If you are not aware that there is Transformers exclusive conventions running all over the place, then now you know. In 1994 the first convention dedicated solely to Transformers was named Botcon and held in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Organized by brothers Jon and Karl Hartman, it had 180 attendees and took up a single space in a convention center. In 2003 Botcon ceased to exist by that name due to the Harman’s owning the name and had left the convention leaving Glen Hallit as the sole organizer and he changed the name to “The Official Transformers Collectors’ Convention,” (OTFCC) By 2004 Botcon became an unofficial convention and by 2005 became not only official once more but OTFCC had lost all the Transformers licensing that was picked up by Fun Publishing that helped form the “new” Botcon along with the Hartman’s on an advisory board. So the timeline is a bit strange but there has been an ongoing convention now for well over 20 years. There are other Transformer conventions like TFCon that have multiple conventions every year, and I go to one every year of course.
Now that is all been said You most likely clicked on to this to see about the toys and I am now ready to try and bring you these but first, Convention exclusives are mostly repaints of existing toys to keep costs down, with an exception here and there that includes our first entry that took advantage of some stock created for a line that stopped:
- Botcon 94 – G2 Breakdown: The only G2 Stunticon released at all. 300 produced. (204 of which specifically this reason, the other 96 were made before the shutdown of G2)
- Botcon 95 – G2 Nightracer: A Black repaint of the G2 Go-Bot High Beam, 298 produced. (first toy specifically repainted for this use)
- Botcon 96 – Predacon Onyx Primal: A black repaint of the Basic class Optimus Primal Bat toy. 1700 were produced enough to fuel further conventions. Three package variants: normal “pre-registration” one, A “Very Important Predacon” one for guests and a “Dealers only” version that has never been done since. (Unlike the previous year he was not an actual repaint but cast in the new colors of plastic)
- Botcon Japan 97 – Super Hybrid Model Galvatron: A non-transforming vinyl figure. Two versions were available at the show: a “fully-painted” with 800 pieces, and a “Translucent Orange lava bath” at 100 pieces. The first official Takara, Hasbro & Hartman Brothers supported Transformers fan convention to take place outside the United States. (The first non transforming toy and also the first to be in two different colors, a third “Blue” version was later available on their website)
- Botcon 97 – Fractyl & Packrat Two pack: Repaints of Beast Wars Basic class Terrorsaur & Rattrap respectively. Confusingly the numbers state 600 Packrats and 570 Fractyls produced. After the convention, “box sets” were available through their website with only Packrat, and nothing in the empty space where the other toy should be. Maybe this was the answer to the overflow of 30 toys. (another first, in giving two bots instead of one)
- Botcon 98 – Antagony & Vise Grip: Were repaints of Mega class Inferno and Basic class Powerpinch respectively and were limited to 600 pieces (Although not a first for two, Antagony was sold in a box and the other in a clear plastic baggy with tech spec card, no word on if they were sold together or not.)
- Botcon Japan 98 – Barbearian & Double Punch: Were repaints of Mega class Polar Claw & Scorponok respectively and limited to 600 pieces. (Both were based on unused prototype color schemes, although the box art says Barbearian, other art & tech spec says Grizzly-1) The bat you see in the art is actually a small partner for Barbearian
- Botcon 99 – Sandstorm & Windrazor: Were repaints of Mega class Scorponok and Deluxe class Silverbolt respectively and were limited to 1200 of both. (Windrazor was sold on a blister card and it proved so unpopular with collectors who did not want to destroy the packaging to remove the toy, so it was never done again.)
- Botcon 2000 – Apelinq & Shokaract: repaints of Mega class Transmetal Optimus Primal and Ultra class Rampage respectively and were limited to 1200 pieces.
- Botcon Japan 2000 – Choro-Q Convoy, Ligier & Megatron: all 3 were repaints of Takara’s Choro-Q toyline of Optimus Prime, Mirage & Megatron respectively with no reported toy counts and were packed in baggies. (Choro-Q are deformed un-proportioned toy cars with pull-back motors similar style to the G1 Mini Vehicles and similar in function to the G1 Throttlebots)
- Botcon 2001 – Arcee & Tigatron: redecos of Beast Wars Transmetal 2 Blackarachnia and Beast Wars Metal Ravage respectively and were limited to 1200 pieces., (see my blog entry about Tigatron for more information)
- Botcon 2002 – 4 toys: 1) Cyclonus, a redeco of Beast Machines Ultra-class Jetstorm, 2) CatSCAN, a redeco of Beast Machines Night Slash Cheetor, 3) Glyph, a redeco of the G1 Bumblebee keychain, 4) Tap-Out a redeco of the G1 Cliffjumper keychain (FREE to pre-registrants). With no reported toy counts.
- Botcon Europe 2002 – Rook: Grey redeco of G1 Windcharger, (originally exclusive to Europe then later to the United States as well)
I choose to stop here since this is the point where Botcon stopped for a little while and in part 2 we will carry on, so please join me next time and thanks for reading.