Toycon @ 13: Still Not Too Old for Toys #Toycon2014 @popazrael

They say that when kids hit the ripe old age of 13, it’s time to drop all the toys, but not with the annual Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention. Now in its 13th year, the Toycon again treated young ones and young at hearts to indulge in.

Bats. Lots of Bats

Since Toycon 2014 is designated as one of the kickoff events for the worldwide celebrations for Batman’s 75th anniversary, it definitely dedicated a lot to the caped crusader.

Right at the entrance of the event, attendees are greeted with the 12-inch Batman figures from American manufacturer Neca. As is with the other large sized figures produced by the company (such as the Gipsy Danger from Pacific Rim displayed alongside it), this particular Batman figure is not impressive only for its sheer size, but also the impressive amount of details.

Roaming around the convention’s market area, there are a multitude of Batman figures to choose from. There are the ever-present 4-inch figures with the fancy weapon gimmicks that many once a boy are familiar with. And then there are the figures targeted to the older collectors, such as several Play Arts Kai (from Square Enix) Batman figures that will definitely burn a hole in the pocket if you are not prepared.

And of course, if the Caped Crusader is there, then his iconic Batmobile is surely not far behind. The tank-like Tumbler (from the Chris Nolan trilogy) is definitely still one of the most popular versions of the vehicle, with toys ranging from matchbox-sized to that huge radio-controlled model. Of course, there are also the other versions, such as the ever-familiar two-seater from the Adam West show.

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Out of the Box Experience

Of course, there were more for different toy collectors. If you are not interested in the Dark Knight, then there were other superhero action figures to choose from, starting off with the new Guardians of the Galaxy line promoting the movie coming later this year. There were also tons of Iron Man and Avengers figures available.

And since this is Batman’s anniversary, DC Comics is definitely not far behind. Aside from the Dark Knight, Clark Kent also made a showing, with figures featuring him from the classic red undies all the way to the new costume seen in the Man of Steel movies. The entire Justice League is also well represented, with tons of Green Lantern, Wonder Women and other superhero figures present.

For those who are more into the eastern side (i.e. anime), there were also plenty to choose from. Just like last year, major Japanese manufacturers, like Bandai, Kotobukiya and Good Smile Company, were in full force through their local distributors. Products range from the ever-popular Gunpla model kits to action figures from popular Japanese action anime/manga series Attack on Titan.

One spot that was definitely worth going through the massive crowd was the booths located at the middle of Toycon’s market area. These were the ones who sell toys at lower prices since they have no boxes. Here, one can strike a good deal just by patiently rummaging through all the piles on display. For instance, there was a Dark of the Moon Voyager Class selling for only 700 pesos, almost half the price of one boxed in.
Toys for the Big Boys (and Girls)

Of course, those who do have the money to spend had a large assortment of top-of-the line toys waiting for them to purchase.

According to Victor Galang of local online toy retailer Hubbyte Toys, the single most expensive item they ever sold during the convention was a Hot Toys Batman Tumbler set worth more than Php 20,000. On the other hand, Jeffrey Te of Coldfire Toyzone (another popular local online toy store), said that Metal Builds were some of the most expensive pieces they have sold. Metal Builds are 7-8 inch posable action figures, featuring Bandai’s popular Gundam line of fictional mecha, having die-cast metal parts and accessories. Each Metal Build figure costs anywhere from Php 8,000 to Php 12,000.

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Those who are into virtual toys were also in for a treat, as several games being showcased. The Diablo booth was, expectedly, popular with gamers. On the other hand, MMORPG enthusiasts patiently waited in line to try their hands on the much anticipated Phantasy Star Online 2 game. And to make the gaming experience, several high end peripherals where available, like Sony’s Make.believe headphones and SteelSeries gaming peripherals.

Landing a Great Deal
Despite the multitude of different toys available, both Galang and Te said that action figures still remain as some of the most popular items that sell out during the Toycon. And this is here where the two gave some useful tips for toy lovers wishing attending next year’s Toycon.

“Have a checklist,” Galang says. “Also make sure that you already have a set budget for your purchases.” Meanwhile, Te says that patience is a must. “Keep on looking for good deals.”

 

And as the event closed on Day 3, many are indeed already eager for next year’s Con. As for me, I’m off to enjoy my newest haul.

Toycon Correspondent, Roger Decierdo

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