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The World has Changed

In certain ways we are now living in an entirely different world than we did three years ago, when the last C.O.N.S. took place. I don’t think I have to list everything that has happened since, you all know how it went. And so three years have gone by since the last time a group of madmen (and -women) got together to organize a Transformers Fan Convention here in Germany. We stayed home, stayed apart, no big public events, you know how it went.

But now we are in the year 2022, the pandemic is still not over, but with hot summer temperatures, a well-ventilated location, and a number of inoculations in our arms, we dared to make a new attempt. And just like that there is a new C.O.N.S. taking place. Like the old saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Many Things have Changed

Originally we had planned on a new location for 2019, the much larger Krahnendonkhalle in Neuwerk. But since a pandemic alone wasn’t enough, we also got a war on top, and refugees had to be housed somewhere, which takes precedence, of course. And so we switched locations to the Bürgerhaus Dülken. Still larger, still a new place, and also with more room than ever before.

To dish out the numbers: 653 guests visited us in our new, larger location. It really didn’t feel that way, to be honest, but in a much larger building the same crowd does tend to feel smaller. It was actually one visitor more than we had at our tenth C.O.N.S. in 2018. Considering that we are still in the middle of a pandemic and organized everything at relatively short notice, that’s quite the number, isn’t it?

Of course a few things fell victim to the general situation and had to be scrapped from the agenda. There were no special guests this year, no cosplayers appeared, either, but most people did not seem to be too miffed by that. Maybe because the most important part of the convention was, of course, well represented: the tables with lots and lots of Transformers figures on them.

Naturally there were a lot of familiar faces at the dealer tables, such as Bram Bossers, Teletoys, TF-Robots, Actionfiguren24, and many others. We did have a newcomer as well, though, our friends from TheCollectorsBay. And seeing as it was their first time, we can overlook a few blunders, too. Such as never, ever moving a table at C.O.N.S. without Alex’ express written permission, or to have every single figure priced and labelled by the time the official price label ombudsman arrives for a check-up. But they’ll get there.

Many Things stay the Same

A few things will always be fixed parts of every C.O.N.S.. First and foremost, of ourse, the raffle, which once again offered plenty of prizes for the distinguishing Transformers fan. Hasbro, that little company selling plastic toys (maybe you’ve heard of it) was not on location this year, sadly, but they did send us several boxes full of stuff for the raffle. Including a sheer endless number of Legacy Core Class Hot Rods, Jada Toys Bumblebees, and a dozen each of Studio Series Wheeljack and Legacy Arcee. And for the second time in our history we had a Planet X Trypticon as a main prize. And for the second time in our history I did not win it. Oh well, can’t win them all, I guess.

No need to mention that we once again had a C.O.N.S. quiz with 20 multiple-choice questions, too, this year. Here, though, I must admonish the general lack of trivia know-how among our 653 guests. Not one of them got all 20 questions right. Not one of them got at least 19 questions right. We did have five guys getting 18 questions right, at least, but none of them knew who Alpha Bravo is. Come on, guys, even Reyjin knows that (no matter how much he might deny it), and that boy in third row knew it, too. No, instead we needed no less than THREE tie-breaker questions until we finally had a winner, who could take Kingdom Rodimus Prime home. Man, that was a hard piece of work.

For the second time in a row (not counting the three year break) we also had a third party panel at our convention. This time we had exclusive pictures from VectronLab and RamenToys. For this panel we recruited as moderators our buddies and general third-party-fanatics Tim and Den. They did such a good job that we immediately drafted them for all future C.O.N.S. to take over this part again.

And speaking of drafting people: Magmatron from the Teutonicons, too, was recruited on the spot. He was of great aid in our raffle, because those many, many Core Class Hot Rods and Bumblebees don’t take themselves to the raffle winners, you know?

Teutonicons Live on Location

For the third time in a row we also had a live episode of the Teutonicons podcast live on stage. Today’s topic: how the hell can we get rid of those sheer endless numbers of Jada Toys and Core Class Hot Rods in the least amount of time? Well, and also how much people have missed the C.O.N.S., what they bought today, and who Germany’s favorite Transformers character might be. Skywarp won this popularity contest cleanly and without any undue interference from our C.O.N.S. chief Alex (aka Skywarp). Have a Jada Toys Bumblebee as a thank you, Alex.

Teutonicon Reyjin then had a second stint on stage where he did a live and in color review of the Hasbro-sponsored Legacy Galvatron figure. For moral support, distracting commentary, and expertly held mics he had fellow Teutonicon Philister on stage. Sadly at some point the camera overheated and shut off, but that’s a live event for you. If you can no longer see it on the big screen, you’ll just have to get closer to the stage, fanboy!

Some Like it Hot

Speaking of overheating, the summer temperatures were alive and well at C.O.N.S. Even though we managed to stay below 30C (I think) and had a well-ventilated showroom, there was still quite a bit of sweat flowing (and smelling, too). And I know I have said this before, people, but it bears repeating: even when it’s a hot summer day, you can still smell a difference between “man, it’s hot today” and “I haven’t showered in four weeks!”. Just a small hint for the people who need to hear it.

Of course a few tempers heated up as well, a few choice words were said now and then, but overall we had a peaceful and harmonic day, all things considered. So despite being very tired, we still all managed to leave with a smile on our faces at the end of the day. Okay, some people probably lost their smiles on the way home due to traffic jams and delayed trains, but that’s an entirely different story.

Good Things Remain

So let’s summarize: lots and lots of tables with Transformers figures? Check! Lots and lots of Bumblebees in the raffle? Check! A few people with outrageous good luck when it came to the winning raffle numbers? Check! Empty wallets and full trunks at the end? Check! So yes, the world may have changed during the last three years, but some things stay the same, and that’s just fine with me.

Many thanks to Lucy and Alex, our main organizers, who managed to make us all feel like the last three years weren’t half as long as they actually were. And even though we all need to return to the daily grind now and once again face the world as it is, we do so after having had a wonderful weekend. Almost as if it were the year 2020 and all this crap had never happened.

So once again, many thanks to everyone involved. Now let’s just hope that next year’s event with the number lucky 13 makes us all feel even happier. See you then!



Update 2023: Sadly C.O.N.S. XII turned out to be the final one, as Lucy & Alex had to step back due to health and financial reasons. But fear not, True Believers, something else is coming!

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