Botcon 2011: General Impressions and Hasbro Transformers Brand Panel
June 5, 2011


Join me for my impressions of botcon and coverage of the Botcon 2011 Hasbro Panel!

AFI’s full Botcon Galleries will be up soon, but here’s my coverage and thoughts on the con!


Botcon 2011 opened to the public on Saturday June 4th.   It was noticeably less crowded than the last
Pasadena Botcon in 2009.  There was no line for at the door tickets, and while well attended it was not
the wall to wall cattle pen that 2009 was.   I suspect there was less mass media coverage, and the lack
of stars from the upcoming movie in attendance might have cut down on casual fans.   The Souvenir Sets
finally sold out by the end of the con even though numbers were increased to 1500-1800
of each set. 



Hasbro Transformers Brand Panel:

Pictures were not allowed, but here’s a rundown of the important news and announcements from the
panel as well as images of the items that were placed in the showroom display after the panel:

  • The Panel was led by Greg Lombardo, Hasbro Marketing who is in his last year with the Hasbro
    Brand.  In attendance were various design and marketing team members.
  • Reveal the Shield/Generations:   Hasbro will make an effort to get more of the "Lost Waves" to
  •  Generations WILL continue through 2011, though no new product was show.

Dark of the Moon:

  • The line was greeted by an audible "BOO" from the audience.
  • The MechTech gimmick was explained as a way to externalize the gimmicks and keep the figure
    solely a poseable transforming toy, unlike past "Mech Alive" or other integral gimmicks.
  • An new DOTM DX Air Raid figure was show, a green and white jetplane with a round Mech Tech
    shield/sensor array accessory.  This is a totally different figure than the Japanese DOTM Air Raid
    which is a ROTF Breakaway repaint.
  •  A new DOTM DX Armored Topspin in silver was shown.  
  • Dark Iron, a DOTM DX Sideswipe repaint w/ a new head was shown.   The head and color is an
    homage to Beast Wars Quickstrike.
  • DOTM Deluxe Wave 6 will have 2 figures to be revealed after the film premiere.
  • A repainted DOTM Voyager Cannon Force Ironhide in RED was announced.  This marks the
    first "real" Red version of Movie Ironhide as up to now the red recolors were all Legends,
    Activators or Speed Stars toys.
  • DOTM Human Alliance will have 1 figure revealed after the film premiere.
  • Cyberverse Wave 3 will include Shockwave w/ Fusion Tank and Ratchet in white w/ Lunar


2011 Dark of the Moon Exclusives:

  • Cyberverse Battle Pack – an homage to the on set accident with the Bumblebee stunt car
    in Washington DC, this set includes Ironhide, Battle Damaged Bumblebee and white police
    repaints of Barricade and Crankcase.  The figures from this set are in the picture below along
    with additional recolors and figures from other sets.

  • Target will receive Human Alliance Leadfoot complete with a robot dog what was originally
    intended to be a Powermaster-like engine but had to be made separate to give it more size.

  • Target will also receive a DX 2 pack of the Wreckers including Topspin and Leadfoot.  Both
    Exclusive Leadfoot figures will sport the Target Logo as he’s based on the Target NASCAR Car.
  • Target will also receive a series of translucent repaints of older movie  molds, the highlight of
    which is Space Case, a Terradive Repaint.

  • K-Mart has 2 Human Alliance Multi Packs.  Each includes a full size and Scout Class HA figure
    as well as pilot figures.  The Bumblebee set is available now, the Sideswipe set is forthcoming. 
    Both of the larger figures feature a silver, black and neon green paint scheme.

Amazon Exclusive:

  • One of the more impressive exclusives is Amazon’s 1986 Transformers: The Movie  Unicron.

Transformers Prime:

  • There was a good size segment of the presentation dedicated to Transformers: Prime, which got
    a much better response from the audience than DOTM

  • Prime Toys launch 12/1/11

  • Deluxe Wave 2 will include Cliffjumper and Deluxe Wave  3 will include a Vehicon and
    Terrorcon Zombie Cliffjumper
  • The Voyager offerings will include Optimus Prime and Bulkhead
  • A DVD Entertainment Pack will include DX Optimus, Megatron and the 3 kids as non-poseable
    PVC figures.

  • A number of work in progress shots and concept art for upcoming 2012 Prime toys were
    shown including:
    • DX Ratchet
    • Cyberverse Legion Wheeljack
    • Legion Bumblebee w/ various accessories and armaments
    • Legion Arcee
    • Cyberverse Commander Ironhide which featured a robot mode reminiscent of G1 but
      a vehicle mode and guns inspired by the movies
    • DX Soundwave as a predator drone type aircraft w/ removable Laserbeak that clips
      to his chest and converts into a weapon
    • DX Wheeljack
    • Voyager Starscream with a Light Up Mech Tech accessory and translucent parts indicating
      that Mech Tech will carry over to the Prime toys
  • The reveal of work in progress images and information is a new thing Hasbro is trying at
    conventions and if fans cooperate by not taking pictures it’s something they will continue.

Q & A

  • There will be no further War for Cybertron themed items unless a second game is developed.
  • The future of Transformers: Animated is "up in the air" and the

    most likely avenue for future
    product is as exclusives.

  • Mighty Muggs will carry on as exclusives when possible.
  • Headmasters DVD is something Hasbro wants to do but there are not firm plans.


I leave you with a few more cosplay photos!

 ‘Til all are one!




Jeremy "SpyMagician" Sung
It's the all new, all different SpyMagician! No longer single, no longer an educator, but still 100% Toygeek! "I make good customized actions figures, but I also collect Pokemon. Go figure..."
Read other articles by Jeremy "SpyMagician" Sung.





  • Casimir says:

    Thanks for the succinct report and the photos!

    • Jeremy SpyMagician says:

      Thank you sir! I figured other sites will do tons of pictures, so why not do a “digest” style report to just hit as much of the newest and most important info as I can! Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Lt. Clutch says:

    Great to hear about RTS/Generations and the lost waves. I will be happy as a clam if Windcharger makes it to a general retail release.

  • Real NorCal TF Fan says:

    I’m so disappointed to hear the audience to boo Hasbro for the DOTM toys. Honestly, it has become “cool” to hate Bay’s take on Transformers, just for the sake of hating because your friends hate them. This annoys me and shows me the lack of maturity in our current TF fanbase. I see this immaturity on the forums for toy sightings and the fact so many “collectors” hide toys. Whether you like the toys or not, I don’t care personally. But, I like the designs of Bay’s TF, his take on the universe, and the amazing action in the movies. For those of you whose childhood was ruined by Bay, go and cry yourself asleep at night, while I and others enjoy the growth of TF.

    • BC says:

      I agree, booing the DOTM toys makes those fans sound like crabby nerds who always complain and are never happy. They give good fans a bad name. Preferring the old school stuff you came up with, fine. But booing just seems childish.

  • Brownsatan says:

    I agree with Real NorCal TF Fan! I was at BotCon and the amount of hatred towards the Bay movies is really nothing short of retarded! He helped bring our favorite cartoon to the big screen in a HUGE way! Unfortunately, because i’m not a transformers elitist like so many retards out there, I’m just happy that someone competent did it and didn’t skimp on the budgets.

    His take on the Transformers universe is really amazing and the action is nonstop! sure some of the dialogue, acting and humor wasn’t super top notch but i’m not expecting some kind of Gone with the Wind oscar nomination type thing. It’s not like he decided to bring in Go Bots and merge them into the storyline! he’s kept these movies AMAZINGLY close to the cartoons but brought in a real world sensibility to them.

    it’s a pop corn action movie people! enjoy it as such and stop taking this so freakin seriously! I swear you would think that Michael Bay kicked your dog when you were a kid the way some of these people act!

    Lighten up people! they’re toys! they’re movies! Quit freakin hating!

  • Danny CantinaDan says:

    Ha, those Cosplay girls rock! Thanks for the pics, Spy!

  • demoncat says:

    thanks for the converage glad to hear wheel jack will be returning to toy form since he has not seen a new toy since his g1 reissue years ago or even shown up animated since g1

    • Jeremy SpyMagician says:

      Actually there’s a great Generations/United Wheeljack out now… if you can find one! The import is actually easier to find than the US version!

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