Knowing what to expect on Day 2 based on our experiences on Day 1, we were able to take it a little bit slower with the booth set-up and sales. Instead of actively pushing our merch at passers-by, we just made small-talk with whoever wanted to look at our stuff, or get more of our flyers (which came with free postcards!). This strategy paid off well as we sold off most of our big ticket items on the second day, as if the closure of the con at the end of the day pushed the bargain-hunting into overdrive.
With the relaxed atmosphere in the dealers hall we all decided to take turns just going around the exhibits and checking out what else was on sale. There were plenty of items that would make perfect Christmas presents six months from now: I really liked the stuff at board-game and Blythe specialist Play Matters, as well as the selection of modeling materials and tools from Sculpeyman. Meanwhile, Comic Odyssey pulled out all the stops for their selling booth, displaying a massive spread of dirt-cheap manga volumes and prized comic-book hardbacks.
On the flipside, there was a lot of shameless piracy going on — from fake Good Smile Company products (Figma and Nendroids in particular were quite uh popular) to burned DVDs of fan-subbed Japanese anime. It has reached embarrassing levels — more so these last few years as fellow fans from nearby countries like Malaysia and Singapore fly to Manila just to attend the con. Is this the face of the Philippine convention scene that we want to show to the world? Didn’t think so
Lastly, I was able to take a look at the Toy Display section and the Events Hall. The Toy Display section played host to a number of collectors’ groups, who were keen to show their private stashes to both hardcore collectors and dilettantes. I was really impressed with some of the items on display, especially by the Batman Forced Perspective diorama submitted for a contest – really fantastic stuff. It was just a bit disconcerting that the guards watching over the front and back doors keep reminding people to keep their eyes on their wallets, phone, and cameras – as if the con was worse than Quiapo on a really bad day.
The Events Hall was brilliant technically and well-planned from an organizers’ perspective. It was sectioned off so that the lights and sounds did not interfere with the goings-on in the dealers hall. Unfortunately, all that good work was lost amongst the crowd of photogs and cosplay fans, who kept complaining that the lack of seating was a turn-off for viewing the stage events. Uh guys, that’s how stage events really are overseas – it’s just us lazy-ass Pinoys who demand seating everywhere we go.
Final verdict – 2011 Toycon was pretty good, much better than expected actually. The experience that VicVic and the Collectibles Unlimited team had garnered over the past ten years has really shown. Despite several cosplayer-related boo-boos, the con went off without a hitch, and we hope to see even more improvements as the con embarks on its second decade.
Thanks to Yue of I AM PINKIST for lending me her camera when my Hamster used up all the space in our camera.
7 Comments Add yours
I find the venue, of late, a bit too small and restricting.
Furthermore every staff member should be carrying either handheld radios or phones on ready to coordinate the whole event throughout the day, as well as to respond to unforeseen occurrences.
Regarding the rampant piracy, seems that it reflects the sad fact that most of us have the fraction of the average spending power of a Singaporean or a Malaysian, and our fellows insist on buying stuff on the cheap, even if they know it’s a blatant Guandong knockoff with a poor paint job, as long as it’s their favorite character carved in fullness.
Finally, the cosplayers should have their own space, because the big crowd draw is both a boon (for publicity) and a pain (in terms of crowd control).
our fellows insist on buying stuff on the cheap, even if they know it’s a blatant Guandong knockoff with a poor paint job, as long as it’s their favorite character carved in fullness.
sad reality, that. however, what irks me more is the fact that some so-called fans actually declare loudly on their blogs and SNS accounts that they buy rip-off toys and pirated DVDs — as if it was some badge of honor that they should be proud of uh, no?! >.>
I remember this friend of mine (who have a secret “crush” on me *ehem*)who keeps on insisting that I go with him to Divisoria to buy those expensive anime stuffs that I’m drooling on because he knows where to buy them at cheap prices.He even told me that in Divisoria, you not only get pirated stuffs, you get to buy the REAL ones waaay lower than what they normally priced at cons.He ‘proudly’ said to me that those are smuggled goods, thats’ why they we’re priced that low. Being allergic to anything not legal, I declined, just saying that I don’t have money at that time.
So much to woo a fan girl like me…XP
And that incident made me think that piracy is not the only thing that should affect all of us anime fans, but smuggling too.PAGING BUREAU OF CUSTOMS???
haynaku don’t get me started on the BOC if a lot of people buy fakes, it’s partly their fault for not stopping the proliferation of pirated goods in the local market. however, people very rarely buy originals also because of the BOC — if you ship in a box of toys from japan or hong kong or singapore, they will be after your ass collecting “customs duties”. duties that are, as many people have complained about, too high and calculated under suspicious circumstances
Too bad I missed this! T.T We went out of town on that weekend to attend my cousin’s wedding.
so sorry you missed the con this year, xine 😦 but look on the bright side — at least you weren’t swallowed alive by the hall 2 crush o.O;;
I’m in favor of available seats especially my wife (who’s 8mos preggy) wanted to go along since we started attending the event 2 years ago.