Singapore Toy Games & Comics Convention 2018 (Day 1)

It's been so longggggg since I've been back to Cosplay and to this Blog! Gosh, I hope at least someone missed me *twiddle thumbs nervously*. If you're wondering why this blog and my personal cosplay has slipped into oblivion, maybe this video will give you an answer.

I finally got a chance and motivation to jump back into Cosplay with a group of close friends and their families in tow. It was fun saying hi and making new friends at the convention after so long.

Yuanie invited me to cosplay as the characters from the new animated series - Hataraku Saibou (Cells at Work). I was torn between the Red Blood Cell or the B-Cell but after an overwhelming vote of RBC on my FB page, I relented and ordered a set of the costume from Taobao xD. It looked like a simple costume but the collective cost of everything turned out to be close to a hundred dollar -_- ;; . Am I complaining? yes and no. Let's move on...

I arrived at Marina Bay Sands around 2:45pm, jumped off my cab and rushed into the convention hall corridor in a hurry. With the exception of a few cosplayers, the relatively quiet corridor gave no hint of any event happening whatsoever. A little perplexed, I found myself walking up and down the place looking for directions until I finally found it at the end of the corridor. After a bit of orientating, I met up with my team at the carpark, dumped my belonging in their car, changed into my uncomfortable shoes and the show is on!

We were a team of 3 Normal Cells, 2 Platelets, 1 White Blood Cells and 1 Red Blood Cell! Check out our adorable and size appropriate Platelet cosplay! Character accurate boots were procured for them but independent two years old have a mind of their own and no amount of coaxing could work 8D . That's $18 down the drain for the parents haha!

I clearly stood out like blood, LOL.

It was a pity we missed out on the group package deal so each of us ended up paying for $25 each. We were given a ticket receipt to exchange for a wrist strap for identification. The wrist band had a plastic contraption that made it work like a cable tie. Probably a design to discourage attendees from sharing their tickets xD.

The first thing we saw when we entered was the Marvel booth with levitating Iron Man and Spiderman in his Infinity Wars suit!

Beside it was the Tokidoki booth which is as popular as ever. Can you see the queue? Unfortunately for me, I've never been a fan of figurines and toys (surprise! surprise!) so I've often found it hard to fathom the obsession. Especially since the brand has been a long time guest of numerous Anime & Comics convention since forever - I'd thought the hype would have died down by now but boy was I wrong. This goes to show the brand is evergreen and here to stay!

Moving on next was the promotion booth for the upcoming Marvel Movie - Venom! Other than blasting it's trailer non-stop, there were also immersive experience such as black slime and Venom faceswap photo booth. To see the 'black slime' interaction in action, stick around for my event vlog soon!

Didn't get the chance to try either because I was a wimp =(. And because I didn't want to get my hands dirty ^////////^ ;;;;;;

Beside it was the SpiderVerse Movie booth! They engaged a costumed Spidey to take pictures with the attendees and the kids loved it! There was endless hugging and carrying and flying kisses. Now I regret not getting a picture with Spidey =( 

At the end of the route was a snacks booth which seemed really out of place in a Comic Convention haha. Oh well, I guess Comic fans need to refuel too huh?

Surprisingly, there was a booth from NLB. Yes, Singapore's very own old school National Library! I paused to look at the screen and a staff jumped in to explain it to me. Apparently our very own NLB has jumped onto the Mobile App wagon and they are doing e-books now. Like FREE E-BOOKS! 

I mean, I know the library's free but who has time to make a trip down for a book (that might not be available) and then schedule another trip back to drop it down? I used to be a huge bookworm and flipping through pages of wonder were my favourite childhood memories. But now,  given the limited time I have, reading has unfortunately been delegated to just Audio Books while I cycle or E-books while I navigate my dull and monotonous daily commute. Dang, I need to go download the NLB App!

We got stopped for pictures quite a bit and melted a little whenever a fellow cosplayer showed our tiny platelets kindness. One of our platelets is a huge fan of Power Rangers and Superheroes and he'd demand for hugs whenever he sees one. It's always heartwarming to see the joy and delight on a stranger's face when they spot the toddlers. I'd say they brought a smile to more than a wagon load of tourists and event attendees in Marina Bay Sands!

We also toured the Artist Alley a little. I realised this is the only photograph of the area but I've got quite a lot of video footage so look out for it!

Somewhere in the middle of the convention hall was a small cluster of stylish food and ice cream stores. This particular brand had a Star Wars collaboration - there were even selling Star Wars TsumTsum! I don't have any more pictures of the food stores as I was getting too fatigued at this point ; I'm getting too old for this Cosplay thing 8D!

Every year, the showcase of extremely intricate comic figurines and special tie-ins are one of the major highlight of STGCC. This year is no different as amazingly detailed figurines by XM-Studios were placed on the alter and worshipped with admiration and endless flashlight.

Here are some of my captures.

They had a Japanese theme running for some of the DC Batman characters and boy was it cool!

This samurai interpretation of Batman with his royal stead is so dashing!

Here's Batman with his sworn enemy, The Joker clad in Japanese traditional garbs and katana on a Japanese Machiya roof xD


And then some Digimon appears xD

And of course, there was a big booth dedicated to Star Wars and it's merchandise.

Handsome and young Hans Solo and Luke Skywalker in Storm trooper costume. I'm not a fan of Star Wars but I wonder which episode/movie did they dress in it?

There was a booth called Nimbus Daydream Kurobokan and it was basically filled with cute pigs  toys xD They even had one that looked suspiciously like the traditional childhood treat every Singaporean kid grew up with! Ice cream wrapped in rainbow bread anyone???

I spotted the Aniplus booth towards the end of the day and was blown away by how far ahead the Shingeki no Kyojin Anime was. It's in season 3 already, gosh! I stopped after the first anime and jumped onto the Manga. But it's been so long since I last flipped through its' pages that I no longer remember where I stopped!

And I just googled SnK and realised the first Anime came out like 5 years ago! I feel like such an Obasan to admit this but gosh, it felt like it was just yesterday when everyone was singing the ridiculously addictive and passionate opening song non-stop! I need to catch up!

One of the Artist Booth had this really interesting Kuji Draw/ Gashapon thing and we found a group of Hataraku Saibou Cosplayers there! I excitedly dragged Yuanie over for a group shot with them.

We didn't meet as much HS Cosplayers as we thought we would so we were ecstatic to finally meet such a decent sized group! We met another solo Platelet before them but that was about it.

My pretty RBC twin!

And then the hilarity ensued...

" AHHH i've been holding my map upside down!" - RBC

We also met a pretty lady cosplaying as White Blood Cell from Hataraku Saibo Black - the unhealthy version of Hataraku Saibou (Cells at work).

Now for more photo spam of myself with my HS group because why not?

Yuanie with our size appropriate Platelet!

Gin cosplaying as a basic cell , holding a toddler Platelet!

A few hours in, we finally decided to take a break at the edge of the convention while some of us filled up on glucose energy. We also decided to do an impromptu photoshoot xD.

We also met other awesome cosplayer and here are some of their photographs!

Hey look! It's Shizu!

A shot of the Guest booths towards the end of the day.

The AKIBA stage was lit and swinging every second I was there. The DJs for the DJ Night @ STGCC hyped the crowd up really well. Lots of light stick, arms waving and dope beats  were seen and heard. 

I wish I could have caught some of the guest panels but that's what happen when you cosplay and don't plan your schedule around the event programme ^^;  

American sewing machine manufacturer - Singer was also there with a telephone booth. I found the telephone booth concept really interesting however I'm not sure how it's supposed to tie in with the theme of the event - transforming into a hero in a telephone booth maybe? With the machines on show like this, it seems to be an invite for attendees to try their hands on it.

The photo was taken near the end of the show and as you can see, there wasn't much people around at all. I only found out after the event, while I'm drafting up this post that Singer was actually running an Instagram contest. As someone in need of a sewing machine, I'd have joined it in a heartbeat if I knew. I wished they publicised the contest and promoted engagement more during the event. Even when we walked passed it in the middle of the day, the booth was noticeably empty. I guess the limited quantity of 400 capes were wiped out before we got there.

Overall, this marks the end of my event blog post for Singapore toy Games and Comics Convention day 1.

The turnout this year on Saturday was noticeably smaller than previous years as a significant amount of attendees had chosen to attend the Natsu Matsuri held on the same day. Maybe ReedExpo could take potential competitor events into consideration in the future for a better turn out.

For a hiked entrance tickets of $25 this year, the show and exhibitions felt a little underwhelming.  And in the midst of all the cosplay dizziness and fun, we totally missed out the AKIBA Mini Stage area. We walked to the World Snack section, saw a wall and thought this was it. We didn't get an event brochure when we paid for our tickets and that only exacerbated the confusion. Yes, I know we only have ourselves to blame for not planning ahead but it's not realistic to expect every attendee to have the same level of commitment. It's an event we paid good money to enjoy on a relaxing weekend and the way it is now is sending the message that if I'm not willing to invest time and effort into studying and following the programme (which is pretty interesting), it might do me better to just stay home and save my pennies. This is why most cosplayers stay outside the convention hall.

Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed STGCC! It was a great day hanging out with friends who are truly priced above rubies and it gave me the opportunity to finally cosplay again. Some of the booths were interesting and had special Singapore - only limited edition merchandise to incite interest. While we enjoyed the interactions with various cosplayers ( both paid and hobbyist) and marvelled at the intricate figurines and Artist exhibition, we still walked away feeling slightly disenchanted. That said though, I wouldn't say this is STGCC's problem because if I'm brutally honest, I'd say this is all Singapore event's shared problem. A lot of money and effort is invested into ensuring the brand and product is seen but not enough effort is placed into engaging and exciting the attendees during the event/convention.

Some of the booths tried incorporating interactive components of their merchandise/brand to engage with the attendees and allow them to walk away with something but most of them were really just static cardboard standees and videos on a loop. It technically becomes a boring sales booth that won't target beyond their existing customer base. I know running an event is terribly difficult but I humbly implore local brands and booths/exhibitors to work towards a more inspiring and engaging event. It's not just about me as a tiny consumer, it's about maximising your brand reach and eventually profits when you finally get to my wallet through my heart.

Did I speak too much ? Comment and tell me to shut up!

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Darren Rowse said…
Awesome event! love to participate.


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