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TOYCON 2014: Celebrating 75 Years of Batman

The CNPH team attended the Philippine Toys, Hobbies, and Collectibles Convention on June 22, 2014 to witness the most anticipated celebration of DC fans. This year’s TOYCON celebrated the 75th anniversary of one of DC’s most popular comic book character and superhero, Batman.

There were reportedly 15,000 people who attended the said event which includes not only comic and toy enthusiasts, but as well as cosplayers portraying different anime and western comic book characters. Different pop culture enthusiasts happily mingled with their fellows and clicked away in taking photos of their favorite characters whether in toy or cosplay form.

We also interviewed Mr. Brian Cabrera, one of the most well-known Optimus Prime collectors here in the Philippines.

The venue was divided into several areas such as:

1.    Exhibitors’ Hall – Before the guests could enter the main room, they will be greeted fist with life-sized figures of the most popular comic book and movie characters of Batman, Avengers, Fantastic Four, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and many more. These include the War Machine of Marvel Avengers Alliance, The Incredible Hulk, Superman, Flash, The Green Lantern, and all the other characters present. There are also life-sized figures of Wolverine, The Thing, and Goku.

What caught our eyes in the middle of the room was a very eye-catching display of red and white. It’s a Coca-Cola installment by Miss Linda Teodosio, who started collecting at the age of 18 first with promotional merchandise to gifts and different travel souvenirs. She said that the things displayed in TOYCON weren’t the only Coke paraphernalia that she owned because she has a whole lot more at her home. She’s also allowing people to go inside the stanchion to take a closer look and even touch her displays.

This area is free for all the people who purchased the ticket. This room displays toys figures in all shapes, sizes, and colors from east to west. There’s a competition on the best display which was judged at around 06:00 PM.



2.    Main Stage – The main stage held the performances of cosplay competitors, exhibitors, bands*, and special guests**.

*A/N: I was only able to see the performance of Ashley Gosiengfiao’s band and people were rocking on to their songs!
** Gotham Philippines/Justice League Philippines discussed about the 75th anniversary of Batman as well as its contribution in inspiring generations of comic book lovers.
**Alodia Gosiengfiao once again wowed her fans as she cosplayed Mikasa Ackerman of Shingeki no Kyojin. She also had a meet-and-greet session as well.

3.    Concessionaires’ Area – This area is designated for the food stalls, merchandise, and some people are also displaying their toys and figures that weren’t included in the exhibitors’ hall.

One of the most jam-packed booths was the booth of Japanese brand Banpresto. It displayed a variety of their nendoroids and figures. Their latest releases include SNK nendoroids, a classic Sailor Moon figure, and many more. And yes, they’re all genuine and you don’t even have to fly to Japan to purchase them.

As for the toy displays, here are the pictures: 

There’s also a wall display of Mr. Alfredo P. Alcala’s comic covers!

Meanwhile, online games are still a hit to attendees. I personally got myself a copy of a World of Tanks installer! Dragon Nest and other games are also there to fulfill the gamers’ delights.

There’s also a special area dedicated to Rurouni Kenshin’s movie posters and costume displays. The teasers are also shown on the screen by the area. The two films, Kyoto Inferno and The Legend Ends will be shown on August 20 and September 24.

These entries form the Toy Clicks Year 8 caught our attention:
The Red Desert Scorption (by: Michael Favorito)
Hunting for your Dream (by: Dante Tamayo)
Escape from Shadow Moses (by: Ryder Aquino)
Smiles After the Rain (bu: Khim Cabrera)
Picnic (by: Thomas Joseph Chua)
Mario's Next Journey (by: Marcelo A. Crispino Jr.)

 And this year's winner is...

E.T. Phone Home (by: Jeffrey Quillope)
These are some photos of the cosplayers that caught our attention:

Outside the venue, there are mostly cosplayers who portray their favourite anime, manga, and game characters in contrast to the western theme inside. These are some of the people that we’re able to take shots from: 

The division of the venue is a good idea because the motivations of the attendees were satisfied with their likes and needs because all the areas are open for all who purchased the same tickets at an affordable price of Php 130.

In conclusion, TOYCON continually evolved from the comic-centric convention to a multicultural one. However, it’s still good despite the controversies and criticisms that the organizers received plus the narrow and crowded alleys (they're thinking about mobing it to a bigger venue next year). After all, it’s still a fun gathering of geeks with the same hobbies and interests.

Interviews: Jenny
Article and photos: Xien
Contributor:  Jenny
Special thanks to Ms. Mj Chiong for some of the photos!