Ben has a large body of professional work, including concept art for the Transformers Legends mobile device app.
"Of course, we will continue our tradition of a variety of fun, all-ages activities. Our mainstay contests, the toy transforming contest, the Beast Wars Transmetals game tournament, and the TF Trivia contest, will all be there to enjoy. The Bot Shots tournament was such a success last year, that it's coming back again this year. We'll also have a TF voice acting/impressions contest for the third year in a row, so be sure to brush up on your favorite character voice. There will also be a table with TF board games and TF slot cars to play with, for those looking for an activity outside of an official contest or filling the holes in their Transformers toy collection.
"Last but certainly not least, we're keeping alive our tradition of small, 'home made' convention exclusive toys. This year we are trying something new again. Rather than a figure, we have an accessory. Renderform is creating the 'Blaze Saber' exclusively for CybCon attendees. To ensure an appropriate supply, attendees are encouraged to pre-order their Blaze Saber via the CybCon info page. There will be a very limited number of additional Blaze Sabers made, which will probably be auctioned or sold at a much higher price point. To get the best price, and ensure that you get one, you must pre-order. Blaze Sabers are for attendees ONLY, and will NOT be shipped, so please do not order one unless you can come to the show. Blaze Saber pre-orders close on July 31st.
As a Transformers fan and collector since his youth, when it all began in 1984, Greg's focus has been on the fans. It is that focus that has lead Greg to his decision to pass the torch to a new group of local fans.
"Yes, CybCon 2013 is the last ever CybCon. It's been a great 14 years with local fans, my most excellent helpers and creative contributors, not to mention all the wonderful friends I've made through all these conventions. Although everyone has been overwhelmingly helpful and supportive, I just don't have the enthusiasm to organize these events that they truly need. I don't have the enthusiasm that the fans deserve. Therefore, I've decided to end my run as a Transformers convention organizer, and let someone else do their thing for the local fans."
What's in store for Transformers fan conventions after 2013's CybCon? Don't worry, you're in good hands! Greg has asked two of his long time attendees and helpers to fill the newly vacated opening. Ben Harpold and Jason Wright, who have run the TF Trivia contest for the last few years, and have come to CybCon since it's first public venue, have already begun planning their new Tranformers convention to begin in 2014. Paying homage to CybCon, Ben, Jason, and their committee have dubbed The Cybertronian Festival, CybFest for short, and will be announcing the event date and location at CybCon on August 10th.
"I'm confident that Ben's team will bring the fans everything they've been wanting, without losing sight of what makes a fan convention a truly great experience for everyone. Although I have no role other than the example I've provided for the last several years, Ben knows that he can contact me any time for my advice and any resources I may be able to offer. Creating and running CybCon has been one of my life's proudest achievements, but in all honesty, I really look forward to being just a regular attendee after this year.
"Thanks to everyone, not the least my lovely and supportive wife, my family, and especially all the fantastic Transformers fans who have made every CybCon an event to remember. Thank you all, and see you in August!"