June 19 and 20, 2010. Megatrade hall. It has been more than a week since the 9th Philippine Toycon has successfully been wrapped up. Albeit not as grand as last year’s event and with a few hiccups, I can safely assume that it has met my expectations.
The usual toy retailers were there. But the specialty toy shops were what really caught my fancy. Vintage toys galore where keen-eyed collectors scour their tables for little treasures. There was a booth which sold Coca-cola memorabilia. Pretty spiffy. There were those that also had GI Joes, Transformers and Centurions from the 80’s for sale, boy those things bring back memories. One distributor who I had the pleasure of meeting was the official distributor of Takara Tomy Blythe dolls. I’m sure many local doll enthusiasts would be quite happy about it. While the event goers and sellers may have changed since the 1st time Toycon opened its doors, the spirit of its patrons has nary changed throughout the years. There is something for the child in every one of us.
Various Toy and collectors groups were also on hand at the conference hall with their displays. Gunpla builders with their shiny mechs; Military kit builders with well weathered tanks and planes; the GIJoe Club, a regular attendee with their GIJoe dioramas, had an arctic theme this year. And detolf display cases lined up with various displays from different clubs. One display that caught my gamer eye. A Display cabinet of supposedly working condition gaming consoles from as early as I could remember them. There was even a game and watch, couldn’t tell if it was still working though. One group who wasn’t in attendance, or I could have simply missed, Manika Manila. Although I saw several folks with BJD’s and other kinds of Custom dolls walking the halls, I didn’t see an actual display of a certain Custom doll oriented group, aside that is from the Blythe distributor I met earlier in the day.
Unlike last year’s highlight where they launched the GI Joe and Bay-formers toy line in conjunction with their respective movie franchises, Maxi Collector took the spotlight with no less than a bunch of Ironman and Star Wars busts. To assert their presence, they had a half scale statue of tin head himself; blingy led lit eyes, reactor and all. Alodia also made an appearance on the 1st day to promote Kotobukiya books’ second installment of their Otacool brand. Missed out on that bit though as I was only present during the 2nd day festivities.
Pretty much traversed the venue til closing time, albeit sans Vader helm. However, I caught a few folks somewhat emulating the style; Vader helm + office wear. It’s a fleeting thought that I may have influenced a trend with the local con-goers. But then again I’ve seen several people come to events wearing a suit and a mask of some popularly ubiquitous pop culture character. The programs were also entertaining. Budding local artists, Odessa and Reklamo to name a few, played their hearts out for the crowd, which was also well received. Local Youtube phenom Lady Gagita and Haronce were also on hand to provide entertainment. While cosplay groups, both competitive and performing, wowed the crowds.
As this entry has come way after a lot of blogs, I can’t help but notice that there were some people who were more than just unsatisfied by the event. Some have even gone so far as say that the event was a “fail” (I’m lookin at you jowy). I know that any event isn’t without its detractors, you can’t please everyone and all that hullabaloo, as well as cosplays will definitely be mainstays of just about any pop culture centric event. But for the love of Chuck Norris, don’t expect cosplays that are more or less familiar only to the hardcore otaku or the wayward weaboo to be showing up at the likes of Toycon and, in a few months time, the Metro Comic con. Like I said, this year’s Toycon wasn’t by any chance bigger than last year but of course met its goal; showcase toys and the pop culture associated with it, in this case, DC Comics’ 75th anniversary. If you want to see the likes of man-faye or a maid cafe, go to the next Ozine hosted event.
TV Network GMA7 was also on hand as a major sponsor with their booth showcasing some of the costumes used for some of their Fantasy TV Series. Where as E-games promoted their new MMORPG’s and sponsored the group cosplay competition as well as the long running Gamer Girl Cosplay competition.