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BigPete
Ok, here's my view on this weekend!

Preparing the Mini-Con took a lot more time and work than I could have imagined; I was very lucky to have taken two days of vacation both before and after the Mini-Con. By Friday night (November 2), I was just finishing up the preparations that could be made in advance, and I went to bed at about 23:00 with no idea what so ever on what to expect the next day. I didn't get much sleep that night I can tell you smile.gif I was nervous, excited, stressed out, afraid I had forgotten something, etc. etc. So I fell asleep at 03:00-ish and woke up at 06:30 when my alarm clock decided it was time for me to get up.... Good thing I prepared everything last night, eh? wink2.gif

Me and Maria got up and started getting ready since we had promised to go pick up Fighbird and his girlfriend Marie at the central station in Malmö. I had offered the same "deal" to Groundsplitter and had yet to hear from him... At about 08:15 the doorbell rang, which surprised me immensly since we weren't expecting anyone. It turned out to be Groundsplitter, who had decided to show up at our door by surprise! smile.gif Wow, that really got us going, since we were caught totally offguard, haha! smile.gif He did the same thing to Predaking in Sandnes last year as well smile.gif So I let Lars in, and showed him around our very messy apartment (we're renovating it, and plus that we hadn't cleaned it for well over a week since all our spare time went into the Mini-Con... Embarrasing? Yes wink2.gif ) and we chatted a bit while Maria did her hair. I think it was a great move by Lars, and it gave us the chance to talk a bit before everything got started.

After that we went to Malmö to pick up Martin and his girlfriend, We ran around the entire station looking for them, and we couldn't find them! Was the train late, or did something happen on the way? After a while though, I got an SMS from Marie, that told us they were in front of the station. We finally found each other, and we all got into our old car to go to Martin's and Marie's hotel first, and then to the windmill. For a while I didn't think we'd make it there; five people,two large suitcases, and two stuffed backpacks can do some interesting stuff to an old car wink2.gif The exhaust scraped the ground more than once during our trip!

We finally made it there, and it was just beautiful! We had excellent weather even if a bit windy, the leaves on the trees were red and golden, and it wasn't very cold at all. After fiddling around for a while, I managed to open the doors, and we got in. Lars, Martin, and Marie started arranging the chairs and the tables, and me and Maria went to get Robin and all the stuff that took up almost all the space in our apartment. We had to make two trips with two cars in order to get everything! After some intense work, we started getting things in order. Martin had almost two tables filled with stuff to sell. He actually shipped three large crates to me earlier, since it was just too much to bring on the flight down here. I had two boxes of stuff for sale, so it looked quite impressive smile.gif Smokescreen turned up quite early, even though I can't remember when, but he was a welcome sight and he helped out with the arrangements as well. Thanks buddy! At 13:00, Smokescreen, me, Maria, and Robin went downtown to pick up some lunch, get some change, and more money. It took a bit longer than we would have wanted to, so we weren't back until 13:45, and a lot of the attendees had already arrived! We gulped down the food as fast as we could, and then we got started! smile.gif

And now it's time to start including pictures in the story!

The weather was just perfect!



This is the first glimpse people got when arriving:



We also had some chickens running around. More on that later!



Lars, Marie, and me are preparing the welcoming "baggies", consisting of a deluxe movie toy, convention programme, and prize plans for the contests.




This is the trading area after Martin and me set up our "shops".




Mikael (Smokescreen) is checking out all of the goodies before anyone else ;)



This is the display area, where people could put unusual, rare, freaky, or just cool stuff on display! In the end, it contained Yuusha toys, Power Ranger toys, Knockoffs, more unusual TF toys, Microman, Microchange, and more!



This is the "screening area", where we showed the Transformers Animated preview, and Martin held his Powerpoint presentations here.

BigPete
This is me, setting up the prizes for the contests. We placed them on a hidden table in the kitchen so people couldn't see them even though they had the prize plans, hehe evillaugh.gif



Our reception desk where people signed in and got their free toy upon arrival.



Smokescreen, Marie, and Fighbird having a look at the trading table.



The baggies are ready to be handed out!



Opening up the movie toys used in our contests. Four Cyber Slammers and three voyager class Optimus Prime.



Lars did a very good job on the nametags, and they looked perfect! This is Maria's (obviously) nametag which is green for staff members, red for security, blue for attendees.



A very nice picture of Fighbird and Marie. You guys look so cute in this picture! smile.gif



The "hidden" table, loaded with contest prizes!



People started arriving a bit sooner than anticipated. From left to right: TFormer, Smokescreen, Ultra Marcus, Sandstorm, Marie, and Fighbird.




The weather got even better in the afternoon! Perfect convention-going weather! wink2.gif

BigPete
Ok, here's a pic of most of the people, who all arrived either before or after 14:00 wink2.gif



After chatting a bit and welcoming the attendees, it was time for our first contest; Cyber Slammer Racing!

First heat: Palaste, Path, Smokescreen, and Soundblaster




Second heat: Lucar-Tron, Inkku, Nerdcore for life!, and Aske.





Third heat: Ultra Marcus, TFormer, Sandstorm, and Stolpen




Fourth heat: Me (BigPete), Marie, and Fighbird



Grand finale: Ultra Marcus, Marie, Path, and Inkku


BigPete
Inkku ended up in third place, and got some prizes to show for it smile.gif



Ultra Marcus got second place:



And the grand champion of Cyber Slammer racing was Marie!



We had some time to spare before the next item in the schedule, so we took that opportunity to tell about our pieces we had entered into the art contest. First, an overview shot:



And here's me telling the story behind Micromaster Darkwings (more on that later).



Now it was time for the Transformers Animated preview, and we had a pretty interesting discussion about the show, the toys, our expectations, predictions, and so on.



After that, it was time for some dealing! Our stores opened up for business, and both me and Fighbird were a bit surpised about how much stuff you guys actually bought! It was all great fun, and we had some interesting conversations over the trading tables as well. Smokescreen sold all the stuff he brought with him, which means that I now have all five Predacons! biggrin.gif Just need some accessories to complete them, but I'm well on my way! smile.gif



We announced that the figure in the "Transform the fastest" competition the next day was voyager class Optimus Prime, and put them out so people could have a few practice runs during the weekend. Here we have Stolpen, TFormer, and Path, in training! smile.gif

BigPete
The trading continued for quite a while, actually. For some reason I got a lot of my junkers sold. They're good for spare parts and kitbashing though, so I guess that's why smile.gif Martin had an entire basket filled with various junkers and parts, and Inkku bought the whole basket! wow2.gif Robin, head of security for the weekend, makes sure that everything is handled fair and square wink2.gif



Here's a picture of Lars enjoying himself at the convention smile.gif



The NTFA metalheads gathered for a group shot! evillaugh.gif

Left to right: BigPete, Path, Psychotron, Blackarachnia, and Satusein



After we had finished the trading for the day, the Finns, Lars, Path, TFormer, and Sandstorm went to check in at their hotel. The rest of us got on the bus and then we all gathered again at restaurant Indian Haweli for a nice dinner together.




After dinner, I was so tired I almost fell asleep at the table so I had to go outside for some fresh air. We sat around for while and chatted, and then we all went our separate ways. I got home, collapsed in the bed, and literally died wink2.gif

And that concludes the first day of the NTFA Mini-Con in Arlöv!

Sunday:

We all had lunch together at 11:00-ish, and Fighbird auctioned off a spare Downforce that was left from the Mini-Con in Sandnes last year. I was in the race until the end (I really wanted that Downforce!) but Path won (grrrrrrr!). The money was donated to Lars to use for the NTFA website, so it was all for a good cause, and we had some good laughs from the auction smile.gif

After the auction, Groundsplitter, Path, and the Finns all had to leave since the Finns had a ship to catch in Stockholm. My only regret is that I didn't have the time to chat with all of them properly, but as I said to Turo (Psychotron): I'm sure we'll have more chances to meet in the future smile.gif

We also finished the voting for the art contest which turned out to be a real cliffhanger! Niels got 3rd place with his painting, I got second place with MM Darkwings, and Martin won smile.gif

Martin held his first presentation, which was on kitbashing, a very interesting subject.



He had been speaking for about five minutes, when all of a sudden terror struck!

THE ATTACK OF THE KILLER CHICKENS!

BigPete
I guess the chickens got curious about the convention and decided to have a look for themselves smile.gif We thought we had gotten all of them back outside, when one jumped in through an open window and assaulted Martin's trading table! We managed to chase it back out after it had knocked down most of Martin's inventory, but every item seemed to have survived the ordeal wink2.gif

Me and Robin having a well-deserved break before continuing with the schedule:



This is TFormer, Ultra Marcus, and Ketchuprider, having a discussion. Ketchuprider is a new member, and the reason for his choice of screen name is in the next picture. His real name is Tarrence, and he's an American currently living in Denmark. A very nice guy, with interesting points of view!



Yes, a transforming Heinz ketchup bottle! It's a mail-in toy from Heinz, made in the G1 era. It transforms into a space ship, and has lights and sound! Cool!




This is Kviesgaard, another of our newer members, drawing a sketch of one of the voyager Primes used in our contest. In the background we have Nerdcore for life!, practicing is voyager Prime transforming skills smile.gif



I had a long conversation with Ketchuprider, and we talked about everything! He told the story behind the ketchup bottle, he showed me his collection, we talked about different characters, and so on.



After that, it was time for the second preview of Transformers Animated, and everything went smoothly this time as well.
Then Martin held his second presentation; "Transformers around the world", or "ALL around the world". It was very enjoyable, and he had brought a lot of variations and types of toys that we rarely get to see, and passed them around the crowd for everyone to look at! I for one really appreciated it, and I think the others did as well.



The display table grew more crowded on the second day. Have a look for yourselves: smile.gif



We had an episode where Martin lost one of the discs containing the Transformers Animated preview, which would have been very bad for our future relations to Hasbro Nordic, which he pointed out to the attendess. Fortunately enough we found the missing disc, and we decided to destroy them immediately. I got the honour of doing so wink2.gif We had two copies with the edited Animated episode(to make sure we couldn't show more than half of the episode, Martin edited it down from the original disc, and then sent the original disc back to Hasbro Nordic), having one as a backup if the first one wouldn't work.



We then started the "Transform voyager Prime the fastest" contest. For some reason we had trouble getting enough contestants, but after a while we could get the show on the road!

First heat: Soundblaster, Lucar-Tron, and Nerdcore for life!.



Second heat: TFormer Vs. Fighbird

BigPete
TFormer is in the lead...




And now he's won smile.gif



Martin did his best, but he seemed to have some trouble with the toy smile.gif





And finally! Or no... wait...



Well, he did make it eventually, and he wasn't really that slow. He beat Lucar-Tron by 30 seconds or so. It was TFormer who was ridiculously fast! Martin ended up in 3rd place.

The final was between TFormer and Nerdcore for life!:



TFormer dropped a part, which made Nerdcore take the lead...



...And in the end, Nerdcore dropped two parts, which ultimately led to his defeat.



TFormer won that event, and walked away with Ultimate Bumblebee, amongst other things. He looks happy, doesn't he? smile.gif

BigPete
After that, we had a last round of trading, with Martin and me cutting prices in half so we wouldn't have that much stuff left to take back home smile.gif People said their goodbyes and went their separate ways. From left to right: Niels, Kethuprider, me, Martin, and **BRUTICUS**



Me and Martin went outside in front of the movie banner and Maria took IMO the nicest picture for the whole weekend:



I had really been looking forward to meeting Martin in person, and let me tell you, he's even nicer in person than here on the boards! I'm glad to have met you in person Martin, and I hope to do so again smile.gif And together I think we did a damn good job with this convention, being n00bs at holding such events and all smile.gif

This was the greatest time I've had for a long time, and I want to thank everyone that came and supported us in this event, and I hope we get to do more of these larger conventions in the future! Next time, me and Martin will only be attendees though wink2.gif
Groundsplitter
QUOTE(BigPete @ 5 November 2007, 14:05) *
This was the greatest time I've had for a long time, and I want to thank everyone that came and supported us in this event, and I hope we get to do more of these larger conventions in the future! Next time, me and Martin will only be attendees though wink2.gif
I hope you'll consider coming as dealers, even if you don't organize the thing. wink2.gif
I was relieved/delighted when I saw how much merchandise Martin had brought to sell, even though I had no intention of making any purchases of my own. I was a bit worried about the dealer section, since I suspected our attendees were expecting an opportunity to get hold of new stuff, and I didn't know whether we would be able to meet those expectations. But when I saw how much stuff Martin had brought my worries were calmed. With his and everyone else's stuff we had a great dealer table to offer. bounce1.gif

I'm glad that you don't disapprove of me showing up so early. I got a bit worried in the evening at the restaurant when you told how I had surprised you and Maria in the morning. But I had interpreted the time you gave me, 8:00, as a sign that you would both be ready to start the day, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to get acquainted before the 'con started. smile.gif
palaste
QUOTE(BigPete @ 5 November 2007, 13:46) *
The NTFA metalheads gathered for a group shot! evillaugh.gif


From left to right:
BigPete
Path
Psychotron
Blackarachnia
Satusein

The Sunday program looks like it was lots of fun. A pity that we had to leave so early and miss all that, it would have been nice to experience it.
**BRUTICUS**
sweet pics, I think I avoided most of the cameras yay me smile.gif

I will sure attend next time.
BigPete
QUOTE(Groundsplitter @ 5 November 2007, 14:30) *
I'm glad that you don't disapprove of me showing up so early. I got a bit worried in the evening at the restaurant when you told how I had surprised you and Maria in the morning. But I had interpreted the time you gave me, 8:00, as a sign that you would both be ready to start the day, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to get acquainted before the 'con started. smile.gif


Of course I didn't disapprove smile.gif As I said, it was quite a surprise, but a welcome one smile.gif I'm glad we had the chance to chat for a bit before everything started. I just have to make sure you understand that our apartment usually isn't that messy wink2.gif I take great pride in my home and that it normally looks OK, so I'll have to invite you back when we're done redecorating and all that so you'll see what it's supposed to look like wink2.gif
Fighbird
Before I make my own report (I'm at work now), I just want to point out how sorry I am that I got the mood down by loosing that disc. I didn't want to spoil anything, but OTOH these were my personal responsibility. Luckily it was all my own mistake (stupid brain playing tricks on me; the brain blocked out where I had put it), so it was only fitting that we destroyed those 2 copies I had brought (1 for backup and the original back at home).

Excellent posts Pete, and good work with the write-ups! thumbs.gif

Will add my own report later -- want to go celebrate Marie's birthday tonight first. smile.gif
BigPete
QUOTE(Fighbird @ 5 November 2007, 15:22) *
Before I make my own report (I'm at work now), I just want to point out how sorry I am that I got the mood down by loosing that disc. I didn't want to spoil anything, but OTOH these were my personal responsibility. Luckily it was all my own mistake (stupid brain playing tricks on me; the brain blocked out where I had put it), so it was only fitting that we destroyed those 2 copies I had brought (1 for backup and the original back at home).

Excellent posts Pete, and good work with the write-ups! thumbs.gif

Will add my own report later -- want to go celebrate Marie's birthday tonight first. smile.gif


You did a very good job when asking about the missing disc. It was a very important subject, and you brought it up without accusing anyone. Better to do it immediately than to wait, and people didn't seem to mind much; they even helped looking for it! smile.gif
Groundsplitter
QUOTE(BigPete @ 5 November 2007, 14:51) *
I'm glad we had the chance to chat for a bit before everything started. I just have to make sure you understand that our apartment usually isn't that messy wink2.gif I take great pride in my home and that it normally looks OK, so I'll have to invite you back when we're done redecorating and all that so you'll see what it's supposed to look like wink2.gif
Hey, you have no reason to apologize. My own flat is not the tidiest one either, and you had no reason to prioritize your flat since you weren't hosting the Mini-Con in your own home.

You should only know how hard I worked to get my home ready for the Knivsta get-together in April. It took several days and almost killed me, and I still didn't manage to get everything done in time for the weekend (in part because I lost valuable time when I went to Denmark and Hasbro Nordic on Wednesday that same week). In the end I dumped much of the junk in cupboards and closets, and half of my collection left unpackaged in cartons and boxes on the living room floor... I was quite embarrassed, but luckily it turned out to be a stroke of luck, since it gave my guests a chance to fiddle with the figures. smile.gif
Inkku
that was a really nice weekend happy.gif i just hope, at we could have spend more time in there, but the distance did cut the funn short.. sad.gif

funny thing btw..
we did listen some heavy metal music while driving.. and everytime.. when there was playign some.. nice heavy metal.. it started to pour water, wind did try to take hold on the car and everything was getting darker and darker.. then.. there was also some.. well.. not so Heavy metal music and.. all the clouds did go away, sun started to shine and so.. interesting or what.. wink2.gif

but.. i have to get up tomorrow 4:50am to get work at 5:30am so.. nighty night then.. yawn.gif
BigPete
QUOTE(Inkku @ 5 November 2007, 20:43) *
that was a really nice weekend happy.gif i just hope, at we could have spend more time in there, but the distance did cut the funn short.. sad.gif

funny thing btw..
we did listen some heavy metal music while driving.. and everytime.. when there was playign some.. nice heavy metal.. it started to pour water, wind did try to take hold on the car and everything was getting darker and darker.. then.. there was also some.. well.. not so Heavy metal music and.. all the clouds did go away, sun started to shine and so.. interesting or what.. wink2.gif

but.. i have to get up tomorrow 4:50am to get work at 5:30am so.. nighty night then.. yawn.gif


Well, heavy metal does that to you wink2.gif
Sandstorm
What a wounderfull weekend this was and really nice to finaly se some faces smile.gif . Big thanx to all involved, exellent work guys thumbs.gif
Vector_Sigma
WOW..just ...wow...what a wonderful gathering that seems like.
Lovely artwork,wonderful prizes,and much displays too drool over.
I really admire the effort and passion put into this event thumbs.gif

May there be many more to come...
BigPete
Did anyone experience something negative during the convention? If you did, then please let me know so that we can make the next convention even better! smile.gif
gravebot
Yes. I wasn't there... sad.gif
Leobreaker
I was just there on the Sunday and it was really fun. bounce1.gif thumbs.gif

An excellent report, BigPete, and great pictures. smile.gif
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