Saturday, December 11, 2010

Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention 2010: Day 1

What a day!

But I'd like to start off first by saying that this year's convention in Singapore is being held for the first time after being taken over by Reed Exhibitions, the same people who run New York Comic Con.

Random door gift: cutesy key chain
Last year's event was a little bit of a marketplace, with no panels or screenings or sneak previews but tons of vendors selling toys, exclusives and the like.

So with the new management this year, how did things go on Day 1?  Well here's a hint: I spent close to 10 hours there and I'm raring to go back tomorrow!

Starting 2nd from left: C.B. Cibulski, Matt Fraction, Gail Simone, Tim Tsui, Leinil Yu
So I hit up the convention early (like at 1030am. Hah) and I managed to catch the media preview with all the comic book artists and writers in attendance.  It was relatively short, but at least we got to hear from the likes of C.B. Cibulski, Gail Simone, Matt Fraction, and Leinil Yu.

Leinil on the right.  Me?  On his right.
There was a little bit of an overview of what made STGCC different from other Cons--it brought the best of West and East pop culture together in one place.  By "East" they mean not just Japan, but also from the likes of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore.

While I'm not huge on the Eastern part of pop culture, I'm a big fan of art done by guys from this part of the world for Western companies like Marvel and DC.  Here's one of them: Leinil Yu, who drew Superman: Rebirth (with Mark Waid) and Ultimate Hulk vs Wolverine (with Mark Millar).

The Rangerlord, Gail Simone, and me again!
Flanking the Fraction
Then the doors opened to the public at 12pm and I met up with hunting buddy The Rangerlord for a quick recon round the Con hall before grabbing a bite to eat.

The Rangerlord wanted to get his graphic novels signed by all the artists and writers and he was pretty psyched to meet them all .  So we spent the next 2 hours or so jumping between lines for their autographs and darting in and out of the toy vendors.
Mad over Maleev, Alex, that is. ;)
 Once we were done geeking out at the "stars", we finally knuckled down to the serious business of locating some good deals on toys!--And boy did we find some bargains!  We didn't have time for any panels, but we weren't planning on them.  So by 630pm we were bushed and called an end to the hunt.  I stayed behind after to wait for the wife to come pick me up and check out the rest of the Con together.  It got less crowded towards the evening with all the big names gone, so I had a nice time showing her where the Rangerlord and I snagged the best deals.  So here's a break down of what I liked and disliked about Day 1:
Hyper Happy over Harvey! (Talibao)

Like: That the signing sessions were well organized.  The queues moved at a steady pace and the writers and artists were friendly and all smiles, especially Matt Fraction, Gail Simone, Leinil Yu and Harvey Tolibao.  It was so efficient we got everything we wanted signed!

Like: That there were panels, though we didn't have time to attend any.  This means that there'll be panels on Day 2 and Day 3, and I'll get to sit in on some then! :)

1st buy: Henkei Hound S$25! (US$19.20)
Dislike: That there were less toy vendors than last year.  The big boys from '09 were missing: Mattel, Hasbro, Toys R Us, and a local toy store franchise.

One more for Jabba at S$5!
Like: That with less of the big boys around, there was more time and space for the specialty stores.  It was easier to browse slowly and less likely that we would bump into someone doing the same.

Like: The deals we found! As you can see, Day 1's toy haul was more than satisfying. There's more MOTU Classics and Transformers I was eyeing but I'm gonna bide my time on those.

A buddy for Clone Armor Obi-Wan: S$8
Like: There were a whole lot of artists selling signed prints!  Harvey Tolibao had some mean Psylocke exclusives as well as a damn good original sketches of the aforementioned and Wolverine! The Rangerlord got a Psylocke for his wife and while the originals were awesome, their prices were a little rich for our blood.  But if you're into that sort of stuff it would be a steal at S$100-S$200 (US$130-260).

S$40 (US$30)? Yes, please!!!
Special mention also goes to local company Imaginary Friends Studios, who had a wide variety of some 20-30 DC Heroes prints. Sad thing is that they ran out of Wonder Woman and Batman by the time I decided to go for 'em. The great thing is that they'll e printing more for the next two days!

For S$10 (US$7.70)?  Too good to pass up!
Like: That the National Library Board had a booth at the Con and they were loaning out graphic novels, Manga, books, and DVDs!  If you borrowed 6 books you'd get a chance to win $800 in vouchers from Kinokuniya bookstore.  Besides borrowing 6 graphic novel titles that I wouldn't ordinarily buy but would definitely read, the Rangerlord and I met this cool kid volunteer Leon, who needed us to sign up for the books through him so he could get some extra CCA points for school (something like extra credit).

S$15!  To complete the preludes. :)
We (read I) kept giving him crap about how he'd been treated like free labour and needed to fight for better wages (he was getting none as a volunteer. Lol.)  But he stuck to his guns and got from us the 2 sign-ups worth 4 minutes, to go towards his 100 hours he needed.  Lol. :P

Day 1 Convention Rating: A solid 8/10!

The wife finds her idol
Well, I'm gonna hit the sack now.  I reckon that's plenty much from me, especially after I managed to stick up two reviews on DC Universe Shark and Etrigan over the last few days.

More from Day 2 of STGCC tomorrow!


  1. Hi there, we're glad you liked the library booth. Don't worry about Leon, he gets his hours for the entire shift he's there and not just sign-ups, but we'll definitely give him a librarian's pat on the back, for being a great volunteer!
    - Jillian (a librarian)

  2. No wonder it felt like I was being conned by him! I knew there was something he wasn't teling me! ;P Nah, he did a great job and was really friendly.

    Thanks for bringing your services to STGCC. I'm sure many comic book fans, myself included, were impressed by the range of graphic novels you provide to the community. I also think many others also learnt that the library has more than just books to loan out, so awesome job!


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