Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Singapore Toys Games and Comic Convention 2012

**First up, I have to apologize for this post going up so late, what with work, this Con, gaming and a family vacation all taking place, three quick weeks have just flown by.  But no, I'm still alive, thanks for asking.  And thanks for your patience too.  Other things in life may be happening but, dare I say it, the toys do too!  So from having cleared some backlog of Marvel Universe figures, I suddenly find myself with a whole bigger pile of stuff I want to open and review.  It all started with this Con that took place on September 1st, that's some two and a half weeks ago now!**

Come to STGCC or Hulk will grab ya and drag ya there anyway!
I was really looking forward to this years STGCC as it came right after a busy period at work for me and also because it was the first year it was going to be held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.  for those of you who are unfamiliar with this neck of the Woods, MBS = luxury.  It's not to say the previous location of Suntec City wasn't awesome, but kinda signalled that STGCC was moving on up.

Day 1 was a doozy, because we'd planned to dress the son up as his fave Captain America and were looking forward to not having to carry him around since he can walk now.  But we had a friend's wedding lunch to attend first.  As it turned out, after we were done, Lil Cap was more than happy to carry around his shield, which I had tied to his backpack (which he loves carrying around for some reason.)  So he looked awesome!

"I hope they like my costume!"...says Daddy
After quite a few photo request for Cutie Cap, the lil' guy pretty much ran out of gas.  Oh, he did last about 45 minutes or so before he had to take a nap.  A long one, at that.

I forgot to mention that we were going to meet the Rangerlord and was bringing along the Justice League: Supergirl, Batgirl, and (later on) Green Lantern. Rangerlord was just the guy collecting the money for the photos. I kid.  By the time Green Lantern arrived, Cap was so deep in sleep there wasn't any way for a female Justice league/Baby Cap team-up, so sorry there's no pic of them all together kickin' a$$ and taking names.  Ah, well. We'll dress them up again soon...

On to the Con itself, true believers!

Like: Exclusives. I think this is the first year that the "western" or action figure toy vendors come up with their own exclusives--and it's very much a welcome move.  The past few years since the Con began has seen the vinyl toymakers, artists, writers, etc. all come up with special items for STGCC.  So it was nice to see toy distributors Falcon's Hanger produce a Thundercats 8" Mumm-ra as Lion-O Exclusive.  While I didn't get one for myself, it was one of the few things I was excited to see.  Too bad the figure wasn't made in the 6" scale that the 8-inchers were revamped to.  That would've truly made the figure sought after (at least by me).  I also didn't much fancy the S$69.90 price tag on Mumm-Ra/Lion-O.  That's about two-and-a-half times what the regular Lion-O costs at retail. :(

Also exclusive to the Con:

- Play Imaginative's 12" Super Alloy Batman, made mostly of die-cast parts.  They also had a prototype Iron Man on display.  Nice as they were, Bats was priced at some S$320, which was definitely too expensive for my blood. :(

- Hot Toys' Rescue Uniform Version Captain America, Lt. Jim Gordon, and Pirates of the Carribean Angelica.  These were SDCC 2012 Exclusives first though.  But it was nice too see them offered here.

Like: The Hot Toys display.  This one's become a regular feature at STGCC.  And why not, since their home is a short flight away in Hong Kong?  This year, Hot Toys had a Movie Avengers diorama as their main attraction amidst the rest of their pieces.

Hulk looking picture-tiny..but huge next to 12" Cap!
Boy, does that Hulk look huge or what?  I would be all over it except for the S$320 (or thereabouts) price tag.  I can't afford that, even if Hulk has hidden elbow and head articulation points beneath his "skin"!

Like: Cosplayers/dressups!  Besides tiny Captain America, young Supergirl, lil' Batgirl, and mini Green Lantern, there were loads of people suited up!

It's not Iron Man--it's a giant Lego display by the 501st! ;P
Another year, another upgrade for our Iron Man.  His suit looked a lot more "advanced" this year, with added armour plating especially to the back.  (Last year looked all padding.)  There was a Movie Bane walking around in a self made costume--fortunately I didn't catch him or he might have broken me or something. :/

There were also a squad of Halo guys, and of course, the 501st Legion dressed up in their Star Wars gear!

More 501st Lego!
Like: Great deals.  These didn't seem so numerous compared to past years--but then again, I wasn't able to stay till the very last hour of the Con where most of the vendors start slashing prices.  Though I have to say that this year, a lot of them seemed less likely to do so.  What I did see was that they did bring in exclusive stuff from either from other Cons (Like Toyrealm and their SDCC 2012 MU Masters of Evil 3-pk and The Dark Knight Rises SDCC 2012 DCUC Batman) or hard to find figures from retails waves (Invasion Toys with the latest Marvel Universe shortpacked figures like Ultimate Spiderman.)

All this Lego and no where to buy it!
Like: Met one of my readers, Dylan (hope I spelled your name right.)  It's always a pleasure to meet someone who reads reviews on Chase Variant.  Dylan was especially friendly and told me he had bought a lot of stuff after reading my reviews.  Now, I always find that odd and I feel rather apologetic.  After all, you're thanking me for helping you spend hard earned money!  :P  I do appreciate that you mean it as a compliment, D-Dog, so thanks and thanks for reading despite my somewhat inconsistent posting in recent months.

More 501st Lego filler--this time it's the Battle of Helms Deep!
Dislike: I wished they had more action figure exclusives!  Hot Toys and all the other mega-sized action figures are wonderful, but 3.75" and 6" figure exclusives would be in greater demand, methinks. I'm thinking back a few years when we got Marvel Universe Ice Cap and the Invaders 4-pack Box, along with GI Joe Destro all in the same year.  And that was just for 3.75"-scale figures from the two lines.

There's no contest? Are you sure it's not down there?
Dislike: I wished they had more inclusion of "Western" community!  Don't get me wrong, I love the fact they got comic book artists and writers down but that's just a part of what the Con could be.

Posing contest: Gotta love that expression
By that I mean costume contests (which the cosplayers have), sneak previews/photos of superhero/sci-fi/fantasy movies to come, sneak previews of toys, more interactive booths with chances for photo ops, game and product demos.  I guess what felt missing this year was the interaction and feeling like part of the Con.

The Haul (Sorta)

So I guess I had to buy something.  To be honest I didn't see anything that I really had to buy because I wanted it and it was a great deal.  There were good deals, most of which I figured I wouldn't springing for:

Movie Fantastic Four Light-Up Human Torch - S$15: He's got a good likeness to Chris Evans--my first thought was to pilfer the head and modify it for my Marvel Legends movie Cap.  Then I saw the parking meter, post box, and partial sidewalk--all "melted" to varying degrees by the Human Torch's sudden Flame-On but still useful for a diorama/display.  A steal at that price!

Masters of the Universe Classics Hurricane Hordak - S$35:  Ooh, all that shiny gold!  I must've been a D&D dwarf in my previous life.  Truth is, he's one of my favourite villains from when I had old MOTU figures--his one hand with switchable and spinnable weapons was just too kickass!  I don;t think this one spins his weapons but they're still switchable.  And did I mention he's gold shiny gold armour?  Heheh.

DC Direct Brightest Day Deadman - S$15: Comes with White Lantern, alternate Boston Brand human head, and Deadman mask.  It's an awesomely sculpted and painted figure, though I suspect he's not a lot of people's fave for the right Deadman build, which is lanky and tall. That's ok for me though, because again, I was looking at the accessories and the parts I could possibly use for customs.  I know, I'm a murderous maniac who's started killing my toys.  But trust me, once you do your first victim, everything becomes easier and you'll start to look at your action figures differently!  Mwahahaha!

Marvel Universe San Diego Comic Con 2012 Masters of Evil 3-Pack - S$85:  This one comes from good ol' Toyrealm and its owner Vincent, who was the only one who brought it in. Orginally priced at S$95, he slashed $10 off the price.  Though still pricey, I don't think I'll ever see this 3-pack again unless I go online, by which time, after shipping, the price would be more or less the same.  The way I see it, S$28.34 per figure for a hard-to-get exclusive is completely worth it!

Hot Toys!
Overall Con Experience - Not bad.  But I'd like to see STGCC grow somehow.  I don't mean grow bigger in number of attendees necessarily, but rather a change in perhaps more events for the action figure crowd like an action figure custom contest or some "how to customize your figures/toys" clinics/workshops.

Getting stores to produce their own exclusives is a step in the right direction, but wouldn't it be amazing if almost every vendor has an exclusive?  It doesn't have to be anything brand new.  Just look at Con Exclusive GI Joes: most of 'em are kitbashed from existing parts, have new paints slapped on 'em, and a Con logo somewhere or other.  Some are even just repaints.  Falcon's Hangar Mumm-Ra-Lion-O is a great example.  And despite the steep price and not buying the figure, I commend their effort for doing something unique, at least.  If more vendor would do this, there would certainly lots of people biting if they did.  I know I would.  :)

Hot Toys 18" Movie Batman
As far as the "Games" part of the Con goes, it would be fantastic to see some non-video game based competitions.  Bring on the CCG (Collector's Card Game) tournaments like Magic and whatever else the kids play nowadays (I lost track at Pokemon and Yugi-Oh...), the boardgames tournaments, the miniature game tournaments, and the role-playing games!  There's a huge market for these in Singapore and in the region and I don't think the "G" in STGCC will reach its full potential till these are part of the Con.

"Oh boy, oh boy I can't wait for next year!"
And comics-wise, we're missing Kinokuniya from the mix--they had a great Heroclix Green Lantern freebie last year and always have a great (probably the best here) selection of comics.  They were missing this year, though, as was the National Library (I think?  Didn't see them this time).  Bring in more comics vendors, I say.  G&B Comics has done a splendid job of flying the flag at STGCC since the beginning but with Harris Planerds closing down here, they'll be the only ones left with comics next year.  If they pulled out altogether that would be one less "C" in the Con.  :(

Those, I suppose, are the challenges for next year and the years beyond.  I'm glad there were more attendees then ever (35,000 over 2 days) but I'd love to see this number grow and STGCC expand to 3 days or more to accommodate the number, as well as all the potentially new activities and exclusives!


  1. Looks like a fun time was had with the family and it will be great seeing more post again from you. : )

    1. I'm also hoping to see more posts from me soon! Lol. ;P

  2. Great to hear you were able to enjoy some quality time with your family. Lil' Cap is so cute especially that last pic - lol. I hope I can attend next year's Con.

    1. Thanks and yes, hopefully you can. Let me know if you make it!

  3. And I am of the belief that the Masters of Evil set will eventually be made into single packs.

  4. Aiyah! why didn't tell me when u were there? was walking round and round...wah, u bought the masters of evil! Agree with what u said bout the lack of action figures this year.

    1. Lol, yes, I heard you were there. But hard to track you down with your ninja skills. Haha. Yeah, the price on those Masters are EVIL!

  5. hahah nope not right! it's dillon! hmm this year's con seems smaller. and less stuff too. but i found the whole mu wave 18 and wave 21!

    1. Darn! I missed it by THAT much. ;) Very sorry. Dillon, it is. Yeah it seemed smaller for some reason. But I'm glad you found complete waves! :D

    2. hahah only imperial stormtroopers are so precise. HAH the reason was mbs is smaller, costs more to rent, and they get to rip you off! hahaha thank you! but i only got beast haha and the quality is well, from china..


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