Quick! The Sonic Screwdriver!
February 17, 2008

I know it can be a rare thing to find a significant other that tolerates your hobbies, much less participates in them. I always read with a bit of jealousy the posts from other collectors about their wives or significant others that would hunt for toys for them when they were out on shopping trips and the like. Well, now not only do I know what that is like… I think I’ve got some of you beat!

You see, while I was all the way across the country covering Toy Fair 2008 for AFI, our latest "cub reporter," my girlfriend (whom we shall call "Cubbi") agreed to go to the LA area Dr. Who convention and cover it for AFI! That’s right, you heard me… while I’m out of town she goes to a Dr. Who con armed with her camera and a notebook to file this report for us.

One other point of note, she was also the one that shot and edited our April Fools Mattel commercial, so she’s seen me at my absolute dorkiest and still wanted to hang around with me.

She’s a keeper, eh fellas?

Here I present to you her report on:

The 2008 Gallifrey One Convention

By: Cubbi


It’s Sunday.  I throw on that union jack t-shirt I have been saving for a special occasion.  Comb my long blonde hair, put on “my ass looks amazing in these” jeans, lace up my chucks and look in the mirror.  Nice. I totally look like I could be the next companion.  Wait, I look like Rose.  Okay, KIND of like Rose.  Damn, they aren’t going to want an assistant that resembles a past one.  Reality check Cubbi – you are not auditioning today.

I arrive at Gallifrey One (my very first Doctor Who convention) not having any idea what to expect.  What if David Tennant is there? Not for a panel, but just there walking around in disguise. I tell myself he would totally want to hang out with me. Or, what if they have a life-size dalek? OR…OR…what about a life-size weeping angel statue? Now that would be cool. 

The convention is underwhelming considering Comic Con was the last convention I was at.  Where is everybody? I know it’s Sunday, but come on! Where are all the people in costumes? Oh wait! Wait! I see a man in gold metallic spandex bodysuit sitting in a forum. I rack my brain trying to figure out if this was loosely based off a costume from the old Doctor Who.  I don’t think so.  I think it’s just a dude wearing gold spandex.  Snap. I had to take a picture.

I secretly keep hoping David Tennant is around.

All the panels have started so I walk around a bit.  I go into the Dealers Room hoping I can find some of the series one figures for cheap.  Instead I find a load of books (who knew there were so many books on Doctor Who?! This is cool!), DVD’s, some “Renfaire-esque” type jewelry (for the fellas to bring home to their ladies), and Bob May.  Yes, Bob May the Robot from Lost in Space.  I walk by his table and he flags me down and starts chatting me up.  Asking me where I am from, how I like the show, you know the usual banter.  I can’t tell if he’s going to give me sales pitch or ask me to meet him for a cocktail in the hotel lounge.  I’d pick the cocktails. 



I keep wandering and what do my eyes behold? Several autographed copies of Land of the Lost scripts.  I casually peruse the merchandise and the guy behind the table is looking at me with “will you please buy something or stay and/or talk to me” look on his face.  It almost worked. I wish there would have been a Sleestack, then I would have bought one from him. 

Finally it’s top of the hour. Panel time! I’m in the Torchwood, “Sleeper” live commentary panel.  I sneak in and stand at the back. The woman next to me politely smiled and moved to make room for me.  I thanked her and then….I saw it.  So clever. So simple. So….brilliant. Her lime green t-shirt with “Slitheen Family Reunion” was borderline amazing.  Why didn’t I think of that!! Wow, this writer is funny, but it’s hard to see past the sea of brown derby hats.  AND…somebody is dressed like Jack Harkness. Nice touch!  Still no sign of DT.

Break. I walk around some more checking out the art gallery.  Who knew you could make a tissue box holder to look like the Tardis? Or who knew I would get to see Crow and Servo from Mystery Science Theater? Unfortunately, the Tardis tissue box was not for sale.  I keep wandering around snapping pics and then I ran into my friend Kevin. It turns out he is a total closet Doctor Who FANatic.  He told me Saturday was the day to go.  Apparently there were over 1000 people there and LOADS of costumes – including someone dressed as Cassandra and Chip.  Now THAT would have been a site.  I mentally note to come on Saturday next year.  Kevin says he has a great seat for the next panel and invites me to sit up front.   Now this just isn’t any panel, this is the granddaddy of all panels here at Gallifrey One.

The Seventh Doctor Roundtable was PACKED. I was lucky to run into Kevin!  I bring out my camera so I can capture Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Lisa Bowerman, Andrew Cartmel and Mark Ayres.  The panel starts – and they are sitting next to a giant Tardis! Oh it is a good day! (I secretly can’t wait to take my picture with the giant blue box) I look around the room.  People are clinging onto ever word Sylvester says, and with good reason, this man is hilarious! Even the one of the doughy Slitheen Family Reunion people is laughing! I’m watching the panel on the camera’s display. What was that? Was it my imagination? Did Sylvester McCoy just wink and smile at me? No way. Hahaha. Oh that’s flattering, but really. There’s no way.  I continue to tape the panel.  And there it is again. He IS looking right at me.  Ok. That’s kind of creepy, but still flattering.  Is he really wearing crocs? Hahaha He is! I can’t wait to go back to the tape to see this!

The panel ends, and I dash right up to the Tardis to get my picture snapped.  Do a quick DT scan. Damn. He’s obviously not coming.  *sigh* Maybe next year.

The convention is quickly emptying out.  After all, it is Sunday.  I catch the Torchwood 101 panel. Wow. That person dressed as Jack knows a lot! I would love to dress as the Torchwood crew for Halloween, but I think that would be too obscure.  Even more obscure than going as the Doctor and Rose. 

I decide to walk around one more time. Check out the Dealer’s Room to see if I missed anything.  I sure did!  What did I find? Gold spandex was there! BUT he was standing! This man was easily 7 foot tall.  And still wrapped in that skin tight gold suit.   Only now he had on a scarf.  I couldn’t resist this opportunity and asked him if I could take his picture.  SCORE!!! Good stuff here.  I still don’t know why he wore it, but it made my day, that’s for sure.  As I proceed to pack up my camera and gear I FINALLY run into a dalek.  It was the cutest little dalek you’ll ever see…even had a British accent when his mom made him said, “Exterminate".

 I wish that now I would have been able to go on Saturday as it appears that is the day to go.  But I think this was a good appetizer for next year.  I got some great pictures, got hit on by old men, upped my Doctor Who knowledge and amped me up for a new season.  And I might even make a Tardis tissue box in my spare time. 




Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
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