Held at the Marina Bay Sands over the first weekend of September was the 7th edition of the Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Convention (STGCC) which aimed to continue its tradition of being the coolest event to hit town. With the aim of bringing both western and eastern popular culture content to fans, Kenneth Wong checks out STGCC 2014 and shares his experience.
Welcoming visitors to STGCC 2014 is the Hot Toys booth which features the highly popular science fiction franchise, Star Wars. A hot favourite every year, the Hot Toys booth sees not only live sized storm trooper outfits thanks to the local 501st garrison but also upcoming figurines that collectors can look forward to. One of the highlights this year at the Hot Toys booth, is the “House Party” protocol inspired setup, which made an appearance at the end of the Iron Man 3 movie. Collectors also got a chance to get their hands on the exclusive Peacemaker Suit, which our editor Elliott Danker is a proud owner of. So far that Peacemaker suit is an exclusive that is only available at STGCC 2014.
Comic book fans were also in for a treat as various big names in the comic industry such as Cameron Stewart & David Mack were in town to meet fans and sign autographs. Other big names such as Olivier Coipel, Andy Price, Philip Tan & Harvey Tolibao also shared with fans during their stage segments with more insights into the world of the comics industry.
STGCC has always positioned itself as an East meets West event. Naturally coming from Asia, the Eastern side of Popular Culture was strongly represented with big names from the anime industry. The biggest highlight was Tomokazu Sugita, one of the biggest Japanese voice actors to date.
Making his first ever appearance in South East Asia, the seiyuu (voice actor) not only had a panel together with other big names in the industry such as Makoto Kedouin & Nao Shirahane but also had a live voice dubbing session, which I am sure made many fans very happy. Unfortunately photography during the session was not allowed.
Another highlight that many visitors looked out for was the ever colourful cosplayers who showcased their hard work and dedication to the hobby with some of the most amazing cosplays I’ve seen so far. From Western characters such as Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Pepper Potts to Eastern one such as Sword Art Online, Final Fantasy 15, Card Captor Sakura and Kill la Kill. It certainly showed how the cosplay community here was improving each year.
Cosplay fans also had an exciting two days with two seasoned names from the cosplay scene, Lenneth XVII and Aliga as invited guests. Both charmed their fans during both the autograph and cosplay runway segments. The guest cosplayers were also really nice during the media interview sessions as well and I look forward to seeing them again. Although I do wish Lenneth XVII would bring Mako down the next time because I know I’m certainly not the only one who wants to see that great big and cute golden retriever do a cosplay with Lenneth XVII.
Toy hunters were also spoiled for choice with the amount of merchandise that was on sale at this year’s STGCC. From the Hot Toys Exclusives, DC Comics inspired stamps from Singpost, to fan favourite Tokidoki by Simone Legno. I myself was tempted to break my budget this year but thankfully I didn’t have space left in my bag as all those Figurines at Tamashii Nations that looked so tempting. Of course my POPCulture Online team members who had more space went on a mini shopping spree with our latest addition to the editorial team eying all that comics and one of my photographers staring very hard at the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man toy.
One of the segments of STGCC 2014 that I loved walking through during my breaks is the artist alley. I liked how you could find many hidden gems but of course, you have to pay close attention. From artworks done by local artists to live caricature drawings which many couples indulged in.
This year’s Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention has been another good one showing how experience over the years has helped the team at ReedEXPO continue to produce an event that satisfied many popular culture fans. Sure there were some hiccups here and there but knowing the team, they will be hard at work ensuring next year would be better.
Overall STGCC 2014 has definitely given my team lots more to do in terms of content coverage but (as they say) it is a good problem and we all look forward to next year!
Photos by Ken Koh & Alex Tan
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