Monday, March 27, 2006

The Rarest Transformers of All Time

A once in a lifetime opportunity is currently developing on eBay, as BotCon originators and highly respected Transformers fans Jon and Karl Hartman will be selling off some of their collection of G2 Stunticons and G2 Protectobots. A new auction is supposed to be listed every day or so. Here's the first one, for G2 Protectobot First Aid.

For those who do not follow Transformers closely, it is worth emphasizing that these are some of the rarest Transformers ever made. A small handful (estimates are at about a half dozen) were made, in packaging, as test items, before Hasbro decided to cancel the Generation Two (G2) line altogether in favor of what became "Beast Wars." Very few Transformers items ever get this far along the production process without actually making it to mass production on toy store shelves, making these some of the rarest Transformers of all time.

One of these toys actually did get produced in somewhat higher (although still rare) numbers as the very first BotCon exclusive, G2 Breakdown. The back of the packaging shows the other four Stunticons, although these were never actually sold to the general public, even at BotCon. This has allowed the G2 Stunticons (and the G2 Protectobots) to reach near-mythical status as items most of us knew existed, even if we've never actually seen them.

So, if you have a few hundred dollars to spend on toys you'll likely never want to take out of the packages, feel free to bid. For the rest of us, it's still worth checking on the auctions to see these pieces of seldom documented Transformers history. I'll add links to the other actions as they appear in the coming days.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

BotCon 2006 location announced

Just got the following e-mail yesterday:
Here is the announcement you have all been waiting on.

BotCon '06 will be held in Lexington, KY, September 28-Oct 1. We will be at the Hyatt Regency Lexington and the adjoining Lexington Center. Hyatt will have us loaded into their system for reservations by the end of the week.

Convention brochures will be available in a few weeks and I will email you when they are ready.

Thanks for your support and we hope to see you all in Lexington later this year.

While the price of the convention package(s) has not been announced yet, I'd be willing to be that the price will be similar to last year's convention (just over $250 for members of the Transformers Collectors' club, but that includes the box set of exclusive toys). That's a bit high, but I've been trying to put away money every month since last year, so it might be possible. I'll hope to be surprised with a lower package this year.

But the location? That's actually got me excited. Lexington's only about an hour and a half away from Louisville, where I grew up and where my immediate family still lives. BotCon gives me an opportunity to go visit them, and my brother and one of his Transformers-loving friends are already starting discussions about possibly driving down together. If I can go, this could well be the most fun convention I've been to yet (the previous conventions I've gone to have been by myself, and I've been fine with that, but I always tend to be embarrased at the level of stereotypical geekiness of the didn't-take-a-shower-wears-all-black-
up-to-do-embarrasing-impersonations-of-one's-favorite-character type that seems to be on display at these things, which is sad because I know that not all Transformers fans are like that).

Plus, I may have the opportunity to bring a game show event to the convention. But that's if I can go....

See, besides the cost, which could be a problem in itself, the convention's still going to be held at a time that would be difficult for me to break free during. This is a common problem for those of us who are in academia (either as students or staff), which is a fairly large number of Transformers fans. Still, the last weekend of September/first weekend of October isn't quite so impossible as the weekend immediately previous would have been....

I'm eagerly awaiting more information.

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