Tuesday, January 1, 2008

About Toy Con 2008

Mega Event about Toys, Comics, Movies, Animation and more.

The Philippines has seen a major boom in the hobbies and collectibles circuit. Many Filipinos have created a growing market for toys, graphic art, books, cards, games and whatever items that set a trend for collections. Small hobby shops and tight-knit collectors' groups and publications have mushroomed around the country indicating a growing consciousness and excitement for all things collectible. Collecting is a hobby that encompasses all age groups and economic classes. It is with this knowledge that a group called Collectibles Unlimited Association, Inc. was created to cater to the organizational needs of this emerging market.

The group organized the first four major Toys and Collectibles conventions held at the SM Megamall in 2003. Both events met with tremendous success and have firmly consolidated Collectibles Unlimited as the prime event organizer in the collectibles market. This year, the group expands its market to include not just the collectors market but the hobby market as well.

Collectibles Unlimited in partnership with MEGATRADEHALL, Warner Bros, Fudge Magazine and other sponsors.
invites everyone to the 7th Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention 2008.

If you’re looking for that hard to find item to complete your collection or looking for the latest games and coolest hobbies in the country, here's the event you've been waiting for! Get in on the action and find the best collectible among toys, comic books, cards, games, vintage items, manga-anime and a whole lot more! Shop and swap to your heart’s content and also win prizes for on-the-spot toy creations, costume play, trivia and art contests.

The Joys of Collecting

For those of you who buy toys and just simply enjoy it by taking it out of the package and playing with it, well and good. But some people buy toys, keep it in the package in mint condition and either display it or store it away as a future memorabilia.

Welcome to the world of toy collecting! This is fast becoming a very popular hobby among kids and adults alike especially those who value their toys in pristine condition sealed inside the packaging.

Almost anything can be considered collectible , but don't go storing those plastic toy soldiers and yo-yo's just yet. Collecting toys is as much a market-driven phenomena as it is a hobby. That means the demand for a certain toy, more often toys that have multiple variations, is dictated by its quality and wide popular appeal. Toys that fall into this category include action figures, dolls, die-cast cars, sports memorabilia, playing cards, faux armaments and weapons and a variety of other items.

A lot of value is also accorded to vintage items from the 70's and 80's since that was the boom of licensed toys from popular cartoons and movies like Star Wars, He-Man, Transformers, Super Friends and the like.

With the growing popularity of the toy-collecting hobby, a group called Collectibles Unlimited Association, Inc. has organized a series of events that brings together this assembly of toy aficionados. This month, Collectibles Unlimited presents the 7th Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention 2008.

This convention brings together all the top collectible licencees, exhibitors and collectors under one roof for a single day of treasure-hunting from among 100 vendors of toys, comic books, cards, games, vintage memorabilia, manga, anime and a whole lot more!

This event now encompasses not just the collectors market but the hobby and game market as well, including fantasy role-playing games, combat gaming, on-line gaming, scale modeling, graphic art illustration and other fun activities. The event will also include fun activities for kids like die-cast car racing, a book fair, art contests, costume play, coloring games, body art and figure building contests and many more.

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Toy fans "transform and roll out" to ToyCon 2007

originally posted at http://inquirerbloggers.net/hackenslash/2007/06/18/toy-fans-transform-and-roll-out-to-toycon-2007/#comment-4208

By Alex Villafania, hackenslash Reporter

WITH only two weeks left before the opening of the highly anticipated "Transformers" movie, comic fans, collectible fanatics, hobbyists and casual geeks were treated to the year's biggest toy and hobby fare, the Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention 2007 (ToyCon).

This year's ToyCon at the SM Megamall saw the biggest number of exhibitors and sponsors, many of whom are involved in the preparation for the opening of the live action flick "Transformers" which will be shown on June 28 in the Philippines, almost a week before the worldwide premier showing.

The ToyCon website even offers video streaming to highlight this year’s activities.

It's more of a Transformers event than anything else but tha's OK because everyone loved the cartoon series and the toys that came with it. Many of the hobby shops that sold Transformers merchandise already ran out of some stock"; according to Azrael Coladilla, head of the organizing committee for ToyCon.

Some of the merchandise from the "Transformers" movie as well as the older versions of the series sold just slightly higher than in some shops, though that did not stop fans from buying the more popular Transformers toys, particularly the movie version of Autobot leader Optimus Prime, which sold between P3,000 to P3,500.

There was also a booth where nearly all of the toys from the series were displayed, some of which are as old as the 1984 series and a rare few that have not been removed from their boxes yet, making them extremely expensive to purchase.

Meanwhile, the live performances gave their rendition of the catchy Transformers theme music. One band in particular, Elite Star Pilots, did a hip hop version of the Transformers opening sequence.

There was even a group of participants in the cosplay competition who donned elaborate Transformers costumes, particularly the classic Optimus Prime design and a well-detailed Decepticon Constructicon suit.

Nevertheless, many of the exhibitors still sold numerous action figures from different brands, both popular and cult classics. There were characters from Marvel and DC comics, anime TV shows, and video games.

Some shops were also giving discounts and promos, including buy one, take one offers. Specialty shops from Greenhills, Makati and Alabang were among the exhibitors who were enticing potential buyers with special promos.

We've exceeded expectations. Just for the first day, we already had 8,000 visitors and about 168 participants in the cosplay games. We expect more on the second day,"; Coladilla said.

Coladilla said the community of toy collectors and enthusiasts in the Philippines continues to be stable through the years, especially those who grew up with fond memories of the characters they read or watched.

He said the high cost of the collectibles could not deter fans from purchasing. Even having families of their own would not stop them from being fans. Some of them even go as far as saving up for months to buy an item.

a very good market for toy and specialty shops in the Philippines because there are collectors here who are willing to pay premium for the toys that they buy. This would continue to go as more kids now become fans of the toys that they are growing up with," Coladilla said.

After ToyCon 2007, Coladilla said he is preparing for another toy event on June 29, also in Megamall. This time it would be all about the “Transformers” movie.

This will be a niche event but we’re expecting fans of all ages to come,"he said.

Net helps expansion of Toycon

They're colorful, made of molded plastic or die-cast metal and are put in equally colorful boxes. They could be tiny and or life-size. Some are covered in dust and some have never left their packaging boxes. Some are cheap and some are extremely expensive. Nonetheless, everyone loves them.

They are toys. And the Internet has helped in assembling enthusiasts and beginners alike virtually and in real life for a congregation of collectibles in a hobbyist's haven.

What better way to love toys than by having a big exhibit featuring them? This was most apparent in the last Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention at the SM Megamall where thousands of people, young and old, enthusiasts and casual collectors, came together to have a visual treat of the biggest exhibit of toys and collectibles in the country.

Azrael Coladilla, the organizer of Toycon, said the event has been expanding in the last few years. Even the spacious Megatrade Hall was not big enough for this year's Toycon. They're already thinking of moving the event somewhere bigger.

"We've had nearly 100 exhibitors this year compared to just 60 to 70 in the previous years," Coladilla said.

Coladilla attributed the increasing size of Toycon to the Internet where collectors find each other through newsgroups, specialty collection sites or through trading websites.
"Many started trading collectibles through their mobile phones but it was the Internet that really boosted the industry."

He also said the movie industry made collectibles even bigger, particularly movies based on comic book or cartoon characters.

This year's Toycon, as it is called, is perhaps the biggest one ever held by Collectibles Unlimited. The SM Megatrade Hall 2, the biggest space in Megamall, was packed to the walls. Aside from representative collector shops and hobby groups, there were a slew of individuals who put up their own kiosks either to show off their collections or trade these with other rare toys. One such collector's kiosk had racks of unopened boxes of limited edition Star Wars character busts, figurines, light sabers and vehicles. There were two kiosks with mostly McFarlane or Weta Workshop action figures.

Some shops also featured hardbound and magazine Marvel, DC and Vertigo comics, trinkets, custom-designed shirts and giveaway toys from fast food shops. There were dozens of resellers of Tamiya vehicle model kits, military action figures and mecha model kits of Voltes V, Gundam and Mazinger Z. One collector even brought in a custom-made living room table with a transparent top showing unopened boxes of two Voltron Vehicle Team toys.

Two days into ToyCon and there was no slowing down of people streaming into Megatrade Hall. In fact, the organizers had to control the entry of people to avoid overcrowding. The aisles were so packed that one would have had difficulty making his way through as people huddled. But then again, business was brisk; a representative kiosk of popular anime shop 2Rats was selling anime merchandise like hotcakes. Most of their sales came from the video copies of popular anime, which they were selling for half the price. There were also manga, Japanese comics with English translations. Not surprisingly, there were a few manga that were in Japanese.

"We have a few buyers who want the Japanese versions. Pinoy sila" was the answer of the sales lady, referring to the otakus who are so addicted to everything Japanese that they even learned the language.

It wasn't hard to miss the limited-edition busts and figurines of DC, Marvel and movie characters. Major favorites were 12-inch Superman figures, especially with the screening of "Superman Returns," as well as the Terminator/Terminatrix figures and the Alien Versus Predator figures.

Coladilla said anime is also a new staple in Toycon. Whereas anime events were frequent in the country for years, Toycon only started introducing anime cosplay recently and the number of participants was a surprise even to him.

"But that's why we included anime; it's also a genre of collectibles so it is just right to get them together with the other collectors," he said.

As for next year's Toycon, Coladilla promised that it would be bigger and better than this year. There are plans of moving out to a bigger area but that may not happen until after next year.

"We've been having Toycon in SM Megamall eversince it started and we're known for having it here. Regardless I'm sure the 6 th Toycon will be an even bigger event." - Inquirer.net

The 5th Philippine Toys, Hobbies, and Collectibles Convention 2006
Event Coverage
By: Lace Llanora and Azrael Coladilla

June 17-18, 2006 - Hundreds of people lined up outside the SM Megatrade Hall 2 in a queue snaking all the way from the entrance of the convention hall to the 3rd floor of Megamall Building B. There were strangely garbed characters in full armor or elegant costumes, enthusiastic hobbyists and shoppers who’d waited all year to spend what they saved for this event, curious onlookers and of course, the kids and young at heart who were pulled in by the huge Superman display right at the entrance. Could this be the first day of one of the biggest events of the year?

A resounding YES to that. The 5th Philippine Toys, Hobbies, and Collectibles Convention 2006 was underway and looked to be bigger than anybody had ever expected. With more than 80 exhibitors and various groups participating this year, the event is the biggest collectibles and hobbies event in the Philippines so far. Organized annually by the Collectibles Unlimited Association, this much-anticipated event outdoes itself every year in terms of scale and attendance. This year was no different with almost 11,000 people filling the venue to capacity for both days of the event, toppling last year’s record attendance of about 6,000. Every year, more and more exhibitors, sponsors, cosplayers, performers and patrons participate in the event.

The SM Megatrade Hall 2, being one of the biggest venues for such conventions, still couldn’t hold all the excited patrons of this event prompting some participants to air the need to get a bigger venue next year. The line extended down two floors below the event and tickets allocated for two days ran out after day one and had to be reproduced for day two. “We under estimated the crowd again, and now we need bigger venue next year, because the hobbyists and the audience of Toycon is growing” said Vic Yap, one of the members of Collectibles Unlimited Association.

A sea of toy sellers and buyers sent waves of energy around the crowded spaces, yet despite the jam-packed venue no one seemed to mind. It was a veritable cornucopia of all things wonderful, valuable and collectible. Just imagine hunting and finding rare toys, comics, movies, artwork and other memorabilia, combined with all sorts of exciting online games, sexy cosplayers, booth babes, comic artists, celebrities, and independent rock bands all under one roof. The event was eye-candy in live action.

The event formally opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by actors and celebrity voice talents, Ricci Chan and Joseph Bitangcol, of Hero TV’s Voltes V: Evolution.

This Year’s Theme: Superman Returns

This year’s Toy Convention theme was the Superhero, celebrating the mythology and wonderment of these larger than life characters. And at the center of this all was a celebration of the return of the biggest superhero of all, Superman. A walk-in exhibit of the movie, Superman Returns greeted the attendees, satisfying them at once after they had successfully entered and battled it out in the long queue. Warner Bros. displayed various movie production photos and played all episodes of director Bryan Singer’s production video journal. Toycon goers enjoyed having their photo taken behind the huge Superman setup.

Comic artists also exhibited Superman-related artworks. Among the artists were Leinil Yu and Gerry Alanguilan. Both artists exhibited their comics cover artworks of DC Comic’s Superman Birthright. Other international comic artists like Carlo Pagulayan, Edwin David, Gilbert Monsanto and Ryan Orosco also contributed their own Superman artworks mirroring their own art styles. Roland Mechael conceptual artists of Superman PS2 game and independent artists like Adrian Arcega, Emmanuel Xerx Javier, also shared their works

Pinoy Toy Kolektors, a local online toy collecting community also participated by sharing and featuring their most valuable Superman collectibles - from toys, action figures, and merchandise.

Non-stop Band Performances

Music was non-stop during the event. The Battle of the Tribute Band contest provided a good venue for budding musicians to showcase their sounds. In between the competitors were huge bands in the indie music scene. Among them were Reklamo, the Late Isabel, Fuse Boxx, Hubris, Musings of a Cigarette Smoking man, and the country’s premiere pop acapella group, the Akafellas. Japanese cover bands like Neotaku, Do ‘Ahou, Rotshreck, Etherial Anthem, and Mini Musume Philippines, brought live anime and Japanese music to the audience. The Ducklings, first placer on the Battle of the Tribute Band, dedicated their original composition to all underdog anime characters like Sakuragi of Slam Dunk, Naruto, and Rock Lee. “Support for Filipino music and art is one of the event’s highlight, showcasing the Filipino’s finest in the artform of music, comics, and crafts. This year was a great fusion of hobbies, music, and visual art. Every year, the Toy Convention unites the country’s best artists in one big event” says Azrael Coladilla, one of the event’s organizers.

Customized Action Figure Contest

This year, more entries were received for the Customized Action Figure Contest. Bigger, and more detailed figures were submitted, judged, and showcased at the 5th Toycon. The mecha and diorama category had the most number and impressive entries due to their generously proportioned scale and detail. A six-armed X-Men Sentinel won 1st place in the large-scale Action Figure Customized category.

More than action figures, die-cast cars were also included as entries to this contest. One of the crowd’s favorites was a model of a local taxi cab and a diecast Combi Batmobile.
Collectibles Unlimited Association member and organizer, Lou Garcia said, “The Diorama category is better arranged and set up each year, and now the toy hobbyist and collectors are getting serious in customizing their own toys and figures”.

Cosplay Competition

Cosplay, or the art of “costume play” is one of the event’s highlights each year. A swarm of colorful wings, costumes, and wigs moved around the Megatrade Hall for two days. Patrons and on-lookers had their photos taken with the cosplayers while they went agog over some cosplayers’ guts and creativity. A catwalk was provided to satisfy casual photographers and the awaiting audience’s curiousity on the cosplayers’s costumes and hot outfits. The Philippines’ finest cosplayers never fail to attend this activity every year. First timers had their taste of what it’s like to be a cosplayer. The Toy Convention is one of the many events that inspire and give venue to these cosplayers. “Every year the impact of the cosplay event really begins here, and this time the costumes are a lot better than in previous years. From costumed mecha, to famous movie fantasy and sci-fi characters to some of the best superhero costume designs, the cosplay is really a crowd pleaser and a truly memorable experience for all,” exclaims Cholo Mallillin, of Collectibles Unlimited.

Winners were Dracula Demon of Castlevania, May of Guilty Gear, Sailor Chibimoon, Angel Sanctuary group, Naruto group, Magical Knight Rayearth group.

City Pinoy Superhero

Filipinos are creative when it comes to conceptualizing art, this contest gave a chance to the artists to create and make their own local superheroes representing any city in the Philippines. If Superman patrols Metropolis, Batman is the guardian of Gotham City, and Spiderman swings to the rescue on the streets of New York, the 5th Toycon, artists contestant showed that there are other superheroes guarding their very own cities. Basyo Willigart, Superhero of Cavite City by Emmanuel Cassallas, won 1st place for the Create your own Pinoy City Superhero. Other winners were, Red Bandana - Guardian of Pasay City by Van Cleef Emnacen and Diego D’ ultimo Barbero - Superhero of Meycauyan City by Danielle Cinaban. The superhero art contest was judged by the Artists’ Den, actor-toy collector Ding Dong Dantes, and his partner Karylle.

Comic Convention frontside

During the 5th Toy Convention, local and best artists in the Philippines gathered and displayed their artworks at the Superman Memorabilia. Artists who were present included Carlo Pagulayan, Wilson Tortosa, Ryan Orosco, and Leinil Yu. Gerry Alanguilan of Komikero Publishing, whose works include the inking of Superman: Birthright and Silent Dragon, released his new comic entitled “ELMER”. Art and comic group Artists’ Den showcased their indie comics and Lyndon Gregorio launched his new book titled Beerkada: Off Campus. “This year, a special tribute and posthumous award was given to Alfredo Alcala, one of the early Filipino master illustrators who attained success in the U.S. as a comic book artist,” Albert Lee Gan said, one of the organizers. “We should really give recognition to these artists, because they are Filipinos who leave a legacy and give singular honor to our country and also to the comic and art industry”.

The Legacy of Alcala exhibit was the 2nd exhibit here in Manila and many Filipinos were surprised to know that Alfredo Alcala Sr. is widely known in the States. Now, his name spreads among the new crop of artists who are inspired after seeing Alcala’s works. And do you know that Alfredo Alcala Sr. created the infamous character, Boba Fett of the Star Wars Original trilogy? Alfredo Alcala Jr, son of Alcala Sr. explains that their dad created it first in a comic strip newspaper before the Empire Strikes Back movie was even released.

Science Fiction Convention backside

Even the Imperial Empire did not miss the event, members of the Star Wars Philippines was there in full costume. Fully armored Storm Troopers and Darth Vader went up on stage alongside the Jedi knights, and even a talking C-3PO droid which is the first such full costume in the Philippines. The amazed crowd watched as it talked and cheered as one of the finest costumed members of Star Wars Philippines.

Art Asylum

The Toy Convention had an international impact on the attendees as well as Digger Mesch, founder of the US toy manufacturing company Art Asylum together with chief artist Yuri Timg and Chris Lee of Hongkong-based Tackli Toys conducted a talent search for artists and sculptors for their new company called Full On Entertaiment. Inside the FUDGE magazine booth, Digger personally handpicked a local crop of fortunate artists to join his internationally-renowned team. On Day 2, Digger Mesch, Yuri Timg and Mike Tang joined the Pinoy Toy Kolektors, a local toy club of collectors in a panel forum discussion and talked about collecting toys as a hobby. While Digger and the others discussed future plans on their new company, he released a teaser mold and art concept of a new Marvel Comics toy line modeled and crafted by their company.

Anime and Online Games

Anime and online games are one of the features of the 5th Toy Convention. Hero TV, our local cable anime channel was there featuring their latest anime shows and introducing their latest anime voice dubbers to the audience. Displayed near their booth is the life-size figures of Naruto, Mirmo de Pon, and the complete Voltes V team pilot members. Hero TV gave away a brand new Red Fox PC to the lucky raffle winner.

Online Games of Legend of Mir 2, Ran Online of E-games, teamed up in support for the 5th Toy Convention. Live gaming and contest was held in their activity booths. Level Up Games conducted a stage game for gamers and it was called “Zeni or Bayong”.

At the Games Masters Magazine booth, it was a battle head to head video game tournament of TEKKEN 5, the most highest number wins will rule the tournament, Blitz, the winner for day 2 has a total of 120 consecutive wins.

Toys Are With Us

Maxi Collector, Comic Alley, Sideshow, Dollhauz, and Fully Booked displayed and also sold lots of toys and sculptures. A glass display was used for 2 days at the event and it was filled with toys, from Lord of the Rings to Star Wars, to DC and Marvel to Pullip Dolls and Anime Figures of Naruto and Dragon Ball Z. High-end statues and beautifully crafted action figures served as eye candy for toy collectors and hobbyists. While for other newbies, this display gave them a quick idea on what’s new and hot in the toy market, and also how pricey some of the items can be.

TransFormers Philippine (TFPH) hosted their annual TransFormers Speed Up contest on stage, and this year they gave away TransFormers toys like the new toy, Primus and limited items to lucky winners of the contest. “We bring Transformers to the Filipino fans young and older audience who's "young at heart". TFPH is not about a group, we are friends promoting the "barkada" and camaderie of what is Transformers Fans Philippines.” Mark Cerbo said, founder of TransFormers Philippines.

More Toys Ahead

It was another successful year for the annual Toycon on its 5th year. But the work continues to make next year an even bigger and better event. “It was definitely a huge success, but then again we are only as good as our last event. There definitely will be more improvement in terms of the way we stage this event and better things in store for 2007,” says Vic Yap. “There will be other similar events like this during the year, and in particular, we want to bring the Toycon to Cebu, maybe during the Sinulog Festival of 2007.” That is definitely something to look forward to down south during the start of next year.

Collectibles Unlimited’s Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention 2006 was super-powered by SM Megatrade Hall, Globelines , HERO TV , The Legend of MIR 2, SM Megamall, Fully Booked, Fudge Magazine, GLOBE, E-Games, Level-Up, Maxi Collector, Comic Alley, WACOM, Psicom, Bankee, BPI and Citibank Credit Cards, Warner Brothers Pictures, and media sponsors, Manila Bulletin, K-Zone, Games Master and RAVE magazine, Buy and Sell, Magic 89.9 and NU 107.

Check out the official website at www.toyconph.tk for more info and details on the next event.


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