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Pete's Robot Convention - 2017 report, Part 1

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Pete's Robot Convention - 2017 report, Part 1

Postby Sabrblade » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:17 pm

Well, folks, this is pretty late-coming, but well worth the wait.

On the last full weekend of the previous month, June 23-24, the first ever Pete's Robot Convention took place in Covington, Kentucky (near Cincinnati, Ohio), which served as a smaller-scaled, unofficial, spiritual successor to the long-running, formerly annual, official Transformers convention, BotCon. Hosted by Pete Sinclair and Jesse Wittenrich, this convention honored the many traditions of past BotCons, recapturing the original feel of the 1994-1996 BotCons with the commodities of the more recent BotCons hosted by Fun Publications.

Yours truly was in attendance of the event's festivities, and has now brought to you an onsite report of all that there was to behold at Pete's Robo Con. For those of you reading this from Facebook, it is strongly encouraged that you click to view this report more properly in the Unicron.com forum thread in which this report is posted.

All images and media come from the Pete's Robo Con Facebook, the DaimChoc Reports Facebook, The Allspark, YouTuber Primal Sabbath, YouTuber Collecticon, the Twitter of Jesse Wittenrich, the Twitter of DaltaniansTF, and the DeviantArt of EchoWing. 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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Friday evening consisted of three main events, reserved for preregistered attendees only.

At 4:00pm was registration package pick-up, at which pre-registrants received their namebadge lanyards and convention T-shirts.

Right after that was a meet-and-greet, buffet style dinner at a local brewery, Darkness Brewing. Fans hung out, relaxed, and talked Transformers all through the meal.

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The main event for the evening began at 7:00pm. A private screening of Transformers: The Last Knight was held at the local AMC for just us preregistered attendees, where we had a moderately-sized theater room all to ourselves. Opinions were very mixed on the movie itself and its experience, though most seemed to get a kick out of Stanley Tucci's performance of the wizard Merlin in the King Arthur battle scene.

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Saturday was the main day of the convention, with general admission open to all. There were probably about 200-300 attendees in total, with the number of registered attendees ranking in the mid-to-high 80s. The dealer room was much smaller than those of the past seven BotCons, but was nonetheless packed with Transformers (and other toys/merchandise) of all kinds. Many of the vendors had been recognizable BotCon regulars, such as AJ's Toy Chest, I Am Ratchet Toys, Mega Toy Fan, TF Marketplace, TF Outpost, Trans-Hunter Toys, Alpha Prime Toys, and more.

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Artists Alex Milne and Robby Musso were two of the convention's main guests. Each of them had their own booth in the dealer room.

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The crown jewel of the dealer room, however, was unanimously the room's corner display, watched over by Shawn D. Tessmann (longtime host of the BotCon customization classes), at which were many rare and never-before-seen-in-person pieces of Transformers history, such as several unreleased Generation 2 toys, production materials from G1/G2/Beast Wars/Beast Machines, non-final factory samples of past BotCon/TCC exclusives compared with their final versions, and a particular art piece dated back to 1996 that absolutely no one, not even the convention runners, could figure out what it was supposed to be: It was concept art for some kind of feminine-looking blue and yellow robot with a jet-like altmode, whose crystalline design looked like something out of Transtech, but the 1996 date nixes that theory.

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The unreleased Generation 2 toys on display were loose samples of the five Protectobots, loose samples of the five Stunticons, both a loose sample and a MOSC sample of Combat Hero Megatron (a gray redeco of the purple Hero Megatron), MOSC samples of the Laser Cycles Soundwave and Jazz, and loose samples of the six unreleased G2 Go-Bots (plus all the redecos of the four who did later see release in the 2001 Robots in Disguise toyline). Also on display were cardbacks for the G2 Laser Rods, two different cardbacks of Action Master Treadshot, a cardback for Action Master Jazz, an unpainted prototype of G1 Sixshot, a MOSC Beast Wars Torca, a non-transforming hardcopy of Torca, a boxed Beast Wars Neo Elphaorpha, early packaging designs for the Beast Machines toyline, and even the original Beast Wars catalog versions of orange Tarantulas, blue-green Waspinator, and alternately-colored Grizzly-1/Barbearian figures (along with a MISB Polar Claw). In addition to these were also concept art for Beast Machines Rattrap, Night Viper, and Mirage, an original cardback sample for orange Beast Wars Tigatron, a large rendition of Beast Wars Torca's card art, concept designs for Transtech Starscream, two preproduction cardback samples (one Maximal style and one Predacon style) for Beast Wars Jetstorm that named him "Dragonfire", and undeveloped G1 Micromaster concept art.

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The non-final factory samples for past BotCon/Collectors Club exclusives seen in the display were two hardcopies of BotCon 2016 Megatron's head, a hardcopy of Collectors Club Lio Convoy/Nova Prime's head, and miscolored samples of BotCon 2016 Tarantulas, BotCon 2015 Dia (the orange Targetmaster that came with Sgt. Hound), BotCon 2016 Flash Sentry, Collectors Club "Only Human" Arcee, Subscription Service Chromedome, Collectors Club Armada Skywarp, and BotCon 2014 Scorponok, all of which were displayed next to their respective finalized versions.

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And now we come to the BIGGEST deal of the display case: The unproduced BotCon 2017 boxed set figures, attendee figure, souvenirs, and custom class figure, as well as three other concepts that served as backup alternative options for the proposed exclusives, and finally the remaining unproduced Transformers/G.I. Joe crossover "Only Human" figures. All of these were customized by Shawn D. Tessmann himself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSaSdbAQG3g


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_X2E-2i2RI


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The BotCon 2017 boxed set, titled "Action on Hydrus Four", was to have been an Action Master-themed set of Titans Return molds all done up as new Headmaster-gimmicked Action Master characters:
1 - Actionmaster Optimus Prime (redeco of Voyager class Optimus Prime's body) with Optimus Prime (redeco of Titan Master Infinitus), Rad (redeco of Titan Master Diac), and Lionizer (redeco of Sawback's Titan Master Vehicle lion)
2 - Actionmaster Skyfall (redeco of Deluxe Highbrow's body) with Skyfall (redeco of Titan Master Apeface)
3 - 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)
4 - Actionmaster Megatron (redeco of Leader Six Shot's body) with Megatron (redeco of Titan Master Nucleon) and Devastator (redeco of Titan Master Repugnus)
5 - 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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The attendee figure for BotCon 2017 was to have been Dion (redeco of Deluxe Sergeant Kup's body) with Magnum (redeco of Titan Master Hyperfire). A nameplate in the display case read as follows:
Attendee Figure
Dion
Previous BotCon convention goers know attendees who purchased the boxed set would also get an "Attendee Figure" as a free bonus. For 2017, the concept in the planning stages was Dion, Orion Pax's friend from the G1 episode "War Dawn".

*Concepts for display and archive purposes only. Not intended for sale. Trademarks and character names property of respective owners.

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The souvenirs would have continued the use of Titans Return molds, but as legacy characters from several past series, rather than just Action Masters:
1 - 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)
2 - BotCon Heritage Onyx Primal (redeco of Deluxe Mindwipe's body) with Nightwatch (redeco of Titan Master Infinitus) and swords from TF: Prime Deluxe Wheeljack/Dead End.
3 - 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, the one on display was just Universe Hot Shot's face glued onto the Titan Master) and Jolt (redeco of Generations Legends class Targetmaster Blazemaster)
4 - Unicron Trilogy Anniversary Energon Megatron (redeco of Leader Sky Shadow's body) with Leader-1 (redeco of Titan Master Ptero but with Ominus's face) and sword from Construct-Bots Megatron
5 - Troop Builder souvenir set: Cassettron Rosanna (redeco of Legends class Rewind), Cassettron Decepticon Enemy (redeco of Legends class Rumble) and Cassettron Flipsides (redeco of Legends class Rewind)

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One more souvenir set would have been a successor to the Kreon packs, a pack of six Titan Masters done up as Pretenders. A nameplate in the display case read as follows:
Titanmaster 6-pack
Pretender Pack
BotCons 2013-2015 gave fans exclusive multi-packs of Kreon action figures. Unfortunately the Kre-O brand as a whole went dormant in 2016 and the offering had to be removed from the BotCon line-up. As a replacement, however, 2017 would have looked to provide a 6-pack of Titanmasters in premium deco.

*Concepts for display and archive purposes only. Not intended for sale. Trademarks and character names property of respective owners.

1 - Pretender Starscream (redeco of Titan Master Crashbash)
2 - Pretender Jazz (redeco of Titan Master Xort)
3 - Pretender Bumblebee (redeco of Titan Master Firedrive)
4 - Pretender Crossblades (redeco of titan Master Diac)
5 - Pretender Metalhawk (redeco of Titan Master Revolver)
6 - Pretender Vroom (redeco of Titan Master Grax)

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The 2017 customization class figure was to have been Actionmaster Rumbler (redeco of Deluxe Triggerhappy's body) with Rumbler (redeco of the Japanese Transformers: Legends Weirdwolf's Headmaster, just like Sprocket) and the B² Attack Team (two redecos of the Arms Micron B.H., the wrecking ball one that came with Japanese Prime Bulkhead).

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As an aside, the name "B² Attack Team" is an in-joke to a very old false BotCon exclusive proposal that Karl Hartman mentioned on the old BotConBeyond.com message board way back around 2000-2001. The fake proposal was for a pair of blue redecos of Beast Wars Retrax called the "Blue Balls Attack Team". So to see these realized here is pretty remarkable.

The three Other Concepts likewise made use of Titans Returns molds as legacy characters:
1 - Armada Jetfire (redeco of Voyager Sentinel Prime/Astrotrain's body) with Comettor (redeco of Titan Master Apeface)
2 - Devcon (redeco of Deluxe Brainstorm's body) with Slizardo (redeco of Titan Master Hyperfire)
3 - Turbomaster (redeco of Deluxe Highbrow's body) with Take Off (redeco of Titan Master Blowpipe)

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Finally, the remaining Transformers/G.I. Joe "Only Human" figures would have been:
1 - Only Human Autobot Springer with Newtronium Munitions Case that converts into artillery platform
2 - Only Human Ultra Magnus with Missile Stack & Jack Armor (LOL!)
3 - Only Human Victor Drath

A nameplate in the display case read as follows:
Transformers/GI Joe Crossovers
Only Human Part 2
After Old Snake, Rodimus Prime, and Arcee, the GI Joe body style figures as Transformers human/not-quite human characters might have continued. The quartet of Autobots were planned, as well as a Victor Drath to act as a partner in crime for Old Snake.

*Concepts for display and archive purposes only. Not intended for sale. Trademarks and character names property of respective owners.

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Now, while all of these mock-ups were one-of-a-kind pieces, there was a single piece of merchandise that was mass produced and given away at the con as an exclusive to registered attendees with blue namebadges: A lithograph of the "Action on Hydrus Four" art, by Robby Musso and Josh Perez (the latter of whom sadly could not attend the convention due to last-minute personal reasons).

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Another guest of the convention who did attend was professional cosplayer Joe Colton, dressed as G1 Transformers cartoon character Marissa Faireborn of the Earth Defense Command. She hosted her own panel about the ins and outs of cosplaying, as well as her personal experiences as a professional cosplayer. And of course, there were cosplaying fans in attendance as well.

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One of the defining aspects of this convention that set it apart from the BotCons of more recent years was an increased focus on family-oriented activities. This was done to draw in families in addition to just hardcore collectors.

At 9:00am was a Recycled Robots building class in which kids could create their own custom robot toys from an eclectic variety of parts available to choose from. The kids would pick the parts and the Recycled Robots team would glue them together, creating such imaginative robots as the one seen held by this young fellow below:

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Throughout the day, there was free face painting and caricature painting for kids ages 12 and under. Congoers above that age could have their face painted too, but at a (reasonable) price. Children had their faces drawn as Transformers and other robots (like Voltron), while woman were made to look like fairies and men as zombies. The talented artists behind these works were those of the Cincinnati-based Fabulous Faces by Jen LLC Professional Face Painting.

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At 1:00pm was a Kids ROBOT Bingo that was exclusively for kids ages 3 to 12, at which they were given opportunities to win cool prizes.

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For the more hardcore Transformers collectors, meanwhile, there were four panels throughout the day.

At 11:00am, Pete Sinclair hosted the "Transformers Rarities" panel, in which he discussed many of the rare pieces of Transformers history that were on display in the dealer room, as well as other obscure Transformers items. Of particular note, Pete concluded the panel with the opening of a completely painted, MOSC, Generation 2 Combat Hero Megatron, removing it completely from its original sealed packaging. It was later placed in the display case with the other valuables.

Here is a complete video recording of the panel (a highly recommended viewing):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi_h0fQfYHA

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Later at 2:00pm, the "Meet the Artists" panel was held, hosted by Alex Milne and Robby Musso, who provided insight into their history working on the Transformers comics and packaging art, as well as their personal thoughts on the brand and its aspects, and the artist profession in general. The forthcoming Power of the Primes line even got a brief mentioning in this Q&A panel.

Here is a complete video recording of the panel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJBObyIVqwc



The MAIN Transformers event for the day was unquestionably the "The Making of a Club & Convention Exclusive" panel, hosted by Pete Sinclair, Jesse Wittenrich, and Shawn D. Tessmann. This panel focused primarily on divulging the creative processes that went into the crafting and development of the BotCon 2011 exclusives, and also provided a look at what may have come about for the Collectors Club in 2017 had it been allowed to continue for one more year, including a look at the SIXTH iteration of the Transformers Figure Subscription Service!

For this panel, there is sadly no video available. BUT, due to a technical difficultly at the panel, the PDF file containing the contents of the panel was uploaded to the Pete's Robo Con Facebook for all eyes to behold.

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First up was the making of the BotCon 2011 exclusives. Originally, there were six different concepts that eventually led to the finalized set of exclusives that we ended up getting for that year.
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Concept #1: Classics vs. Shattered Glass. We ended up getting this theme the next year in 2012, but it was originally planned for 2011, and was even originally advertised as such in the earliest ads for BotCon 2011.
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The set for this proposal would have contained:
1 - SG Galvatron from Cybertron Evac (which did end up happening after all)
2 - SG Ultra Magnus from Cybertron Mudflap (would have had a new headsculpt)
3 - SG Swindle from Universe Hound
4 - SG Soundwave from Unverse Ironhide (which did come about in 2012)
5 - Classics Metalhawk from Universe Cyclonus (2012 instead gave us Classics Metalhawk from Generations Thunderwing)
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One souvenir 2-pack proposal was:
1 - SG Bugly from Beast Wars Jetstorm
2 - SG Omega Doom from Cybertron Menasor (would have had a new headsculpt)
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A second souvenir 2-pack proposal was:
1 - SG Trailbreaker from Movie Salvage
2 - SG Metalhawk from Universe Cyclonus (in Black Shadow's colors)
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A third souvenir 2-pack proposal was:
1 - SG Rollbar from Movie Stockade
2 - Classics Swindle from Universe Hound
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The proposed attendee figure was SG Ratchet from Energon Roadblock
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Concept #2: Shattered Glass Beast Wars. This is not to be confused with the very different "Beast Wars Shattered Glass" six-part club magazine comic story. This was to have been a legit "Heroic Predacons vs. Evil Maximals" set, albeit set during the present day era of the SG universe rather than in its prehistoric past. Though, some proposals from this set would eventually see the light of day later on.
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The set for this proposal would have contained:
1 - SG Ravage from Beast Wars Transmetal 2 Cheetor
2 - SG Beast Megatron from Beast Wars Transmetal 2 Tigerhawk
3 - SG Dinobot from Universe Dinobot (in BW Terrorsaur colors)
4 - SG Waspinator from Beast Wars Transmetal Waspinator (we would eventually get a different SG Waspinator, from Generations Waspinator in Fox Kids Transmetal Waspinator colors, repurposed from the BotCon 2015 yellow-colored Waruder)
5 - SG Ramulus from Beast Wars Transmetal 2 Ramulus
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One souvenir 2-pack proposal was:
1 - SG Quickstrike from Beast Wars Neo Cohrada (in normal Quickstrike's colors, but based on Silverbolt's character)
2 - SG Ultra Mammoth from Beast Wars Neo Big Convoy (we eventually got a non-SG Ultra Mammoth as a good guy in 2013)
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A second souvenir 2-pack proposal was:
1 - SG Galvatron from Cybertron Evac (which, again, did happen)
2 - SG Soundwave from Universe Ironhide (which, again, did happen at BotCon 2012)
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A troop-builder set proposal was to have been SG Thundercracker, SG Skywarp, and SG Rain Storm all from Classics Starscream. Thundercracker was to have G1 Thundercracker's Action Master deco, which did end up happening.
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The proposed attendee figure was, again, SG Ratchet from Energon Roadblock
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Concept #3: Toxic Mayhem (take one). This was the first proposal for an Animated set, which Toxitron was always going to be a part of, and would have featured the Wreckers. The idea behind this was to make use of the three Japanese-only Animated molds, but that idea didn't pan out since, for some reason, Hasbro wouldn't let Fun Pub use the Japanese molds.
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The set for this proposal would have contained:
1 - Animated Toxitron from the Japanese Wingblade Optimus Prime
2 - Animated Bugbite from the Japanese Jet Pack Bumblebee (Hydrodrive Bumblebee)
3 - Animated Sideswipe from Rodimus Minor (in G2 Drench colors; the Sideswipe we ended up getting had G2 Sideswipe colors and a new head)
4 - Animated Jackpot from Autobot Jazz (which we did end up getting in 2013)
5 - Animated Kup from Cybertron Mode Optimus Prime (would have had new headsculpt)
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One souvenir 2-pack proposal was "Wreck and Rule!":
1 - Animated Shokaract from the Japanese Blackout
2 - Animated Springer from Swindle (inspired by the BotCon 2007 Classics Springer, would have had a new headsculpt)
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A second souvenir 2-pack proposal was "Fan Demand":
1 - Stunticon Breakdown: a G1-colored redeco of BotCon 2010 G2 Breakdown (which we did get in 2013)
2 - Classics Thundercracker: an Action Master-colored redeco of Classics Starscream (which, again, we got instead as SG Thundercracker)
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A troop-builder set proposal was to have been "The Femme Fatales": Flamewar, Antagony, and Nightracer all redecoed from Animated Arcee.
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The proposed attendee figure this time was Animated Tigatron from Rodimus Minor (based on BotCon 2006 Tigatron's deco)
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Concept #4: Toxic Mayhem (take two). The second attempt at an Animated set, which again tried to use the Japanese molds, but that was a no go. Toxitron was also a part of this, and instead of the Wrecker, a different Autobot unit called "Delta Force" would have been featured.
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The set for this proposal would have contained:
1 - Animated Sideswipe from Rodimus Minor (in G2 colors, which we did end up getting with a new head)
2 - Animated Jackpot from Autobot Jazz (which, again, we did end up getting in 2013)
3 - Animated Jhiaxus from Cybertron Mode Megatron
4 - Animated Ironfist from Ironhide (which we did end up getting)
5 - Animated Wildfly from the Japanese Blackout
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One souvenir 2-pack proposal was "Toxic Flames":
1 - Animated Toxitron from the Japanese Wingblade Optimus Prime
2 - Animated Flamewar from Arcee
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Another souvenir 2-pack proposal was, again, "Fan Demand":
1 - Stunticon Breakdown: a G1-colored redeco of BotCon 2010 G2 Breakdown (which, again, we did get in 2013)
2 - Classics Thundercracker: an Action Master-colored redeco of Classics Starscream (which, again, we got instead as SG Thundercracker)
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The proposed attendee figure this time was Animated G2 Swindle
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Concept #5: Classics Stunticons. This time, the Animated theme was stepped away from to suggest Classics versions of the G1 Stunticons (albeit, non-combining). This theme would have also still dabbled in some crossover with the Shattered Glass universe.
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The set for this proposal would have contained:
1 - Classics Motormaster from Cybertron Optimus Prime (Leader class)
2 - Classics Dead End from Universe Sunstreaker (in Alternators Dead End colors)
3 - Classics Drag Strip from Universe Mirage (would have had a different deco from the Universe "Special Edition" Drag Strip)
4 - Classics Wildrider from Generations Drift
5 - Classics Breakdown from BotCon 2010 G2 Breakdown (which, again, we got in 2013)
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One souvenir 2-pack proposal was the same as the SGBW concept's second 2-pack proposal:
1 - SG Galvatron from Cybertron Evac (which, again, did happen)
2 - SG Soundwave from Universe Ironhide (which, again, did happen at BotCon 2012)
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A second souvenir 2-pack proposal dipped back into Animated as "Animated Add On":
1 - Animated Toxitron from the Japanese Wingblade Optimus Prime
2 - Animated Ricochet from Autobot Jazz
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A troop-builder set proposal was the same as the SGBW troop-builders: SG Thundercracker (in G2 Action Master colors, which we did get), SG Skywarp, and SG Rain Storm all from Classics Starscream.
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The proposed attendee figure was, once more, SG Ratchet from Energon Roadblock
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Concept #6: Animated Stunticons. This was the later proposal to come right before the final, based on the decision to combine the Animated theme with the Stunticon theme. A few of the figures in this concept would be swapped around in the final version.
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The set for this proposal would have contained:
1 - Animated Motormaster from the Japanese Wingblade Optimus Prime
2 - Animated Dead End from Autobot Jazz (which we got)
3 - Animated Drag Strip from Arcee (which we got)
4 - Animated Breakdown from Lockdown (this was swapped with Wildrider)
5 - Animated Wildrider from Rodimus Minor (this was swapped with Breakdown)
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One souvenir 2-pack proposal was "Autobot Defense":
1 - Animated Crossblades from the Japanese Blackout
2 - Animated Sideswipe from Rodimus Minor (in G2 colors, which we got with a new headsculpt)
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A second souvenir 2-pack proposal was the SG one we ended up getting:
1 - SG Galvatron from Cybertron Evac
2 - SG Thundercracker in Action Master colors from Classics Starscream
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The troop-builder set was the one we ended up getting: Animated Autotroopers from Ironhide
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The proposed attendee figure was the one we ended up getting: Animated Ironfist from Ironhide
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And now we come to what would have been the 2017 Transformers Collectors Club exclusives.

First up are the 2017 membership incentive figure and the Club Store exclusive figure:
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And here is the Transformers Figure Subscription Service 6.0:
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For this figure, Lori's deco isn't based on anything specific, but is instead the result of the plastic colors that the Titan Master would have had being gangmolded with Override:
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This figure below was to have had the same retooled Titan Master Sawback mold that was to have been used for BotCon 2017 Doubledealer's Titan Master Skar:
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This figure below was to have represented the SG Rodimus of the Fun Pub SG fiction after his having been upgraded by SG Primus, which would have happened in the final club magazine SG comic storyline "Another Light", but did not make it into that story. This SG Rodimus Prime was also stated by Pete Sinclair to have been one of two figures whose never getting made were his biggest regrets.
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This figure was to have been a Beast Wars: Uprising toy, whose design did make it into the final Uprising prose story "The Inexorable March".
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This too was to have also been a Beast Wars: Uprising toy, and whose design did make it into the final Uprising prose story.
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This is the third one meant for Beast Wars: Uprising, and who did make it into the final story, and who is also the second of two figures that Pete regrets the most having never gotten made. This was even originally going to be made for BotCon 2016 before it was decided to make that set a Combiner Wars Beast Wars set.
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And finally, to go with Battletrap:
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As for anything else covered by the panel, there was some discussion regarding the Transformers Figure Subscription Service 5.0, which was the final one.

The little Scorponok figure made from the Legends class Scamper figure that came with Generations Titan class Metroplex was included in the TFSS 5.0 to enable fans to complete the full roster of the original Beast Wars cast in pre-Earth Cybertronian forms. The Scamper mold was chosen because that figure is counted not as its own figure but as an accessory. The TFSS 5.0 was first put together all the way back in March of 2015, but when the news of the 5.0 being the final subscription service was made known, the molds for the seven 5.0 figures were already set in stone. So, because the Scamper mold isn't counted as its own figure, it was allowed to be included with one of the main seven figures as an accessory.

Additionally, the origins of the SG Starscream figure from the TFSS 5.0 were divulged, explaining how that figure came about and why that character was chosen to be the final Fun Pub Transformers toy.

Basically, the original plan for the 7th figure of the TFSS 5.0 was for it to be Combiner Wars G1 Sunstorm from the Unite Warriors Starscream figure. At the time that that was planned, it was not yet known that it was going to be the absolute final Fun Pub Transformers figure. When that news came to light, it came as a surprise to Fun Pub since they had by then grown to have a very close and healthy relationship with Hasbro, so the bomb was dropped right around when things were really good between them. Once it was clear that the 5.0 would be the last subscription service, Pete and friends tried to get Hasbro to let them change the Starscream mold out for something else so that Fun Pub could create a much better figure for the conclusion of their tenure with the Transformers license: a purely Fun Pub-ish capstone figure that would better serve to represent and commemorate the Fun Pub era of Transformers. Specifically, Pete wanted Hasbro to let them switch out the Starscream mold with the Generations Springer mold to create one of Pete's two aforementioned biggest unproduced figure regrets: Shattered Glass Rodimus Prime.

Unfortunately, Hasbro said no to that mold-swapping request because they said that the request came too late for any molds to be switched out. The Starscream mold was set in stone at that point. So, Fun Pub tried to see if they could move around some of the set molds and change one of the other ones into being the special final Fun Pub figure. Once such attempt was to move Counterpunch around and have Optimus be the special last figure. Not simply as he ended up being, but to keep the Pretender shell as is and instead recolor the inner Optimus figure into Shattered Glass Optimus. But that wasn't doable so late in the game either.

Therefore, they were stuck with having the Starscream mold at the end as the final Fun Pub figure, so they had no choice but to try and do something uniquely Fun Pub-ish with that specific figure. After much brainstorming, it was decided to turn it into a new SG Starscream, one who exists not in the main Marvel G1 comic-based SG universe that we've had since 2008, but in a new Sunbow G1 cartoon-based SG universe, which was first glimpsed at in the two-page bonus Transformers comic that was included in the back of the Diamond Edition of the G.I. JoeCon 2016 comic book.

Though, the way Fun Pub pulled off turning Sunstorm into SG Starscream was not as direct as simply asking Hasbro to let them change the former into the latter, but rather Fun Pub simply asked Hasbro if there could be "a few color changes made to that mold's deco". Hasbro never got back to them about that, so since Hasbro technically didn't say "No" that time (and didn't make a fuss over it afterward), Fun Pub took the initiative and were able to successfully get the overseas production to color the figure as SG Starscream, to celebrate the end of the Fun Pub Transformers era.

Jetstorm is the other one he REALLY wanted to see get made since there's never been a proper toy of Jetstorm that accurately represented his Beast Machines cartoon model. The above retool of Armada Starscream would have had all new legs, a new head, and according to Pete new hands (which aren't seen in the above mock-up).



The final panel of the day, at 4:30pm, was "The Secret History of the Transformers". This panel was hosted by Harold Tietjens, a longtime Transformers fan who is one of the seven men who have been to every single BotCon, and who co-authored (with Doug Dlin) the series of unofficial yet extremely detailed guidebooks titled Cybertronian: The Unofficial Transformers Recognition Guide.

This panel provided a basic rundown of the historical toylines that led to the development of the Transformers brand, from Getter Robo to Shogun Warriors, G.I. Joe to Henshin Cyborg, Microman to Micro Change, Diaclone to Diakron, and more. It was a cool history rundown and led to a nice Q&A about the state of robot toys from the 1970s and 1980s and their relation to the Transformers, such as Macross/Robotech, Machine Robo/GoBots, Super Sentai (Japanese Power Rangers), and Voltron.


The convention ended after the final panel at around 5:30pm, BUT there was one more event that took place in the dealer room at 4:00pm, before the final panel: The Grand Prize Raffle. Said grand prize was none other than the five physical mock-ups of the unofficial BotCon 2017 "Action on Hydrus Four" boxed set (none of the other figures, just the five boxed set ones) and their specially-made box packaging. This was a one-of-a-kind prize that would never be offered to the public again. Pete presided the raffle, while his mother was selected to be an impartial operator of the raffle cage. She spun the cage, drew a raffle ticket, and called out its number. The lucky winner of the prize was a young man named Logan Rogan, who is known on The Allspark Forums by the username Repugnus. He was so determined to win the set that he had bought a whopping 50 raffle tickets earlier that day. Wow.

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And that's all of the convention itself. It was a fun weekend that honored the legacy of BotCon at its core. Thanks go out to Pete, Jesse, and all those who helped make this weekend event possible. Whether or not there is to be more of this convention in proceeding years will be determined by how successful this one was. Until then, let's hope for the best!

HOWEVER, the fun's not over yet! Coming soon is Part 2 of this report, with all the exciting concept reveals that came about online after the convention ended! Keep a look out and stay tuned!

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“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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Re: Pete's Robot Convention - 2017 report, Part 1

Postby Echowarrior » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:31 pm

Oh yeah, some of those are definitely my photos. Glad they could help with this report! :grin:
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