Auto Assembly was held this weekend at the Hilton, Birmingham the new venue of Auto Assembly.
This being my 1st Auto Assembly and having little knowledge of Transformers I was rather aprehensive with the thought of a whole weekend of Transformers. Seriously what can you talk about for a whole weekend on one subject. Yet I was plesantly surprised, they had setout the room with the main stage and seating area at the front for the numerous panels and the dealers were position at the back. Artist and writers on the far side. For any Transformers fan this was not a shabby lineup. Guests of Honour Michael Ball, Townsend Coleman and Paul Eiding all present and account for. Actually saying that all guests turned up so a 100% attendance on that front. Comic Conventions favourite Lee Bradley was ever present and as usual very busy.
The convention started proper on Sat morning, with an introduction of all guests attending, a very well worked idea and I would hope a few conventions follow suit. With a big screen present constant episodes of transformers were played for the attending guests. Panels were either held in the main hall or in various smaller rooms at close proximity. On my list of things to do was a panel, I don’t usually consider panels but as you could listen to them without having to leave the main room, it worked very well. You felt like you didn’t have to sit through anything you didn’t want to.
Numerous events were held throughout the weekend, the raffle seemed to well backed and there were some great prizes to be won. The cosplay was interesting to say the least, and good on those that made the effort to make the costumes. The biggest laugh of the cosplay was the MC announcing to a very attractive cosplayer ” I like what you have put on your chest” referring to her decoration on her T-Shirt. A video over Skype from the USA, a novel idea, from a guest who’s name evades me loved the zoom in and out button on his end and we were greeted to various close ups of his forehead. The evening finished off with a script reading which was very amusing with key guests as Michael Ball, Townsend Coleman and Paul Eiding all participating.
Sunday morning approached far too early for my liking, and you could see the toll it had taken on the attendees, obviously some very late nights. Again a full packed itinerary was arranged on Sunday. Colourist workshops, creating workshops were all available. The charity auction took place on Sunday with some, what I believe amazing prizes. Yes I picked up one myself. More cartoons played on the big screen, more panels in the main hall.
Talking to Townsend Coleman, he was full of smiles and loved the weekend. Some of the dealers I spoke to seem pleased with their takings. I did see a lot of people exiting with bags rammed packed full of toys.
Overall a well presented, run and executed convention. Well done to the guys who run this. 780 ish attendees this year, up on last year. It was the right mix, not completely dead and not overly busy, they could probably accommodate another 100 or 200 people, any more and I feel it would likely take something away from it.
Would I recommend this convention?
Yes I would.
Would I go back next year?
Yes if I am invited back.
Pictures to follow.