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PASADENA... part 3
(griffin's 2011 BotCon report)


Saturday 8pm - Hall of Fame event & Display

At 8pm everyone was already inside. (It was the one event this year that WASN'T late to start, and I was 2 minutes late to it - they were closing the doors just as I got there)
Upon entering we were given a bag (with snacks - popcorn, water bottle, M&Ms) and two different 3D masks (one was either Optimus or Bbee, and a regular non-TFs themed pair of glasses)


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At 8.20 the last guests arrived (Peter Cullen, Michael Bay), each greeted with standing ovations.

Aaron and Greg start off, welcoming everyone and recapping the events/inductees from last year's HOF event.

Then Hasbro's (VP of entertainment?) Steven Davis gets up to introduce the special guests and talk about the new Prime Cartoon & HUB network. He mentioned that it had been nominated for six Emmy awards, and had already won 2 of them (Voice Direction and Colour Design). He also named all the writers & staff who were still nominated for Emmys as well (Peter Cullen & writers).

Next we watched a TF:Prime clip which may have had some new footage on it, judging by the reaction of the audience.

Aaron returned to the stage to introduce video clips of the 3 robot inductees for this year - Ironhide, Soundwave, Ratchet.
Then we got to see a clip for Cliffjumper, to pay tribute to the character that was so quickly killed off in the Prime cartoon.

To induct the two humans of 2011 to the Hall of Fame, Hasbro President Brian Goldner went on stage, but first announced the late arrival of Tyrese Gibson to the auditorium. (chanting from the audience soon followed... left cheek, left cheek, left cheek)

Video clips for Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay were shown, and Bay was there to accept his award (Speilberg was unable to attend).
Bay started out by saying that he originally though a Transformers movie was a "dumb idea", but looked into it because he knew Spielberg would have been onto something by trying to get Bay to do it. He then said that he went over to the Hasbro offices and sat down with a room full of Executives, and Aaron who spent the meeting converting (playing with) toys for Bay to see the concept in action.
Bay admitted that he was not a fan of Transformers when he started, but says that he is now.

He then told us that he had brought with him 16 minutes of the Movie to watch, and we put on our 3D glasses and watched the screen.

Next we watched vide clips for the five Fans' Choice Nominiees - Jazz, Shockwave, Grimlock, Waspinator and Erector... but since Erector doesn't have any cartoon exposure to have a clip, we watched a joke clip that asserted that Erector was a toy/character that kept missing the cut on just about every series - including Gen2 (in pink and aqua), BW (was a beaver that later became Rattrap), Animated (would have been a Constructicon, forming the groin of Devastator), Movie-verse (a Bay-style character image was shown), Classic-verse (changed to Grappel).
It was really funny, and must have taken a lot of effort do do, as it also included comments from Hasbro designers as if it was all true.

But there could only be one winner, and it was...... Waspinator!

A victory Video was screened, and when that was done, Aaron Archer said something important to the audience and fans - "We take this (HOF) seriously and hope you do too. We had a lot of fun with this (the Erector Clip), but don't want to do it (including non-iconic characters) again".
Since there was a fair bit of booing each time Erector was mentioned, I'm hoping we wont see a repeat of fans disrespecting this concept in future years (especially by the 3 fan forums behind the movement to get joke characters into the Hall of Fame).
It was all fun and games suggesting its inclusion during nominations, but it wasn't very funny having the head of Hasbro and one of the biggest Directors of this era seeing the fandom as immature and perverted for trying to include an obscure character into an 'Iconic Character Rollcall' just for their own petty amusement.  And it spoils the fun of the dedicated fans who make this long and expensive journey to BotCon.

Before the event wrapped up, Aaron introduced us to a farewell video clip for Eric Seibenaler and Greg Lombardo, who are both leaving the Transformers brand this year, and have been the most active and fun Hasbro representatives at BotCon during the modern era of the Convention. They blended in well, and hung with the fans at the Conventions, rather than being a 'suit and tie' representative of the company... which may have been their undoing if they are being moved away from the CURRENTLY BIGGEST EARNING brand for Hasbro. (but that's just speculation from an outside observer of this news)
As a regular attendee myself from the last decade of the Convention, they will both be missed if they aren't comparing, hosting or partying with the fans each year. They were the face of Hasbro at BotCon, that us regular attendees saw as a familiar, reliable element to the show... Thanks guys.

Aaron then thanked the attendees of the HOF event, and left us with another video clip covering the various robot inductees for this year (as the special guests filed out - so that they weren't mobbed by fans when they left).

The event finished at 9.40, and as we filed out of the Auditorium, we were each given another goody bag, which had in it a commemorative card for the event and 2 mini-posters.


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And on the right is the 'exclusive' bottle of water with Hasbro labelling that was in the goodie bag.
Below was also in the bag, and I think it is meant to be a lense/glasses cleaning cloth, promoting something for the Movie...

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Outside after the event.

Not sure if it was worth the $45.  I was expecting to be shown more than 16 minutes of the film, as it should be just about finished by now, this close to its first screening in a couple weeks time.
It was still a great event, and adds some class to a toy convention for grown-ups who haven't quite yet 'grown up'. A 27 year franchise deserves to have at at least one serious feature to the annual event that celebrates its existence... and I hope this Hall of Fame concept continues for years to come.

The Australians, looking so sexy in their Transformers 3D masks...

 
 



Hall of Fame display in the Dealer Room.


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2010 Inductees.
Megatron


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Optimus Prime


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Bumblebee


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Starscream


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And the Fan-voted character - Dinobot


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The Human indcutees.

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The 2011 Inductees.
Soundwave


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Ironhide


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Ratchet


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Fan-voted character - Waspinator.


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Human inductees.

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And their trophies. (apparently made out of plastic... which Michael Bay commented on at the event)

I can understand Michael Bay being inducted (for what the Movies have done to Transformers' popularity), and having him be inducted this year (being his last 'year' with Transformers), but the inclusion of Steven Spielberg looks more like Hasbro padding out the HoF with a name the general public would recognise... as his role in the Transformers Movies has never been said to be much more than, Bay showing him clips of his movie to get excited over (according to Bay's own words on several occasions).  If that earns Spielberg a spot in the HoF, then surely the other Executive Producers like from Hasbro and Paramount deserve spots as well for their roles in supporting Bay's project.

Anyway, moving on, we had a bonus clip this year (possibly because there were only four robot inductees).  Due to Cliffjumper's quick demise in the TF:Prime cartoon, despite the big build up of his character in the prequel comic (and having his own 'non-redeco-of-Bumblebee' form for once), it seemed fitting that he deserved a memorial video for his part in Transformers.
Okay, that was a bit odd on the night, but stranger still was having a display set up for Cliffjumper as well, with all the Inductees.

Ah well, it was all a bit of fun.

At least it wasn't Erector...
 

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***All pictures in this BotCon report are mine unless noted. Any that are borrowed, should have the source credited/noted.  If you want to use/borrow any of my photos, all I ask is for you to please credit the source as well. I try to take as many of my own photos as possible, and usually only resort to using others if I failed to get something, or my photo wasn't clear enough.

OZFORMERS - Australasian Transformers News and Interaction (our 15th year - longer than any other moderated Transfan community)
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BotCon website - The official Collector Club and Convention website (check it out for when and where the next one will be)
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Me --> griffin @ otca.com.au