Friday, January 17, 2014

Featured eBay auction of the week - 2001 Botcon Arcee & 2004 OTFCC Sentinel Maximus w/ Ape-Linq

Back before the days of Fun Publications, Botcon was a smaller, more affordable Transformers experience.  Originally the brainchild of the Hartman brothers, they later took on a 3rd person (Glen Hallit) and 3H Enterprises was formed.

OK, so then what is OTFCC?  Well that's an interesting story.  At some point the Hartman brothers had falling out with their business partner, Glen.  The Hartmans owned the Botcon name and took their property elsewhere.  Glen was left to his own devices and carried on the annual Transformers convention w/ Hasbro's help.  Dubbed OTFCC, this was an acronym that stood for Official TransFormers Collector's Convention.  Yeah, doesn't exactly run off your tongue as easily as Botcon, does it?

click on the picture to see the eBay auction

I was fortunate enough to attend the annual Botcon/OTFCC convention from 2000-2004 and 2006-2007.  2001 will always be special to me as it was held in Durham, NC...just a few hours drive north of where I was living in NC at the time.  Back then it wouldn't cost you an arm and a leg to attend the show and buy the exclusives.  Admission was reasonable and there were only two exclusive toys to buy.  That's it.  In 2001 fans were treated to Beast Wars Tigertron and Arcee.  The packaging on these guys is a sight to behold.  Blue Olive Studios was contracted to design the packaging and they hit a major home run in my opinion.  There were actually two versions of Arcee made available, though you can't tell just by looking at the packaging.  Pre-registered attendees were treated to a surprise when they opened the front window flap on box.  They were greated by Susan Blu's voice saying, "Arcee, Maximize!"  Yup, the voice director of Beast Wars and the voice of Arcee from the G1 cartoon recorded a few phrases on a chip.  This was embedded inside the box.  Pretty cool.  Only downside is when the battery dies, you have to open up the package in order to change the battery.

While I love the overall presentation of this toy, I never cared much for the actual mold the toy uses...Beast Wars Transmetal 2 Blackarachnia.  I debated whether or not to keep Arcee and in the end decided she was better off in someone else's collection.  After all she had been stored in my closet for several years.  Trying to find a fair asking price wasn't easy as not many have sold in the last 6 months on eBay.  My price may be a little high, but we'll see what happens.

click on the picture to see the eBay auction

After the fall out with the Hartmans, Glen Hallit marched on with OTFCC.  In 2004 the show was held again in Chicago, IL.  I could only attend to go one day that year, so I flew in early that Saturday and flew home later that evening.  I was hoping to go home with this awesome piece, but due to circumstances beyond Glen's control, Sentinel Maximus wasn't available at the show.  In fact, Hasbro had to step in and mail the toy out to those that had pre-registered several months after the actual convention.  Some people never even got their toy due to old, outdated mailing lists that 3H provided Hasbro.  Thankfully, I got mine.

Sentinel Maximus is a remolded, recolored Armada Overload.  His Mini-Con, Ape-Linq features two new head sculpts.  It's a beautiful toy, but the time has come where he just doesn't "fit" into my collection.  I had a hard time finding a fair asking price for him as well, but we'll see how he fairs on eBay.

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