It was my first time heading to the annual Philippine Toys, Hobbies, and Collectibles Convention during a rainy day. But what the event has in store was definitely worth it for those who brave the downpour.
A rain of toys
I entered the SMX Convention Center slightly drenched from the rain outside. But all the activity and the people moving around made the convention hall a little warmer inside.
Right from the entrance, visitors like me were greeted by an impressive display featuring local superheroes Darna, Captain Barbell, and Lastikman. The booth contains several impressive large-sized statues of Mars Ravelo’s three most iconic characters.
There are also a generous helping of T-shirt’s, posters, and other merchandise for fans.
The booth was a nice reminder that these three characters still are popular despite the lack of mainstream presence in the last few years. As of late, the Darna movie teased in last year’s Toycon to feature actress Liza Soberano has yet to go into production.
Major collectible manufacturers also came in full force despite the bad weather. Prime One Studios showcased their large collectible statues, including several of their Transformers movie line figures.
The details on these were so exquisite that you just have to take a closer look.
To my delight, Good Smile Company, one of the Japanese collectible manufacturers that I am a fan of, have also finally set up their own booth at the event.
Though the products that the company has displayed were mostly the ones they have already released, it was still a nice showcase.
And since this is Toycon we are talking about, there are a ton of toys on display in the SMX halls. There were the staple ones like Legos and Hot Wheels. And then there are the high-end ones like those pricey Bruder toy trucks for kids.
As always, the marketplace area also abounds with a wide assortment of toys up for sale. Many of the popular online shops were present and there were even more variety to choose from. There were even full-sized foam swords for role plays, which I was nearly tempted to buy one for the fun of it.
Toy lovers also got to show off their collections in the toy gallery hall right in the middle of the venue. More than two dozen online toy groups participated, including a few that I am an active member of.
The collections range from modern action figures and Transformers toys to vintage ones that came out during the participants’ childhood days and before.
Participants also got to show off their crafting skills with the dioramas that they used for the figure display. But the one that really took the cake was whoever crafted the Gundam and Wall-E cardboard statues in the middle of the gallery.
The two pieces were just impressive to look at.
Azrael Coladilla, one of Toycon’s Godfathers
Before I headed to the gallery, I bumped into Azrael Coladilla, one of ToyCon’s founders. Sir Az expressed his amazement at how much the event has grown in the past 13 years. He also said that they are still planning new gimmicks for upcoming events.
A downpour of events and celebrities
Besides the toys and the collectibles displays, there are a lot of other interesting booths to visit during the venue. The ever-present esports booth has a surprisingly large collection of games for visitors to try out. There was even a Breakout/zombie booth for those who want to live their “Walking Dead” fantasy scenarios.
One booth that really caught my attention is that for upcoming local animation series “Kamagong.” The production is apparently a remake of the classic Lito Lapid film. A teaser was continuously played.
Though, there wasn’t really anything to see since the “teaser” was just narration and some static images. Still, it is nice to see productions like this one trying to revive interest in local animation.
For the third consecutive year, ToyCon also teamed up with PopLife for its Fan Experience event. The event brought in several celebrities from all over pop culture-dom, including:
Neil Adams: Prolific artist for DC Comics
Dante Basco: Rufio in Hook and Prince Zuko in Avatar
Michael Copon: Lucas Kendall/Blue Ranger (Power Rangers Time Force)
Kelly Hu: Lady Deathstrike (X-Men 2)
Kevin Grevioux: Raze (Underworld)
Each of the celebrity guests participated in panel discussions with fans in the stage area. Korean idol Hyolyn also performed on stage.
Images courtesy of Emerson Sy. (AkoSiEmersonSy)
Legendary Power Rangers actor Jason David Frank, Tommy Oliver himself, was supposed to attend the event but had to cancel his appearance the last minute. Sir Azrael said that it was due to an illness. I was admittedly looking forward to his appearance but Sir Az said that he would reschedule his guesting.
It was raining again by the time I and my sister decided to head home and we had no choice but to frolic a bit since we only had one umbrella. Still, it was a fun day that I didn’t mind having a cold the next morning. After all, I got myself a new toy again.