Sunday, June 27, 2004

The 2004 Philippine Toy Convention was convened and I had the time of my life. The place was already filled to the rafters when I got in sometime after 11 a.m. Almost all my friends from the Artists' Den were there at the booth with their goodies spread (which was behind the booth of Culture Crash Comics which was totally cool!). Lyndon was ready with his strip compilations and shirts, Syeri, Joanah and Marius were already set with their stickers and indie comics. I was disturbed by the sight of Marius' latest gimmick with his indies and asked him about it. He told me it had something to do with the story inside of his latest comic. As I was browsing the inside pages I thought of other artists whom I read would go to some extremes for their art. Sort of a delayed performance art, the results of which stand alongside their work. So it was that attracted most people to his work.

It was great to see a lot of old friends, acquaintances, and fellow artists again like Gabe, Camy and Elbert, Jac, Derrick, Nelz, Fluxx, Ryan, Aish (the biggest fan of one of the characters in the CLASS strip), Reno, Carver (thank you for those signed sketches you gave away), Jonas, my college classmate J'mee, some of the people of Star Wars Philippines, Matrix Philippines, and Via Atris hanging around. Plus some new faces like my fellow deviantARTist Melchman. I stayed mostly in the booth and chatting up a storm with the others and watching them sell their work. People were coming and going and some stopped long enough to look at the indie comics being sold. I also bought a CD sampler of guest indie performer Drip which I also got them to autograph. They were one of the two coolest performers on stage at the time. The group is composed of three members, Beng Calma (vocalist), Rann Golamco (electric guitar), and Malek Lopez (synthesizers and programming) who are into electronica music, which was my absolute first love back in high school. Sampled beats and synthesizers really got me to notice them some days back when Az first told me about their music. The second group after them, 7 Shots made me decide even more to go for more OPM music in my CD player. Here are some pictures from the event:

The Artists' Den booth at the con: (l-r) Lyndon's arm (sorry dude), Marius, Syeri, and Joanah.

Lady Gabe makes her presence known once again. Duhn-dun-dun!!!

This Doc Ock cosplayer was the talk of the town when he first arrived.

Aish Ashlar and friend were all smiles when they visited the booth

Drip: local techno music at one of its absolute best!

Seven Shots of Wisdom hiphopping the house once again

Carlo Vergara doing on-the-spot pencilled collectibles

Wilson Tortosa doing lightning quick sketches. Look at him go!

Ghimli takes a breather from his mission to join the convention

Doctor Doom and the Executioner squares off for domination of the Con

The Witchking and Sauron meet up again, of all places, at the ToyCon stage

Cosplayers' Top 8 Winners (click to enlarge)

The organizers behind the event, Vic Yap, Albert Lee, Cholo Mallillin, Jojo Dy, Lou, Azrael Coladilla and another as-yet unnamed individual, did a smashing job in holding a Live Action Figure Cosplay Contest so instead of seeing anime and manga inspired characters on stage, we were treated to a different showcase this time featuring characters inspired by The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Spider-man 2, other movies, cartoons, and toys that are out there in the market. The cosplayers seemed to have spared no expense in building their costumes. The details were almost exact as those seen in the characters they are portraying. By the time of the competition the whole place was filled to the rafters and there were many more outside the venue waiting for their chance to come in. I had a hard time going around choosing a toy I could buy. I tried looking for some models and action figures I thought wasn't custom made but after going around and combing through almost all the shelves and baskets in every booth I had to conceded and go back to the booth. The event ended sometime before 9 p.m. and even then, it seems, a lot of customers weren't ready to disperse. By the look of things, I guess the organizers have once again underestimated the number of people going to the convention this year and it's safe to say that next year we'll be looking forward to a bigger venue than this one.

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