There will be more than meets the eye in downtown Nashville this weekend as The Original Transformers Fan Convention, BotCon, has finally arrived in Tennessee!
From August 25th to 28th, Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville Downtown will host the event as fans of the Transformers toys, comic books, television shows, video games, graphic novels, feature films and more will congregate to celebrate their favorite factions. Autobots and Decepticons will be the primary focus, but there are many others present as well.
A variety of featured guests will be attending the show, including legendary animation voice actors Frank Welker and Gregg Berger, along with Jeanne Carr, David Kaye, Michael McConnohie, Samantha Newark and Melodee M. Spevack. Original comic book writers/artists Bob Budiansky and Simon Furman bring their expertise to the convention as well.
Autograph and photo-op sessions will definitely be in demand all weekend with these celebrity guests, as well as one of the biggest things this convention has been known for throughout the years: Exclusive toys! BotCon offers one-of-a-kind items unavailable in any retail store. Collectors kinda go crazy for them! And they will quickly sell out — they always do! The secondary market for these things always goes up!
The show’s vendor room is always a highlight, as sellers offer a random assortment of items from The Transformers Universe for sale, but there will also be other items for fans to purchase. And there will be customization classes, panels featuring the celebrity guests, as well as a script reading!
Four different ticket packages are available for attendees to choose from, including VIP, Premium, Standard Weekend and even a Non-Attending Package! Collectors of all ages and price brackets should find an option that suits them the best.
As a life-long fan of The Transformers, I’ve attended many a BotCon show throughout the years, and loved them all. Originally, this was a pre-World Wide Web fan-run event showcasing everything the franchise had to offer. Starting in 1994, this annual convention has rotated throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and even Asia! At one point, the show split into separate events and later Hasbro acquired the license to run the official show, but those turbulent times are through and the fans are back at bringing a show for themselves.
It’s pretty cool that Tennessee has FINALLY gotten a chance to shine, showcasing its ability to host a major tourist event, when that seems to be one of the biggest money-makers of the state, year-round. I only wish Nashville could have hosted BotCon many years earlier. While I’ll always cherish Generation 1, it’s safe to say I enjoyed that topic much more many years ago. I’m no longer a collector of the comics and toys (although those original items are worth $$$BIG BUCKS$$ now!), but I’ve never really stopped enjoying those characters, only via a different format.
Many years ago, during the dark days of Ebay and attending many small comic conventions, I located a couple of vendors who had stumbled upon a cache of hand-drawn animation cels from G1. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I’d found so many unique items from my childhood that were impossible to pass up. I purchased a handful of cels, along with their hand-painted backgrounds and framed them, forever linking my childhood to the franchise.
I’m definitely a Child of the ’80s and cannot wait to see what BotCon ’22 has to offer in Tennessee!