Sunday, June 29, 2008

Singapore Toy & Comic Convention 2008

Yesterday I managed to go to the inaugural STCC held at SICEC to take a look. When the news first started spreading around (I read it from spaceactionhero's blog), I think everyone expected it to be a huge event. For one I think alot of money has gone into the marketing, and it was done quite well I'd say. Nobody expected it to be on the same insane scale as US comicons (or whoever did can dream on for about 10 years), but the way they made it to be I thought it would be a pretty crazy event.

When I got there I realised that it was only ONE exhibition hall. Gee, I thought it would have at least covered an entire floor. Registration was up there, not downstairs. And for some funny reason, I guess they were sick of it or what, when I walked to the pre-registered queue the lady just gave me my stuff without even checking any of my details at all. So sticking the passband on, I walked in.

Let's just skip the boring parts shall we? I expected more Japanese stuff. More current figurines, more merchandise, instead of 'safe' products like shelves and shelves of Power Rangers and Gundams and FF7 figurines. You really that kiasu or what? And there was alot of emphasis on western and modern toy figurines. I can't exactly term it since I'm not really into that field, but it's a Stikfas type of thing. Loads and loads of it. Which I'm not really interested in.

Still, there were a couple of interesting things to be seen.

One-piece-only yo-yos.

Well this isn't anything new, but I still find the Yoda-Dooku figure uber cool.

And this. This is a movie chair that Animax was exhibiting. You know like those simulator rides where they shake you around for abit? Except this is for the home, I'm guessing. Not very hard shakes (or maybe you can program it). Limited to rumbles, mild crash shocks, lifts falls and horizontal tilts. They were playing FF7:AC (what else right) and I watched the hair-raising motorcycle chase scene, if you remember. I didn't feel very absorbed, but I'll give it to them because it was bloody noisy there and there was no way even the best 7.1 Surround system could completely engulf you into the movie. But I think it is a fantastic experience enhancement. Especially if you have a movie room. Because if you do, you probably have enough money to buy like 16 of these chairs. And just for trying it, they give you a cool Animax gridded sketchpad! Here's the video I took of the next pair who went after me.

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I think I was so desperate to get something out of there that I didn't think much when I walked past a booth randomly offering Ninja Gaiden II for $74.90. Considering I usually pay $69.90 at Best Denki for most games, it's an alright price, even if it's marked up abit. I'll talk more about it when I've played it for abit more.

Anyway back to my catch. My second one was one that I'd eyed a couple of years ago. Yes it's an old product but I don't care because when you get a 15cm tall Sephiroth figurine with his Masamune sword as tall as him...

You don't care.

Like the pose I made him do? LIKE THE SWORD? OH MY GOD I CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF IT.

Ok. That's it for my catches. Just two. I wanted to get one of the yo-yos since I'm a collector of sorts, but the seller said it would only go on sale today, since "it just came in yesterday and we have to calculate the prices".


Bu he estimated it to be anywhere from $20-50. And this is the good thing about being prevented from buying something you like, you get a chance to think about it.

And I think meh. Forget it.

Conclusion. For it's hype, the convention was disappointing. Too small, and quite a limited range of exhibitors. Were they hoping for too much when they put toys and comics together? Sure they are highly interweaved and interrelated, but they can stand very well on their own, and by putting these two together when you have next to no experience holding such conventions here, perhaps you're trying to mash a bit too many things together for a starter. But nevertheless I still applaud it. I think it's a great effort at least and I hope that the organizers will barrel through with future conventions.

This could be the start of something good.

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