The Convention Battles: Botcon '97 vs TransCon2

Friday, June 13th, 1997 12:01am CDT

Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron   Views: 447,892

The Hartman's BOTCON '97

Sponsored by: Jon and Karl Hartman with help from Gene Hallit and Pet Sinclair
Location: Rochestor, New York
Building: Riverside Convention Center Dates: July 18th - 20th, 1997

Botcon 1997

Convention Experience: The creators and sponsors of the original BotCon '94 What to look for: Voice actors from the original cartoon series and from the Beast Wars, Stan Bush in concert, comic writer Simon Furman, comic artist Andrew Wildman, Hasbro, Mainframe Entertainment, art contest and auction of fan create material, a charity auction to benefit the Shriner's Hospital, dealer tables, and guest panels.

The Pros: Botcon 1997 appears to be the preferred convention of the two. Many guests scheduled for Botcon '97. The Hartmans are true fans of the Transformers themselves and are dedicated to bringing the convention "back to the fans." The great, professional, full color advertisements (one drawn by Andy Wildman just for the convention) have developed a good deal of excitement themselves. Great location for poeple out east. Best convention if interested in the workings of the Transformers.

The Cons: Botcon '97 may be bringing it back to teh fans, but at what cost? The convention may be shock full of exciting guests, concerts and other features but is it worth the pretty penny you'll spend here? Besides the fancy costs, New York City might not be worth the drive (or the time) for anyone out west. Not a great location for a majority of the country. Are the guests for real?

The Costs: $40.00 for regular attendance. $120.00 for regular attendance plus the fan appreciation banquet, concert with Stan Bush, and the theatrical showings of the Transformers: The Movie.

Men-In-Black's TRANSCON 2

Sponsored by: the Men-In-Black, Dennis Barger (president) Location: Rosemont, Illinois
Clarion Resort Dates: July 4th - 6th, 1997


Convention Experience: the sponsors of the successful Botcon '96 What to look for: Transformers dealers from around the world, a 24 hour video room, fan art showcase, custom figure, art, and diorama contests, panels and discussion groups, special surprise guests, two exclusive Beast Wars toys, charity auction to benefit the US Marine Corps.

The Pros: Transcon 2 may not have received all the fan hype of publicity that Botcon '97 has but it sure "plans" to pack a punch. Many surprise guests are advertised to come forth. The central and familiar location should be convenient for most Transformers fans. The fans may be attracted to TransCon2 over BotCon '97 just because of the simplicity behind the show. Best convention if interested in working on your Transformers collection.

The Cons: TransCon2 has done just that: made "plans" for many surprise guests. A lot of uncertainties just three weeks away from the convention's debut. We want specifics, not possibilities. As long as the dealers show, this will be a nice convention still. Many fans were displeased with the Men-In-Black's lack of organizational skills last year. Will this scare fans away this year? The black-and-white ads for TransCon2 are "cheap" looking and unprofessional compared to the BotCon ads.

The Cost: $35.00 for regular attendance.

This article originally published in TRANS-FORUM #7 (July 1997) by the owner of

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