Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021

Transformers News: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021

Monday, February 3rd, 2020 6:24pm CST

Category: Event News
Posted by: D-Maximal_Primal   Views: 19,906

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Following an absolute bombardment of notifications, we have big news for all of you Transformers fans. It appears that, following the cessation of Botcon under Fun Publications in 2016, it is making its grand return!

This news comes to us from the Botcon Website itself, which is up and running and is advertising that the next Botcon event will return in the Summer 2021, and the new Botcon owners are a combination of license holders from both the Fun Publications and 3H Enterprises. We also got a very heartfelt Facebook message from Karl Hartman himself, who is now one of the license holders.

Before we share his message, we want to remind you that this revived Botcon is not official. This new Botcon does not currently have official Hasbro backing, and is the equivalent of TFcon or TFNation. However, this does not rule out the possibility that Botcon could be officially licensed again.

Check out Karl's message below, and let us know what you think of this news in the comments section below!

Good Morning. This message is kindly directed at my fellow fans of the Transformers franchise. You’ll want to read all the way to the end, but please do read from the beginning. This message is cross-posted at www.allspark.com. Please credit them if linking to this post.

A BotCon story.

In 1994, the first BotCon was held in Fort Wayne, Indiana, organized by my brother Jon and me. Over the next several years, it was organized by Raksha in 1995, Dennis Barger in 1996, Glen Hallit and ourselves 1997-2002, and finally with Pete Sinclair in 2004. Through various ups and downs, it was determined that BotCon 2004 was to be the last BotCon. For those that weren’t there, I put together a retrospective video set to music, called Requiem, which was shown at the final panel.

The last text on the video read something like this:

Thanks for the love.

Thanks for the laughs.

Thanks for the tears.

BotCon 1994-2002, 2004

Thanks for the memories.

The End

?

As one might expect, that question mark was met with applause through the tears. The truth was that no one really knew what the future held with BotCon, but I wanted to give the fans in attendance a little bit of hope. To quote another staple from 1994: “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

As it turns out, Brian Savage and Fun Publications took over the reins for BotCon from 2005-2016. During that time, the concept of how BotCon operated was expanded greatly. The toy offerings were increased, and guests from every era of the franchise were plentiful. The size and scope of the convention grew to proportions that Jon and I could never have imagined.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the convention, even from its earliest days, was its ability to draw people together who have the same interest in this toy line. Newcomers to the convention were invited into conversations by “old timers.” There was a sense of belonging for many that attended, which went past the toys. People got to know each other on a personal level. Those people who saw each other every year got used to seeing each other every year. It was like a big family reunion. I’ve always felt that way. I saw people who were at some of the early BotCons grow from somewhat awkward late teen-agers and early twenty-somethings (I was definitely a member of that group!), to confident adults, some of whom with families, who brought their own children to BotCon. The second generation had begun to enjoy what their parents had introduced them to.

So, when word got around BotCon 2016 (confirming what had been known in smaller circles for months prior) that it was going to be the Last BotCon, the mood of the convention for many of us old timers turned very introspective, and quite sad. I’ll never forget speaking to David Kaye at the evening Judd Nelson event that year. I simply went up to him and thanked him for his support over the years. He was one of the first major guests who attended in 1997, and he was back in 2016, almost 20 years later. I asked him if he had heard that this was the last convention. He turned to me with a serious look and said that he had heard about that, and he thought it was some sort of awful joke. BotCon couldn’t be ending. I told him that it was true. He just shook his head.

Sunday came, and at the end of the convention was the traditional organizers panel. This year was different. Many people assembled for what they knew to be the last time. It felt like equal parts retrospective, celebration, and wake. Several spoke about what BotCon meant to them. It meant so much more to many of them than the toys, cartoons, fiction, and guests. It was about the people. It became an entity unto itself. An annual family reunion that, for reasons that no one understood, had to end. Emotions were very raw in that panel. Lots of tears were shed.

Saying goodbye to BotCon was one of the hardest things that we’ve had to do, because of all of the memories that were made there, and all of the friends that were met for the first time there. BotCon was going to end, only to exist in pictures and in our hearts, minds, and memories. It was…

The End.

?

The question mark meant hope.

It means hope. Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best if things, and no good thing ever dies. It just takes a five year break.

As it turns out, Simon Furman was right after all of these years.

It never ends.

The story of BotCon is not over.

It just has a new chapter.

On behalf of myself, Bret Lovell, Andrew Hall and the rest of the BC Productions crew, I am honored and humbled to announce:

BotCon 2021

www.botcon.com.


Transformers News: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in 2021

Credit(s): Botcon.com


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Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051258)
Posted by Bounti76 on February 3rd, 2020 @ 6:32pm CST
Since it is (at the moment) unofficial, I can't imagine they'd be doing any convention exclusive figures to the scale they did in the past. And since Hasbro is doing obscure characters in the Selects line (Lancer, Red Wing, e.t.c) now, I wonder how this convention will do.
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051260)
Posted by JelZe GoldRabbit on February 3rd, 2020 @ 6:58pm CST
Bounti76 wrote:Since it is (at the moment) unofficial, I can't imagine they'd be doing any convention exclusive figures to the scale they did in the past. And since Hasbro is doing obscure characters in the Selects line (Lancer, Red Wing, e.t.c) now, I wonder how this convention will do.


Without Hasbro's... active participation shall we say, my best guess would be a return to the format of... *grabs my lists* 1998 to (OTFCC) 2004: Big Toy, Smaller Toy, maybe even smaller toys as bonuses.
I'm more curious about the characters, really. They've created quite a few over the years, even after they were allowed use of official trademarks in 1999, and official characters soon after in 2001.

I don't see HasCon going away just yet as it's for all of Hasbro's brands, not just Transformers like BotCon is.
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051262)
Posted by Flashwave on February 3rd, 2020 @ 7:48pm CST
So, anyway, Any convention that swings through my area again is welcome. I missed TFCon when it was in CHI so I welcome another good show if its an opportunity to hang out with friends. Excited to hear more as it evolves
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051264)
Posted by LinaNui on February 3rd, 2020 @ 8:04pm CST
I am glad to see that it is back, but I hope that the convention exclusive do not come back. I know they are not currently with Hasbro, but they could in the future. I want Hasbro to keep doing the selects as the way to get cool repaints, not conventions.
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051266)
Posted by Delicon on February 3rd, 2020 @ 8:28pm CST
I assume that it's unofficial but whether it is or not, hasn't been confirmed, has it?

I do imagine that if it was official, there would be a Hasbro press release.
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051273)
Posted by JelZe GoldRabbit on February 3rd, 2020 @ 10:18pm CST
Delicon wrote:I assume that it's unofficial but whether it is or not, hasn't been confirmed, has it?

I do imagine that if it was official, there would be a Hasbro press release.


Everything points to it being unofficial, meaning Hasbro has no direct involvement in its organization, nor is BC Productions confirmed as an official licensee like FunPub was. Don't forget, Hasbro still has Hascon... whenever that's gonna be held again :lol:

They're back at square one, aka 1994 to 2004, or even further if Hasbro chooses to be totally hands-off when it comes to providing stuff. The last part is what I'm eagerly awaiting to hear more about.
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051274)
Posted by Sabrblade on February 3rd, 2020 @ 10:25pm CST
If this new BotCon remains unofficial, I'd be perfectly okay if there were no more exclusives toys or fiction (and I say this as one who aimed to get many of the exclusives and followed all of the fiction), with the experience and community of the con being its primary offering.

Getting to see great folks again, picking up a bunch of vintage Beast Wars, Car Robots, and other toys of that era (as well as the odd current figure that I may have missed at retail) in the dealer room, hearing fun anecdotes and other stories of the past at panels, and just having a grand old time surrounded by a generally friendly atmosphere of those who passionately enjoy the same hobby as myself, that's what really made BotCon (and currently makes RoboCon) great for me.
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051277)
Posted by Rodimus Prime on February 4th, 2020 @ 12:13am CST
I'm happy to see BotCon return, even if on a smaller scale. I am okay with or without exclusives, the experience of a convention is my main reason for attending in the past, and if BotCon happens to come to the Southeast US, I'll be there.
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051301)
Posted by Railbomb on February 4th, 2020 @ 11:41am CST
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:
Delicon wrote:I assume that it's unofficial but whether it is or not, hasn't been confirmed, has it?

I do imagine that if it was official, there would be a Hasbro press release.


Everything points to it being unofficial, meaning Hasbro has no direct involvement in its organization, nor is BC Productions confirmed as an official licensee like FunPub was. Don't forget, Hasbro still has Hascon... whenever that's gonna be held again :lol:

They're back at square one, aka 1994 to 2004, or even further if Hasbro chooses to be totally hands-off when it comes to providing stuff. The last part is what I'm eagerly awaiting to hear more about.


Seeing it looks like they have some ties to Pete's Robocon which has been going on near me for a few years now they'll probably do something similar to them: custom class figures with 3D printed heads. Which really isn't the worst possibility to try and push an exclusive without Hasbro's backing.
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051325)
Posted by Whifflefire on February 4th, 2020 @ 5:28pm CST
Here's hoping for an East-Coast location, so that I'll finally be able to attend a Botcon.
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051346)
Posted by Sabrblade on February 4th, 2020 @ 7:20pm CST
Whifflefire wrote:Here's hoping for an East-Coast location, so that I'll finally be able to attend a Botcon.
In the meantime, this year's RoboCon is in Louisville, KY.
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051358)
Posted by Whifflefire on February 4th, 2020 @ 9:02pm CST
Sabrblade wrote:
Whifflefire wrote:Here's hoping for an East-Coast location, so that I'll finally be able to attend a Botcon.
In the meantime, this year's RoboCon is in Louisville, KY.


Eh, still a bit too far for comfort, I'm in southern New England (at school in NY). I was able to make it to Hascon 'cos it was in Rhode Island, but every other TF convention has teased me by being impractically-out-of-budget away.

One day, though, one day when I have money.
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051365)
Posted by STngAR on February 4th, 2020 @ 10:17pm CST
I am curious as to where it will be held. Id love to go to a con and Im going to start squirreling money aside to go to one.


:MAXIMAL:
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051366)
Posted by Sabrblade on February 4th, 2020 @ 10:21pm CST
Meanwhile, RoboCon 2020 is promoting BotCon's return next year with some neat exclusives celebrating BotCon's legacy. More info here.
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051371)
Posted by primalxconvoy on February 5th, 2020 @ 3:07am CST
Why is it both Seibertron and Allspark have covered this news (cheers folks!), but TFW2005 have not? Its there some sort of history/politics/sour grapes with them them that I'm not aware of?
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051372)
Posted by Burn on February 5th, 2020 @ 3:12am CST
primalxconvoy wrote:Why is it both Seibertron and Allspark have covered this news (cheers folks!), but TFW2005 have not? Its there some sort of history/politics/sour grapes with them them that I'm not aware of?

Why not ask them?
(HINT: People have asked, the answer is in the thread over there)
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051373)
Posted by primalxconvoy on February 5th, 2020 @ 3:17am CST
I have (asked in a thread about another convention recently promoted there), but wanted some other opinions.

Regardless, cheers for covering this news!
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051375)
Posted by Black Hat on February 5th, 2020 @ 4:17am CST
Intriguing! Of no use to me whatsoever as it's an American convention, but still, I hope it goes well! I'd be interested to see what they do as far as potential exclusives; some other unofficial cons have 3Ps making exclusives for them, so maybe that?
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051388)
Posted by JelZe GoldRabbit on February 5th, 2020 @ 11:33am CST
Black Hat wrote:Intriguing! Of no use to me whatsoever as it's an American convention, but still, I hope it goes well! I'd be interested to see what they do as far as potential exclusives; some other unofficial cons have 3Ps making exclusives for them, so maybe that?


That... would be unwise, in the sense of gaining/retaining Hasbro's support that BotCon was known for in the future
Re: Botcon Returns as an Unofficial Convention and Will Host Its First New Convention in Summer 2021 (2051409)
Posted by The Wadapan on February 5th, 2020 @ 5:12pm CST
Hey, I'm one of the staff members that resigned from The Allspark a couple of days ago. We've written an open letter to the organisers of BotCon.

https://tinyurl.com/AllsparkAndBotCon

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