Again, we’ve had another HasCon update and this one is a bit of a doozy. We’re looking at more guests but we’re also looking at a change in a couple of the events. With that said, let’s get into this, shall we?
According to the press release, the guests will now include Maddie Ziegler, Isabela Moner, the Eh Bee Family, the cast of “Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters”, Susan Blu, and David Ortiz, among others. This isn’t everyone; so if you want to see the entire list, just head over to the press release. Then there’s the event fiasco.
Apparently, the Hall of Fame Dinner and the Movie event have been combined into one. It seems someone who is going to the con got a letter saying as such and offering a refund if he couldn’t attend on Saturday. I’m going to give that a second to sink in and then I’m going to get into my thoughts below the fold.
All right, I’m going to cover my feelings about the combining the two Transformer VIP events first, as this was one of the things that was bothering me. I’m willing to bet that this is happening because the Movie event didn’t get enough attendees; I hate to say it but the reaction to The Last Knight has been tepid at best. Even some hardcore fans are not happy with the film. (I enjoyed it but even I have to admit that yes, there were some problems with it.) In fact, most of my friends, and that includes the one who is actually going to attend this train wreck, said that the only VIP event they’d attend would be the Hall of Fame Dinner. No one seemingly wanted to go anywhere near the Movie event!
That’s not good. I can’t sugarcoat this; if the hardcore fans want nothing to do with the latest Transformers movie, there’s a major problem. That’s not even touching on the the low box office take. So it’s fairly obvious to me that the attendance for the second VIP event just wasn’t cutting it and rather than cancelling it, this was the next best thing. But it also shows a general lack of enthusiasm for not just the movie but for this convention as well. Now, about those guests, which is another kettle of fish.
Alright, I’ll be the first to admit: I’d love to get David Ortiz’s autograph on one of his Timber Rattlers bobbleheads. He got his start with the TRats so it’s only fitting. Sure, I’m not a Red Sox fan but since he was part of the TRat Nation, I’d be happy to make an exception. The Eh Bee family makes some sense, as they happen to be family friendly YouTubers and they’ll appeal to some of the kids. No, it doesn’t make sense in the “what do they have to do with Hasbro” vein but it makes perfect sense in the “we want this to be family friendly” vein. The cast of Stretch Armstrong is a massive “Yeah, I saw that one coming” so they fit perfectly. The same with Isabela Moner; she was in The Last Knight–and didn’t get nearly enough screen time in my opinion–so it makes sense for her to make an appearance.
As for the rest of the guests, all I can say is this sounds like pure desperation. Seriously. Hasbro is going to pull in some sportsball guys in order to get some of the locals in the door in the hopes to bulk up their attendance numbers. That is the only reason why Hasbro would invite these guys. Sure, it might work to get more local residents interested in this but the fans? Not so much, unless they have some sort of connection to the players in question. With David Ortiz, I could justify nabbing an autograph from him because of his time in Fox Cities Stadium. There’s an actual reason in my interest. But the others? Nope. I don’t know them, haven’t followed their teams and have no desire to spend however long standing in line to have them scrawl their names on any OYO figures* I may have. (Not that I’d have any but still!)
This makes sense in the dollars and cents way. But it doesn’t make sense from a fandom perspective. Yes, there are sports fans who happen to like various Hasbro franchises but this convention is supposed to be about the Hasbro franchises and not sports. If Hasbro had decided to host a local sports card show, this move would fit perfectly. But in this environment, it smacks of grasping at straws. There’s a desperation to this and it just doesn’t sit well with me. I can’t help but feel that Hasbro has no idea what they are doing and I keep losing more and more confidence in this endeavor, not that I had a lot in the first place.
On a more positive note, Pete’s Robot Convention will be gearing up for another go-round next year. We’ll also have TFCon as well, Primus willing. They may not be official but at least we Transfans won’t lack for get-togethers. There’s that, at least.
*What are OYO figures? Well, they are Lego-style sports figures and they are officially licensed. Interested? Just point your browser here and take a look around. Who knows, you might find something that you like.