The Botcon experience, beautiful and ugly

Discussion in 'Transformers Conventions and Get Togethers' started by cromagnus, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. cromagnus

    cromagnus B-boy rumble

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    Well, Botcon is over, but the lingering feelings remain. Some good, some bad. This is not a bitch-a -thon just observations. please feel free to comment.
    So I figured I'd start w/ the highlights of my trip since they always out weigh the bad. This was my second botcon so I at least had some sort of comparison reference.
    i met several Tfans who I have admired and been inspired by:
    KingBotz- i enjoyed talking to him about his appoach to customs, radically different than what most people are doing. His Frenzy was spot on, and perhaps he's the only one who would even attempt such a feat. He seemed fine with losing to DAK's nova prime, as DAK is recognizably very talented and deserved to come in one of the top three places. I am really looking forward to what he will bring next year.
    HiQ- Erwin built the papercraft hearts of steel bumblebee. Ever since he posted it last year I've been amazed. I enjoyed my conversation w/ him about his ideas and his chevy aveo transformer. It was so loose from being such a cool toy. Strong spirited and very articulate, erwin was a pleasure to meet.
    Killa-b-killed-tfw bro who shops like I do and has a penchant for sealed G1.
    Showed me that sleeve-less is the way to go and that I need to start taking Japanese language lessons.
    The other awesome high was the butterfly exhibit at the cincinnatti conservatory. My girlfriend and I went on saturday to balance out all the plastic toy shopping. They had hundreds of butterflies in a greenhouse and as you entered they applied gatorade to your hand so the butterflies would land and eat. They loved yellow, and everyone who was wearing yellow had a passenger! super cool.
    Oh but wait, There's the issue of the hyatt, possibly the most ghetto hotel ever. I don't have one good thing to say about it. especially at $150 a night.
    Where to start?
    Friday night, as soon as it starts to rain, my girlfriend and I begin excessively coughing in a no smoking room. i know all about mold and the bodies response to "spores" in the air and that was exactly what we experienced. My guess is the rain was seeping into all its familiar moldy spaces and then circulated via the air conditioning. Fucking Awesome!
    How about the 10 OZ. bottle of aquafina in each room priced at $4.WTF!
    The elevators were more like elephants: slow as molasses, loud, and very jerky.
    Anyone get a continental breakfast? We tried but it tasted like ass; The bagels were dry and rock hard , the muffin crumbled to dust, and if you breathed in right before you took a bite you would choke on the dust falling off of it.Cup o' coffee? No problem that will be $2.75. Huh? 2 blocks away starbucks will help you out for a $1.25. Less than half of what the hyatt charged.
    That brings us to the main issue I had this year. Food. Or lack of the edible kind.
    Did anyone else eat at champs? I feel for you. the food was as piss poor as it gets. I spent $50 on a meal for two(that i had to order twice because the waiter lost our ticket) which included a chicken sandwich and a portabello melt. The chicken tasted like cardboard and my girlfriend barely touched it. the melt looked like it was made with the love from a prison inmate. I am a pescatarian and only eat fish,no chicken, no red meat, so i am accustomed to having a hard time finding places to eat while travelling. However there wasn't a single decent looking restaurant within a 5 block radius. For those who were car-less this weekend i sympathize. It nearly ruined our weekend, untill we drove twenty minutes out of downtown. Even then the food choices were mostly the same old fast food chains. I was very dissapointed, for such a big city it seemed dead. Saturday morning and there's like two people on every street. Where was everyone? am I missing something? So weird.
    I can't say much about the dealer room. I heard a rumor that all the vintage japanese stuff was bought and sold between dealers before the showroom even opened. It sure seemed that way.
    I bought a clear rijie mirage for $125. I told the seller that i had looked around the floor and he had the cheapest ones left at $125. That seemed to bother him alot(huh?) and no sooner had i reached for my wallet when a different seller walked by us. He stopped to urgently tell the other seller that everyone else on the floor is selling their rijies for $150 so he should too. He's like "really"?
    and then jack's the price up to $150 right in front of me. I still got mine for $125 but the next guy didn't. I thought sunday the prices went down not up.
    I thought that both sellers were class-less and lacked a rudimentary understanding of a buyer seller relationship. Talk your business between dealers behind closed doors.I don't want to know your working methods. It was almost like if every dealer is gonna sell their shit for this crazy price, then I should too. It seemed the smaller dealers had better deals.
    But that is just the way it is, and I expected to see it in some form or another.
    I bought some afa'd G1 off of a great seller whom I recognized from ebay. we had a great conversation and I learned a little bit to.
    My haul certainly out weighed any of the bad aspects of the con, And I certainly had more great times than bad. I just hope next year for some closer food options that can actually be consumed, a cleaner, nicer hotel, and more boxed japanese/G1 toys. Peace
     
  2. shadow panther

    shadow panther Mechanically Insane

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    wow and here i thought i was the only one to complain about the lack of food. i walked around the city saturday nite got approached by 4 people asking for change and a woman who said she would do ANYTHING for money cause she was on hard times. UMMMMMM NO THANK YOU. on my way back to the airport the cabbie who shuttled me back was telling me how horrible the city was and he couldnt wait to leave next month. does Fun Pub really research the surrounding areas when booking these cons?
     
  3. trebleshot

    trebleshot www.Toyark.com Veteran

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    That's part of the problem right there. The Angus burger I had on Friday was excellent, as were three more orders for it enjoyed by my friends and the chicken pasta dinner enjoyed by another friend at the same table. Later in the weekend I was able to try some of their appetizers, which were equally good, and more affordable.

    You're the first person I've heard to complain about the food at Champs. Everyone else seemed to rave about it. Sorry your experience was not as good.

    Besides, there were more than enough people there with cars or willing to split cab fare to go 10-20 minutes away to one of three malls in the area with more than enough restaurants to satisfy anyone's tastes.

    As for the hotel itself, I expected everything to be overpriced because it is the Hyatt, including the ridiculous $4 bottle of water and the $20 valet parking, even though there's a lot across the street that will let you park all day for $5. Aside from the creaking elevator with no A/C, I didn't really have any problems with the hotel itself.

    Regardless, I'm not defending the Hyatt or discounting your experiences, I just wanted to show that it wasn't the only experience to be had.
     
  4. megamus

    megamus Overworked and Underpaid Veteran

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    I am sorry you did not get the deals you wanted. I know that I sold everything dirt cheap and did not go up on my prices. As a matter of fact, if you haggled I usually came down. I was not wanting to make money so much as to downsize my collection. Throughout the con I was giving stuff away to children and such. You will find dealers who have good prices but you need to get to them quick. As for the dealers buying up all the japanese stuff, you are right. It's one of the perks to being a dealer. I have gotten several items throughout the years this way. I do not see this changing. Sorry but I am just being honest. Once again, as was stated in another thread you need to scower the dealers room quickly and don't hesitate if the price is good.
     
  5. funkatron101

    funkatron101 TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yep. Good dealers were out there, and you were one of them. I thought my G1 Soundwave and and Alternators Rumble were more than fair. Dealer to Dealer transactions are all a part of the perks of purchasing a dealer package. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    I did learn one lesson from you. Advertise, Advertise, Advertise. If you're going to have a parts party, it seems you have to be pretty committed to it. Foster and I were just trying to unload some stuff in between all of the activities, panels, and parties. It was hard setting up times, and the bulletin board on the second level just didn't cut it.
     
  6. megamus

    megamus Overworked and Underpaid Veteran

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    I would have loved to see what you were selling. You can always come to our parts party. It's for everyone, bring your stuff and have fun.
     
  7. xZAOx

    xZAOx Yep.

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    Definitely listen to the man, funkatron101.

    That was my main "downer" about this year's BotCon - the room-to-room stuff didn't really seem to be in effect like in previous years. I saw a couple of other rooms on the board, and I went after convention hours, and noone ever answered their door. If you're going to put your room number on there, be prepared to either stay in there after convention hours steadily, or put down what hours you'll be there.

    Or, do what works even better - haul your shit up to Megamus' room, like lots of us did each night :) . Thursday night was freaking crazy!
     
  8. cromagnus

    cromagnus B-boy rumble

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    megamus I know you laid down the deals. I do believe there were tons of deals to be had by quality dealers. I'm not a cheapskate as I buy mostly sealed G1, so don't get the wrong idea. i will happily spend money on quality things that are worth it. I also didn't have to haggle because I felt the prices on the stuff I wanted were reasonable. I got all the deals I wanted for sure, and I'm not one to hesitate to buy. i just wished
    As for being a pescatarian, I believe that isn't the problem, and that is short-sighted ignorant way of looking at things.I believe there's a thread in this forum here from a member started just because he could not find any food.
    I heard several other people complain, and honestly, since I've worked as a sushi chef for 5 years, I can see a bad piece of meat from 20 paces. I also know how the dining area should be handled, and i should have listened to my instincts when I saw the seven odd empty tables that were not bussed yet, even though there were like 10 people total eating at the time. Nothing like eating a meal next to a table full of half eaten plates. It's a farce to me.
    I expected overpriced, but not the shit quality they offered.
    Oh, and if anyone has a problem w/ me being a pescatarian I'd love to meet you at the next botcon, You can arrange the place.
     
  9. funkatron101

    funkatron101 TFW2005 Supporter

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    The real kicker, we were like 5-6 rooms away. Haha.

    I did stop in on Thursday, it was a madhouse. It was so packed, It didn't feel right to try and load up my stuff and wiggle my way in.
     
  10. shadow panther

    shadow panther Mechanically Insane

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    Homeless Hookers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    650th post
     
  11. xZAOx

    xZAOx Yep.

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    Here's my "official" review- Had an awesome time. Got a load of toys at awesome prices. Here's my thoughts:

    Panels:
    -Overall, better than last years. Two Hasbro panels - freaking great. Tons of new toys and information. The big Hasbro panel was just as awesome as last year I thought.
    -Either the Q&A people have gotten worse, or I've gotten more intolerant. They were annoying the shit out of me with taking forever to ask their questions, or commenting the whole time, or just asking stupid questions.
    -People, voice actors aren't fucking trained circus animals there to perform tricks for you. Show some fucking respect, and if they want to act out stupid things, let them, if not, don't pester them. I mean, I loved the little improv skits they did, but it was obvious some of them didn't like doing them. Give them a break. I dunno. Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way.

    Dealer Room:
    -Most stuff was average prices. Seemed cheaper than last year.
    -Didn't really see all that much I wanted/needed. I hope it's just an off year. But it seemed most was packaged toys from the past few years, or the common G1 items. Of course, there's good stuff to be found if you dig (yay, original Big Daddy!).
    -As usual, there were some there charging too much and not budging
    -TFSource undercutting BBTS constantly - hilarious, and awesome. Got my MP SS Coronation set for $20 :D 

    Hotel:
    -Skywalk sucked. I found it faster, or at least just as fast, to just cross the damn street. Plus, it wasn't covered.
    -No vent in the bathroom? What the hell?!
    -Room was SMALL.
    -Beds were SMALL.
    -No free wifi yet again. I heard the one you paid for sucked too.
    -Parking fees were crazy

    Convention set:
    -Better in person, but it always is
    -Starscream is still bleh
    -Prices were way higher on the souvenirs. I thought it was just because we got more toys, but Brian told us it had alot to do with oil being higher - more to make the toys, more to ship them.
    -Comic was alot better than last years, I thought. Still overly "wordy" at parts, but more enjoyable. And the story continues, which is nice. No non-toy people getting pages dedicated to them.

    Parties:
    -Megamus & gen1fan's room was happening as always.
    -Other people put their room numbers, but weren't there when I went looking. I never found any other rooms with parts. That sucked.
    -Met lots of new people (well, new to me). It's to the point now where I'm beginning to recognize some of the regulars, so having more people to hang out and chat with is getting easier. And this is only my third year.
    -Free alcohol! That's my favorite type!

    Other:
    -Cincy sucks
    -Skyline is awesome. My wife is from the area, so I already knew this - I hope everyone tried some.

    The WORST part of it? The Monday after :( 
     
  12. taterx

    taterx Lurkin since Transfandom

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    I had the wings at champs 4 days in a row and they were awesome. The hotel overcharging coffee, water etc annoyed me but the sports bar downstairs was great. I drank my weight in Guinness three nights in a row and loved meeting all you people from the boards.

    Maybe next year will be better for us all. This was my 2nd last year being my first and I saw some improvements. The infamous nerd smell never was a problem as we like to joke about, but one big dude farted when we were all crowded in front of the tfsource table, and god help me it was terrible.

    Not to much to complain about though, I had a wonderful time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008
  13. Uncrazimatic

    Uncrazimatic Uncrazimatic Bore

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    bad:
    -missed the parts parties, heard those were fun
    -missed out on $20 coronation starscream and $20 ghost starscream chase pvc's
    -shouldve went to the panels but went to none

    Good:
    -1st botcon
    -got some cool g1 stuff
    -got some parts, fillers, and looked around all day saturday
    -met a bunch of guys i've done deals with
    -dj'd both nights (looked at hot chicks all night.. no joke) and got paid $$$$
    -hotel and flight paid for by the club!


    best trip ever! i'm going next year!
     
  14. funkatron101

    funkatron101 TFW2005 Supporter

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    QFT.

    If you cut out "Hey guys, just two quick questions" and anything related to stupid Arcee, you shorten it by 12 minutes easy.

    You don't have to stammer and announce that you have questions, that's why you are up there, turd. Just ask.

    :lol 
     
  15. taterx

    taterx Lurkin since Transfandom

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    Yeah if that's directed at me, I wasn't trying to raise your ire so please chill bro.
    Besides no one has a problem with how you go about fueling yourself, were just responding to your thread as we were invited to by you.

    Big hug, that's better. Bu bye.
     
  16. cromagnus

    cromagnus B-boy rumble

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    No harm meant to anyone, I don't want a thread about what I eat.
    I get harassed alot so I apologize for being belligerent. Just stop saying BS about it and this thread stays on track.
    Hugs to you too tater i met you in the elevator friday night, I know you love life, guiness,wings and transformers. Keep it real!
     
  17. taterx

    taterx Lurkin since Transfandom

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    Good to hear. What do you look like I met literally hundreds of people but elevator rides Friday night are still fresh memories.

    Back on point, are you a member of the TFCC? They specifically requested members post threads like these in the club forums to help them determine what we like, need, and expect.

    If you want I'll start one for you but you seem better suited to the task, what with the use of big words and all. ha
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008
  18. trebleshot

    trebleshot www.Toyark.com Veteran

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    I'll say this only to clarify my original comment: I have Crohn's disease, which means there is a shit-load of things that I cannot eat without becoming painfully ill. Because of this, my meal choices are limited regardless of where I go to eat. However, I almost always find something that I will enjoy.

    I have absolutely no problem with you being a pescatarian. However, you must admit that by choosing that particular lifestyle, it limits your food selection, which was my original point.

    I don't know, maybe I'm not as critical as I should be. Most of the time, I'm happy to have something to eat at all.

    Oh, and I'd be happy to meet at the next BC, if I'm going. I love meeting people from the boards.:D 
     
  19. Motor_Master

    Motor_Master Lets the balls touch TFW2005 Supporter

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    The Good:
    Animated figures on the shelves at Walmart
    Helping out some fellow board members score a few animated figures.
    Meeting a whole bunch of new people at the con this year.
    Hasbro panel - lots of cool stuff that will make me go broke. Classics TM Cyclonus FTW!!
    Dealer's room - much larger and a much better selection.
    Rock Bottom Brewery - good food, good times

    The Bad:
    Not enough room in the suitcase for all the stuff I wanted to get.
    Q&A questions - except for one or two, most of them were totally useless and deprived the room of much needed oxygen.
    People dressed in Costumes - now there were a couple that were ok, but for the most part it was rather disturbing.
    Souvenir line on Thursday night - slow is an understatement. Apparently it people were taking their sweet time revieing all the old crap the club store had or sale (movie, energon figures, etc). The only reason my order wasn't quick was because they had to bring a couple of the items I bought from the back and restock the shelf.

    The Ugly:
    The drive by shooting across the street from the Ramada early Sunday morning. Laying in bed and my GF and I hear pop-pop-pop, then screeching wheels... it wasn't an engine backfiring, that's for sure!
    All the homeless people trying to hit you up for money.
    Flying United Airlines (See travel woes thread)
     
  20. Killa-B-Killed

    Killa-B-Killed Material Handler

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    My first Botcon was a great overall experience. It was really cool to hangout with other Collectors, and make new friends. I loved the hands-on toy buying experience. Complete with negotiations, and smack-talk.

    Complaints are as follows...
    Millennium Restaurant food was terrible, and I am not hard to please.
    Hotel parking was expensive.
    I wish the dealers that sold all the good shit on Friday night would have been smart enough to realize that a Collector would probably pay more for a nice item than another dealer that is going to re-sell it later to said Collector.

    Just my opinion......
     

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