Welcome to Unicron.com's coverage of Botcon 2012. As usual, the convention consisted of Transformers customizing classes, convention exclusive figures, exhibit floor overflowing with Transformers and of course dozens of lines a half a mile long each! (Actually, they've been getting better and better at managing crowd control. And with the number of people growing more and more every year, the organizers did a very fine job...)
Transformers Collector Club Panel:
After the usual discussion of what's happened lately with Botcon and Fan Club, etc., organizers announce they will starting a “Figure Subscription Service.” Although the details/logistics haven't been fully worked out, the estimates are that it will be an annual service (pay 1/year) and they will ship 1 figure every 2 months. They are only going to produce an equal number that are ordered. (The implication being, keep an eye on those after-market values. They could go sky high for those that don't enroll in time. Pictures were shown of the figures to be released (seen within the gallery below.)
The first 6 figures have bee planned, at they showed photographs photo-shopped images of the recolors... Some are recolors, others retools...
- G1 Breakdown, recolored version of Generations Sideswipe.
- Jackpot: recolor of Animated Jazz. Designs by Derrick Wyatt.
- RID Scourge: recolored version of Generatons G2 Optimus Prime
- SLIPSTREAM!!! Retool of deluxe 1st edition Starscream. New molded head
- Circuit: a recolor of ROTF Lockdown, (was a European Action Master…)
- Ultra Mammoth: a recolor of Beast Wars Neo, Big Convoy…
- Depth Charge: Cybertron mode --fabulous looking recolor of HFTD Terradive.
Hasbro Brand Panel:
Unlike previous years, Hasbro seems to be cutting back more and more with what they reveal at their brand panel. Further there was only one Hasbro presentation, versus the 2-3 they've had in previous years. There was actually not a ton of new information that we hadn't heard before (like at ToyFair) presented. A summary is outlined below.
- Transformers the Ride: May 24th 2012 in Univ. Studios Hollywood – Showed Evac characer art, and new deluxe Evac. Created in conjunction with Michael Bay / studios. Various exclusives for Universal Studios.
- Prime DVD/blue ray out now...
- RescueBots: nothing new discussed here. Just that it exists...
- KRE-O: nothing new announced since ToyFair...
- (TFP) Robots in Disguise Deluxe Wave: photos shown of Arachnid, Dead End, and Nighty-night (Shadow Strike) Bumblebee --no other reveals. Edit --aparently they showed photos of Deluxe Kup and Rumble.
--There was not mention and no showings of forthcoming TFP Voyager figures such as Ratchet or Breakdown...
- Generations: Voyager Thundertron from the new pirate faction, depicted in Transformers Exiles (soft cover novel)… He is the captian of this faction… looks like a blue white wolf. He looks a little like Snarl from the Unicron Trilogy series. His photo was shown next to the siloette image of 2 other Voyager toys --still unknown.
- Cyberverse another Commander Class figure in wave 3 w/ Ironhide, they showed Ultra Magnus...
- 2013 Sneak Peak: Legion Arachnid, grey models w/ colors and paint scheme…
- Bot Shots launhers Ironhide w/ saws… Wave 2 Skyquake, jetfire powerglide. Another 3pk.. Decepticons w/ Shockwave...
- 2012 TRU Exclusive. Masterpiece Optimus Prime, looks great, goal was to get him as close as humanly possible to G1 (TFTM specifically) INCLUDES (G1-style transforming) trailer, Roller and human Spike… Crowd liked this!
- Then Generations 2013 Sneak Peak: Fall of Cybertron Kickback modeled after comics universe Insecticons which infested Cybertron, looks GREAT! -wild crowd response to this one. During their presentation he was presented as a Generations Deluxe figure, but in the display case he seemed considerably bigger, at least Voyager size. We'll see. They also showed images Fall of Cybertron: Starscream (in color, looked great), Ultra Magnus (a FoC Optimus w/ retooled head, color scheme). Fireflight (a retool FoC Shockwave w/ sword/sci.)
- New scale for Generations:
- VOYAGER SOUNDWAVE! Includes Data disks! Laserbeak, Ravage, Rumble/Frenzy (blue) can store 3 data disks. There will be a Soundblaster recolor.
- Still no mention of Fall of Cybertron Dinobots officially, though the crowd shouted it out. Then began chants for "ALL FIVE! ... ALL FIVE! ... ALL FIVE! ... ALL FIVE!
- Generations Legends: More data disks for Soundwave: Frenzy, Rumble, Ratbat and Ravage... Crowd goes crazy!
- SDCC Exclusive Decepticon Bruticus: color schemes based much more on G1 and Fall of Cybertron game. Then a discussion of how the (stunningly awesome) packaging was developed.
- Then another the next SDCC exclusive… A lot more paint-aps, super decoed’ very highly detailed Zombie Cliffjumper. Remolded head. The packaging is the zombie head Cliffjumper. Seriously impressive!
- Correct color Bruticus to be sold at mass retail anywhere? No. But bright colors in store
- iTunes Season 2? No comment w/o Hasbro Studios
-Transformation alone is not always a way to attract new toy buyers. Needed an expanded play value.
- No unreleased movie three toys (back burner) --Movie Trilogy line is dead (for now)
- Original 13 toys originally 1 per year. A.A. originally thought the books would be out more quickly. Still in the plans.
- Universal Studio exclusives, currently only at Uni.Stud. with the rides (for now)
- Generations line eventually a place for characters from Novel, IDW Comics…
- Reveal the Shield Rumble & Frenzy in a toy line soon? “A resounding I don’t know.”
- FOC Dinobot toys? “We’re not ready to say anything at this point. But there is no doubt that we know that this character is going to be extremely cool in the game and everybody’s going to want one.” All 5? – “… talk to him.” More "ALL FIVE" chants from crowd.
- Generations Springer and Arcee? Arcee – no, Arcee focing on TFP. Springer – “On the short list”
- Ironhide toy seen in Cyberverse. Will he be in the Prime TV show? Not in the show, but maybe other media… just wait and see.
- No Current plans for unreleased TFA figures
- Why did US get short changed for TFP first edition? Several First Edition figures at the top of their list to try to get released in one way or another.
-If Hasbro Toy Shop is still a viable market for toy releases, why can’t anything that goes to market, why can’t they also be sold on HTS.com? Because we want to honor retailer arrangements, and not undercut them by offering everything online.
Hasbro - High Moon Studios/Activision Panel
In my opinion, one of the more interesting panels at this year's convention was the Activision/Fall of Cybertron presentation. In addition to video game development and marketers from Activision, Aaron Archer, Hasbro IP was on hand to talk about his vision for the new "aligned continuity" and how stories from the game interconnect with continuity of Transformers: Prime, the novels (Exodus and Exiles). In addition, we were impressed with the level of thought and energy that has gone into imagining the history and environments of Cybertron. See for yourself in the videos below.
Transformers Hall of Fame: Dinner/Awards Dinner
For many of us, a huge highlight of the convention was the Transformers Hall of Fame dinner ceremony. Shown below you'll see us, the Lukis brothers, along with a few of the site administrators Sabrblade (Miles -center) and TriPredRavage (Cliff middle, right) joining in the festivities. Personally, I was a little shocked when they announced the winner of the Fan's Choice award was Wheeljack! What did you think of that? --It's the first time a G1 character has won the contest. That he actually beat out Beast Wars Megatron, Sky-byte, and Arcee (of all Generations...!) Wow. We were all moved when a daughter of the late Chris Latta (G1 Starscream) gave her acceptance speech, on behalf of her father. It was a great moment.