You know, it’s not all gravy being Big Angry Trev. I know what perceptions that a lot of the public hold of me; that I eat imported lobsters off plates of gold, served up by nubile & busty fangirls who pay for the privilege of catering to the every whim of their idol.
But no, sometimes it’s damn hard work. Especially when your online fandom want a real life public appearance. On this site, of course I am known to you all as Big Angry Trev, purveyor of whimsy and wisdom. Then to the Transformers community I am known as Big Transformer Trev, collector extraordinaire and Ozformer of the Year. It’s an honor to be venerated by ones peers on the world wide web but sometimes you have to give a little something back. You need to show up, shake a few babies, kiss a few hands and generally let people feel the warm glow of bathing in the light of your reflected glory.
To this end, I made a public appearance at the Collectormania Toy & Hobby Fair in Penrith.
It’s a bugger of a drive, I can tell ya that! Espeically on a rainy Sunday morning. The Blue Mountains seem to consist of constantly changing speed limits enforced by a plethora of speed cameras and cop cars just waiting for you to miss a single sign. Combine that with half the time you are driving on the edge of a precipice and it does not make for a relaxing country jaunt.
When I finally reached my destination I was greeted at the door by Shannon, one of the main pillars of my Ozformer of the Year campaign and a stalwart supporter. Like many celebrities I have let many of my basic social and survival skills whither so Shannon was to be my guide to the toy fair as well as a buffer between me and the general public.
Not long after entering I was quickly accosted by one of my long time fans Adam. Adam has been a bit of a Fanboy of mine for 20 years, even back at the start when I was doing movies and television for a living. Adam had his usual reaction to seeing me – a girlish squeal of delight and the development of a mild erection. Given the regularity I illicit these reactions from my fans I was able to still smile and give him a hug, albeit from the side rather than the front.
Shannon then gave me the tour of the Fair. This was my first toyfair and I found that they are significantly different to pop culture expos. No cosplay for a start. No huge displays either. And there were very few women to be seen. I think I saw less than a dozen the whole morning and those that I did see might as well have had ‘wife’ or ‘daughter’ stamped on their foreheads.
It was very hot in there too. I had to lose my trademark black jacket after 20 minutes, lest I start to perspire and smell like a lot of my fellow fair attendees. There was a definite essence in the air that suggested many of these guys were leaving their parents basements for the first time in a long while and bathing beforehand had no occurred to them.
It seemed like most of the stalls at the Fair stocked one of two things – either Pop! figures or Matchbox cars. Neither are really my cup of tea but I was able to find at least one I liked.
And of course, courtesy of my trusty guide Shannon, I was able to locate Transformers. I’ve never been a 3rd Party collector, considering how many official toys there are to collect, but I will say that a 3P Bruticus I came across was a thing of beauty to behold and it took a force of will to walk away.
However I was rewarded with some G2 goodness! G2 Optimus AND G2 Megatron! Shannon was even able to haggle me a better deal on the Optimus. Given how much one pays online for toys like these, I was starting to see the Toy Fair’s appeal.
As Shannon showed me around I got to meet many of my fans from both the blogging world and the Transformers community. I got to meet Cranky – who was surprisingly cheerful – and Carlo and Dallas who couldn’t wipe the smiles from their dials. Also Hursty who has a Soundwave collection that surpasses even my own! Then came Brendan, the self-styled ‘Angel of Death’ who used his dark powers to lure me out to the carpark where… ehem… some shady deals were made (yes I lost LG43 Trypticon but I came home with some G1 goodies to replace him).
Soon it was time for refreshment. Meat and beer were highly sought after so I took a cadre of my more presentable fans and we ‘did lunch’. When Dallas turned up with some dark beer it earned him a place of honor next to yours truly, much to the admiration and jealousy of his peers.
And that was it. Quite the experience. Again, this kind of thing is expected of one from time to time, but I will say that the lads I got to spend time with and the rare toys I walked away with made the trip well worth while. I hope next time I have to do Big Angry Trev – Blogger, or Big Transformer Trev – Ozformer of the Year appearances I get to meet such great guys again.