A Decade of STGCC #onTOYSREVIL: STCC 2008 (Part 1)

WHAT-IS: "With the 2017 Edition of Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Con celebrating it's “10 Years” anniversary @ Marina Bay Sand Convention Center, TOYSREVIL takes a look back through nearly a decade covering this annual event on this blog, as we count down to the weekend of September 9th and 10th."

The first ever “comic con” I’ve ever attended in our lil’red dot of an island Singapore, was back in 1986, at Charlton Hotel - dubbed “The Singapore Comic Con 1986” - where Todd McFarlane was one of the invited artists and in attendance! Foolishly ignoring the chance to line-up to have his autograph (I was in a indie black-n-white comic phase then :p), I’ll have the event booklet and faded-but-vivid memories to contend with til now … I don’t remember buying any comics too…

It was not until twenty-two years later, that a full-fledged “TOY & COMIC CONVENTION” was announced in 2008! Organised by the folks at the now defunct Play Imaginative - under “P.I.Events”, the 2 day event launched June 28th to 29th, on the 6th floor of the Suntec City Convention Center - “home” of the toy-con for a few years too!

Scroll thru to read more of my rambling and link-backs to posts, or you can simply CLICK HERE to view ALL blog-posts on #STCC2008!

(Above) "Live" Mural Drawing outside the entrance to STCC Hall603 (BLOGGED) featuring l-r: Mori Chack / Pete Fowler / Simone Legno (Tokidoki) / Nada-One / Gary Erskine / Kika.

The event itself promised a ton of names - both Eastern and Western - and it was not just “Comics”, but a strong “collectible toys” focus, no doubt thanks to P.I.’s “involvement” in the toy sub-culture!

Did you know the very first incarnation of Singapore’s toycon was named “STCC” - which stood for “Singapore Toy & Comic Con”? Until the following year, where "GAMES" was added to the geekfest, and subsequently be known as “STGCC” :)

And while there had been a “stronger presence” of “comicbooks” back when it started, my personal focus was on “TOYS”, as was my fevered blog-coverage on!

Toy Stars like TOUMA, Pete Fowler, Gloomy Bear’s Mori Chack, Nada’One, DEVILROBOTS and Simone Legno of Tokidoki (whom after a decade, I have yet to meet face to face, to even shake his hand, much less be introduced at all @.@). But of course my personal focus was on “toys” LOL

I fondly remembered the involvement of Bandai - which proved to be utterly exciting, as it bridged the Eastern aspect of toy-collecting and the the notion of “mass production”! We enjoyed as much of this before Bandai stopped their involvement with toycon and started their own “Gundam Fiesta” standalone events.

For myself, it had been an opportunity to see first hand and meet folks I’ve only blogged about a scant few years prior, having started the TOYSREVIL-blog in 2005 (but collected toys much earlier), with the notion somewhat familiar (as I was blogging about San Diego Comic Con et al), and at the same time totally alien and experience to be had!

I covered the event like a fresh fiend off the boat, snaps galore, and as much information as I could muster! From multiple “Survival Guides” (“WHAT-IS”, “Surviving Money Matters” & “Personal Storage Systems”) shot with my own toys too (which was nigh enjoyable :p), to ”live” Twitting on an ancient mobile-phone (OMG).

I was even “multi-tasking”, holding a blog-contest at the same time, bringing along a vinyl toy on top of snagging toys for myself left-right-and-center! The biggest “culprit” being Play Imaginative!

P.I. was at their peak of art toy production at this point, which included TOKIDOKI X DEVILROBOTS Robots (Scored), T-BOY by Shin Tanaka (Scored), PLAY TOFU MINI Figures Series 1 by DEVILROBOTS (Scored some), TOFU-MOLLY by DEVILROBOTS X KENNYSWORK, ULTRA KING by ULTRAMAN, BORING JUICE GIRL & BOY by BOREDOMSQUEEZER (Ironically bought years later at a discount, where MOST of these items went on discount :p) … and more!

But to me personally, the “ultimate” had to be the “event exclusives” - NOT specific brand exclusives - but exclusives FOR STCC, which was in the form of TWO specially printed 100% BE@RBRICK! Queuing for it, and the drama behind queuing for it, was the talk of toy-town for some time even after the event had ended, and copious amounts were left on secondary market online auctions lol

THIS was what I had missed about Singapore toycons these days though.

Besides the toy-scores, the more memorable aspects of the event, was actually meeting the PEOPLE, having a chance to meet folks like Tabun Lee and Napat from MONKEY PLANET with relationships lasting until today, and of mucking about with TOUMA and wearing a mask, was something I’d never experience again in a convention, any con the subsequent years after.

Back “in the day”, I had the opportunity to visit the “set-up” day for the event, which I had termed “Day Zero” - which was essentially sealed boxes on wooden pallets, and folks building and assembling display stands - and that aspect appealed to me greatly too! Having been familiar with exhibition set-ups (my early “trade/profession”), and subsequent career in television and film design, being around partially constructed forms, was ALWAYS a treat - which I relished with abandoned!

I really like the notion of a “beginning”, “middle” and “end”, so “setting up” was a fulfilling notion, at least for me ... aaahhh the sweet memories...

And being the entitled whiney baby I must have been, I’d bitched about prams, whined about having a Media Pass, and of course even gave my 2-Cents wrap-up impression (and subsequently have been, in some form or another LOL) … and at the end of the day reports of “140K Visitors” had been a swell sign to see/read about, and an annual event worth waiting for now … an event we waited 22 years for! LOL


P/S: My buddy Andrew (now of Skunkworks Interactive) helped tons in photographing the event for me then too, and it would be an absolute blast if we could meet-up at STGCC again this weekend - “10 Years", leh! OMG LOL