Friday, March 22, 2024

ToyLanta 2024

It's ToyLanta time once again! My annual trek to the best damn toy convention is going on this weekend! I'll be updating this space daily with my adventures, so be sure to check back to see what all happened. I'll also be hosting the annual Transformers panel Sunday at 12PM if you're in attendance. Speaking of, come up and say hi! Be sure to check out my Instagram throughout the weekend as I'll be updating it frequently. 

Friday: I got to the convention MUCH later than I wanted to thanks to a mixture of rain and traffic turning a 1 hour drive to 2. Once there, I walked in and man... I really like the location. It's the same one as last year and it's great (just wish it was closer). Though I soon found out registration was closed, which was no problem as I've gotten in later before and usually have no problem getting my badge. However, this year Buddy (show organizer) was absent due to illness. Speaking of, get well soon cards for Buddy were being brought around and I made a point to sign one. Since registration was closed, I was just told to wait until the morning to get my badge and just walk around anyway. That was unexpected, but I did just that and took a look around the dealers room as it was being set up. I was very tempted to buy some M.U.S.C.L.E figures, but as it was all shutting down, held off until later.

Friday night at the convention is the popular lobby swap party and of course room trading. I ran into Jacob and chatted for a minute. I then looked around the lobby swap before taking a picture of the room trading board. The room numbers had details on what each offered and I roamed the halls taking in each set up. I found myself in various conversations during this time as I'd cross paths with others doing the same. It became like a fun scavenger hunt for the best room and we'd tell each other in passing. One particular door stunk to high hell, there wasn't a room swap in it, but everyone seemed to have encountered it at some point. I met some cool people like Matthew and Cody. Great conversations and good fun with like minded people. What a convention is all about. 

My Friday toy haul included a Convertors Nofka, which is a scaled down SDF-1. I bought one a few years ago at a prior Toylanta, this one is in much better shape. Both still are missing the back wings/towers though. I then found a Bug Bots Bee Bot in black and yellow! Bug Bots are one of the things I'm specifically looking for this year, finding one so early was a real treat. I got it and a Stranglehold inner robot for a total of $5! Here's hoping I can find more Bug Bots and a Stranglehold Pretender shell this weekend. Last, but not least, a still in box, vintage bootleg Convertors Zardak! A renamed Orguss was such a random find. The dealer had another in alternative colors. I held off incase Shawn wants it. (*Saturday Edit* he got it!) 

I headed home soon after as it was getting late. Thankfully the drive home was a breeze, despite the rain. I'm hoping the rest of the weekend goes well and this year follows the prior years conversations in being the best one yet. This con never gets old and each year feels like an individual experience. I love that. Some more Shawn, Joey, and Brian should be there tomorrow. It'll be great to see them. Hopefully I'll find some Rock Lords and Monster Gobots. Battle for the Rock Lords was released March 21st 1986, it's only appropriate to aquire some so close to it's anniversary. The Mrs had dinner waiting for me. A veggie burger with these seasoned carrots intended to be fry substitutes Birdseye makes. Delicious, I was starving. 

Saturday: Thanks to traffic I didn't get to the convention until 12pm. Not too bad, but I hoped to be there earlier. I got my badge right away and set out to find Shawn, Brian, and Joey. During the search I purchased a Rock Lords Boulder. I eventually found Shawn and Joey and led Shawn to Matthew's table where Shawn bought the Convertors toy. We were twining Convertors. We walked around the dealers area and chatted. One dealer had boxed Microman and even a Devil Satan 6 box set. Dang! 

My Mom had came with me and spent most of the day doing her own thing. However we met up for lunch in the hotel restaurant. On my way to meeting her, I got a Generations Selects Diaclone version Twin Twist. While we waited for our food, Shawn and Joey joined us. Brian joined us not much later and after some food we all roamed the areas and generally had a great time. I picked up multiple Gobots, McDonald's Food Changeables, Zombots, and something else I can't remember right now. Fun fact, apparently Joey's Mom and mine were friends in High School. Small world!

Around 4:30 Shawn and Joey headed home and Brian went to his room. I roamed the areas for a bit. Talked Godzilla with a dealer. Bought a Ultraman Tiga figure, some more Gobots, and a Robotron car. I think it's a Robotron car. Maybe. As the dealers room shut down for the day, I found Mom and Brian with family in tow came down to say goodbye. They'll be headed home in the morning before I get back to the show. The Mrs ordered us Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner when I got home. I was starving. The flatbread I had for lunch was good, but it was time for serious nourishment. There's one more day of the great toy show which includes my panel. Man I hate how it's going by so fast. It's been a great con this year.How many times have I typed I in this post?

Sunday: Well, a day later and I'm updating for Sunday. I got to the convention around 11:20 am after a mostly easy drive, though I was stuck behind what was apparently the President's motorcade. I think so anyway, apparently he was in town. I met up with Dusty right away and we chatted about Transformers up until the panel started. As the room filled up, a gentleman from the botvscon YouTube channel came in and was an absolute pleasure. The room went from half full to mostly full during the panel as usual and Dusty and I had a great chat with each other and those in attendance. We actually ran over time.

Dusty left for the day after the panel and I roamed around for a bit. I bought some M.U.S.C.L.E figures and another McDonald's Food Changeables toy. I spent a few hours just looking and taking in everything. The con was wrapping up as dealers were packing up. I did find another Bug Bot... but it was the same one I got Friday for 20 bucks. Yikes! The same guy had a  very dirty Boulder for 40. All things considered, I made out like a bandit on the ones I got. However, the guy also clearly didn't have many sales so... maybe I just made out decently and he was a bandit. I was getting hungry and debated getting a fruit bowl from the snack stand but decided to just head home.

The con was over and everyone was starting to leave out. I saw Matthew on the way. It was great meeting him and seeing Brian, Shawn, Joey, and Dusty. Good con this year. Actually, I've never had a bad Toylanta. Each year is my favorite until the next one. It's great how after a decade of attending it, I've never had a bad one. Every year is it's own story and experience. I stopped by the grocery store on the way home to pick up some juice left off our grocery order and got home to take a nap and enjoy a great home cooked dinner.

Thank you all for reading Zone Base. This concludes our first special event of the year! The site will get back to normal for now, but Halfway to Halloween is coming up in a few weeks! I've got a lot of fun planned until then. Please share the site with your friends and don't forget... Mutal high fives everyone!

1 comment:

  1. So they let you in the dealer room without a badge? That's awesome. Of course they know you by now but its neat to be big time like that. I heard on the last RFC that Brian and some others were planning on going.


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