Botcon 2007

      My trip to (and from) Botcon was much better this year than last year. Last year I spent 24 miserable hours on a bus each way to go to Lexington, Kentucky. This year, I had just an hour drive to Providence, Rhode Island. This year I took the customizing class. It was a great experience to build a toy from scratch. The Classics Deluxe Grimlock I built, I left unpainted.

      Then there was the movie showing on Thursday night. One of the most amazing experiences of my life was seeing the movie in a theater full of fans. The Movie was awesome. I think we witnessed the birth of the next great film franchise, as Spider-Man, Shrek, and Pirates of the Caribbean come to a close, Transformers is ready to start making sequels. I just hope they don't wait too long. Friday morning was the Hasbro tour. This was great to get to see Hasbro's facility, and get a look at stuff they have never shown to the public. Below are some pictures from the tour.


      On the tour, we were shown a lot of great stuff. I'll hit some of the highlights. We were shown the gray prototype for the Movie Optimus Prime Voice Changing Helmet, as well as the original design Hasbro had before they knew what Optimus Prime would look like in the movie.


      Hasbro had a beautiful display of movie toys set up. The toys are sitting on rotating platforms. It would look really cool in my display room…too bad I'll have to settle for the picture.

      They also showed us some prototypes of toys that were never, or will never be released, though we can hope maybe they will change their mind. First up, are four fantastic prototypes for Titanium 6 inch toys, Cybertronian Mode Bumblebee, Cosmos, Arcee and Shockwave. I really hope Hasbro reconsiders and produces these. I'd even be happy if they made them all plastic and put them in the Classics line.



      We got to see some older prototypes as well. Pictured below is a Transmetal Fractyl prototype for the Universe line. The big white thing was the original design for the Energon Optimus Prime trailer. We saw a repaint of Laser Optimus Prime for the Universe line. Apparently, it was just too expensive to make it this way.


      On the bottom shelf of the display case was the infamous Robots in Disguise Optimus Prime remolded and repainted into Defensor. This was of course supposed to be the third exclusive for OTFCC 2004, but was not produced, as we would later find out, due to the slow collapse of 1H Enterprises. If Fun Publications is listening, PLEASE MAKE THIS TOY!

      Aaron Archer talked to us about how the Movie characters were created. Apparently, Dreamworks designed the robots then sent them to Hasbro. Hasbro then worked with them to refine them into what Transformers are supposed to be, and what we saw in the movie. Below is the evolution of Optimus Prime. Click the picture for a better view.

      This was on a shelf in the model room. I'm not sure exactly what it is. It seems to be some kind of award, or maybe just a display item made for Hasbro, I don't know, but it looked really cool.


      I have to give Hasbro credit they went all out this year. I had hoped for the last few months, that maybe the movie Optimus Prime big rig that had been on tour at various film festivals would be there. I got my picture taken with him. Standing next to Optimus Prime was like a dream come true.

      I, as always, had a table in the dealer room. Here are my parents at the table. They made the short trip this year. From a dealer's standpoint, I thought it was a great show, there were plenty of people, and it never seemed to die down for more than a few minutes, and things picked back up.

      In the middle of the dealer room, in front of the Hasbro booth, was a huge statue of Optimus Prime. Again I have to say, Hasbro went all out.

      The last big event of the convention was the Saturday Party. As I understand it, Hasbro put on the party. It was fantastic. Stan Bush was great, the food was great, what more can you ask for.

      Anyway, now we have to wait to find out where the next Botcon will be, and even more importantly when. I hope the move to holding Botcon in June/July is permanent. To me it makes a lot more sense, since Transformers is far bigger for Hasbro than GI Joe right now. They'll probably move it back to September/October. Only time will tell.

      Here's a list of what I got at Botcon 2007. A number of items came from target and Wal-Mart, as I was able to hit a few of them during the weekend.