26 June 2007

Transform, and roll out!

If you were a kid of the 80s, then you would know that the word "transformers" means a lot more than those metallic boxes that enable your 110v appliances to operate in our predominantly 220v environment. More than just a cartoon show (or anime, if you will), Transformers fueled the imagination of an entire generation.

Like many, I got hooked into Transformers mania. Though our family did not have the budget for the expensive merchandize, we managed to occasionally borrow action figures from friends, along with the catalog or box art that we would meticulously copy onto bond paper. We actually got so good at drawing these that we could draw them without the aid of the original material. We'd return these toys to their rightful owners, only to have them back again after a couple of days. These toys were really something. Most of them were of die-cast metal, and the details are outstanding (unlike today's plastic counterparts).

These toys were so influencial on me that I managed to buy some of these in the late 90s via eBay. They were indeed more expensive and have been elevated to collector's item status, but it was like regaining part of my happy history, and the cost didn't matter. I got, for example, Grimlock as my first purchase at a little over 100 US dollars, complete with box and manuals. I was able to add some more to my collection within a couple of years. Other priorities have since taken its course, but my cherished collection is still with me.
My humble collection

Last weekend, I was unaware that there was a Transformers event at EDSA Shangri-La until friend Emil SMSed me about it. I thought I would never be able to see the exhibit, but finally made it at 5:30PM.

The displays were incredible! Loads of toys in glass cases! There are indeed serious collectors out there! It was also heartening to learn that one of the artists for the Comics version of the Transformers is a Filipino, with some of his works displayed there. Argh, I forgot to take photos of the covers.

I frantically searched around for Emil and was in trying to call him when a guy cosplaying as Optimus Prime strode past. There he was with sidekick Bumblebee!

It was a really wistful moment, like I was back in the 80s, with the added touch of flat screen TVs showing the trailer of the upcoming movie, and new toy merchandize.

What?! No shirt for sale? And no discount on the toys? Oh well, at least the show was for free.
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