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BOTCON SAN DIEGO
(griffin's 2013 BotCon adventure)


THURSDAY 27TH JUNE - CLASS/TOURS

The alarm was set for 7am, and when it went off, I quickly got ready... including packing up my stuff so that the cleaners didn't have to touch anything, or be tempted to.

I headed down to the Altas Foyer and got there just on 8.10am and there were about 40 people waiting. I checked in with the person in charge of this day's tour, informing him that I wouldn't be coming back with them at 5pm due to the IDW tour, and I waited with everyone else for the bus to arrive.
Just like much of the Convention this year, the bus was late, and then had trouble finding where it was meant to stop... as we saw it drive past twice before finally pulling into the driveway in front of the Convention Centre.
We hopped on, and we were on our way... Seaworld was only about 10 minutes away.

8.15am-5pm Tour (Seaworld) - Atlas Foyer

9.00am-5pm Custom Class - Royal Palm Salon 1 & 2

I imagine that the rest of the people on the Seaworld tour stayed until about 5pm, but at about 12.30 I left, catching a taxi out the front of the Themepark.

On the way back to the Hotel I got him to stop by the other nearby Target (on the Seaworld side), and I ran in to see if they had any Transformers.
They didn't, but I picked up some food items anyway.  I was really just after the soft-drink (soda as they call it in America), but saw the pie there and wondered if it was the same one as the one I had last year in Texas (which was just sooo addictive). Unfortunately it wasn't, and I didn't want to waste it.  I didn't end up eating it until several hours later in the night, so it wasn't even cold either.

Hopping back in the taxi, I continued onto the Hotel, getting there by 1pm.

I checked up on the messageboard and then headed down to the Atlas Foyer at 1.50pm for the IDW tour.
But it seemed as though I had somehow missed it... blowing $500 in the process.
How?  Find out by checking out the Tour page...

2.00-5.00pm IDW VIP Tour

On the way back to the Hotel, I went past the old Mission on the nearby hill (that the tourguide told us about on Tuesday), and after missing it each time, I finally got a photo... but it still wasn't the best.

We got back to the hotel at 5.40pm, and since I expected this (the Golden Ticket access to the Club Store was 5 to 6pm), I made sure I took my namebadge and confirmation letter with me to IDW. That way, I didn't need to go back to my room - I could just line up, before the hundreds of regular attendees were allowed in.
So I lined up and started filling out the order form, and about five minutes into it, I noticed a note on the form, reminding us about the new voucher system this year.
Dammit... I totally forgot about the new system.  The one good thing about this new system is that it means the namebadges don't get hole-punched, which ruins them.

Not happy with myself, I power-walked past hundreds of people waiting in line outside the Dealer Room, and then started running to my room once I got outside.
Throwing around stuff desperately looking for the voucher (like I did in 2011 for the Hall of Fame event, in which I had accidently packed away the wristband you needed to get into the event), I found it and ran all the way back... just getting back inside the dealer room just 5 minutes before the regular attendees were let in.  I knew that if I didn't get back in before 6pm, I'd probably have to go to the end of the regular line, which would mean at least 2-3 hours of waiting.
I was hot and sweaty now, and thinking that I probably gave quite a few people something amusing to look at while running out and running back in.
(for those who know me, I've never been seen to run anywhere before... which says something about my desperation and priorities)

The process this year felt slower, as I was one of the last GT holders to be served, and got out at 6.30pm. Which means it took them 90 minutes just to serve about 30-40 people (the number of Golden Tickets), which was more than the alloted hour, meaning that it was going to be a long night for the hundreds of people out in the queue. (or maybe they started late, like most things this year)


5.00-5.45pm GT Club Store - Grand Exhibit Hall

6.00-10.00pm Regular Package Pickup - Grand Exhibit Hall
6.00-10.00pm Club Store open - Grand Exhibit Hall

When I got in... the first time.

In the distance you can see the Hasbro Exhibit taking shape, and over to the right are pallets of stock for BBTS.

The toys for sale...

Boxset
Megaplex (VOY TFPrime Dreadwing)
Hoist (DLX Classics Kup)
Skywarp (DLX Movie Dirge)
Strika (DLX Classics Warpath)
Obsidian (VOY Movie Powerdive)

Attendee figure
Starscream (DLX Movie Terrordive)

Big pair (2000 units)
Electron (DLX Classics Kup) (character is Gen2 Electro)
Sandstorm (VOY Movie Skyhammer)

Small pair (2000 units)
Mirage (DLX Classics Mirage)
Thundercracker (DLX Movie Dirge)

Three pack (2,500 units)
Rainmakers
(Sunstorm - yellow, Bitstream - blue, Hotlink - purple)

Kreo 5-pack (1500 units)
(boxset characters - Hoist, Skywarp, Strika, Obsidian, Megaplex)

Custom Class toy (still some available to sell)
Blast Charge (DLX Classics Warpath)

Plus, two sets of trading cards this year, AND three different Lithos this year...
- Machine Wars Termination (400 units)
- Obsidian (100 units)
- Strika (100 units)

They certainly keep increasing the amount of items to sell each year.


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Something new this year, Kreo versions of the Boxset... which would be another regular feature added to the growing compliment of toys FunPub are producing each year.

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Just after 6pm the doors were opened up for people to collect their pre-registration packages, and for the Early Birds to get in line for the Club Store... including Toby, who said he'd been queued up for since about 4 or 5pm... which is how he ended up being about 5th in line.

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The mountain of Metroplexes over in the middle of the Dealer Room, that belonged to BBTS.

One of the non-toy items on offer was a magnet display device, that allowed your toy to hover in the air.

Also available were a small number of carded Depth Charge toys, which were only available to registered members.... which is why they didn't sell too many, as members already got one, and very few had an interest in getting a second one.  The people who did buy a carded figure that didn't want two of the toy, either planned to sell off their loose figure (when it gets to them), or were buying up carded figures to sell to non-members.
Even at the end of the Convention, they still would only sell them to members.... and most were still there.

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I bought as much stuff as my Golden Ticket allowed (three times the maximum amount, which was two of each this year - it has been one of each in the last 4 or 5 years), for fans back in Australia.

Returning to my room, I packed away the items I bought for other people, took photos of my items, and posted them up on the board.

Top left - Mirage/Thundercracker, Electro(n)/Sandstorm
Mid left - Depth Charge on card, Volume 2 of the Collector Club Magazine reprints (I bought by mistake, thinking it was their comic reprints, so I had to buy Volume 1 later just to make it worth selling off as a pair)
Top right - Litho poster
Bottom from left - Diamond edition of the 2012 concvention comic, both sets of Autograph cards, Kreo 5-pack, Blastcharge (to trade for getting one of mine painted for me), and Rainmaker 3-pack.

Today's toys in vehicle mode.

Rainmakers in robot mode.

Sandstorm and Electro(n).

Mirage and Thundercracker.

A look at the Kreons out of packaging. No instruction, but a sheet to tell you if all the parts are there.

When built, you get a spare set of legs for Skywarp, to either have him half teleporting, or completely solid.

All of this year's toys in robot mode.  Costing about US$700, a total of 20 toys this year if you have a painted and unpainted Blastcharge, which were sold separately as two different items.

The back side of the Depth Charge card, with a bio... there is a bio card inside the bubble, but it has a bigger bio to it (I can't read much of it though, and don't plan to open the bubble to remove it). I think the loose one that is being sent out to members should have a copy of the enclosed Bio card. If it does, I might add a photo of it here.

A combined photo of the first two volumes (years) of the Club Magazine. (volume 1 was bought on the Saturday when I went back to buy more toys for fellow Australians)

A closer look at the autograph cards.

And their backs, showing two "chase" art cards tucked into the backs.

Bio cards of today's toys.

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A closer look at the Litho poster, and the number produced.

Also available, which I didn't buy...

Blank autograph/sketch cards. You could use them for anyone, particularly the Artist Alley artists.

Obsidian poster - only 100 produced, but was just the character art, so wasn't worth buying.

Same with Strika.

The display case, that showed off the merchandise this year...

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After a bit of TV, eating, posting of pics, I was in bed by about midnight again.

I didn't have to get up too early tomorrow, as I didn't plan to be at the Panel room until about 10-10.30am.



Go to next day - Friday June 28th

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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