Transformers convention

CNC report from Toronto
Added On July 30, 2013

 The "robots in disguise," the Transformers, came to life over the weekend at a convention in the Canadian city of Toronto.

Fans came out in droves, some dressed as Optimus Prime, Bumblebee or one the others, to check out collectibles and spend time with like-minded people.

Lifestyles takes you there.

Fans were decked out in their handmade costumes, digging up action figures, toys, art work and pretty much anything Transformers-related.

Now in it 12th year, co-founder Colin Douglas says it all started when his friend tried to sell off his collection for a downpayment on his first home.

"We organized something and in less than a month , 200 people showed up, so that was in the back of a hockey arena in Hamilton. So we thought we were on to something, so we kept doing it time and time again, and here we are today."

Douglas says they had no idea the 80's-era cartoon would make such a big comeback.

"It was kind of a shock to realize how many people locally are into the same sort of things that you're into, that you enjoyed when you're a kid. And it's just really grown, especially since 2007 when the live action movie franchise started, that's when TFcon really exploded."

From having just 20 toy sellers in their first year, the event has since grown to include over 150 vendors, and attracts thousands of people per year.

Die-hard fan Todd Ferguson's main goal was to get his hands on some rare collectibles to add to his existing Optimus Prime collection. Ferguson says over the years, he's managed to collect thousands of figures to display in his home. It's so comprehensive that even Hasbro, an American multinational toy and board game company, asked to borrow his collection for a BotCon display.

With a few siblings in the family, Ferguson says he was never able to buy much toys when he was young. So when he started working, the first thing he bought himself was an Optimus Prime action figure.

"That kind of sucked me back into it and rekindled the love of Gen 1, and I've been buying ridiculous amounts ever since."

Besides satisfying the collectors with a wide selection of toys, TFcon also has a number of other activities going on throughout the weekend.

"Besides digging up rare collectibles or even meeting the voice actors of some of the earlier cartoons, this here has to be one of the cooler things here at the convention. Now as you can see behind me, over a dozen hardcore fans have created their own costumes to show off here at the convention."

Fans with a creative flair can enter into a costume contest with their very own creations.

Venessa Koch, who's won three years in a row, will be showing off her newest creation of DeLorean, her most elaborate one to date, on the last day of the event.

"I made it to be so that I stand up in robot mode and crouch down, and I transform into a car, and that was a very daunting challenge for me."

It took her eight months and over 500 Canadian dollars to build, but Koch says that's the best part of it all.

"I like making and wearing the costumes. I mean, I enjoy the movies, I enjoy the TV show, but enough to do what I do to appreciate the fandom. So each person does it in their own way, this is mine."

Koch believes it doesn't matter how old you are, anyone can enjoy a trip down memory lane, and let loose from their everyday lives.

"It's escapism, the fantasy of it is very appealing."