Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Botcon 2008, part 3

Okay, it's time to wrap up our report from Botcon 2008!

Starting with a photo gallery of new toys the Hasbro display, which included new toys put out for all to see on the final day of the convention, followed by a quick story and then our notes from the Hasbro/CN Transformers Animated Seasons 2 and 3 Panel. Within this gallery, you'll see I took a lot of pix of Sentinel Prime, the Autobot you love to hate, Swoop (the dinobot I love to love!). There are also several pix of upcoming Classics/Universe and store exclusive toys, TFA package art and me with Sari Sundac (Tara Strong! ;)

So, I forgot to mention earlier why I took this picture. The handsome gentleman you see was the buyer of the most expensive Transformers purchase transaction I ever witnessed. It was an AFA graded 90, 1985 G1 Thrust. As you can see, the package was in amazing condition. Care to take a guess at how much he paid? That's right, we watched in awe as he negotiated a $100 discount off the dealer's $2,000 asking price, down to $1,900.00. Now you know what it's *really* worth. Wow, what fun!

Here are my notes from the Hasbro/CN panel:
The theme of this presentation was, “what to expect from Transformers Animated Season 2 and Season 3.

After making this statement, someone in the crowd yelled a question, “So, will there be a season 3?” The answer came from Aaron Archer who answered, (approximate quote) ~”Officially, the project has not received the necessary ‘green light’ from higher up decision makers. However, from a development standpoint, we have to move on as though there will be a season 3 and have begun working on what we’d like to see happen. The answer depends on how the ratings go for Transformers Animated (which so far are doing very well) and how well the toys sell (expected to do well, we’ll see.) So buy the toys, keep watching the shows and keep your fingers crossed with us!”

• The first slide they showed had the CartoonNetwork drawing of Wreck-Gar. Alongside the drawing, was the grey resin model of the toy in both robot and garbage truck vehicle mode. Toy is a voyager class price point, looks show accurate and very impressive.
• Then saw Blurr, Cartoon Network drawing only in robot and vehicle modes. He will be featured in the story’s present (not a flashback.) He’s elite guard member w/ ‘wings’ on the sides of his Autobot Symbol. His body is all about speed his ankles are transtech inspired, large hollow wheels. Terrific!
• They next showed “twin” combiner figures, one has a fire theme the other with ice. Both jets (tho my brother thought they were futuristic looking jets?!) they’re sold together as a voyager set and combine and their allegiance is a mystery.

From the Q&A:
• No plans for a larger Lugnut figure.
• For (primarily) budget reasons, Slag and Swoop have no speaking lines. Marty Isenberg said they’re played as a “Larry and Darryl and Darryl” (an old reference to the Bob Newhardt show, “this is my brother Darryl and my other brother Darryl.) Creative director’s comment was that if they do get speaking lines (later) his dream voice for Slag would be Louie Anderson.
• Their intent is not to expand the core team members. There are no immediate plans to expand. If we get more seasons basically planning on sticking with the same characters. “But we do want to make sure you get your Jazz fix” knowing how popular the character is, one panelist commented.
• When asked about adding the other 2 Dinobots, panel responded, not yet, but if the show does well enough, it’s definitely a possibility.
• Aaron Archer talked very positively about the shows development, being more of what U.S. audiences want, “more humor, more fun, embedded in a great TF story.”
• Yes, there will be other elite guard characters implied or introduced.
• When asked about Skywarp and Thundercracker, Marty Isenberg stated they do not want to have a “clone army” (of seeker jets). Then Aaron Archer commented, “but Hasbro will happy to make lots of recolors!” Everyone laughed and applauded indicating their desire to see Skywarp and Thundercracker.
• When asked about introducing Pretenders, panel said that Octo-punch was originally the episode 1 villian, which later got trumped by Angry Archer. Then stated that it’s a possibility, “if we have a need for more b level villains.”
• Someone asked about possibility of making Transformers: Animated Robot heroes. Panel joked about “wouldn’t that be a great line to put some human characters!?” Everyone said, Yeah wouldn’t that be a great place for that!” very interesting commentary… Here’s hoping!
• When asked about possibility of a TFA movie response was, ‘Certainly not in the plans. Almost definitely not in the theaters. We’d all love to do it at some point in the future. Perhaps strait to DVD or… season three opener (big hint from Marty).
• Marty was asked about development of Blitzwing: He said that BW started as a Mask/Beatlejuice type character. Wanted something that could transform into anything, but totally not practical for a toy, or animation noted the artistic development director. Marty mentioned that they had, “thought about Sixshot.” Eric said no, from a toy development standpoing, a triple changer is hard enough!
• Decision for female human-> CN decision. To hasbro’s surprise, Sizable girl audience. Yeah!
• Captin Fanzone’s character was named after sports player Carmon Fanzone. Happens to be Marty’s neighbor. Only a couple Fanzone(s) in the state of MI, so legal made Marty I. Walk next door and get a waver signed!
• I asked panel a question about the upcoming TFA comic series: 5 Issue mini-series. Marty “would REALLY like to write for a comic series” – dropped a lot of hints to Hasbro. Eventually got IDW and Marty in touch with each other. The series will be written in Season 1 continuity. Stories we would have liked to have put in the show, but didn’t get around to. New material. To get everyone caught up to the Animated universe, the first issue will show the TFA intro movie but told from other (Inhabitants of Cybertron?) points of view.
• When asked about Starscream, Marty answered: “He is difinatively dead.” That is, his spark is extinguished. But gave a quizzical look when they talked about him being really, really dead. And gave a look that to me suggested a definite possibility of a ghostly comeback. We’ll see
• Then treated to episode 27 “Black Friday” which was as awesome as ever, a nice stand alone episode w/ not too many revealing spoilers.

Last but not least a few more videos! First up, *THIS* is what Botcon is all about! Kids checkin' out Transformers! Pretty cool, the convention organizers set aside floor space and Hasbro donates the toys so kids can go wild! What fun!

in the Voice Actor Panel, David Kaye, Bumper Robinson and Tara Strong act out some of their characters: Ben 10, BW Megatron, Grimlock, Bumblebee, Blitzwing... ordering some coffee at the local drive thru:

Here, Tara Strong, the voice of "Sari" talks about her son's reaction to telling his friends that his mom is the voice of Ben10! :)

No comments: