Botcon 2014: I spiked the punch!. . .

. . . with my costume, that is. That's right folks, I attended Botcon 2014 this year -- the annual Transformers fan convention -- and I came dressed as civilian Spike Witwicky! I had a beige-ish button-down, jeans, work boots with a yellow hard hat. I also created a prop Soundwave that I could carry around. Here's an image from tfwiki that captures what I was going for, from the episode "Transport to Oblivion."

Botcon started last week Wednesday (June the 18th) and concluded on Sunday (June the 22nd). I was visiting my sister in Los Angeles on vacation so I used the opportunity to pre-register. The website was a little confusing so I ended up pre-ordering a t-shirt and nothing else. It took me awhile to figure out that the cheapest package, the "mini-con" package, was only an add-on package anyways! And even the cheapest package was too much for my blood. I bought a general admission ticket for Saturday the 21st.

In terms of conventions, I got a taste of pretty much everything BotCon had to offer. I've been to Wizard Worlds before in Chicagoland, as well as the smaller, more focused Windy City Comic-Con, but I've never had a fuller experience than the one I had at Botcon. I attended the panels, I walked around the room floor, I gawked at the costumes and I looked at the art. The only things I didn't partake in was the autograph line and the artists' alley.

I attended a few panels: The "Hasbro Transformers Brand" panel, the "Women in Animation" panel and the "Art of Transformers" panel. The Brand panel was an unveiling of sorts, with slideshows of upcoming action figures in the series. Of particular note was the fact that the presentations broke the sector into "pre-school", "boy" and "fan" but the presenter was mindful enough to mention "girl" every time he mentioned "boy," and "daughter" every time he mentioned "son."

The biggest news I recall was the leader class Generations: Megatron as a tank. The powerpoint was pretty cute. When they unveiled the Megatron slide, they played the clip from the 1986 movie, where Megatron's staring down at Optimus and says, "I would have waited an eternity for this Prime! It's over." I've been waiting for a while for Legends class generations: Cosmos with Throttle, but I haven't seen him. . .

In terms of the vendor area, I think I got a pretty good deal. I got a Laser Optimus Prime (RTS edition) and a Generations Wheeljack, for $15 each. I had already snaked my way through most of the vendor area so I figured $15 was the best I could get. Consider my woes when I found Laser Prime for a mere nine dollars at the last vendor booth I visited! I also found a $20 Cosmos, which wasn't a good enough deal for me, and a $100 Masterpiece Grimlock -- I passed on him because I couldn't figure out a way to get him into my luggage. I also saw a $100 Grimlock vs. Bruticus set, which I've been waiting on, but the price is pretty stable so I was OK getting it online.

Here's an example of the fanart. You could submit entries into an art contest and the winners got prizes. You could make dioramas, color art, monochrome art. I was really happy about this section; it's not commonplace to your average comic book convention. Being a subset of comic book fans, Transformers is a lot more warm and cozy a fandom. It's smaller and so everything is more precious. Here's my loot in total, excepting the t-shirt:

Thanks to my sister for helping me with all these photos. We took nearly 50, and to see them all you can check out the photobucket slideshow:

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