McBotCon 2009

Botcon 09: Never Forget the Socks.

Best McBotcon Ever. :-)

Well, it's as good a title as any. Despite my best efforts to hate this vacation, I needed it...and it delivered. Spent the flight over talking to a retired MN native. Spent the flight back surrounded by asians wearing sitting next to me all flight. Cough cough. So now I'll get the bird flu or whatever garbage they want people to panic about this week...

Oh yes, there will be pictures. Forgot my digicam, so had to use my cellphone and a disposable. On the upside, the quality is what you'd usually expect from me. There are only a few pics that you haven't seen about a million times on the site already, so I refer you there for pics of the events. I'll share pics of my personal journey, where appropriate. Or not. Either way, I promised I wouldn't post the risque ones, so you get what you get.

Link to Fred's Pics

Arrival: no shuttle to the hotel. Got a taxi. Spent 79 bucks for a 20-min drive. Yea, keep the change, buddy. You reeeaally earned it. Ass.

Didn't have the opportunity to send a box of items along to the show, so my dealer table was a waste. Well, others got use out of it, and I got in early, so fine. Next year, expect to see a substantial table of crap (if it's local... otherwise, ebay).

Did I mention that this wasn't going to be written in any particular style? Just some random commentary, and maybe some pics at the end. Let's face it, at this stage of things, I have no interest in trying to inform, persuade, or even entertain you. I'm doing this for me. You can't escape this corporate marketing nightmare anymore than I can, and the people who gush and hump hasblows leg over this crap just plain sicken me. So here's an anti-report. Enjoy. Kiss my arse. Die.

By the way, if you wanted to do a running cost of what the first *day* of ROTF movie toys will run you... you're looking at over 700$. For the *first day* of toys. That's Walmart and Target prices... imagine if you spent even *more* for them at the McBotcon store, or from the BigBad booth (where a 39-dollar toy is a 70-dollar toy).

So Counting the following:

2 Leaders (Prime, Megatron)
5 Voyagers (Prime, Ironhide, Starscream, Ratchet, Demolisher)
8 Fast Action Battlers (Prime, Jolt, Megatron, Bumblebee, also LongHaul, Jetfire, Ratchet, Sideways)
11 Deluxes (Bumblebee, Smokescreen, Sideswipe, Sideways, Soundwave, Skids, Rampage, Brawl,Chromia, Wheelie, Breakaway)
6 Scouts (Dirt Boss, Ransack, Knockout, Depthcharge, Rollbar, Deadend)
4 Robot Replicas (Ratchet, Ironhide, Prime, Starscream)
2 Powerbots (Bumblebee, Megatron)
3 Gravity Bots (Prime, Scream, Bumblebee)
8 Legends (Bumblebee, Prime, Springer, Jetfire, Sideswipe, Megatron, Ratchet, Starscream)

Need an exact list of the next batch coming out?

Please fill in the blanks.

From the Hasbro Panel:
2009 Exclusives (TRU): G1 Insecticons, G1 Perceptor, ROTF Megs/S-wave 2pk.
2009 Exclusives (Target): Voyager class Fallen.
2009 Exclusives (Walmart): Masterpiece Starscream.
Animated Figures: Soundwave (Blaster), Arcee, Rodimus Minor, Cybmode Ratchet, Cybmode Ironhide, Fugitive Waspinator, Golfire Grimlock, Hydrodrive BB, Voyager Animated Blackout, WingBlade Prime, Thundercracker.
2010 Sneakpeak: ROTF Legends Wheelie, Soundwave, ROTF Scouts, Skystalker, Breakdown Scattershot, ROTF Deluxes, Lockdown, Ratchet, Dirge, ROTF Voyager, Jungle Attack Ironhide and Bludgeon tank, ROTF Human Alliance Barricade w/Frenzy.

From the Display Case in the Dealer Room (excludes crap listed above that already came out):
Legends: Grindor, Skids
Basic (Scout): Scalpel, Reverb, Dunerunner, unknown blue car.
Deluxe: Arcee, Stalker, Scorponok, Skids/Mudflap, Swerve, Jolt, Blazemaster, Deadend, Interrogation Barricade, Ravage.
Leader: Jetfire, Starscream.
Voyager: Stratosphere, Megaron, Mixmaster, The Fallen, Grindor.
Gravity Bots: Boltbumblebee, Mudflap, Skids, Sideswipe.
Battlechargers: Sideswipe, Bumblebee, Optimus Prime.
Target Exclusives: Superion, Bruticus Maximus, Whirl vs Bludgeon.
Huge 'Combiner Class': Devastator

After the first couple of days, I went back to the store, and they were wiped *out*. Someone is actually buying this crap. You've already read my numbers breakdown for the show in a previous missive (the costs were spot-on for me, btw), so I won't repeat them here.

I did picks up a Bumblebee. After 25 years of transforming toys, they finally made a toy delicate enough to break apart on the first try. I broke, *broke* off his head, arm, and leg. Lost the shoulderpads, too. So the hell with this crap.

Anyways, back to the show...I was in line from 7pm to 1am. The lines were stupid-huge. They processed so few people at a time, it's a wonder those poor staff didn't quit. On the upside, I met a nice girl who claimed she was from Australia, so maybe Bricks can look her up when they have a fancon again...just watch out, her father is mighty suspicious of men. :-)

The Box Set: I was cheated out of a cyberplanet key. Scourge falls apart when you look at him.

Loose Sets: Well, lessee, they wouldn't let me buy but one Sweeps set, but they're all the same...except for the techs (2, 4, 6), so speculation runs rampant that they'll be a 3, 5, 7 somewhere. Dunno, they all look the same, so I'll likely split apart the Sweeps and keep the techs. As for the rest, well, Razorclaw is interesting. I don't like the way his mane attaches to the head. The jets are neat, but the techs for those just plain suck.

A lot about this set was pure suck. Still took it home.

The Dealer's Room: Thankfully empty during dealer setup. I was able to visit with a few old friends. It was horrible when the rabble was let in; couldn't maneuver to save myself. Got to the point where I stopped saying excuse me, and simply started bullying and pushing to get the hell out. The unwashed masses inside of a too-small room. Is it just me, or did they really tear down a grand old hotel and ballroom for this pseudo-corporate look? The room seemed smaller this year...

So... I went to all the panels instead.

That was a hoot. Wierd Al and some other guy, who I found out voices the enzyte commercial (and BW Megs, and Animated Prime...). They did an erection commercial for TFs, among other hilarious things. They handled the crowd well; good thing, because some of the people that went up to the mic...look, everyone, even the developmentally disabled, deserve a chance, and they did make up for their delivery by asking some interesting questions...nonetheless, I cringed, yet these gentleman executed responses with style, grace, and a ton of humor.

There was a writer's panel for the ROTF movie. They were well-enough spoken, slightly arrogant, and at least one of them plays for the other team. Oh well. Nothing informative.

Hasbro Panel: In-addition to a crapload of useless crap toys we'll see this year, they basically said they felt fan creations (Fansproject was mentioned specifically) now infringed on their intellectual property copyright, and they were going to start cracking down on these things (like they did the Hasbro KOs from China). Yeah, good luck on that, buddy. Piss off the fans even more. I'm not sure that snap-on accessories made in Japan can be cracked down on...though I suppose entire toys could be a grey area. As long as they don't make an entire TF, you'd think they'd be ok. Guess someone stepped over the line. I can tell you how this will turn out (Fred pulls down volume x of copyright law) but I suspect you already know...

Makes me glad we do things for parody purposes.

When I was in the dealer's room, I got two specific items that, now that I've had a chance to document them, it's well past time to get them into someone else's collection. Those pics will be further below. It's uber promotional G1 marketing poontang. You know you want it.

I apparently got hit on while I was at the show. This was explained to me after the fact. It was day three, I think, I was really tired, one in the morning, and I just wanted to get back to the room and sleep. So I apologise to that gal for not being more sociable. I was ignoring you because I was tired, not because you were ugly. If I'd have been more awake, I'm sure I would have done you.

OK, she was ugly.

The Tours:

Yea, I didn't do those. I walked 6 blocks in each direction from the point of the convention center. Interesting place at ground level. I found an upper crust retirement community, an antique store that puts ours all to shame...there's a hole in the wall eatery that's open from 6 to 2. Serves an egg, or an egg on a biscuit. And water. Yea, great. I hit the deli, as usual. Why spend 30 bucks on a sandwich, when I can use that same money to buy ingrediants to 8 sandwiches?

Lewis and I saw the Terminator movie. Good flick, but...if you look at the scene (where the mine attaches to his leg and blows up), and you know how I'm built, well, you'll understand how I'm now a bit nervous. I thought all this time I was the bionic man. Turns out I'm flesh over an endoskeleton. Great movie, or at least, better than I expected. I especially liked the huge TF standee in the corner. Nice.

Took the shuttle to Denny's with the gang. That has my vote for the best friend gathering of 2009. Got to try something new, a strawberry lemonade. Actual strawberries in it. Huh. Crazy-steve has the best drinks...

The resturant at the Sheridan has my vote for the best $12 sandwich. Particle Man told an interesting story that I'll not repeat here...

The Toy Depot was out of business. Shame, that.

Bret and Lewis were good sports for putting up with me using the table as a rest-stop. :-) Shawn looked pretty burned out by the end of the show. I doubt he'll volunteer that much again without adequate compensation. Matt, I think, had the most fun of all of us. Lyn was guarding the large Bumblebee in the hallway something fierce (I think I have apic of her angry face) and LP was the happiest I'd ever seen him. He actually almost kind of smiled.

Nexus Maximus. It's the name of the club combiner, and the name of a huge double dildo. Teehee. Yea, your software was blocked, alright...

The Paramount Party:

This was all kinds of fun. It was hard work eating enough hamburgers and bbq chicken to cover 50 bucks, but I did my best. Liked 'The Touch', liked the movie preview tidbits, liked exploring on my own where security wasn't watching me...

I dunno why everyone was looking at Bay. His gal-pal was much nicer to look at...

Devastator apparently scared some of the gals, like a horror flick would (in terms of its organic, jurrasic park combining and stomping). Bumblebee got to beat the snot out of one guy and gutted another (Ravage, by pulling his spine out from his ass).

There was no post-Botcon depression this time. Honestly, except for ten minutes during the Hasbro panel where I decided I was going to sell all my TFs and get the hell out of this nuthouse...I had a great time. It really recharged my batteries.

I needed that.

There's a final pic on the roll, of my dufflebag at the airport. No clothes in it; I had to mail those home. It contains the few Botcon mementoes I considered most enjoyable, the useless bits of detrius that somehow held more nostalgia than monetary value for me. There were some Jumpstarters in there.

And socks.

Never forget the socks.