Botcon Feedback thread

Discussion in 'Transformers Conventions and Get Togethers' started by McBradders, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. McBradders

    McBradders James Franco Club! Moderator

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    the Good
    - the even itself was generally well run. Great location, good facilities. Pretty much what we've come to expect from Fun Productions. No complaints from me.

    -Rhode Island was a great place despite everyones issues getting there.

    - Autograph wristband was a great idea, although it didn't alleviate the Cullen line, but that's to be expected.

    - the Exclusives were great, and the additional sets seemed (to me at least) to be more reasonably priced than previous years.

    - Great guests. Yes we'd seen many before, but the scriptwriters panel was pretty awesome and I'll never grow tired of seeing Peter Cullen.

    the Bad
    - Way too many lines.
    Take the Hasbro/Club Toy Shop, the Friday morning when it opened, the line didn't move for TWO HOURS because of two guys at the cash desk taking forever. While that's their perogative, something should have been done to get the line moving again like an extra member of staff to help out. That was seriously frustration personified. And that was the only line I participated in. From what I heard; registration was also a nightmare for a lot of people.

    - Hasbro/Club Toy Store
    I know there's a lot of product, and the staff aren't full time on the thing, but some product familiarity would have gone a long, long way to speeding those lines up.

    Also, NO CASH REGISTER? C'mon, you can get them from Wal-Mart for crying out loud. Someone with a cash box is only going to slow things down further. Pain.

    the Ugly
    - The Westin Providence Hotel
    Boy, do they ever love their hidden charges. Also the staff were rude pretty much the entire time of my stay and were not very welcoming in the least.
    I know this is completely beyond Fun Productions control, but it was really the only thing that really sticks out as a sore spot for the entire trip.

    - Impossible to buy booze after six o'clock in Providence, srsly like wtf mate? :D 


    I was impressed with 2005's Botcon, and it was -tiny- compared to 2007, so major points for pulling it all off so well. Can't wait to go again.
     
  2. Liokaiser

    Liokaiser Super Mod

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    The Good

    This years boxset like last year is simply amazing. The Alpha Trion is beautiful. Nice done exclusives all around. I'm kicking myself for not getting a beer pitcher.

    The Hasbro Tour was great. And the staff (Gijoe guys) were cool and answered any questions I had.

    The Dealer room. Some good deals to be had and some areas had some space.

    The Bad

    The line to get the exclusives took forever. But still worth the wait.
     
  3. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

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    The Good
    - For what the show consisted of (the movie, Hasbro tour, etc.) the location was good
    - The Awards Party was actually well-run. Enjoyed it.
    - Hasbro Preview Panel, Movie Writers Panel, TFCC Roundtable, all of it for the information, at this point (for me) every panel is the same.
    - Hasbro Tour
    - Different "movie character" room keys for each hotel. It made me $20.
    - Biltmore hotel. The suite was amazing and the staff were very courteous and helpful.

    The Bad
    - Anything involving a line. Horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE line management. Next year, consider hiring someone to run the "Club Store" area. A cash transaction shouldn't take LONGER than a credit card transaction. I love how I was #6 in line (after waiting for my badge to be brought back) for cash and at least 12 credit card people got through before me. I spent almost an hour as #6 to get my exlusive bonus figures. Unacceptable. And that was after I chose to do it THE NEXT DAY, and not fight everyone the first night.
    - I heard a lot of groaning from dealers, anything from picking up their registration stuff (2 hours at 3rd in line? OUCH) to simply trying to get in and out of the freight elevator. Poor planning or just grumpy dealers, not sure.

    The Ugly
    - The unwillingness of the TFCC staff to work with people that bought Charity Movie tickets ($75, showing before Botcon showing) who were scheduled to pick their toys up at 7:30pm (movie started then, but party started at 6:15pm). The quote I remember hearing from Brian Savage, the organizer, was "Well that's tough luck then." I understand that it's not YOUR movie screening, but a little willingness to help those of us who approach you that want to take part in your thing AND another thing would go a long way other than "It's not our movie, so thus we don't care." FOR THE RECORD THIS IS SECOND-HAND ACCOUNT, I DID NOT HAVE THIS ISSUE AS I WAS SCHEDULED AT 5:30 PICK-UP. If it's true then it's unacceptable.
    - The Westin overall. From the nitpicky elevators that skyrocket you to the top floor at 150mph, to the stupidity of having to have a room key to actually get the elevator to work. Not to mention you were lucky if your room key even worked. And the hotel staff was more or less pricks.
    - The confusion of panels. I didn't want to carry my comic book around to figure out where and what room each panel was in, and the signs took you in and out of the convention center and the Westin hotel. And one day a panel is in one room, the next it's completely empty and the panel is in a different room. Was just very confusing.
     
  4. Boardwise

    Boardwise is scary - Sig Killer - M Super Mod

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    The Good
    Location
    Rhode Island was a lovely area, one of the best I've been to.

    Exclusives
    Reasonably priced compared to previous years.

    Panels
    There were some good panels.

    The Movie.
    Everyone in the theatre I was in was pretty well behaved and there wasn't any incident's that I could see.

    The Bad
    The lines.
    I really enjoyed being told I had to wait till 5:30 to pick up my stuff even though the line for my collection was almost gone, and then when finally getting in line and getting to the front to have the person serve me start talking to someone else.

    The TFCC store.
    Needs to be separate from the pick up for the souvenir sets or at least start processing the stuff far quicker. And it needs a cash machine. Not some old lady with a cash box for the various people dealing with cash paying customers.

    The wandering around trying to find where panels were.
    We turned up late to the start of both board wars to support our team cause we didn't have a clue where it was on both days.

    The Ugly
    The Westin and the hidden room charges. Also they speed you had to get your room key into the lift just to get to your floor.
     
  5. NotFastEnuff

    NotFastEnuff I'm a smartass...

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    Overall, I've got mixed feelings
    Good
    - the toys are great. Can't say enough.
    - the Hasbro tour was fantastic. I cannot believe some of them get paid to do that.
    - the dinner was a VAST improvement over last years. It was still unorganized, but a vast improvement.
    -David Kaye. Stand up guy, and super nice.

    Bad
    - like everyone else said, the lines. I won't beat a dead horse.
    - also pointed out, the moving of the panels. We were 15 minutes late to one, because we went to 3 different places looking for it, and the "staff volunteers" weren't really any better informed than we were. (not their fault)

    Ugly
    -the Westin pretty well sucked. Not worth the $$$. Plain, cheap room, and EVERYTHING cost extra. Also, no free (or even cheap) parking. Parking alone cost $100 for 4 days. Rude and unhelpful employees. The only nice and helpful ones were the valets and bellhops, but they wanted tips, afterall.
    -other people. The hotel employees weren't the only rude ass people there. At Bingo, a dealer literally pulled a prize out of my son's hand because they got his card checked first. It's pretty damned low when a grown man takes a toy from an 8 year old. Many people saw it, and many people weren't happy about it. Rudeness seemed to be a theme all weekend long. BUT, many of the people I met in line were fantastic.

    Overall, not a bad experience, but not the most enjoyable one I've had either.
     
  6. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    The Good
    -The company. Going to Botcon, especially if you're a member of a board (and ESPECIALLY if it's this one) is like going to a huge family reunion full. A lot of people who were first timers this year, and who plan on going next year, will see exactly what I mean.
    -The Hasbro tour. BEYOND fascinating to see how the toys we all buy are designed and marketed.
    -STAN BUSH. Holy SHIT, guys. I was dubious about him being such a prominent guest, but damn, he was awesome.
    -The movie screening. Great movie, and everything seemed to run well.

    The Bad
    -The exclusives. I seem to be in a minority, but I felt the boxed set was very average. And the quality control on them was TERRIBLE. Not to mention that because the foam was cut so stupidly tight around the figures, my Thundercracker's wings are warped so that the missiles don't point straight. Nice one, FP.
    -The Dealer Room. Compared with last year's it was nothing. Also, considering it's movie year, I expected to see a LOT more cool G1 stuff for sale, not just a few bits and pieces from maybe 3 or 4 dealers at sily prices.

    The Ugly
    -Fun Productions' attitude. A simple question as to whether we got both the Prime AND Megatron posters as we walked into the dinner we had all payed through the nose for yielded a reply from Brian Savage of "No. Move along. NOW." Dear Brian: I do NOT appreciate paying a fuckton to come to your show to get dodgy exclusives, and then get treated like a 5 year old by you. KthxBYE.
    -The Westin. Rude staff, stupid elevators, average rooms.
    -The assholes who TALKED through the moment of silence for Shaun & Bill at the party. i wanted to go find them and have a quiet word. Violently.

    In all: Convention wise, 2006 beat the crap out of 2007. Social wise, 2007 absolutely PWNED.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2007
  7. Omegatron

    Omegatron Mandatory Fun. Buy it now TFW2005 Supporter

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    Good The box set, the exclusives, meeting lots of people, great roommate, the panels (at least, the ones I went to), discovering that taking the public bus to and from the airport cost only $1.50, rather than the expensive shuttle prices, TF room keys, Pepsi Prime for sale, and many other things.

    Bad Not getting on the Hasbro trip, even though I KNOW not everyone showed up for the 7 AM trip; a certain site's crowd growing larger and larger Sunday morning for the Hasbro panel, and even refusing to go to the end of the line when I mentioned something; the dickwad trying to tape the panel right after they respectfully asked us not to; higher food prices then at the same restaurants I frequent here in Florida; stupid panel questions.

    Ugly Draven vs Subway. :) 
     
  8. Aaron

    Aaron Master of Crystalocution Moderator Content Contributor

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    The Good:
    Getting behind the scenes stuff like the Hasbro Tour.
    Exclusives of course.
    The Biltmore hotel was a great hotel, top notch for sure.
    The friends.
    The party is definately the way to go in the future over a dinner.


    The Bad
    Providence, while an interesting location, if you had to come from the Biltmore to the Convention center, you had to cross 3 or 4 crazy roads. I know nothing that the organizers have anything to do with, but damn did it make things scary once or twice.

    The low numbers of guests. Sure Stan Bush is an interesting guest, but when every panel is run 3 times or more because you don't have anything to fill out the room, that's got to tell you something.

    Board Wars. I know that a line in an e-mail mentioned asking for new questions, but when no mails started coming in, a second e-mail just asking for questions rather than being tacked on should have gone out. In addition, there's got to be a better quiz program out there. Getting the same questions within a round just isn't any good. Granted they got the question wrong the second time... In addition, the bye system needed to be thought out better. A Jeopardy style round doesn't work well when the answer is pulled from a multiple choice style question.

    Not being able to order the secondary exclusive sets before-hand. It'd make one more headache upon registration, but I think it'd get you more guaranteed sales, and more money up-front.

    The flimsy bags that are given to hold/protect the boxed set. Surely FP realizes that right after pickup, everyone's getting into the other line to buy more stuff. The protective baggie just doesn't make for a good carrying case.

    The Ugly

    Lines, lines, everywhere the lines... For packet pickup I had a 4:30 pickup time and didn't get through until 5:30 ish, and I was maybe 6th in line, and had been waiting for an hour. Then waiting for another couple of hours for the other exclusive items. The biggest frustrator is when you're within a dozen people from the front of the line, and then it seems as if all the staffers dissapear.

    I know that FP likes their checklist method of ordering, but you'd think that using the checklist would allow you to go that much faster. The worst part was that no-body was moving back the line to make sure that people even had the lists. And it seemed as if every order required the order-taker to go into the back area to grab something. I just think that more of an effort needs to be done to streamline those lines. Be it hiring more staff/voluenteers, or getting cash-machines to expidate the process.

    The biggest one that got me was what happened to my roomate and I was that even though both of our registrations went in ON THE SAME FAX, we ended up in different theaters and on different Hasbro Tours. We had to do some ticket trading for the movie, but didn't manage to get things traded over for the tour. I still managed to hang out with good people on the second tour, but were I a shy guy, then I'd have been stuck seperate from the people that I would have been planning to travel with.
     
  9. Sirena

    Sirena New Member

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    The GOOD:
    *Great location, albeit further than I've traveled for Botcon in the past. Downtown was beautiful, and I took lots of pictures.
    *The toys.. OMG the toys!
    *The social side... seeing friends I've made at past cons and making new ones.
    *The party. Big improvement over previous years. Lots of fun.
    *The freebies. Makes it worthwhile when you spend so much for registration to at least get something a little extra.
    *The movie. I loved it, my friend didn't that much. And, we walked right into our theater. No line! I almost fell over from the shock of it.
    *Sharing a room and knocking the price of the hotel into thirds. Much more affordable that way.

    The BAD:
    *Too many hotels. In future, why can't we just take an entire hotel over? It would make things easier for room trading or whatever.
    *The lines. Bleah.
    *The panels. I went to only a couple. Too much confusion on where they were, or some of the lines were so long. Too much duplication.
    *No 'official' place to gather and hang out once the sales room closed. Everyone just scattered off into a million different directions.
    *The Westin. Thank goodness I stayed in the Marriott next door. Lots of people complained about the Westin. I hated that we had to follow people up in the elevator like stalkers just to find room traders.
    *The Hasbro Tour. Hellbat and I didn't get to go because we didn't win the lottery. They should have scheduled another one since the interest was so high, even if it was on a different day. (Like Wednesday, perhaps?)
    *The fact that a Mini-Con doesn't get a convention pin. Only Primus and Protoform package holders get them. Now, I'm missing a pin. Maybe they should sell them in the souvenir store?
    *The dealer room. It seems to me like there were less dealers there this year than last year.
     
  10. Lance Halberd

    Lance Halberd oh hai

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    The Good
    -Providence. Such a great location. I'm glad I snuck away for a few hours one day to wander around and soak it all in. Never did find the Russian Sub Museum, though.

    -Hasbro. Awesome staff, great tour, really cool facility, too.

    -The Movie. While it had its shortcomings, I was surprised to find myself leaning forward, mouth agape, on the edge of my seat several times during the movie. Definitely going to see it again this summer.

    -TFW2005.com. We brought it. 'Nuff said.

    The Bad
    -Organization. Namely, Fun Publications' and their Luddite attitude towards technology. Ever hear of on-line registration? Cash registers? Competent staff? No offense to Brian's army of blue-hairs, but come on. Here is what my registration process was like:

    Faxed in the registration form on the first business day after the weekend registration opened. Several weeks later get a confirmation email saying I was #346. Recieved a phone call sometime in April saying there was some confusion with my address. They had on file my address I used from when I was a TFCC member, and I tell them to use my current address, which was clearly printed on my registration form. Months go by. The Friday before the convention I call FP during their business hours to ask where the hell my confirmation letter is. I wait for over an hour on hold, before hanging up in frustration. I then send an email to the FP staffer who originally sent me the confirmation e-mail way back when. The next day, Saturday, I get a call from Becky Savage herself saying that my confirmation letter that was mailed to me was just delivered to Fun Publications as Return to Sender. I ask Becky to read the address on the letter, and it turns out it was made up of my old address and my current one. Becky then e-mails me my confirmation letter with instructions to print it out and bring it with me. On Monday, two days before Botcon, I get a reply to the e-mail I sent the prior Friday. I was told that the letter was sent to me, and if I don't have it by now, there's nothing that can be done.

    That's what I call customer service.

    The Ugly
    - The Providence Westin. Yes, it was an extreme convenience to have the convention center on one side and the mall on the other, but that was the only good thing. Spartan rooms, unhelpful staff, meager guest benefits, no complimentary parking, exorbitant prices for what other hotels offer as a free continental breakfast, hidden fees up the ass, grimy windows, no hotel bar ... and the list goes on and on. If next year's hotel is a Westin, I'd better start saving up now.
     
  11. Seth Buzzard

    Seth Buzzard R.I.P. Buzzbeak Content Contributor

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    Good:
    The city: Providence seems like a cool city and I would consider going back just to be tourist.

    The people: TFW people are da bomb yo.

    Birthdays: Nuff said.

    Awards party: Had way more fun there then I thought I would.

    The exclusives: In all my years here I have never seen a set I wanted until this one.

    The Bad:

    The Westin: That place had all sorts of problems, Lance summed it up well.

    The humidity: It wasn't the heat.

    The Taco Bell in the food court: How do you screw up making Taco Bell food like that? I'm not even kidding here one of my tacos had exactly 6 shreds of cheese on it.

    The Ugly

    The lines: My god the lines. 3 and a half hours spent in lines on Thursday on only two hours of sleep.
    -------------------------------------------------------

    But all and all I had a blast and will do every thing I can to make it next year.
     
  12. Don_East

    Don_East Wants TFA Seeker Toys

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    The Good:
    • The Biltmore was a nice hotel. Nice atmosphere plus I ran into Stan Bush on the elevators twice.
    • The guests were cool especially Cullen, even if he almost spoiled the final scene of the movie when I asked how he felt about "The Rebirth".
    • Hearing that Classics will continue at the Hasbro panel.
    • The Awards Dinner was great, I wish I stayed longer.
    • Seeing the truck that Optimus was in the movie
    • This year's MSTF was hysterical. I nearly laughed my ass off.
    • The toys both the set and the attendees were cool. Using CD Hot Shot for Springer was weird choice IMO but good.

    The Bad:
    • The organization was terrible. Epecially in my case because I didn't have ID and took fifteen minutes to straighten it out. Down with geezers, up with technology.
    • Waiting for my food at the Popeye's Chicken in the food court.
    • The walk from the Biltmore to the Convention Center.

    The Ugly:
    • The lines were long, real long, especially for the attendee exclusives.
     
  13. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

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    I work retail. I guarantee that if the lines went smooth, no one would be bitching. Seriously. When customers are stuck in line for more than just a few minutes, they get upset and are much less happy.

    I'm also not pleased that on Friday, when Fun Publication's lunch was scheduled from 12pm to 1pm, they decided to go at 11:45am and didn't return until 1:30pm. I STAYED IN LINE WAITING FOR IT TO RE-OPEN WITH PRIMUS. I wish my employer let me take an extra 45 minutes on my lunch.

    I understand the food court can be busy, but seriously. Do you want to have me work as a volunteer next year doing the cash box? I guarantee you I can do it faster, make less mistakes than anyone on your staff, and keep everyone smiling.

    I don't mean to bitch. But looking back, I felt like I wasted time. Not that I could have attended the panels since I had absolutely no idea where the signs were taking me, but I would have liked to.
     
  14. transmetropolitan

    transmetropolitan nonjon TFW2005 Supporter

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    You all have summed it up.

    What were the hidden charges being gripped about at the Westin? After city and state tax($17 total), a night at the Biltmore was $158(worth it). Parking was $22 a day.
     
  15. McBradders

    McBradders James Franco Club! Moderator

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    A lot of people at the Westin were informed of their hidden charges when they were billed, not when they should have been at check in. And for the money you paid the rooms were, as Lance said, pretty void of facilities for a $100+ a night hotel.

    We couldn't even complain about our grievances because the hotels aren't run individually, they're all run from some weird hive mind out of state and can only be contacted by phone. Lame.
     
  16. Vangelus

    Vangelus Long Live the New Flesh Moderator Content Contributor

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    The Good

    This will not be as long, but please understand that that's due to The Good greatly, GREATLY outweighing the bad.

    -You guys.
    -The Movie.
    -Stan Bush putting on a live performance I'd thought him to be incapable of, when I came in.
    -You guys.
    -David Kaye.
    -Randomly chatting it up with folks, and occaisionally hitting some that reciprocated.

    The Bad
    -The lines were run goddamn HORRIBLY. My mom can attest to this, as she waited through three changing lines to get ahold of the souvinirs. Apparently nobody, not the volunteers, nor the people at the TFCC booth, nor PETE SINCLAIR even knew what was happening on Saturday morning except for BRIAN SAVAGE HIMSELF. It seems the guy never actually TOLD anyone the full situation, which meant that an entire line was left waiting for him to come back out with personal updates. As he's the head honcho, he seriously should have been sharing his info with his staff and delegating communication detail out.
    -The Westin. What a fucking dump of a high-class hotel. The elevators were bitches, the staff were unbelievable pricks 7 times out of 10, the room service was a joke ($5 delivery fee plus a 15% delivery gratuity ON THE BILL, and the motherfucker apparently then held his hand out after dropping the food off), and the Biltmore rooms sounded like they were mansions compared to the Westin ones. I won't even mention how they SOLD MY FUCKING ROOM within 27 hours of confirming it over the phone.

    The Ugly
    -Man, some people felt bloody hostile at me over the Board Wars. :confused: 

    *edit*
    Whoa I'm profane when I'm overtired. :lol 
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2007
  17. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    The Good:

    Providence. I don't think there could've been a better location for it. Hasbro's backyard on the movie year.

    Tour. Great idea and far exceeded what I expected.

    Exclusives. Great looking art on the box and figures are great.

    Movie. Seeing with about 15 other TFWers was simply the best.

    After hours at Ri Ra. Lots of fun.

    Meeting everyone finally. Can't get better than that.

    Panels. Especially the Hasbro future toys one.

    The Bad:

    Lack of lobster rolls. It's New England. WTF.

    Biltmore's hallways. Where's the fucking AC?

    No BotCon roomrate for Biltmore. Since we added names they decided to charge us more.

    Panel details on site. Wish they had boards up showing where everything is.

    The Ugly:

    Lines. Like everyone else said, the lines were a nightmare. I got my registration done at 4:45PM, got in line for the Alpha Trion stuff and when I finally walked out, it was 6:30PM.
     
  18. alphie

    alphie Veteran

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    Everybody pretty much summed it up. I was extremely lucky to have Kevin who waited in line while I went to talk to people or browse the dealer floor. If I didn't have him, Alphie will be really mad.
     
  19. megamus

    megamus Overworked and Underpaid Veteran

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    GOOD
    -I've organized the parts party for the past 5 years and this was by far the best.
    -Having Botcon in the Summer again, (kicks the joe convention to the side)
    -The 80's themed party was great.
    -The awsome deals in the dealer room
    -The Westin Hotel elevator (those who remember the year where the elevators took FOREVER would appreciate this)

    BAD
    -The Westin charged for everything.
    -The Westin staff can kiss my arsh, talk about rude. We were definately an inconvenience for them.
    -The Westin security, having to use a keycard to get to the parts party. That really really sucked.
    -THE WESTIN

    UGLY
    -The trip home, knowing I'll have to wait another year to see good friends and have a lot of fun.

    Overall, I loved it. Probably one of the best Botcons I've been to and I've been going since 2000.
     
  20. $5HotRod

    $5HotRod Trailbreaker Fan

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    GOOD
    - The whale watching trip was fun at Plymouth, MA.
    - Providence is pretty nice.
    - The mall nearby to get lunches was very convenient.
    - The charity premiere and seeing Rachel Taylor and Tyrese Gibson.
    - Peter Cullen
    - David Kaye
    - Daniel Ross
    - Rob Musso, Nick Roche, and Josh Burcham
    - Eric Seibanaler (sp?) and Aaron Archer
    - The exclusives were really nice.
    - 80's themed party and meeting all sorts of TFW people.

    BAD
    - Poor Peter Cullen's time management. Whoever was in charge of that should be shot. I managed to get his autograph during the second signing session and he was stressed.
    - Valet service. I'm not a fan of valet service in the slightest since I found it to be more on an inconvenience than anything else. I refuse to stay anywhere again where I can't even run out to my car to get something without someone playing chaperone. Other than that, the Hilton was nice.
    - Me being sunburned the entire time.

    UGLY
    - Dear God, those lines! Need I say more?
     

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