Another HasCon Update: Now With Extra Guests, Among Other Things

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.


About Silverwynde

I'm a Transformers fan, Pokémon player, Brewers fan and all-out general nerd. I rescue abandoned Golett, collect as many Bumblebee decoys and figures as I can find and I've attended every BotCon since 1999. I'm also happily married to a fellow Transfan named Prime and we are both owned by a very intelligent half-Siamese cat. Life is pretty darned awesome.
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2 Responses to Another HasCon Update: Now With Extra Guests, Among Other Things

  1. DeviceDude says:

    I find it interesting that Walter Koenig of the original Star Trek Series and the 1st 6 ST movies will be at HasCon too. 🙂

    Letter?! I have received no such letter. On 1 hand I was disappointed there were 2 separate TF dinners that you’d have to pay for each to be at. That was pure exploitation. On the other hand, it just made more sense and it’s simply better to have 1 TF dinner event as the GI Joe and MLP brands are having as opposed to 2.

    It’s very likely the Movie dinner had few takers given fan and box-office reaction to Movie5. Even though there were many things about it I liked, my judgment on it is that it MUST move in a different direction. My biggest pet peeve? Having the robots use corny dialogue and characterizations that as an old-school fan, make me miss characterizations from the G1 and Beast series era even more. I find it ridiculous that the new Hound is portrayed as smoking a cigar. Most movies don’t portray smoking anymore and parents taking kids to movies don’t want them to start that habit.

    Before this development, if I had to choose between the 2 dinners, I chose the Hall of Fame if only because BotCons had that before. :/ I actually am uncomfortable with myself in feeling how The Last Knight was produced but even I cannot deny feeling cringed or embarrased with how Transformers are being portrayed. Hopefully the Bumblebee movie will be the start of lessons learned and applied.

    Regarding the guest listing, it is an Act of…Desperation. I still fail to see how Florida 😉 is Hasbro-related (enlighten me on where he fits in) or the football and baseball players being invited. I am apprehensive that I will be at a lightly-attended convention. Or turnout might be modest. Who knows? I’ve always said that first impressions are overrated like Krispy Kreme donuts. It does not mean that they have no importance at all. And for Hasbro to pull off all of these publicity stunts to attract attention is pathetic. Have they not learned from BotCons and JoeCons the mix of guests, products and events that generate great turnouts? They’ve had since 2015 to study all of them before they announced BC ’16 would be the last. They are setting this up for failure which in turn raises worries of what will and/what won’t they do for fans and events in the future?

    I am glad to hear of Pete’s Robot Convention and TFCon as alternatives. Hell, I’d even go to a JoeCon if it meant getting together with my “framily” again.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Silverwynde says:

    It seems if you were planning on attending both TF VIP events, you got the letter. There were a few people out there who opted to pay for both, though I don’t see as to why they’d want to do that. Me, I’d stick with the Hall of Fame dinner.

    I can see why they’d be forced to combine the two TF events; even most of our friends in this neck of the woods didn’t enjoy TLK. The movie got mixed to poor reviews even by hardcore fans and I can understand why. Personally, I was irritated that we spent most of the movie on Earth; what were Optimus and Quintessa doing on Cybertron? How was Quintessa screwing around with Optimus’s head? Was she trying to goad him or break him? Why did Optimus accept her offer so meekly? There was so much we could have seen, so many potential story lines that could have happened but we never got them. Instead, as someone else put it, we were stuck with a robotic version of National Treasure.

    The only ‘bot that got decent characterization was Cogman, which was because he was present in more scenes than Bumblebee or Hot Rod or Hound. Hot Rod was supposed to be Vivian’s protector, but he ended up looking like a damned kidnapper due to the lack of characterization. That irritated me like you wouldn’t believe, as this Hot Rod was being set up to be less annoying than the ’86 version. Hell, we don’t even know what happened to Grimlock or the baby Dinobots! There were so many plot holes that needed to be rectified, so many things that were overlooked but shouldn’t have been, so much wasted damn potential that it’s upsetting.

    The early news on the Bumblebee film is that there is more of a focus on character. Good, because if this one gets effed up, there will be hell to pay. Do right by my baby or else! 😉

    I’m thinking these guests are being invited to bulk up local ticket sales. How else do you get locals to something? Invite a sportsball guy. Since Hasbro is now offering HTS gift cards to those purchasing a VIP ticket or extra events, it really sounds like they aren’t meeting their expectations.

    The whole thing sounds like it isn’t going over all that well with most fans. We’ll see how successful this is in less than a month.


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