1. Pete
    July 21, 2010 @ 12:55 PM

    Tom, I think the problem here is that people in general, not just TF fans, like a little bit of humility. To show they can be humble and do not have to be right all the time. And when someone makes a statement that is incorrect, false or is misleading, to admit that. For instance, I have a question that has still gone unanswered by you and Joey, so lets try it here…

    This is in response to Joey’s latest Blog.

    Please answer me this. Does SDCC have panel rooms that can accommodate EVERY SINGLE ATTENDEE at SDCC?

    A simple YES or NO.

    And when you answer that you will realize and hopefully finally admit a con does NOT need to have a panel room that can seat EVERY SINGLE ATTENDEE because EVERY SINGLE ATTENDEE does not go to each panel. How does BotCon know this? Because of PRIOR experience and knowing approx. how many registered Attendees will be there and how many walk ins will be there.

    Again, YES or NO.


    You said a week ago:

    “The capacity of that room (the panel room at BotCon) is only 1100 people. If there were 1000 registered attendees who get PREFERENCE IN SEATING, then BotCon anticipated giving only 100 seats to General Admission panels – such as the (aforementioned my one of the posters) “standing room only” Peter Cullen panel. That is NOT the “same ability to attend” by any stretch of the imagination.”

    NOW you say

    “@Donnie: You’re still not getting it. Nowhere did I or Joey ever state that there should be a panel room that could hold 3000 attendees; I stated that there should have been more than run room with choices of entertainment.
    BotCon failed to provide enough *alternatives* for its attendees… and numbers don’t lie.”

    Correct, you did not say it should hold all 3,000 attendees. But you DID say that BotCon only allowed 100 seats for General admission because you actually want people to believe that at a convention, EVERY SINGLE ATTENDEE goes to EVERY SINGLE PANEL.

    And there have been NUMEROUS posts from attendees who were at the Peter Cullen panel and all have said there was seating.

    So, REGARDLESS of your opinion of whether or not there should have been MORE panels, please answer, based on the reports and the facts, Yes or No, did BotCon have enough seating for anyone who wanted to attend a panel and should a convention plan on seating for EVERY attendee, registered or walk in?

  2. Ganalot! » Blog Archive » Inside Gaming: 3/15/2009
    July 21, 2010 @ 4:25 PM

    […] Are we still taking about #Botcon, BotFAIL and Beast Wars? You … […]

  3. Tom
    July 21, 2010 @ 7:59 PM


    Great question! If you recall, our initial assertion was that “there wasn’t enough to do” at BotCon. This statement evolved into the presentation that BotCon was (in our opinion) more of a trade show than a convention. As the argument progressed – people kept asking to PROVE there wasn’t entertainment because (it seemed) that going and not being entertained wasn’t proof enough. So other concepts were presented including comparisons to other shows and even proving that BotCon’s seating didn’t support enough people beyond the a certain capacity.

    Remember – the PRIMARY point of contention regarding the lack of BotCon seating was that we felt there wasn’t enough offered to effectively include GENERAL ADMISSION attendees. Seating capacity only came up because BotCon had a QUALIFIER (stated on the BotCon website) for it regarding the upper tier ticket holders getting preferential seating…

    1. There were approximately 1000 upper teir ticket holders.
    2. There was a seating capacity in the events room of 1100.

    This automatically excludes a MAJOR portion of the general admission attendees for a potentially full room.

    NOW, let’s get to your specific question here: a comparison between San Diego Comic Con and BotCon. That’s easy.

    The KEY difference comes down to two words… “ANOTHER” and “OTHER.”

    If you went to one room at BotCon to do something and found nothing engaging there, you (as an attendee) had the option to go to the OTHER room.

    If you went to a room at SDCC to do something and found nothing engaging there, you (as an attendee) can go to ANOTHER room.

    Baskin Robins offers more than just two flavors. 🙂

    Standard fan conventions I have attended in the past ten years of a comparible size (to BotCon) have always offered more than TWO ROOMS of entertainment… even (as stated before) local “mom and pop” anime and scifi cons.

    FINALLY, to get even more specific with what you’re asking. Do I think there is enough seating in all of the rooms offered at San Diego Comic Con to seat every attendee? Absolutely not! That said, though, SDCC also doesn’t have a “preferential seating” clause on their website.

    If I’m wrong and they do (and please correct me if I am) – then I’m fairly confident that they don’t have such a skewed ratio of their seating capacity in relation to their top tear ticket holders like BotCon 2010 did.

    I hope this helps clarify things.

  4. Joey Snackpants
    July 21, 2010 @ 8:26 PM

    @Pete: You have questions for me about items in my blog… I’ll consider answering them there. This is Tom’s sandbox. As we have proven in real life, we are not the same person and have differing opinions on many subjects.

  5. Pete
    July 21, 2010 @ 10:10 PM

    But remember. FP KNOWS that not all 1,000 registered attendees will attend any one panel. You inferred that BotCon only allowed for an additional 100 seats to be open to General Admission.

    And here is where your argument really falls apart I am afraid. There have been MANY people who have said that BotCon is MORE than those two rooms. There are the gatherings outside the halls, they do like to go a take breaks, congregate elsewhere and so on.

    So, to the Registered Attendee, there ARE more than “two” rooms. They have continually told you this.

    But please, lets get back to my primary question. Two rooms or Ten rooms, is DOESN’T matter. Again, AT ONE POINT, you stated that FP didn’t allow for more than 100 General admission seats when, AGAIN, since the convention habits of BotCon attendees are known to the BotCon staff, the appropriate number of seats were made available so ANYONE, whether General admission or Registered Attendee, can take in a panel. And, as the facts prove, anyone who wanted to attend a panel could. That “top tier” disclaimer is ONLY there on the OUTSIDE chance that if ONE panel were to be a HUGE draw, that Registered attendees would have first opportunity. Its kind of like that standard disclaimer, the “JUST in case.

    So, I will ask again. To this one simple question, please answer. At BotCon 2010, was anybody who wanted to attend a panel able to? Yes or No?

  6. Alan Ladd
    July 22, 2010 @ 5:54 AM

    Pete: No. Joey and Tom didn’t get to attend their DARE! The “ultimate” Transformers Panel panel.
    That’s why they’re so worked up.

  7. Richard
    July 22, 2010 @ 11:47 AM

    As an outside viewer this still looks like a bunch of people trying to find a way to make themselves feel good by complaining about anything and everything they can that others (Tom & Joey) have an opinion on until they are blue in the face.

    While this has been interesting to watch, and at times momentarily comment, it is getting old really fast.

    I’m starting to wonder if some of the people involved just have nothing better to do with their time or they seriously think that everyone is just going to change their opinions because they said so.

    Everyone should just be adults about it and agree to disagree. This quickly went from constructive criticism to an all out flame and troll war.

    At this point Tom could say he hated his lunch and people would try to say he’s wrong just because he’s Tom!

    On a side note:
    Will everyone at least agree with me that non-metal transformer toys suck to hell next to metal ones?
    Or is someone going to tell me they love their plastic and I’m completely wrong for implying metal is better then plastic in this case?

  8. Pete
    July 22, 2010 @ 12:55 PM

    Richard, I just want an answer to my question. Was there enough seating at BotCon. Yes or No.

    To your question, I will give you a straight up answer, no bs’ing, no long winded explanation where I dodge the question at hand.

    Yes, 1984 Metal Transformers are superior to plastic ones. While they lack the poseability of the current toys, they offered both a transforming robot and a highly detailed, realistic vehicle that as we all know inspired a generation.

  9. Semysane
    July 22, 2010 @ 5:28 PM

    I would disagree, but then I grew up with Generation 2, which was mostly brightly coloured plastic, so my view is somewhat coloured by nostalgia.

  10. Pete
    July 22, 2010 @ 10:50 PM

    Ah, Gen 2, which of course the theme for this years BotCon set 😉 Sideswipe in black diecast just kicked arse!

  11. Tom
    July 23, 2010 @ 2:00 AM


    “FP KNOWS that not all 1,000 registered attendees will attend any one panel.”

    Really? How? I need to talk to your staff about some lottery numbers.

    “So, I will ask again. To this one simple question, please answer. At BotCon 2010, was anybody who wanted to attend a panel able to? Yes or No?”

    You’re trying to make a subjective question black and white. There is no “yes” or “no” to that question.
    Which came first – the chicken or the egg? Pete, if people READ on the BotCon website that there preferential seating for top teir ticket holders – then they may not have even tried.

    Or, in the case of Mr. Snackpants and I, there was nothing presented to direct interest to drive us to stay.

    You keep working from the point of view that Joey and I are the ONLY people who came to BotCon, saw your show, and left. This isn’t true (as we know of others we met there.) We just happened to be the most verbal about it.

    So “was anybody who wanted to attend a panel able to?”

    I can’t answer that because I don’t know the mindset of every attendee nor was I at any of the panels. Was space made available for all BotCon attendees to be given equal opportunity to attend a panel? Absolutely not.

    “Richard, I just want an answer to my question. Was there enough seating at BotCon. Yes or No.”

    Based on your alleged attendance? No.

  12. Tom
    July 23, 2010 @ 2:01 AM


    You have the touch. I’m not sure if you have the power, though. All hell, it appears, is breaking loose and since you’re posting here – you’re right in the eye of the storm.


  13. Joey Snackpants
    July 23, 2010 @ 4:22 AM

    @Richard: You are correct, I think my metal Transformers, either import or domestic are 10x better than the plastic ones I have. While Tom was willing to buy domestic Alternators, I would only purchase the imports. 🙂

  14. Joey Snackpants
    July 23, 2010 @ 4:29 AM

    @Alan: No… you miss the point. I can’t speak to Tom’s opinion, but I have stated time and time again. BotCon 2010 was a ongoing disappointment from the moment I got in line at 5:30 AM, till when we left. I tried to find something, but the limited schedule, poorly managed lines, and the lack of events for ‘walk-in’ general admission made it a complete failure for this BotCon 2010 attendee.

    Pete’s comments, here and elsewhere, reinforced the fact that BotCon 2010 was geared to the upper tier price points, and the general admission attendees are very much an afterthought.

  15. Pete
    July 23, 2010 @ 12:58 PM

    Tom, I appreciate the fact that you finally gave a yes or no. I am disappointed that you, despite just about what every other person in the fandom has said, can’t realize you are wrong.

    First, YES, FP knows that not all 1,000 attendees will be at EVERY single panel, because there has NEVER been a BotCon where EVERY SINGLE ATTENDEE attends every panel. And that is standard fare for ANY themed convention. You continually coming back to this and not admitting this actually shows you know VERY LITTLE about how conventions are run.

    Next, if someone did not “try” that is their issue. I know that if I “REALLY” want to see something I would make the effort to make the 2 minute walk and check it out to see if it is open OR ask a staff person the current status. Your argument holds very little water and this is the reason so many people have lashed out against you. You have proven that just like Beast Wars, you have no grasp of what a BotCon is all about or what it does. You both have proven this time and time again.

    Joey, yes, as a WHOLE, there was more to do over the 4 day period for BotCon Registered attendees. However, between the hours of 10am-5pm on Saturday, there was the EXACT SAME OFFERING for walk ins as there was Registered Attendees. And just for one last hoorah, I am going to list ONE LAST TIME ALL the stuff, YOU JOEY and TOM, could have done Saturday but much of which CHOSE NOT TO.


    Access to Exhibitor Hall with features:
    – Large variety of Dealers
    – Club store
    – Hasbro showcase (NEW Toy reveals)
    – Various Artists (from Hasbro and IDW) doing sketches
    – Activision booth
    – Autobot Alliance obstacle course
    – Custom Art display
    – Life size Bumblebee

    Panels featuring:
    – Scott McNeil and Paul Eiding
    – Hasbro Studios
    – IDW
    – Activision
    – Hasbro Marketing
    – TF Collectors’ Club
    – and PETER CULLEN

    * Outside
    Motormaster Truck, other vehicles on hand for pictures.

    * Additional $25 for Autographs, like MANY shows, (and Including Autograph card by Dan Khanna) for guests:
    Hideaki Yoke
    Bob Budiansky
    Paul Eiding
    Scott McNeil
    Stan Bush
    Aaron Archer

    So, ONCE AGAIN, for between $18-$43, even the average fan had available to them a very cool TRANSFORMERS convention experience. You both though, ONCE AGAIN, made the decision NOT to have that experience. But make no mistake, it was your choice, and your choice alone, NOT to take in all the activities.

  16. Joey Snackpants
    July 23, 2010 @ 6:16 PM

    Again Pete… that ONE Panel room and ONE Dealers room. Nothing more, nothing less. You can keep saying over and over again that its chocked full of events. But your team offered either A or B, there was no C.

    Though you should feel a little vindicated, people are already crunching the numbers for Star Wars: Celebration V. And only about 10% of the entrants will be able to even SEE the Lucas/Steward Panel (the number is more like 4% being able to be in the room). I guess if its good enough for Lucasfilm, it should be good enough for IP.

  17. Semysane
    July 23, 2010 @ 7:39 PM

    I would like to see how YOU would run a BotCon, Joey. See how successful it would be with seven stadium-sized auditoriums filled with panels on how much various things you dislike suck. I bet that would make money hand-over-fist!

  18. Pete
    July 23, 2010 @ 11:24 PM


    Wait, so only 4% of SW CB5 peeps can see Lucas yet ANYONE who wanted to see Peter Cullen could. In short, people will be left OUT of seeing Lucas. EVERYONE was able to see Peter. How is that even the same?

    Just because you continue to repeat something that does NOT make it true.

  19. Pete
    July 23, 2010 @ 11:34 PM

    Let me throw some numbers at you.

    You went to 0% of the panels
    You got 14% of the Autographs that you could have gotten
    At BEST you participated in 50% of the Exhibitor Hall

    Overall, you experienced 25% of what BotCon had to offer “early bird” attendees on Saturday.

    Man, if you would have taken in 50% of the Saturday activities I bet you would have REALLY been tired 😉

  20. Joey Snackpants
    July 23, 2010 @ 11:52 PM

    No Pete… We participated in 100% of your ‘Exhibitor Hall’. I saw all your autograph sessions. Saw the craaaazy Activision Ad that was pretending to be an ‘activity’. I saw your dealers with their toys and bootleg DVD’s. I saw the art displays. I saw the museum. I saw the kids get excited with their Nerf guns. That took 90 minutes, because I was taking pictures.

    So I could do that… or go to the single panel room. WOOT!

    And just because you continue to try to justify two rooms as a ‘convention’ does not make it true either.

  21. Pete
    July 24, 2010 @ 1:47 AM

    Joey, you crack me up. Now FOLLOW me here…

    We “participated” in…
    (NEXT line)
    I “saw” all your…

    Joey, participate and saw are NOT the same. You also “saw” the panel room, but you did not “participate” in the panels.

    I can go to the water park and “see” the rides. That does not mean I “participated.”

    You both are VERY good at misdirection, but the fact remains, you only “participated” in 25% of the Saturday early bird activities.

    I mean, have you ever been to SDCC? Do you consider the main hall “ONE” offering? Is that “offering A?” All that stuff is JUST in ONE hall so that must mean that the SDCC team is ONLY offering me ONE place to see dealers and toy companies. C’mon man, do you really believe what you are saying?

    It doesn’t matter HOW MANY ROOMS there are. It matters HOW MANY ACTIVITIES. And BotCon had many activities. Most of which you did not bother to “participate” in…

  22. Pete
    July 24, 2010 @ 1:52 AM

    I just can’t help but wonder, if BotCon offered just ONE more panel, a certain “ultimate” panel, would that have been enough to make the show a “convention” for you both?

    The truth is basically no one will ever believe you both are being objective because you felt slighted. Ah well, it’s late…

  23. Tom
    July 24, 2010 @ 10:54 AM


    Joey and I (and the Wasabi Anime team) submitted a request to do events – including DARE! The Transformers Panel Ultimate! – a few years back for Dragon*Con. We got turned down.

    Guess what: Dragon*Con is still an amazing convention.

    When we presented the article on YBMW that Joey and I didn’t like your BotCon 2010 Trade Show this year, you (and the other dozen or so lurkers who found this blog) have all tried to find the REASONS we formulated that opinion.

    When asked, we gave said justifications including comparisons to other conventions and even questioning the planning ability on FB’s part (hence citing the available seating for general admission attendees AND the complaint post about the time it took to hear a solid answer regarding our panel.)

    Pete – I respect you defending your show as much as you are, but at some point you have to realize that the time you are spending trying to JUSTIFY that there aren’t issues with BotCon should be spent working to CORRECT them for next year.

    You need to encourage your team to re-evaluate the entertainment you offer for ALL attendees in 2011 (and more importantly, 2012.) Prove Joey and me wrong in the future by building a better convention. Who knows… with all of the hubbub we may do a follow up report. 🙂

  24. Pete
    July 24, 2010 @ 8:52 PM


    This isn’t a matter of justifying. It has been a matter of just trying to convey to you what the dozen(s) of people who actually participated in the events have said, through both written and online feedback. Since this is a TF convention, people do NOT want panels that cause scheduling conflicts, where they have to choose. They like to be able to take in ALL the activities (and for the record, only 25% of which you participated in).

    I am sorry Tom. But the opinion of two guys who attended one show when it actually showed up in their back yard does not trump the hundreds, and through the years, thousands of opinions that are contrary to yours.

    Should a convention not listen to the overwhelming majority? And for the walk ins, over 20 different activities were offered in the two official locations, more than enough to fill many a walk in attendee’s day.

    The Autograph band info should be on the main Gen. Admission page. I conceded that. And like every year, FP will work to make the show better and to give TF fans of all ages and all admission levels the best experience possible. But we will not ignore the majority consensus either because it did not meet one individuals criteria.

    Finally, Tom, there was seating for EVERY attendee. Anyone who cared enough to make an effort could enjoy every panel, including seeing the very awesome Peter Cullen. A panel, mind you, that you chose not to go to NOT because you were concerned about seating, but because you were tired.

    Getting old is a pain isn’t it 😉


  25. Tom
    July 25, 2010 @ 10:38 AM


    Your first paragraph seems to drive home why you and I see BotCon 2010 from different angles.

    I like more than chocolate and vanilla. I like having a variety of flavors to choose from – not just two. When I walk into Disney World, I like knowing that I have a dozen of rides to choose from OR I can wait and watch the 3:00 PM parade.

    You (and the vocal dozens who have found this blog) all seem to exist in the idea that if you offer less then you will miss *nothing*.

    Now… read the next paragraph CAREFULLY here, Pete, because I think you’ll finally see why we will have to agree to disagree.

    I have said TIME AND TIME AGAIN since this began that BOTCON was a weak CONVENTION, but a good TRADE SHOW. Trade Shows are designed with the intent that ANY programming presented is informational and should be made available to the attendees without conflict. A convention is an opportunity for fans to immerse themselves in a fan culture and enjoy a variety of activities (such as SDCC, which has 18 panel rooms… thanks Susan!)

    You want to play the “getting old” card? Sure – I’ll go there. I have been to over a hundred fan conventions of all shapes and sizes since I started attending them twenty years ago. I’ve been to good conventions and bad ones… thus I offer my opinion from an experienced mindset with a set expectation from a show. BotCon failed to deliver, on many levels, that expectation for a General Admission attendee like myself.

    As far as the “hundreds” and “thousands” of opinions you’ve been listening to since working with BotCon… think about this:
    • You allegedly have your top tier ticket holders fill out feedback forms.
    • Your top tier ticket holders are ALWAYS going to have a good time… they paid for it!
    • Your top tier ticket holders (based on the discussions we’ve had here the past couple of weeks) made up about 1/3 of the attendees in 2010.
    This means that you are listening to the VOCAL minority of your show. Joey and I didn’t write an article from their point of view, we did so from the General Admission crowd – the “every man.”

    Finally, you keep harping on the available seating. You can keep dancing in a circle on this one all you want… I’m tired of repeating myself. BotCon presents to attendees (on the website) ahead of time that General Admission attendees get secondary preference to the top tier ticket holders. There are (by accounts written here) about 1000 top tier ticket holders that were at BotCon 2010. The room for panels only held 1100 people. It’s not that hard to see the failure in presentation in planning there, Pete. Come on.

    Quit bitching on some fanboy’s blog and learn from the feedback; turn the BotFAIL Trade Show into the BotCon Transformers Convention to that all “robots in disguise” fans – casual and dedicated – can enjoy the weekend equally. To repeat: 2011 will be a “lay down” for success due to timing and location. I challenge you to improve for 2012.

  26. Pete
    July 25, 2010 @ 11:05 AM

    You keep saying a “failure in planning” yet EVERY SINGLE ATTENDEE could attend any panel they wanted. Those my friend ARE the facts. Now, if you want to say it could be worded better on the website, to let Gen Admission know that panel seating should NOT be an issue, there is fair. However, that would not have changed the seating allotted and there still would have been enough seating. Every year there is always enough seating. If you have a question about something you ask, right? If a walk in had a question about a panel, and its availability, they would ask. That is why there is an info booth.

    Plus, Chocolate and Vanilla? So, had the autographs been in a separate room ( as some years they are) and the art display in a separate room then it could be claimed there were “four” things? That is so ridiculous. It is NOT about the number of rooms, it is the NUMBER of activities (Look To SDCC again, all of there main activities are in ONE ROOM). And 75% of the activities are ones you chose NOT to participate in.

    Tom, for 16 years the BotCon Transformers Convention has been enjoyed by “robots in disguise fans” -causal and dedicated-from all over the world. Everyone is offered the same convention experience on Saturday during show times. I am sorry the activities that entertain SO MANY Transformer fans did not interest you and Joey.

  27. Olga
    July 29, 2010 @ 10:12 PM

    Hey fatass, David Willis has posted his essay on why Beast Wars is awesome. Unlike you, he’s not a spineless troll who hides behind dying children.


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