photo shamelessly stolen from alphie at TFW2005This past weekend at Botcon, while the last year of Transformers Cybertron weighed heavily on our minds, and the new Transformers Classics line captured our attention with every peek, there was little doubt that an unstoppable force was looming ready to make or break Transformers.
Thats force was without question, the 2007 Transformers movie from director Michael Bay.

First thing anyone saw after entering the gates to the convention was a giant fist with a countdown time to the 7-4-7 release date. A quick sweep around it, there was no doubt it was the hand of Optimus Prime.

Once inside, the Hasbro booth was supplying Autobot and Decepticon car magnets with 7-4-7 printed on them. All their reps seemed trained to dodge any movie questions.

Activision had a small booth promoting the new Transformers Game, which was officially announced for Xbox 360. I pressed the reps for info, but aside from mentioning it would be multiplatform and based on the movie, they had nothing.

On Saturday’s Hasbro panel is where news finally broke. Hasbro has historically allowed no cameras, audio or video during their panel, and this was no exception. Except that they reminded us AGAIN. Michael Bay had sent over an approx. 2 minute video from the set. Prime’s truck roared through the frame, Bumblebee out ran Barricade, and smashed through a window… and then explosions. Cars flying, a bus igniting and splitting in half, mixed shots of cast and extras running from a CG menace to be added later. When the lights went up, all anyone could do was demand it be played again. As we let out of the panel, it looked like half the fans in the room were on cellphones trying to reach anyone who wasn’t attending to let them know what they’d just seen.

This was easily the highlight, but not the end. Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime mentioned during his panel that he’s signed a 3 picture deal. That doesn’t mean we get 3 movies, but it does mean Paramount/Dreamworks want him available to do a Transformers 2 and 3. Cullen also announced the Make Prime Speak contest, where fans can submit a single line of dialog for the heroic Autobot leader. Submissions end on Oct 12, and voting begins on Oct 16, so if you want in, do it now!

Finally, Botcon 2007 has been announced at the Rhode Island Convention Center for June 28, 2007 thru July 1, 2007. This is significant for 2 reasons: Its in the backyard of Hasbro World Headquarters, and its mere days before the movie’s release. Nothing else has been announced, but I’d be surprised if the red carpet movie premiere isn’t right there.