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


- FRIDAY  19th  JUNE -

5am - Up early again, for the first proper day of the convention, with the first Panel starting at 10am, so plenty of time to fill.
I spent the morning typing up my Hasbro and FunPub questions, after having a brainwave of using the Hotel's business centre to print them up to give to them if deemed necessary. (I was supposed to do it before I left home but ran out of time so was just going to use my notes)
Just before 9.30am I finished both pages of questions and uploaded them to my server (as I didn't have a USB, and I didn't want to take my computer to the printer in case it wasn't possible to plug it into my computer).
When I got to the business centre there was a staff-member there working on the printer.  He said that it was currently out of order and should be fixed later today.  He then told me that the front desk should be able to print up something for me... so I headed over to the front desk and gave them the web address of my text file and they printed it out.
Awesome... after a slight hiccup, my plan had worked.
Or, so I thought.
It wasn't until a couple hours later that I realised that the text file was printed without word-wrapping, which cut off all the sentances that were more than one line long.
I would have to try again later in the day, preferably before I get to the Hasbro display in the Dealer Room when it opens at 2pm.

I got to the Panel Room just before 10am and queued up outside the door, and waited...
Yes, they were late to start again this year, being 10 minutes late... but the first panel was short so finished early.

10am - PANEL Club Magazine - Pete Sinclair hosting (St. Charles Ballroom)
11am - PANEL Filmfest - fan film submissions, hosted by Lanny.

There were no entries this year so they played a selection of entries from previous years.  Not the best ones though as I was hoping to see certain ones that were very popular, and instead they showed some that were not very good.
We had a few technical issues this year, but after we got through the past fan videos they played another Smoov/Ng video, with Stan Bush music.


At about 11.50am Hasbro's Ben and Jerry (above) played some scrapped RID Animatics - pencilled storyboards that have been voiced but never animated. (this cartoon has the vocals recorded first and is then drawn)
I don't know if they were ever planned to be part of the cartoon, or if these will be officially released.  They were titled...
Alien - The Autobots think they have been invaded by monsters, but realise that it just someone snoring.
Backfire - Fixit farting.
Best Friends - Fixit and a toy bunny that Grimlock has.
Steeljaw - waking up in the morning and warming up his scary voice.
Meter Maid - Bumblebee trying to avoid a parking ticket by moving each time the meter maid looks away.

noon - PANEL Behind the Characters - Derrick Wyatt talks about Animated
1pm - PANEL Birth of Transformers - Kojin Ono's 30+ years designing Transformers in Japan (WARNING - Big page of photos)
2-5pm - Dealer Room open (Mega Center)

As soon as the last panel finished, I headed straight over to the Dealer Room to get ready for the openning as the Golden Ticket Holders can jump to the head of the queue... which was good as the queue was already growing... going off to the left, and then back to the side of the building on the right and heading up into the background.

First I went over to the Hartmans tables, hoping to find the Playskool Gobots that I was missing, but unfortunately they didn't.
I did end up buying the final Built-To-Rule set I was missing (Energon Starscream) and a replacement Spychanger Mirage (the gun on mine was broken). Plus another copy of the 2004 BotCon program guide because Peter Cullen had defaced mine with some writing. (only kidding, it's his autograph on the front of mine)

I then bought a Generations Ultra Magnus from BBTS and headed back to my room to drop them off and also pick up my ticket for the Frank Welker photo, as I realised that I didn't grab it in the morning when I left the room.

Back to the Legends Room a little after 3pm with Fatbot to get our photo taken with Frank Welker.  It took about half an hour to get to our turn, but when we did it was a very fast-paced process... in one door, stand, face camera, out the other door to wait for your photo to be printed... and it was all over before you knew it.

At least Dispensor got to meet the voice of his idol.

Now, to try to get my questions file printed (again). I went back to the room to drop off the photo, and headed back to the Business Centre.
I was able to figure out how to get my text file to print with word-wrapping, but when I tried to print, the Printer had an error, saying that the ink cartridge was empty.
Okay... yet another issue.
So I go back to the front desk and get them to reprint my text file, but this time giving the lady instructions on how to make sure it word-wraps.  Eight pages later, and I had my printed questions ready to hand to Hasbro and FunPub if they wanted them.

It was now closing in on 4pm and I went straight back to the Dealer Room, starting off with the Hasbro display... taking photos and asking questions, and grabbing a mini-poster for the upcoming Devastation game.

Hovering around the Hasbro display was Transformers designer Kojin Ono... who posed for a photo with Dispensor.

5pm - dealer room closed for the day, and I headed back to the room.
I was really amazed, but not surprised, at how empty the dealer room was all afternoon.  Also not surprising was that I hardly saw anyone buying anything from the Club Store each time I went past it... despite there being signage up saying that people could buy unlimited numbers of exclusives a day earlier than usual.

On the way back to the room I saw the Frank Welker Autograph line being really long and would be another couple hours, and it had me thinking that the people on the Saturday session were going to be missing out on a lot of things while waiting in a queue for 2-3 hours.

Fatbot and I headed to the Room above the Theatre for the Golden Ticket Dinner Reception just after 7.30pm, and it had just started.

7:30pm - Golden Ticket Dinner Reception

9pm - Back at the room.
11pm - Sleep.

The cumulative haul so far.


Go to next day - Saturday 20th 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