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


WEDNESDAY JUNE 1ST

Today was my day of rest, which was planned from the beginning to be free to recouperate before the stress of the Convention.  Having a week of Touristy things and driving around, I knew how exhausting (and lack of sleep) the 4 days of the convention and pre-Con tour can be... so I needed to have myself as recharged as possible before the mayhem of 2011 BotCon began.

I did get up early though to get to the front of the Auditorium, to see off the people doing the Wednesday tour to Universal Studios, which included fellow Australian Paul.

That was when I noticed that the front of the Auditorium had been done up for the Hall of Fame event on the Saturday.

Giant 2-storey banners, and several posters at ground level.

And the people making their way to the bus for departure. This was my first meeting with Paul for this year's convention, and of UK fan Simon, whom I shared a room with last year.

I went back to the room and worked on my computer until Ian and his family got up and left for their day out.
Word was filtering early of what this year's Customising Class figure was - Minerva, using the Animated Arcee mould.
I'm yet to be lucky enough to get into one of these Customising Classes, despite all the years I've been going to BotCon, and was a bit frustrated to hear how first-time BotCon attendees managed to get in, even after both classes were showing as 'sold out' when I registered (due to people having it in their 'cart' at the time I registered, but not completing the transaction - so it goes back into stock for someone else). A couple of the Australians got into the Wednesday class - Dallas and Rafael.

Looking at a website detailing the Customising Class this year, I was amazed at how much time and effort the guy hosting it (Shawn Tessmann) must spend on setting this up.  Purchasing and/or creating 60 sets of tools, paperwork/instruction book, stickers, paint supplies, and the extra head piece... The instructions alone would have taken ages to draw up.  And probably in a short space of time, based on the timings of product from Hasbro (especially since this is a production run of under a hundred - 30 per class, plus spares).
The Collection.org website above has about a dozen photos, but for reference in this archive, these photos are from there to show the toy, the room, the instruction book, the biocard and sticker sheet.
Not bad for just $85.

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My day however, was mostly spent watching TV, working on my photos on the computer (processing a couple hundred photos that I had already taken by then), and looking over a few of my new toys.
Ian and his family went off in the car at about 11am, to check out a few things he and his family wanted to do, before he'd be tied up for the next 4 days with Transformers related stuff (and have no car for his last 2 days). A couple of things he did was to check out the house used by Doc Brown in Back to the Future, and the rocky outcrop Vasquez Rocks which has been used in a number of movies (including 3 Star Trek movies) and heaps of TV shows.

Around 4pm I decided to go out for a walk to stretch my legs.  The original plan was to walk to the Burger King that was about 5 or 6 blocks away, but I only ended up getting as far as a comic shop that was half-way there. I figured that it would spoil the dinner meet in a couple hours if I pigged out on burgers at this time, so just bought a couple Transformers comics (Sector 7 TPB and the TF3 Movie TPB) and walked back to the hotel.
The comic shop owner was saying that it was only just purchased a couple weeks ago, and if they had known about BotCon being there this weekend, they would have stocked up on Transformers stuff. As it was, they had half a dozen Transformers toys, including a JP BigMos, the Beast Wars Decoy Ship and a couple first wave Animated and Universe Cheetor & Dinobot.
Walking back to the hotel, I saw a squirrel run along a fence near me, which reminded me of seeing a peacock at the hotel in 2004, I was puzzled to see these sort of animals in suburbia, which was no where near wilderness or parks.

It felt weird having the Movie comic in my possession, and having to avoid looking at it until the Movie comes out in a months time. It was such a tease... so I asked Ian to have a look for me to see if it was gonna be worth the wait seeing the Movie. (he didn't mind, since he wasn't as worried about spoiling the story as I was).

So Ian's family had gotten back from their family day out at around 5-6pm, and at about 7pm (me with fresh clean clothing) we all went down to the front of the Convention centre (our meetup point).  Paul was already there as the Universal tour had returned just minutes before, and one by one the others showed up - Rafael (Chileno), Malcolm (Loophole) and his brother Scott, and Dallas (UltraMarginal) and his wife Steph.

After about half an hour of chatter and deciding which way we should go, we ended up walking in the direction of the restaurant district that we actually went to back in 2009.  We didn't go to the same place, but this one had a couple of strange gimmick - TV screens everywhere (like at least 50 in that one place) and a menue that was a 16 page newspaper. And that was only for the food, not beverages.

Naturally I ordered a burger with (giant) onion rings. And when I say giant, I mean they are bigger than the ones at Hungry Jacks.  HJs rings are like 5cm across, while these ones in America (in every restaurant I've ordered them at) appear to be made with the outer ring of the onion, so are 10-15cm across.
Unfortunately all 3 photos I took of Onion rings this year from this day and the next, were lost (deleted by accident).
So here's a photos from last year - see how the Onion rings are so huge, they are the size of the burger... and veeeery yummy.

We finished up at about 9pm, and walked back to the convention centre for the 9.30 pickup (for those of us eligible for the Wednesday pickup).

Go here for the Wednesday pickup, and photos of the items received.

We hung around for a little while after Ian, Rafael, Dallas, Paul and I had got our stuff. Malcolm would have to wait until the next night to get his boxset, but was able to see what all the fuss was about.
The convention had already unofficially started with the Class and Tour today, but this 'limited release' of BotCon toys to those few elligible, made it a bit more exciting to be here on the Wednesday.

Ian and I returned to the hotel at about 11pm, and I was asleep around 1am.

Tomorrow would be another big day... at Six Flags Magic Mountain Rollercoaster park.
I'm not one for heights, but I was looking forward to this, to test my phobia's limits.

Continue onto Thursday June 2nd page
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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