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


- THURSDAY  18th  JUNE -

6am - managed to sleep "late" this morning... but I had the alarm set anyway, because it was the second day of activities and I was doing the Custom Class today, which is something you can't be late for.

On the way to the Custom Class a little after 7.30am, I passed by the signage at the Hotel Lobby, which had altered its departure time for those doing the "Tour" because of the bad weather.
It was raining again this morning, and the forecast was for showers all day, which wouldn't be good for the on-off bus, as you either get wet on the top deck, or you don't see much on the lower deck.

8am-4pm - Custom Class (St Charles Salon 3-4)
8am-4.30pm - On-Off Bus Tour (Mega Center Entrance) (I did this on the Tuesday)

I was finished building and painting my toy by 1pm and headed back to the room, to upload photos and do postings on the Ozformers fansite.

Fatbot was going through some of the room trading listings from TFW2005 postings and the noticeboard in the main Lobby... and we decided to check out some before the Club Store opened to Golden Ticket Holders at 5pm.  We headed up the tower to a couple of rooms on the 4th floor, and the first one was very hostile when I asked if I could take a photo, so I won't even make mention of them anywhere in this adventure.
The second room was by one of the long-time dealers of BotCon (the guy in the corner with the hat), and you can see that he has a massive selection of toys, parts and comics.
This room is pretty awesome isn't it.
It is amazing how much stuff some people have carted up to their rooms, and would then cart most of it back down to the Dealer Room on Friday... or just did room trading if they didn't have a dealer table (or were selling unauthorised toys, which were banned from the Dealer Room this year).
Part of the fun of the convention is spending most of the nights checking out dozens of rooms of toys, even if you don't buy anything... it is just so much eye-candy.

 

5pm - Access to Club Store

About 15 minutes before 5pm, there was only about 20 Golden Ticket people queued up for the Club Store inside the tent extention of the Mega Center, and there were already a few dozen Early Bird Primus people queued up outside for their 6pm access to the Club Store.

A little after 5pm the Golden Ticket people were let in, and separated into Credit Card and Cash payment lines.
Being close to the start of the line and using cash to be the third person in that line, I was through within minutes and back at my room at around 5.30pm, to take some photos.
The rest of the photos below were either taken later in the weekend, or at home, or are from the BotCon website (and noted).

Outside the Dealer Room (which had the Club Store), was the Club display case with this year's BotCon toys and various other Club exclusives.

The boxset and attendee figures.

Diaclone 2-pack and Gen2 2-pack.

Waruder 4-pack.

Other items.

The order form for this year.  The limits were short-lived, and the Golden Ticket voucher for getting triple the limits was also redundant, as they were allowing for unlimited purchasing by the next day. That usually doesn't happen until the Saturday.

Official images from the BotCon site.
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Even the boxset was still available.

This year's litho poster, which didn't make sense to me until the Club Panel on Saturday, which said that it was the covers to the five Club Magazine compilation books joined together.  It looks nice, but saves them the expense of comissioning art for a litho poster this year.

The autograph cards for this year. (images from BotCon site)
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What they look like in person.

They were also available as uncut sheets (images from BotCon site)

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And some were available as mini-posters... unfortunately the top of the image was cut off, with Wheelie and Blades being worst affected.

(images from BotCon website, showing the full "Frank Welker" image but smaller, and the other mini-poster that was available)
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The autograph cards were again sold with one of two "chase" cards, making it four to collect.  This time though, the chase cards were done on a metallic/shiny card like some real trading cards.

This was the four chase cards, that were available to buy as an uncut sheet. (image from BotCon site)

Close-up photo.

The two that I got was Gen2 Optimus and Red Sunstreaker.  This photo also shows what the backs of the cards had on them (the BotCon 2015 logo).

Also available, for the GIJoe fans, a mini-poster version of the GIJoe Autograph card. (image from BotCon site)

And some non-BotCon items for sale.
The recently released Club Store exclusive toy. I waited until BotCon to get it as I don't trust FunPub with international postage anymore after they were found to be profiteering from the postage by not declaring or refunding excessive over-payments (but chased up people for a few dollars of under-payment).

This year's Membership toy... which looks like it was being given out to people who registered at the Convention.  I wonder if that means they don't get the 2016 toy, even though they will be a paid member at the March date that guarantees the 2016 toy.  If they don't, they'd then have to buy it from the Club Store and have to wait two years until their next Membership toy (which would be sent out at around May/June 2017).
The pricing certainly makes it worth joining if they were giving them out to walk-ins joining this weekend, as it is just another $6 for the cheap US membership, and that wouldn't even cover postage on your membership items... not to mention all the "discounts" you are elligible for (although, the discounted prices are the most common prices people pay so that would be the standard profit-making price, and the non-discount pricing to the minority of customers is bonus profit).

The Diamond Edition version of the 2014 BotCon comic.  It comes out around December each year, but I wait until the following BotCon to get it.

For those unaware, the last issue of the Club Magazine had two cover versions, and if you wanted both, you could buy the cover that you didn't receive, at the Club Store (or online).  Fortunately mine still hadn't arrived before I left for BotCon, so I didn't even have to worry about deciding about getting the alternate cover, because I didn't know which to buy. (and the magazine or cover page isn't worth an extra US$5 plus tax)

The items I bought for myself this year.
Gen2 2-pack, Diaclone 2-pack, Waruder 4-pack, Kreo pack, Galva Convoy unpainted toy, Nova Prime, Litho poster, Frank Welker mini-poster, both Autograph card sets, Lio Convoy (mine was still in the mail, and since I can sell that one off, I bought one at the Club Store because I couldn't wait), 2014 BotCon comic.

And items I bought for others on the first day.  There was such a huge drop in the interest this year of BotCon toys, I didn't get my full allowance of triple the limits and I was still worried about being stuck with unwanted toys. Fortunately by the end of the weekend everything but the LioConvoy was taken, and I had to buy an extra two items.  That's about half of the number of toys I bought for others in the last 2-3 BotCons.

Photos of the toys, taken when I got back home.

The Gen2 2-pack - General Optimus and Sergeant Hound, with Dia (orange) and Cline (blue).

Gen2 Dirtbag (which was going to be recoloured as Gen2 Optimus, but cancelled), and BotCon Optimus (homaging the unproduced Gen2 toy).

Gen2 Roadblock (which was going to be recoloured as Gen2 Hound, but cancelled), and BotCon Hound (homaging the unproduced Gen2 toy).

Biocards

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The Diaclone 2-pack - Lift-Ticket and Burn Out.

How the pair should have looked, but for some reason, their Diaclone drivers were packed in with the Gen2 toys.  Either it was a mix-up at the factory or it was intentional to get people to buy the Gen2 pair to complete this pair.

Generations Hoist and BotCon Lift-Ticket (homaging the pre-Transformers Hoist toy)

Generations Skids with BotCon Burn Out (homaging the pre-Transformers Skids toy).

Biocards

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Waruder 4-pack - Mudfighter/orange (w/ Thrasher/black), Parasite/purple (w/ Ripper/blue), Storm Rider/red (w/ Crusher/red), Paralyzer/white (w/ Buzzer/yellow)
If you ever get any of these four toys, be aware that ALL the heel-spurs are loose, which means you have to lean them forward to prevent them from falling backwards. (this is why most of mine have their butts sticking out in the photos below)
At least, all four of mine had loose heel-spurs... and I couldn't be that unlucky to have the only faulty toy from each of the four production runs of these four toys.
Okay, I am usually that unlucky, but the odds on this occasion would make it pretty amazing (in a bad way) if that had happened.

Waruders with Generations Waspinator.

Foxkids Transmetal Waspinator with BotCon Mudfighter (coloured to homage the Foxkids Waspinator)

BotCon Bugbite, Ehobby Bugbite, BotCon Paralizer (coloured to homage Bugbite).

The four Diaclone drivers, with the Generations Bugly (purple) and Waspinator (green) in the middle.

Biocards

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Kreo pack - Gen1 cartoon Autobot X, Gen1 comic Robotmaster, Gen1 cartoon Nightbird, Gen1 cartoon Doctor Arkeville, Animated Sentinel Prime, Animated The Headmaster.

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After going through out items to see how many people back home were now covered, and taking some photos, Fatbot and I went over to Walmart at around 6.30pm to check out if the toys had been restocked yet, and grab a couple of food and drink items.

7.30pm - back at the room and back onto the computer to check the messageboards.
Asleep by around 10pm.

My accumulative Haul at the end of Thursday.


Go to next day - Friday 19th June.

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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