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BOTCON SAN DIEGO
(griffin's 2013 BotCon adventure)


- SATURDAY 7PM - CASINO NIGHT & DINNER -

6.30pm - Cocktail Reception (Altas Foyer)
7.00pm - Casino Night Dinner (San Diego Room)
8.00pm - Casino tables & Bingo open (Tiki Pavilion)
10.15pm - Auction (San Diego Room)

When I got there about 10 minutes before 7pm, the Foyer was full of people, and casino tables.  Up the back was a ring of balloons, which you could buy for $20 per balloon, for a chance at winning past BotCon toys or more Casino dollars (to bid with later).


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About 5 past 7 the doors opened and we filed in.
People started taking seats a the tables thinking the dinner would be served to us like most years we have a formal tables set up... but looking around we could see food stations located around the room.  People then started queuing up at each, to then take back to a table.

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We had fish and chicken options, with a potato bake, rice, pasta salad, regular salad, melon slices, and steamed beans. Plus bread rolls and chocolate cake.

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The host telling us about the schedule of events for the evening.
Just like the clone 3-pack of rainmakers, why stop at just one... (because my best shot of him ended up with him looking down, so decided to just include all four)

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On my table I had a family of three generations (a teen I think, his mum, and his grandmother), plus a guy in his 20s who kept trying to interupt with something odd or unrelated, whenever the rest of us were talking.
Once the family knew I was from Australia, they were keen to ask about recommended destinations, as they were keen to travel to Australia one day and explore the tropics and Northern Territory.

At 8pm, the casino tables were open, and people started lining up at the Balloon table.

I lined up twice, as there was a 5 balloon limit (it would be tempting to buy a massive number of balloons to get several exclusive toys and lots of Casino dollars).  Of the $200 (10 balloons) I didn't win any toys this year, but did end up with an extra 11,500 casino dollars, bringing my total to 13,500. (GT holders get 2000 in their pre-registration pack)

I didn't have an interest in playing on any of the tables, as it would lead to me losing valuable betting dollars at the auction later... so I went back to my room for a bit over an hour, but came back by 10pm so that I could "cash out" to get a bidding card before the Auction started.

We could also get a look at the items available for the auction this year, which was a lot less than previous years, with it mostly being toys. Often there'd be promo items, artwork or other odd rare stuff.
Let's just hope that Brian doesn't give half of it away to the under-12s this year, as competition would be fierce this year over the small number of items.


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It amazes me how FunPub keep having their exclusive toys available to give away, even after several years of competitions and prizes... it makes you wonder just how many extra toys they produced each year to have so many still left to give away year after year.

Unfortunately for me, there was nothing there that I wanted, as I already had all the toys and comics, and didn't need a skateboard.  And with my small "winnings" I doubted that I had much of a chance to win any item that was worth anywhere near the $200 I paid on the Balloons.

On another table were the various Art Contest and fan-film awards.

The bingo finished late, so it wasn't until 10.30 that the awards were read out.
The winners of the fan-films were noted at that page - the art contest winners were noted on that page as well. (it wouldn't be much point listing them here out of context)

About quarter to 11, the auction started.  The kids items were first, for any kids still awake.
Fortunately for all the adults in the room, Brian was told that there were only 6 items for kids this year, and was held to it (unlike last year, which he ignored the assistants and gave away half of the items to kids, including rare items and exclusives).

I knew that I was still going to have trouble coming away with something, so decide that I needed to secure something early, as the more desperate bidders would start competing more aggressively as they got closer to running out of items.
The first dozen were mostly regular items that had little value to them, and most of them went for around the 13,500 value that I had to work with.  I didn't like my chances.
But then a 2012 Straxus came up.
It was a figure that someone back home wanted me to find for him... so I thought that if I can win it, I can at least walk away a winner, and save myself time in the Dealer Room looking for one.
As with many other items just before it, bidding quickly rose to 10,000... but I kept bidding.
Then it got to 12,000 and I bid again, bringing it to 13,000.
I couldn't go any higher if someone bid 14,000.
A first, second and third call for a bid was made, and then sold.
It was mine, with almost nothing left in reserve.

As such, I got up to leave, as it was more important to get to sleep than to sit through another hour of people bidding.
When I got to the doorway, the next item was a complete loose set, which might have been the Animated Stunticons or the Shattered Glass year.  The reason I stopped for a minute was because of the intense bidding that was happening on this lot. Two competing bidders got it up to 240,000.. which meant at least two people had that much credit to bid with, so I was glad I got out early, as I'd never stand a chance against these other people who were obviously holding out for something good, but would start bidding on anything near the end just to walk away with something.

It was about 11pm when I left, and it looked to go for about an hour after that.


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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