BotCon 2022 Nashville, TN August 25-28


Continuity Nutcase
BotCon 2022 report

On the Thursday of August 25 to the Sunday of August 28, the once official Transformers convention BotCon made its long-awaited return, following its end back in 2016. The first BotCon in six years, BotCon 2022 was the first to be run by new convention organizers Agabyss, and the first to be unendorsed by Hasbro since 2004 (before then, only BotCon 2002 had been an officially-licensed event; BotCons 1994-2001 were likewise unlicensed events but did sell officially-licensed merchandise and fiction as exclusives).

As such, the convention exclusives for this new era of BotCon were the first to not be Transformers product at all. For last year, BotCon offered their first exclusive online. An action figure belonging to the Action Force line produced by Valaverse, Wasp Raider was supposed to be released at BotCon 2021, but the COVID-19 pandemic ended up pushing plans for the convention back a whole year. So, Wasp Raider was released online in lieu of a physical convention release. As one can easily tell, his color scheme is homage to Beast Wars Waspinator.


For 2022, BotCon was happening for real and went back to tradition of having a main boxed set, attendee freebie, and additional souvenirs available at the convention store. Rather than go the route of third-party "not-Transformers" like TFCon, or preexisting official Transformers product simply customized like Dairycon, BotCon 2022 instead opted to release exclusive redecos of another, lesser known, first-party line of transforming robot toys.

Produced by 52Toys, BeastBox is a line of transforming robot action figures that features a wide assortment of robotic animals that all change into 2-inch by 2-inch by 2-inch cubes. Because of this, BeastBox toys are very intricate and complex in their designs, some having a real origami feel to them that can make the conversion process quite challenging for some.

Four figures were offered in a boxed set included with the Premium and VIP registration packages, another was offered as the attendee freebie, and two more were each sold as souvenirs exclusive to the onsite BotCon Store. And what was special about these seven is that each was given a color scheme that paid homage to a past Transformers character.

4 Figure Box Set:
* Albitron: A crocodile colored like Albitron, redecoed from BeastBox BB-15 Teardrop
* Dragonfire: A Chinese dragon colored like Shattered Glass Rodimus, redecoed from MegaBox MB-14 Chinese Dragon
* Siberius: A tiger colored like prototype Tigatron/Mutant Tigatron/Shattered Glass Cheetor, redecoed from BeastBox BB-20 Torado
* Motley Roo w/ Josey: A kangaroo and joey colored like Shattered Glass Soundwave and Ravage, redecoed from BeastBox BB-35 Ricochet

Attendee freebie:
* Boxx Monkey: A gorilla colored like, well, it was stated at the show to be colored like Primal Prime, but it's colored red and silver with no blue, and features flame designs that make it look a lot more like Burning Convoy, redecoed from BeastBox BB-03MK Monkey King

Store-exclusive souvenirs:
* Ligerstrike: A lion colored like Shattered Glass Megatron, redecoed from BeastBox BB-19LD Leonardo
* Dark Klawd: A wolf colored like Shattered Glass Optimus Prime, redecoed from BeastBox BB-31 FirmHand

The accompanying convention comic featuring these toys (titled "Charging into the Fray!" as part of a new comic line named BotCon Unlimited) was... okay. It only featured Ligerstrike and Dragonfire. Boxx Monkey was on the cover but, other than that, none of the other BeastBox characters appeared. At all. The only other characters were just humans.

There were also other souvenirs at the store like T-Shirts, pins, a plush toy of Josey, and Volume 2 of BotCon: Beyond the Convention, which covers all that Volume 1 didn't get to cover (like the Transformers Collectors Club exclusives). A special BotCon-exclusive preorder to a new figure in the Archecore line from Toy Alliance was also available at the store, but I did not preorder it.

On Thursday, the first event of the day was the Customization Class (which I didn't sign up for). One at 10am and another at 3pm. In honor of Simon Furman's attendance, the custom class figure (the only convention exclusive that actually had anything to do with Transformers) was Leonicus made from the Walmart-exclusive Vintage Beast Wars Cheetor toy. Who is Leonicus? Well, Leonicus is a character that Simon Furman created for BotCon 1999, the only protagonist of the multi-year storyline Reaching the Omega Point who never received a toy back in the day. He was a member of the Covenant, a group of twelve Transformers who were the first to be created by Primus, a concept that Furman would later recycle for the Thirteen Original Transformers. The idea of using the Cheetor mold came from an unmade Takara concept for a lion retool of the mold (as seen on the webpage linked to above).

Registration package pick-up was throughout the day. Vendor registration and exhibitor hall setup began at 10:30am. VIP and Premium pass registration began at 4pm, and Weekend pass registration began at 6pm. The BotCon store opened at 4:15pm for VIP and Premium pass holders and at 6pm for the Weekend pass holders. The store closed at 10pm and the exhibitor hall setup ended at 11pm. During this time, after picking up my Premium pass and all seven BeastBox figures, I offered to help one of the vendors unload his van and set up his booth, a guy named Joe who's part of the Stasis Lock Podcast. After that, I did him another favor in running a bin full of toys up to Stasis Lock's Parts Party.

Speaking of which, this was my first BotCon where I actually went to the after-hour Parts Parties. I knew about these room-to-room buying sessions in previous years, but was always either too tired or too busy with other things to really go to any of them in the past. This time, I made the effort to explore almost all of them each night, and got some pretty great purchases at several of them (my overall haul from the convention can be found in my previous post).
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Continuity Nutcase
Friday began at 10am when the dealer room opened up to all registered attendees, while General Admission opened up later at 11:30am. On this day, I made the old-school bad decision of spending most of my money on the first day of the dealer room, so had to be very careful with my toy-spending money over the next two days, and that included my later visits to more Parts Parties.

11am marked the Frank Welker autograph session (which was too expensive for me and thus I did not do) and the first panel of the day. Or rather, that's when the first panel was supposed to happen. According to both the schedule and one of the organizers from Agabyss, a guy named Clay Wyatt was supposed to host a "fan script presentation", but he never showed up. I asked one of the organizers if this panel was supposed to be something like the presentation of the original Transformers: The Movie script at TFNation earlier this year, and the guy vaguely implied that it was something like that. But alas, Wyatt never arrived and couldn't be reached, so the panel was canceled.

12pm then kicked off with the true first panel of the day, the Voice Actor Retrospective Panel hosted by the husband-and-wife duo of Michael McConnohie and Melodee Spevack. The two talked about their history in voice acting, primarily their history in dubbing anime like Robotech and Samurai X/Rurouni Kenshin. The latter was a particularly interesting anecdote about the differences in dubbing anime in the early years vs. dubbing anime in more modern years, as both Samurai X and Rurouni Kenshin are two different English dubs of the same series, the former being an older and more Americanized dub and the latter being a later-made, more faithful dub. In regards to the G1 Transformers cartoon, Michael talked about Wally Burr's directing style and how the Autobots of said cartoon were very inspiring, wholesome, morally-upright role models as heroes, which is something that Michael truly admires (put a pin in that for now).

There was a break in the panels at 1pm as Simon Furman and Bob Budiansky were doing autograph sessions for exclusive art prints that Bob had designed for the convention. During this time, I went back into the dealer room for more toy shopping.

I came back for the 2pm panel, which was a really cool one and also the only panel at which no video recording or photography was allowed. Dakota "Primal Sabbath" Raborn played host to a Pre-Productions and Prototypes panel, at which he showed a LOT of concept sketches and test shots for several Transformers toys, particularly of the Beast Wars toyline. A number of these have been displayed at the various RoboCons of the past, but some of his more recent acquisitions were shown off for the first time. Though he did not allow photos or videos at this panel, some of the prototypes were later displayed in the dealer room, at which pictures and videos were allowed. These are the pics I took of the prototype display:














Also at 2pm was a photo op with Frank Welker. Like the earlier autograph session, I didn't do this either.

3pm was the next voice actor panel, "Grimlock vs. Grimlock" with David Kaye and Gregg Berger. This was a fun one with both doing their respective Grimlock voices and an unrehearsed attempt at trying to re-perform the "Anything You Can Do, Me Can do Better" song the two sang years ago back at BotCon 2011.David brought up the lyrics on his phone and held it out for both of them to see, but Gregg could barely see the words and the two improvised and blundered their way through the song to hilarious results.

4pm was the next panel, a "BotCon new product reveal" panel. However, like the first panel of the day, there were some technical difficulties. In this panel's case, the new product that was supposed to be showed off hadn't arrived yet. It had been ordered from China long in advance of the convention, but FedEx was experiencing some unexpected delays. The delivery was scheduled for this day, but ultimately didn't arrive until the next day. So, this panel was not canceled but simply postponed to the next day.

BUT, they DID have two new items on-hand to show us in the meantime. One was the aforementioned Archecore set that was available for preorder at the convention store. The other was another Archecore set, a Combiner, and it was HUGE! I didn't catch the name of this Combiner set, but I did get to hold it! That's right. In an unprecedented move, the panel host let anyone come up and touch, pick up, and hold the samples. The combiner was described as being based on Warhammer/World of Warcraft, and it was heavy! Its arms are swappable, and its legs are swappable, but not between each other (meaning the arms can't become legs or vice versa). It looked like a big armor suit, with the arm components fitting over the arms of the central core unit and the leg components connecting to the core unit's legs. The whole thing had a real steam punk look to its design.

Here is a far-away photo of the Archecore samples that was taken by fellow attendee and Allspark Discord user Cody98:


And that was the last panel of the day. The dealer room closed at 5pm.

Later that night, at 9pm, a mixer (a meet-and-greet party with drinks and socializing) was held by the Realm of Collectors, of which the Agabyss organizers are members. I popped in to hang out and chat for a few minutes before heading to more Parts Parties for some more late-night room-to-room shopping.
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Continuity Nutcase
Saturday began with the dealer room opening at 9am to registered attendees (general admission attendees were allowed in at 10am). 9am was also another Frank Welker autograph session, which I continued to skip (again, too rich for my blood).

I did, however, take the opportunity to talk to Simon Furman at his autograph booth, at which I also acquired an autographed copy of IDW's Transformers: Best of the Rarities. He also had copies of the rare BotCon 2000 "Reaching the Omega Point: Terminus" comic for sale, but I in my stupidity didn't think to buy one from him until after he had sold out of them.

Anyway, in my talking to him, I asked if he could clarify if the character of Snow Cat from the Dreamwave Energon comics (which he wrote) had been considered the same character as Cyclonus in an upgraded body (like in the cartoon) or if he had considered Snow Cat to be his own character separate from Cyclonus at the time that Furman had written the character. As Furman recalled it, at the time, Snow Cat was not treated as the same character as Cyclonus. He was written as his own separate character.

Then I got to talking to him about the Covenant, of which Leonicus (the custom class toy) was a member. I asked him if the Covenant's similarity to the Thirteen (or rather, vice versa) was due to one being based on the other conceptually, or if they were just two different versions of the same concept. Turns out it was the latter. When Furman created the concept of the Thirteen, he was not drawing influence from when he created the Covenant. The Thirteen were just a new and different version of the same basic idea.

My last question for this little session between us was if there had been any plans for later issues of the Transformers: Universe comics from back when he was writing them in 2003. He said he didn't have any plans back then. Apparently, he was just writing them as he went along at the time, and didn't know what would have happened in the story after the third issue.

10am was the first panel of the day, and this time it went off without a bang. Clay Wyatt (who was supposed to have hosted the previous day's first panel) showed up to host a "Nuance in Bay's noise" panel, in which he presented a college lecture-styled presentation of often overlooked subtleties to the Michael Bay-directed Transformers movies. Namely, he psychoanalyzed Optimus Prime's personal journey across the first four movies, pointing out the symbolism of his gradually shifting from being right-handed to left-handed over the course of the first four films, and how that reflects his shift from being morally upright and full of hope in the first movie to becoming vengeful, rage-filled, and feeling betrayed by humanity in Age of Extinction. It was honestly quite fascinating.

After the panel ended, I briefly asked Clay Wyatt about what happened with the previous day's first panel that he was supposed to have hosted but never showed up, and he said that he didn't know anything about it, stating that he was only supposed to host this day's panel. I then asked the same panel host from the previous day about what Wyatt had told me, and he claimed that they had told Wyatt about hosting that panel. One big mess if miscommunication, that was.

Anyway, 11am was the next voice actor panel hosted by Jeanne Carr, the voice of Blackarachnia in the Netflix Kingdom cartoon. She was a very interesting person. She relayed some of her background growing up in a family of actors, talked about her experiences in television, theater, and commercials, and really enjoyed taking the character of Blackarachnia and making the role her own. She was not influenced by Venus Terzo's original performance as she was encouraged by the series' crew to do her own take on the character. Her panel was the only one that I felt compelled to ask a question at, and I asked her who some of her biggest influences were as an actress, outside of her family. She gave some really good answers like Abbot and Costello, George Carlin, Robin Williams, and the Marx Brothers.

12pm was originally going to be a break in the panels with another print signing with Bob Budiansky and Simon Furman. But since the previous day's product reveal panel was delayed, this is when that panel finally happened.

Before that panel started, however, I decided to head over to the autograph booths and have a quick talk with the one guest voice actor who didn't play host to any panels: Samantha Newark. She wasn't at any of the panels because she was a very last-minute addition to the guest roster, only announced the day the convention began.

I paid her booth a visit because fellow user Greebtron heard that she was selling autographed scripts from the G1 Transformers cartoon and asked me to see what she had. Though, all she had were copies of the dialogue script for "B.O.T.", in which she had voiced Elise Presser. But, I got to talking to her and something pretty cool happened. When I told her about why I was asking about what scripts she had with her, that an acquaintance of mine (Greebtron) was interested in them for archival purposes, she was amazed by that notion and I explained that he runs a website called the Sunbow Marvel Archive that focuses on tracking down and archiving a wide array of production material from Marvel/Sunbow Productions. This fascinated her so much that she actually asked me to give her the web address for his website, and told me to tell him that he could reach out to her at her own website,, to see what else she might have, be it Transformers, Jem, or anything else she may have done with Marvel/Sunbow at the time. That was awesome of her!

After that, I ran back to the panel room in time for it to start. The new products that were supposed to be revealed the previous day but hadn't arrived yet had finally come in the mail on this day. They turned out to be a couple of new BeastBox items. And one of which the panelists made a mistake about. The panel hosts, a couple of Agabyss members, claimed that one of these figures, a moth, was an officially-licensed Transformers collaboration figure that had the Beast Wars Predacon symbol on its back. This announcement turned out to be made in error. After the panel, I approached the stage to get a closer look at the figure, and it did not, in fact, have a Predacon symbol or any Transformer-related insignia. It did have a symbol completely unique to itself on its back, but it was not a Transformers symbol of any kind. The panelists simply mistook it for the Predacon insignia.

Backing up a bit, after the BeastBox toys reveals came… *sigh* some third party product reveals. As this BotCon was not affiliated with Hasbro, Agabyss was free to advertise some upcoming third party products. Ironically, though there were third party products available in the dealer room, they were far and few compared to the vast majority of official Transformers and other first-party products (e.g. – Power Rangers, Gundam, Machine Robo, Voltron, etc.) found all over the dealer room. I think there were only maybe two booths in the whole room that had any third party "not-Transformers" for sale, and one of those was Agabyss's booth.

Anyway, because the latter half of the panel was just for third party stuff, I didn't really pay much attention to any of it. The most attention I gave any of it was to some company's upcoming Masterpiece-scaled Junkion in Insecticon colors, and a MP-scaled Orion Pax that was very very purple in places where it should have been blue. What was funny about this, though, was that the panelists were trying to hype up this "not-Orion Pax" but the audience's reaction was mostly lukewarm and indifferent.

After this panel was the 1pm panel, the one I was waiting for the most: The G1 Comics panel hosted by Bob Budiansky and Simon Furman. Back in June, YouTuber Bobby Skullface had done a podcast Q&A with Hany of Agabyss, the head organizer for this year's BotCon, during which Hany had hinted that something pretty special was planned to come from Bob and Simon at this year's convention, his exact words being "There actually is going to be something, I won't speak too much of it, but there will be something that's coming from them two that I'm sure people will love." This got me hyped up for their panel and, well, it turns out that the something special coming from them wasn't at their panel after all, but I'll get to what it was in a moment.

Nonetheless, Bob and Simon's panel was still pretty cool. They both talked about how they each got started on the Marvel G1 comics and showed some preproduction materials like story and concept treatments. And while Bob went through his presentation slides in rapid-fire succession, I can actually show some of these thanks to Greebtron finding images from another panel that Bob hosted at Terrificon 2022:

Bob's original treatment for the Creation Matrix

1985 Transformers product list dated August 15, 1984



Nautilator's character models and bio


Iguanus's Hasbro concept art


Outline for "The Smelting Pool!"

Outline for "Decepticon Graffiti!"

A 1st-draft treatment for the Headmasters mini-series

A 2nd-draft treatment for the Headmasters mini-series

As this panel reached its Q&A session, My phone and laptop were then bombarded by questions for me to ask both Bob and Simon, questions from the good folks on the TFWiki Discord (of which I am also a member). However, the panel was already close to ending by this point, so I decided to hold off on asking them any of these questions until later at their autograph booths.

At the end of the panel came what I was expecting to be the big surprise that Bob and Simon had in store for us, but it just turned out to be an announcement for the grand prize raffle drawing that was to happen the next day. The grand prize was revealed to be the original back-and-white art that Bob had drawn for the exclusive art prints that he and Simon had been autographing for people over the weekend. At some point, someone initially led me to believe that the art being raffled off was actually something that Bob had originally drawn for Marvel all those years ago back in the 1980s, but I got clarification the next day that that was not the case.

Here is what the raffled art looked like:


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Continuity Nutcase
The 2pm panel was the Nacelle w/ Riot Press & The Last of the Seekers panel. This was another product reveal panel, but for these specific companies. As they were something not really related to Transformers (as in, not even third party products), I decided to pass on sticking around for this panel. Instead, I headed over to the autograph booths for some more face time with the guests.

I first stopped by Michael McConnohie's booth. In addition to his having voiced Tracks and Cosmos in the G1 cartoon, he had also voiced Hot Shot, Ironhide, and even voice directed three episodes of the 2001 Robots in Disguise cartoon. However, I was a little saddened to discover that Michael holds very low opinions of that show. In fact, he was rather highly critical of it, deriding it as a disrespectful representation of Transformers and felt that the Japanese had just "given up" on Transformers when they made it. He especially criticized its heavy use of anime-styled visual gags, particularly the big sweat-drops. "Why would robots sweat?!" he said to me. As one who grew up with that series and still very much enjoys it, it was a bit disheartening to hear him say all that.

I would later discover online that he was not only equally critical of the series's visual gags in a past interview with The Cybertron Chronicle, but in that same interview he was also very critical of Beast Wars, calling it "too forced and artificial for belief," and "one big obvious toy commercial, with no real HEART." Recall before that, at his panel the other day, he spoke of the G1 cartoon Autobots being righteous and noble characters. Well, he talks about that too in this old interview. I really get the feeling that he prefers heroes who are good role models and paragons of virtue with high moral compasses, strong values, and an innate ability to get along well with each other without any personal conflict, as opposed to heroes who are less perfect and more snarky, sarcastic, and who bicker with each other more like members of a dysfunctional family that have to work out their personal issues in order to get along. And of course, he is free to have that opinion even if many hold different other opinions.

Anyway, after that brief talk with Michael, I headed over to Simon and Bob's booths to ask them the questions gathered from the TFWiki Discord. Simon was more than happy to answer these questions while Bob seemed less than enthused by them. Granted, there were only two questions for Simon and a whopping seven for Bob, but Bob was willing to let me go ahead and get them all out of the way instead of my original offer to split them up between some that day and the rest on the next day. Unfortunately, onlysome of the questions could Bob actually answer. The rest were all questions about things that he had nothing to do with.

I went to Simon first. The first question for him was about why José Delbo left the Marvel US comics and was replaced by Andrew Wildman and Geoff Senior. Delbo was offered to work on Marvel's then-new series known as Brute Force, and since Senior and Wildman were already working on Transformers at the same time as Delbo, he could go to Brute Force while the other two continued to work on Transformers.

The second question was about the fact that, when the Sparkabots and the Seacons first appeared in the UK comics, the Sparkabots were referred to as "Sparkler Mini-bots" and the Seacon Overbite was named "Jawbreaker". When these same characters later appeared in the US issues, they retained their correct names when said issues were reprinted in the UK. What source of reference was Simon using when he originally used the outdated names? Was it the model sheets or something else? Furman confirmed that it was indeed the model sheets that he had gotten those earlier names from.

For Bob's questions, the only ones that he could answer were one about Don Perlin getting a promotion being the reason he left the Marvel US run after issue #35, the profile he wrote for Shockwave was the original profile written for the character as far as he knows (he knew nothing about the alternate bio written for Shockwave in the G1 cartoon's production bible), the reason that both Issue #16 "Plight of the Bumblebee!" and the UK-original "Man of Iron!" stories came about in the Marvel US run were because he hadn't met his deadline in both instances, and that the ten-page treatment that exists for the Headmasters mini was indeed written by him.

And throughout all of this, I continued to thank him and apologize for all of these questions, especially the ones for which he had no answer. Though he seemed really uninterested by them, he was at least gracious enough to let me get them all out of the way right then and there.

After this little personal Q&A with the comic writers, I headed back to the panel room for the 3pm panel: A Transformers Animated-themed script reading starring Michael McConnohie, Melodee Spevack (in her first and so far only Transformers voice role ever), Gregg Berger, Jeanne Carr, and David Kaye. Titled "The Hot Rod" (not to be confused by the Beast Wars-themed script reading of the same name from BotCon 2016), this was an all-new story written by Josh Perez and Jesse Wittenrich. But, of course, without Hasbro's license, it's just an unofficial story done simply for fun.

Michael voiced Animated Tracks (who was the titular "hot rod" of the story), Melodee voiced Animated Road Rage, Gregg voiced Animated Metalhawk (and broke the fourth wall with his G1 Grimlock voice at one point), Jeanne narrated and voiced Animated Blackarachnia, and David voiced both Animated Optimus Prime and Animated Grimlock.

At least two different recordings of the script reading have been uploaded to the Internet. One on the BotCon Facebook, and one on YouTube.

(You can actually see me in the Facebook recording. I'm the guy wearing the Powerline shirt.)

Just so it's clear, the surprise character who appears at the end is supposed to be Shattered Glass Animated Megatron.

After this was the final panel of the day, at 4pm, the Frank Welker panel. For those who wish to see it, this too has been uploaded to Facebook.

The vendor room closed at 5pm. Aside from more Parts Parties, there were no after-hours events for this evening.

Sunday began the last day of the convention, with the dealer room opening for all attendees at 9am. There was an art showcase at 11am, a cosplay group photo at 12pm, and the grand prize raffle drawing at 2pm, but no panels. I, however, did not go to any of these and just hung out in the dealer room all day. I made one final purchase and just chatted with a bunch of people about Transformers and stuff at various people's booths.

I also took a bunch of pictures of stuff that day. All the above photos of the prototypes and the raffle artwork were taken on this day. Other pictures I took are as follows:

One of the original Hasbro G1 prototypes of Unicron, on display at Transformerland's booth (it was not for sale)

The enormous Tyco Transformers Electric Train and Battle Set
(not sure whose booth this was for sale at, but it wasn't Transformerland despite this same set being seen in the background of the Unicron pic above)

I also talked a bit with longtime BotCon vendor Tony Preto, who let me take some photos of his collection of Japanese animation cels:

Cybertron from Beast Wars Neo

Galvatron and the Artificial Planet Nemesis from Beast Wars Second


Galvatron's model sheet

When it all ended, I was good and done. I did not go to any more Parts Parties that night, as I had exhausted pretty much all of my toy-spending cash.

All in all, despite a few hiccups here and there (one panel getting canceled due to miscommunication, another getting delayed to the next day due to FedEx, etc.), this was another fun BotCon. Even without Hasbro's name attached, there was a great turnout as some described it as being much larger than any TFCon. The organizers from Agabyss did their very best to make this a most fun experience with little to no hassles or glaring issues to speak of. And since it was all run by Agabyss, I didn't see any familiar faces among the people in charge. Sure, there were some BotCon familiars in the convention volunteers and plenty of recognizable faces in the vendor booths, but none of the main staff were any people I had known of before. Of course, I am also not a member of the Realm of Collectors, so I wouldn't recognize many of those faces anyway.

The only real complaint I had was not with the convention, but with the hotel. The Wi-Fi signal in my hotel room was abysmal. The signal was perfectly fine down on the third floor where the convention was held, and on the fourth floor in the hotel's dining lounge where breakfast and dinner were served. But on any higher floor (I was on the eleventh), the signal was barely functional at best, and frustratingly unpredictable at worst. I had to stand in various awkward corners of my room just to get a signal on my phone, while my laptop just wouldn't connect at all. While I could have just gone back down to the third floor to get a good signal, these instances were all at the end of each day when I was tired and just wanted to relax on the bed or couch in my hotel room, so I chose to be comfortable and deal with it over having good Wi-Fi.

As for one final personal aside, during both breakfast and dinner in the hotel's dining lounge, there were live performances by guitarists playing various songs by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and others of the like. When the evening guitarist was taking requests on Saturday, I requested "City of New Orleans". And the next morning at breakfast, the morning guitarist played a song that I wanted to request but no longer had to since he was already playing it: "Wabash Cannonball". What can I say? I'm a sucker for railroad songs.

In the end, this weekend event was a blast, and I look forward to next year, wherever BotCon 2023 may be.
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Well-known member
I want to talk about that 1985 character toy list Budiansky shared but it's probably gonna be a long post, and not about Botcon, so I'm gonna make a new thread.

-ZacWilliam, thanks for getting g a pic of that.


Active member
What was the dealer room like? Were the “big names” there too, was it mostly local/smaller dealers? While going to the con was not in this year’s radar, my (incorrect) assumption was that it would be a third party mecca (that’s the vibe I get from TFCon). From the way it sounds, it was mostly first party merchandise?


Continuity Nutcase
What was the dealer room like? Were the “big names” there too, was it mostly local/smaller dealers? While going to the con was not in this year’s radar, my (incorrect) assumption was that it would be a third party mecca (that’s the vibe I get from TFCon). From the way it sounds, it was mostly first party merchandise?
The dealer room was pretty much like any other BotCon dealer room of the past, only with slightly more 3rd party stuff. But like I said, only slightly. There were maybe two booths that had a few, but that was it. The majority was Hasbro/TakaraTomy Transformers, plus some Power Rangers, Voltron, Gundam, Machine Robo/GoBots, etc.

The biggest names in the dealer room were probably Transformerland, Alpha Prime Toys, Harold Tietjens, Tony Preto, and Agabyss.

Tuxedo Prime

Well-known member
Just one thing I wanted to comment on:

I would later discover online that [Michael McConnohie] was not only equally critical of the series's visual gags in a past interview with The Cybertron Chronicle, but in that same interview he was also very critical of Beast Wars, calling it "too forced and artificial for belief," and "one big obvious toy commercial, with no real HEART."
Well, as you say later, he's free to have his opinion. I know that Larry DiTillio would vehemently disagree, of course. As he said in one interview: "If I wanted to write commercials, I would have gone into ad copy."

That being said, the various writing teams' various push-pulls with Hasbro over the years and series may not have been common knowledge to voice actors in or out of the trenches. But it is a matter of record that DiTillio and Forward took the "crafting a story" part quite seriously.


Continuity Nutcase
Just one thing I wanted to comment on:

Well, as you say later, he's free to have his opinion. I know that Larry DiTillio would vehemently disagree, of course. As he said in one interview: "If I wanted to write commercials, I would have gone into ad copy."

That being said, the various writing teams' various push-pulls with Hasbro over the years and series may not have been common knowledge to voice actors in or out of the trenches. But it is a matter of record that DiTillio and Forward took the "crafting a story" part quite seriously.
Yeah, I didn't quite understand that opinion of his, either. Maybe he felt that, because Beast Wars focused so heavily on a specific cast of characters instead of a giant roster of many numerous characters, that it seemed, to him, more like a big toy commercial for those specific few toys, instead of mixing up the variety with more other characters to make it feel less obvious. But that was something Mainframe simply couldn't do with the CGI budget at the time.

Or maybe he was thinking that the CG animation itself looked too toy-like, too close to the actual toys, vs. how 2D animation tended to simplify and streamline the toy designs to look less like action figures and more like people.

I dunno, I'm just spit-balling, here, trying to imagine things from his perspective.

Agent X

Kreon Bastard
I had wanted to hit parts parties. Missed out of Friday and would've hit Saturday had anybody posted updated times. (They were all for Friday).

One of the TVs in my room was unresponsive (in the 'living' area) and none of them had HDMI ports So I brought my switch for nothing. Luckily I had bought enough reading material over the weekend.

Had a view of the arena from my 18th floor window. Didn't care, knew elevator rides were going to be like pulling teeth.

Michael and I had an awkward silence when I commented on Cross-country's 'Stars and Bars' belt buckle on the character model. (nothing major, just stating I only recently noticed the detail in the "Field Manual" book I brought)

Was going to ask Frank a question at his panel, but they 'ran out of time' right before I got up. Guess the presenter just had to get Frank to give shout-outs to 'Realm' members. :mad:

Asked Bob why Marvel never put out Annuals for Transformers? Answers: When the book was selling well, HE was too busy, then later sale wouldn't justify them.

Asked Simon what accent he'd imagined Death's Head to have? (I though he 'Yes?" made him come off as Russian.) Answer: "Definitely some heavy Eastern European"
Also, Simon liked the Death's Head shirts I wore over the weekend. Except Sunday.

Non-Autograph hauls were posted in the "Post pictures of your Transformers" thread.


Continuity Nutcase
Asked Simon what accent he'd imagined Death's Head to have? (I though he 'Yes?" made him come off as Russian.) Answer: "Definitely some heavy Eastern European"
Also, Simon liked the Death's Head shirts I wore over the weekend. Except Sunday.
I personally always read Death's Head's dialogue in the voice of the late great Tony Jay.


Well-known member
I've always read him as Russian too. It's because ending sentences in a question is part of a stereotypical "Russian" voice, da?

-ZacWilliam, it's so ingrained after 30 years I can't imagine him not sounding Russian.

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