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Hacker's 2004 OTFCC 



Ah, so here is finally is, the great 20th Anniversary of Optimus Prime. The one convention I’d been waiting an entire year to get back to.

The drive from home took longer than usual, eight hours instead of the usual six, but then we hit Chicago traffic pretty hard and then we took a wrong turn somewhere, but we got there with about three hours till the bus for the dinner left.

I checked in and went and got registered with my little badge. Pre-registrants also got the cool little info booklet containing some awesome pictures which you can see at the bottom of the page, and two packets of Transformers Energon game cards. Of course I wandered around a bit, exploring what I would call home for the next two days.

Dragonsflyame called me when she reached Chicago and we met up in the lobby where she showed off her new toys, plus an old favorite from last year, Tarry. The Dinobot/Rattrap combo was a huge hit to everyone as we tried to pass the time for the dinner. We almost missed the coaches, talking to more Transformer fans, but we made it aboard with our little band of transformers. I had Megatron with me and Dragonsflayme wanted to show the Dinobot and Rattrap to Scott McNeil at the dinner.... heheh.

The drive to the dinner was around half an hour, again with the Chicago traffic. We arrived to this dinner performance place and found that our evening activities would have NOTHING to do with our beloved Transformers. It was a mystery “Who dun it?” play with which the guests, us, could participate while eating dinner.

It’s not even worth trying to explain how everything goes. Most of us at the dinner weren’t happy that the dinner wouldn’t be around the whole “Who killed Optimus Prime” theme so we just sat there and ate the not-so-good pizza served to us fancy style. :-P Luckily, the dinner exclusives and the introduction of the special guests well made up for everything that had happened.

The dinner exclusives happened to be two pictures of the original Optimus Prime and Megatron, signed by their voice actors! You can view the pictures below as well. Also Melissa (Dragonsflayme) and I got to meet Scott McNeil that night. I wish you all could have been there to see how we got his attention. Melissa took her Rattrap and Dinobot (sitting on a remote control car) and drove it right in front of Scott... Well...he saw it and boy did he get a kick outta that! We almost didn’t think we’d get the little zipzap back.

While we had his attention, I asked McNeil if he’d like to join us the following evening for a late movie after the live script reading. He said he’d love to if he could break away from the convention. Right after we finished that, he saw my shirt (Got Scott? on one side and a picture of all 4 of his BW characters) He took me by the shoulders and read it again, “You poor poor person!!” Then he hugged me, “Don’t they have a psychiatric hospital for you somewhere? It’s so wrong, but then it’s so right in a weird kind of way...”

^_^ That was fun, you can see more pictures below, even Scott playing with the remote controlled Rattrap/Dinobot...which I have to send him a picture of.


So, after all that was done we all go and get back on the buses and head back to the hotels talking about the end of the evening. There was a parts party down in the lobby of the Double Tree, so we dropped our stuff off in our rooms and headed down to play with Tarry and Rattrap/Dinobot before we’d have to go to bed to prepare for the next day.


Day 2


Finally, the first day of the convention! I didn’t get much sleep the night before mainly for two reasons. One, I was really excited, two, there was this STUPID drive in movie that played on into the early hours of the morning right across the street. You could hear everything.

Anyway, I get up at 7, having made plans to meet Melissa in the lobby at 8:30. I had a very small breakfast of an apple turnover, I didn’t want to go anywhere for food and miss the opening of the dealer room doors at 9. Great minds think alike and as the day went on we learned that meals weren’t very popular with us Transformer fans.

I met up with Melissa in the lobby and we headed over to the convention. We were headed for the art room to drop off her stuff and she has some awesome art work of Grimlock and Starscream!

Unfortunately the art room wasn’t open yet so we had nothing to do until nine, except wander around the tons of people waiting in line to get into the dealer room to add to their own transformer collection. There was even a news crew going around shooting footage of this event, which will probably show up in some random Transformers season set, so keep your eyes open.

We walk around a little more and stumbled upon Outtsyder, who I met at last year’s convention in line for the voice impression contest. He would also be joining us for the movie, we told him the good news about Scott agreeing to come with us and we played around with the remote controlled transformers until we decided to go and drop off the paintings in the art room.

The dealer room was huge this year, though no matter the size it was filled with Transformers, posters, t-shirts, etc. The list just goes on and on. Outtsyder left us to head off to his autograph session with the VA’s and Melissa and I took the grand tour around, buying this and that.

Our travels took us outside the dealer room to the smaller event rooms. MSTF: The Return started at 11, and just for the sake of killing time we went in. This was most enjoyable watching episodes of Go-bot and G1 Transformers while M Sipher and others commented.

Lunchtime came and went. Melissa and I stopped to eat at the covenant concession stand right in the dealer room. We had to decide our next course of action. We had an hour before the most anticipated voice impression contest, so we decided to take a small break over in our hotel rooms before we headed back into the heart of the convention.

The voice impression contest was held in the autograph room. Seats had been set this year in front of the judges table, much to everyone’s delight. You walk around that convention all day and see what happens. You will get tired.

Once more we met up with Outtsyder, who had waited the entire year for another shot at winning. There was a long line of participants, all very good and very interesting. Poor Scott though, almost half of the people in the line had Waspinator impressions to show off.

Outtsyder knocked down the competition with quite a selection of voices and different scenes from BW. He reenacted the scene between Rattrap and Dinobot on the Axalon from the episode Code of Hero. You all know the one. Push it one more inch...

When Outtsyder was announced the winner, he jumped out of his seat and shouted for joy causing everyone in the room to turn and give him the crazed look. After that was all done, they took him away with the other winner to practice for the live script reading later that evening at 7.

Melissa and I stayed behind, for our autograph session was next. The session started at 4, but we didn’t get through it until 5:30. Dan Gilvenzan, voices of Hot Spot and Bumblebee, I met first. Next in line was Michael McConnohie, voices of Tracks, Cosmos, and Hot Shot. Very charming I have to say, I got away with a kiss on the hand. ^___^

Last but certainly not least, was Scott McNeil. He had the longest line out of all the voice actors. Before we could join up in his line, we were told that we had to clear the room because the convention center had rented it out for some wedding reception that evening.

All the voice actors, being so wonderful, they all just moved right outside the doors and continued to sign autographs for us crazy fans. We finally got up to McNeil whom I had sign a bunch of things, including my “Got Scott” t-shirt.

By the time we cleared out of the convention center it was nearing 6 and we were very hungry. Joined by one of Melissa’s friends, Jeff, we headed off to our rooms to drop off all of our goodies and pick up some more cash for tonight. Melissa’s dad drove all three of us to the McDonalds for food before we could starve in the middle of the live script reading.

The live script reading was amazing. There’s nothing else much that can describe it. Music provided by Vince DiCola, I highly recommend you find his cd. The voice actors delivered one heck of a performance, as well as both of the contest winners. Melissa recorded all of the script reading and the voice actor panel, I was not fortunate enough to stay around for. I hope to have a copy of both so we can get it posted on this site in the future.

After all that was finished, we sadly learned that Scott McNeil couldn’t join us that evening for the movie, seeing as there was this dinner that he had to attend. Oh well, there’s always next year, ne?



Day 3


We managed to get back to the hotel around 1:30 in the morning. I didn’t get much sleep again due to in part to the drive-in movie across the street and the fact that I would be leaving the convention at 11.

I got up around 8 and rushed through some morning stuff to head off again to the convention floor. I stopped and got my convention t-shirt and toy exclusive. I also bought another Decepticon t-shirt and a cool poster to hang in my room.

We met up with Outtsyder and headed off to the art room to vote on it all before I had to leave. I did one last go-around the dealer room to see if I missed anything at all. Finally last pictures with Outtsyder and Melissa and the convention was over for me.


Below are some scans of the stuff Hacker got from the convention.  



First picture we have here is the one and only Scott McNeil's signature! You have to give him a big hand for this, when they kicked us out of the autograph room, the VA's stayed to sign all of the waiting fans
stuff outside of the room!

Next up is Dan Gilvezan's auto. The VA for Bumblebee
and Hot Shot! :-D Great guy! Very funny ^_^


Michael McConnohie's autograph was next, very polite. Kissed my hand after asking if I had washed it recently...^_^ If you can't read what it says "To Jenny - Keep the Spark"

The next picture is just a scan of the official guide booklet for the convention. It contains information for the layout of the dealer room hall, and also where the art contest room is, as well at the autograph area. It also contains the schedule for the weekend, very important when mapping out what you wanna do!


Contained in the guide were many collages of the characters for the voice actors, this was Scott's if you couldn't tell. An amazing art work I sadly didn't get signed, I already had too much to ask to be signed...

And last but certainly not least, A funny collage
celebrating the 20th anniversary of Optimus Prime! ^_^


First, we have the dinner hall they put us in! This place was a good 20 minute drive from the hotel. It was packed with 320+ transformer fans. The VA's were smart and stayed outside of the room. 

Next we have a wonderful picture. Melissa had a little remote control toy of Rattrap and Dinobot which she made herself. After the dinner to get Scott's attention, she ran the thing right in front of him! Well, he saw it and had to try it out for himself! 

This next picture is of myself and Scott McNeil. He spotted my shirt and gave me a hug while asking if there was a psychiatric hospital somewhere for me. ^_^ 

Next up is a picture of Dan Gilvezan and Michael McConnohie at the live script reading Saturday night. Both giving great performances despite some bad acting ;-) (joke) I'm sorry for the lighting... 

Next picture is all of the va's in the live script reading, including the winners of the voice impression contest held earlier that day. One of the winners was Outtsyder, whom I met at last years convention. 


Now we have a picture of the script reading where Scott was Waspinator for a part and suddenly, everyone wants to blow Waspy to scrap...surprise surprise! 

And here we have Vince DeCola! Master of the music for transformers! I recommend his new cd to everyone, it's amazing! 

Finally, we have a parting picture of Dragonsflayme and myself. This was Sunday morning and time for me to take my leave! *cries*


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