The last couple days of the convention were so packed and hectic, I wasn't able to keep up a daily posting... so now that I'm back home and processing over 600 photos, I need to finish off the travel journal as well.
So, with Friday, Saturday and Sunday (and the journey home) left to talk about, here is part 4 - Friday 27th April.
I woke up at about 7am, which was pretty good (about 10 hours, thanks to no internet access the night before). It had me refreshed enough to make it through the rest of the weekend.
Breakfast was the cold pizza and calzones from the day before, which were still pretty good. (a great pizza is one that is just as good cold as it is hot)
Editing and uploading some more photos (so that I could post up Thursday's events on this blog), I ended up heading down to the convention about 90 minutes after it had started.
The first event/panel at 9am was a return of the MST team doing comedic voice-overs of Transformers episodes (this time, the Dubbed version of some JP Headmaster Episodes). Since I'm familiar with their work, and their hit-and-miss humour, I wasn't planning to sit through the entire 2 hours, so arrived at the panel room at about 10.40am.
It ran late, so the film fest started 15 minutes late... which then finished 20 minutes late itself.
In the panel room, one of the new features this year was reserve seating for "Golden Ticket" holders. The front three rows on the left, and the first row on the right... amounting to 90 seats for 75 GT holders. (many of whom weren't interested in the panels to use the seats - even the most popular panel (Hasbro panel) had about 40 seats empty.
After a short lunch break, the Collector Club had their presentation for the members magazine at 1pm.
That took us to almost 2pm, which was the start of the 3hour session of the Dealer Room for pre-registrants.
The crowd was already packed into the small space outside the main hall, forming a confusing mess of lines.
Amongst the crowd, one of the first costumes... a mini Optimus.
When the doors opened, this was what we were greeted with this year...
During the 3 hours, I took a heap of photos of the hall, the exhibits (not the art display - I did that Saturday morning) including Hasbro's toy display, watched a presentation by Activision of their new Transformers game later this year, and of course... shopping! :D
My priorities this year were TFPrime toys (to save money on what they will cost me back home - only found 2 though), Sth American TFs (only found one, but was on Sunday after I had spent all my cash), Motorvators (didn't see any), and anything Japanese (the regular two JP dealers were there, and as usual, I came away with some nice bits and pieces... albeit, small bits and pieces.
Probably my most exciting purchase this year, ended up being a GIJoe toy done in Starscream colours... which is kinda sad, but considering the amount of money I did spend this week, I'm not too upset. Disappointed, but not upset.
So what did I end up buying on the Friday?
- TFPrime Ratchet & Arcee (wave 2 - I couldn't find anything other than these two and Wave 1 figures... really disappointed about that).
- SDCC GIJoe Starscream for $135 (this was sold at SDCC last year for $50... ebay prices are mostly $150-250, and other dealers were scalping theirs for $200-250 - so it was good to find one a lot cheaper, and no shipping fee, because it is a HUGE box)
- JP TFPrime Skywarp (in case Hasbro doesn't release it and the price goes way up).
- United Wheeljack (only really collecting the "early Gen1" United toys to go with my Henkei collection)
- Kero Starscream (green/yellow EZ/Legends Starscream (because it looks so dodgy and fake, I had to have it)
- JP Device Label Cheetor/Cheetus (a low priority loose end, so grabbed it cheap, while not having to worry about shipping - unfortunately, within hours of getting it, I dropped SG Optimus on it, and the jaw broke)
- WST Bumblebee on Gen1 backing card (another low priority, but something I had a fascination in - just never wanted to spend too much on it and shipping before)
- JP store bonus items (a couple Micron/Targetmasters, the Swords for Movie Optimus, and a couple translucent Optimus EZ/Legends toys... because I love the odd translucent toy).
- Chase JP Armada/Micron Legend SCF figurine pre-Earth Ratchet (the dealer mustn't have realised it was a chase figure as he had it on a table of regular SCF figurines, all priced the same, so now I only have 2 of the 4 chase figures left to find).
- IDW TPB Vol 7 (the final TPB before the 2 ongoing series starts)
- JP Generations 2012 Vol1 (a welcome surprise, as it was only just released in Japan, and is often difficult to purchase online at a reasonable price)
- Dreamwave poster book (a really random item I found in a comic "bin", which archives most of the posters that Dreamwave produced during their 3 or 4 years). I also bought the BotCon 2006 comic, thinking that it was the one I'm missing, but found out when I got home that I'm missing the 2008 issue.
- The two BotCon lithos, signed, which weren't available the day before.
- Simon Furman's unreleased Dreamwave scripts (not in the photo above)
- And two freebie posters from Activision and Hasbro (TFPrime team & FOC Vortex)
Aside from a couple items on Sunday, that was pretty much it for me in the way of "BotCon Haul" for 2012. I didn't actually buy anything on the Saturday. I guess I was too busy in the panel room all day, and spent most of my money on Friday items (I didn't have a huge budget this year, and I lost a about a quarter of it because someone who owed me $330, thought it would be better to send it by paypal instead of directly into my account... so I didn't end up getting it in time to spend at BotCon).
In case I forget to mention it on one of the next postings, the other items I got this year:
- Sunday (the latest 9 Kabaya model kits featuring the Protectobots, & the non-BotCon edition of the 2011 comic)
- Monday (from the Target I was at on Wednesday - a plush Movie Optimus Truck)
When the dealer room closed up at 5pm, I went back to my room to upload photos and get myself ready for the "Golden Ticket Meet & Greet" at 7pm.
It was late to start (yes, there were a few late things this year, but not as bad as last year), and it looked like only 50 (two thirds) of the Golden Ticket holders were there. Which isn't surprising, as one of the features of the Golden Ticket is to have access to 3 times the exclusives... so those who bought a GT just to make extra money from the convention, had little interest in the other features (this dinner or the panels to use the reserve seating)
I wasn't expecting there to be a buffet dinner, as the event description sounded like it was just an opportunity for this small number of people to talk to the guests and have photos taken with them... and maybe drinks. The spread they put out was pretty decent, and a proper meal, as they didn't run out of anything... and more importantly, there was quite a variety of items - a roast, some Mexican, some Japanese and some grilled items, plus an assortment of drinks. (and a bar to buy alcoholic items)
The main feature of the night though, were the guests...
From left - Peter Cullen, Gary Chalk, Simon Furman, David Kaye, Dan Gilverzan, Buster Jones, Derrick Wyatt.
Peter Cullen left after about an hour, and I left about 30 minutes after that (filling up on some food and drinks before I left), as I didn't want to tire myself before the big weekend was about to begin.
As I left, I was given my bonus items from the event - a BotShots Optimus signed by Peter Cullen & an autograph sheet signed by everyone EXCEPT Peter Cullen (I can understand having him signing the toy, but the autograph card is spoiled by having everyone's name and photo, but not his signature)
For me though, being one who doesn't value or care much for autographs, this is a bonus I would otherwise not chase up... so it was a good thing for me to have someone else do all the work.
Back in my room, I was back on the computer and watching TV, until Midnight.
The alarm was set for about 7.30am (the Dealer Room was to open at 8.30am), but I ended up waking up about half an hour before the alarm.
But Saturday details will be in the next posting... as I'm still processing and uploading Saturday photos.