BOTCON AT DISNEY
(griffin's 2010 BotCon report)
Making my way down to the reception area, outside the 'Northern Hemisphere' Ballroom.
The reception area was just a marshalling area for people to socialise, get a quick drink, and await the opening of the ballroom (at about 8pm).
Paul Eiding fending off fans.
Inside the ballroom, heaps of tables set up with entres already out. The stage at the front had cardboard standees of the first four Robot inductees.
There were heaps of seats left spare because the dinner was included automatically in the pre-registration package, instead of being an add-on (free or not). As such, those who ordered multiple sets (like me), and others who weren't interested in the fan activities, just the exclusive toys (toy dealers). If it had been something people nominate to attend, they would have had less waste of food and space.
Ceasar salad and ice-tea (what is with Americans and their iced tea?)
I didn't pre-arrange to sit with anyone I knew, so just found a table with a good view of the stage, and sat down. There was a couple there already (their son was the TFs fan, but he was with his friends on another table), and for a while it looked like we would be the only three on this table. Just as the last people were finding their places, three more people came to the table - Artist Dan Khanna, Writers Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster.
Dan and Jim (Bill was off to the right).
The music was annoyingly loud, so people could only really hear/talk to people next to them.
The main meal came out, and was some sort of chicken dish. It was followed by a weird desert that was a bit a dairy desert cup that self-sauces when you tip it onto a plate.
Greg and Aaron each took up a podium, and introduced us to the first annual Transformers Hall of Fame awards.
The purpose is for Hasbro to recognise those involved, and that there would be inductees each year.
We first started with clips of each of the four Robot Characters - Bumblebee, Starscream, Megatron and Optimus.
Then went through the four Human inductees.
1 - Kojin Ohno
Responsible for Sunstreaker, Triplechangers, Dinobots toys. On the team that worked on Optimus Prime toy.
Designed the unreleased Unicron toy in 1986, and the Headmasters.
Created Car Robots series.
Even worked on the 2007 Movie toyline.
(photo from BOTCON website)
Kojin Ohno couldn't make it, so the award was accepted by his wife.
2 - Hideaki Yoke
Worked on Microman. Was an original liason with Hasbro, and been working with Hasbro ever since.
3 - Bob Budiansky
Marvel approached him to work on Transformers, and he ended up creating the characters and their unique traits that have been carried over throughout the years with many of those recurring characters.
Responsible for names, bios, stories and even the Creation Matrix.
4 - Peter Cullen
The voice of the franchise now.
(photo from BOTCON website)
The three inductees who could make it, holding their trophies.
The fifth Robot inductee was announced.
This was the fan-voted inclusion to this first year ceremony.
A short clip was shown of each of the nominees - Soundwave, Grimlock, Jazz, Shockwave, Dinobot.
And the winner is... Dinobot.
Another clip was shown.
And that was basically it - 2 hours after it started.
As Greg and Aaron was wrapping up the ceremony and announcing the location of next year's BotCon, people were walking around, handing out commemorative cards:
For those wondering, the date and location of BotCon 2011 - Weekend of June 2-5 at the Pasadena Convention Center (same place as BC2004 and BC2009).
The date is a month before the TF3 movie release, so like last year, we might be too early to see an advance screening. But sounds like Hasbro are planning similar or better events and features as last year.
Announcing the location a year in advance is something never done since the new owners of the TFs convention took over. It helps hype it up more when there is 12 months of anticipation, rather than the usual 4-6 months of recent years. Here's hoping they have the pre-registration organised early too.
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