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Botcon newbie - any tips?


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#1 Magnusblitz

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 07:50 PM

So, never been to Botcon before, but heavily considering going to this one as I'm at UCLA and Pasadena is a (fairly) quick car ride away. But as I've never gone before, I'm not quite really sure what to expect. So, I was wondering if anyone had helpful knowledge or tips to share so I can avoid learning them the "hard" way. (I'll be driving every day instead of getting a hotel room, FWIW). Stuff like how much extra money I should bring (not only for the "extra" Botcon exclusive toys, but for anything else as well), what's worth seeing and what's not, how to get around, what to expect in terms of the panels and stuff shown, that sort of stuff.

Edited by Magnusblitz, 21 February 2009 - 07:51 PM.


#2 TSM-in-N.Y.

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 08:25 PM

FTP!

What I find to be useful advice for any convention, bring at least 50% more monry than you think you'll need. How much that is exactly only you can decide.

If you don't spend then no harm no foul as the saying goes. On the other hand if you need a few extra bucks for that extra special item and find that you don't have it...


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#3 Stormrave

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 10:08 PM

If there is going to be a line, make sure you get there super early. Like, a couple hours early. It is better to spend an hour or two chatting with the people around you in line and be at the head of the line, then spend an hour or four waiting at the back of a line only to find they sell out, or to have to spend an hour waiting to just get in.

Bring a large bag like an army bag or at the very least a backpack to the dealer's room. Many dealers don't have shopping bags to give out. You will want somewhere safe to put your purchases so you're not constantly going back to your hotel room*

*unless you fill the army bag....been there, done that....

Another awesome thing about army bags is you can bring a hard-sided suitcase to the con and pack the army bag inside it. Then when you get to the con, you put your toys in the hard-sided suitcase and put your clothes in the army bag for the trip home.
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#4 Daggor

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 12:29 AM

More advice:

If you use a backpack, for the love of Primus PLEASE don't actually wear it on your back when you're in the dealer room. It doubles the space you take up and makes it very difficult for others to get by when trying to get around. Speaking of crowds, if you are looking at display cases, please don't stand as close as you can and take a picture of every item - someone might be behind you, wanting to look at the new figures. If you're browsing the dealer's room, please treat it like a buffet line - find a space in, then move to your left/right as space permits. Please do not elbow your way in as people are moving left/right, as it makes it difficult for polite people to make their way through.


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#5 lonegamer8

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 02:24 AM

Interesting on the backpack. Then again, the time(s) I attended SDCC and Anime Expo (Anaheim, Long Beach, Downtown), I had no trouble with wearing my backpack. Then again, there was a bit more space in the aisles...

Any suggestions if you want to take pictures of the displays?

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#6 Solarstorm

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 03:05 AM

1) I'd suggest a sports bag/army bag over a backpack. Fit more loose toys in it.

2) Get the stuff you really want right away and then bring them to your car or room. You don't want to be carrying around lots of large boxes. It will quickly become a hindrance.

3)Check multiple tables before buying (unless it's a really good deal or really rare). There were times I picked up something only to see a better condition figure or a better price at another table.

4) Ask vendors about figures you're looking for, even if you don't see it on their shelves/table. Sometimes they don't put everything out at once. Most vendors settle in for 3 days. One vendor had 3 things I wanted/purchased (God Neptune, Star Convoy, and Overlord). I didn't see anything else there and I went to other tables blowing my cash on other stuff. Next day, he put out a mint loose Raiden and I had spent my money already. I kicked myself 100 times. If I just asked about it the day before, I might have gotten it.

5)Get to the big events early. I saw a big line for Peter Cullen and said, "eh I'll go check out the IDW panel and come back. No need to sit here for two hours." I came back an hour early and the line was already filled to capacity. Most people got there and waited close to two hours. Part of me wishes I stayed...part of me still says no autograph is worth a 2 hour wait.

6) Buy multiple items at once and seek a discount. Guarantee multiple sales, if they'll cut the price. I've gotten as much as 100 knocked off the total this way. If you can get a few things you want at one table, go for it. You might be able to save some cash.

7) Assemble a list prior to the convention of your dealer room interests/targets. It will organize things for you and facilitate the other points listed above.

8) Bring a good chunk of cash and don't spend it too fast. I brought 1,000 last time and found myself on my last 200 within a few hours. This year, I'll be bringing $1,500 and looking for fewer big ticket items.
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#7 GEN1FAN

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 08:42 AM

coming From a dealer of 4 botcon shows. not all dealer will have the same itmes for sale. Yes there will be big bad toys and tfsource withthe new items for sale, and there will be the colth booth. But what I'm saying is....
Every year There something on my booth that I just happen to be the only dealer to have that item or the only dealer that has it complete. 05 box 100% complete Roadbuster, 06 complete overload, and the extra overload parts. 07 was the only dealer that had 1 of each g1 combiner for sale, and had 2 sets of g1 seekers. last year was a loose vroom. just to name a few items.

If your wondering if you want to get the primus pass, I strongly say YES!!!!!!!!!!!, Main reasonis of the Friday pre-show dealer floor. You will have 3 or 4 hours to walk around and buy items before anyone else does. A dealer may have that item you have been looking for the pass 7 years and it maybe the only on on the whole floor. Most dealer will walk around once they are set up to see how the fair on prices and what the other dealer have.
Friday .... Most dealer will NOT move off their prices cause the show has not even started. Unless its a large sale
Saturday most will not deal until around noon, that give gernal addimission people time to buy at the orginal dealers price. Reason I say this is some fans have to pass on the primus package just so they can attend the show.
Sunday most dealres will deal the wheels off you trying to get your last $100.00 dollars just so they do not have to tak eeverything back with them.

As far as dealer floor goes with this show on the west coast I would say plan on prices to be right at if not a little higher then ebay prices. With that said The best way to get an idea of how much money u need to bring is look at the closed auction on ebay and ADD in shipping cost that your total price. Make a list and take with you of what your looking for with the price its been going for on ebay. 1 thing I hate to see is some one walks to my booth and every year I hear it at least once a day." Man I wish i would of hit this booth 1st cause this guys price are really good" Also cause your not getting a hotel room. Ask the dealer if he takes trade ins. That how I got 2 g1 boxed item last year for the private collection. Also just because a dealer hs 85 on jazz does mean he will not take $75 for it.

Well I hope that I hqave answer some of your questiions, if u want more information pm me or If you want to talk I have free weekends on my cell. let me know

#8 xZAOx

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 12:13 PM

So Jim, have you and Bret decided on if you're going as dealers again or not yet?

#9 GEN1FAN

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 04:14 PM

QUOTE(xZAOx @ Feb 22 2009, 12:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So Jim, have you and Bret decided on if you're going as dealers again or not yet?



Yes we are getting a booth, but the way Brett is talk he will have just a few items unless he buys a collection or down ungrade his collection again. Also we r getting 2 booth I have 2 other buddys that want in so that why we r getting the 2 booths.

#10 Magnusblitz

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 08:44 PM

Thanks for all the responses so far.

I notice a lot of it has been about buying stuff from the dealers tables. I probably won't be interested in too much, though I might take a look and see if there are any of the toys I missed from more recent lines such as Armada and Energon, but not going to be adding too much to the collection. Is it still worth going for the other events, such as the panels and so forth? I also don't think I've ever met any TF fans face-to-face either, so I won't have anyone I "know" to hang with, though I'd certainly like to meet some of the other users here. People generally sociable and outgoing, or do they form their own cliques and stake out their territory and keep to themselves? icon-hotrod.gif

#11 xZAOx

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 09:22 PM

QUOTE(Magnusblitz @ Feb 22 2009, 07:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is it still worth going for the other events, such as the panels and so forth?


Oh of course (provided you're interested in the topics). if you're on this forum, then the big Hasbro panel is a must. If you like (or like many, are currently upset about) the comics, then the IDW ones are great. If you like the cartoons, check out the voice actor panels (although the QA in those is embarrassing typically). You get the idea.

QUOTE(Magnusblitz @ Feb 22 2009, 07:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I also don't think I've ever met any TF fans face-to-face either, so I won't have anyone I "know" to hang with, though I'd certainly like to meet some of the other users here. People generally sociable and outgoing, or do they form their own cliques and stake out their territory and keep to themselves? icon-hotrod.gif


Both happen. I'd highly recommend checking out the parts parties (GEN1FAN (Jim) and Magamus (Bret) both host a huuuuge one each year), where you can hang out and meet other members too. And hopefully you get along with your roomies too.

#12 MrBlud

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 10:10 PM

QUOTE
If you like the cartoons, check out the voice actor panels (although the QA in those is embarrassing typically)


Seriously.

I've been to the same Peter Cullen panel like three times. icon-fire.gif

#13 xZAOx

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 11:06 PM

QUOTE(MrBlud @ Feb 22 2009, 09:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE
If you like the cartoons, check out the voice actor panels (although the QA in those is embarrassing typically)


Seriously.

I've been to the same Peter Cullen panel like three times. icon-fire.gif


And David Kaye is always hilarious.

#14 lonegamer8

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 11:36 PM

I'm curious as to how Botcon Idol works.

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#15 Galenraff

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 12:58 PM

QUOTE(lonegamer8 @ Feb 22 2009, 10:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm curious as to how Botcon Idol works.

That sounds new...it'll be interesting. Possibly hilarious.

QUOTE
Any suggestions if you want to take pictures of the displays?

Wait until you have enough space to get good shots. Make sure they're not blurry. Make sure that there's not some guy's crotch directly on the opposite side of the glass from the toy you're shooting. Basically, if there's a huge mob, just wait a little while and come back. There are plenty of times that you can get a look at the toys and have time and space to move around better.

As for the dealer room, definitely have a list in mind of what toys you want, what their prices are on ebay or other places you could get them, and what accessories they should have. These are difficult to look up quickly in the dealer room on your phone or whatever, so it's best to know these things ahead of time for the things you want most. If you see something and the price looks better than you expected, it probably is, and that thing won't be there when you finish your first lap of the dealer room. For other stuff that aren't must-have's, finish a lap to compare prices. You really just have to know how badly you want stuff, and how much you expect to pay for what you want so you can make some of those decisions quickly. For stuff you really really want, don't feel bad if you buy it immediately and then see it slightly cheaper later - just understand that this could happen, and that's the risk of trying to be SURE you get something.

Don't feel pressure to buy. If you're not that interested in something, or if the dealer isn't budging on price, walk away. Unless it's a must-have item, you might get lucky and find it still there on Saturday afternoon or Sunday, when they're going to be much more willing to deal. I got like $5 knocked off an Encore Jazz by doing this, even though it had just come out. They didn't want to take so much stock home, so because I bought that and something else, I still got a deal.

Talk to other fans about who to see and who to avoid. They know who's got good stuff, and who's just being a dick each year. It's good to know these things.

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#16 Mouse_Pad

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 02:45 PM

QUOTE(lonegamer8 @ Feb 22 2009, 01:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Any suggestions if you want to take pictures of the displays?


The new toy displays? Don't. ASM and the other fan sites will have it covered. You're just taking up space in a crowded area.
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#17 Stormrave

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 02:45 PM

Voice actor panels are always a great laugh.

I hit the dealer room first, quick-grab my major wants, then spend most of a convention going to panels. Panels are something you can't get at ebay. I did the rest of my dealer room shopping during down time when there are no panels, or if the panels are something I'm not interested in (one year at TFCon I skipped the trivia games in favour of shopping.)

As for hanging out: if you are going to the con dinner, you should be able to meet people you are sitting beside. Check the Conventions forum here on the Allspark to seek out board meets, where you can meet people you already know from here. I tend to hang out with people I already know from MUSHes or staffing here, but if you don't have a bunch of people you already know well, definitely hit the dinners, meets, or other "getting to know you" type events. I've run the pizza party dinner at TFCon for 3 years now and I've had a lot of people telling me that as it was their first con they were able to meet people to hang out with for the whole weekend while getting their dinner.

And unfortunately it must be said:

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Hugging use deodorant.
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#18 MirageAg99

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 02:06 PM

I must reinforce:

QUOTE
Hugging shower.
Hugging wear clean clothes.
Hugging use deodorant.
Be aware there is going to be at least one hugger who does not follow this advice, and at some point, you'll be in a lineup behind him.


#19 Solarstorm

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 02:47 PM

Is it strange that I made it through all of Botcon 07 without coming across the dirty clothes/unkempt/odorous individuals?
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#20 xZAOx

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 03:49 PM

QUOTE(Solarstorm @ Feb 25 2009, 01:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is it strange that I made it through all of Botcon 07 without coming across the dirty clothes/unkempt/odorous individuals?


Yes. Which typically means, if you don't find anyone who stinks, that means the one who stinks is.....

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Edited by xZAOx, 25 February 2009 - 03:50 PM.




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