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BOTCON  -  SORTA  NEAR  CHICAGO
(griffin's 2015 BotCon adventure)


- SATURDAY 20th JUNE - 7.30pm - AWARDS DINNER & AUCTION -


The "not formal but well dressed" Dinner was back this year, after last year having to make way for the Universal Studios Fan Experiance.

This was scheduled to start at 7.30pm, but we got there about 5 minutes late and everyone else was already inside.  Either they let in people early, or the rumoured "cocktail reception" was cancelled and had to let people in who had nothing to do for the last half hour.
Considering that they were late with most things, I didn't rush to this, and the one thing that I was late for by just 5 minutes was the one thing this year that they were early with.
Typical.

Fatbot and I ended up sitting on a table that was almost right at the back of the room, and as such, my photos aren't the best of what was going at the stage.  Fortunately, we weren't allowed to take photos of anything during the Hall of Fame awards, so I didn't end up missing out on much that other people could have taken better photos of.

Within a few minutes of us getting into the room, Brian made an announcment of the dinner's schedule, which meant the food was first, and then the Hall of Fame, followed by the Art contest and Costume awards, with the Charity Auction at the end.

The first course was a salad, that we got at around 7.45pm.

I was actually amused to see quite a few other people on other tables bringing a Transformers toy with them to the dinner.  Dispensor started the trend several years ago, and now he's happy to see that other flesh-creatures are following his lead.

It was about 8pm when the main course came out, which was a small piece of chichen and a couple of vegetables.

Dispensor ate it so fast, I didn't even get a photo of it.

It wasn't until 8.30pm that desert was then dished out, so we had a bit of time to talk to others on the table (a family of three, of whom the father and teenage son were both fans).

While waiting for desert, Dispensor tried to make off with a pack of butter, thinking it was a gold bar.

Desert was a carrot cake.

Dispensor got to the icing first, and passed out from the sugar binge.

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8.45pm saw the Hall of Fame awards being hosted by Hasbro's Mark Weber.
During this part of the evening, we were not allowed to take photos or video... and all the FunPub staff were patrolling the room looking out for anyone grabbing for a camera or phone.

The first announcement was for Frank Welker to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and they showed a short video of some of his roles in the cartoons and movies.
Frank Welker was then quickly ushered into the hall from one of the back doors.
He was given a special trophy, as the usual HOF trophy has Optimus holding the matrix... and it wasn't appropriate for Lord Megatron to get an Optimus trophy.
(he may have received the usual Optimus one as well... I couldn't see from where I was sitting)
Then just a quickly, he was ushered out of the hall again and was gone.

The next thing was the announcements of the other Hall of Fame winners, from the fan-vote.  This was done by a video presentation that was narrated by Frank Welker as Gen1 Megatron.
Favourite character - Prowl (beating Optimus Primal and Galvatron).
Favourite Combiner - Predaking (beating Devastator and Bruticus).
Favourite music - Vince Dicola (beating Anne Bryant and Wierd Al Yankovic).

The video of this can be seen on youtube here.

It was now a few minutes past 9pm and after about 20 minutes they started announcing the Art Contest winners.
The winners have been noted on the Art Display page.

There are three winners of each category, and each of those winners gets "show dollars", which they can only spend on the Sunday (after two days of all the best stuff being sold), and only if they are at the dinner to pick up their prize... which means FunPub are safe in knowing that they don't have to pay out much for their competitions.  Something they could rectify for an improved public image and incentive for people to enter competitions, if they offered a cash prize (of a smaller amount if they only want to pay out a couple hundred dollars), or the ability to use the Show Dollars on the Club website or the following BotCon.

The next contest category was Costumes... with the kids first.

There were four very nice robot costumes done/worn by kids this year - Cliffjumper, a transforming Smokescreen, Erector, Astrotrain.

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Smokescreen came first, Astrotrain second, and Cliffjumper third.

Next were the Adults.
It was a shame that the year FunPub finally awarded prizes for costumes was the year that had the worst turnout of costumes, and most of them being just coloured clothing to resemble a character.
Hopefully they don't decide to drop this category, because when we get some of the really creative robot costumes in a future year, they deserve to be rewarded for their efforts.

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The final four.  Tailgate came first, the Ninjika came second, and Carly came third.

A closer look at Smokescreen, who was parked near where I was standing to take the photos above.

At 9.45pm the dinner and awards were finished, and people started leaving because the only thing left was the charity auction.

I had a quick look over the items (took photos), and then went back to my room to change into more casual, comfortable clothing, before coming back before it had started... just to see how it played out.
(I wasn't intending to bid on anything)


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A couple of the Golden Ticket autograph cards from previous years.

These were hand-painted samples for this years BotCon toys... to get an idea how they would look in those colours. (I didn't realise that they did this, as I thought everything was just done on computer with the BotCon toys... and I'm surprised that they were letting go of some of them, as they should be archived for future displays)

Heaps of past BotCon toys... which makes you wonder how many they really produce, as every year they keep selling or auctioning off BotCon toys that were apparently sold out, and yet they just keep on coming.

Autographed art by Michael McConnohie and David Kaye.

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At 10.20pm Brian introduced a surprise auctioneer - John Moschitta.
This made it worth coming back to watch, as I thought it would just be Brian auctioning off the items, but with "Blurr" doing the job, it was a lot of fun hearing him doing it in a very fast voice.

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I made some video recordings of him, which I have put a couple of them on youtube here (introduction) and here (auctioning off Seacons).

It was a strange auction, as a number of items went really cheap because the number of people in the room were too small to have too many people competing for items. But then there would be other items that went for insanely expensive prices that were 2 or 3 times what they are worth or could be found online.

About 20 minutes later the auction was over, and the day had ended.

Just one more day left and it would be over for another year.


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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