Experiencing "My First STGCC" @ #STGCC2017

One week ago yesterday, I attended my “first ever toycon” at the 2017 Edition of Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Con, and while I have had indeed covered the annual convention for nearly a decade (this year is their “tenth edition”) as “MEDIA” (I even covered in in a wheelchair right after-Stroke, for pete’s sake hahahahaha), THIS would be the “first time” I aim to experience the geek-fest as an “Attendee”!

Disclaimer: Things might get extremely “personal” here, and if you are looking for general overview and rays of sunshine of STGCC2017, stay tuned for THAT article instead :)

These are just some of the things I’d experienced :)

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Located in Basement 2 of MBS convention center, pass a heightened security check- point on the first level, I saw this massive queue at about 11am (Saturday, Day 1) and thought “Wah! The queue getting in so long ah?” ... Then realised this was the queue for collection of online tickets! Thank goodness, as I’d have struggled to queue that long! (Physically I am not that agile, f :p).

Purchasing entry tickets however, was relatively fuss-free, with negligible queue … and all I had to do after was slap on my wristband, to enter? #EXCITED, was I…

The walking thru a seemingly underground corridor (which technically was), felt like I was walking thru a “behind-the-kitchen” access corridor - like in the spy movies - was “interesting” hahaha

The fact of the matter was, I very nearly did not make it to the event (I will not bore you folks with “specifics”) … but I managed to struggle and pull thru, and am glad I did - not just for what I had experienced this one day - which somehow encapsulated the local scene - and for the “clarity” it helped me achieve, with the people I’ve met, and not meet. THAT walk down the “basement corridor”, along with my heightened imagination, became more “drama” than I expected it to be … and emerging into the wider space at the entrance of the event, was weirdly (on hindsight), quite “enlightening”, actually! HAH!

And admittedly, THIS post also serves as the equivalent of “patting myself on the back”, unashamedly so, thank you very much for reading and indulging in my words! *grateful-smile*

Habits die hard”, indeed! Funnily enough, I had to literally hold back on my habits of “covering” the event, with videos and multiple snaps of the exhibits - something which I admittedly regret not doing so, as I selfishly indulged in “me”, and setting the “needs” go the blog aside, this year.

From missing out on Wetworks & Clogtwo’s signing of their Shinigami release (Sorry, guys!), to having the chance to meet / been-introduced to artists, I had chosen to “engage” instead of “photographing” it. No doubt folks can exclaim “DO BOTH!and stop whining, but perhaps I need to give myself a “refresher” course in “multi-tasking”, if ever I intend to do STGCC again next year… :)

Had the good opportunity to visit STGCC with my friend Andrew and his wife Josephine at the beginning of the day. We had attended the first ever STCC back in 2008, and a decade later doing so again, was pretty swell a happenstance!

Check out the video Andrew made (for his Skunkworks Interactive), which I’ve previously posted here … and daymn I WANT a GoPro camera! Just need to strike new week’s lottery, is all MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA

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This snap is supposed to be me going insane over the Gladiator Hulk (for the movie “Thor: Ragnarok”) by Hot Toys and having loved “World War Hulk”? This was epic! hahahaha), and this is perhaps my “true face" of me as a fanboy hahaha (thanks for taking the pix, Desmond!), hopefully looking not as “constipated” :p

Truthfully my initial intention was to enjoy this year's #STGCC as a literal attendee (I did not register as “Media" & paid for my own ticket in) and just indulge in my own geek dom for ONCE in covering nearly a decade of toycon hahaha

I had realised that my “enjoyment” of local cons had been done though “photographs” I had snapped through the years … Everytime at a Con, I would be trying to snap as many pictures as I can and need (for bloggery, of course) within a specific timeline (which inevitably has ALWAYS been sorely inaccurate and “over-run” hahahaha), and end up not spending that much time actually LOOKING AT the items on display, instead of at the digital images, which “works” for the blog, but for the geek in me? Well, maybe not so much …

I cannot explain the muffled-toy-joy I felt, walking amongst the Hot Toys display booth, and just gawking at the figures - instead of frantically taking pictures of, and avoiding reflections (*One of the reasons why I wear a black tee to conventions), and light reflections on the glass-panels - the smile I felt on my face then … warms my own heart still hahahaha

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(In the end, THIS was the only image I had taken of/from the Hot Toys booth :p)

The toylife I have led in the past was not just about buying/collecting/hoarding toys+collectibles (*besides making friends with fellow toy-addicts :p), but also of gawking at them, or even longingly desiring them WHILE looking at them, and that is something I really miss in recent years hahaha.

I’m the sorta bloke that likes to look at stuff at a store, and ask for help when I want to ask or need something, and really appreciate not having to spend time talking to the shop-assistant who comes up to me and suggests stuff, ya know? LOL

“Talking shop” or “geeking out” with friends are totally different, of course - now THAT I can do for hours hahahaha

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One of the biggest challenges for me these recent years, had been my physical ability to stand for long periods, or being able to withstand long-periods of standing or walking. And while it would be easy to blame it all on my Stroke, I am frankly so gawddamned over whining about it!

BUT the reality is, I would need to rest, to shore up my energy and ability to carry on, especially once my leg (mostly left) quivers and wobbles. More likely diabetes is taking its toll on the leg, and even the week before I had to limp around with my walking cane - even hobbling to school with it - but after a few nights of “pain relief patching”, I could attempt to conquer STGCC, walking free! Well, at least during the times I could “walk free”, that is :p

Thank goodness for “stage panels”!

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Like an old man these days, whenever I step into any mall or establishment, I'd be looking for where the public seating is/are. I am not making fun of it, as my late-Dad had done the same, later on in his life, and I'd since picked up on doing that, whenever we went out together.

"STGCC" had not exactly been a place where you'd find public seating, except for the event cafeteria, and perhaps the "Media Lounge" (in the past, when I was "Media", so could access it freely). Failing which, the only available option is, the Main Stage Seating.

I am grateful to have been able to sit down for two panels at STGCC this year, the first was for Invited Guest Frank Cho (watched him finish a Wolverine and Venom sketch), and the All-Women “Heroines at the Frontline” panel both which I enjoyed sitting in and being “talked to” and not needing me at all to “talk back” or respond hahahahaha

And not just for a chance to sit and rest, but I also realised I’ve not necessarily sat in for a stage panel all these years! Except for that one time with Andrew Bell ON stage, but not much memories of WATCHING the stage, as I’d either be busy running around taking pics (for blog coverage), or taking pics of what’s going ON stage (also for blog coverage) ~ hahahaha!

So THIS is how it feels like to be taking part of a convention ... and I like it! :)

Would’ve loved to have sat in for Cheng Tju’s “Made in Singapore lah!“ comicbook panel the next day, but I had not planned to return on Sunday, or rather my “body” decided I needed to rest in :p

Missed his panel at IAF2017 too! We not fated lah, C.T.! (But at least we met hahaha) :p

Showing this shot of (a thinly veiled narcissistic) me chatting with Calvin (@stormbrush) at #STGCC2017 (photographed by @weepygoon) is meant to give props to @javierjimenezxl (of #StickUpMonsters) for the superb tee I was wearing! A tad snug around my smexy waistline (#hurl :p), but that is on me lah! :p … ooooh but for the wretch #fashionlife of a “XXL” hahahaha And THANKS for the bag, @a_very_fierce_bear ! It truly helped tons!!! #blessedtohavefriendswhocare #henglifesg #toysrevilstgcc2017 P/S: Do excuse the neon-orange shoes ... the logic for them is simple: If anything happens to me, and I fall or get into a bad situation, I want to have at least peeps (who dont know me) say "look for that guy in the ugly bright orange sneakers!" LOL #truestorybro

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One of the corner-stones of a convention (for me, anyways), has always been about meeting folks - and in this instance, like-minded folks - who share in the hobby, the scene, the subculture we choose to dwell in, a convention such as this being a physical manifestation of (at least on the immediate surface the “commerciality” aspect of it lol).

Having the chance to bump into folks, is always a plus, and something I look forward to at these annual events! And especially being able to meet friends from YEARS - at both STGCC and the 1/6th hobby - is something I always cherish.

I am grateful to have met old friends and made new ones, and am saddened I did not get to meet a few folks I’d been looking forward to, but not planned ahead to meet, especially this year celebrating the event’s 10th anniversary … *tear*

And I cannot deny my vision is not exactly “perfect”, more probably walking by someone without noticing, although there had been a couple of times I’d not want to disturb them as they were in seemingly deep conversation, and apparently visa versa, finding out post-event too! LOL

Here’s a glance at my #toysrevilstgcc2017score! Less than half shown here were bought with my own $$$, while others were generous gifts, for which I am mondo-grateful (OMG!) & these I’ll be taking a closer look at thru the week(s) here & #onTOYSREVIL, so stay tuned! Left-to-Right: #LonelyLinus by @fufufany.kao / Micro #HelpBot from @fallingorbsproject / Mini Mousezilla Finger Puppet from #blackbooktoy / Raspberry Glitter Kaiju Negora from @maxtoyco / Artist Mini Sofubi from @instinctoy_hiroto_ohkubo x @shokonakazawa + @xt9gx / #OzzoCollection Exclusive GID #ChefSquidiano from #mamemoyashi x @mikeozzo / #1000monster from @1000tentacles / DINO by @ziqi_wu x @unboxindustries / Lunar Cat resin head from @thedanielyu / #AClockworkCarrot DIM head from nigo_bbt / above: Season 1: Subway from @thesatanshop … #toylife

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Aaahhhh who am I kidding? At the end of the con-day, it’s all about the TOYS for me at STGCC! As much as I do look forward to independent artists and illustrators + story teller friends in the local/Asian scene, my geek-heart is still with “collectible toys”, and this year was a banner year (at least for me) for “affordable toys”! Alas, my “spending ability” has been the lowest I have had experienced in the past ten years of toycon, but the is my burden to bear

Cashing-out my piggie-bank coins a few days before the weekend, really helped in being able to pay for my One-Day Entrance Ticket, and a few toys I’ve blogged about … and for those toys I’ve missed scoring? I’ll think of that as being able to afford my “monthly medication costs” coming soon! So I comfort myself … :p

Featured here today are a mixture of purchased items, while others had been via the generosity of folks! You guys really helped make my STGCC a uber-splendid one - I mean it! #GoodMemories are made of this :)

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And while I had previously “convinced” myself “my enjoyment of STGCC is NOT just about “BUYING TOYS”, but also of getting sketches and autographs - for which I’d actually brought along a stack of blank cards for! But never actually did take them out to ask ANYONE for doodles OMG hahahahahaha #loser :p

I truly think if I were ever able to truly enjoy toycons, is that I have to develop a thick(er) skin, at the very least in asking folks to sign/doodle/sketch for me, IMHO. I had eventually used the event guide book to ask folks to sketch on (Thanks Mark Nagata & Quiccs for indulging me), but could not pluck up the courage to ask anyone else, even when opportunity stared at me! *facepalm*

Nevertheless, this is my first event guide sketches memorabilia, and I am psyched! WHOO-HOO!

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Was there actually a "cafeteria" in #STGCC2017? If there was I couldn't find it (Dennis told me where it was after I bitched about it on IG hahahaha), thank goodness they were selling boxes of snacks (*YOU ROCK, WORLD SNACK BOOTH!), otherwise I would starved the f88k and not be able to take my meds.

The initial plan for the day, was to visit STGCC after I’ve had my lunch, but plans change and we live with the consequences somehow … BTW, I am fussed about “eating” only because I need to eat “pre” and “after” medication with food. I am no longer a “foodie” nor can I afford to be one hahahaha

Perhaps I should have stared at the event floor plan much closer, to find the cafeteria, instead of “expecting” to find it where it “has always been situated” … the STGCC I know of, has changed, and I should’ve remembered THAT instead.

Or, I could’ve brought along a larger bag, and stuff FOOD inside of it, just in case … From what I’ve read about overseas conventions (SDCC/NYCC/etc), THAT would work! hahahahaha

STGCC2017 floor plan
Oh look, THERE’s the “cafeteria”!

OMG the queues! And while I cannot deny the orderly manner of folks here in SG, I’ve not been a “willing-fan” of queuing, only for the fact I cannot physically stand (still-ish) that long! I had miscalculated my abilities and chances to queue for toys (like tokidoki’s Adios Beabrick, or Ice Cream Dino), to even to (finally) meet Jason Freeny and Simone Legno at their signing panel in Mighty Jaxx … and when I did queue up for Arthur Adams - to buy a sketchbook + print - by the time it nearly reached me, I was told that he would be leaving for an interview, and “be back in an hour”, which alas by then I was at the tail end of my energies at STGCC, and instead choose to hobble away from the event hall, leaving STGCC this year … ”Arthur Adams”, leh!!!!! KNN.

In the heat of my enragement, I’d mumble under my breath that “the event is only meant for physically abled folks to enjoy!”, when the fact of the matter is, no one owes me a living :p

Thank goodness for “*kor-york” afters! (*Pain Relief Patches). Heh.

I am thoroughly vexed that I had actually MISSED some select exhibits! And while I cannot totally blame my eye-patched vision (well, I CAN, and will… :p), there needs to be said about “bak—chew-tak-stamp” (*Postal Stamps stuck over eyes, hence cannot see) - I could not find the FLABSLAB Booth (I found out online they were actually exhibiting within Falcon’s Hangar), I totally missed the PACIFIC RIM UPRISING display (I still have no idea where they were *facepalm*) … but I am thankful folks online have shared snaps, and I’ll just have to enjoy the event via said images - ironically as I have been doing to my own snaps for the past 9 years! HAHAHAHAHAHA

It has been ok thru the past years to visit and cover the event on my own, as I’d the freedom to gauge and indulge in the time needed to do what I do - taking pics, talking with peeps etc … but this year, without occupying myself with these tasks, it truly felt to be a lonely affair, even as I was surrounded by throngs of crowds and the night-market din filling up the air.

Times like these really reminds me of bloggery being a solitary pursuit. It’s one thing to geek-out online to a blog, read by folks all over the world, of course … and another to experience them in-person, alone.

Nah, perhaps I am self-indulging in negativity a tad much here, aren't I? Like sobbing to myself silently at the bottom-corner of my ceiling-tall toy-shelves, innit? Cradling my favourite art toy? Hahahaha WHERE MY TOY-KAKIS BE AT? LOL

Thank goodness for meeting friends at the con :)

So YES, I survived my "First STGCC", enough to blog about it, thanks for asking!

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One week ago yesterday, I’d experienced my “first toycon/STGCC”, and while feeling "guilty" for indulging in my own selfish-pursuits, I am admittedly thankful and grateful for the opportunity to be able to do it on my own two feet, thru my own means and ability.

And for the friends and folks whom I’ve met, and the generosity I’ve experienced - My Humble and Hearty THANK YOU. And see y’all again next year!