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


WEDNESDAY PRE-REGISTRATION PICK-UP

There was a huge crowd this year on the Wednesday... more than I thought there should be considering the number of people eligible (those on the Tours and Custom classes). Maybe there were a few friends hanging with those eligible, like we had in our group.

Again I'm annoyed that with the loss of my own photos here (from Wednesday morning to Friday morning), it doesn't look like there were any photos taken by any of the 'news' fansites for me to fall back on... (there's no "ratings" in non-news events for fansites, so they don't bother anymore) so you're gunna have to use your imagination here.

What I can give you are some photos of the toys given out on Wednesday to us.

The main componant is the boxset, with Motormaster, Dragstrip, Dead End, Wildrider and Breakdown. Plus the attendee figure, Fisitron (Ironfist's pen-name from Last Stand of the Wreckers), using the Cybertronian Ratchet mould.

The boxset came with a program guide/comic, a survey, a coupon for 100 Casino dollars, a few advertisments and a certificate:

Plus the namebadge, which is the only way you could get into various events, including the Dealer Room.

The cover of the program guide/comic.

And some sample shots of the comic.


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A full-page advertisement for the Hall of Fame event on the Saturday.

The program guide also revealed the names and numbers of the toys that would be available tomorrow, but details on that below.

The Biocards for the Boxset Stunticons.

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And of Fisitron (the Autotrooper was from the Thursday figures).

The add-on items for those who purchased them included a wristband for the Hall of Fame event, and the BotCon t-shirt and cap for this year.


 

Return to Wednesday June 1st page
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THURSDAY PRE-REGISTRATION PICK-UP AND PURCHASING


Thursday was the big launching day for BotCon, and the crowd was huge.  It was a 6pm start to the registration pickup and openning of the Club Store, but some people had been lining up for 2-3 hours.
Unfortunately, even those who arrived at 6pm, would be queuing for up to 4-5 hours just to pick up their stuff and purchase items at the Store. But more on that later.

The first thing I noticed this year was the lack of organising the lines. The admin of FunPub would have seen these people queuing up for hours beforehand, but left it until 6pm to tell people to separate into two different lines - one for registration, the other for the Club Store. There was no signage anywhere, and confusion reigned over the mass of fans who didn't know for sure where to line up (because there should have been 2 lines for the 2 groups of attendees).  The announcement wasn't heard by 90% of the mass of fans there, so more confusion occured as people were seen to be separating, but little was known as to why... not to mention the opportunity for people who just arrived, to jump into the queue before people who had been lining up for a couple hours.

A really bad start, rubbing people the wrong way from the first minute of the official start to the convention - as first impressions can often be the strongest.

And it didn't get any better.. as they were 15 minutes late for the Welcome, which meant they were already half an hour behind schedule for the first block of people (people picking up their packages were allocated into four hourly blocks from 6 to 10pm, which should have ended at 11pm).  Since they had more people pre-registering this year, but didn't appear to 'cut up' the alphabet listings into more folders (which would give more queues and process more people at once), at around midnight they hadn't manage to process everyone.  I think everyone was able to pickup their packages, but quite a few missed out on purchasing items at the Club Store, and had to come back in the morning to be given priority access before anyone else.

The people outside just after they were told to separate, and just before Brian, Pete and Lanny came out to welcome us to the convention and to show off the items for this year.
(photo from BotCon website)

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Brian and Pete showing off the items. (photo from BotCon website)

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And the crowd looks on in amazement and excitment. (photo from BotCon website)

Details they announced...
Animated Toxitron & Sideswipe - 1500 sets, $89 (plus 9.75% tax), 1 set per person.
Shattered Glass Galvatron & Thundercracker - 1800 sets, $92 (plus tax), 1 set per person.
Autotrooper 3-pack - 1500 sets, $89 (plus tax), 1 set per person.

Autotrooper has a new head (which was the same as Fisitron's). The other toys were all just redecos. (most of the mods were in the boxset)

They showed off the cap and t-shirt, plus the two lithos for this year - Animated biocards, done by Derrick Wyatt.
Also available were trading cards, in place of the autograph card of previous years.  There would be about 20, released in two sets. The first set was available Thursday & Friday, the second set would be out on Saturday & Sunday.

Inside the Store's Thursday location (it gets moved into the Dealer Room during the show) (photo from BotCon website).
The one great thing from this year that was memerable enough to praise the organisors, was the creation of a third Store line, just for the BotCon exclusive toys and merchandise.  It was like an express lane, in which there were no questions about what else they had available... it was just for people wanting anything from the 3 toy sets, posters, clothing and trading cards.

I was about 20th in the Credit Card line, and it still took me just over an hour to get my stuff. It didn't help having a staffer not knowing anything about Transformers when I tried asking if they had specific Movie Figures available.  In addition to the BotCon toys, posters and trading cards, I managed to buy DotM Deluxe Laserbeak & Thundercracker (the last of the first 3 waves of Deluxes for me), DotM Human Alliance Basics Tailpipe & Whirl, and DotM Legion Leadfoot and Crowbar (completing my search for all the early wave non-exclusive Movie toys). Very happy.
I also managed to (re)purchase the 2010 BotCon litho, which I lost on the way home last year.
It almost offset the fact that I made some other purchases I didn't need to - a PowerCore Combiner Overrun (I totally forgetting that I had just bought one on ebay a few days earlier), and FIVE 2010 Membership figure DION toys (I saw they had Membership figures available, and in the panic of not remembering how many 2011 SIDEBURNS I needed, I didn't realise it was the wrong one until I got back to the hotel room later - I was just glad I didnt buy 15, which I knew would have covered the people who had asked for one).

From the display case, the Animated pair - Toxitron and Sideswipe.

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Their biocards.

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And a comparison photo I took of Sideswipe to the Gen2 Sideswipe toy.

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The Shattered Glass pair - Galvatron (using the Cybertron Evac mould) and Thundercracker (homaging the Actionmaster toy from 1991).

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Their biocards.

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And a comparison of Thundercracker to the Actionmaster version. As you can see, the original version was not coloured with it's jet-mode in mind (because it didn't have a jet mode), so the resulting jet mode redistribution of colours of the BotCon version is quite the eye-sore.

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And the 3-pack set of Autotroopers.  Each one had identical biocards, which was disappointing, considering the previous two years had them written up differently to each other.

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The biocard.

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The Animated biocard lithographic posters (photo from BotCon website).  I'm not taking a bigger photo, as the wording is so small, it would need to be a big photo to be any use.

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The trading cards. I'm not sure which half were released first. These are all the ones I ended up with at the end of the convention.

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The last four show the different backs that the cards had.

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Also available were some remaining Cheetor toys, that were one of this year's Club exclusives.

At about 7.30 I had bought my things, and looked around for the others... only to be abruptly told by a staffer that I had to leave, as loitering was not permitted.  I had no choice but to leave via the exit door, despite seeing Rafael over the far side of the room looking over his stuff, and Dallas still waiting to buy his items.

Return to 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