TF Nation Retrospective

This past weekend, the inaugural TF Nation convention happened at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel in the UK. The Allspark was in attendance, so join us for a look back at some of the fun times that were had!

The convention played host to swathes of Transformers guests – voice actors Richard Newman (Rhinox, Vector Prime) and Paul Eiding (Perceptor), comic creators James Roberts, Alex Milne, Hayato Sakamoto, Simon Furman, Geoff Senior, John-Paul Bove, Nick Roche, Kei Zama, and Guido Guidi, toy designer Emiliano Santalucia and author Jim Sorenson.
We kicked off the event on Friday afternoon, sitting down for a chat with Jim Sorenson, Richard Newman, and also Allspark regular Chris McFeely. The convention’s very first event, later that afternoon, was – believe it or not – a look at GoBots history hosted by Sorenson and Andrew Turnbull, followed by the Battle of the Rock Lords film!
That evening, TF Nation began proper with the fiendishly tricky “Matrix Test” team quiz. Afterwards, attention turned to the 30th anniversary of The Transformers: The Movie, with a panel on the film’s earlier drafts hosted by McFeely and Sorenson – during which the pair carried out an impromptu script reading as Unicron and Megatron! – followed by a screening of the film itself!

The IDW history panel

On Saturday, following an opening ceremony – interrupted on the main screen by Animated Sentinel Prime, voiced by Townsend Coleman – the convention kicked into full gear with a packed-out sales area and regular panels. Some of the Allspark’s highlights from the day:

  • Picking up Generations Drift and Prime Ratchet from the dealer area, nicely filling some gaps on our Lost Light shelf, and some cool charms and magnets from the ‘Forge’ fan crafts room.
  • A look back at the 10+ year history of IDW’s G1 comic universe with many of the writers and artists that made it happen.
  • A special instalment of ‘Ask Vector Prime’, voiced live by Richard Newman.
  • The cosplay competition, featuring some truly amazing costumes.
  • A hilarious live script reading by Jim Sorenson, starring Richard Newman as Rhinox and Vector Prime, Paul Eiding as Perceptor, Nick Roche as Beast Wars Megatron and John-Paul Bove as Grimlock.


The closing ceremony

The fun continued on Sunday, with more panels and events. Our highlights from the day:

  • A panel looking back at 20 years of Beast Wars, with Jim Sorenson, Simon Furman and John-Paul Bove. During the panel, Jim treated us to a look at several toy concepts considered by the Transformers Collectors’ Club for their Beast Wars: Uprising universe. Check them out on our Twitter!
  • A panel with Nick Roche on the making of his Sins of the Wreckers mini-series
  • A session with Angry Birds Transformers developers Exient, discussing the development of the game from a karting racer into the side-scrolling shooter it was released at, and the ways in which the game is continuing to expand.
  • A panel with toy designer Emilano Santalucia, giving us fascinating insight into the design of many recent Generations toys. Read our detailed panel report here!
  • James Roberts and Alex Milne discussed the past and future of More than Meets the Eye.
Our TF Nation haul!

All in all, TF Nation 2016 was a fantastic weekend! We met new people, learned new things, picked up cool stuff. The atmosphere was brilliant all weekend, with everybody – from the attendees to the crew to the guests – clearly having a brilliant time. To sign off, we want to give a big thank you to everybody who helped make the show happen, congratulate them on a successful first convention, and say that we can’t wait till next year!
Check out a gallery of photos from the weekend below!