In December of 2009, I took the time to send an email to the organizers of BotCon 2010 about the possibility of bringing “DARE! The Transformers Panel Ultimate” to their convention. For those of you that are not as entrenched in the fan convention scene: my pal Joey Snackpants and I have been hosting a Transformers Panel for fan conventions since 2003. The panel/show has appeared a number of times (under various names) at Anime Express, Anime Festival Orlando, DreamCon, Fitcon, Florida Supercon, the FX Show, Yasumicon, and others. In all, we’ve hosted it (literally) dozens of times and have featured the following fun:
- Transformers Time Trials (how fast could you convert a Transformer correctly… complete with prizes!)
- Transformers G1 game demonstration on the PS2 (never released in the US, by the way!)
- Transforming sound effect contest (with prizes!)
- Japanese Transformers theme songs you wish you never heard.
- TF: Revenge of the Fallen Toy Giveaways sponsored by Hasbro (before the movie even came out!)
- Guest Host: Gregg Berger (the voice of Grimlock)
- Guest Host: Stan Bush (he had The Touch!)
We even elevated our geek status last year as Transformers Super Fans by singing backup for Stan Bush in concert during the song “Dare!”
So back to the story… we contacted BotCon, the Official Transformers Convention, back in December of last year. I have followed up each month with a polite “are we in” email asking about whether our unique brand of Transformers fun would be welcome. I would get a polite response back, but it was always a “no decision has been made.”
Having not heard anything for another month, I emailed them again yesterday because (in case you haven’t noticed) the convention is less than one month away.
I mean, this is an officially licensed event – so they must have all their ducks in a row. At least more so that the other local fan conventions in and around Florida… right?
This has been quite an eye opener for me because the answer is a resounding no. For those keeping track, BotCon tickets went on sale just eight days ago. As of this post, less than thirty days out, there is no information under “Seminars & Panels” and “Special Events” on BotCon’s official site.
Maybe I’m just jaded from going to so many amateur conventions that announce things more than six weeks out… who knows.
Either way, we got the email yesterday that states
…at this time I don’t think we have a slot for you.
In short: No Transformers Panel from the locals. I’ll still most likely attend BotCon, but it’s just disappointing to be reminded that the professionally run national conventions don’t seem to be any more organized than your local “mom and pop” anime con.
C’est la vie.