So what was your Botcon experience this year?

Discussion in 'Transformers Conventions and Get Togethers' started by Napjr, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. Napjr

    Napjr <b><font color=gold>Mr. Internet</font><br><font c Veteran

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    Well, i havent been able to go ever to Botcon, but i was curious what everyone though of this year´s convention as a whole?

    Personally, i dont know, but after the weekend im having a lackluster feeling all around, dunno why is it. Something i noticed this year was a lot less announcements and product display, less overall website traffic here and such

    Fact is, without movies around the corner, the Con didnt had the same push as previous years, but still i found the whole reading experience very "slow" these past days

    Obviously, this is just a personal opinion so please correct me if i was wrong and tell me how good was Botcon for attending guys :) 

    Of course, replies might start rolling till night once people start returning home
     
  2. Computron34

    Computron34 Butt + Hurt = TF Fans

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    I sorta feel the same Napjr. A lot of the announcements were stuff that was leaked before. there were some good panels. The toys were OK. But I agree, just a very "meh" feeling. Honestly, most of the reason to go for me anymore is the personal aspect, getting to meet people you only know by s/n is pretty fun.
     
  3. Cax6ton

    Cax6ton Insufferable Smartass

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    Same - other than the funpub sub service figures and more FOC figures there wasn't much to get excited about on the panel side. Waiting in lines always sucks - 4 hours for package pickup and club store, the 30 minutes for the dealer room on friday wasn't terrible. The dealer room wasn't bad but wasn't outstanding - there were some good deals to be had, but also a lot of WTF-are-you-smoking type prices. I think I did well for the things I bought, but I was surprised that the dealer room didn't have more of the things I was looking for.

    Seeing HOS Shockwave and HOS Starscream prototypes was awesome. The third party ban didn't have much of an effect on me since it was easy to find those things, but it probably sucked for the sellers.

    Overall the most enjoyable aspect was the people - I hung out with Agent Adam for most of the con and met some other DFW area people, met some of the Houston area people, and had some really good conversations with the San Antonio crew. I was happy to meet Shibamura Prime and TJ Duckett, and a lot of other random people from TFW that I had never met before. I had more fun going to all of the parts party/store rooms and the personal buying and selling and didn't care as much about any of the official events.

    Would I go next year? I don't know. I wouldn't have gone this year if it weren't a local show for me, and I'm not left with the urge to go next year no matter where its held. If it were something I could drive to, or something I could combine with a family vacation then I might, but I would be more likely to take the entire family to Toronto for vacation and hit up TFCon at the same time :) 
     
  4. starbasetoys

    starbasetoys Cybertronian Trader

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    This was the first year I was able to go since the OTFCC in 2004 in Chicago. I was a pre-registered Primus Package guest (I pre-registered on the first day that you could do so), and I had a bagged set pre-paid for as well. I wasn't able to drive down to Dallas until Friday and I had a 6 hour drive and had to pick up two people who were going as general admission attendees. So we didn't arrive at the Hyatt until about 4:50.

    I barely had enough time to get my box set and bagged set picked up, and then ran through the dealers room very quickly. Being that I only had 10 minutes to do all of this, I didn't pick up the Junkions at that time because I asked and was told by a TFCC rep that they had several cases left and that so long as I came in to pick them up Saturday morning, they should have plenty left at that time.

    So Saturday morning I got there plenty early before the dealers room opened. I was about 50th or so in line and waiting patiently to get into the room. Well then about 20 min before they opened up, a TFCC lady came through the line and offered that anyone who wanted to purchase the TFCC attendee exclusives could form a separate line and they would get first crack at the exclusives. I was very close to the front of that line...about 5th-7th in line. So then they open the doors and one at a time, they let us approach the table. Well before I could get up to the table, but when I was on the steps staring at the table and watching as it happened, the TFCC staff allowed a sleezy, scumbag dealer to buy all the remaining stock of Junkions (6-8 cases). I was livid. I stood on the steps and questioned out loud why they were allowing that? Why they didn't give us a chance? And why they even bothered to make a separate line if they were going to lift the limits and let the first dealer who walked up buy them out? When I finally got up there I let them know how upset I was, how unfair I thought it was, and how stupid it was for them to even make a separate line if that's what they were gonna do. If they wanted to lift the limits, why not wait until everyone at least gets int he door. Enforce the 2 or 3 limit per customer until everyone was in the door that morning, and they whatever was left they could lift the limits on and let the scalpers go crazy. Maybe wait until noon or 1pm to lift the limit...that would have been fair for all.

    And before anyone goes off on a rant about how they were available since Thursday, I didn't get there until Friday late afternoon due to the drive and fact that I have responsibilities at home that I had to take care of before I could go to the con for the weekend. I really felt like the TFCC didn't care at all about all the fans that were going out of their way and spending a ton of their money to attend the con. It felt like all they cared about was selling their toys ASAP....and didn't care if the real fans got a chance at them or not. And just because I didn't make it to the show until Friday evening/Saturday morning doesn't mean I'm not a true fan.

    So anyway, it took me the better part of Saturday to get over that and start to enjoy the con. After I was able to calm down, I did have a pretty good time. Saw a lot of cool things. Met some cool people. Saw some out of town friends for the first time in a long time. Ate some good food (Uno's and In & Out Burger). And got to get some autographs along with a couple of toys I didn't have yet.

    I'd say it had it's ups and downs, but overall I had a good time. I really am disappointed by the TFCC reps letting the scalpers get all the Junkions Saturday morning though...that's left a very sour taste in my mouth and I'll be a lot less likely to give them my money in the future if I can avoid it at all. I'd think after all the credit card problems they've had and other issues...they'd be trying their best to avoid pissing off the fanbase...I guess they just can't help themselves...they like ticked off customers...go figure.
     
  5. guard convoy

    guard convoy The Big Daddy

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    I had the time of my life, and it wasn't because of funpub

    the actual convention felt like there wasn't much to do, sure there was a panel room and a dealer room, but for the most part you sat around and talked to folks.

    And that was where i had fun, i met folks that i've always wanted to meet, and made a ton of new friends.

    like for instance, instead of going to the tfw meetup, me, protoman, and jon went and bought 100 chicken nuggets, ate them all, and got slightly sick from it while sol fury, hi q, and josh perez watched :lol 

    The people i met and had fun with were some of the coolest and nicest people you have ever met, and i'm gonna do whatever i can to make it back next year, it was just amazing
     
  6. salmonman78

    salmonman78 Mordin, my hero

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    Have been wanting to go to one for years and was stoked to finally make it. The lines sucked, but otherwise everything else was great.

    My son and I got to meet one of my friends off of here for a long time and hang out a lot. Met a lot of others off of here, that is what made it a freaking rock.

    Megamus and his room Thursday night, wow, just wow...

    The dealer room and seeing all those toys from when I was younger, getting my son some good deals as well as myself.

    Me getting to meet Mr. Chalk and Mr. Kaye, son getting Mr. Gilvezan to sign a poster, priceless.

    This was a great experience(minus losing a piece off a figure there) and wish I could go next year.
     
  7. Agent Adam

    Agent Adam Well-Known Member

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    I'm a little unclear on what you are saying. Were you there at the con or not?..

    All of that is the reason to go to the con, IMO. People have different reasons such as just toys, and I made out pretty well purchasing wise. But its the people I met and the conversations and hanging out in general that was the highlight of the con for me.

    I can see why anyone who was just in it for news or toys may be disappointed, but it that's the only reason you were there then you're doing it wrong! I had an absolute blast over the five days I was there.
     
  8. Napjr

    Napjr <b><font color=gold>Mr. Internet</font><br><font c Veteran

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    No, i didnt went this year

    What i meant was that other years reading and browsing the 2005 forums during Botcon felt completely different, but this year it was different :) 
     
  9. Swoop Dogg

    Swoop Dogg me King!

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    Maybe that guys was "almar_ent" a seller on eBay. That dude has a ton of Junkion sets on Ebay (I stopped counting at 50) - many of which have sold.
     
  10. starbasetoys

    starbasetoys Cybertronian Trader

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    Quite possible...even if that wasn't the guy, he obviously got the hook up from the TFCC folks as well.

    Kinda sucks for fans who just wanted a set or two for themselves but couldn't make it in until Saturday morning. Especially since Saturday was their biggest and busiest day. You'd think they would have wanted to at least give everyone who arrived that morning a chance to get in the door before lifting the purchase limits. I guess they don't care about their fans...just as long as they get someones money.
     
  11. Layzerd

    Layzerd Member

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    This was my first BotCon and I really enjoyed it overall. I had originally thought to only go for on Saturday for general admission, but after some encouragement from my wife, I ended up showing up Friday, getting a Mini-Con package (thanks Amber from Montreal Canada) and attending Fri-Sun. Met some amazing people who, like me, had a love for TF and made new friendships. Also got a chance to put a face with the names of several dealers and made some good connections.

    I do agree with the "not enough to do" sentiments of others. The hotel and area where it is at really isn't situated in a place that's easy for attendees to get out and explore. I heard a lot of that from others. Being from Dallas, I totally understood what they were talking about.

    I wish there had been a few more planned activities or events. Even some demos or classes to keep casual attendees busy while hardcore fans did other stuff.

    I did get an opportunity to meet some life long heroes, namely Buster Jones and even a quick handshake/hello with Peter Cullen at the Hall of Fame dinner. REALLY amazing guys. I've started posting some of my vids on YouTube of the Cullen panel and I really am loving the Takara re-issue Blaster that Mr Jones signed.
     
  12. CZ Hazard

    CZ Hazard Sons of Unicron PTT

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    100 nuggets each?

    A little more to do would have been nice, but this was my fourth Botcon so I kinda knew what to expect. I thought the queueing was much better than previous years, but my crew who had never been before hated it.

    I ended up skipping most of the panels and hanging with friends, because they are the real reason to go to the 'con, slightly beating out toys of course. I feel I've made lifelong friends at Botcons.
     
  13. xZAOx

    xZAOx Yep.

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    I had a good time, but I always do. It's much more about seeing all my various friends I've amassed over the years (as Sid said, and including him!) than Transformers as this point.

    That being said, the con definitely felt smaller in some places. The dealer room was smaller, but I don't think there was that many less dealers (I think it was a few, just not a ton). We didn't have any of the huge display stuff that some past dealer rooms have had. Also, they were spread out more, so the crowd wasn't as bad.

    The lines as always were long, and many of them could still be avoided. Maybe one day Brian will get the hint, but I doubt it. Technical issues and late starts still happened frequently during the panels, which was annoying. Seriously guys, doing a script reading panel, and you didn't do mike checks before letting everyone in (and that was 10 minutes late as well). Just kinda amateurish, and put a dent in the experience of it.

    The Hasbro reveal had a few cool things, but they don't go all out like they used to, I think. I think they save more for SDCC now =/. The club stole the show with reveals, I think.

    The dealer room was also pretty high this year. My best deals were, as always, from the Megatoyfan guys. It doesn't hurt that I know them well, but still, I see them give guys deals all the time. A lot of things I was looking for were higher than eBay prices (like eBay + shipping price). So that was a turn-off. I'll probably spend my unspent BotCon cash on eBay instead then.

    I got some bad family news Saturday night that kinda put a damper on the whole thing at that point, but that's how it goes. It was a decent BotCon, but far from the best. As far con-specific things, I think the best thing they did this year was some new voice actors. Was great meeting this year's round.
     
  14. Dragonclaw

    Dragonclaw Comic Ink - Dublin, CA

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    For me it was all about hanging with friends (and skipping the con in favor of sightseeing with my wife on Friday...it can't ALL be about the toys :p  )

    Had a bit of an issue early on i the con that left a really bad taste in my mouth, but I think that is better left to e-mails between Pete, Brian and I...fortunately once I was in the swing of hanging with old friends and meeting new ones my experience improved immensely! Sorry to those who I keep meaning to meet and just never touch bases with....maybe next year. Rik summed it up perfectly to me...we're at the point where a couple hundred of us just go on vacation together every year.

    Dealer prices seemed a bit on the high side for what I saw...but my dealer room spending was minimal...it's not about the toys to me anymore, though it IS really funny when I can say that my wife spent more in the dealer room than I did
     
  15. yakko

    yakko IaconHub BossMonkey

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    I had fun overall, and enjoyed most of the panels I went to, but my introvertedness overcame me and I left the TFW meetup without speaking to anyone but my wife. I did talk to people in line around me (and there was plenty of time for that) and got to experience the Junkion hoarder event at the club store with Starbasetoys. They really should enforce limits until Sunday.
     
  16. guard convoy

    guard convoy The Big Daddy

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    nah, 40 for me, 40 for protoman, and 20 for jon, but he also had a big mac

    trust me, that ain't easy to eat :lol 
     
  17. starbasetoys

    starbasetoys Cybertronian Trader

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    I'm getting ill just thinking about cosuming that much McDonalds food....hell, I get ill cosuming any McDonalds food :( 
     
  18. guard convoy

    guard convoy The Big Daddy

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    trust me, it wasn't a pleasant experience by the end :lol 
     
  19. Greyley

    Greyley Well-Known Member

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    So, Botcon 2012. This was my third Botcon, and my first time traveling to Texas. Here's my detailed breakdown (har) of my experience this year. Warning: Long recap is loooong! :) 

    Lines

    First of all, the registration line was crazy improved over last year's debacle. I was in the I-L line, and in a drastic reversal from last year, it was the shortest line in the room. We were out of there in fifteen minutes flat. The FunPub volunteers get a gold star from me for that! The exclusives line was much longer, but that's typical when people are buying stuff, so I wasn't bothered by it. I was only there for the Soundwave headband (more on that later). I really wish the bags they give you with the box set had handles, because every year it's a chore to lug a handleless bag around for hours with that heavy box and crap in it.

    Exclusives

    I bought the standard Primus Package this year, and I was stressed as hell over getting my money back selling it because of the crappiness of the set and the lack of sellout. I put it up on ebay with a "buy it now" of $400, and it sold the first night, so I guess I wasted my time worrying. Luckily for me, people will buy anything! The stupid slow-ass buyer wouldn't hurry up and Paypal the money, so I thought I was going to have to spend my own money to ship it home like I used to do. But this year's set had a smaller and shallower box, so I was actually able to fit it into my rollerboard for once. I'm genuinely grateful to FunPub for that, and I hope they continue with the smaller luggage-friendly box.

    The most amusing exclusive was the Soundwave headband. It looked like a crappy bread bag twist tie, it was poorly molded, and it was completely the wrong color. It hurt me to pay $5 for this hilarious piece of merchandise, but I thought the boxset I was flipping would have a better chance of selling if I had it. Pete Sinclair himself helped me when I got up to the table...in person, he seemed like a nice guy. *shrug*

    Filmfest

    There were suprisingly few fan videos this year. There were a few good ones, and the prize went to the one with a TINY kid (he couldn't have been more than three) with amazing knowledge of TFs. Except for Drift...the poor kid had NO CLUE who he was, to the amusement of the audience. There was one "film" that was nothing but sound, with no visuals at all. The guy who made it was severely disabled...I hope someone with video skills can help him make a true fan film next year.

    Dealer's room

    The Dealer's Room had a lot more extra space than the last few years, for obvious reasons. The Hasbro booth had people giving away drawings, and they also gave away Kreo sets and Bot Shots. In addition to the usual store displays, there was a big Fall of Cybertron booth that played demos and videos, and a Jagex booth where you could reserve your name for the upcoming MMO. Anyone who has ever played WoW knows how hard it is to get a decent name that isn't already taken, so a lot of people were taking the opportunity to register. The girl in front of me reserved the name "HappyCoconut"...seems like a legit giant war robot name. :lol 

    Unlike the usual setup, there wasn't a special area set aside for Artist's Alley. The artist tables were just scattered willy-nilly all over the room. The most popular table was easily Callykarishokka's Puggleformers table. As soon as the dealer's room opened on Friday, there was a line at least twenty deep...and I'm talking IMMEDIATELY after they opened the doors. I was hoping to score the Hot Rod puggle, but I couldn't get him. I guess I get to go back in the ol' online puggle lottery!

    IDW panel

    IDW touched on the two current ongoing comics they have going, More Than Meets the Eye and Robots in Disguise, and that stupid Regeneration One thing. As for Animated, IDW said that they knew there was fan interest, but there weren't any plans right now. I'm sure there are issues with Hasbro and Cartoon Network involved, so I'm not expecting to ever see any Animated canon again. But it was a real dick move to make us *think* there was a chance when there most likely isn't.

    They said that Drift fans would be happy with what's coming up in MTMTE (which means he doesn't die...I can stop stressing now :D ), and that Sky-Byte will be showing up in RID. They also said that comic sales were way up over last year, which is GREAT news! It's so good to see the audience responding to the massive increase in quality.

    WORST part of this panel: the answer to a question about the possibility of more female TFs in the IDW verse. The girl asked if there would ever be any femmes other than Arcee, because a crazy psycho murderer is hard to relate to. The guy on the panel said some bullshit about how has a daughter and that he would like her to have role models blah blah blah, but that Simon Fucking Sexist Douche Furman had set up the non-existence of females and they had to stick to it (because IDW is soooooo concerned about continuity?! Since when??? Oh wait, since it involves sneering at women. Gotcha). So basically they just gave all the thousands of female fans the finger. Meanwhile, in My Little Pony fandom, male fans are being embraced and loved and welcomed by the folks in charge. Fuck this fucking planet.

    Derrick Wyatt / Animated Panel

    I wasn't sure what exactly to expect on this panel, but I love Animated, so this was a must see. They showed some cool and funny shorts. Derrick tossed out some ideas the writers had that might have made it into season 4...some of them sounded fun, and others sounded...not so fun (Bumble Prime?!) Some awesome person asked if Blurr would have returned, but they never had any plans for him one way or the other. I will continue to believe that he survived somehow, because heartbreak and stuff. :cry 

    Best part of this panel: the little boy asking why he couldn't find Animated on TV any more. D'aaaaaawwww. Too bad the Hasbro decision makers weren't there to get their heartstrings pulled like poor Derrick did. Cancelling Animated broke the hearts of children and manchildren alike!

    Overall, the panel was fun, but it was also a little depressing. Animated had YEARS worth of potential left in it, and now we'll never get to see it.

    TCC panel

    I sat in here for the sole reason of wanting to see if anything happened with the Fun Pub credit card fiasco. Brian Savage got it out of the way first thing. He apologized for the trouble, and blamed their internet security provider for the problems. He actually claimed that the troubles were way harder on FunPub than on the fans...really? Having your identity stolen and potentially thousands of dollars of your personal money taken from you is *less* troublesome than having some PR issues? Uh huh.

    But after that one statement, they moved on to production art, and I figured that was the last we would hear of it. So I left to find better things to do.

    Hall of Fame and Casino Night

    It was very nice to have a proper dinner again, after last year's stale popcorn and baby bottle pops. The meal had salad and a big plate of bread (and only ONE dish of butter for eleven people...that was a pain), chicken stuffed with rice, vegetables in brown sauce, and cheesecake for dessert. Not the best meal I've ever had, but it was the best HOF food we've had so far, IMHO. The dinner and award ceremony was very much like the very first HOF, and I enjoyed the return of that atmosphere.

    The videos were kind of a disappointment this year. The biggest problem was the music...they must have had rights issues, because all of the videos this year had generic instrumental music instead of the usual songs. It made the videos seem less memorable and less personalized to the characters. I was a little annoyed that they ended Hot Rod's video with him "killing" Optimus Prime. That was in bad taste, IMHO. Grow up, people.

    It was wonderful to see Chris Latta get inducted. His daughter Abby accepted the award for him. I wish he was still here, so he could have seen the huge influence he had on the franchise, and how much love he gets from the fandom. Simon Fucking Sexist Douche Furman got in too...I hope he trips and stabs himself in the eye with his plastic trophy. He arrogantly bragged about being in the same category as Steven Spielberg...well guess what, genius? You're also in the same category as MICHAEL BAY. Except that Bay could probably write better.

    And the winner of the fan's choice award is...Wheeljack?! Yep, Wheeljack came out of nowhere to win the fan's choice (now known as the Hartman Award). Congrats to our quirky engineer and his sneaky army of dedicated fans! I figured BW Megs had it in the bag, though I was hoping that Sky-Byte would pull off an upset. Don't worry, Sky-Byte, you're going to be in the RID comic, so maybe you'll have the clout to make it next year! We loyal fans will not stop until the fan favorite crown rests atop your noble brow! :rock 

    The second half of the evening was the Casino Night. They had the usual card tables set up outside the HOF room, but I gave away my gambling points and went downstairs to play bingo instead. They had a bunch of previous year's exclusives as prizes, and the lady announcing the numbers was very friendly and entertaining. I enjoyed the bingo a lot even thought I didn't win anything.

    Bee in the City Script Reading

    This event had Garry Chalk, Abby Collins, Buster Jones, Dan Gilvezan and David Kaye providing the voices for an original script. There were a lot of microphone issues, which sucked because these guys have some great voices that deserve to be heard in perfect clarity. Buster Jones seemed like he was really phoning it in...maybe it was nerves or something, but it's hard to believe based on this one performance that he's a professional voice actor. He seemed drastically outclassed by everyone around him.

    The script itself was reasonably funny. My favorite part was when Dan Gilvezan made Bumblebee try to imitate Megatron's "YEEEESSSSS", with not-so-impressive results. :lol 

    Cosplay

    There weren't as many costumes this year as there usually are, but there were still some very cool ones. My roommates MiraiBaby and Velocity were dressed as Breakdown and Knockout, and Natsume Ryu was dressed as Rampage. I spotted for Natsume intermittently over the weekend, and I have the hot glue burns to prove it! I also saw an Animated Blitzwing, Animated Swoop with moveable wings, Animated Prowl, a miniature Optimus Prime costume (worn by Randall Ng's son), a humanized gender-bent Drift, and a Miko.

    They had a costume contest for the first time, but it was very ghetto. They didn't announce the winner at the Casino Night auction with the other winners, which makes it clear that they don't take costuming seriously. Then they chickened out and had a three way tie in the contest instead of picking a winner. Bleh. All three finalists were great, but I think MiraiBaby's Breakdown should have won...not only did it look fantastic, it was so well-constructed that she could RUN in it!

    Dallas

    I liked Dallas pretty well. The hotel was apparently on the very edge of the bad part of town, but there were also some very snazzy buildings nearby. Many of the buildings had spectacular lighting at night, including one that had lines all over it that would constantly change colors and make moving patterns. And of course everyone there noticed that the ball on top of the tower was a dead ringer for Vector Sigma. We walked a few blocks several times over the weekend to get food, and the city seemed nice. At one point we accidentally stumbled across the building where Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy, so I can claim to have done some sightseeing over the weekend!


    Overall, the convention programming and guest list was weak compared to previous years. But it's always more fun to hang out with everyone in the room anyway. Except for the part when Insane Galvatron walked in on me in the bathroom (which had no lock, for some incomprehensible reason)...but I had my clothes on, so he got to live. :wink: 

    After the con, I had a very unpleasant experience on the second plane home. The lady beside me opened up a package of tuna jerky (yes, this actually exists), and believe me when I say that dehydration had NO effect on the fish smell. It literally stunk up the entire plane. And I got the brunt of it because I was right beside her. *gag*

    DEEP THOUGHTS time: After three Botcons, I've realized that the only big thing I dislike about the con in general is the hyper-focus on toys. I often feel odd and out of place in the crowd because I don't care about them at all... The dealer's room is almost entirely toys, which means it's almost entirely boring, and most of the fan conversation is about toys too. I don't understand the toy collecting thing at all. I like my little Barricade Bot Shot, but I'll probably be forever confused by why people will pay HUNDREDS of dollars for a chunk of plastic that's 90% identical to the other 300 chunks of plastic they already have. I don't get it...

    Dude, you're not alone. That basically describes my entire social experience at Botcon aside from the folks I room with (and sometimes with them too...). I saw a ton of people that I know from various places online, but I wasn't able to get the courage to go talk to any of them. Shyness SUCKS HARD. :cry 

    That is a PERFECT description!
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  20. Layzerd

    Layzerd Member

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    Ah man...seriously, I hate that you guys felt like this. I was all jazzed up about the convention, I couldn't shut up and was talking to everyone...and i think I sorta made people uncomfortable. Next time, come up and say "hi". I'll be more than happy to talk with you. :D 
     

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