Convention Review: Auto Assembly 2015, Part One

So, we went to Europe’s largest Transformers convention, Auto Assembly 2015, and all we got was…. this lousy T-shirt? Well, I did get a T-shirt, two in fact, but neither of them is lousy. How about what we got was an absolutely wonderful experience, some amazing memories and, uh, a rather large haul of plastic figures (more on that later).

We’re going to write up our thoughts and observations from the weekend as a series of three jointly written posts. So here we go with part one… which predominately features the Friday night, fangirling over Sumalee Montano and quite a bit of shopping and toy talk.

Some of the many AA banners around the venue

Some of the many AA banners around the venue

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Countdown to Auto Assembly: His and Her Thoughts

Next weekend is our wedding anniversary. We’ll have been married seven years and we’ve been saying for most of that time that one year we ought to celebrate our wedding date with a weekend away in a nice hotel somewhere. Well, this year we’re actually going to do just that: we’re off to the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham. But we didn’t just randomly pick that destination out of a tourist guide. No, in a lucky stroke of perfect timing it just so happens that this year our wedding anniversary weekend coincides with Auto Assembly, Europe’s largest Transformers convention! What better way to celebrate our love than in the company of plastic robots and hundreds of other Autobot and Decepticon enthusiasts?

Official logo of Auto Assembly 2015

Official logo of Auto Assembly 2015

This will be our first time, not only at Auto Assembly but at any large residential convention on this kind of scale. Although hopefully it will be the first of many big convention experiences for AddAltMode, sadly, when it comes to Auto Assembly, it’s going to be our first, last and only, since it has been announced that after 15 years the event will be bowing out after this year.  At least we will have got the chance to experience it once. Let’s make sure we take lots of photographs and make it count!

We’re both hugely looking forward to the convention, but as first timers and self-confessed socially-awkward introverts we’d be lying if we said we’re not nervous about it too. In this jointly-penned post we’re going to discuss some of our hopes, excitements, expectations and anxieties about the forthcoming event.

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Cosplay Double Trouble: Slipstream and Arcee together!

This weekend we attended Unity Sci-Fi family fun day. This was a nice little local event, providing some geek-themed fun for kids of all ages, and also raising money for an extremely worthy cause: the mental and emotional wellbeing charity Mind.

I was one of the costumers with a collection box. Unable to decide whether to be Slipstream or Arcee, I took along both of my Transformer costumes and changed from one to the other halfway through the day. It was the first time I’d worn both outfits at the same event, and through the magic of Photoshop B has been able to combine a couple of the shots taken of me to make this composite image:

Transformers cosplay by AddAltMode R: Decepticon Slipstream and Autobot Arcee

Transformers cosplay by AddAltMode R: Decepticon Slipstream and Autobot Arcee

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I found I did more collection-tin-shaking as Arcee and more pretending to shoot at and be shot by small kids with toy weapons while dressed as Slipstream! It was fun to give both of these costumes another outing before I get fully stuck in to the next project!

Let’s talk about… Female Transformers!

If you’ve more than a passing interest in a certain transforming robot franchise, you may have heard the news – and very welcome news it is too. Hasbro are finally bringing more female Transformers into the spotlight. Specifically, an article on USA Today reported that Windblade will be appearing in future episodes of the new Robots In Disguise cartoon, and that there are also plans to introduce a female ‘bot to the cast of the Rescue Bots, the iteration of the franchise aimed at youngest viewers, which is just entering its fourth season. This on top of the results of the fan built combiner poll, which also voted to create a new team of 6 female Autobots who – the USA Today article also reveals – will form a new combiner “Victorion.”

If we're being pedantic, she doesn't really roll does she?

RiD poster advertising the new arrival: source

Now female Transformers are a subject close to my heart, so this seems like a good time to discuss the topic in a bit more depth….

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Geek Fashion! My Kind of Dress: Vintage Fabric Transformers Sun Dress

So, lately there’s been a whole lot of nonsense and hype on social media about #TheDress, but there’s only one dress that has managed to excite me. And forget any rubbish about trying to decide if it’s white and gold or blue and black, this one is definitely yellow and blue and it’s definitely covered in Autobots and Decepticons! Win!

Photo by Mary Jane's originals, used with permission

Transformers dress by Mary Jane’s Originals

Best of all, this dress was made especially for me by Geek Seamstress Extraordinaire Mary-Jane, of Mary-Jane’s Originals.

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Transformers Prime Arcee Cosplay: more pics

I recently had the pleasure of doing a cosplay photoshoot with my lovely friend Sadie, who blogs over at Aim for Fabulous. I guess “Autobot” is a little bit of a departure from Sadie’s usual blogging focus of fabulous fashion and travel but we both enjoyed doing the shoot. I have to say it felt sooooo good to be back in the Arcee costume for another hour or so, I might be becoming a bit of a reluctant human! It’ll be great when I finish my Slipstream costume so I have a choice of “alt-modes.” We did the shoot in as neutral a location as possible – just a plain hallway – to hopefully let the costume do all the talking.

Here are the results!

Transformers Prime Arcee costume made & modelled by AddAltModeR

Transformers Prime Arcee costume made & modelled by AddAltModeR

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Cosplay 2014: Transformers Prime Arcee

Why do I Cosplay?

Photo by Colin Head

Photo by Colin Head

  • I enjoy the creative challenge of planning, sourcing and putting together an outfit from scratch.
  • It’s a great way to express my love for my fandom(s) and to meet new friends as a result.
  • It’s a lot of fun, both to make and to wear.
  • It’s a massive confidence boost. I’m pretty shy in real life and when I go to conventions and events just as myself I have a hard time approaching people, but when the helmet / armour / wig whatever goes on I am transformed and have so much more fun interacting with everyone from guests, stallholders and attendees to fellow costumers -and especially kids. Dressing as a Transformer goes down incredibly well with the younger convention goers and it’s so much fun interacting with them:

– Hi Arcee! Arcee, Arcee will you turn into a motorbike?

– I’m under strict orders from Optimus Prime, bot mode only today I’m afraid.

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