Monday, April 11, 2016

Botcon 2016 Trip Report

Fancey514 here, and I just got back from Botcon. Even though I was only able to make it Saturday, there was quite a bit going on. If you're unaware of Botcon, it's a yearly Transformers convention. Each year it is in a different location, Luckily for me, it hasn't been too far away from where I live the last two years. Last year it was in St. Charles, Illinois, and this year it was in Louisville, Kentucky. The convention ran from April 7th - 10th. This year is the 20th anniversary of Beast Wars, so a lot of the Botcon Exsclusive figures and items were related to that, but it's also the 30th anniversary of the first Transformers movie. You know, the good Transformers movie. There were packages you could get to go to Botcon: The Primus Package, which was $500 and included the Botcon Exclusive Combiner figures and a few other exclusives and gives you admission to all four days, The Minicon Package, which was $240 and is for family members to join the Primus Package members, The Protoform Package, which was $310 and is basically the Primus Package without the exclusives, or, you could be like me and only go to Saturday, which was $25 for general admission. In line to pay for general admission, they were selling a Transformers comic that is first available at Botcon called Dawn of the Predacus, which takes place 300 years before Beast Wars, It will be in stores, but at a later date.

On Saturday, they had a pretty packed in schedule. A few of the panels I wanted to attend were either too full by the time I got to them, such as the Hasbro panel (Which I got to early, but still couldn't get a seat), or were happening during another panel.The first panels right from opening on Saturday were Aaron Archer, who has been designing Transformers figures since the Beast Wars line, and Venus Terzo, who was Black Arachnia on Beast Wars. She has also been on shows such as Supernatural, and Arrow. I was really hoping that David Kaye, the voice of Megatron from Beast Wars (as well as Armada, Energon, and Cybertron, Optimus Prime from Transformers Animated, and Hardshell from Transformers Prime) would have been there Saturday, but Friday was his last day. At 11, Hasbro had their panel. As I mentioned, I was unable to attend their panel because there were already too many people, but they showed off some figures that will be releasing within the next year. They had a display room, so I did manage to get some pictures, which will be posted below. After that was Gregg Berger's panel at noon. You probably know him best as the great Dinobot leader, Grimlock, however, you've probably heard his voice in many other cartoons and video games, such as Odie from Garfield (both the new show and Garfield & Friends), Eeyore in Kingdom Hearts, Jecht in Final Fantasy X, and The Pain in Metal Gear Solid 3, just to name a few. From 1 - 3, Gregg Berger and Venus Terzo were signing autographs. They were both very down-to-earth people. They were both willing to talk to their fans and, as you can see above, were more than happy to take pictures with the fans. The convention ended at 5, allowing people enough time to buy figures from the booths that were set up. some of the booths were run by people that, I'm assuming have a collector's shop where they live, but there were also booths for websites such as Big Bad Toy StoreTFSource, and TransformersLand, to name a few. 

As with any Con, there were a few cosplayers. A lot of them looked amazing, although, some of them got an 'A' for effort. One that I didn't get a picture of were Old Snake, although the one I saw last year was closer to the character than the one I saw this year. A few people had jet wings to look like Thundercracker or Skywarp, but that was the extent of the costume. The one I was most impressed with was the War for Cybertron/Fall of Cybertron Soundwave. The amount of detail they put into that costume was amazing. The only thing that could have made it better, was if it actually transformed. Speaking of, I was surprised that nobody had a transforming costume. Last year, somebody made a Smokescreen costume that transformed.

 They also had a creative section, where people submitted art that they had made or custom figures that they had created. My favorite one, pictured on the left, was called My Little Ponytron. They turned small pony figures into characters from Transformers Prime. Another one I liked had a few figures from different toylines repainted as  Airazor and Tigatron. One that I didn't get a picture of was a custom figure somebody made of Transmetal2 Dinobot from Beast Wars. It was pretty tall, and the only part of it that looked like they used something from an existing figure was the head from it's dinosaur mode, which was Age of Extinction Grimlock's head, but was painted white and blue.

All in all, it was a lot of fun. Hopefully next year it will be even closer and I'll be able to afford the whole duration of the convention. As promised, I will post the pictures of  the Hasbro Showroom, but first, a special message from Grimlock.