Back from Botcon 2008

I’ve been back for over a week now, but I am still trying to recover.

As is standard, my room is in shambles due to the sudden influx of new stuff. There are quite a few items I’d like to do video reviews on, but I can’t seem to get my room clean enough to shoot video nor find the time to clean it and shoot.

It seemed like a much shorter convention than normal. I chalked that up to the two solid days of travel to and from Cincinnati. It probably didn’t help that we stopped at nearly every Target, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us we could find on the way. Thats half the fun though.

I normally don’t go to more than two or so panels each year, but this year I ended up going to what seemed like all of them. I even went to the Board Wars Faction Feud game. The Allspark team was short a member, so I filled in. Basically this is a team based trivia game done in front of a large panel audience. All trivia questions are multiple choice. Each team cycles through each member answering questions. After a question is asked and answered the member of the team in the front of that team’s line goes to the end and waits for his turn again. The face-off between the teams when a question is asked is similar to Family Feud. Whoever strikes the buzzer first has the opportunity to answer the question.

I thought I would be really good at this because I knew so much about Transformers, but I was sorely mistaken. Most the questions were taken from comic book continuity, which is far from my strong point. I’m actually far more knowledgable about the toys than anything else. Needless to say, I am now re-reading the entire original run of Marvel Comics’ Transformers. It was fun though, and the first team we played was This is amusing in that everyone used to be a member of that board, but once people started posting fan fiction in the main forum, posts kept getting deleted, followed by complaints and banning. Eventually two new boards were born, Dewtropolis and The Allspark, the team I was playing for. Keep in mind that happened at the end of ’99 and noone’s looked back since. We had no idea the board even existed still. That victory was pretty sweet, then we faced the Transformers Wiki team. That did not go nearly so well.

Some of the other panels I got to attend included the Hasbro Future Product Panel, the Hasbro Designer Panel, Cartoon Network Transformers Animated Sneak Peak Panel, Transformers Collectors’ Club comic panel, the Voice actors’ panel and the MSTF (Transformers fan version of MST3K). The Cartoon Network panel was cool because we got to see a different upcoming episode both times it was held.

Obviously a lot of time was spent in the dealer room. The selection gets a bit more disappointing year after year. Dealers only seem willing to bring original Generation 1 figures and not much of the vintage Japanese stuff or even much of the Armada/Energon/Cybertron stuff.

The new Transformers Animated products aren’t out yet and will not be until June 22nd or so. Hasbro had Cincinnati become a test market, though, because of the convention. This caused lots of dealers to go out and buy every Animated toy they could find to scalp at higher prices in the dealer room. We would not have any of that. We went on a toy run of our own. After two Wal-marts and a Toys R Us, progressively getting further and further away from Cincinnati, we finally found a Wal-Mart that had everything in stock. GalenRaff, one of our number, was actually on the Wal-Mart phone in the electronics department at the previous store speaking to an associate at this store trying to determine if they had any figures in stock. We quickly found some of the larger figures on the shelves, but saw no smaller figures. After a bit of searching, an associate was found that actually went in back to check their stock. Unheard of, I know. He came back out with a shopping cart of cases full of figures and left to look for more. As we tore the contents of the cart apart, a manager saw us and made the associate come back out and take back the cart with whatever we weren’t taking. I ended up getting the entire first wave except for Prowl because I wanted something to still look forward to when the figures came out en masse.

Spectre, Cheets and Jeremy were all at the convention. They were staying in room 2005. That number has significance in Transformer lore, in that the beginning narration to the original animated movie began as “It is the year 2005. The treacherous Decepticons have taken over the Autobots home planet of Cybertron…”. So whenever someone referred to the room, they would say “It is the room 2005.” Its one of those things you have to be a fan to appreciate. Anytime, I was within sight of Spectre, Jeremy or Cheets, they would yell out in unison “CUH-RAAAAAZY”. It was particularly funny as some of us were waiting for an elevator and the doors opened with Spectre and Jeremy inside. They yelled it out and the doors quickly closed as they went up to their floor. So random.

It was a very nerdly weekend that I so rarely get to enjoy. I had fun, wish it was longer though. Maybe next year, I’ll go a couple days early and try out the customizing classes on Wednesday and Thursday. Its something I’ve always wanted to go experience.

The next year should prove to be a good time to be a Transformers fan. 2009 will be the 25th anniversary of Transformers and from what Hasbro is saying, good things are on the way. Its going to be a celebration of all eras and not just Generation 1. Nearly all of the upcoming product looks amazing and is going to make for a fun anniversary.

For those truly curious, I have posted my toy haul after the jump.

Transformers Movie Premium Optimus Prime
Transformers Movie Target Exclusive Allspark powet Bumblebee (concept camaro)
Transformers Movie Legends 2-pack Rescue Ratchet & Decepticon Brawl
Transformers Movie Evac
Transformers Movie Jetstorm
Transformers Movie Wingblade
Transformers Animated Cybertron Optimus Prime/Cybertron Megatron 2-pack (Battle damage deco’d deluxes)
Transformers Animated Deluxe Class Bumblebee
Transformers Animated Deluxe Class Earth Mode Optimus Prime
Transformers Animated Deluxe Class Lockdown
Transformers Animated Voyager Class Cybertron Megatron
Transformers Animated Voyager Class Bulkhead
Transformers Animated Voyager Class Starscream
Transformers Cybertron Supercon Optimus Prime
Transformers Masterpiece Skywarp
Transformers Music Label Soundwave – Blaster Black
Transformers Energon Rodimus
Transformers Energon SWAT 2-pack Stockade & Prowl
Transformers Superlink set of PVCs (5 in all)
Transformers Robotmasters Road Rocket
Transformers Henkei Megatron
Transformers Mega SCF Micron Densetsu Megatron (armada)
Botcon Exclusive Souvenir Set – Sideswipe/Blurr (x3)
Botcon Exclusive Souvenir Set – Megatron/Rodimus (x3)
Botcon Exclusive Shattered Glass Set (x2 – one boxed, one bagged)
Botcon Exclusive Registration Freebie Shattered Glass Ricochet
3 sweet ass acrylic stands from the TF Collectors Club store
Complete set of 5 WST Dinobots
Movie Iron Man 01
Movie Iron Man 02
Movie Iron Man 03
Movie Iron Man SO (Stealth Operations – War Machine – Wal-Mart Exclusive)
Movie Iron Man Iron Monger
GI Joe 25th Anniversary Comic 2-pack Tomax & Xamot

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