Linus Lam Network News
convention coverage report of
Bot-con 2013!
 

Welcome to another edition of Linus Lam Network News for 2013!  This news report covers our trip to Bot-con 2013 for a huge weekend of Transformers enjoyment and a whole lot more!  Held at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center in San Diego, California over the weekend of June 27-30, Bot-con 2013 saw lots of attendees ready to party on with a bunch of dedicated artists, live performances, gaming events, cosplay fun, and plenty of opportunities to hang out with fellow Transformers fans. Our exciting trip to Bot-con 2013 starts here!  Coverage you can count on, here at Linus Lam Network News!

Highlights: Various live programming events kept the attendees well-covered throughout the weekend. Guests of Honor included Glenn Morshower, James Horan, David Sobolov, Wally Burr, and Jason Jansen. Events and workshops included a San Diego Trolley Tour, Transformers Customizing Class, Seaworld Park Tour, Transformers Filmfest, TCC Comics, Transformers Publishing, Autograph sessions, Voices Behind Transformers Prime, Hasbro Transformers Brand Team, Transformers Comics, Transformers G1 Perspective, Rescue Bot Cast, Transformers Collectors Club, Transformers Movie Perspective, Cocktail Reception, Casino Night Dinner, Bingo, Charity Auction, Transformers Prime Script Reading, Transformers Costuming, and more.
Cosplay: This year's trip to Bot-con saw lots of inspired costumes from the Transformers Universe including Transformers Prime, Transformers Animated, Transformers G1, Live-Action Movie Transformers, and much more! 
Please check out more cosplay photo coverage from our Bot-con stock convention archives!
Report: Celebrating 30 years of Hasbro's Transformers, Bot-con 2013 returned to sunny California. Instead of its usual Pasadena hometown, it ventured southward into the cozy Town and Country Resort and Convention Center in tropical San Diego. Bot-con is a somewhat smaller-sized Transformers convention but it fit comfortably well with next-door neighbors Craftbook Fair and a few weddings.

Bot-con has a unique culture different from other conventions. Elite members who want access to all the main events and panels throughout Thursday-Sunday can purchase expensive $75-$300 memberships online. Casual visitors who just want to buy merchandise in the dealers hall can buy one-day $20 General Admission tickets at the door on Saturday or Sunday. Although the General Admission lines were fairly long early Saturday morning, the process of handing out tickets and getting a handstamp went by very quickly and most people were well within the Dealers Hall in less than an hour unloading their wallets. Sunday's General Admission lines were almost non-existent. The Art Show was a lot bigger than I remember with much more quality put into the submissions. Artists Alley had a lot more tables and colorful pieces out. Charity Auction is always entertaining to see who're the big deep pocket gamblers. There was also a Friday night free showing of Transformers live-action movie on the lawn, "drive-in" style. Transformers costumes are always welcome sights as they are still rareties in the costuming community. We found plenty of them strolling around during the weekend getting photos with many attendees and many costumers attended Sunday's big Transcostumers panel.

Dealers Room was packed solid with tons of new and vintage Transformers merchandise. New stuff included a large shipment of “Titan-Class” Autobot Metroplexes that stood over 2.5 feet tall (taller than G1 Fortress Maximus) and sold out in less than a day for $150 at the Big Bad Toy Store booth, lots of Transformers Generations figures for about $25-45, and a handful of Hercules (custom-large-class Devastator) 6-packs for $500 each. Most attendees gawked at the loads of new figures like the ConstructoBots and Beast Hunters at the big Hasbro booth, but vintage merchandise is where the real action is at. Hardcore enthusiasts can find original boxed G1 Fortress Maximus from $600-1200, G1 Shockwave from $500-700, and the all-popular Megatron from $900-1400, widely considered the Holy Grail around Transformers collectors. The lower end of original boxed or unboxed G1 vehicles saw prices from $15-300. Budget-concious collectors can spot great deals on loose parts for G1 Fortress Maximus, Jetfire, Shockwave, Optimus Prime, Omega Supreme and any of the numerous Decepticon seekers in many discount bins and assorted tables filled with “slightly-used” Transformers. Many of them had worn labels or no labels, cleaned or uncleaned, missing weapons, or just missing a whole torso. The fun is in rifling through the many discount bins and searching for spare parts to put a specific robot action figure back together, a process that could take a few minutes or many hours. Parts can cost from $5 to a whopping $60 depending on how rare those pieces are. Oftentimes, small connectors that can easily be lost are the most expensive, such as a $40 leg armor connector for Jetfire. Used minibots sold for $1-7, perfect to collect for Metroplex or Cybertron. Most used G1s like Rodimus Prime, Astrotrain, and Grimlock sold for $15-40 while used or boxed Shockwave or Megatron sold well above $200. Other nice things to see were unboxed Kreon Transformers for $9-15, Autobot/Decepticon earrings for $10, Autobot Matrix of Leadership keychains for $15, tons of screened T-shirts from $20, and plenty of colorful Autobot/Decepticon belt buckles for $15. Sorry, no Starscream or Megatron body pillows were in sight. Additional rarities were vintage Power Ranger and Mazinger figures at deep discounts for around $15-35 on some shelves. I also spotted an extremely rare out-of-box Cobra Terrordome for $600 along with reissues of G1 Fortress Maximus for $350 and a soon-to-be released custom transformable G1 Arcee at the TF Source booth. Bot-con Transformers exclusives included Machine Wars figures Hoist, Skywarp, Strika, Obsidian, and Megaplex, who all form Decepticon Termination, along with T-Shirts, caps, and beanies.

Autograph sessions included Transformers celebrities like actor Glenn Morshower from the live-action Transformers movies and voice director Wally Burr from the original animated Transformers movie. Lines went pretty smoothly with only 2 pieces allowed for signing and a photo with each Guest. Unfortunately, perennial favorites like Peter Cullen (voice of Optimus Prime) and Stan Bush (original singer for Transformers the animated movie) couldn’t make it this year. Also missing were the large Bumblebee and Optimus Prime statues along with live-action movie vehicles, but at least that freed up more space to move around.

True Transformers fans can rejoice, Bot-con always delivers the goods and then some. We most definitely look forward to returning if or when it comes back to California.

Come check out more cosplay and events photo coverage from our Bot-con stock convention archives!

Be sure to visit the next Bot-con!

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