Friday 23 August 2019


For many Transformers fans based in the UK (and beyond!), TFNation is a landmark of the social calendar. The 3-day convention in August is *the* event to go to if you're at all interested in transforming robots, and is packed with panels, activities, events and all kinds. Of course there're also plenty of toys to be found!

2019 was my third time attending TFN, and as per I had an absolute blast. I'd considered doing a full write-up of all my favourite moments, but then it occurred to me that a lot of them were actually very personal. For all the stuff on show, my best memories of the weekend are the bits spent socialising with fellow fans (many of whom have since become real friends), normally in the bar over a few beers. Come for the robots, stay for the banter, it seems.

So instead I'd like to focus on the stuff I found in the dealer room, because oh my word there was some amazing finds to be had. I've almost stopped going to TFN with a wants list as whatever I end up coming away with is always a bit of a surprise, and this year was no different! All that said, let's dive in and take a look.


Hasbro Micromaster Station Hot House (1989)

Micromaster bases are something I was holding off collecting for ages, mostly due to space concerns, but having already picked up Ironworks and Greasepit earlier in the year I was excited to find a boxed and minty Hot House on one of the dealer room tables. The big thing for me with this guy was the stickers, both on the base itself (particularly the "fire station" decal which is often crumpled during transformation) and on Hot House's wings, which can look terrible second-hand.

Absolute joy, and a definite kick of nostalgia for me as I had Hot House when I was little. In fact, it reminds me that my Greasepit is still sat waiting to be stickered up, so that's something I'll definitely be doing very soon!

Hasbro Minibots Beachcomber & Seaspray (1985)

Minibots are pure TFN fodder. If you go to the con expecting to find a MISB copy of whatever Holy Grail then you might be disappointed, but if there's one thing you can guarantee, it's that the small lads will be out in force. I'd had a vague notion of picking up a nice Beachcomber if I saw one, as he was notably absent from my G1 ranks, but also it was a great opportunity to replace a very well-worn (but loved) copy of Seapsray. Well, I found both this remarkable pair for under a tenner, so that's me very happy.

I think Seaspray remains a personal favourite toy in many ways. There's something so charming about the mould and I love the simplistic but fun transformation. I decided to push the boat out (no pun intended) and try something new with the pictures below by including real water in my photography for the first time - hopefully the results came out well!

Hasbro Wreck Gar (1986)

I've owned a G1 Wreck Gar before, but honestly I was never all that fussed about it as a toy. To be fair that copy was rather beaten up and didn't feature pristine stickers, so the odds were stacked against it. So it was with great surprise that I found myself quite excited to discover this copy in the dealer room fairly late on the Sunday afternoon.

I actually couldn't believe it when I came across it, as it was sat underneath a pile of other robots in a small baggy, but in pristine condition with all accessories and an unused original stickersheet. Best thing of all was that it was getting towards the end of the con and the seller was very happy to take a deal, so Wreck Gar merrily became my final purchase. And now? Well, I couldn't be happier with him! In fact several other people have mentioned to me that they plan on upgrading their copy having seen one in such lovely condition, so there you go.

Hasbro Squawktalk & Beastbox (1988)

I've never owned these two prior to this but they've always been of interest to me. I'd considered picking them up before, but when I saw two copies of them doing the rounds in the TFN dealer room on the Saturday morning I thought maybe now was a good time. The first copy was cheaper but had some chrome wear on the guns, which I was keen to avoid. The second copy was more than I was willing to pay, however, which presented a bit of a dilemma.

Anyway, having asked the second seller if he'd take a deal, he said he would if they were still available on the Sunday. As luck would have it they were, so a bargain was struck and I went away very happy. Definitely going to be looking out for Grand Slam & Raindance now!

G2 Breakdown (1994)

Oh my. If there's one purchase from this year's TFN that puts all the rest in the shade, then surely it has to be this one. I knew that a fellow collector (and good friend) had donated their recently unsealed Botcon-exclusive Breakdown to the Toy-fu table, so I had in mind that it might be something to look out for... well, as I walked into the dealer room for the first time on Saturday morning it was sat up high in full view calling out to me like a beacon, no less!

As soon as I saw it on display I knew it had to happen, so after a quick spin round to assess the other tables I doubled back and made it so. The fact that it had been so carefully unsealed from the packaging was perfect for me, as a sealed copy would not only have been considerably more expensive but would have represented a bit of a dilemma! My only 'problem' now is that it's incredibly unlikely I'll ever own the remaining G2 Stunticons (given that only prototypes exist!), but that doesn't take anything away from what an amazing find Breakdown was. Those colours are just out of this world!

And that's it! Thanks for reading, and indeed a big thank you to everyone who made this year's TFNation such a special experience. Huge appreciation goes out to everyone involved with the event, including all of the organisers, volunteers, dealers, panelists and anyone else, and big love to all the many fellow fans who were such a joy to spend time with.

Until next year! TTFN.

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  1. Fantastic toys and photos, I love the vibrant G2 photos you've done here especially, and since I don't collect those (space+money reasons only) I can still gawp at them here instead!:)

    1. Thanks so much! I love G2 very much so glad the pics came out ok.