BOTCON - SORTA NEAR CHICAGO
(griffin's 2015 BotCon adventure)
It was about 1pm when I got to the Indianapolis Children's Museum, which is on the north side of Indianapolis.
At least I knew I was at the right place with this big banner on the
And a rival banner on the walkway joining the carpark with the Museum.
At the front, with a couple of Dinosaurs trying to get in.
And another angle.
By the side of the entrance was a garden of sculptures of the Seven
Wonders of the World, which I had a closer look when I came back out of
Inside the main foyer was a giant Bumblebee on a rotating platform...
well, the backside was facing me when I first entered the Museum.
You can see the two dinosaurs that were outside, poking their heads
in through the glass.
Over to one side was a painted vehicle from one of the sponsors.
The museum entry was $21.50 for non-member adults, and the Transformers
exhibit was only small inside the museum, but it was worth it, as I was
in there for 3 hours and could have been in there longer if it didn't feel
so uncomfortable being a single adult male among all the young children
As such, I had to be really careful with what I was taking photos of to make sure that there weren't any kids being aimed at (which wasn't easy to do), or even look directly at any children in case that look is seen by the wrong person and they assume the worst.
The perverts have ruined these sorts of things for us adult toy-fans.
So I got my ticket and program guide book, and went through the ticket
These were the three featured exhibits that were on at the time I was there. With two being toy related and the third being movie related, this was definitely going to be worth it.
The first thing you see when you pass through the ticket gate is this
big water feature.
Can you guess what it does?
It's actually a clock... and it says 2.52(pm), which was the time I
actually took this photo.
Yes, the small bulbs on the right fill every 2 minutes, while the big bulbs on the left fill at the end of each hour while the small bulbs empty to start another hour of filling.
Near the "clock" is the Gift-shop... which actually had a door before
the ticket gate, so it was probably possible to go into the gift-shop and
then go into the museum without paying for a ticket.
In the window of the gift-shop was this nice little display for Transformers, with Bumblebee and Sideswipe guarding Steeljsaw.
There were HEAPS of Transformers in this shop. Seriously, there
were more toys in this museum shop than EVERY retail store I checked out
while in America, which was at least 20 stores. If it was a couple
months ago, I would have walked out with a lot of toys. Even though
they were a little more expensive than retail stores, they were still cheaper
than Australian pricing, and cheaper than buying from an American source
and paying for postage.
Apparently HotSpot and Cyclonus were only very new to America, and very
few people had found them (I didn't see either of them at any Retail store).
On the left below the figurines are the licensed Hex-Bugs that came
out last year, but never came to Australia.
Some novelty items - coffee mug, sipper cups, lollypops, candy tins,
and Metal Earth models (at the back).
At the end of the day I bought some items, which included the four Metal
Earth model kits.
Plus the candy tins and lollypop.
I love the candy tins, but the Sours were not soft jubes that I was
expecting. They had hard candy in them that look like ecstasy tablets,
with a symbol embossed on each round, coloured "tablet".
And something else I bought that I really love - freeze-dried icecream.
Up to level two, the three special exhibits were on this floor, which
was the three featured above in the program booklet. Naturally Transformers
was the first one I'd be checking out.
The main entrance foyer.
Inside the foyer you could take a photo with the two leaders, who each
had a leg that is actually standing separate from the wall image, for you
to stand partially behind to look like you are standing with the robot.
But you have to be standing in the right spot to make sure that the leg lines up with the background image.
But the Megatron leg was not glued to the floor in the right spot....
....so you have to be at a really tight angle to get it to line up properly.
But you get the idea behind the separate leg for a 3-D effect with your
And the two doorways that kids can choose their allegiance. I
recall them making a sound when you walk through, but can't remember what
Who are the Mythbusters... um, Transformers.
Just through the doorways are a couple of signs to explain what is in
the Exhibit, and credits.
A wall hanging of various Gen1 Marvel comic covers.
In a display case just inside the doorways, was the movie prop that
should be the same one that was on display at
the Transformers Experience at Universal Studios last year.
And behind that is a display of assorted toys from all over the 30 years
of Transformers, from all around the world.
Finally, into the main room of the exhibit.
The centrepiece is an Optimus statue... but not as big as the "life
size" Bumblebee at the main entrance.
A Beast Wars display, with six different scenes from the cartoon, and
button for each to play the actual cartoon scene while a spotlight shines
on the applicable toys.
Considering the legacy of the original series, it is probably surprising that Beast Wars was featured in this exhibit as the only non-recent series to have a significant part of the exhibit. The other series heavily featured are all current Transformers series - Movie, RID, and Rescue Bots.
Something obscure to catch the eyes of kids and parents who probably
think it is gold or gold-plated - a Lucky Draw golden coloured toy, which
are super-rare (most Lucky Draw golden toys are 5 or less).
Expensive and fragile, but very hypnotic to look at. (and I don't value them enough to pay thousands of dollars just so I can say that I have one in my collection)
Off to one side is a Camaro done up to look like TF3 (I think) Movie
Bumblebee. It doesn't look like it is an actual movie car, but is set up
so that it can talk and flash lights for a daily live show (talking to
a human host of the show).
The show was on while I was there, which helped me take a lot of photos
of other parts of the exhibit while all the kids were away watching this
guy talking to a car... who was talking back.
Some of the displays around the walls, with comments by collectors (mostly
Karl Hartman) and Hasbro Designers.
I thought they had more than that. (If that is true, I never thought I'd ever have a bigger collection than the Hartmans.)
The smaller sign says that it was designed in 2011, by the VEE Corporation.
It looks like it could actually transform into a car with all that odd
kibble on the back... but according to the details below, this was a 6-month
process, which I would hope it got more than one useage before it was stuck
in the display case.
This was a fun interactive thing for the kids, which was difficult for
me to photograph without it looking like I was taking photos of someone
else's kid playing with it.
Basically it is motion-capture, with you being represented on screen as Bumblebee, and you go through swatting Decepticons with your hands.
I want one now for my home.
This was an enclosed activity room, which has certain staffed events
throughout the day.
I was too late to see what the 1pm session wasabout, and didn't remember
to come back to see what the 3pm session was about.
Inside the room though were four mini-display cases, of some toys from
the four decades of Transformers.
One of the play stations has the RID 3-step toys, and a chart showing
the three steps between each mode.
This was a display of Soundwave toys over the years.
Rescue Bots were featured for the really young kids.
Including three play tables with Rescue Bots toys and dioramas of places
in the cartoon.
That's the end of Part One (there were too many photos to have all in one page, so that people aren't waiting as long to download the pages to read them)
The next part covers the design process for Transformers, some prototypes on display, and then over to the Hot Wheels Exhibit.
Go to Part Two here
Or - Return to Thursday
Or - Return to main index page
OZFORMERS - The Australian
(and Asia) Transformers Fansite for News and Interaction (started way
back in 1996)
BotCon website - The official Collector Club and Convention website
To contact me --> griffin @ otca.com.au