(griffin's 2014 BotCon adventure)


6.30am - wake up.

Breakfast - just a couple of pastries/danishes and apple juice this morning.

7.40am - left for the Convention Centre.

Walked past the Sheraton (with the Hilton in the distance).

It was about 7.50am when I got to the Conference Center on the far side of the Convention Centre.


8.00am-4pm - Custom Class - Conference Center Room 211

9.15am-?pm - Tour (Six Flags Magic Mountain) - Green Street (link to the 2011 visit, as I didn't go this year)

1.50pm - left Custom Class with my mostly-complete toy, and got back to the Inn about 10 minutes later, not sure if Dallas would still be there, as I said before I left in the morning that I should be back around midday to go toy-hunting in the afternoon (since he had a hire car). He was there, but only just got back from somewhere, and we left about an hour later... heading north to get onto the highway to go east, we passed by the Pasadena Town hall.

We went to a sports store first, as Dallas is a keen baseballer, so wanted to stock up on gear that is more expensive and harder to find in Australia (like me hunting toys).
The store was huge, and had free wifi, so while he was inside for a little over an hour, I sat outside surfing our messageboard.
We got there at 3.45pm, and left a little after 5pm.  Fortunately shops close late in America, so there was little fear in missing a toy store... we just had limited time to bet back for the Package pick-up at 8.30pm.

We decided to just go to the nearest Walmart, which was south at Rosemead... instead of the earlier plan of heading to Monrovia for the triple hit of Walmart, Target and TRU.
My Map said there was a Target at Rosemead, but there was actually a Walmart down there as well.  We didn't end up going to the Target.

Inside the Walmart at 5.40pm, we headed straight for the toy section... and was greated by a big cardboard Strafe perched over the Transformers section.
They didn't have anything I wanted, or already bought from a previous Walmart.

Dallas headed over to the sports section, while I checked out the food section.... and was amazed at this wall of Pringles.
I've been impressed before with the sheer range of snack foods in America, especially when it comes to potato chips... but this was 25-30 different flavours of Pringles.  We only have about 5 flavours in Australia, and at one stage had 11 flavours at one time... but this was just insane.

Naturally I bought some - four of the more interesting flavours (I didn't eat three of them while in America, as I took them back home with me).  The Tortilla ones were actually corn chips instead of potato chips.
I also bought a couple packs of white fudge flipz... one of my favourite US snacks.

We left Walmart at about 6.30pm and was back at the Hotel 40 minutes later.

At 8.30pm we headed over to the Convention centre, and got there about 10 minutes later.

8.30-9.30pm - GT Package Pickup - Ballroom B
9.30-10.30pm - Early Package Pickup - Ballroom B

There were already people lined up for the 9.30pm pickup, and the Golden Ticket people were already inside the Ballroom.  We were only 10 minutes after the doors would have opened, but Dallas and I were the last in line (no one else came later).

The pick up tables. The main Dealer Room would be over to the left.  Actually, the art contest and autograph tables would be in this spot when the Dealer Room was open over the weekend.

When we were done about half an hour later we headed outside and saw that Ratchet was back (this van was there in 2011 at the last Pasaden BotCon).

Back at the Hotel at about 9.30pm, a look over the pre-registration items for this year...
Boxset - Scorponok, Ferak, Cannonball, Ginrai, Devcon.
Attendee figure - Flamewar
Comic/Guide, nametag, certificate, 3 pins (boxset, first-day, Golden Ticket), door prize ticket, survey
Custom Class toy (unpainted)

The seven toys. (see the purple bits on the sides of the abdomen to Scorponok that look like steps - they were constructed on the wrong sides, but easily swapped over with the removal of two screws at the back)

Certificate and pins.

Comic/guide, and some sample pages.  The story this year was very hard to follow, being very confusing for the first half.  The cover using toys looks weird as well, as a drawn cover would have suited a drawn comic.







Character Biocards.






Some comparison photos with any previous toy versions.
Gen1 Scorponok

JP Ehobby Fire Guts God Ginrai

JP Ginrai, whom I never put stickers on, but would have had a black chest stickers. (and Ferak & Devcon, who had no previous toy versions)

Cybertron Cannonball. (the thighs on each were constructed on the wrong legs, but can't be swapped over without removing pins... but don't affect it significantly enough to need fixing)

(Flamewar's photo is on the next day's page)

UPDATE - How to fix Scorponok's shoulders.  We were told later that Scoponok (and Cannonball) had some construction errors, with Scorponok being the easiest to fix.
On the sides there is a purple part (it is orange on the original Energon toy on the right) that looks like a ladder under the armpit.  As you can see on the Energon toy, the back part slopes up, while the BotCon one slopes downwards.  The two parts on each side of the toy need to be swapped over to allow the shoulders to fold down a little further.

On the back of each part is two screws. Remove the four screws and the two purple parts come straight off.

Each purple part holds onto two hindges.

When swapped over, the back of each part slopes down towards the head.  The "ladder" is almost halfway, but since it is a fraction of a millimeter off from center, it was too high up when it is upside-down on the wrong side. That fraction of distance might be almost negligible, but it gives a hinged joint a lot more room to swing down...

...giving the head more space on each side.  (compare that to the comparisson photo above, which almost has the green shoulders touching the head)

Accumulated haul with today's toys added in.

11pm - watched TMZ on TV to see if I was on, as the previous day on the TMZ tour we saw Cuba Gooding Jr, and he did end up being featured on their daily show.  But no shot of the people on the tour bus though, as there was only five us on there, so it might have been bad publicity for their tour if they showed an empty tour bus.

Spent a little time on the computer, but not long, as I didn't want to be too tired for the early start in the morning (I didn't want to risk missing the LA Tour that started at 8.30am).

12.30am - Sleep.

Go to next day - THURSDAY 19TH JUNE

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***All pictures in this convention report are mine except - Maps are from Google, and BotCon official images are from the BotCon Site. Others will 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 take as many photos as possible, and will only resort to using others if I failed to get something important, or my photo wasn't clear enough.

OZFORMERS - The Australian Transformers Fansite for News and Interaction (started way back in 1996 - probably the oldest Transformers fan community in the world)
BotCon website - The official Collector Club and Convention website
To contact me --> griffin @ otca.com.au