Saturday, May 28, 2011

Botcon Flashback - 2006 Lexington, Kentucky

In celebration of Botcon 2011 happening next weekend I thought it would be fun to look back pictures buried on my hard drive from 2006 Botcon held in Lexington, Kentucky.  I lucked out that year as my step father's family lived just outside of Lexington in Lancaster, KY.  So my wife and I made the drive from Charlotte, NC where we were living at the time to Rupp Arena for some Botcon fun.

2006 seems like ages ago.  It was a fantastic show and considering it was only the 2nd Botcon that Fun Publications organized everything seemed to flow really well.  In the Transformers community the buzz in the area was Classics!  A few lucky attendees hit the local retail stores and found Optimus Prime and Megatron before the dealer room opened.  I remember seeing a few for sale at highly inflated prices.  I also remember seeing people walking around w/ them firmly tucked underneath their arm so I knew someone out there paid the asking prices.

One of the things I always looked forward to @ Botcon was the display cases that Hasbro would set up.  This particular year the cases were full of upcoming Classics releases, the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) exclusive G1 Soundwave along with coming 6 inch Titanium releases.

So join me down memory lane as I share my experience at the 2006 Botcon convention.

Photobucket

As you entered the convention center lobby just outside the dealer room you were "greeted" by this large robotic hand holding a huge cylinder with big red LED lights.  The lights were counting down.  Down to what?  Remember - this was 2006...one year before the first live action Transformers film hit theaters!

Photobucket

If you've ever attended a Botcon since 2005 when Fun Publications took over then you'll know that with your paid pre-registration you get an awesome box of exclusive Transformers.  2006's theme was pre-Beast Wars, "Dawn of Future's Past"!  Like a lot of other TF fans I attribute my return to the Transformers brand to Beast Wars.  Yeah, I was able to pick up a few G2 toys on clearance when it was dying, but Beast Wars is what really drew me back in.  The box set of toys is a thing of beauty.  It captures the main cast of Maximals in their pre-Earth beast modes.  Optimus Primal was made using the Cybertron voyager mold of Crumplezone.  Rhinox from the Cybertron deluxe Landfill, Cheetor from the Cybertron basic Skids while Rattrap was made using the Cybertron basic Ransack mold.  Dinobot was also included as the only Predacon in the box set and was made from the Cybertron deluxe mold of Longrack.  Still to this day this is one of my favorite box sets from Botcon.

Photobucket  I 

One of the other big draws to Botcon now are the attendee only exclusives offered for sale at the show.  I don't think I knew what they would be going into this show so needless to say I was floored when I saw Megatron and Waspinator!  If memory serves me correctly this set sold for around $89.  As embarrassed as I may have been my mom who tagged along to KY wanted to come in with me when I went to check in and pick up my boxed set on Thursday.  I'm glad I did though as she offered to buy the Megs/Waspy set for me!  Sadly today I only own the Waspintor figure as I flipped Megatron for a nice G1 Black Zarak and cash.

Photobucket

The other set of exclusive toys offered @ the show were the equally awesome Laserbeak & Buzzsaw set.  These toys were based off the Energon basic Divebomb figure.  As you can tell the mold fit these 2 characters perfectly.  Judging from their tech spec cards I believe both characters are supposed to be their G1 selves.  I don't remember how much this set sold for, but I'm glad to say that I still have both proudly on display @ home.

As I mentioned in my opening paragraph the buzz in the air was Classics.  I know the next few pictures I'll share isn't anything you haven't seen before, but in 2006 everyone seemed to be crowded the glass display cases trying to get a good glimpse at the items that would beg your wallet to open up for.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Ah, Cliffjumper.  Everyone's favorite rowdy Minibot.  Was this the first figure that started the current repaint Bumblebee to make Cliffjumper?

Photobucket

One of my favorite deluxe Classics figure - Mirage!

Photobucket

Me Grimlock!  I like this mold better as Overkill.

Photobucket

The Ultimate Battle box set featuring Optimus Prime and a green tank (G2?) Megatron.

Photobucket

Photobucket

It's the 20th Anniversary DVD Edition Optimus Prime.  Whoo...look at those neutered smoke stacks.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Target exclusive Battle for Autobot city featuring Ultra Magnus (sans armor) and Skywarp.  Note the blue head on Ultra Magnus the shot above.  This was obviously changed for the mass release.

Photobucket

Photobucket

An excellent upgrade to the G1 character Jetfire (or Skyfire...which name do you prefer?)


Photobucket

Classics also saw the return of Devastator in "giftset" form.  It's just a repainted Energon Constructicon Devastator, but back then this toy was all the rage.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Also on display was the 2006 SDCC exclusive G1 Soundwave reissue in Classics packaging.  Since I already owned a couple Soundwave reissue this was a easy skip for me, but still cool none the less.

Photobucket

Where did Ramjet's packaging go?

Photobucket

Legends scale Bumblebee.  A lot of these Classics Legends figures were simple repaints of Legends of Cybertron toys.  I don't know why at that time I thought these were so cool.

Photobucket

Whirl - one of the better Legends toys.

Photobucket

Menasor?  Guess Hasbro lost the naming rights to the Motormaster name.

Photobucket

Leo Prime?  This character really surprised me...love it.

Photobucket

Jetfire.  Decent mold.  Works better as a Decepticon.  Surprised we never got a G1 themed Thundercracker and Skywarp out of this mold.

Photobucket

Fireflight - what an odd character choice.

Photobucket

Trypticon - another odd inclusion.

Photobucket

Perceptor.  Perhaps this idea for Perceptor inspired the new Reveal the Shield Perceptor?

Photobucket

Classics also saw the debut of new Minicons!  I can't tell you how excited I was for more Minicons.  Here we have the Clear Skies Team.

Photobucket

Dirt Digger Team.  I LOVE the orange car and the Grave Digger theme on the monster truck is a win!

Photobucket

Predator team.  Meh.  The early beast Minicons weren't all that spectacular.

Photobucket

New Alternators!  Decepticon Rumble and Decepticon Ravage.  Walmart ended up with these, but eventually I think they found their way into other retail stores in limited fashion.

Photobucket

New transformable 6 inch Titanium toys were also showcased as with the case of this new War Within Megatron.

Photobucket

The Fallen (from Dreamwave's comic continuity.

Photobucket

Sunstorm.

Photobucket

Soundwave.  There is a reason they chose to display this toy in alt mode - his robot mode SUCKS!

Photobucket

Continuing the trend of repainting Optimus Prime white here is a War Within Ultra Magnus.

Photobucket

Finally a proper G1 Ultra Magnus!

Photobucket

Beast Machines Cheetor.  One of the few Titanium toys that I still own.  Surprisingly a good representation of the character.  Better than any previous Beast Machines Cheetor.

Photobucket

20th Anniversary DVD

Photobucket

The whole Attacktix toys were just starting to hit retail at the time of the convention and these G1 Megatron and Optimus Prime were showcased, but sadly I don't think ever saw the light of day at retail.  I believe they even hosted an Attacktix tournament that year. 

Just inside the dealer room to the right were several large glass display cases showing off all of the Mini-Cons / Microns released to date.  This was a sight to see, especially if you are a fan of the small toys.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

I don't know who's Mini-Con / Micron collection that is, but it was awesome to see in person.  My own collection of these little guys isn't too far off from this one, though the idea of owning some of the ones that I see in these pictures are a pipe dream at best now.

There was plenty more to see at the show, but for whatever reason those are the only pictures I took or still have on my computer's hard drive.  So we'll get on to the portion of the post "What did I buy @ Botcon?".  After seeing these pictures again of my Botcon haul I had to stop and remember things were a lot different a few years ago for.  1) I had not yet bought the house I now live in.  2) I had a good paying job at the time.  3) I didn't have children yet.  

Anyhow, it is cool to look back and see what I bought as I still have many memories from the show.  I can even remember what I paid for some of the items as I got some really good deals.  

Photobucket

The haul easily filled up my then dining room table.

Photobucket

A few of the items include a Titanium War Within Optimus Prime, Cybertron Runamuck, canceled Built To Rule (BTR) Energon Inferno & Skyblast (please, don't ask me why!) and with a World's Smallest Megatron.

Photobucket

Beast Wars II Scissorboy, MISB G1 Action Masters Axer & Over-Run.  Believe it or not I scored both of these for $15 each!  G1 Horri-Bull was complete, Myclone Metroplex & Trypticon were $3 a each while the loose Micromaster Battlefield Headquarters came complete, stickers unapplied (included) for $50.  The Frenzy/Buzzsaw set are the crystal KOs.

Photobucket

Machine Robo Mugenbine Spit Cobra was one of my first purchases at the show.  $10 was a steal.  Awesome figure.  The exclusive Buzzsaw / Laserbeak set came packaged in clear baggies. 

Photobucket

Darksyde Megatron & Waspinator!

Photobucket

TFSource was having a sale so I picked up a few eHobby exclusives before I left.  I love the Insecticons and Overcharge is pretty cool too.  I should mention that the Calcar/Roadraider box behind the Myclones is empty.  I purchased it for $10 from the Hartman brothers who were there selling their entire Transformers collection.

Photobucket

The 2 MOSC G1 Action Masters (Treadshot & Mainframe) were $8 each I believe.  There you can see the sticker sheet to the aforementioned Micromaster Battlefield HQ.

Photobucket

Unicron.com was present selling some of their items and new this year was this awesome Beast Wars Golden Disk set.  That thing in the middle is an attachment for Transmetal BW Megatron to attach to his tail and acts as a disk reader.  The golden disks are gold plated brass coins with detail molded on one side to match the disks in the CGI television show. 

Botcon 2006 was an excellent show and I had a lot of fun.  I had to sit out Botcon 2005 breaking my consecutive attending streak at 5 so I was thrilled to learn that the 2006 show was being held a little closer to home.  Little did I know what was in store for me and other Transformers fan a year later in Providence, RI.  Stay tuned as we celebrate Botcon week with yet another Botcon Flashback!

2 comments:

  1. That was such a fun experience, I think it was probably the last 'small' Botcon before things started to get out of hand. I went back through a lot of my pics as well and I can't believe the difference in the prices just five years ago. Since the movies came out the prices have just been crazy. Good times, good times. Do you have pictures of any of the conventions before 2005?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have some pictures somewhere that I took and had developed (remember the days of pre-digital cameras!). If I can find them I'll do a post on those older shows as well.

    I still can't believe how much they ramped up the production numbers from 2006 to 2007 for the exclusives. No wonder that Darksyde Megatron sells for so much with only 500 made.

    ReplyDelete