“Where does he get those wonderful toys?”
The Joker said that in the very first Batman movie back in 1989, and those of us who grew up loving our childhood playthings know what he was hankering about. Those of us who grew up in the pre-X-box or PS3 years all have fond memories of Saturday mornings spent playing with G.I. Joes and Star Wars action figures in the front lawn, or assembling a Voltes V robot from the five connecting die-cast ships, or putting together a model Tomcat Jet Fighter from a kit, or even dressing up Barbies in the latest fashion wear. Our cherished memories of these toys formed what would be a collective consciousness of the best of our childhood, forever captured in plastic. And now as grown-ups, our collective consciousness takes on a name. All that is fun, cool, and best etched in our minds as awesome is now referred to generally as — Pop Culture.
In was in this mindset that a group of friends decided to come together in 2002 to organize a gathering of about forty toy collectors who would swap and sell collectible items from comic books, trading cards, die-cast Hotwheels and Matchbox cars, action figures and even antique toys and memorabilia. And so began the first ever Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention which had its humble start in October of 2002 in a 250 square-meter conference room of the Megatrade Hall. A decade later, that small gathering has grown into a huge event attended by almost 20,000 people each year, and filled with toys, games, huge displays of upcoming blockbuster movies, exhibits of customized and premium high end collectibles and a ton of people in costumes. And now in the Philippines, “pop culture” has a name and it is – TOYCON!
Ten years have passed and TOYCON has not lost its stride. On the contrary it has built such a momentum that each year’s convention just keeps getting bigger in terms of scale and surprises. On its 10th anniversary, TOYCON celebrates the best of all worlds as cosplay goes cinematic with the live filming of COSPLAY NATION: The Movie. Produced by Yian Studios, Beijing and internationally distributed by the China Film Group Corp, the largest and most influential state-run film enterprise in China. The movie, which features China celebrities Linda Le, Cheng Yi and our very own Alodia Gosiengfiao, will do its first leg of location shooting in the Philippines at the 10th Philippine TOYCON.
This year’s convention also features an exhibit of the year’s biggest movie as DC Comics and Warner Brothers Pictures beloved comic book character, Green Lantern, takes to the sky with his big screen debut. There will be special activities promoting Green Lantern, like a Green Lantern cosplay contest, toy exhibit, custom art and figures, and kiddie activities like face-painting and scavenger hunt.
Another big movie highlight is the last installment of the Harry Potter movie series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Original costumes and movie props from previous Harry Potter movies will be on display at the TOYCON, courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.
Other movies highlighting the convention are Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Captain America care of Solar-UIP Films and Paramount Pictures.
TOYCON will also be the host event for the Asia Cosplay Meet Philippines (ACMP), an international cosplay competition which is the annual qualifier to the Singapore Asia Cosplay Meet finals. ACMP will determine the best cosplayers of the country who will travel to Singapore on June 25 to 27 and compete with the cosplayers from Singapore, Malaysia and Korea.
Apart from the cosplay scene, there will be panel discussions featuring various creators and artists who have made it big in the international scene with their work in comics and toy designing, Guest artists include superstars in the DC and Marvel comics, Leinil Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Harvey Tolibao, Jay Anacleto, Stephen Segovia, Carlos Pagulayan, and much more! There will also be an exhibit from Secret Fresh which will feature renowned toy art designs from Amanda Visell and Carlos East of the Beast Brothers, with local toy artists, Nemo Aguila and JP Cuison.
Get ready for loads of prizes to be given away on various competitions, games and contests. There will also be hourly raffles and exclusive giveaways for lucky TOYCON attendees. Aside from those, the convention will feature surprise guest celebrities from ABS-CBN, band performances, live auctions, film-showings and a gallery exhibit of the best toy collections in town from the local toy groups and customizers.
Of course the convention would not be complete without the biggest exhibitors and vendors floor where all sorts of toys, collector’s items, cool apparel, and high-end collectibles can be found with over 150 booths to go treasure-hunting in.
The 10th Philippine TOYCON 2011 takes flight on June 18-19 at Megatrade Halls 1,2 and 3 from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM. It is organized by Collectibles Unlimited and co-presented by the SM Megatrade Hall, DC Comics, Cosplay Nation and HERO TV with Major Sponsors, MaxiCollector, Toy Kingdom, Warner Brothers Pictures, and Solar-UIP. Also supported by ABS-CBN Licensing and ABS-CBN Interactive, Mindstyle, Sqwishland, Cherifer, Xtreme Toys, Secret Fresh, Eurotel, Comic Odyssey, Sculpey Man, Sugar Free and Blue, Global Challenges, Fresh Gear, Rockstar Energy Drink, and Coca-Cola. Official media partners are ABS-CBN, Studio 23, 99.5 RT, Magic 89.9. Event partners are Anime Alliance, The Asia Cosplay Meet Philippines, IPMS, and the Malaysia Toyfair. Official Residence is the Edsa Shangrila Manila.
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