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Inside Cybertron Con 2016, Asia's Exclusive Official Transformers Convention

Jul 29, 2016 | 17:04 Fri
It's 9.45am on Friday and the temperature is 40°C, but the ShanghaiMart on Yan'an Xi Lu is getting busier and busier. You can hear people chattering excitedly in Cantonese, Japanese, English, and Mandarin before you even get to the entrance. Cybertron Con 2016 is about to kick off, and all kinds of Transformers fans from all over Asia have made the trip down -- well, mainly dudes in their late 20s.


For Transformers fans and collectors, this three-day event is a special treat. With the theme song from the Transformers anime playing softly on a loop in the background, thousands of toys, collectables, and memorabilia are on display, including extremely rare items that even Hasbro doesn't stock anymore.

Walking through the exhibition area, Generation 1, Generation 2, Beast Wars, and more lines are on display. The old toys you remember from the '80s and '90s share space with the fancier releases inspired by Michael Bay's movies. Even if you're not a big fan, it's hard not to geek out a little bit -- these are pretty cool toys.

Across the exhibition area, hundreds of people are already queuing up to meet their heroes and heroine: TakaraTomy's veteran toy designer Shogo Hasui, comic book artists Alex Milne, John Barber, and Sara Pitre-Durocher are in attendance signing autographs, toy boxes, and comics.

Right in front of the guest booths is the main stage and screening room, where conferences, forums and Transformers movies screenings are taking place.

Here's the inside scoop: they are going to live stream the shooting process of Transformers: The Last Knight Saturday at 9.30am and Mr. Bay himself will be the host (digitally -- he won't be on site).


The giant Fortress Maximus beside the main stage.

Just like any convention, there's plenty of merchandise, souvenirs, comic books, and exclusive releases to purchase. Spend, spend, spend. Online gaming, PlayStation 4, and workshop areas keep the kids busy. In the catering area, you need to pay a 10rmb deposit for a card to add money to -- seems like a bit of a hassle since there were only five or six food vendors there.

A fan waiting patiently for the release of SDCC Exclusive Fortress Maximus.

Age doesn't matter when it comes to collecting toys.

Workshops are priced around 10rmb to 30rmb. Now we know who's the cooler kids at school.

So, yeah, while the Hasbro and TakaraTomy-sanctioned event doesn't lack for blatant branding, Cybertron Con doesn't feel over-commercialized. At least, not egregiously so. If you love Autobots and the universe they inhabit, this is a must-see.


Cybertron Con runs from July 29 to July 31 at ShanghaiMart. Tickets start from 70rmb. More info in our event listing.


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