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Thursday, May 30, 2024

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MegaCon Orlando 2024 recap

Recap and photos by Mike Newnam

The mid 1980s was a influential time for science fiction entertainment content for pop culture and more specifically kids and teens. Two intellectual properties that began in that era and still resonate in the zeitgeist of pop culture worldwide today are Transformers and Back to the Future. They have remained popular by very different methods. Transformers has been rebooted and spun off with constant television shows and movies. While BTTF on the other hand, mostly had a movie trilogy and has been dormant in visual media for the better part of three decades. Just like it did in the 2021 comic crossover these two intellectual juggernauts collided in Orlando for MegaCon 2024.

Opening the convention on the first day was the main cast of BTTF, including the four main stays of the trilogy – Christopher Lloyd (Doc), Michael J. Fox (Marty), Tom Wilson (Biff), and Lea Thompson (Lorraine). It is rare to have all four of these talented actors in the same place at the same time. Attendees could meet all four of them separately or together as a group for autographs and/or photographs. The lines for Christopher and Michael stretched for multiple hours daily, while Lea and Tom drew their own large crowds for their individual lines. With Marty and Doc in such demand, fans could get their BTTF fix by chatting up Biff and Lorraine. Tom Wilson was quick with a joke and a friendly smile that could charm any stick in the mud. Lea is the definition of beauty and grace, she was elegant but approachable and happy to meet her fans to share in their memories and joy. Thursday night culminated in a panel starring the four actors all on stage together telling stories and answering questions from a moderator. This is where Tom Wilson really shined with his wonderful anecdotes and charisma. His demeanor and gravitas couldn’t be more different than his most famous portrayal of the generational bully family of Biff. A true pleasure to see these four friends come together to share their experience with so many that hold it dear to there hearts.

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Perhaps the top highlight for 1980s fans of science fiction were the appearance of Transformers’ voice actors Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) and Frank Welker (Megatron). These gentlemen have voiced their respective characters since their inception. The lines for their signings and photo opportunities extended for hours all four days of the convention. It was obvious their impact has stretched through multiple generations. Not only could fans meet these legends in person to receive autographs or photographs, there were even opportunities to get a voice recording from the two iconic actors. To cap it all off was a grand finale panel on Sunday with interviews and tales from their storied careers. Transformers fans were treated to plethora of content that would make any Autobot or Decepticon proud.

This year the fine crew of Fan Expo staff went all out to bring one of the largest gatherings of celebrity meet and greets under one roof at MegaCon. With nearly 100 celebrities from gaming, animation, television, and movies spanning from Star Wars to Stranger Things, Baldur’s Gate to Futurama there was something for everyone. But for many fans, dreams came true with the main cast from two of the most influential intellectual properties from the mid 1980s. The positive stories and messages these two franchises provided for many people through the decades have shaped them into the humans they are today. The future is what you make of it, so roll out and make it a good one!

Were you at MegaCon Orlando 2024? What were your highlights? Feel free to leave a comment below or chat with us on Twitter/X at @TheConCollectve, Threads at @theconventioncollective, or Bluesky at @theconcollective.bsky.social

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