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My first visit to Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention

When I was given the opportunity to cover the 2016 edition of the Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention along with fellow writer, Justin (his take on the event), I jumped at the chance, considering I missed it last year. Although the scope of STGCC is more 'Westernised', featuring the crusaders from Marvel, DC and other publishers in that hemisphere, I figured it would be a refreshing departure from what we usually cover.

The exhibition halls weren't as crowded as the first photo might suggest, seeing that everyone would've been spread out across the two halls. However, that didn't last long as snaking queues soon formed for the Hot Toys and XM Studios booths, with fervent collectors aiming to add that exclusive figurine or diorama to their showcase at home. On closer inspection, its apparent to anyone why they sell like hotcakes, sporting detailed sculpting and vivid colours with close to no flaws.

This Mysterio scale figure was a sleeper hit for me. The Spider-Man villain's mysterious visage was perfectly reproduced and even when I viewed it up close, there was nary a face to be seen. XM Studios nailed it with this one and it's a pity that the more famous and outlandish characters received more attention.

Sadly, I'm a passionate fan of one of these outlandish and brash Marvel characters. Be it for his dazzling gold and crimson armoured suits or his dry wit and cavalier attitude, Tony Stark AKA Iron Man has been drawing moviegoers to the cinema since the first Iron Man movie in 2008. 

The Mark VII suit stood out for me in particular, being featured in the last act of The Avengers. I've lost count of the number of times I've watched Tony Stark equipping the armour in mid-air after being thrown out of Stark Towers by Loki.

Perhaps its best I move on before this post quickly erodes into an ode for Iron Man. Not forgetting the 'Game' aspect of STGCC, I finally tried my hand at Magic the Gathering. Truth be told, I only wanted the quirky hat that I kept seeing around the convention but ended up learning why the TCG was so popular. It was easy to learn and featured the mechanics from TCGs that I still play or had experience with, such as the mana system and 'summoning sickness' of Duel Masters and the HP/Attack system from Hearthstone.

An Overwatch tournament was being held throughout the course of the day and I would stop by from time to time to catch the matches, especially when I needed a breather from all the walking and photo-taking. Free Mountain Dew was handed out at the side so I effectively killed two birds with one stone. I suspect this was intentionally set up to attract viewers for the Overwatch tournament too. Kudos to the hardworking staff members walking around dispensing the drink from containers strapped to their back.

 A convention isn't complete without cosplayers and they came out in full force today, although these guys stole the show, in my opinion at least. The 501st Legion needs not introduction, showing off their different outfits from the Star Wars franchise, be it the Jedi, Stormtroopers or even Kylo Ren, antagonist of the latest Star Wars film.

The Spider-Man cosplayers were impressive as well, sporting costumes from different eras in the Spider-Man comics and even the spandex suits from other people who filled the Spider-Man role alongside Peter Parker.

As simple as piecing together this outfit might be for Hugh Jackman's doppleganger over here, I'm sure the time and effort taken to create Wolverine's signature mutton chops and muscled physique is far from easy. 

I didn't manage to get any photos of them but Re:Zero fans will be delighted to see the many Rems and Rams strolling through the exhibition center, along with the occasional Felt and Emilia. Your usual host of Love Live! cosplayers are there too, fret not.

Fortunately or otherwise, I managed to avoid excessively splurging on merchandise, only buying Kongou and Deadpool t-shirts. Although the scale figures featuring the many Marvel, DC and Star Wars characters had dynamic poses and close to perfect sculpting and colouring, I had no interest in purchasing them and ultimately, I'd rather admire them at conventions like these or in photos.

I spent almost the whole day at STGCC 2016, taking the necessary breaks now and then. It's a refreshing convention for me, considering I'm immersed in anime and manga on a daily basis. The only complaint I have would be how remote the main stage area is, being tucked away in a corner behind the Cosplay Celebs booth. Talks and presentations that might've piqued my interest went unattended as the other booths and events drew me in instead.

Written by ET

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