The second convention, Botcon 95, was held August 5-6, 1995 in Dayton, Ohio. I did go to Botcon 95, and it was a great time.
Botcon 96 was held in Chicago, Illinois July 12-14, 1996. I also went to Botcon 96, but I found it somewhat disappointing, especially in comparison to Botcon 95. This had a lot to do with the poor organization of the show by Men in Black Collectibles. Little did anyone know what great things were on the horizon for Botcon.
Prior to Botcon 97, 3H Enterprises (Jon and Karl Hartman and Glen Hallit) was formed. Botcon 97 was held July 18-20, 1997 in Rochester, New York. Botcon 97 was an incredible weekend. Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime was there! Other guests included Simon Furman, Andrew Wildman Venus Terzo, David Kaye, and Bob Forward. A Semi-Formal Dinner to open the convention on Friday was a great addition, and the Stan Bush and Vince DiCola Concert still stands , in my opinion, as one of the best events ever.
Botcon 98 was held June 19-21, 1998 in sunny Anaheim, California. It was incredible! The highlight of the weekend was a live script reading by guests, Susan Blu, Gary Chalk, David Kaye, Scott McNeil and Doug Parker, with sound effects by Vince DiCola. Larry DiTillio, Bob Forward, Simon Furman, and Andrew Wildman were there as well.
Botcon 99 was held July 16-18, 1999, in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was another great show. Jim Byrnes and Scott McNeil were there, and it was a great time.
Botcon 2000 was held in Fort Wayne, Indiana, July 28-30, 2000. It was great. The best part of the weekend for me was the theatrical showing of Transformers: The Movie, the first time it has been seen on a big screen since 1986. It was like being 10 years old again. It was a very special event, and even if it is repeated at future Botcons, I'll never forget this one. The return of the Friday night Semi-Formal Dinner was great. The guests were Ian James Corlett, Vince DiCola, John Moschitta, Venus Terzo, and Alex Willows.
Botcon 2001 was held in Durham, North Carolina, July 14-15, 2001. Yet another great show. Saturday night, there was a concert, and the guests were Michael Bell, Gregg Berger, Garry Chalk, Paul Davids, Vince DiCola, Gary Falcone, Simon Furman, Scott McNeil, and John Stephenson.
Botcon 2002 was held in Fort Wayne, Indiana, July 26-28, 2002. For me the highlight this year was the announcement of a new official Transformers Fan Club. It was also announced that Botcon was no longer going to be the "Unofficial" Transformers Convention. Little did we know at the time just what that meant. Guests included Dreamwave Productions, Richard Epcar, Bob Forward, Simon Furman, Dick Gautier, Neil Kaplan, Steve Kramer, Wayne "Wankus" Lewis, Michael McConnohie, Peter Spellos, and Tom Wyner.
Following Botcon 2002, some very unfortunate events occurred. I am not gong to go into details, I have heard many things, as I am sure many other long time fans have. To put it simply, 3H Enterprises was stolen by Glean Hallit. Jon and Karl Hartman were forced out of the company.
Botcon Europe 2002 was held November 3rd, 2002 in Chestnut, England. I did not attend. The guests were Simon Furman, Neil Kaplan, Wayne "Wankus" Lewis.
The split up of 3H Enterprises meant no Botcon in 2003. Instead, 3H Productions (Formerly 3H Enterprises) held the Official Transformers Collectors Convention (OTFCC), on July 25-27, 2003, in Chicago Illinois. Guests in attendance were David Kaye, Gary Chalk, Gregg Berger, Simon Furman, Dreamwave Productions, and Devil's Due Publishing. While Hasbro had attended many past conventions, this was the first time they had a major display of coming products.
In 2004, Botcon Productions (Jon and Karl Hartman and Peter Sinclair) held Botcon 2004 in Pasadena, California on June 19-20, 2004. This was a great show. It was worth getting on an airplane for. The guests were Bob Prupis, Alison Segebarth, Wally Burr, Peter Cullen, Paul Davids, Flint Dille, Dreamwave Productions, Dan Gilvezan, Bryce Malek, Michael McConnohie, Tadao Tomomatsu, and David Wise.
Also in 2004, 3H Productions held OTFCC 2004 in Chicago, Illinois, July 31-August 1. Guests included Michael McConnohie, Bob Budiansky, Guido Guidi, Anthony Beard, Dan Gilvezan, Simon Furman, Andrew Wildman, Vince DiCola, and Scott McNeil.
Following the end of OTFCC (Thank Primus!), Fun Publications was awarded the license to hold Botcon. They elected to hold Botcon 2005 and Botcon 2006 in September. The reasons given make me question the commitment they have to the Transformers fan community. However, that said, I will say they have put on two very good shows.
Botcon 2007 was the biggest Transformers event ever! The Hasbro tour, the movie showing, Peter Cullen, Botcon 2007 was awesome. I'm still not a fan of some of Fun Publications policies, I don't like how they do registration, or have some exclusives that are not pre-sold, and I hate the way to do dealer tables, but all that said, they do put on one hell of a show.
The location of Botcon 2008 has not yet been announced, but I'm sure it will be another great show.