So, I'm not going to Botcon again this year. While getting to go two years ago in 2010 was a blast, the main reason I was able to attend was that it was within a half-day's drive and I could stay for free in Orlando at my cousin's place. Last year was California, so that was a no-go, and this year is Dallas (which my sister-in-law, of course, just moved back from earlier in 2011). Basically, unless it's Atlanta sometime, I'm probably not going again.
Which is (sort of) fine for this year. The box set manages to do what I've wanted since 2008: revisit of the Shattered Glass universe! However, sort of interestingly, it's only half SG - the other toys are "Classicsverse" (referring to the 2007 set), and FunPub's versions of G1 characters tend to leave me wanting something better. So, it's a bit of a mixed bag, and as such, I'm most likely not ordering the entire non-attendee set, but will try to buy a couple of the toys from other Allsparkers if possible (it worked well for me in 2008 when I managed to get SG Starscream for only $50).
So, here're the toys:
SG Ultra Magnus: A repaint of RtS "Laser"/G2 Optimus Prime, and possibly with that mold's preexisting second head, Ultra Magnus is a must-own for me. Unfortunately, he's also a pretty popular character amongst most of the fandom, so he may be expensive. by the way, he's in "Powered Convoy" colors - the colors his G1 toy had in its original Japanese Diaclone form before being released as UM in the US.
SG Soundwave: a remold (new head) of Universe Ironhide/Ratchet, this toy is also a must-own, despite not being a great mold. SG Soundwave is a fun character, and will go well, colors-wise, with the SG Ravage I already own from 2010.
SG Tracks: a repaint of RtS Tracks, this is one I'd like to have, but don't have to have. It's basically tracks done up in Road Rage's colors (she was a G1 E Hobby repaint of Tracks) - mostly red, but some purple, too. Pretty cool, and it would also be the first non-G1 Tracks; he's actually managed to stay in just one universe since 1984!
SG Treadshot: A repaint of RtS Jazz (like Magnus, using that mold's preexisting alternate head mold). Fans assumed Treadshot would be the good version of the G1 Decepticon Action Master of the same name (and therefore perhaps be a Generations Warpath redeco, since he also has a cannon-chest). Instead, we got an homage that's much more oblique: this is the SG version of Universe (1.0) Treadshot, who was a repaint of Armada Sideswipe. Now, his colors were purple and orange (a very similar looking repaint, Oil Slick, was also released in Universe). However, SG Treadshot ends up using the colors of the source mold, Armada Sideswipe, which are blue and orange. It looks really nice, but the character is such a nobody that, unless I were buying the whole set I probably wouldn't want him. Too bad!
Classics Metalhawk: A remold (new head) of Generations Thunderwing, Metalhawk mostly looks like his pretender shell (the new head is human!). While I don't really care about Metalhawk as a character, this toy does look good, and I'm a fan of the mold. Again, if I were getting the whole set, I'd be excited about this guy, but as is, I think I can pass on him (the human head is, honestly, a turn-off; I would have liked the Club Comic's hybrid design using the shell's helmet over the inner robot's head).
Classics Gigatron (Overlord): A remold (surprise! new head) of RotF Bludgeon, Overlord is supposed to be a toy of the G1 guy, but using a movie line mold (a first for FP, by the way) with a G1 head is pretty off-putting. Also, I think they went with "Gigatron" because this toy is really only half of Overlord - just the tank half. While the colors look great, this is really the only true dud in the set, and what has really kept me from wanting to go all in. If, for some reason, I do end up trying to purchase the non-attendee set, I'll be selling this guy, stat.