Checked Out

A Postscript to Toycon 2016

The Urban Roamer may not be a full-fledged pop culture geek, but appreciates some good old pop culture stuff like comics, films, some TV shows, and toys. As such, going to such pop culture events have been such a treat to go to from time to time. One of those events is the ToyCon and the sheer amount of toys and pop culture-related merchandise and exhibits at the area from apparel to comics to the shelves and displays of varying themes.

Having been to a couple of ToyCons in the previous years at the Megatrade Hall of  SM Megamall, I’ve known very well the limitations of the venue as it could no longer accommodate the growth ToyCon has had in recent years. Thus after last year’s ToyCon, the organizers promised a bigger and better ToyCon for 2016, starting off with the announcement that it would be held at a bigger venue now, the SMX Convention Center. But did ToyCon 2016 live up to the promise? Well…

For one, I am glad to see ToyCon in a larger venue that it deserves as far as its status is concerned. This would usually entail more exhibitors and more things to see in the venue. Unfortunately, it did not turn out that way, well sort of. Sadly, the space was not maximized so at one part of the hall, everything is so packed up but on the other end, there was so much space left unused.

It was also a bit disappointing to see that there are not many exhibitors who participated in ToyCon 2016, despite the big space the venue is providing. At least some of the special exhibits for this year were worth checking out, especially the larger-than-life Voltes V figure and the special Stan Lee exhibit.

Then there were the guests. From what I can tell, ToyCon 2016 was the first ToyCon event that bothered to invite international guests, with Thai star Mario Mauer, Superman actor Dean Cain, and Game of Thrones actor Kristian Nairn among this year’s guest list. Admittedly, that was a good touch.  Though one has to wonder if ToyCon is now poising itself to compete with AsiaPop Comic Con in the local fan convention circuit. Not that I have anything against such plans; it’s just that perhaps it’s trying to leap into a new field too soon, without sorting the more important things out before doing so.

Kristian Nairn on the DJ booth during ToyCon 2016
There were also some local personalities too at ToyCon 2016 such as Heneral Luna’s Mon Confiado and John Arcilla

Finally, there is the point of the ticket prices. From last year’s P130 ticket, the regular entrance was now at P500. The price is even higher if one wants an exclusive pass to meet and greet some of the celebrities who will be at the event. While I have nothing against the admission price increase, I don’t know but I feel it is a case of “too much, too soon” kind of thing. It may have been palatable if the tickets were at P300-400 if an increase to be given. Because honestly, with how things are at ToyCon 2016, I don’t think it deserves a P500 ticket price.

Maybe it can justify the ticket price in future editions, when logistics are better. Then again, maybe the organizers should also consider the sentiments of those who frequent ToyCon mainly because of the toys, the merchandise, as well as the exhbitis, who felt the price increase was a bit too much in the first place for events they don’t really care much about. Whatever the case may be, here’s hoping ToyCon 2017 would be a better experience overall.

But what do I know? I’m sure the comments on this post would be dismissed as crazy rants of a “fanboy” even though I am not really one.

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