Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Toys, Hobbies, Collectibles and Cosplay… Oh, My! (Toycon Part 1 of 2)

Toys, Hobbies, Collectibles and Cosplay… Oh, My! (Toycon Part 1 of 2)
by Kat Valdes and Mark Poa


Kat: The time had finally come for one of the biggest & most-awaited events -- the 6th Annual Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention. This year’s Toycon promised a massive two-day event by holding the affair at both Megatrade Halls 2 and 3. With an extra hall for the event, it was not impossible to expect things such as a larger crowd, more cosplayers, more booths, more collectibles, and more events.

Mark: As a comic book fan, gamer, and anime enthusiast, ToyCon is simply the biggest event of the year, with enough stuff for hobbyists of all types.

Kat: At any large convention such as this, there was one thing we couldn't avoid: long lines at the ticket booth. But despite the long lines, it was a welcome surprise to find out that tickets were sold at a mere 70 pesos! That was a bargain, considering what was inside.

Mark: I went to the convention early on Day 1 and already it was packed with people. The larger space, however, helped to spread out the crowd a bit. The booths in Megatrade Hall featured a good assortment of different booths... and even ones selling new types of toys and games.

Kat: The first thing I saw when I entered via Megatrade Hall 2 were booths. Most of the stalls at the west side were for the budget-conscious, while the ones on the east side were for the real collectors. Aside from the usual VCD, DVD, magazine and manga stalls, there were a number of food stalls, a lot of toys and collectibles, and sponsor booths which were mostly gaming-related. By the way, did you see the wandering Stormtroopers? They were dangerous. I do hope you stayed away from them… although I bet you didn’t.

Mark: You bet right! The Star Wars Dark Side cosplayers rocked.

Kat: This year’s Toycon also featured the first Filipino-themed cosplay gallery, FilCosplay’s Cosplay Culture: Filipino Flavor . The gallery included images of cosplayers depicting aspects of Filipino culture. Some of the crowd favorites were Zack and Cloud’s pedicab ride, Son Gokou buying sorbetes ("dirty" ice cream), and Ichigo doing the laundry using, well, Bleach. While looking at what the booths had to offer, I couldn't help but notice the wandering, eye-catching cosplayers, especially the mecha. Also, it was not hard to notice that a huge chunk of the crowd was waiting for the cosplay event.

Mark: With the live-action Transformers movie showing in just a few weeks, it wasn’t surprising to see that several cosplayers chose to adopt a mecha theme. However, it was surprising to see a group of old-school Transformers cosplayers depicting fan-favorites such as Optimus Prime, Brawl, Devastator, Rumble, Frenzy, Elita-One, and Shockwave. Shockwave and Optimus Prime, in particular, attracted an early crowd of gawkers and photographers.

Several of the booths held special events and contests such as Red Fox’s Delete the File contest, e-Games’ Granado Espada tournament, and Psicom’s Sudoku competition. This kept participants occupied for a good while.

READ MORE HERE for page 1, 2 and 3


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