What’s a Geek Goes to ToyCon 2016! This year was an amazing year for geeks and collectors: the kids who buy toys, and those who buy toys for their “kids.” Read up on our experience in this year’s ToyCon!
Toycon celebrated their 15th year with a significant overhaul. They partnered with Pop Life and Salt Lake City Comic Con to bring us ToyCon + Pop Life FanXperience, and with this partnership came a major upgrade in floor space. They moved the event to SMX Manila Halls 1 to 4, a venue more than twice the size of Megatrade Halls 1 to 3. Halls 1 and 2 held the Exhibitors Area, Dining Area and the Toy Gallery while Halls 3 and 4 were for the giant Pop figures, major sponsors and Artists Alley. Media, VIP, and Legendary Pass holders were able to get first dibs on photos and merchandise as they were admitted an hour early into the venue, giving them first dibs on the merchandise, Pop Life displays and the Stan Lee exhibit.
The venue was not the only thing that changed. Foreign guests were brought in as well, headlined by celebrities Kristian Nairn (Hodor from Game of Thrones), Dean Cain (Superman from Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman), Mario Maurer (Thai actor and superstar), Daniel Logan (young Bobba Fett from Star Wars), Bronson Pelletier and Kiowa Gordon (werewolves from Twilight), as well as music acts Heffron Drive and Frankie J.
Over the course of three days, the celebrity guests gamely answered fans’ questions. Dean Cain offered what tidbits of information regarding Supergirl he could get away with and also shared his thoughts on playing Superman on TV. He was also surprisingly blunt with his opinion on Batman vs Superman (it was not his thing at all and he dozed off a couple of times). Kristian Nairn also gave some insight on how the iconic door scene was shot (there was more than one door!) and shared a bit of his music influences in relation to his DJ-ing. Mario Maurer graced the stage on Saturday, drawing huge crowds with his affable smile and vocal appreciation for his fans. Daniel Logan, Bronson Pelletier and Kiowa Gordon were a riot on stage, never sitting still and entertaining the audience with their dynamic personalities.
The music acts were nothing to sneeze at, either. Frankie J took the audience back with his smooth R&B hits from the early 2000’s, while Heffron Drive delivered an acoustic set of their songs and closed with a Big Time Rush cover. Tokyo Underground acts Yanakiku and Electric Ribbon provided energetic performances while promoting Japan’s culture through music.
One of Toycon’s aims was to push local talent and creations to the international arena. To achieve this, Encantadics were treated to the full trailer of Encantadia 2016 – first launched at Toycon x Pop Life FanXperience – and an appearance by the cast members, director, and lead designer. Director Mark Reyes and Head set designer Noel Flores had a short panel on Day 3 to answer fans’ questions regarding the requel (retelling + sequel).
For film, the cast and director of Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Neng Patalo went to promote the nationwide release of the movie. They were followed by the cast of Heneral Luna to promote the deluxe version of the DVD.
No pop culture convention would be complete without a cosplay competition. Held on Day 3 and presented by Saiko, the cosplay competition was broken down into three categories: Solo, Group, and Chibi. All of the cosplayers went through a pre-judging stage, after which they strutted their stuff onstage.
Toycon made a lot of changes this year, to polarizing opinions. Nevertheless, they’re pushing through with even more surprises next year on June 30 to July 2, so that’s something to look forward to in 2017.