15 Years of BotCon - 10 Years for Me
(griffin's 2008 BotCon report)

Saturday 3pm - Collector Club Panel

Collector Club / Fun Publications Panel - Pete, Brian, Lanny, Rik, Karl, Benson.

They started the panel with Brian, Rik and Benson coming on stage with beards like Mirror Universe Rodimus (as Mirror Universe Fun Pub staff).

They prefer not to have Conventions around September (Fall) and prefer Spring/Summer (April-July). The New Orleans hurricane in 2005 pushed back their schedule by about 4 months (a GIJoe convention had to be moved just before it began) and has taken them about three years to catch up.
They are trying to work towards a 12 month advance notice schedule, announcing dates and locations of next convention at the current convention (like a few BotCons did, around 1999-2003), but won't be happening this year. The registration details for next year should be out a lot earlier though.

Brian (head of Fun Pub) prefers not to have their Transformers and their GIJoe conventions on at the same time (due to excessive workload it would require), but would do it if Hasbro ever said to.

Currently there are about 2,500 members in the Transformers club.

Registrations to BotCon will continue to be done as faxes/mail ins - they won't do online registrations due to the amount of errors fans have on their forms. THey would prefer to have a human process the registrations to pick up the errors, so that there are less angry fans who arrive at the convention and don't get what they were wanting.

They then discussed the process they went through in creating the theme and colours for the convention toys this year. An idea by Brian relating to the Star Trek Mirror Universe concept, fleshed out by Pete, Rik, Karl and Benson. Then the colours done up by Lanny, with further back and forth with the creative team, and various adjustments to make sure there was variety in the colours of the set (started having too many black/dark Autobots, so Jazz was kept white). The colours of Optimus were done first, and every other figure that was worked on next had to then fit in with the colours of the ones that were already done. Most went through three or four colour schemes, including Optimus, with more paint decos than Hasbro or Takara would put on the regular toys.

Takara still don't like doing production runs below 5000, so the collector club will be aiming to eventually work up to that figure with their exclusive toys, if they know they can sell them.

Pete is now a fully employed staff member of Fun Publications.

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griffin @ otca.com.au

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