While at the Hasbro Collector's Event, we had the opportunity to chat it up with Glen Hallit and Dan Khanna of 3H Productions -- you know, the BotCon people. To answer the first question -- no, we don't know what the toys on the registration form are. Glen was very careful to not let information like that slip. But he was more than willing to talk about some other items.
First off, BotCon.com will be updated rather soon. A new team is taking over the entire site, and it will reappear "in about two weeks", Glen said. For those of you keeping track, as of this writing that would mean any day now. Glen said that it would be updated weekly, and one of the first updates would be information on the hotel exclusive. (We'll give you a hint -- it's a Transformer.)
3/28/03 Update: Glen E-mailed us to let us know the website revamp is taking longer than expected. He reports that it should be fully completed in another one to two weeks.
Primeval Dawn 2 in its current form is dead. Transformers: Universe is now the primary convention storyline, and the Flash movie conflicts with the new storyline, but Glen didn't provide any specific details. For BotCon 2003, we'll get a Universe story, and the current Wreckers storyline will be merged into it later, as will a revamped Primeval Dawn story.
3/28/03 Update: Those of you wondering what will happen to the Transformers: Expanded Universe tag should know that it no longer exists. BotCon toys will be packaged under the Transformers: Universe title and regarded as extensions of that line.
We know what we won't be getting for the Dinner Exclusive. It was to be a repaint of the Playskool Go-Bots Silverbolt toy as Jhiaxus, from the Generation 2 comic. It would have been goofy fun (including a potential reference to Jhiaxus wanting to take over the Earth, such as on the card art), but it was scrapped for something different.
This year's guest list is still in flux (as it always is at this stage of preparation; that's why the ad says "Invited Guests Include"). We may lose one announced guest and gain a new one. While we know who the potential new guest is, we also want to help 3H keep the surprise. So all we will say is this: a noble character may be making his first appearance at BotCon (but without his partner).
Regarding the Transformers: Universe Obsidian character, Glen said that its color scheme is essentially that of Wreckers Rotorbolt, but with grey legs. He also said that the other Universe toys that appear in Wreckers will not be named their BotCon-storyline names.
Those people who registered early for BotCon have always stood in the longest line at pre-registration. But now they may have something that makes up for that fact. In a trial basis for this year, Glen is offering the first 50 pre-registrants the ability to purchase a "Gold Pass" for an extra $50. This Gold Pass will allow the holder to sit front row at panels, bypass BotCon Merchandise lines, and Autograph lines.
You might say that it's not worth it for an extra $50. Ah, but there's something else. Plans right now call for all Gold Pass holders to be invited to a private cocktail lunch with all BotCon guests.
Still not think it's worth $50? Well, that's fine. Anyone who is offered the pass can turn it down. It will then be offered to the next pre-registrant with a higher number than 50. For example, if pre-registrants #11, 23, 45, and 48 turn down the Gold Pass, then it will be offered to #51, 52, 53, and 54. If any of those four turn it down, the next ones in line will be offered until all 50 are taken. If this works this year, it may be expanded to more people next year, but it will remain a small number.
3/28/03 Update: People wondering when they'll be contacted about the "Privilege Pass" should know that Glen is currently typing up the details which his staff will then pass along to the lucky ones.
In past years, many guests have been willing to volunteer to help out 3H at BotCon. This year, some people may be given the chance. Glen is putting together plans to ask certain individuals to help out if they can. Next year, there might be a Volunteer Sign Up form. Don't expect much. It is volunteering, not paid staff, after all. Glen did mention something about a full set of exclusives, but we were unsure if he was talking about this year, next year, or what. We've put in a request for more clarification; we'll let you know what we hear back.
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