A decade is a long time especially in the popular culture events scene in a crowded landscape here in Singapore. Reaching its 10th Birthday milestone this year is definitely a noteworthy achievement for the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention (STGCC) as it occupies 3 halls at the Sands Expo and Convention Center this year.
STGCC 2017 sees a total of 6 zones this year over halls D, E and F where visitors can send their wallet on a slimming routine with hot collectables from Action City, Beast Kingdom and XM Studios, take photos with Star Wars character, pick up some fantastic artwork and meet their favourite artist. STGCC also sees two stages with different activities held throughout the day, the popular walk of fame where big names in the industry are available for autographs or even catch the ROG Masters with competitive eSports gaming with DOTA 2 and CS:Go.
As an East meets West event, I guess the 10th edition of STGCC finally found the balance thanks to the Star Wars Experience The Force zone. From a life size Rey’s Speeder to the interior of the millennium falcon, plus the ever lovable 501st Legion Singapore and cosplayers from the Star Wars universe, the content weightage seems right again like how I remembered the earlier STGCCs where the idea to start POPCulture Online was born.
If the organisers are looking to have an event that has something for everyone, I would think that they are on to something with the variety of content this year. Dedicated zones so that fans can just pay for what they want and the inclusion of the Good Game Experience to catch on to the ever-growing eSports content does show the organisers at ReedPOP getting adventurous. You can even check out the latest line of Asus monitors and gaming accessories there along with other big names such as Razer and Logitech.
Yet while I can give an A for effort for this “realignment” back to the roots of the STGCC that we have grown to love, there is still some areas that could have more deliberate planning on the event grounds. One example would be while there is a clear distinction of zones and the flow looks good on the map in the hand out, its execution on the actual ground is messy and inconsistent. Sure, we have more space to move about but it just feels like one messy plate of rojak walking the grounds. Thankfully the rojak is still good to eat just that some additional plating could have done. One plus point is that the walkways are now wider so there is room for everyone to admire the artist work and yet not block the people moving through the area.
For our overseas readers, Rojak means an “eclectic mix” in colloquial Malay and is also the name of a local salad of mixed vegetables, fruits, and dough fritters that is covered in a sticky black sauce – http://www.visitsingapore.com/dining-drinks-singapore/local-dishes/rojak.html
As someone who grew up on STGCC since POPCulture Online was born, I always felt that STGCC was always the event to be at to experience the best of western popular culture. Sure, go ahead and bring in some eastern content as well as it can complement the western content if done correctly.
While it wouldn’t be fair to expect the team behind STGCC to make magic and produce a perfect killer event for all convention goers, STGCC 2017 is a good start in the right direction and hopefully it will bring back killer western content with a right amount of eastern content to really bring the best in Comics, Anime, Manga, Toys and Games to popular culture fans here in Singapore.
By Kenneth Wong
© POPCulture Online 2017