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BotCon 2006

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BotCon 2006 was the Official Transformers Convention in 2006, run by Fun Publications. It was held in Lexington, Kentucky from September 28 to October 1st, though only the last two days were open to the general public.

Merchandise

Vast quantities of exclusive merchandise was debuted at BotCon 2006, in addition to "exclusive" merchandise from previous Transformers conventions and FunPub-run GI Joe conventions.

Convention-exclusive toys

  • Convention Box Set - This set of five toys was only available to those who registered for either the 'Primus Package' or the non-attendee 'Iacon Package.' The set also included a badge, the Convention Comic, and five redecoed Planet X Cyber Planet Keys made to look like the Golden Disk.
  • Axalon Cheetor - A yellow and teal remold of Clocker with cheetah-print seat covers and a new head sculpt.
  • Attendee-Only Bonus Toy - Unit 2/(Tigatron), a white and teal version of the Cheetor exclusive toy with tiger-stripe seat covers, was provided as a bonus to those who picked up their 'Primus Package' box set in person.
  • Convention Souvenir 2-Packs - Two sets of two bagged toys, limited to 500 of each set.

Comics

  • Convention Comic: Dawn of Futures Past - A prequel comic to Beast Wars.

Free copies of the then-current issue of Master Collector and small teaser posters for the Transformers movie were also distributed for free near the entrance to the dealer room. Both pre-registrants and walk-in attendees recieved these.

Guests

Hasbro employees

Along with standbys Aaron Archer and Eric Siebenaler of the design team, Forest Lee (writer of the biographical information for the large majority of the Cybertron line) was in attendance, as were a number of Hasbro marketing and administrative persons, such as Greg Lombardo.

Voice actors

BotCon regular, veteran voice actor, and all-around-crazy-guy Scott McNeil was once again in attendance at the convention. Fellow Beast Wars voice actors Richard Newman, Blu Mankuma and Pauline Newstone attended for their first BotCon.

Last, but most certainly not least (in fact, maybe greatest), was Peter Cullen, voice of Optimus Prime both in the G1 Cartoon and the 2007 film.

Comics and art

Chris Ryall and Dan Taylor attended to represent IDW Comics. Simon Furman, writer of a vast portion of the Transformers mythos, was also present to discuss his past projects as well as his current projects with IDW.

A majority of the artists who were currently working on Transformers art in an official capacity, including Don Figueroa, Alex Milne, Dan Khanna, Jake Isenberg, Drew Eiden, and Marcelo Matere were in attendance as well.

Events

FunPub scheduled a large number of events to take place over the course of the convention to keep attendees entertained and informed.

Wednesday and Thursday

Wednesday and Thursday were the slowest days of the convention, primarily for the benefit of preregistrants. However, there were a few panels on those days, including the classic "MSTF" spoofing of Transformers episodes on Thursday night and a Transformer customization seminar on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. (The customization panel cost extra, but the attendees got a badly-painted Scrapmetal out of it with the option of giving it the Cobybot head.)

Friday

Friday was the first day the convention began in earnest, though it was open to preregistrants only.

Major events included...

  • A voice actor panel with Blu Mankuma, Scott McNeil, Richard Newman, and Pauline Newstone.
  • A panel with the Hasbro design team, where the design process was explained and the shelved design sketches of Classics Cosmos were shown.
  • A panel with Simon Furman.
  • Autograph sessions with the Beast Wars voice actors.
  • The first round of "Faction Feud," a trivia competition whose rules bore no resemblance to Family Feud whatsoever.

In addition, the dealer room was open from 2PM to 5PM.

Saturday

Saturday was the first day in which walk-in attendees were allowed.

Major events included...

  • A panel on the Collectors' Club newsletter hosted by Pete Sinclair.
  • Autograph sessions with Peter Cullen, as well as the Beast Wars actors.
  • The Hasbro New Product Unveiling, the major panel of the year. Attendance was standing-room-only for walk-ins. The majority of the Classics line was shown, as well as a preview of the special features for the Sony TFTM DVD, and a "sizzle reel" for the 2007 Transformers movie. It was during this panel that the design team professed that they were huge fans of the Cincinnati Bengals.
  • Another Voice Actor panel.
  • A Q&A panel featuring Peter Cullen.
  • The annual dinner.

Sunday

Sunday was the day when the show wound down. Most of the panels were repeats, and the dealer room opened late and closed early, but most attendees still managed to enjoy themselves.

Major events included...

  • More autograph time with the Beast Wars voice actors.
  • The final round of Faction Feud.
  • A panel with the IDW comic creators.
  • A repeat of the Simon Furman panel.

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