A Decade of STGCC #onTOYSREVIL: 2012 (Year 5)

WHAT-IS: "With the 2017 Edition of Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Con celebrating it's “10 Years” anniversary this year, TOYSREVIL takes a look back through nearly a decade of covering this annual event on this blog … :)”
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 #STCC2012!

The date was set on the weekend of September 1st and 2nd, and after 4 years in Suntec City Convention Center, this would be the first time STGCC was held at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center (ground floor, driveway level), and remain subsequently til today (2017).

That year's official invited guests included Tristan Eaton, The Beast Brothers, Simone Legno, Hot Toys sculptors and Mark Nagata!

Mark Nagata was invited to our sunny shores again this year, and along with his return, he debuted the sofubi headsculpt for "Don Smiles", in collaboration with Mark Torres, who was also an invited guest for 2012! Much love for Mark & Max Toy Co :)

(Above: Tristan Eaton painting "live" / Artwork purchased by Jake & Hallie Lee of Pobber!)

Mighty Jaxx boothed for the first time at STGCC (they were my booth neighbours!) hosting local artists PHU! and Clogtwo, introducing their work to the masses, including a memorable giant-sized HELL LOTUS sculpt, not to mention a unpainted prototype of BAD APPLE! Little did folks know that MJ would henceforth explode into the toy-scene, yeh? Well, I knew :)

Martin Hsu was also in town, hosted by FLABSLAB (Martin returned to STGCC in 2016), while Ozzo Collection helmed a invigorating showcase of local customs from RSCLS - featuring Zero, ANTZ and Clogtwo conducting "live" customs at their booth.

Play Imaginative hosted DEVILROBOTS, and as well showcased their Super Alloy figures, capturing folks' imaginations with their Iron Man, and Batman 1/6th-scaled die-cast figures!

LEGO made a huge visual impact this year, with full-on dioramas, including a Star Wars Imperial flight hangar (very apt to mention right now, with "The Last Jedi" on cinema screens now :p). "Star Wars" has always had a strong-hold in folks' imaginations in SG, and was synonymous with "STGCC" then, IMHO.

My focus for STGCC 2012 however, was primarily devoted to the TOYSREVIL-booth, and the promotion of the exclusive toys to be had from said booth! The Hustle Was ON!

This would be the second time I would be boothing (there was 2009), but this time it was via a more economical + affordable (and I had thought "sensible") spot in Artist Alley, which I paid full price for. But first and foremost, WHAT would/could a "toy-blog" do at a toycon? SELL EXCLUSIVE TOYS, of course!

I had reached out to a select grip of folks and friends for limited runs of their signature toys and style (with not too long a time-frame, sorry to say), with similarly themed color choices which matched the TOYSREVIL-blog (red on black FTW)!

The result of which I had planned to promote via a fold-out catalog, and even prepping the toys for a "press conference" appearance also took more out of me than I had expected LOL

The curated selection was also borne of a simple ("simplistic") straight forward premise (which has guided me for most of my releases): "I would sell what I could buy for myself, or afford for myself."

Never was a "good businessman" myself, alas :p


PRESS CONFERENCE SPREAD: I was so fanatical about showcasing the toys, I'd even prepped a line-up along with photos, seen in a mock-ups above (image was given to organisers, for reference too LOL). I never did attend the press-con, and I never did see any photos of them on show at the press con, alas ... fingers crossed they made it tho!

As ever my humbled thanks and gratitude to:
QUICCS (Yokazuna Customs)
Eric Nocella Diaz of Argonaut Resins (Giant TUTTZ & Kings of Atlantis)
Selina Briggs of The Jelly Empire (Jellybot)
Peter Kato (Turtle Tetsujin)
Paul Shih (BEVIL & Sushi Kaiju)
Daniel Yu (Crawdad Kid)
Pierre Rouzier (Vapor Noodler)
Mark Nagata of Max Toy Co (TRIPUS & XAM Mini Kaiju series)
Richard Page of UME Toys (Dee-Dee)
Anjo Borlada (Bear JuJu customs)
ANTZ (Custom Crappy Cats)
The Yellow Dino + MyTummyToys (Mini Goji "Hear of Lava" Edition)
Justin Rudy (Sokutatsu)

Ironically, this was one of the only years where I did not have a "Toy-Score" (except for these wonderful gifts), because I was spending so much time at my own booth, and the exclusives I was selling, became my "toy-score for toycon" instead :)

Along with exclusive toys and collectibles, I had delved into releasing prints (*the expense of which killed me :p), and hosted multiple signing sessions (which I should've done a much better jib of, I readily admit), and even released (what would be my last issue of) the TOYSREVIL *I LIKE TOYS* zine. No doubt I had bitten off more than I could chew, but it was a swell period of getting my hands dirty! LOL

One of my "pride" for the event, was the TOYSREVIL Booth (Designated #F51). I had wanted to inject a more "mama-shop style" / "warung" concept of display - which essentially meant a somewhat neighbourhood cornershop touting toys! And while it might seem a tad "low-tech", I'd felt I decently achieved that, IMHO!

"A mama shop or mamak shop (from Tamil மாமா māmā, meaning uncle or elder) is a convenience store or sundry shop in Singapore that is often located under a high-rise apartment block ... Unlike other stores such as 7-Eleven, mama shops are not air-conditioned and sell a variety of provisions within their limited area of approximately 9 square metres (97 sq ft)." (Wiki)

"A warung (old spelling waroeng) is a type of small family-owned business — a small restaurant or café — in Indonesia ... for the majority of Indonesians, the meaning is still a small, neighborhood convenience shop, often a front room in a family's home." (Wiki)

The thing about such a space, was that I'd also want to be able to host a max number of folks, who could hang around, chill and chat, facilitated by a foldable table and stools - to some which might seem I'd given up "precious" display space for goods, but to me was essential to what I had wanted to achieve with TOYSREVIL.

That table turned into good use for autograph and signing sessions too! "Best Investment" of the year! Heck, I am currently still using the table RIGHT NOW, were my desktop lies on, my daily work desk in TOYSREVIL HQ! LOL

In truth I had gotten overly excited at needing to cover the plain panel walls and ended up investing a whole lot more into prints-mount-on-compressed-poly, not to mention the effort and time needed to go the graphics - all of which I had done on my own time, on top of the daily bloggery!

The one thing I did not bring to "show-off" in my makeshift "warung"? My "glossy gold" Designer Toy Award trophy for "Best Blog", award the year before (truthfully, the trophy had already tarnished by then, and would've been utterly unsightly, IMHO).

Without a doubt I had "something to prove" - more for myself, having survived Stroke in end-2010, I had not wanted to be as "utterly helpless" as I had felt then, but alas bit off more than I could chew ... so that burden is on me, and no one else :p

As much as I do cherish the opportunity to hustle for myself/for TOYSREVIL, it proved to take too much out of me, moreso than I have ever spoken about ... What I would do differently "next time" HAHA! But there might never be a "next time", I reckon...

Not a whole lot of promotion or emailers to other blogs were sent out from my end, alas, and neither had I much online support from other similar blogsites, depending on my own social medias instead to put the word out, including an active Facebook Events page! And neither did I have the opportunity to reach out for help, with the result being going at it most of it on my own, with gracious thanks to the participating artists for helping promoting their own works!

As ever, my eternal gratitude to my family for helping out. I can always depend on them! Funnily, as much as I had not wanted the booth to be a "family picnic" (AKA "whole family hanging around"), the reality was if not for them - I would not have been able to survive the two days! Physically, it had been a struggle to go thru TWO days all day, and even now, I cannot even survive a entire ONE day at the toycon, alas :p

And I have to give a massive-n-thankful shout-out to Yudi Andhika AKA The Yellow Dino, who had been excruciatingly helpful and gracious, and I can never do or say enough for my gratefulness!

This was the year where I had a lot of "post-event" features, moreso than I had "live"(ish) posts in earlier years, and as well I'd dedicated a whole amount of effort and time into pre-show posts too - both activities I've tried to work on til this day.

I have always wanted to, and aimed to provide "pre-event" and/or "live" coverage, as I'd hoped to introduce folks to more of what they might miss, and help to guide them to look for item(s) they might not get a chance to "discover" when they visit the event, and truthfully less of being, or needing to be "first" LOL ... but perhaps I had been too naive in my intentions then and now, at the very least my capabilities :p

With that being said, and the nature of my blog-coverage for that particular year, I had since come to terms with doing more post-event features instead.

SIDE-NOTE: Alas a ton of images has since been obscured from the blog, thanks to the "technical situation" at Flickr (*where I used to host most of my images then), whereby an entire year's (and more) worth of embedding images "disappeared", hereby rendering 2012 "missing" from TOYSREVIL ~ so effin' fhanks for the memories, Flickr!

At the end of it all, it had turned out to be a selfish foray into fulfilling my own dreams of boothing (*I love Boothing/setting up shop!), the result of which was a long-lasting personal financial ruin, a disconnect to some of the local scene, and missed opportunities for friendship beyond our shores.. and on the other spectrum, a valuable experience which I would choose to cherish for years to come, even if I have to live under its shadow. In Singapore, we also say "pay school fees" (ie: "Paid for an education")... and like a credit card debt, I am still paying the bill -.-"

I do not think I have "recovered" fully from this year's situation since, I admit ... ironically I think I had done a much better job at Stroke-recovery! But I continued to cling on to what I believed "worked" for the blog, and as importantly for "myself" and my physical and financial state ... I pushed on, kept my head down, and persevered ... and I still do.