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BOTCON  -  GENERATION  2
(griffin's 2005 BotCon adventure)


- DEALER  ROOM -

This year's Dealer Room, from the back of the room looking towards the entrance.

The Dealer Room is a lot smaller than recent years... and a number of tables were empty, so a few dealers must have cancelled at the last minute.
I was really surprised at how small it is, because the advertisments in the Club newsletter were claiming it was going to be huge, and I was guessing that this new convention organiser had contacts with toy dealers from their past years of toy conventions.
On the plus side, the new organisors are indeed more efficient and organised with the running of the convention, and have heaps of staff involved.
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Art Contest Display & Costumes
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Hasbro Toy Display
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The queue outside the dealer room on Friday (photo is from FunPub's website).

The main visual feature in the Dealer Room as soon as you walk in was this giant Optimus statue.
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The Hasbro exhibit.

The Hasbro staff manning the booth this year...
Aaron Archer - I think he was Brand Manager by this stage.
Eric Siebenaler - Lead Designer for TFCybertron.  Did about half of the Energon toys and 10-15% of the Armada toys.
Greg Lombardo & Pamela Nedwetzky - Marketing
Paula Walsh - Public Relations

Greg and I think Pamela.

Eric.

Aaron.

Aaron & Eric (image from FunPub's website)

(image from FunPub's website)

Hasbro were giving out free toys this year, and would clip your namebadge to make sure people only got one.

The toy was a redeco of the Cybertron Legends Starscream toy, and came with instructions for the SDCC Skywarp toy... so it was a little confusing, but I think it ended up being referred to as Ramjet, due to it having similar colours to the Universe (Armada) Ramjet toy.
I think that if Thundercracker wasn't a different type of jet in Cybertron, this would have been done in Gen1 Thundercracker colours to go with the free SDCC Skywarp toy.

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At the Hasbro exhibit they were showing episodes 1 & 2 of the Cybertron cartoon, which was a couple of months old for America. It hadn't started screening in Australia yet, so it was new to me.
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There were a number of giant sized cardboard cut-outs lying around, which were later included in the Friday night Charity Auction.

IDW's exhibit - not a lot going on because they hadn't quite started releasing anything yet.  Just like the Convention, they were new to Transformers this year, so they were selling copies of their BotCon exclusive Issue 0 preview comic, and giving out free mini-posters.

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(image from FunPub's website)

The cover to the BotCon exclusive issue of Issue 0, with concept art from Hasbro.

(image from FunPub's website)

The mini-poster that I think was free.

On both ends of the Dealer Room was a giant hanging sheet promoting the 2007 Movie, which is still two years away and had only recently been officially announced.  They look rushed, based on the letters in the word Transformers having bits of white background around them.
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The other visual feature in the Dealer Room was this diorama of the 2005 Convention toys, which has a swarm of Virulent Clones attacking the Autobots.

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Very well done, including these "buried" bots in the side. (image from FunPub's website)

The Autograph area.

Gen1 guests - Wally Burr & Michael Chain.
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The Dobsons - Michael, Brian, Paul.

Clearer images from FunPub's website...

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And the other Guest for the year offering Autographs is Colton Dearing... apparently he was on some Transformers toy commercials.  I felt bad for him, sitting there all weekend with no one wanting an autograph.  (who at FunPub thought it was a good idea to have this person as a "guest" at a Transformers convention, just because he was in a couple of commercials playing with toys... and went to the trouble of finding him)

The Club Store inside the Dealer Room, which is where they were also doing the hourly prize drawings (in the second photo).
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Now for photos of dealers in the Dealer Room.

Someone was selling all these limited-release Built To Rule sets, but left their table unattended for a while.  I don't remember the prices, but if they were cheap it would have been a great opportunity to get the set... but I didn't end up collecting that line for another 9 years.

The next few photos are from FunPub's website.

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These were some of the business cards and flyers I seemed to have collected over the weekend from various dealers... showing what sort of dealers were around back then, and how many are still operating 10 years later.
(a shame about the HasbroToyShop discount voucher, as it wasn't valid for a non-American like me)

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An unsual display on one of the tables.  They weren't for sale, but seemed to be just filling space as there were so many empty tables in the Dealer Room.
These appear to be mock-ups by Hasbro for Beast Wars, to test out different possible packaging styles.  I think they must have been looking to see if the packaging for the second year of Beast Wars toys should be changed from the first year packaging - in the end all they changed was giving it black on the top of the card because the reptile eye was popular and eye-catching to not want to give it up too soon (the one on the top row on the right of the first photo).  The Cheetor one looks like an alternative idea for the first year, by having circuitry instead of scales.
It is interesting to note that Jetstorm is called Dragonfire, which isn't new for Transformers to have names change before they are released.

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The other big feature in the Dealer Room for Gen1 fans was Wally Burr trying to sell copies of his works, plus showing off the animation size-chart for the original series cartoon.

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This was what Wally Burr was offering, as a complete lot for US$2000.

Hasbro Designer Aaron Archer was not to be outdone, by offering up some of his artwork as well, but for the highest bidder at the Charity Auction on the Friday.  He was showing off some of it in the Dealer Room, including this one of Armada Thrust (in colours that don't match any versions of the toy).

Aaron Archer was also showing off his Taco Bell napkin brainstorming of the Cybertron series storyline.

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From the Tformers website, Aaron Archer was also seen showing off these TF-Cybertron concept drawings.

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The two main Fun Publications Staff - Brian (middle of left photo), and Lanny (standing in right photo).
(my camera this year sucked... and I wasn't able to know how they turned out until I got home and looked at them on my computer)
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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, 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)
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BotCon website - The official Collector Club and Convention website
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To contact me --> griffin @ otca.com.au