BotCon Encourages Men to be Boys Again

Transformers movie toys hit store shelves Saturday.

Is there anything more repulsive to a gorgeous woman than a "Star Wars" nerd, a "Lord of the Rings" geek or a comic book fanboy? How about a grown man who collects Transformers toys with an unholy passion usually reserved for blood thirsty bounty hunters?

Most women may not love Transformers dorks, but Hasbro sure does.

Kids of all ages, toy collectors and movie fans will be in Transformers paradise this weekend at the annual BotCon convention in Pasadena, Calif.

Known as “BotCon” (with syllables taken from the Autobots and Transformers, respectively), the convention is annually the largest official gathering of Transformers fans in the world and is open to both collectors and non-collectors -- and the young and young-at-heart.

It's been 25 years since the original Transformers cartoon series hit the airwaves, but the popularity of the franchise has never been higher. Good versus evil, Autobots versus Decepticons, Optimus Prime versus Megatron. It's this basic conflict and a brilliant toy line based on robots turning into vehicles and back again that has helped fuel the fanboy fires and made Hasbro a healthy chunk of change over the years.

The Transformers popularity became cemented in the pop culture’s upper echelon following the 2007 release of the first live-action Transformers movie. The blockbuster film, directed by Michael Bay, grossed more than $700 million worldwide at the box office and sent kids and grown ups to the toy aisle in droves.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be a Transformers fan and collector than now,” said Brian Savage, director of the Transformers Collectors’ Club.  “Fans worldwide are buzzing about the upcoming live-action movie Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen."

This year's BotCon convention rolled into the Pasadena Convention center on Thursday, but it kicks into high gear Friday through Sunday. It will be jam packed with activities for attendees of all ages. There are Transformers contests for kids, exclusive collectors sets to buy, panel discussions and this year some guests will see exclusive footage of the "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" movie due to hit theaters on June 24.

The new movie toys hit stores this Saturday and there has been no shortage of feverish anticipation for them on Transformers fan sites like or

Fanboys and Transformers dorks make for great punchlines, but they have nothing to be ashamed of. After all, what are men but grown boys with better paying jobs.

Sure my beautiful wife would rather I did normal grown up things like frequent strip clubs or shoot heroin, but alas that's not me. I've embraced my inner geek and live a peaceful existence without shame. At the end of the day I'll be perfectly content to fiddle around with a $10 toy robot in my living room as I unwind from a hard day at the office. My only regret is I'm not in Pasadena with my fellow Transformers dorks this weekend.

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