ToyCon 2019: An Example of Spectacle Done Right

ToyCon 2019 has come and gone and now we’re back to regular programming for the next month until the grandest stage of them all (for the local anime fandom that is), Cosplay Mania XI, comes around.

Now this isn’t the first time I’ve been to ToyCon, I’ve been there thrice (although the second time I went there, I was only outside) but this is the first time I’ve been into a non-cosplay related convention this big.

Ika nga nila, wala nang intro intro, let’s get it on.

By the time I got in, there’s a lot of people on the first floor of the SMX Convention Center and to think na I attended Day 2 of ToyCon, kasingdami ng expected audience of from Day 1 of any other convention. Buti na lang sinabihan ako ng guard na may isa pang ticket booth sa taas so akyat agad ako and I finally bought my ticket.

Now that I bought a ticket, let’s go straight to the toy museum that’s also located on the second floor. Let’s disregard Frontrow and take a look at the toys in display.

First off the list is the Showa era toy cabinet. Actually, it’s more of a vintage cabinet but what took my focus here is the rare Showa-era toys that you won’t see in Greenhills or anywhere else.

The chogokin line, with Voltes V, Mazinger Z,and God Mazinger (or it could be Grendizer or Mazinkaiser or Great…I don’t know much about the Mazingerverse, sorry.)

Ah yes, the Dragon Ball cabinet. A great tribute to the 1984 Akira Toriyama classic. The dioramas are amazing, it’s like it came out of a Toriyama artbook. Shoutout to Dragon Ball Tambayan PH for this awesome cabinet.

The Kamen Rider cabinet. It’s a mix of SH Figuarts and SIC figs. The SICs are something, liket they fit in a Code Geass set. Thanks for PTK – Team Tokusatsu for providing their figs to be displayed here.

The Kojima Productions shelf. This is something not common in conventions but this is more like a prototype of a up-and-coming figure franchise based on Hideo Kojima’s works (at least that’s what I can tell).

Who remembers ZOIDS? Me neither hahahaha. Although the brand became forgettable to the new generation of kids, us millennials still remember it with fondness but nobody batted an eye when the brand released new ZOIDS.

More toys based on manga series, this time it’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki. Whoever made the toys did a great, no, SUPERB job of bringing Araki-sensei’s characters to life (if by life you meant by poseable and non-poseable figures, then yes, it’s brought to life).

The Macross cabinet, what can I say? Hindi lang toys ang nakalagay dito. Pati artbooks and videogames, nakasalpak dito. One thing I also noticed is that there’s no Macross Delta based figurines here. I wonder why? Macross fans, tell me in the comments section.

The Gunpla cabinet/s aka a museum for every toy collecor’s entry series. I’ll have some more information regarding something related to Gundam but that can be told later. Once again, a shoutout to PinoyGundam for this awesome display.

The cabinet to trump all cabinets, the Voltes V cabinet. Toys, VHS tapes, stickers, lahat na andiyan. Credits to the people who donated this especially to Jasper Ordonez for donating the tape to the cabinet organizers.

Congratulations to Sailor Moon fans because not only you’ll be getting two new movies but you get to have a ToyCon display cabinet as well. 2020 is going to be your year!

Digimon, Bandai’s answer to Nintendo’s Pokemon. The thing that got me hooked here are the Digivices. Someone please make them into MP3 players.

Our good ‘ol friends at Team Onegai Onii-chan with their meme-tier displays. Their penchant for memes sure does go beyond marketing.

Shoutout to Philippine Toy Photography Club for giving us this gallery of awesome shots that I know would take a million years to perfect.

That’s most of the highlights of the second floor. You can check the honorable mentions on this slideshow.

Now that we got that stuff out of the way, balik na tayo sa first floor ng convention center. Wala naman na sigurong tao doon and what do you know, andoon ang main event ng ToyCon 2019.

Pagbungad pa lang sa’yo sa loob ng convention, it’s already like a marketplace for people who have a lot of money to spend. I mean look at this line for the Jollibee Funko Pop figures. This goes to show that:

  1. People love toys.
  2. People love Jollibee.
  3. People love Funko Pops which I will never ever know why.

As you can see next to the stage, is the biggest Batman-based statue in Asia. The madmen organizers did it again and this time, it’s with the Caped Crusader. Being there in person just wants me to take a lot of pictures of this bad boy pero andaming nakatambay dito eh so I only took a few pics.

One of the convention’s great sponsors: and their giant space of a booth. They even have displays of their own showcasing the products they sell..and something that took my interest…

..It’s the newly released Gundam Universe series of toys. The GreatToys representative there told me that “it’s a cheaper alternative to the Robot Damashii line of toys”. So basing on what he told me that time, it’s the Dragon Stars equivalent of the Gundam series and it felt like Dragon Stars as well, there are points of articulation on it but it has that Dragon Stars rubbery feel to it and the price is more akin to Gunpla prices at Toy Kingdom or GreatToysOnline itself.

In conclusion, it looks like Bandai is diversifying one of their franchises with this toyline but if you’re that person who doesn’t like anything but the smooth feeling on the articulation for your figures, stick to Robot Damashii or if you’re a builder, Gunpla.

The Kotobukiya line of toys. It’s no Figurarts per se but they sure are damn beautiful to look at and they do some franchises that Bandai and Tamashii Nations don’t even dare to lay their fingers at (Prince of Tennis comes to mind).

Here we have local suit maker Kamen Rider Nimoy who does Toei-based masks for orders and not only does he do masks, he also does other props such as suits, and even henshin devices.

ToyCon ain’t Comic Con but this year, they did a tribute to Filipino komiks whether be it from the ’30s or from today. It also gave us the introduction to the Ravelo Komiks Universe aka ABS-CBN’s attempt to put Mars Ravelo IP on prime-time TV like how GMA did back in the early 2000s except for Lastikman (this has been an ABS-CBN property through and through).

It also gave us the ability to meet our heroes in this profession, including Pol Medina Jr. and you get autographs as well. I am just lucky/blessed to meet a man who became a part of not only my childhood but everyone else’s as well.

Now we move from Filipino komiks to American comics aka Marvel and DC. Cannot remember the name of the exhibitors but these must’ve cost a fortune (yung Juggernaut is Php. 45,000 full price.)

Most of you know Regine Tolentino the dancer or Regine Tolentino the Zumba person but do any of you know Regine Tolentino the costume designer? Probably yes but for those out of the loop, she does make costumes and it has it’s own exhibit at ToyCon 2019. You can check out these fine threads at this FB page.

Our last stop on the special booths section is Ranida Games’ BAYANI: Kanino Ka Kakampi? The first Filipino made SFIV-esque fighting game that let’s you pit famous people from Philippine history . The game is still on it’s development stages so don’t expect anything for now and let’s wait and see if this will stand or this will flop.

I tried this game on the booth itself and on this laptop PC that I am working on right now and it plays like SFIV and it needs a bit more optimization on slower PCs but don’t take my word for it and go now to and see it for yourself.

Now you’ll be asking, where’s the “spectacle done right” part of all this? This is where I will say that this year’s ToyCon has something for everyone but at the same time, it doesn’t do it to the point of alienating it’s core audience.

We got toy displays, merchants, cosplayers, companies promoting their stuff related to the ToyCon audience(Frontrow and Enchanted Kingdom notwithstanding), comic artists, media personnel and and other sorts of people and they tried their best to connect with the primary audience of the event: the toy collectors and hobby enthusiasts who come together once a year to celebrate a hobby/community they all love to be a part of.

I am proud to say na sulit ‘tong event na to and I am finally able to appreciate ToyCon for what it is being new to the world of toy collecting (started with Gunpla but it didn’t come into full swing until I bought my first SH Figurarts figurines back in December of last year) and to understand the culture of toy collecting in the Philippines.

After all, toys aren’t just for kids anymore…at hindi pa dito tapos ang ating kuwento mga kapatid. Inihahandog ko sainyo ang top 10 toys/merchandise na gusto ko talagan bilhin kung madami lang talaga akong pera hahahaha.

5. Wrestling figurines
4. Working Game Boy/Nintendo DS
3. Voltes V 2000 Calendar
2. Vintage super robot chogokin/ 1999 Voltes V coin bank (my childhood memories)
1.CIB DX Chogokin Voltes V

2 thoughts on “ToyCon 2019: An Example of Spectacle Done Right

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