Monday, June 23, 2014

Botcon 2014

Botcon 2014 was held this weekend in Pasadena, California. Like previous one, it was a chance to get a look at some of Hasbro's plans for the Transformers line for the next year. No major news was revealed but Hasbro is continuing the lines along the same paths as this year. For Age of Extinction they showed off a bunch of upcoming one-step changers and multi-packs that use existing molds. The most interesting toy news was on the Generations front with plans for a G1 inspired designs for Megatron and Optimus Prime, official return of the headmasters with Brainstorm. Part of that is two firsts - after nearly 30 years getting a true G1 Transformers: The Movie inspired version of Arcee along with for the first time to my knowledge having a Chromia figure that isn't simply a repaint of Arcee but an actually new mold (Cybertronian motorcycle). IDW revealed a few of their upcoming mini-series plans involving Windblade and Drift. Below are highlights from each of the panels. After that are links to a ton of official photos along with galleries from the floor. Last but not least is a video of Hasbro's toy display. Basically the news looked good but I also get the impression that Hasbro was holding back for San Diego Comic-Con.

Transformers Brand Panel
- Designing line from targeting two age groups to three: pre-school, boy, fan/adult collectors
- Said push to simplify transformations was because if kids can't transform them, they do not buy again (Agree, my cousin's first TF was an Alternator as my advice wasn't asked. It was way beyond his age, soured him to the entire franchise).
- 2015 Generations will have new packaging style and come with collector card for NeNA mobile game but deluxe class will continue to come with a comic
- The silhouette image to right looks maybe Generations Superion combiner but Hasbro has not confirmed this
- For Generations line between 2014 to about end of 2015 plan 7 legends, 16 deluxes, 5 voyagers, and at least 2 leader class figures

IDW Transformers Comics Panel
- Transformers: Punishment motion comic available now with five-part series available for free on Madefire app. Story is Optimus trying to find out who is killing Decepticons on Cybertron
- Transformers: Empire of Stone that follows Drift since leaving the Lost Light.
- Transformers: Windblade Returns will begin in 2015, no details as will spoil ending of Windblade #4
- No plans for movie tie-in comics (I think Dark of the Moon leaked killed any future movie related comics despite not being IDW's fault)
- Fortress Maximus getting a solo story at unspecified date
- Rest of the panel covered info already available from comic solicitations for the next three months

Hasbro 30th Anniversary Panel
- Arcee wins fan vote for TF Hall of Fame, Rodimus other inductee. Stan Bush was the human inductee.
- Rest was just a look at the Dinobots over the years and other Transformers things, no new news.

G1 Retro Panel
- Panelists: Jack Angel (Ultra Magnus, Astrotrain, Smokescreen, Ramjet, Breakdown and more), Hal Rayle (Shrapnel, Pipes, Slag, etc), Michael McConnohie (Tracks and Cosmos from G1 and Hotshot and Ironhide from RID) and Samantha Newark (Ariel)
- Performed voices, Frank Welker liked to do practical jokes with his voice

Transformers Collector's Club - Hit link for images of current and upcoming repaints from the club.

Age of Extinction Galleries
- Power Battlers: Grimlock, Galvatron, Slug, Snarl, Lockdown
- One-Step Changers: Drift, Galvatron, Slug, Steeljaw, Stealth 'Bee, Strafe, Rollbar, Prowl, ROTF Megatron
- Deluxe: Lockdown, Bumblebee, Snarl, Hot Spot
- Multi-Packs: 2-pack (Optimus & Grimlock); Breakout 3-pack (Rusty Optimus, Rollbar, and Crankcase); Autobots United 5-Pack (Voyager Hound & Evasion Mode Optimus, Deluxe Bumblebee, Crosshairs, & Drift)
- Rescue Bots: Dinosaur theme with Optimus Prime, Chase, Boulder, Bumblebee and Blades
- Kre-O: Custom Kreon Dinobots, G1 Grimlock, Universal 4 pack with Optimus, Megatron, 'Bee, and Evac
- Display Cases: One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine

Generations Classics Galleries
- Legends: Nemesis Prime, Cliffjumper, Powerglide, Thundercracker, Windcharger, Bombshell
- Deluxe: Chromia, Arcee (with G1 alt mode)
- Voyager: Headmaster Brainstorm, G1 Optimus Prime
- Leader: G1 Megatron (tank alt mode with stickers for Autobot logo per IDW comics), Armada Megatron
- US Masterpiece Exclusives: Sideswipe, Bluestreak
- Display Cases: One | Two | | Masterpiece

3rd Party Galleries
- Multiple 3rd Party Displays: Includes Planet X Neptune (Sludge), Mech Ideas' Gauntlet (Ironfist), Unique Toys Salmoore (Cy-Kill), Perfect Effect Leonidas (temp name for their Beast Wars Optimus) and more
- MakeToys Display: Quantron (Computron), Utopia (Metroplex)
- Mastermind Creations Display: Azalea (Arcee), Feral Rex
- FansProject Display: Function X not Mindswipe, Revolver, Riftshot, Recoiler
- Planet X Display: Neptune (Sludge) prototype

Misc Galleries
- SDCC Exclusives: G1 Dinobots (using TF4 molds), Knights of Unicron Tour Pack (Prime, Jazz, Megatron, Soundwave), Kreon Class of 1984
- Art Contest and Customs: One | Two
- Dealer Room
- TF4 Optimus Prime Truck and Cade Yeager's Sword/Gun

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