.

A  DASH  TO  DALLAS
(griffin's 2012 BotCon adventure)


SATURDAY 7PM - HALL OF FAME DINNER & CASINO/AWARDS NIGHT

The dinner started at 7pm, but the pre-dinner "coctail reception" started half an hour before that.
People arrived early, and started crowding around the doors to the ballroom.

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Inside the ballroom (which was actually the panel room, so the Hotel staff were pretty quick setting it up and then returning it back within a couple hours).

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I got as close as I could to the front, on one of the unreserved tables, so being on my own made it easy to find an empty seat that face the front.

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As usual, the FunPub paparazzi was stalking the crowds...

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The tables were already set up with a salad and desert, plus drinks and bread. The salad was all grated, which made it really difficult to eat with a knife and fork.
The baked cheesecake desert was nice though.

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There was a quick announcement to say that the dinner would be served first, and then the Awards would follow after that.

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So in about 10minutes the salad plates were being swapped over for main-meal plates - Chicken, a couple half-peeled potatoes, and some veges. It was nice, but the half tomato was a bit much.

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About 40 minutes later, Aaron Archer got up to start the HoF awards...

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...starting with the 3 known robot inductees (Grimlock, Jazz, Shockwave), then the two human inductees (Simon Furman, Chris Latta), and finally the fan-choice winner - Wheeljack.

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(I was kicking myself that I kept turning the camera off during each montage, because at the end of the Shockwave video we got to see a first look at TFPrime Shockwave)
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Accepting the award on his behalf was his daughter, Abby Collins, who's been to a couple BotCons now in a semi-official capacity (as a Voice Actor).

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Then Hasbro's Michael Verret got up to announce the fan-vote winner.  Starting with a short video of each of the nominees, with the loudest reaction going to Beast Wars Megatron (who also got the most votes during the pre-nominee round)... and the winner is....

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Wheeljack. A surprise to everyone. I hope it wasn't rigged by Hasbro or a selfish fan... as BW Megatron appeared to be the most popular choice throughout the entire HoF process this year.

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I only recently realised that Wheeljack was voiced by Chris Latta, so I wonder if the surprise winner was chosen by Hasbro for the timing of Chris Latta's induction, or there was a fansite somewhere that had a determined campaign to make sure Wheeljack won (like when a small UK fansite rigged the 2007 Movie "banner" competition, with a surge of 400,000 hits in just one weekend and minimal movement every other day, to beat out fansites that were 100 times bigger).
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It was then announced that the Fan-choice winners at future Hall of Fame awards, will now been named "the Hartman Award", in honour of the founding brothers of BotCon back in 1994.

The commemorative "plaque" card that was then handed out to everyone.

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It was about 8.30pm when this wrapped up and everyone was directed back out of the ballroom to spend the next 2 & 1/2 hours "earning" casino dollars, to bid with at the Auction just after 11pm.

I raced out to queue up at the usual $20 "random prize" table (you pay $20 for a chance to win a BotCon exclusive figure, or extra casino-dollars), and after no success in previous years, I managed to win a toy - which is your choice out of whatever is left on the prize shelf. Since I'm not missing any BotCon toys, I looked through the pile for the most valuable one left... I found the Sweeps 3-pack, which I think was the best of the ones there.
So for a $20 fee, I walked away with a $200 set of toys.


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I went back up to my room for a couple hours, as I wasn't too interested in playing any gambling games (and end up losing the "dollars" I now had - $4,200). I actually thought that that would be a decent amount for the auction, but a change in procedure at the Auction meant I wasn't able to bid on anything.
So when I went back down at around 10.45pm to "cash out" and get my bidding card, I went inside the ballroom (which was now back to being just rows of seats) to check out the items available for auction.


See the items at the right that are separate... mostly gimmicky, kiddy toys?  Those were meant to be for the 9 or 10 kids in the audience of 200+ (adults) to win (people above the age of 12 couldn't bid).
At least, that was what a number of the people setting up the Auction were telling people.
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Unfortunately when Brian showed up to start the Auction, he let those 9 or 10 kids have exclusive bidding on all 51 of the toys above and below (up to the 4 exclusives on the left). Leaving just 46 items for 200+ adults to fight over.  Maybe he thinks non-exclusive toys aren't for adults?
The staff around him were looking at each other and questioning why he was auctioning off ALL the toys, not just the KIDS items... but they all seemed too afraid to question him, so in the end, items were selling for as cheaply as 200 casino dollars.  By the time all the toys were gone to the handful of kids, the couple hundred adults now had a small number of items left to fight over, resulting in nothing going for less than 8,000... upsetting a lot of people there who had less than that. (we only start out with 100 or 2,100 if a GT holder, so it would take a lot of dollars or luck to get over 8,000).
People kept yelling out to stop giving all the toys to the kids, but Brian ignored it... making last year's Auction a lot more fun (and rewarding) for those attending.

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Various BotCon exlcusives and artwork.

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A couple of autograph cards from 2010, before they went into print without Sunstreaker (or maybe reprinted, and the first batch was destroyed).

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The items at the top of the next photo are for the giant cardboard standees at the JAGEX exhibit in the Dealer Room.  The winners would then have to get them home themselves somehow.

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There were a lot of unhappy adult bidders who only had a few hundred, or even a few thousand casino dollars, leaving in disgust before the Auction was over.
I was annoyed as well, because there were 2 items I was interested in, but now didn't have a chance.
(if I hadn't won that 3-pack of Sweeps earlier in the evening I would have been venting my frustrations here at how poorly the Auction was run)
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Below is a photo of the table, half empty by the time Brian thought to let the Adults start bidding.

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I forgot to mention - before the auction started, the winners of the art competition were announced first (11.25pm), with the auction starting 10 minutes later.
The Art contest winners were noted on the Art Contest Page here.
The awards...

And Brian announcing the winners.

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The auction ended at 12.30, and I went straight up to my room, and pretty much went to sleep soon after.

The next day at the Hasbro exhibit, the Hall of Fame display was updated...
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Go to next day's first panel - Script Reading/Activision

Or - Return to Saturday 28th April Page

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***All pictures in this convention report are mine unless noted. Any that are borrowed, 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 - The Australian (and Asia) Transformers Fansite for News and Interaction (started way back in 1996 - try to find a Transfan community that's older)
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BotCon website - The official Collector Club and Convention website
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To contact me --> griffin @ otca.com.au