Round up of the first day of the Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Convention11 December, 2010 by Chad
It’s been a long but fulfilling first day at the Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Convention (STGCC). We’ll be posting more detailed coverage on the individual events soon enough. In the meantime here’s a photo tour of some of the things visitors got to experience today and a first hand look at of what to expect in the next couple of days.
Those who have visited the STGCC site in the past few weeks might had noticed our banner there. Though we never mentioned it, Supermerlion is actually an official partner site for the event. But you can still expect us to give our usual no nonsense coverage of the event.
Yan and I headed down this morning to the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre where STGCC was taking place. Our most skilled photographer couldn’t make it for this day (he’ll be joining us tomorrow) so pardon the sub par photographs, I can’t afford a DSLR.
The public halls weren’t to open until noon sharp but a small group of eager patrons had started waiting downstairs. After getting to meet some of the people behind the STGCC, we headed into the halls first where the press were given a brief introduction to the event.
This is the Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Convention’s second year running and the first time it is being organized by Reed Singapore. After a short speech, the man that made this year’s STGCC possible answered some questions regarding the event.
For the media, most asked really ridiculous questions like “can you extend STGCC to a week long event” or “who will be coming next year” but he was nice enough to humor them. One of the few actually useful new facts that we learned is that STGCC is expecting 30,000 visitors this year, which they hope to attract with their wide coverage of the multiple new medias and 22 guests which represent it. This is a significantly smaller estimate than the 70,000 estimate from AFA, so could we hope to see more manageable crowds?
The guests of honor took the stage and were introduced in turn, most prominently of which were the gang from Marvel and Gail Simon. For more information, check out the STGCC Guest List post we covered earlier. Unfortunately, Salvador Larroca wasn’t around as his flight has been delayed due to the recent weather troubles. They were invited up to stage for some autographs first and sat down later to answer some questions.
These guys are pretty big names in the comic industry so you can expect the fanboy questions brought up. Still, it was sad to see that all of the questions were directed towards Cebulski, Matt Fraction and Gail Simon. No love for Asian talent.
The whole press introduction lasted approximately half an hour, after which we were allowed to roam about the halls for a brief 30 minutes uninterrupted by the public.
Unavoidably, there are some of the same shops from the recent local event. Animax brought back their live anime subbing booths and someone’s toy collection is back, though with new additions since we last saw it.
Perhaps due to the lower booth rates, we’re seeing lots more local entities this time. There were a lot more toys and figure shops, such as Action City, which was selling the Itazura Cat Coin Bank.
There was also a bigger show of local artists, who set up their own booths along the corner of the hall. One of them caught my attention for being really niche.
We found the booth for a fairly a new local toy company called Play Imaginative, they’re the guys inviting Mori Chack and the DEVILROBOTS duo from Japan. They’re actually manufacturing their own toys with collaborations from famous designer toy artists as well as original local designs.
Lots of stuff for sale here and I was kind of considering getting a Gloomy Bear Tofu Oyako since it was the most familiar character for me here. I had actually learned of Gloomy Bear back from Japanorama, the same wacky documentary that began my love for AKB48 back in 2006.
Yan on the other hand was attracted to these Courtesy Lion figures designed during a recent local competition. He ended up purchasing one to give to one of the AKB48 girls tomorrow.
If it’s still as popular as it was half a decade ago, I’m guessing local designers and students will be most looking forward to tokidoki’s booth at the STGCC. As with last year, lots of merchandise up for grabs.
It seems for once, SingPost (whom I am engaged in an eternal struggle in with my delayed mails), is doing something right. They’ve actually collaborated with tokidoki’s Simon Legno to come up with a line of exclusive Singapore stamps designs.
It wasn’t long before the main doors opened. As I had predicted, security was greatly beefed up in Suntec City, so while you didn’t have to queue up to buy tickets for STGCC (they are available from Gatecrash), there was now a queue to board the escalator in an organized manner. Since it was just for the escalator, the line moved quickly.
The arrangement was probably made to prevent a similar situation (which I am sure I wrote about in one of Tokyo Anime Fair posts) where a whole bunch of people came crashing down from the escalator during a convention in Japan.
Those who came early were dearly rewarded. As STGCC have and will be giving away over $500,000 worth of toys and comics to those who purchased their tickets early and the first visitors.
Despite the steady flow of people into the hall now, the crowds were still surprisingly manageable. Of course, this was a Friday afternoon so I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed till the weekend.
There were ongoing events throughout the day happen simultaneously everywhere. The thing I found great was that these big names were right here personally at their booths. That’s what an exhibitions should be like.
There are really too so many things going on everywhere this year and if you look at the schedule you’d notice that timings for many of the key events overlap. It’s pretty similar over in Japan, if not worse as every booth over there seems to have their own stage. Fortunately, lots of the events at STGCC repeat themselves over the 3 days but I can understand that some might be disappointed that they won’t be able to see everything in a single day.
As mentioned before, STGCC will be having three different cosplay competitions where anyone from the public can jump in and enter. There was a small booth on the left side of the hall where entries were documented and shortlisted for the finals later in each day.
Perhaps not many could find the time or resource to assemble their costumes due to how close the event is to this year’s AFA as there was actually a much smaller show of cosplayers today. There’s a pretty good chance for anyone with enough passion to net the $1000 prize.
The cosplayers that did turn up today gathered downstairs at level 3. Here’s a few necessary shots to tide everyone over until we can post more. I’ll let Wilson handle this.
Back upstairs, the stage prepared for AKB48′s appearance at STGCC this afternoon. Nakatsuka Tomomi, Uchida Mayumi and Ishida Haruka had flew in in the morning for this day’s segment. The first 50 people on stage were going to get handshakes with the girls so the SGP48 guys had queued up since 12 PM. The event was at 4. A group from the Indonesian fan community had flew in specially for this as well as the meet-the-fans sessions the next day.
Since it was an open event today, lots of passer-bys just seeing whats going on. Sadly as this is Singapore, lots of them were snapping or videoing away during the performance. Some have already been uploaded. I asked for permission from the management first, so my conscience is clear.
I’ll cover the AKB48 articles separately over the next few days in a less sleep-depraved state. But here are some highlights of the event, in photos.
The AKB48 event lasted only a brief 30 minutes and was followed shortly by a fashion show from Merveilleux Boutique. They’ve brought in a bunch of talents to model the Indonesian label’s clothing line. Fresh young things in really lovely Asian, goth and renaissance inspired lolita dresses, which can only mean one thing.
Really beautiful dresses if I must say myself. Even Yan was captivated. Next up was the cosplay finals for the solo category. Ms Ellya Chao, the woman behind Merveilleux Boutique was one of the judges.
Finally, a sneak peak of more to come.Click here to search CDJapan for official AKB48 goods.
Get your favorite novelty toys and figures from Japan at PlayAsia.