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Pete's Robot Convention - 2017 report, Part 2

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Pete's Robot Convention - 2017 report, Part 2

Postby Sabrblade » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:07 pm

This is Part 2 of the Unicron.com report for the first ever Pete's Robot Convention. It is strongly recommended that you read Part 1 before proceeding. Also, if you are viewing this from Facebook, it is equally advised that you click to view this report in the Unicron.com forum thread in which the report has been posted.

After the convention ended, even more special reveals continued to be unveiled via online sources. These reveals include many unproduced concepts for past BotCon and Collectors' Club exclusives, as well as behind-the-scenes information that went into the crafting of these concepts and those that were seen and/or discussed at Pete's Robo Con. All of these have been mirrored below.

Link to Part 1 of this report - http://forum.unicron.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=6772

Also, like in Part 1, if you have any difficulty in viewing any of the images, simply open them in a new tab to view them in full.

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Now, five days after the convention ended, the Pete's Robo Con Facebook posted formal digital mock-ups for all of the unofficial BotCon 2017 exclusives, as well as the mock-ups for the unproduced TFSS 6.0 figures.

Actionmaster Optimus Prime (redeco of Voyager class Optimus Prime's body) with Optimus Prime (redec o of Titan Master Infinitus), Rad (redeco of Titan Master Diac), and Lionizer (redeco of Sawback's Titan Master Vehicle lion). Notice how it's Titan Master Rad who forms the head of Optimus's body, while the Titan Master Optimus Prime is merely the driver for the toy's truck and jet modes.
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Actionmaster Skyfall (redeco of Deluxe Highbrow's body) with Skyfall (redeco of Titan Master Apeface)
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Actionmaster Sprocket (redeco of Deluxe Triggerhappy's body) with Sprocket (redeco of the Japanese Transformers: Legends Weirdwolf's Headmaster) and Attack Cruiser (redeco of Brawn's Titan Master Vehicle jeep)
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Actionmaster Megatron (redeco of Leader Six Shot's body) with Megatron (redeco of Titan Master Nucleon) and Devastator (redeco of Titan Master Repugnus)
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Actionmaster Gutcruncher (redeco of Voyager Megatron's body) with Gutcruncher (retool of Titan Master Doomshot/Hazard with a new face) and Scout Tank (redeco of Terri-Bull's Titan Master Vehicle tank)
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Dion (redeco of Deluxe Sergeant Kup's body) with Magnum (redeco of Titan Master Hyperfire)
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Doubledealer (redeco of Deluxe Hardhead's body) with Knok (redeco of Titan Master Nightbeat) and Skar (a significant retool of Titan Master Sawback with new bat wings, new bat feet, and a brand new face)
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BotCon Heritage Onyx Primal (redeco of Deluxe Mindwipe's body) with Nightwatch (redeco of Titan Master Infinitus), plus the swords of TF: Prime Deluxe Wheeljack/Dead End
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Unicron Trilogy Anniversary Armada Hot Shot (redeco of Deluxe Chromedome's body) with Alexis Thi Dang (retool of Titan Master Stylor with a new face) and Jolt (redeco of Generations Legends class Targetmaster Blazemaster). Alexis's deco is based on the space suit that she wore in the Unicron Battles arc of the cartoon. Specifically, the white bits and her helmet's colors, while the blue and maroon are due to those parts being gangmolded with the parts of those same colors on Hot Shot.
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Unicron Trilogy Anniversary Energon Megatron (redeco of Leader Sky Shadow's body) with Leader-1 (redeco of Titan Master Ptero with Ominus's face) with a sword from Construct-Bots Megatron
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Cassettron Rosanna (redeco of Legends class Rewind)
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Cassettron Decepticon Enemy (redeco of Legends class Rumble)
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Cassettron Flipsides (redeco of Legends class Rewind)
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Pretender Jazz (redeco of Titan Master Xort)
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Pretender Bumblebee (redeco of Titan Master Firedrive)
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Pretender Starscream (redeco of Titan Master Crashbash)
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Pretender Metalhawk (redeco of Titan Master Revolver)
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Pretender Crossblades (redeco of titan Master Diac)
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Pretender Vroom (redeco of Titan Master Grax)
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TCC 2017 Membership Incentive Figure
Croctimus Prime with Alligaticon (retool of Deluxe Skullsmasher with a new face) Image

TCC 2017 Club Store exclusive
Alligator Megatron with Megator (redeco of Deluxe Skullsmasher and Titan Master Nucleon)
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TFSS 6.0 General Tankor (retool of Deluxe Hardhead with a new head) with Diagnostic Drone (redeco of Titan Master Crashbash's bird/dino accessory)
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TFSS 6.0 General Thrust (retool of Combiner Wars Deluxe Afterbreaker with a new head)
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TFSS 6.0 General Jetstorm (retool of Generations Deluxe Armada Starscream with a new head, new legs, and according to Pete Sinclair, new hands)
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TFSS 6.0 Shattered Glass Rodimus Prime (redeco of Generations Voyager Springer)
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TFSS 6.0 Senator Ratbat (redeco of Titans Return Deluxe Mindwipe's body) with Recordicon Ratbat (redeco of the Titan Master Skar that would have come with BotCon 2017 Doubledealer)
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TFSS 6.0 Flywheels (redeco of Titans Return Voyager Blitzwing) with Skytread (redeco of Titan Master Skytread) Image

TFSS 6.0 Override (redeco of Titans Return Deluxe Blurr's body) with Lori (redeco of Titan Master Hyperfire). Lori's deco is based on the parts of the Titan Master that are gangmolded with the body.
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The day after that, Jesse Wittenrich Tweeted in hand photos of the Doubledealer figure's newly-tooled Titan Master Skar:
In case no one got a photo of the concept case Skar robot face at @Petes_Robo_Con

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He also Tweeted that the BotCon 2015 "Cybertron's Most Wanted" almost had a figure of "Enemy" in it, using the Masterpiece Rumble/Frenzy mold:
Has everyone seen those four Takara Tomy MP15/16-E Cassettes by now? Did you know that MP Enemy ALMOST made it into the BotCon 2015 box set?

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Additionally, even more digital mock-ups and info for everything given both above and Part 1 of this report, as well as even MORE unused Fun Pub toy concepts, were provided to The Allspark by Pete Sinclair, Jesse Wittenrich, and others, all of which have been mirrored below.

Firstly, Logan Rogan (username Repugnus), winner of the raffled boxed set, provided some in-hand close up pics of the Titan Master Devastator, itself a redeco of Titan Master Repugnus (how appropriate):

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Then, Jesse explained why the BotCon 2017 Action Master Optimus Prime mock-up had its head formed by Titan Master Rad instead of by Titan Master Optimus Prime:
Infinitus is Optimus. Rad is from Diac (so couldn't be seen at the convention because he was transformed as Optimus' head)

We wanted to keep the Optimus head from the Voyager, but couldn't get Diac to look convincingly enough like Optimus. Which is why he became Rad and Infinitus was included to be the driver of the Armored Convoy.

And also why Megatron ended up with the 2 Titanmasters as well.


And then, Pete shared a whole bunch of preliminary concepts for the BotCon 2014 "Pirates vs. Knights" exclusives:

In addition to Scorponok, this first boxed set group had Alpha Trizer, Flareup, Apelinq, Lio Convoy, and an unmade King Atlas from Generations Fall of Cybertron Starscream with a new head.
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This one swaps out Flareup with the Chromedome that we got in the TFSS 2.0.
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This one included Scorponok, Cannonball, and Devcon, along with King Atlas and the Battletrap that we got in the BotCon 2015 set.
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This one replaces Battletrap and King Atlas with Armada Demolishor (from Generations FOC Optimus Prime), his Mini-Con Blackout (from Arms Micron O.P.), and Powered Convoy (from Classics Voyager class Optimus Prime).
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This was to have been a new pirate character named Bloodmoon (retooled from Prime Dreadwing).
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Jesse provided some insight to this character:
Bloodmoon is a new character concept. We thought it would be cool to add someone new to the pirate crew, but ultimately the Voyager size class didn't feel "right" as the place to do so. It took up too much of the box set.

Color scheme is semi-inspired by Captain Harlock (an anime I know almost nothing about but I've liked the character design), and the mock-up uses Captain Shark's head as a stand in for what would have been a new design (but still have an eye-patch and "hat").


Bug Bite, believed to have been another pirate concept:
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Early concepts for Cannonball based on Prime Wheeljack and Prime Breakdown:
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Insight from Jesse:
The latter was rejected because of the size the head would have to be. He'd either need a drastic redesign to his helmet or the head would have to be 3/4 (or less!) the size it is in that mock-up.

Wheeljack came next. The colors look great on the mold and the swords were decent cutlasses, but after doing the mock-up based on Ratchet's robot mode the decision was quickly made to leave the car concept behind.


Another look at Demolishor:
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Flywheels from the widely-controversial Generations Blitzwing mold:
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Another look at King Atlas, who would have been the king of the knights that year, but the mold wasn't available due to Skywarp being in production at the time that BotCon would have needed the mold.
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Malignus pirates! From the Prime Ironhide/Kup mold, based on the 1980s Brazilian-exclusive redecos of G1 Gears:
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The physical mock-up of Devcon and Slizardo (which were on display at the con) in Vehicle and Titan Master modes (from Jesse):
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A "new pirate" character that never got a name, from the Prime Beast Hunters Wheeljack mold:
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Nominus Prime from the FOC Starscream mold:
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A physical mock-up of Nominus Prime, by Shawn D. Tessmann:
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Reflector pirates, from the Prime Ironhide/Kup mold:
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Scrapmetal troop-builder set from the Prime Rumble mold:
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One more boxed set concept, featuring Cannonball, Alpha Trizer, Apelinq, Bumper (from Prime Rumble), and, of all things, Turmoil! (from Prime Breakdown):
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Insight from Jesse about Bumper:
That was an odd situation. We conceptualized him very early on and were exceptionally excited by him. But as the set evolved around him, we fell out of love be with the concept and didn't mind cutting him from the lineup.

I still like the idea okay, but no where near that initial enthusiasm.


Turmoil was the original reason for Brimstone having a Targetmaster mode, as Turmoil was going to wield him before Brimstone's actual wielder ended up being Scorponok.
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More insight from Jesse about the above King Atlas and Lio Convoy (before the latter was officially made into a Beast Wars: Uprising toy):
King Atlas would have been the Arthur to Alpha Trizer's Merlin. A noble leader bringing the Knights together to safeguard Cybertron.

Lio Convoy would have been a (much) younger version of his BW 2 character, keeping the Japanese cartoon's timeline.


When asked about that Lio Convoy's relation to Optimus Primal:
Primal would have still been missing following the events of Beast Machines, so within the context of the comic it might not have been explored directly.

But obviously he'd know about Optimus Primal and respect him. And maybe learn more about his philosophies and teachings through Trizer. So that at the very least Primal is in spirit Lio Convoy's [role model].


Jesse also gave some story background info for the TFSS 5.0 Sunstorm figure that SG Starscream replaced:
We'd always planned for at least one of the Wreckers to die throughout the course of the story, so when we had one extra Combiner limb it seemed obvious that one of them had to go.

Wreckage's first attack on Thunder Mayhem was going to be less than successful with the Decepticon Combiner grabbing the arm made from Bluestreak and ripping it off/tearing it in half. As he then loomed in for the kill shot to take out the rest of the Wreckers, Sunstorm would show up, despite having rejected Impactor's offer to join, and with his savior complex in full force. He would replace the missing limb and with his shining fist burn a hole into Thunder Mayhem's chest to pluck the Thunderwing Matrix from its moorings. Without it, the Mayhem Attack Squad would decouple and the Wreckers could dispose of them.

It would have relied heavily on coincidence and undermine the role of the other Autobots, humans, and mutants so I'm actually sort of glad we didn't have to go with it.


Randy Para (author of SG Starscream's bio) shared his original bio for the Sunstorm figure, written on January 29th, 2016:
SUNSTORM
AEROSPACE WARRIOR
We must continue to soar until we reach transcendence.
With SUNSTORM's bright disposition, one might not assume he's spent most of his time secluded from his peers. His positive outlook and friendly demeanor are in spite of the fact that just being near a fellow TRANSFORMER could cause their circuits to sizzle and their internal systems to fail. For SUNSTORM has a fusion reactor running on overdrive. His mere presence, let alone a touch, can cause even the most resilient 'bots to buckle to their knees.

Due to the harm he can cause his teammates, SUNSTORM was the sole member assigned to the 83rd Seeker Squadron. As a Seeker he is an effective warrior and flyer. Focuses the radiation emanating from his body into a physical attack. Wields a double barreled Gamma-Ray Laser Cannon and a 5th Gen Xeresian Missile Launcher. In jet mode flies at 1,500 mph and utilizes Burst missiles. His reactor also allows him to traverse space at a max speed of 11,000 mph.

In limb form, SUNSTORM acts as an offensive and defensive weapon. As a defensive maneuver, he can replace the limb of an enemy combiner and focus his energy to seize up the gestalt's joints, halting movement. In arm mode, SUNSTORM's radiation and heat can be channeled into his combined form's fist. This energy makes his combined mode hand glow hot with energy for an attack SUNSTORM refers to as the "Shining Fist". Contact will cause extreme cases of internal and external damage.


STRENGTH 6
INTELLIGENCE 6
SPEED 10
ENDURANCE 8
RANK 5
COURAGE 9
FIREPOWER 10
SKILL 7


Randy also described a story proposal for Sunstorm:
Back before the change I had proposed a story where Sunstorm had haplessly stumbled from combiner team to combiner team. Ultimately always being there or partly responsible (due to his powers backfiring) for why Thunder Mayhem had taken the team out.

Combaticons (as the leg his foot would melt the ground underneath Bruticus making him an easy target)

G2 Stunticons ( as an arm the other Stunticons resentment for Motormaster would make him attack Menasor's head)

Torchbearers (he would have amped up Victorion's gravity powers too much that she would have thrown herself into space endlessly - he being able to escape due to his reactor)

Ultimately ending up in an Autobot prison where he would get the offer from Impactor. Only feeling at home with the other band of Wrecker misfits, and at that point being able to finally control his powers when combined.


Insight from Jesse about the above BotCon 2014 proposals for Chromedome, Battletrap, Flywheels, Demolishor, and Powered Convoy:
Until we dug out the old proposals, Pete and I had forgotten that Chromedome was even part of one of the box set concepts. If I were to guess he was there because of his role in Headmasters/Masterforce. And because the figure had swords. (I prefer the faux-IDW story he ended up getting.)

Battletrap and Flywheels were both considered for the Star Seekers - although the specifics of their leaving the Decepticons for the pirates were never developed. Flywheels was only briefly in the line-up because when Pete and I got our hands on the Blitzwing toy... Let's just say it didn't leave a great impression. Springer though was (and still is!) amazing, so we held onto Battletrap even if he needed to get bumped back a year.

Demolishor, being a "new" addition to the Wingsverse, might not have gotten any special focus as far as being a Decepticon goes. He probably would have just been a Star Seeker. But again his toy was dropped (similar reasons to Flywheels) before his story details were fully explored.

Powered Convoy was the prototype for Ginrai, so to speak. So his story would have been largely the same, just with the Masterforce hints being a little more Diaclone.


Further insight about SG Starscream from Jesse:
it wasn't a victory lap or imposing anything on the fans - we wanted the capstone character to be something we worked on, but we did also consider the fans. It wasn't a selfish thing. Like I've said before, there was and still a fairly large following for the SG version of Starscream in Japan and the Asia Market (and over here too, but not quite as prolific as far as fan art, stories, etc), but it's almost impossible to get the 2008 figures without paying $2000 or more. So giving those fans one more chance at the character seemed like a nice thing to do.

I'll also say I wasn't a huge fan of Sunstorm either - without Takara's sprue-breaking magic, that mold just doesn't capture the G1 Seeker in any meaningful way. A CW Sunstorm put out by Fun Pub wouldn't have been any better than the 2013 Rainmaker toy (ugh, still wish that set name had been fixed). I mean it would have been an orange jet and orange jets are cool, but it would have been a weak homage and a weak figure to end on.


And finally, a word from Pete on how the TFSS 5.0 would have been done differently had the news of its being the final subscription service been made known to the Fun Pub sooner:
In hindsight? Would have replaced Lifeline and the seeker mold with BM Jetstorm and SG Rodimus Prime.
"When there's gold feathers, punch behind you!!"

“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” -- C.S. Lewis
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