Wednesday 6 January 2016

My 30 years of toys - Display Case 23 (MOTU)

Well, this is it... the final Display Case of my "30 year" Toy Collection, but it isn't a Display Case of Transformers.
It is Display Case 23 (which no one seem to notice was skipped), and it is my first action figure toy love before Transformers - Masters of the Universe.
I never owned any of them as a kid, but I remember playing with other kids' MOTU toys before I got my first Transformers toy in 1985.
There was just something about the He-Man toys with all their accessories, plus the melding of medieval swords with technology and
magic, and the mini-comics that came with the toys that captivated my imagination. Later when I grew up, I hunted down as many as I could of
the original series... and a few of the more interesting ones from the newer series of toys, with particular interest on the toys of characters that never had toys before.

Thankyou for viewing this presentation, and I hope it was worth it. If you missed anything, the collection can be found at this website.

Top of display case - playsets

1982 -
Castle Grayskull
1983 -
Point Dread & Talon Fighter
1984 -
Snake Mountain
1985 -
Fright Zone
1986 -
Slime Pit

Shelf 1 - Heroes (accessories on lower shelf)

1982 -
He-Man, Man-At-Arms, Zodac, Teela, Stratos
1983 -
Man-E-Faces, Ram-Man
1984 -
MOTU - Battle Armor He-Man, Prince Adam, Buzz-Off, Fisto, Orko, Mekaneck
POP - She-Ra, Bow
1985 -
Thunder Punch He-Man, Moss Man, Roboto, Sy-Klone
1986 -
MOTU - Rio Blast, Snout Sput, Extendar
Stonedar, Rokkon
1987 -
MOTU - Sorceress
Movie - Gwildor

Shelf 2 - Villains (accessories on lower shelf)

1982 -
Skeletor, Beast Man, Mer-Man
1983 -
Tri-Klops, Trap-Jaw, Evil-Lyn, Faker
1984 -
MOTU - Battle Armor Skeletor, Webstor, Jitsu, Whiplash, Clawful, Kobra Khan
POP - Catra
1985 -
MOTU - Two-Bad, Stinkor, Spikor
Horde - Hordak, Leech, Grizzlor, Mantenna, Modulok
1986 -
Horde - Hurricane Hordak, Dragstor
Snakemen - King Hiss, Tung Lashor, Rattlor
1987 -
Horde - Mosquitor
Snakemen - Sssqueeze
Movie - Blade

Shelf 3 - Beasts & Weapons packs (plus accessories from toys above - to be placed back on the toys later)

1982 -
Battle Cat
1983 -
Zoar, Screeech, Panthor
1984 -
1985 -
Night Stalker, Battle Bones
1986 -
Jet Sled

Shelf 4 - Vehicles

1982 -
Battle Ram, Wind Raider
1983 -
Attak Trak
1984 -
Road Ripper, Roton, Dragon Walker
1985 -
Land Shark, Bashasaurus
1986 -
Laser Bolt

Shelf 5 - Empty packaging & DVDs

Still missing -
POP 1984
-playsets - CRYSTAL CASTLE
MOTU 1985
-vehicles - SPYDOR
MOTU 1986
-playsets - ETERNIA
MOTU 1987
-Snakemen - SNAKE FACE.
-movie - SAUROD

Masters of the Universe Classics.

Plundor, Lizard Man, Hover Robots (3), Icer, Lord Dactus.

Count Marzo, Chief Carnivus, Nepthu, Battros, Faceless One.

Unnamed One (w/ Horde map), Eldor, Strongor, Geldor.

Flutterina, Adora, Glimmer, Mermista, Lookee, Kowl.

Arrow (Bow's Horse), Hordak, Imp, Imp as a Chest, Catra, Scorpia, Procrustus, Vykron (SDCC version).

Tuesday 5 January 2016

My 30 years of Transformers - Display Case 38

Two Display Cases left, and today's is the last of the Transformers Display Cases, number 38. It is only new, so is still half empty, as it will house some of the 2016 toylines.
The toys that are currently in there already are 2016 Generations, 2016 Robots In Disguise, 2015 Rescue Bots and 2015 Club/Convention toys.

Top of display case - empty = 0
(Generations 2016 Titans Return large)

Shelf 1 - empty = 0
(Generations 2016 Titans Return small)

Shelf 2 - Generations 2016 Combiner Wars = 3

Deluxe -
Swindle, Blast Off, Vortex

Shelf 3 - 2016 Hasbro Robots in Disguise = 4

Warrior - Megatronus, Fracture, Night Strike Bumblebee, Blizzard Strike Optimus

Shelf 4 - empty = 0
(RID 2016 gimmick)

Shelf 5 - Hasbro Rescue Bots (2015) = 18

Feature Bot - Boulder, Heatwave (missing Optimus, High Tide)

Transforming - Optimus (new), Chase, Boulder, Salvage, Blurr, Bumblebee.

Vehicles - Tunnel Rescue Drill with Graham Burns & Morbot, Shark Sub Capture with Dr Morocco & Blades.

Playset - High Tide

Elite - Heatwave

Epic - Salvage, Blurr

Exclusive - Optimus Prime Tow-Truck (Amazon exclusive), Heatwave Ambulance (Amazon exclusive).

Shelf 6 - BotCon & Collector Club (2015) = 45

BotCon 2015
Boxset - Megatron (w/ Scalpel/white, Heavyweight/pink, Boombox/black), Packrat, Stepper (w/ Nebulon), Battletrap, Oilmaster (shell, car, jet)
Attendee - Zaptrap, Beet-Chit, Spy-Eye
Custom - Galva Convoy (painted), Galva Convoy (unpainted)
Gen2 2-pack - General Optimus, Sargeant Hound (w/ Dia/orange, Cline/blue)
Diaclone - Burn Out, Lift-Ticket
Waruder 4-pack - Parasite/purple (w/ Ripper/blue), Mudfighter/orange (w/ Thrasher/black), Storm Rider/red (w/ Crusher/red), Paralyzer/white (w/ Buzzer/yellow)
Kreo - Autobot X, Nightbird, Doctor Arkeville, Robotmaster, Sentinel Prime, The Headmaster.

Membership - Lio Convoy

Store Exclusives
- Nova Prime
(missing Marissa & Afterburner, Old Snake & BAT x2)

Subscription series 3
- Carzap w/ GB Blackrock Kreon
- Nacelle
- SerpentOR
- Tarantulas w/ 2 Insect drones
- Gen2 Starscream
- Krok (w/ Gatoraider)
- Nightracer w/ Shakar


Monday 4 January 2016

My 30 years of Transformers - Display Case 37

Three to go and one of them is Display Case 37, featuring the 2015 Generations toys, Japanese Unite Warriors & Legends, 2015 Robots In Disguise, and Japanese Adventure and Easy Dynamic.

Top of display case - Japanese Unite Warriors (2015), Hasbro Devastator (2015) = 23

JP Unite Warriors
- UW01 Superion - Silverbolt, Airraid, Skydive, Slingshot, Fireflight.
- UW02 Menasor - Motormaster, Breakdown, Deadend, Dragstrip, Wildrider.
- Grand Scourge
- UW03 Devastator - Bonecrusher, LongHaul, Mixmaster, Scrapper, Scavenger, Hook.

Hasbro Devastator - Bonecrusher, LongHaul, Mixmaster, Scrapper, Scavenger, Hook.

Shelf 1 - Generations Combiner Wars Leader, Legends, Voyager (2015) = 18

Legends - Bombshell, Powerglide, Thundercracker, Windcharger, Huffer, Blackjack, Groove, Viper, Warpath, Rodimus, Skywarp.

Voyager - Cyclonus, Battle Core Optimus

Leader - Megatron (silver), Amada Megatron, Thundercracker, Ultra Magnus (w/ Minimus Ambus), Starscream.

Shelf 2 - Generations Combiner Wars Deluxe, Voyager (2015) = 22

Deluxe - Dragstrip, Alpha Bravo, Firefly, Skydive, Air Raid, Breakdown, Dead End, Offroad, First Aid, Streetwise, Rook, Blades, Ironhide, Mirage, Prowl, Sunstreaker.

Voyager - Optimus Prime, Silverbolt, Motormaster, Hot Spot.

Online Exclusives - DLX Quickslinger, DLX Brake-Neck.

Shelf 3 - 2015 Japanese Specials, & 2014 Marvel Deaths Head = 21

2014 Marvel Deaths Head (not applicable to count)

JP Legends -
LG10 Arcee
LG15 Nightbird
LG16 Slipstream
LG17 Blackwidow

JP Adventure -
TAV07 - Roadblock
TAV08 - Gregevor/Greenjeeper
TAV09 - Swoop
TAV10 - Slug/Slag
TAV11 - Bloody Knockout
TAV12 - Dreadwing
TAV13 - Nemesis Prime
TAV28 - Ground Vehicon General
TAV29 - Supreme Bumblebee
TAV33 - Optimus Supreme mode
TAVVS03 - Strongarm Vs Phantomclaw

JP Easy Dynamic -
TED05 - Junkion (AOE Power Battler - blue/grey redeco)

JP Adventure Freebie EZ - Bumblebee, Steeljaw, Optimus, Strongarm.

Shelf 4 - Hasbro Robots in Disguise Warrior, Legion, Deployer, Minicon (2015) = 38

Warrior - Bumblebee, Grimlock, Strongarm, Steeljaw, Optimus Prime, Drift, Jazz, Sideswipe, Gold Armor Grimlock, Night Ops Bumblebee.

Legion - Bumblebee, Optimus, Strongarm, Steeljaw, Grimlock, Sideswipe, Fixit, Underbite, Patrol Mode Strongarm, Ultra Magnus, Night Ops Bumblebee, Alpine Strike Sideswipe.

Deployers - Drift & Jetstorm, Fracture & Airazor.

Minicons - Sawback, Dragonus, Divebomb, Slipstream, Beastbox, Ratbat, Sandsting, Velocirazor.

Clash of the Transformers Legion - Optimus Vs Megatronus, Bumblebee Vs Underbite
(Missing Clash Warriors - Optimus, Sideswipe, Bumblebee, Megatronus)

Shelf 5 - Hasbro Robots in Disguise 1-step, 3-step (2015) = 22

One-Step - Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Strongarm, Underbite, Fixit, Grimlock, Steeljaw, Drift, Fracture, Thunderhoof, Ninja Mode Sideswipe, Night Ops Bumblebee, Patrol Mode Strongarm, Gold Armor Grimlock.

Hyper-Change/3-step - Grimlock, Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, Sideswipe, Steeljaw, Night Ops Bumblebee.

Mega 3-step - Optimus Prime

Clash of the Transformers Ultra - Megatronus
(Missing Clash 3-step - Optimus, Bumblebee)

Shelf 6 - Hasbro Robots in Disguise Titans, Tiny Titans, Hero Masher, Super 3-step (2015) = 12

Super 3-step - Bumblebee

Titan Hero/12-inch - Optimus, Bumblebee, Steeljaw, Sideswipe
Titan 12-inch electronic - Bumblebee, Optimus Prime
Titan 12-inch transforming - Bumblebee, Optimus Prime

Hero Mashers Wave 1 - Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Steeljaw

Tiny Titans -
W1 - Bisk, Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Grimlock, Hammerstrike, Optimus Prime, Prowl, Sideswipe, Steeljaw, Strongarm, Thunderhoof, Underbite.
W2 - G1 Autobot Jazz, G1 Autobot Ratchet, G1 Autobot Topspin, G1 Bumblebee, G1 Cyclonus, RID Quillfire, G1 Sharkticon, G1 Soundwave, G1 Starscream, G1 Superion, RID Terrashock, G1 Ultra Magnus.
W3 - RID Drift, G1 Repugnus, G1 Wreckgar, RID Fixit, RID Filch, RID Fracture, G1 Shockwave, BW Megatron, G1 Wheeljack, G1 Optimus, RID Springload, G1 Twinferno/Doublecross.

(missing Titan Guardian/6-inch - Bumblebee, Optimus, Steeljaw, Sideswipe)


Sunday 3 January 2016

My 30 years of Transformers - Display Case 36

With only four Display Cases left, today we have Display Case 36, containing TF4 Movie Platinum Editions, TF4 Japanese, 2014 Hasbro specials, 2014 Japanese, 2015 RID Kre-O, 2014 Angry Birds Transformers, and 2015 SDCC.

Top of display case - packaging = 0

Shelf 1 - TF4 Age of Extinction Platinum Editions (2014) = 19

Voyager 2-pack - Optimus Prime, Grimlock.
Breakout Battle - Scrapyard Optimus Prime, Vehicon, Rollbar.
Trailer pack - First Edition Optimus w/ Trailer, Sideswipe.
Leader 2-pack - Optimus Prime, Grimlock.
Autobots United - Optimus Prime, Hound, Drift, Bumblebee, Crosshairs.
Dinobots Unleashed - Grimlock, Slog, Slug, Scorn, Strafe.

Shelf 2 - TF4 Lost Age Japanese Editions (2014) = 23

Lost Age Advanced -
AD-08 - Battle Blade Bumblebee, AD-09 - Protoform Optimus Prime, AD-10 - Starscream, AD-11 - Dispensor, AD-12 - Revenge Optimus Prime, AD-14 - Jolt, AD-15 - Ratchet, AD-16 Autobot Dino, AD-17 Dark Side Soundwave, AD-20 Black Knight Grimlock, AD-31 Armor Knight Optimus Prime, AD-32 Stinger.

Lost Age Gimmick -
LA-01 Battle Command Optimus Prime, LA-02 Big Grimlock (Flip & Change), LA-04 Grimlock (One-Step), LA-13 Battle Attack Nemesis Prime (Power Battler).

Exclusives -
Rusty Optimus (TRU), Wheeljack (Aeon), Black Knight Slug, Black Knight Scorn, Black Knight Strafe, Nemesis Prime (Winter Festival), Army Camo Hound (Amazon JP)

Shelf 3 - Hasbro Specials (2014-2015) = 26

Protectobots - Hotshot, Blades, Streetsmart, First Aid, Groove
SDCC 2014 Dinobots 4-pack - Grimlock, Slug, Strafe, Snarl (Gen1 deco)
SDCC 2014 - Knights of Unicron - Optimus Prime, Megatron, Soundwave w/ Laserbeak, Jazz w/ Ratbat.
Amazon 2014 - Voyager Slog (Gen1 deco)
YOTG 2015 - Optimus Prime, Soundwave w/ Ravage, Rumble, Frenzy, Buzzsaw, Laserbeak.
SDCC 2015 Hunter 3-pack - Arcee, Chromia, Windblade

Shelf 4 - Japanese & Exclusives (2014-2015) = 46

Sega Megadrive Megatron
Playstation Optimus
Million Publishing Go-Shooter & Shuta
Million Publishing Shouki & Daniel
TFC-A02 Cloud Brawn
TFC-D03 Cloud Shockwave

Licensed (not applicable to count) -
Sentinel Optimus Pen
Fewture Alpha Trion
JP Bearbrick Starscream

Q-Transformers (2014-2015) -
QT-01 Movie Optimus Prime, QT-02 Movie Bumblebee, QT-03 Movie Lockdown, QT-04 Movie Crosshairs.
QT-05 Gen1 Lambor, QT-06 Gen1 Prowl, QT-07 Gen1 Hot Rodimus, QT-08 Gen1/ALT Bumble.
QT-09 ALT Optimus Prime, QT-10 Gen1 Wheeljack.
QT-11 Gen1 Jazz, QT-12 Gen1 Sunstreaker, QT-13 Gen1 Red Alert, QT-14 Gen1 Smokescreen.
QT-15 Gen1 Hound, QT-16 Binaltech Bluestreak.
QT-18 Movie Nemesis Prime, QT-19 Gen1 Convoy, QT-20 Gen1 Megatron (grey Lamborghini Neno)
QT-21 Skids, QT-22 Drift
QT-23 Movie Optimus Prime (cartoon colour), QT-24 Movie Bumblebee (cartoon colour), QT-25 Movie Lockdown (cartoon colour)
QT-26 Gen1 Shockwave, QT-27 Gen1 Soundwave, QT-28 Gen1 Cliff
QT-29 Gen1 Starscream, QT-30 Gen1 Skywarp, QT-31 Gen1 Thundercracker
QT-17 Gen1 Tracks

Q-Transformers Crossovers (2015)
QTC02 Evangelion Three Pack (Eva-0/yellow, Eva-1/purple, Eva-2/red)
QTC01H Hello Kitty Halloween Edition
QTC03 Paper Rabbit Rope, QTC04 Akira Senpai, QTC05 Snoopy

Shelf 5 - Kre-O Robots in Disguise & Gen1 (2015) = 37

Kreo RID custom - Optimus Prime, Steeljaw, Bumblebee, Grimlock.
Kreo RID Build Set - Sideswipe Roadway Rundown (Sideswipe car w/ 2 Kreons - Sideswipe, Hammerstrike)
Kreo RID Build Set - Strongarm Capture Cruiser (Strongarm car w/ 2 Kreons - Strongarm, Springload)
Kreo RID Build Set - Bumblebee Disc Demolisher (Bumblebee car w/ 3 Kreons - Bumblebee, Bisk, Clampdown)
Kreo RID Build Set - Underbite Jet Pack Takedown (Underbite beast w/ 3 Kreons - Optimus, Underbite, Ped)
Kreo RID Build Set - Optimus Prime Beast Blaster (Optimus truck w/ 4 Kreons - Optimus, Fracture, Airazor, Divebomb)

Kreo Gen1 Battle Changers - Bumblebee, Grimlock, Optimus, Starscream, Shockwave, Hound.
Kreo Gen1 Battle Changers Vs Pack - Optimus & Trailer Vs Megatron, Ratchet Vs Soundwave (with Ravage, Rumble, Frenzy, Laserbeak)

Shelf 6 - SDCC 2015 Devastator, Hasbro Transformers Angry Birds (2014-2015) = 22

SDCC Devastator - Scrapper, Hook, Scavenger, Bonecrusher, Longhaul, Mixmaster.

Angry Birds
Telepods -
Single packs - Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Lockdown, Galvatron, Soundwave, Heatwave
2-packs - Ultra Magnus vs Soundblaster, Sentinel Prime vs Bludgeon

Tracksets/Launcher sets -
Optimus Race-track (w/ Optimus Prime & Megatron)
Bumblebee Bird Blast (Giant convertible Bumblebee Bird w/ High Octane Bumblebee Bird & Goldbite Grimlock Bird)
(missing quite a few of these - they had a very limited release)


Saturday 2 January 2016

My 30 years of Transformers - Display Case 35

Today begins the final five Display Cases of the collection, with Display Case 35, containing fan-favourite Masterpiece toys, both Japanese and Hasbro, from 2003 to 2015.
As much as I love collecting these toys, they have been getting very expensive in recent years, especially the limited edition figures, resulting in me having to skip a number of the ones I wanted because they just aren't worth the price.

Top of case - HK Masterpiece Specials (2014-2015), Loyal Subjects = 2

HK Masterpiece - MP-08X comic Grimlock (reissue) with throne
HK Masterpiece - MP-5G Gold Megatron

HK Bonus items - Vector Sigma, mini Reflector

Loyal Subjects - Optimus Prime (electronic)

Shelf 1 - Takara Masterpiece, Hasbro Anniversary (2003-2005) = 6

JP MP-1 - Convoy (Optimus Prime)
JP MP-2 - Ultra Magnus
JP MP-3 - Starscream (green)
JP MP-4 - Convoy with Trailer
US Anniversary Optimus Prime
JP MP1B - Convoy Black version

Shelf 2 - Takara Masterpiece, Hasbro Anniversary (2005-2010) = 5

JP MP-5 - Megatron
JP MP-6 - Skywarp
JP MP-7 - Thundercracker
US Movie/DVD Anniversary Optimus Prime
JP 2010 MP-4S Sleep Convoy

Shelf 3 - Takara Masterpiece, Hasbro Masterpiece (2007-2011) = 6

US Anniversary/Masterpiece Starscream
JP MP-8 - Grimlock (with helmet)
US Masterpiece Grimlock (with crown)
JP 2010 MP-9 - Rodimus Convoy
US Masterpiece Rodimus Prime (w/ Offshoot)
JP MP-3G - Ghost Starscream

Shelf 4 - Takara Masterpiece Autobots (2012-2015) = 17

JP MP-10 Convoy (w/ Trailer)
JP MP-12 Lambor (Sideswipe)
JP MP-14 Alert (Red Alert)
JP MP-12T Tigertrack
JP MP-17 Prowl
JP MP-18 Streak (Bluestreak)
JP MP-19 Smokescreen
JP MP-12G Lambor G2 version
JP MP-18S Silverstreak
JP MP-20 Wheeljack
JP MP-21 Bumble (Bumblebee) & Spike
JP MP-22 Ultra Magnus (with Spike & Daniel)
JP MP-18B Bluestreak
JP MP-21G Bumble (Bumblebee) Gold/G2 Version
JP MP-25 Tracks (with Roaul & Blaster)
JP MP-26 Road Rage (with Twincast)

Shelf 5 - Takara Masterpiece Decepticons (2011-2015) = 13

JP MP-9B - Ehobby black Rodimus Convoy
JP MP-11 Starscream
JP MP-11S Sunstorm
JP MP-13 Soundwave & Condor (Laserbeak)
JP MP-15 Rumble & Jaguar (Ravage)
JP MP-16 Frenzy & Buzzsaw
JP MP-10B Black Convoy
JP MP-13B Soundblaster & Ratbat
JP MP-23 Exhaust

Shelf 6 - Hasbro Masterpiece (2011-2014), Takara Masterpiece (2014) = 6

US MP Optimus Prime (w/ Trailer)
US MP Skywarp
US MP Thundercracker
US MP-01 Acid Storm
US MP-05 Sunstorm
JP MP-24 Star Saber


My 30 years of Transformers - Conventions and Collectors Fairs

Tomorrow we get back to the Final Five Display Cases, but today, after detailing my main interest yesterday of collecting the toys, I want to detail the other major interest of mine with Transformers - Conventions.

Dedicated Transformers conventions have a number of elements that draw in Transformers fans, including the guests (including voice actors of our favourite characters), presentations/panels (sometimes with toy reveals), activities, a chance to cosplay, trading in a dealer room, and meeting up with friends and fellow fans.

In Australia we don't have regular dedicated Transformers Conventions, so for us fans to experience some or all of those elements, we either have to travel to another country that has a dedicated convention, or go to a generalised scifi/fantasy convention here that rarely has any Transformers elements (sometimes there is a Transformers voice actor and some people selling Transformers toys).

In the last 20 years there have been many localised fan meets organised through the Australian fan community, and with a number regular collector fairs in some cities, we've seen some of them become catalysts for some decent turnouts of fans to those meets.
My very first meet with other fans was in January 1997, in Sydney, which is in another state to where I lived. It was only about four or five of us, but it was great to finally be spending several hours with a group of Transformers fans, instead of with just one.

In about 2001 Australia had what I think was our first annual scifi/fantasy convention start up in Sydney (Supanova), which later expanded to six cities a year, and now has competition from another company (Comic Con) that also does five cities each year.
The Ozformers club had a booth at the 2003 Supanova convention, to show off the toyline to others, and see if there was enough interest to host our own Transformers convention.
(photo is not mine)

We did get a fair bit of interest, but it wasn't until 2004 that we saw a dedicated convention, which was done in Sydney.
(photo is not mine)

A second attempt was made in 2006 in Sydney, but administrative issues meant a very small turnout, making it little more than a presentation of a Transformers collection and a couple of toy dealers.
(photo is not mine)

Since then I've been pretty keen to travel around the country to attend meets, and go to collector fairs... as well as the occasional scifi convention if there was a significant voice actor to make it worth the admission fee and $50 autograph fee.
(Parramatta Collectors Fair 2010)

(Nexus Fair 2010)

(Supanova Brisbane 2014)


But like most fans back then (1990s & 2000s), BotCon would be the ultimate goal. Back then it was one of those things that almost every Transformers fan had on their wish-list if they could afford it, and for me, once I got a taste for it in 1999, I just kept wanting to go back, as often as possible (only missing 2006 BotCon and 2004 Official Con).

I had first heard about the annual BotCon Transformers convention in 1995 just before the second one, and from that time I was following them with keen interest for four years before I was finally able to go to one... and it was worth the wait.
That first one in 1999 was in St Paul, Minnesota (America), and from a combination of it being my first long-distance trip as well as it being a last minute decision to go after getting a full time job, I only booked flights and accommodation for three nights (in Friday, out Monday). Looking back, that was way too short, and I wished I had spent an extra day or two in St Paul, especially with Mall America nearby.
As it was, I arrived just as the registration check-in was starting on the Friday afternoon, so I lined up for that before checking into the hotel across the road. Meanwhile on the Monday, I had to leave for the airport by mid-morning for the flight home.
One of the things that made it such a memorable experience was the kindness of other fans... mostly from the novelty of meeting an Australian in person. I was only the third Australian to go to a BotCon, so it was still a novelty. (even at BotCon 2015, I saw an Australian attendee being a novelty to a number of people on one of the pre-Con tours)
One of the first people I met at BotCon 1999 was Tony Buchanan. At that time he was producing a printed monthly fan magazine called Auto-Update, and he had been sending me copies of his publication in exchange for copies of the monthly Ozformers Club newsletter. Tony introduced me to a lot of the significant people in the fandom, many of which I remained friends with for as long as they were still into Transformers or attending the conventions.

The next five Hasbro endorsed annual Transformers conventions (named BotCon or the Official Con) had other Australians attend, which brought a new dynamic to the experience. I had someone to relate to that I often knew already, and as time went on, I would take on a role of guide for other Australians.
That brought us to 2004, the year of two Transformers Conventions, and I chose the BotCon one, because at that time it looked like it was the last one, and the Official Convention would be around next year for me to attend (so we thought at the time).

(BotCon 2000 with part of the Hartmans collection display)


(BotCon 2001 with the Wreckers display)


(BotCon 2004 with the big collection of toys on display in the Dealer Room)



The sudden end to the Official Convention license-holder in 2004 meant that that wasn't going to happen, and until Hasbro announced a few months later that a new company had the convention license (Fun Publications), I was resigned to not going to any more.
Finding out about the new business and it being instructed by Hasbro to take on an advisory council (that had some people on it that were my friends or I knew of well), I went to the 2005 BotCon and it was still pretty good. Different, but good.

(BotCon 2005)

I missed the 2006 BotCon due to funding an Australian Convention, but the next five years saw a growth in the numbers and fan support of the current BotCon convention organiser. 2011 looks to be its peak of popularity before the decline of sales and attendance (according to statistics of pre-registration and at-show toy quantities and sales, with 2011 being the last year they sold out of everything and 2012 being the last time they sold out the boxsets during pre-registration, prompting a reduction of toy numbers since 2013).
The quality and features of the convention itself is still as good as it ever was, with guests, panels, Hasbro presentations, and special activities spread over five days for me to want to keep going back, but a number of issues that occurred outside of the Convention (that I won't go into here) has unfortunately meant that the support for the Convention has become a casualty. BotCon as a brand is still iconic, but at the moment it is not the "must do" event for Transformers fans like it was during its first 15 years.
I love going, but it isn't as much fun having less and less old friends or Australians going each year.

(BotCon 2011)

Each BotCon I rate with a score across 10 categories, and from that my three best BotCons were 2004, 2009, 2011... while my three least favourite BotCons (and Official Cons) were 2003, 2012, 2015.

It's now been 10 years since we last tried to have an Australian Transformers convention, so maybe this year would be a good time for another attempt, especially with the 20th anniversary of the Ozformers club this year. Something I'll have to look at soon if I want to do something about it before the end of the year.

I could literally go on for weeks about my BotCon adventures, so for extensive coverage of the last ten BotCons (except 2006), with more photos and written details than any other website, including the BotCon website, check out my BotCon fan archive here -

For names and numbers of the various BotCon exclusives, check out this resource website -

Tomorrow... it's Masterpiece time.

(Newsletter banner from issue 47 in September 2000, submitted by Paulbot.)