Robo Toy Fest – May 2014

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Robo Toy Fest – that glorious semi-annual robot and mecha merch convention at the Pasadena Convention Center that my friends and I attend religiously. This is our third time running around the place, and it never gets old.

The last time we stopped by was in December 2013, and we sure as heck dropped a good amount of cash back then around the ‘con. This time, not so much. While it was still a great experience as always, ironically we had to pay for admission this time and didn’t buy as much.

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I think this is our first time actually being able to bear witness to these – I hear RTF has these two vehicles on display at most of their events, but we’ve never been able to catch them before. I’m mostly unfamiliar with Knight Rider (it does have lights and sounds) but I know Ratchet.

They’re both actually superbly detailed pieces – while I believe they’re also fully functioning automobiles, the G1 Ratchet has a custom interior with an Autobot insignia on the steering wheel and even a classic G1 Soundwave resting on the dashboard.

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As always of course, there’s a lot to take in. Whenever we come here, it’s a strange feeling trying to take everything in; every time we make a pass we’ll usually discover something new…

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Generally it seems the stuff here is relatively the same; nothing too remarkable, surprisingly. I think it comes from experiencing it so many times already. Not gonna lie it’s kind of humorous seeing things from our first time here still kicking around…guess certain merch just won’t sell. Given my own business on eBay I know the feeling all too well…

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Unfortunately not all of our number were able to attend today – my usual photographer was conspicuously absent, so I had to take pictures and chronicle the event myself. I don’t take nearly as many pictures as he usually does, so it’ll be shorter and less detailed post…

As always, the franchises and whatnot here are very diverse – there was actually a good amount of small trinkets that I found really neat.

Not gonna lie, I came here today mostly with Gunpla in mind. Unfortunately they didn’t actually have much that I wanted in stock – a MG Build Strike caught my eye, since it was on my wishlist, but it was a bit on the hefty side. They didn’t really have anything my pals wanted either, which was a shame.

I’m honestly kind of shocked at how many Perfect Grades they had in stock – I’d daresay over half of the entire line-up, plus a Glorious Grade Rick-Dom. I’m not surprised none of them sold; seeing not one, but two Dendrobiums there was also mind-blowing.

Of course as always, there’s a whole lot of Comic Con exclusives and whatnot here. The price hikes are not fun of course, but many of the sellers are very reasonable and hearty, a welcome relief.

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This place was pretty great – they had a whole mess of poster-style prints on sale, from anime to live-action theatrical posters. We did dump quite a bit of money here, which I will get to shortly…

What really kind of sucks about coming around a place like this is that there’s so much buried treasure – you never know what could be behind the next box that could be exactly what you wanted. I hate walking out and thinking about what I could’ve missed. To that end we did spend a good several hours snooping around – only going out for a lunch break at a nearby Subway, then coming back and continuing right where we left off.

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Figma! My pal had eyed these quickly when we first came in, and was desperately on the fence for buying them. We put it off for a while to continue roaming but by the time we got back after lunch, they were gone.

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The AGE figures there in the foreground were interesting – I had never seen the 1/100 GAGE-ING builder figures in person before, and I never knew they had such an extensive line-up. It’s just about the only way to get a lot of the AGE suits in 1/100 scale, and to be honest they don’t look half bad. I had almost picked up an Adele myself, but managed to convince myself against it…

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That Gundam in the big ‘ol box is actually a motorized fighting machine – designed to plop onto that big ‘ol base shown on the right and trade blows with the Zaku in the box next to it. I had never heard of those before, but it honestly seemed pretty cool. They’re battery-powered and can autonomously engage in combat. Expensive and dated, but awesome.

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So as far as merch goes, we actually didn’t get too much today, as I mentioned above. The first batch up above belongs to my comrade; he actually got those black and white prints as gifts for his friend. The Pacific Rim poster below is mine; there were two that were really nice, and I was torn between the two, but eventually went for the one shown above over this one.

I don’t get prints or artwork often, so this was rare for me. The seller also had some really nice clear acrylic sleeves for the prints; my pals got quite a few but I’m opting to frame mine in a poster frame at home.

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And here it is, our grand total loot for the day. Compared to last time, this is incredibly tame. Yeah, we were short one person this time, but still. We’ve learned the ways of frugality quite well.

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That Duel over there is an old NG 1/100 kit. Somebody was selling it pre-built, along with a bunch of other used and very old ‘pla. It was in shambles in a ziplock bag, but after working with it a bit, I deduced that it’s actually in pretty good condition. And best part? It was mine for only $5. Quite a steal, I must say…

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Well, mostly. It’s missing a piece on the backpack and a knee polycap, but beyond that it’s just poorly built and dusty. Compared to the other kits in that bin like a poor Infinite Justice that had half its body broken to bits and pieces, the Duel was in great shape.

I’m really looking forward to taking this kit apart and refurbishing it, then hitting it with a custom paint job. As for the missing backpack piece and polycap, I have an absolutely massive polycap inventory I can consult, and I’ll likely order a spare piece online.

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Other than that, I had an extraordinarily fun time haggling down a particular seller for this Revoltech Starscream…

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I kept visiting this particular figure throughout the day, as it’s been on my watch list for a while. However, the usual $70+ price tag online turned me completely off. The seller here had it for $60, but was kind enough (after some bargaining) to lower it to $45 for me. Ironically I came for ‘pla but ended up walking away primarily with a non-transformable Transformer…

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I should also mention that acclaimed voice actor Johnny Yong Bosch was present too, but I was too late to catch him since he left about half-way through the event. I wish I had brought my Zero costume from Anime Expo with me and had him sign it…

All in all, I gotta say it was a worthwhile day. I’m kind of shocked at our tiny haul, but I’m pretty satisfied myself. Kudos to the folks who put this event together, yet another great job!

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