Saturday, September 29, 2018

Great Value BotCon

Ever since the Walmart exclusive G1 reissue Transformers were first shown, I've been jokingly saying Great Value BotCon or Sam's Choice BotCon. It's a silly thing I've been saying as back in the day, something like a G1 Transformers was something you might have to wait until BotCon to score a decent one. Now you can just go to Walmart. I'm being silly, but I'm also outright going to use the term for something else right now.

BotCon was the first Transformers convention, and for many years the only Transformers convention. It became Hasbro supported and eventually an official entity. Ran by a few different organizers, it was retired in 2016. Somewhere around the early 2000's (maybe even earlier) smaller fan run shows became a regular thing, some growing to even rival BotCon in size. There's also the occasional fan meet up organized by individuals based on things like fan groups or local areas. I've organized a few back in the earlier days of the  Georgia Transformers Fans group. It's fun and that's where I'm going with this.

Going to conventions is great, it's awesome, it's a fun time to be had with other fans in the hobby. It's our little subculture that lives on the fringe, still not sure how to handle the mainstream popularity of Transformers since the live action movies. Problem with conventions is, a convention is just once a year. BotCon (and now TFCon USA) traveled each year. You might not be able to make it due to location, finances, personal situations, or maybe all of the above. Things happen, life happens. Other Transformers shows are generally in the same location, but still might not be accessible depending on factors.

So why not have your own?

Since the dawn of social media, it's much easier to hook up with fans in your area. It doesn't take much to plan a get together with a few like minded individuals. Maybe everyone meets up at a restaurant and goes to some nearby stores after. There was just that screening of the 1986 Transformers movie. That would have been ideal to organize something with others in attendance. Or hey, Bumblebee is about to come out. Arrange a group viewing and a trip to the store later! Maybe rent out a room somewhere, get some folks to set up tables with toys they may have to sell or customs they have to show off. You could play some episodes and order pizza (everyone can chip in $5 each for some Little Caesar's). There's that new trading card game, I'm sure getting players together couldn't be that hard.

Name your event, it can be as simple as just 'Transformers Delaware Fans Meet Up' or 'Local Fans Bumblebee Viewing'. Maybe even give it a neato name, maybe it could become bigger and become the next BotCon one day. Have one as often as you can possibly have one, it's your party. The Transformers fandom was grown from grassroots and from grassroots it will continue even if the mainstream attention fades away (won't be the first time). Have fun, you might meet some new people and make some new friends, or have some new fun with old friends.

You know, maybe you could just stroll into Walmart and get one of those G1 reissues.

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