Thursday, April 27, 2017

Throwback Thursday- BotCon 1994 Pre Reg

Who's all going?
BotCon '94 Information Sheet
What:     Transformers Tenth Anniversary Convention
Where:    The Grand Wayne Center, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
When:     9:00am-5:00pm, Saturday, July 16, 1994
Contacts: Jonathan Hartman, Chairman       David Kolodny-Nagy, Art Contest
                209 West Rush Street Box 845     Brandeis Univeristy,  PO Box 9110
                Kendallville, IN 46755-1741        Waltham, MA 02254-9110
                (219) 347-1154                              (617) 736-5485

The purpose of this convention is to celebrate the tenth anniversary of
Transformers.  Fans, collectors, and dealers are all invited to come and be a
part of this special event.  Planned events and activities include:*    A presentation by Hasbro executives on the past, present and future of the Transformers, including a sneak preview of upcoming toys.

*    A special Convention Exclusive action figure available only to those who
     preregister. [Not necessarily a TF then...Dave]
*    A collection gallery displaying private collections of American, European
     and Japanese Transformers items.
*    An autograph signing and question-and-answer session with members of the
     Transformers comic book staff. (Tentative) [perhaps because the team
     itself is tentative - Dave]
*    An art contest and auction for fans to show their talent at rendering
     their favorite Transformer.  Prizes will be awarded in two different
*    A video gallery where Transformers cartoons will be shown, including The
     Transformers: The Movie.
*    Dealer and collector booths for the buying, selling and trading of Transformers and Transformers related items.Attendance by preregistration is encouraged as it will allow guests to guarantee a hotel room for staying overnight (if desired), and it will be the only way to get the exclusive convention action figure.  The fee for non- exhibiting guests is $15 per person before April 30, 1994.  After that date it will be $20.  Dealers and collectors who wish to set up a booth are required to pay $45 before April 30, 1994.  This includes drapes and an unskirted table for one 10'x10' booth.  Exhibitors will be allowed to bring one helper for the booth.  Additional drapes, tables, table skirting and booth spaces are also available if desired.  After April 30, the fee will be $50.  Free bus transportation will be available to and from the airport on the day of the show only.  Admission on the day of the show will be $5.  Lodging is available at the Fort Wayne Hilton at the Convention Center which is attached to the Grand Wayne Center.  The special convention rate of $62 per room will only be guaranteed to those who preregister.  The Hilton is conveniently designed so that guests do not have to go outside to travel between the Convention Center or the adjacent parking facility [and the hotel].  The hotel also has a shuttle service to transport registered guests to locations around the city, including the airport.  Many eateries are available to guests downtown, as well as those provided by the Hilton. For more information, please contact Jon Hartman at the above address.  Inquiries about the art contest and auction should be directed to David Kolodny-Nagy.[Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce type stuff deleted.  For those uncertain exactly where this is, Fort Wayne is in the Northeast corner of Indiana.]

< clip and print! >

BotCon '94 Registration Sheet

                                          |Official Use Only:    
Address:_____________________________             |Date Rec'd:__/__/__
                                                  |Reg #:                

City:________________State____Zip_____            Phone: (___)_________Age____

Rates:    Non-exhibitor before April 30, 1994 - $15 per person
          Non-exhibitor after April 30, 1994 - $20 per person
          Exhibitor before April 30, 1994 - $45 *
          Exhibitor after April 30, 1994 - $50 *
          Entry fee on day of show for walk-ins - $5 per person
* Fee covers one 10'x10' booth and a helper
  Please inquire if you want more than one booth

Rates:    $62 per room per night (single or double occupancy)
          Rooms must be reserved by a deposit equal to one night's
          Earliest check-in time on day of arrival is 3:00pm.  Check-out time
               is 12:00pm.


_____Non-exhibitor_____I will be driving to the show [Autobot?]
_____I will be flying to the show  [Decepticon?]_____I will be staying in the hotel on Friday night
_____I will be staying in the hotel on Saturday night
_____I will be staying in the hotel both nights.

_____Single or
 _____Double Occupancy
Number of People Attending:_____
Total Amount Enclosed:

$_____Please include your hotel deposit with your registration fee if you need a room.  Return this sheet with your check or money order to:

     BotCon '94
     209 West Rush Street
     Kendallville, IN  46755-1741

*credit* I found this in an old usenet post. Guess I'll go ahead and link to my post regarding older cons while I'm at it. Since I'm at it, check out these scans of Tomart covering BotCon 1994. Some of the copied text didn't format well to the blogger format, so I made an attempt to clean it up so it could be easily read.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Weekly Spotlight: Energon Overcast

We must fight alongside our enemy against a common threat.
Overcast is the long-lost brother of Jetfire and has been a loner for many eons, refusing to get involved in the conflict with the Decepticons. Overcast had a change of heart after witnessing the destruction of one of his favorite planets at the hands of Unicron. He then realized that this battle extends well beyond a simple conflict between Autobot and Decepticon. He has since joined his brother in battle against Megatron in order to avoid the potential revival of their common enemy. Like Jetfire, Overcast is a fast and powerful warrior whose impressive skills have served the Autobots well during battle with the Decepticons.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Living in the past

It's silly how my mind works. I often think of older Transformers conventions as better automatically. Which isn't fair to newer shows, but I guess that's just me doing a stereotypical "things used to be better" and feeling all smug. Though, those older BotCons had something that the later ones didn't have and it's extremely hard to describe if you were never there. A vibe, a mojo, a something. Not that's not saying newer shows don't get it, Charticon in 2013 had it. My friend Don compared Toylanta (the show where the Botlanta panel track I organize is) to the most similar any con he's attended to the first BotCon (he went to the first and yes that was flattering). Not to mention, I see pictures online of smaller TF shows around the world, and they seemingly have it. I don't know if it was just a moment in time, or me being younger, but there was a certain something about those older shows that I've never let go.

BotCon 01, the hair since has migrated from my head completely to my face
So, if I may relish a bit in old convention videos I found on Youtube. Wait, I can. I totally can. So I'm going to do that. If you follow the links on the video, you can go to the respective poster's page and check out their other work. That's my way of giving a catch all credit to the content. But really, go check them out.

BotCon 1995, the second BotCon. I would have loved to go, unfortunatley I was just a kid in high school and only knew of them from ads in Lee's toy magazine (or was it Tomart?). I used to love that old back section full of classifieds. Pre-internet, that was the main way for people to advertise their toys stores, or zines, or fan clubs, or conventions, or really anything that we easily do on Facebook now and take for granted. I'd often see them in toy, video game, and horror magazines. I'd regularly send in an envelope with a few dollars and enjoy the onslaught of random catalogs and various zines and pamphlets I'd get in return. You'd be surprised at the amount of detail that goes into a book  made at a local copy center.

At about 5:59, that's me in the fire bowling shirt walking up to a table. Oh yea, that's also the same shirt I'm wearing in the pic a little up at BotCon 2001. It was the first BotCon I was able to go to. As a broke community college student, they all seemed so far away and out of touch. Though in 2001, I was on my own and just barely making ends meet. 2001 was in Durham North Carolina, which is about 4-6 hours away from here. My Mom called me one morning to check on me, and while we were talking I brought it up as I was trying to figure out how to go.  She actually woke me up and the Toyfair issue opened to the page with the ad was open laying right next to me. When I asked her how far away Durham was, she offered to take me. We went Friday night, and came back Sunday with the main day of fun being Saturday. Of note, we hit every difficulty imaginable and the trip there took over 12 hours. I wish I was kidding.

OTFCC 2003, despite all the organizers drama that led to the 3H split, I went to OTFCC 2003 (there was a name change) and had a great time. It was a really good show and if you watch that video or as you can see in the preview there was a dance party. I was there a few minutes when some friends and I went to discover it after the line died down. I fondly can remember Brian Kilby making a nervous smile that pretty much said it all and Ant not appreciating the remix of Metallica and TFTM audio clips. This was just before Hooper X launched from our group and started punch dancing to the derision of others.

The following year was OTFCC 2004 and BotCon 2004. I wanted to go to both, but could only go to one. So I went to OTFCC 2004 and had a great time. It really was a good time and the last 'old style' BotCon. Outside of the at show memories, and not in this clip, was Ruben Studdard. There was a wedding going on in the convention center (as well as a few other cons) and they apparently hired him to sing at it. Later in the hotel, I got to witness a drunk Ruben Studdard in the hotel resturant, a well as his entourage get into a fight with the bridesmaids in the lobby.

I didn't get to go to BotCon 2004, I could only choose one, and OTFCC was closer and a lot of my friends went as well, so the draw for what makes a con fun was there. I did order a non attendee pack though, really wish I could have went. I couldn't find a video of the 2002 show which was also a great deal of fun. I'm not doing any travel this year for conventions, I'd love to check them all out though. Hascon is coming up and it looks neat. There's TFCon of course and I've enjoyed those a lot. Pete Sinclair has his new Robot Convention I'd like to check out, ignoring any drama (I try my best too, it has zero to do with why I'm going to a convention anyway), there's going to be some cool displays there and I'd love to go to Fort Wayne again. Botlanta was earlier this month which makes the year wait until next year feel like an eternity. I went to a good deal of the Fun Pub BotCons and always had a good time, though eventually got priced out as the costs started going over what I could justify. There's just something special about these older shows. That's what I want to do with Botlanta, and I hope I can find at other shows. That vibe. It's hard to describe, but once you feel it, you know it.

I could go on and on, but I figure now's a good time to stop inserting videos and help the wife make supper. I've got some TF's to open, I should get to that.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Combiner Force starting soon!

I'm really looking forward to the new season of Robots in Disguise (2015, not know this by now) with the new sub title Combiner Force that's starting up at the end of the month. The show has been constantly good, starting small and steadily improving as it goes. I've said here before how much I'm looking forward to Combiner Force and so far have been enjoying the Crash Combiner toys. Hoping that the series continues to excel and go forward.

It's awesome.

-Thanks to TFW2005's YouTube channel for the video.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Weekly Spotlight: Megaplex

The skies belong to me!
Megaplex was built to function as a clone for Megatron, a strategy designed to confuse enemy Autobots who seek to shoot down the elusive Decepticon leader. But Megaplex is more than just a decoy, he is equipped with powerful attack weapons that make him a formidable warrior in any air battle. And in robot mode, he only gets tougher!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The last knight (until the next one)

I'm not one of those fans that craps all over everything. I think this looks like a lot of fun and I personally am excited to see it. Looking forward to drinking a can of soda with a TF5 promotional image on it while out looking for Tiny Turbo Changers, Turbo Changers (yay, One Steps got that more exciting name!), Legions, and more.

I love Transformers, all of them.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Weekly Spotlight: Tap-Out

Never quit.
A former prisoner of the Decepticons in the infamous grease pits of Polyhex, Tap-Out is one of the most durable and effective hand-to- hand combatants in the Autobot ranks. Extremely agile and physically resilient. Tortured by his tragic past and his harsh treatment at the hands of the Decepticon, Tap-Out has devoted himself to the protection of all innocent life. Though he covers his internal anguish with a cheery and optimistic demeanor, TapOut maintains an almost religious devotion to the individuals he protects. Extremely brave, Tap-Out's tendency to act first and ask questions later borders on recklessness, and often lands him in needlessly dangerous situations.

In which I talk about old comercials

For some reason, I've always loved commercials. Well, I'm not concerned about the newest laundry detergent commercial, but old toy or cartoons? Yeah, love it. I always laugh at myself for my YouTube habits. While most people with my hobbies are watching reviews or play through videos, I'm mainly watching old commercials or some nonsense tv show. Before YouTube, I remember this TF fan site that was just an archive of old commercials in real media format. At one point I was even in talks with the owner to take over it as he was looking to offload it. Somewhere I still have that CD-RW with all the files. Sometime while I was watching these silly old ads, it occurred to me it probably would make a somewhat decent post. So uh...

Overlord is one of those oddball Transformers, one of the big bad guys of Masterforce, he found his way to European release. This is just a simple advert that sells the toy with some great animation. I like how energetic the voice over is as well.

Turbomasters and Predators were some of those late G1 going into G2 that never came out in the US. Personally, I would have loved them at the time. I've got a few, and some of the molds were released in the US under other lines. When I see all the homages to older figures in Generations, I feel these really awesome toys are overlooked. Sure, Thunder Clash gets attention (as does Overlord), and Scorch got an update as a BotCon toy (as did Thunder Clash), but man I'd love more focus.

G2 era toys never fail to fascinate me. They are the perfect realization of the classic Transformers concept. While toy technology has went forward and these are older figures, there's no denying the charm they have. When G2 gets homages, it's usually towards the neon repaints of G1 figures and mostly ignoring the original creations (aside from the occasional nod). When I see pics of the upcoming Tiny Turbo Changers, part of me see's these smaller G2 toys and think the engineering could be shrunken down to make a wonderful non movie series.

In an earlier post, I talked about the infamous Animorph Transformers toy line. And while I said enough there, I figured it would be a good ending point to this post. Maybe one day those 'bastard Transformers' will get their moment in the sun. Until then, I'll just be content with pretending to be some robot toy hipster who enjoyed something nobody else did.

Still never watched the show.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Forged To Fight

Earlier this week, the newest Transformers mobile game was released for Android and iOS. Transformers Forged To Fight is a combination of fighting game and RPG that results in a really good time. It's one of those free to play games that cost nothing upfront, but have pay features. Fortunately the for pay features are not presented in a way that pummels your urge to play the game to submission. They're all present, but not obnoxious. As in most games you can pay for additional resources and for  more playable characters.

The game features Transformers characters from various series and continuities in a setting that pits them against each other in a series of scenarios involving mutiple fights. When I say fights, I mean they beat the crap out if each other. The fighting is fun and not super complex, though involved enough to keep you enthralled. The ongoing storyline is entertaining and fun. I'm a big fan of cross dimensional team ups/ all out fights storylines and can't be more pleased for a new one that doesn't entirely repeat well worn threads.  One mission involves G1 Prowl having words with movie Barricade hilariously.

So far I've had a lot of fun with the game and hope to continue to enjoy it. It runs pretty smoothly on Stylo 2 and the size of the phone allows for me to play the game comfortably. I'm not sure if it's just as easy on the hands with a standard sized phone, but I can't imagine it being bad.

I really appreciate the variety of inspiration for all the various Tramsformers characters. G1 Optimus Prime is represented by his Combiner Wars voyager toy, while instead of movie Blackout, we get movie Grindor (who was that background helicopter Deception in Revenge of the Fallen, who was basically a repaint of the Blackout toy on shelves).  As Beast Wars characters are included in the game, I hope to see an Omega Point inspired event. I know that's incredibly far fetched, but would completely fit in the setting (yes, I know it will never happen).

Forged To Fight is pretty great and I can't recommend it enough for Transformers fans and those who enjoy a fun video game. You should go play it now.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Weekly Spotlight: Laser Optimus Prime

Freedom is the right of all sentient beings!
Showdown with Megatron in sector 17 of the Mirtonian constellation left Optimus severely damaged. Entire structural integrity and logistical circuitry processors were programmed into a sleeker, stronger, combat-ready configuration! Now this ultimate super hero has an arsenal of weaponry ready to repel an attack and immobilize Megatron once and for all! With Optimus' giant, laser-targeting rocket launcher, ripple-fire missile blaster and armor-piercing discs, Megatron had better think twice before firing the next shot...or it could prove to be his last!

In stasis

Just throwing out a little programming note, I've been a little mentally wiped out lately, which is why updates have been thin. There'll be new content coming soon enough, pinky swear.