From 50 exhibitors in 2010 to 240 exhibitors from 16 countries this year, the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention (STGCC) has definitely grown. In its eighth edition, STGCC 2015 promises even more east meets west popular culture content to fans both in Singapore and visitors around the region. Kenneth Wong heads down to STGCC 2015, held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Marina Bay Sands to report on the toys, the games, the comics and the convention.
The Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention has always been the event to look out for in recent years for exclusives that collectors and toy hunters would camp and queue up the night before the even opens to ensure they get hold of.
Leading the pack of desirables again this year are the Hot Toy Exclusives brought in by official distributor Action City. These include the First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader and the Star Wars 1/6th scale Luke Skywalker which thanks to the hype generated by the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie (out this year end), saw massive interest which resulted in long queues. Other exclusives that fans were all “wow” over included the Marvel line that saw the release of the Avengers: AOU 1/6th scale Maria Hill figure and the Iron Man 3 1/6th scale Tank (Mark XXIV).
On the local front, XM Studios was also out in full force where they not only displayed various 1/4 scale statues from popular comics line such as Marvel and DC. From prototypes to fully painted statues, these were popular with event goers as can be seen by the crowds spending time admiring each statue on display. The queue for a chance to get hold of upcoming ones such as the very impressive Ghost Rider 1/4 scale Statue (comics’ version) was also long despite the pricing of these statues which shows how willing collectors are will to fork out to acquire them.
Other noteworthy mentions included Beast Kingdom which brought in their Egg Attack line of both Marvel and Star Wars toys. Creating little dioramas, the booth saw heavy traffic too as many (including this writer) stopped to not only take photos but also wonder if their bank accounts can afford one of these cute little figurines.
It is all about planeswalking as Magic the Gathering makes it maiden appearance this year at STGCC with a sizable booth in Hall C. With tables spread out and staff on hand to teach interested visitors, this was a constantly busy booth with many trying their hands to win a pack of booster cards. While small in physical size compared to other booths, he huge door way glowing with the printed images of planeswalkers, the main characters in the lore of Magic the Gathering, was enough to even the odds and attract both curious visitors and long time fans alike.
Another one which saw curious STGCC 2015 visitors stop to take another look was that of the Krosmaster Arena Anime Miniatures Board Game. A Kickstarter project, it saw 1,299 backers backing the project and successfully bringing it to life. A Player vs Player-oriented board game, don’t let its simple cute anime inspired characters fool you into thinking it is a simple game to master with its wide array of tactics and strategies available to players.
The other big draw to the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention (STGCC) which saw queues that never end are the big names from the comic industry. From Adi Granov who was instrumental for Marvel’s Iron Man movies to the big man himself C.B. Cebulski, comic fans were in for a treat at STGCC 2015. Comic favourite Adam Hughes also made his first trip to Asia at STGCC 2015 and this drew fans who queued up to meet him at the Walk of Fame plus the panel session on “Talking Comics” also saw a huge turn out as Adam shared his experiences with everyone there.
Bronies or fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series were also in for a treat as Agnes Garbowska was in town for STGCC 2015 over the weekend. Joining the “Women in Comics in the 21st Century” panel with Camilla d’Ericco, Agnes shared her experiences as a female artist and how she got started in the industry. Fans of hers also lined up for hours (including one of our coverage team) just to get a special sketch from Agnes. When asked if it was worth it, that big smile on our writer was enough to explain.
This year’s Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention (STGCC) marks the 5th year that POPCulture Online is covering the event. While the event has definitely grown in size in terms of booths and guest coming down, the format continues to remain the same. While predominantly western heavy, STGCC 2015 saw an increase focus on eastern content with more Japanese popular culture personalities coming down.
A quick look at Sunday’s stage segment schedule sees the whole afternoon and evening filled with Japanese content. From game designer Mori Toshimichi to character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto and not forgetting voice actor Tomokazu Sugita, the stage area was filled with Japanese popular culture fans. Not forgetting Japanese cosplayer Tadaaki “Jacky” Dosai and Saku together with HongKong cosplayer Yui adding on to the eastern popular culture content as well. Ending of the night day was the DJ Night @ STGCC segment which featured Yuyoyuppe & Hige Driver, both from Japan.
Has the event reached it intended direction of east meets west? Well maybe this year is the year where the organisers have finally found the rough balance. While not even in each category of Toys, Games and Comics as the event name is looking at, definitely the eastern side has been beefed up to try and match the western side. A quick survey of the Cosplayers is a good indication as both eastern and western cosplays are represented throughout both days.
With the loud confirmation of STGCC 2016 happening thanks to the VIP tickets given out as prizes at the Championships of Cosplay stage segment, it would be very interesting to see where the team at Reed will take the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention to next year.
Do check out our photos from STGCC 2016 over at our Facebook Page.
Photos by Alex Tan, Ken Koh & Kenneth Wong.
© POPCulture Online 2015