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Brian Savage

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BrianSavage

HEIL—er, YO, JOE!

Brian Savage is the owner of Fun Publications, which has held the license to the name BotCon and its status as the Official Transformers Collectors' Convention, along with the license to the Official Transformers Collectors' Club, since 2005. Fun Publications was already the organizer of the official G.I. Joe Collectors' Convention and club, which apparently impressed Hasbro enough for them to offer Fun Publications the Transformers convention and club, as well.

Savage's tenure overseeing BotCon began with a number of changes to the convention. Most visibly, the name "Botcon" itself was restored as the title of the official convention, consigning the often-lampooned OTFCC to the rubbish bin.

The date of the convention was changed, prompting howls of outrage from the fandom. BotCon/OTFCC had previously been set around the end of July. The first two BotCons run by Fun Publications were scheduled in the fall; BotCon 2007 was in mid-summer to align with the release of the live-action movie; BotCon 2008 was scheduled for the spring.

Under Fun Publications, the number of convention-exclusive toys rose dramatically. The main toy offering each became a multi-toy boxed set, rather than one to three individually boxed toys. These boxed sets tend to run around $250 each, prompting more howls of outrage from the fandom, even though the per-toy cost is virtually unchanged from the days of 3H's tenure. Additional toys are typically sold at the convention itself; and preregistered attendees receive a bonus toy, often not revealed until the convention itself.

Other changes include pre-convention tours and activities in the host city, and expanded program of events at the convention itself, all of which have naturally been met with howls of outrage by the fandom.

Fun Publication's greater financial resources and/or business model seem to have granted it a greater pull with Hasbro than 3H enjoyed; the seemingly endless delays, changes, missed deadlines and cancellations that plagued 3H's later years have been far less common under Savage's run, though it should be noted that Fun Publications is not immune to the vagaries of being a small licensee to a major multinational corporation.

In early 2008, a number of the exclusive toys for the upcoming BotCon 2008 were stolen from Fun Publications' production run. By April, many had appeared for sale on eBay; the thefts were beginning to eat significantly into the numbers required to ensure Fun Publications would receive enough toys to cover their needs. A copy of an emailed letter that Brian Savage sent privately to fans in possession of stolen BotCon toys was posted publicly by one of the recipients on a Hong Kong newsgroup. He threatened legal action if the product he paid for was not returned to him within two days, so that he could have enough to sell to BotCon attendees. This move was characterized by some fans as a "rampage" and an "unprofessional public display" on the part of Savage... even though it was not made public by him.[1]

But geez, he mighta run it through a spell-check first.

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