Another backdated post, which I'm making two or three weeks before the 2017 convention starts. This was the inaugural TFN, the baton having been passed from AutoAssembly. Modest haul pics below the wall of text.
TFArchive.com post 23/08/2017:
I'm sure things only felt as relaxed as they did because of all the furious paddling underwater that goes with running a convention, but that seems to be the consensus from reactions on the weekend and after. The panel scheduling and locations made for less toasty rooms, less milling and allowed things to run on a bit if needed.
Really liked the inclusion of some other 80s stuff, which will hopefully continue, and particularly getting to listen to Emiliano on toy design and touching on other series he's worked on -- the enthusiasm for stuff from him, Andy, Jim, the TMUK/Toy-Fu lot who'd produced a fanzine and prints as well as sourced lots of Rock Lords stuff, et al were infectious. Lot of attention to detail in the way activities were named and given a visual identity, too, which translated well into the con shirts that were on sale.
Collection and 3P displays were very impressive, and I can't decide between the FP original dino characters and may end up getting both. From the panel it's nice to know the FP headmasters are also still a going concern, and from a slightly completionist POV the not-Hardhead is of interest as much as the Horrorcon-style designs, personally.
There was a little bit of TR wave 2 stuff around, the titan masters, which from talking to one or two people the bigger stores probably were just getting into stock but hadn't brought because they're fiddly and low margin. So got three out of four and have tacked Clobber onto an existing order from Forbidden Planet.
Got a custom Black Tracks from Sid's table, which scratches that itch in ways the Decepticon MP reuse doesn't at all for me. Other than that mainly a smattering of loose/pre-owned smaller items that appealed, including a neat Til All Are One pin from http://londonprophecy.storenvy.com/ Was cool to see a few vendors with Vitruvian HACKS figures, one who'd apparently found a case of a sealed Robo Machines character, and curios such as the Glacialord sticker album. The vintage TF book was just something that turned up in the post over the course of the weekend (decent on a skim, better-sized pics than Generations, but be aware it only goes up to 1990 and seems to just be US stuff; hopefully a vol 2 will happen).
The Hilton seemed a bit better organised -- fewer events running concurrently, advance check-in that resulted in a welcome twin room upgrade (the bathrooms have doors), wi-fi that worked decently enough (even if a bit cumbersome with different passwords for rooms/downstairs and a lack of clear instructions) and the "street food" stands were a reasonable option for hot drinks even if it probably still wouldn't be a good idea to trust them to cook meat and am still not entirely sure what we got wasn't. Was still an improvement in most respects, assuming the hotel wasn't what poisoned Nick.
As ever, good to catch up with and meet people, new ones including ff, MISB fans and the reptile collector I believe Dalek got talking to in a previous year. Lots of familiar faces with names already attached I've never had much/anything to do with, too, plus a lot of international fans -- it does feel like there's a convention community and that a lot of that's carried over from AA.
Next year if he's got copies I'll be aiming to catch up with JR scripts.
Constructive criticism -- the rooms available meant that the craft and photography areas didn't seem to get much footfall, and it felt like the creators on the side of the hall closest to the entrance and at the end on the other got a bit lost in comparison too; it wouldn't have hurt to have Nick and James on the side closest and some guide stands so that queues didn't go in front of other people's tables. In terms of space, the first aisle with Kapow on one side was a bit of a bottleneck because people need space to stop and look at stuff whether it's boxed or loose vintage.