With the Botcon hullabaloo reaching a fervor, it’s time to start making some wild predictions about what the lucky attendees will see and hear this year at the fandom’s premiere gala event.
Previous years have revealed some mighty fine surprises such as the first images of the Transformers Animated characters and toys; early reveal of pre-production molds for figures like Hot Shot, Targetmaster Cyclonus, and Hound; exclusive previews from the set of Transformers courtesy of Michael Bay; and even the dreaded confirmation tentative toys will never see the light of day. If you’ve never been to Botcon before, make sure you make it to the Hasbro product preview panel because it is definitely the highlight of the year for Transformers fans.
Since I will not be attending, I feel I can do my part and start the speculation early with some predictions about just what we will be told at this year’s panel.
1- The full Botcon Set
Each botcon exclusive set includes a variety of figures that require differnet methods of attainment. Anyone can buy the giftset but there is usually so much more available that is only available to attendees of the convention. These include a free attendee figure with each boxset purchased and two to three attendee add-on sets.
So far we know the identity of the whole 2010 boxset, but what about the attendee exclusive and the add-ons? It’s been deduced that G2 Rapido and G1 Gnaw will be part of the attendee figures, and there may possibly be a blue Energon Wheeljack redeco as Slicer involved as well. So there are a total of 3-5 figures we still have not seen and should not see until the opening of the convention. (Good job on the security this year Botcon guys!)
So here are my predictions:
- Gnaw will be a 3-pack of Sharkticons just like 2009’s sweeps set and will be ridiculously sought after by those that did not attend the convention.
- G2 Rapido will be the attendee exclusive since he shares a similarity with Streetstar.
- Slicer will be tied with a Shattered glass figure ala last year’s Razorclaw and Elita 1 set, and it’s partner will be Shattered Glass Galvatron ala the Club comic profile. This will be a purple helicopter redeco of Cybertron Evac. This, of course, will be the shining star of the set and be worth $350 within 5 minutes of selling out.
- If the Gnaw 3-pack is a reality, this leaves us with one more attendee two-pack. It would seem pretty ridiculous if we don’t get another real G2-G1 character like Breakdown so I am calling a Black Swideswipe, Purple Ramjet, or Gray White and Camo Starscream (oh please!). However, I really have no idea what to expect since the set so far has been all over the place, but I just want a dang Purple Ramjet!
2 – Announcement of G1 Unicron
Prepare for the big announcement of a big character coming to the United States. Yes, this will most likely be a huge announcement at Botcon – That Hasbro will be bringing the 2010 TakaraTomy Unicron to the States as some sort of retailer exclusive. I already called this earlier this week, so hopefully I get to say “I toldja so” once again. I just pre-ordered this guy so I am kind of praying this doesn’t happen, but as long as figure is not a straight repack of the Japanese version, no one has anything to fear.
3 – Confirming the fate of the stray Animated figures
We just got a hint at what is to come since Animated Thundercracker and Mudbuster Bulkhead were recently listed on Hasbro.com. Whether these toys will be online-only exclusives, retailer exclusives, or mass-released reamins to be seen. Perhaps Hasbro will take advantage of their built-in sales system and sell these exclusively on Hasbrotoyshop.com. After receiving no word on Transformers Animated at this year’s Toy Fair event, it is only logical that we will get the full skinny on these sought-after strays at this year’s panel. Let’s just hope that the TakaraTomy side of things has given the proper bump that Hasbro needed to get these last few guys out of the vault and into our clutches!
4 – Masterpiece Rodimus / Galvatron images revealed
Will we get the touch? We all know this is coming, but wouldn’t it be fun if the Rodimus rumors were incorrect and we were in turn given MP Galvatron for the 2010 line?
Rodimus would altogether make a much more marketable toy – his alt-mode has always been more appealing that Galvatron’s “galva-gun” thinga-majig alt-mode. It is unlikely that Hasbro would be the ones to reveal such a special toy that will be released in Japan only, but perhaps we will see a joint released by Hasbro and TakaraTomy. That sure would be nice, wouldn’t it? If 2010 unicron will be released by Hasbro, the new 2010 Masterpiece figure could be all the more likely.
5 – Transformers Prime
Just what is Transformers Prime going to be all about? No one knows, but after this year’s panel, everyone’s going to have a much better idea. As the next big phase in Transformers until Transformers 3 hits theaters, the wire has been all to quiet about what we can expect. The focus currently is on War for Cybertron, which has been taking a lot of the heat off of Transformers Prime for now, but as soon as the Activision game hits stores, expect this to be the next big push.
From what I can gather, all signs point towards a Movie-verse storyline set on pre-war Cybertron. Another prediction would be that it is Transformers on Earth in the very distant future. It could also focus on the new movie mythos behind the Primes and what eaxctly it takes to become one and what they really are. If Hasbro has their stuff together as much as they typically do, panel attendees may be treated to photos of the actual toys beyond just a preview clip or two of the finished show.
6 – War For Cybertron toyline expanded
At this point, Hasbro and Activision know they have a hit on their hands with War for Cybertron. The pre-sale data on the game has probably helped Hasbro make some decisions as to expand the quantity of War For Cybertron toys or not, and I think we can all agree that there needs to be more of them. The CG renders are really great and show that each character has been well-designed and each is in need of their own sculpt. This is most likely already in the works as illustrated by Seibertron who recently discovered that War for Cybertron Bumblebee’s instruction sheet features a very Cliffjumper-like head sculpt!
Why didn’t Hasbro decide to make a dedicated War for Cybertron line in the first place? I’m sure the answer to these types of questions are very complex so let’s not really expect any sort of answer and just hope that we see an entire fleet of these beautiful renditions of everyone’s favorite characters.
7 – Botcon 2011’s location will be back in Chicago, IL
Transformers 3 is filming in Chicago for six weeks this summer. The city will hopefully be a relatively signifcant part of the plot and consist of at least one major action sequence. Transformers 3 is slated to come out July 1, 2011. The Botcon event is typically near the end of June, just in time for a pre-screening of Transformers 3 similar to what happened at Botcon 2007 in Rhode Island. Depending on how significant or insignificant Chicago’s part plays in the movie, it may become the temporary epicenter of the Transformers Universe.
Botcon 2008 was in a Midwestern part of the country, and it has spanned both coasts in between so it just feels right to be back in the midwest again, and we haven’t seen the con in the Windy City since 2004, when it wasn’t even called Botcon! I know, I know, everyone wants Botcon to be near them, but the recipe is all there. As the location of some great Transformers websites, it would just be too good to be true! So please, just be true.