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9:00 PM on 10.24.2014

BotCon and JoeCon move to Illinois in 2015

Today is the first day of the unofficial Transformers convention TFCon in Chicago, Illinois. I guess there's no better time than today for Fun Publications to announce that their two major Hasbro-backed conventions are headin...

Jeremy Emerje Crocker


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TFCC announces Transformers Subscription Service 3.0 photo
TFCC announces Transformers Subscription Service 3.0
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

The end of BotCon 2014 came with the Transformers Collectors' Club and BotCon heads revealing the Transformers Collectors Club 3.0 offerings for 2015. I have to say, I've seen some obscure references translated into figures by this crew and really dug deep for this one. So deep that two of the figures were nothing more than Hasbro test prototypes that have never been released as figures or used in fiction before. 

  • Krok with Gatoraider - One of the original Actionmaster figures finally given a proper transforming figure as a repaimt of Generations Dreadwing. Comes with repaint of Japanese Arms Micron Dai.
  • Nacelle - New character based on a very early prototype for G1 Thrust. Made from the BotCon 2007 Trust figure mold.
  • Serpent O.R. - AKA Serpentor Prime from the  Devil's Due G.I.Joe vs. Transformers comic. Made from a Japanese-only Generations Ratbat. Will have the mixed Cobra/Decepticon logo!
  • Zap with G.B. Blackrock - Zap uses the Generations Bumblebee mold and is based on an unused Carzap figure that would have been part of Takara's unreleased Block Town building block series. Blackrock is a reoccurring Marvel Transformers comic character that is getting his first figure ever as a Kre-O Kreon. Seeing the block theme here?
  • G2 Starscream - Classics Starscream in G2 red and white with gray camo. 
  • Tarantulas - For the BotCon Dawn of Future's Past series. He uses the Takara Transformers United Scrapheap figure base and comes with two Arms Micron Ida figures. 

Super obscure prototypes, somewhat obscure comic characters, an Actionmaster, a G2 figure, and a BotCon character. Why yes, that is one interesting roundup for characters. I like that this set doesn't create character designs (Tarantulas is debatable), but everything, including Nacelle and Zap, are based on something that already exists in one form or another. No woolly mammoth Ultra Magnus equivalent this year. As with the TFCC 2.0 there will be a mystery bonus seventh figure released with the sixth figure. No word on when the sub orders begin or prices, but I'm thinking that info should be coming soon. 

[images via TFW2005, Seibertron]

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Hasbro announces several all new Transformers figures at Botcon photo
Hasbro announces several all new Transformers figures at Botcon
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

[Update: TFormers has photos of the updated display with all of the newly announced 2014 figures!]

Hasbro held their Transformers brand panel at BotCon 2014 moments ago and made several exciting announcements. They were surprisingly light on revealing new Age of Extinction figures, aside from the previously announced Lockdown, which will indeed have a gun head, and a repaint Crosshairs in blue as Hot Shot. They did finally give those wolf creatures the name Steeljaw and one will be included in the One Step Changers line which may actually look decent next to the movie Generations figures figures, going to have to wait on photos to say for sure. I'm sure they'll have a lot more for San Diego Comic Con after the movie has been seen.

On the non-movie Generations line side they've made several popular announcements that are sure to get fans excited!

2014 Legends:

  • Nemesis Prime (Optimus repaint) with Spinister
  • Cliffjumper (Bumblebee repaint with new head) with Suppressor

2014 Deluxe:

  • Chromia - all new motorcycle mold people are comparing to a Tron bike.
  • Arcee - all new mold, apparently it's very G1!

2014 Voyager:

  • Brainstorm - all new mold and an actual Headmaster!

For 2015 they're redoing the package design. Deluxe figures will continue to come with comics while Legends, Voyagers, and Leaders(!!) will have collectors cards (like in Japan).

2015 Legends:

  • Powerglide - all new mold
  • Thundercracker (Starscream repaint, Skywarp possible later)
  • Windcharger (Tailgate remold)
  • Bombshell - all new mold

2015 Voyager:

  • Optimus Prime - all new truck mold!

2015 Leader:

  • Megatron - new tank figure that looks near G1 in bot mode. Has working rubber treads and a sticker sheet that includes Autobot stickers.
  • Armada Megatron - probably a remold of the previous announced Megatron.

2015 Masterpiece:

  • Sideswipe
  • Bluestreak (same colors as Takara Tomy version)

Of course they saved some reveals for later, we are still a year away on the 2015 figures. They didn't show any Deluxe figures, but they say they have 16 planned, and they're going to follow a theme: Combiners! A Silhouette of Superion (the Aerialbots) was shown! Hmm, 16 divides into four pretty easily and the only Voyager shown was Optimus. Maybe they've learned from the Combaticons and will do a proper four deluxe figures and one Voyager this time around. They also have plans for more Legends and Leader class figures so that's something to look forward to.

Overall Hasbro did not disappoint with the announcements this year, sticking close to G1 for the Generations fans. Sounds like Arcee and Brainstorm are going to be very popular figures when they're released late this year. Was hoping for a new Titan class figure, but maybe at SDCC. While I don't have photos yet hopefully Hasbro will send some official images along soon enough. In the meantime I'll toss some links along to other sites when they upload their pics. 

Exciting stuff!

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Take a look at Hasbro's display at BotCon photo
Take a look at Hasbro's display at BotCon
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

Thanks to the official BotCon Facebook page we got several photos of many of the upcoming Transformers figures. Most of the stuff on display we've seen before back at Toy Fair, but there are a few new things on display that we haven't seen in person yet. Some for the better, some for worse. 

For Masterpiece figures we can see that Hasbro's upcoming MP Prowl really is near identical to the Takara Tomy version. Sunstorm is pretty disappointing. His color scheme isn't really based on anything. The yellow is much too bright (the figure he's based on is orange), the white is in the wrong spots (forearms, not lower legs), and there's too much red. Not so impressed.

They haven't added much to the Age of Extinction line, but did have on display the helicopter version of Drift coming using the Dark of the Moon Skyhammer figure mold with new head and swords. Plus Deluxe Lockdown was on display looking like one of the best figures of the series. We know from Robotkingdom.com that a movie accurate version of Evac Mode Optimus Prime (the G1 looking figure) is there in his white and rusty colors, but he ended up not going on the display. 

For the regular Generations line it was mostly more of the same figures from Toy Fair. They did include some packaged samples for us to ogle, proof that we're getting that much closer to their release. Worth mentioning is that the Nightbeat figure packaged comic art shows the figure using the Reveal the Shield Jazz figure mold (as he appeared in leak images) when the final figure uses the IDW Bumblebee mold. 

Lots of things on display this year that I want and they're just getting started. Traditionally after Hasbro holds their panel Saturday they'll add their newest revealed figures to the display. We have the figure pics mirrored in the gallery, but follow the link above to see additional images including shots of the fan art and customs on display as well as images from the dealers' room. 

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1:00 AM on 06.20.2014

BotCon exclusive souvenir sets add seven more figures

The club store opened at BotCon late Thursday night, officially revealing the rest of the exclusives for the event. The sixth bonus figure for people who bought the box set and attended the convention is Flamewar, a female De...

Jeremy Emerje Crocker

10:30 PM on 06.18.2014

BotCon 2014 reveals custom class figure as Primal Prime

Over on the official BotCon Twitter account they revealed the first non-box set exclusive of the 2014 event as Primal Prime. The figure is a red, white, and blue repaint of the 2006 Beast Wars 10th Anniversary figure cre...

Jeremy Emerje Crocker

4:00 PM on 04.26.2014

BotCon announces final box set figure as Cybertronian Knight Ginrai

Fun Publications has announced the final figure for the BotCon 2014 exclusive Pirates vs. Knights box set as Cybertronian Knight Ginrai. If you aren't familiar with Ginrai he's a Japanese character from Transformers Masterfor...

Jeremy Emerje Crocker



BotCon 2014 goes all out with Headmaster Scorponok photo
BotCon 2014 goes all out with Headmaster Scorponok
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

BotCon 2014 is right around the corner and they're lining up one of the best convention exclusive box sets ever. Using the them of Pirates versus Knights they started with announcing Cannonball, a predictable figure based on Transformers: Prime Ratchet. They then announced Pirate Ferak with Targetmaster Tornado based on Universe Cyclonus and Nightstick which represent a super obscure Marvel Comics character and almost as obscure IDW Comics character. The third announcement was for Devcon, a character that made only one appearance in the original cartoon and instantly became a fan favorite. This Autobot Knight will be Devcon's first figure ever despite appearing multiple times in BotCon fiction and uses Generations Scourge for a base with a new head. . 

So the set starts to look kinda bland with only one true fan favorite out of three obscure choice. And then comes Scorponok! Out of nowhere they reveal perhaps the best BotCon exclusive ever. They went well above just repainting Energon Scorponok (like they did for BotCon 2010's Double Punch) with a new head. This head is nothing less than a remold of Encore Fortress Maximus' Spike Witwicky Headmaster with a cartoon-accurate Scorponok face. Of course the Scorponok body has been remolded to accept the Headmaster head. 

Story-wise the new Headmaster is named Olin Zarak, the son of the original Scorponok Headmaster Lord Zarak. Rather than take over the rule of the Nebulan Hive, Olin appears to have chosen to take on the life of a pirate, presumably as the captain. In one figure BotCon has both made a great homage to the original figure and forever raised the bar on what people will expect from BotCon. They said the figures would barely fit in the standard box used for the five-figure sets and it's obvious why. They have one more figure to announce and it's anyone's guess who they'll choose as the second Autobot Knight. 

BotCon runs from June 19 to 22 and just like in past years the box set will be available for both con-goers and non-attendees. Prices for 2014 haven't been announced yet, but both went for US$365 for Transformers Club members and US$450 for non-members in 2013. Wasn't all that interested before, but for Scorponok it's pretty tempting. 

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Cannonball revealed for Pirates vs Knights BotCon set photo
Cannonball revealed for Pirates vs Knights BotCon set
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

It was just a week ago when BotCon revealed their theme for 2014 to be Pirates vs Knights while promising to debut Star Seekers captain Cannonball within the pages of the club magazine. Well, not content to make people wait for the mag to trickle out they've put an image of the figure up on Twitter. The figure uses the Transformers Prime Ratchet figure as a base and includes a new head based on the original Transformers: Cybertron figure which itself was a repaint of TFC Red Alert. Fitting that the new figure is a repaint of a rescue vehicle just like the original. 

As far as how well they did, it's a pretty nice job. The BotCon and Transformers Collectors Club figures usually do a good job trying to match paint markings the best they can to the source and it's no different here. The swords are a really nice fit for a pirate. He also retains his skull and skeleton graphics from the original figure. Well done.

They also added some other tidbits to their Twitter feed. In one tweet they wrote, "So the question is... Who is Squirm?" along with a picture of a trollish looking humanoid. In the followup tweet that revealed Cannonball they wrote, "Before we ask who is the Navigator" which may indicate Squirm is the ship's navigator. They also said this would be the only Prime mold used in the set, though it's not known if that includes Beast Hunters. I'm thinking no, it makes too much sense to use them in a set like this. They also stressed that they were only talking about the box set which may mean we'll see Cannonball repainted into Red Alert as one of the additional convention exclusives. Talk about full circle. 

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TFCC announces pirates vs. knights at BotCon photo
TFCC announces pirates vs. knights at BotCon
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

Back at the beginning of January the official Transformers Collectors Club revealed that part of the BotCon exclusive box set would involve pirates, but left the rest to speculation. Not quite a month later the other half of the set has been revealed to be knights!

The cover for the next issue of the club magazine coming in February shows off the faction symbols. The pirate symbol is that of the Star Seekers, first seen on the Transformers Prime Thundertron figure, rather than the symbol seen in the teaser preview linked above. The other symbol is a more knightly version of the classic Autobot symbol. 

Inside the pages the magazine will also preview the first figure in the set: Canonball. His inclusion as captain of the Star Seekers rather than Thundertron indicates that this is a different continuity from what we've previously seen. There has been a lot of speculation as to what the knight figures will be since there aren't a lot of knight themed Transformers. A lot of eyes are looking towards recent Beast Hunters repaints as an obvious source for figures. 

I actually like where they're going with this theme. It's nice to have something original to BotCon again rather than rehashing previous toy lines as modern repaints. I probably won't be willing to spend the money on them, but they should be fun to look at. 

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BotCon 2014 theme to be pirates! photo
BotCon 2014 theme to be pirates!
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

It's that exciting time of year again for Transformers fans! BotCon 2014 is only about half a year away from opening its doors on June 19 in Pasadena, California and the slow trickle of event news has now begun. But here we are in January and we're already getting our first major break: The theme!

Every year BotCon chooses a theme that takes over the entire event and this year it seems that theme will be pirates. Thanks to D-Drive over at TFW2005 getting an early copy of Transformers Timelines issue #8 (which hits comic shops Wednesday) we get our first hints at the theme from it. The image features a flag with the same symbol on it as that found on the Transformers: Cybertron Cannonball pirate character. The image also features the following text:

They sailed across the inky-black where the heavens can't be found
No light could show, no wind could blow, no soul could make a sound
Yet each mech aboard, garbed for war, holding a cutlass or a gun
And from the spotter above came the sign - We're bound for Cybertron!

So there you have it, BotCon 2014 will be the year of pirates! I can only imagine what figures they intend to repurpose for the new theme. One recent pirate figure we've gotten is Thundertron from the Transformers: Prime line so a repaint seems likely. I'm also thinking the recently released Trailcutter would make a decent Cannonball. 

But only pirates? BotCon says no! Over on Twitter they made the following Tweets: Well, half of it anyways... So. Now the question is... PIRATES VS ??????? Veeery interesting. The obvious choice is the time honored pairing of pirates versus ninjas. Maybe some Beast Hunters repaints?

So many possibilities!

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9:00 PM on 09.04.2013

Could BotCon be returning to California in 2014?

Hardcore fans don't wait for official word apparently. When wondering where BotCon would be held in 2014 some eager members of Seibertron and TFW2005 took it upon themselves to simply call the Pasadena Sheraton that hosted co...

Jeremy Emerje Crocker