I got struck with a nasty cold right after I returned from Nordcon, so my energy levels had been reduced to... well... enough to barely exist. So I haven't had the time to reflect and write much about the convention up until now.
Also, I didn't end up taking many photos and I've still got lots of video footage to go through and edit (I must admit that a lot of footage became less then satisfactory, I'll have to hire a backup cameraman in the future) So mostly it's going to be text for now and I'll update with videos as soon as they get done.
I started out already on Thursday evening, leaving from Hedemora to Stockholm by train at 20:24. This was by far my most painful trip by train ever, as I ended up in the same cart as pair of mothers with four or five toddlers, all of which insisted on crying and screaming for the entire 2,5 hour ride, with no attempts by said mothers to calm them down... Finally getting to drag myself off the train at Stockholm's central station was bliss for my ears.
From there, I continued to Malmö via the night train, I didn't get much sleep and decided to pass the time by reading some Marvel reprint stories. It was a long, but quite pleasant and almost calming ride. I arrived in Malmö around 6:30 and after somehow navigating the construction riddled station, I met up with BigPete. We then went by train over to Copenhagen and from there we went on a five hour ride to Aalborg.
However, while the bus driver was kind enough to let us know where we had to get off to get to Scandic Hotel, actually finding the way from the stop to the hotel proved to be a bit harder. At least for the two of us.
The doors opened up at 13:00 and a bunch of people immediately streamed in through the doors ready to sign in or get registered at the door.
As soon as people had settled down, Fighbird gave a swift and effective introduction on what would be available and such.
First on the schedule was the Cyber Slammers race, a returning event from the 2007 Arlöv Minicon which proved to be just as fun as last time. Unfortunately, my videos are a mess, so I have no records of who won (at least not until I get to finish editing that part)
After that, Fighbird opened his truly massive "Crap-o-plenty" store which had hundreds of items. Truly a sight to behold and something that should strike fear in any wallet, especially mine Myself and plenty of others quickly formed a line to get some good bargains. I soon found myself walking away with a mountain of boxes and no way to carry it all. Thankfully, DKConvoy came through and gave me some spare plastic bags he had brought! A Saviour!
Next up was a panel with Simon Furman which included a very interesting Q & A session. I don't think I can describe what went on with words, and I'll just leave it to the eventual video footage.
Next up was the trivia contest that BigPete had prepared. And if I have anything to say about that it is that it was insanely fun! It started of with everyone who participated sitting on one side, Pete would then go ahead with a question and the person who raised their hand the fastest got to answer. Once again, my memory is a bit fuzzy, but I believe the first eight who got a question right proceeded to the next round. The first round of questions were quite simple, but the difficulty level was quickly raised by the second round, where Pete would say a bunch of names from a subgroup and one had to either say the name of the group or the name of the character he left out. The first three to get three correct answers (I think) got to proceed to the semi-final.
As the contest went on, the questions got harder and harder to the point where it had passed the border of obscurity.
DKConvoy took home the third place spot, leaving me and vmv-81 in the final. The questions in this round were mindbogglingly hard! And it ended up in a draw, both of us got exactly one question right. It all ended in Sudden Death, the question that ended it all was "Who was the voice actor for Waspinator in Beast Wars". vmv-81 was just slightly faster then me and ended up taking home the grand prize consisting of a whole bunch of yet-to-be-released toys.
After that, we had a video session with footage from Hasbro, mainly some "How to draw Transformers" videos featuring two guys from the art department who's names I can't remember. It was fairly interesting, but I ended up with the feeling that I didn't really learn much from it rather then see "oh, so that guy can draw a robot".
After those two videos though, we got presented with the so called "Cyber Missions", short CGI cartoons rushed forth by Hasbro to promote the NEST Global Alliance toyline. As corny as they were, it was a fun little presentation.
Next up was another trivia contest, this time it was "Guess the music". A fair number of people joined in, including Simon Furman himself(!). Once again, it was BigPete who stood for the questions and music samplings. Pete played a short clip from a song featured in the TF universe, either five or ten seconds long, and the contestants then had to write down where they thought it came from, 25 clips in total.
Once again, Pete had shown his sadistic side when it came to obscurity, even going as far as including the intro-tune to the old Comodore 64 game! As well as some of those hard to identify themes from the Japanese Only cartoons, even going beyond the DVD-release border.
Once again, this turned out to be a very fun contest and I had the luck to end up with the first prize
That was the end of day one for the base package, but there was still the optional dinner left. Filled with delicious food and fun talk. We ran a few rounds of personal questions around the table, such as who is your favorite character among others.
The first event on the list for this day was the speed-transforming contest. As it turned out, the toy to transform this year was deluxe Mudflap (OUCH!) one of the most fiddly and shell-formery figures currently on the market. As people sat down to practice, lots of confusion and personal interpretations of what the poor bot should look like appeared
The competition raged on with again, confusion and muttering over fiddly parts filled the room, until DKConvoy grabbed third place, the final was left to a massive showdown between me and Blackbee, sparks flying in the air... or not really
The final ended with a finish photo! We where that close, but Bee was about a nanoclick faster and grabbed the grand prize. Which included one of the insanely large "Battle for the Cyber Planet Keys" boxsets. I'm glad I didn't get first place, I would NEVER have managed to get that home!
Now it was time for lunch! And sandwiches were presented free of charge! (well, they were covered in the Sunday attendance fee). As much as I loved the Saturday evening dinner, sometimes there's nothing that quite beats a simple and well made sandwich!
After everyone had hopefully replenished their energy reserves, it was time for the next event with Mr. Furman, a presentation on how a story goes from script to a finished comicbook, using the War Within #4 script as an example.
Lots was said during the presentation, so I won't go into details, but it was very, very interesting
The day was quickly running towards an end and the final physical contest was upon us. Another Cyber Slammers race, this time reduced to using only the two Bumblebees.
The final special event was a showing of two episodes of the infamous Headmasters dub. One of my favorite pieces of obscure TF history. It was great to see the episodes once again, as well as seeing and hearing the first time reactions from those who hadn't seen it before.
Last but not least was announcing the winners of the creative contests. Sadly, not a lot of entries had been entered, so everyone walked away with something
The last few remaining prices were auctioned off, with the highlights being a TRU Japan exclusive WSTF Hotrod, which was taken home by Psychotron. He opened it on the spot and that thing is TIIIINY! And pretty much completely replicated the transformation of the regular toy, even down to the rotating plate on the hips!
That was it for Nordcon 2010. A few of us stayed behind to help clean up a bit before heading back to the hotel.
Despite the long and cumbersome trips, I did nothing but wholeheartedly enjoy Nordcon 2010 and I would gladly make a great venture like this again
Videos will follow later.