ToyCon 2019: Of Toys, Idols, and… A Giant Batman?
Event Coverage by Roger Decierdo
It was a different ToyCon for me this year. I went on the last day (a Sunday) instead of the usual second day. And there were many new things that made this year’s Philippine Toy, Hobbies, and Collectibles Convention another great experience.
A world of toys
ToyCon has always been about toys and ToyCon 2019 was no different, with many of the major manufacturers being represented. Brands like Kotobukiya, Bandai, XM Studios, and Good Smile
Company even had their own booths showcasing their latest releases.
I was hoping to grab one of those GSC exclusive figures but that was already sold out.
Not to be outdone, Pinoy pop culture brands also showed their stuff. The Ravelo estate and ABS-CBN unveiled the new Ravelo Komiks Universe brand. This line showcased a variety of collectibles, including action figures of popular characters Darna, Lastikman, and Captain Barbell.
While these are limited-run items, they’re still a nice preview of possible good-quality action figures of these local characters in the future.
Another surprise appearance was that of Combatron, the popular cyborg character from the 90’s Filipino Funny Komiks. The Combatron booth unveiled a new awesome statue of the blue hero.
There were also a lot of other collectibles like card games. Definitely a great sign of his resurging popularity.
Aside from the big brands, this year also puts the spotlight on toy designers. Independent designers got to showcase their art, with representatives coming from different countries like the United States and Thailand. All the toy designs that they showcase are unique and would definitely catch the attention of collectors.
As always, Toycon 2019 featured a lot of appearances by many popular figures in the pop culture scene. Combatron’s creator Berlin Manalaysay was in the house during that day, though I missed having the chance to personally meet him at his booth by a few minutes.
On the other hand, my fellow blogger Emerson Sy got the chance to get up close with Pugad Baby creator Pol Medina Jr.
Check out his own Toycon escapade on his blog AkoSiEmersonSy.
Like in the last two years, Toycon has again teamed up with Pop Life Fan Xperience to bring in international guests. This year’s lineup included:
- Michael Culdlitz: Abraham Ford from The Walking Dead
- Steven Ogg: Simon from The Walking Dead
- The Kings: World of Dance 2019 champions
- Ron English: World-renowned street artist
The mix of guests was really something even non-fans found entertaining.
Aside from these celebrity idols, I also had fun watching local Japanese idol-style groups performing on the stage. Some of the groups did really good covers of popular Japanese anime songs.
One group even had their own J-pop inspired Filipino song.
The giant Batman and other fun things
Literally the biggest attraction of this year’s Toycon was the eight-meter tall Batman statue that was erected at the center of the venue. The statue was based off the Caped Crusader’s look from the Batman Ninja anime.
While there have been a lot of large installations at Toycon in the past, this one really takes the cake for its size. Definitely a nice tribute to how much bigger Toycon has become in the last decade.
Around the giant Batman, there were a lot of things to do. Aside from the usual brand booths, there were some large activity areas to wander around in. The zombie-themed one was a nice place to sit down and watch the happenings around.
I even got to capture hilarious moments like this one.
As usual, there were also a lot of cosplayers around and I had a great time taking photo ops with some of them.
This year’s event put the ever-present toy collection gallery on the second floor of the SMX Convention Center.
It was a treat seeing these collections, including those from online groups that I am a member of.
With all the things to do at ToyCon 2019, it was a tiring but fun day. Me and my sister, who was accompanying me, decided to hitch a ride on one of those golf carts roving around the mall to cap the day.
Definitely looking forward to what next year’s event will have. You should be there too.