The 11th Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention or TOYCON 2012 is on its third and last day today (Sunday, Father’s Day, June 17, 2012), brought to us by Collectibles Unlimited. Head on over to SM Megatrade Halls 1,2 , 3 & Conference Rms A & B, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong, Philippines for the country’s longest running and biggest pop-culture event.
In store for today is the group cosplay competition where Alodia is poised to do an intermission number apart from being one its judges. We were also told that the Kamikazee band will perform onstage at around 2PM. From my experience during the second ToyCon day on Saturday (yesterday, June 16, 2012), although a good number of hobbyists, fans, collectors, and friends have spent what could be a big chunk of their mid-year bonuses on rares, collectibles, and novelty goods (toys, comics, memorabilia, and games) being mostly sold at discounted prices inside ToyCon, there are still a lot to be had and owned for those only planning Father’s Day gift spending rampage on Sunday LOL.
As a long time anime fan and crazy action figure collector, the exhibit area located in Conference Rooms A & B could be either a blessing or my ultimate demise. I can observe at close proximity already released figs that I had been eyeing for a good part of the year and judge whether lusting over them is overrated or not. What’s frightening is wanting to own other toy lines that I have no intention of ever collecting from what I have seen because drool worthy is what most of those amazingly detailed and expensive looking toys are. My friendly advise: let the faint in self-restraint beware LOL.
The exhibit area is where I spent most of Saturday, taking photos (shown below in the gallery) of huge sculpts (like the Sentinel), scale models (like FPJ as Panday), Hot Toys, dioramas, old and well maintained/loved collections, and even gashapons. A few meters away in the selling area is where you may find some of the not so rare toys from the exhibit.
As mentioned, the group cosplay competition happens on Sunday. I have only taken photos of two cosplayers today, those of my good friends Monique and Lyron. Both, if I may say, are still very passionate about their craft. I promise to take more photos of the better cosplays at ToyCon 2012 today.
Note from the organizers: cosplayers are encouraged to go in the venue and utilize the “six huge themed exhibit spaces: The Anime Planet, Superhero Stars, Movie Nebula, Toy Supernova, Gaming Galaxy and Kids Constellation, all of which make up the Cosplay Universe.” From experience, photographers, the general public, and cosplayers engaging in photo ops in the corridors outside the Mega Trade Halls are being told by guards to vacate the area to minimize disruption of foot traffic flow.
The P100.00 entrance fee for ToyCon 2012 is so much worth the bargain, sights, and experience inside the event area. There’s also a gaming booth by Amped where registered players may get a chance to win in-game rare items. Below’s the activity schedule for June 17, 2012, ganked from the ToyCon PM website.
|TIME||DAY 3 (JUNE 17, 2012, SUNDAY)|
|10:00 AM||Registration for COSPLAY UNIVERSE group competitions|
|Emcees welcome & Sponsors acknowledgements|
|11:00 AM||Games – Bring Me /|
|Sponsor segments – ABS CBN Publishing|
|Panel discussion – GI Joe: 30 years (TS-118)|
|12:00 PM||Film showing – Fan films|
|Games – Batman Trivia|
|Panel – Angry Woebots|
|1:00 PM||Sponsor segments – SMART|
|Games – Hero Up Daddy|
|Panel discussions – Toys for the Big Boys: Statues, Hot Toys, Scale Models (Pinoy 1/6)|
|2:00 PM||Band Performance|
|Sponsor segment – AMPed Fest|
|3:00 PM||Band Performance|
|Sponsor Segment – ABS CBN Publishing|
|4:00 PM||COSPLAY UNIVERSE group competition|
|Intermission – Alodia|
|5:00 PM||COSPLAY UNIVERSE group competition|
|Sport That Dark Knight Look|
|6:00 PM||Band Performances|
|Film Showing – Animation and Fan films|
|7:00 PM||Awarding of Cosplay and Contests|
|8:00 PM||Raffle draws and games|
Prepare for an Alodia’s Fantasy event photo avalanche! Hover on the pics for captions. I enjoyed the program immensely with friends Kring Elenzano, Winston Almendras, Faith Salazar, and Coy Caballes. The cosplay competition segment is the best that I have seen so far from among the cosplay competions I’ve attended through the years: schedule is tight but just right, sound accompanying the performances are all high quality BGMs, finalist line up are truly worthy to be called best in class, and the cosplayers gave it their all to justify their character portrayals. The event was held in the ICON at the Intercontinental Manila Hotel. Usually a bar and lounge for a CBD night out, it was for the night transformed to stage the live online show. I heard from Marcelle, the host for the evening alongside Alodia Gosiengfiao, that the number of online views for the program reached more than 10,000 and at one point, there were around 700+ simultaneous views. If broadband in the Philippines weren’t so darn slow, I bet there would be a lot more people staying in their homes to watch the show. Still, amazing!
Below are photos of the cosplay participants during the show’s competition. First up, the Male Cosplay Category.
Dennis Madarang playing Pyramid Head, a violent monster from the hit game Silent Hill 2, is the winner for the Male Cosplay Category. If you look at his skirt closely, you’ll observe that he brought along his arcane posse. Talk about detail!
For non-otakus, Sajin Komamura is the captain of the 7th Division of Gokai 13 in Soul Society in the anime series Bleach (if the robe does not give that away yet lol).
Eddieson goes onto the stage with a folder covering his face. Put down, he reveals a cylindrical-ish Red Angry Bird mask and starts throwing birds to the audience as the Angry Birds theme played in the background. Then suddenly, he yanks away the pants, throws down the mask, and pulls off the black shirt to reveal Red Hawk. OutSTANDING in creativity!
I apologize to Rubinstein Ebuenga who played Kamen Rider Dark Kiva with the song number because my shots of you are all dark. Failure from my end, sorry. Plus I’m quite peeved by the color of the lighting in the venue. Too magenta for my liking and white balance presets. Again, I’m sorry.
Up next are the ladies from the Female Cosplay Category.
I have been taking photos of Monique in various cosplay conventions but it is only during Alodia’s Fantasy that I have seen her do the geiko dance. It was nothing short of stunning: her facial expression show pride, control, and a calm vibe showing in her calculated and fluid movements that she must have perfected through years of cosplaying a geisha. Great job, Minique! Mighty proud of you, my friend! EDIT: So I found out that Monique was played the wrong background music for her number. Double the props to you, my friend for pulling that dance off like that with professional reserve. Shame shame on the audio people. Shame!
Myrtle Gail won in the female cosplay category by playing Grand Archer Rena from the MMORPG Elsword.
Apologies to Catrina Anne Lazaro who played Black Rock Shooter because my shots of your performance could not be salvaged owing to the erratic and magenta saturated lighting :( I’m so sorry!
Next up is the Mecha Cosplay Category.
From the rehearsals earlier Saturday, Don Robert came in a Stark jacket for the run through. Near the end, he did a back flip much to the surprise of everybody in the set. The question in my mind was will he do it during the actual competition with the Mark V on. He didn’t. I must say the online audience just missed a singularly awesome moment in Philippine cosplay history.
Bolen Lareza playing Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn’s MSN-06S Sinanju bagged the grand prize in the Mecha cosplay category. I suddenly remember something I heard from a friend during a con a loooooong time ago: “we are no match with chibis. They come out and they wow and make everyone swoon and gush with little or no effort.” Haha. Bolen, however, really worked the stage. Her moves are in sync with the background music and sound effects. The mecha is also exquisitely made. My favorite detail is the etched insignia on the MSN-06S’s left shoulder.
Richard Cheng’s Zoids mecha is probably the biggest mecha I have EVER seen around. It’s just HUGE! Just look at that photo where he’s fighting with a human who looks like a mouse. Not in this picture is the tail detail of the mecha. It’s LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG AND HUGE, TOO!
For the other things that happend that night, check out the following. click on the landscape oriented photos for the larger image.
Kel asked Gerard what his name is to which Gerard answered, “a friend.” His answer brought the house down. Well played.
That’s it. The Alodia’s Fantasy program in photos. Great job flippish and everyone who made this event possible and the sponsors, of course. Thanks Kring and Chris Tan for the invite! Will there be an Alodia’s Fantasy Encore any time soon? :)
PS: I apologize to the Haga Twins Miwha and Michiko, too. Looking at my photos at home, it appears I did not have a great shot of them other than what I took during the rehearsals. Bawi ako next time, I promise >.<Continue reading...
Wasn’t able to drop by Day 1 but didn’t let Day 2 of Cosplay Mania ’11 just happen without me meekly (lol) requesting for photos from the better cosplayers of the day. Was told by Lyron Aquino last night that Kristel Lim will showcase something BIG for Day 2 (which also happens to be her birthday. Happy Birthday Kristel!). And in a great big armor she came! Saw a lot of familiar faces in the crowd the likes of Samantha De Guzman in armor, Jia Gold Bustamante doing Shaiya Light (a very wholesome rendition, mind you. I would not have thought it possible for anyone to put together until today), Lyron was of course around in his version of civilian clothes (lol), and Jayem Sison as a Black★Rock Shooter dude, complete with abdominal stitched-up lacerations, a badass katana, and bright blue right eye. And of course, abs.
Like you’ve read what I’ve written anyway. You just scrolled straight at the photos, didn’t you? I do that all the time, too. Guilty as a death row inmate. Overall, Cosplay Mania ’11 was pretty organized. Sure, there were three long lines moving at a snail’s pace at the entrance but that was because the security folks were pretty thorough with the bag inspection of both participants and spectators. Security minus the irony. Great job! SMX was also pretty lax in letting cosplayers and photographers just hang around the lobby area of the Function Halls which is a first for the cosplay cons I’ve gone to in SMX, so far. The result was an event that is not as crowded, though I think there are more people who attended this year than last. I had so much fun that I could not be arsed to watch the TOrCH Finals, although I did buy tickets LOL.
Ok, on to the photos! Just like old times, left click to view the larger image. Feel free to grab and post on your facebook but please do not remove the watermark. Linking back to fritzified.com is not required but I’ll love you more if you do lol. If you know the characters that I haven’t named and the names of the cosplayrs featured here, do call me out on them by the comment area so I can properly label the photos in return for their indulgence (for graciously letting me take their photos). Great job for this year’s con, guys! If I may say, participants are SERIOUSLY getting better and better each con!
EDIT: as this is too good to not share. Added Gerard Sison’s cosplay of Superman. Know why that costume looks so finely detailed? Here’s the story straight from Gerard:
“I was offered that Superman costume the night before the Toycon. It is a limited edition Christopher Reeve replica and there are only 10 in the world. It is made in Argentina and was sourced from all over the world. But I thought it was too much to spend for.”
Before the grand showdown today, Sunday, October 2, 2011, of the Cosplay Tournament of Champions aka TOrCH II 2011, preliminaries were held in Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Davao, Cebu, and three other SM locations around Metro Manila. The winners from each of the locations get to compete against each other during the TOrCH II Grand Finals. The finals will be held at the SMX, SM Mall of Asia during Day 2, that’s TODAY, of Cosplay Mania ’11. The Grand Prize winners will only represent the Philippines in the AFA ’11 Regional Cosplay Championships. Very VERY snooty.
A week ago, I was in SM Manila to watch the Manila preliminaries. Team Vostel who cosplayed Voltes V and Baizanga emerged victorious with Team Lion Rush who cosplayed Chun Li and Ryu coming in second with a fraction of a point difference in the score. That Voltes V cosplay sure looks like it jumped straight out of the animated series and everyone agrees. Contestants are asked to do a skit complete with sound bites from their chosen anime, manga, or game. How well shall Team Vostel and all other finalists fare in the Finals? Stay tuned for that and more on my update soon after the event.
See you at Cosplay Mania ’11!
It was love at first sight the moment I saw the Death Note Ryuk figutto! action figure from Hobby Japan’s website in March and the minute they became available in pre-order at the local toy store I frequent, without hesitating, I got Ryuk plus Yagami Light. No Misa Misa and L figuttos yet (as of this writing), Death Note fans, sorry to say. If the pre-release photos are accurate, I thought, the Ryuk action figure would kick major ass! During the 4 months of waiting, I worried about the 16-point articulation Ryuk is said to have, hoping they’d at least come close to what Revoltechs, Figmas, Figuarts, and Play Arts have for maximum posability. With a retail price of JPY 5,700 for Ryuk over at HLJ and Hobby Japan and PHP 3,400 locally from Great Toys (WasabiToys had Ryuk on pre-order at PHP 4,250 even!), they’d better be good.
Both the Ryuk and Yagami Light figuttos come in clear trays inside a box. The Ryuk action figure as two interchangeable faces, 3 pairs of hands, two apples (one with a bite), two Death Notes, a pair of outstretched wings, a pair of shoulder feathers for when he doesn’t have the wings stretched out, a clear plastic box where you can store the accessories already mentioned, and a stand.
The paint job on Ryuk is impressive from the matte neck, face, hair, and leather detail, to the metallic blue body and metal finish on his costume and stuff that should come across as silver metal. His eyes are a glossy yellow. The feathers on his shoulders and wings are made of soft rubbery material (much like most of the soft material they used on the Play Arts Kai Ezio) that do not feel delicate to force in and out of the back shoulder sockets should you want or not want him to sport wings. You can make the action figure stand with one foot firmly anchored to the ground while the other points a toe out. If all else should fail, you can always use the stand for balance. To test how far the elbow can bend, I made him look like he’s about to give the apple another bite. I was pleased with the results.
The knees are slightly bent as a limitation just so people don’t go taking pictures of a perfectly postured Ryuk. Blasphemy! LOL. Bent, the knees can go all the way to the back like so.
I had no problem replacing the hands on Ryuk. They would hold out poses firmly, too. I had a hard time with the neck because, I found out later on, that the ball joint attached to the head has a curved but squareish end the should be aligned with the hole on the neck. I failed aligning the two up several times so lesson learned: twist and gently push should you feel some resistance.
The pre-release description of the Ryuk figutto claimed it will be around 7 inches in height. On the image below is Ryuk together with the Play Arts Kai Ezio, Revoltech Iron Man Mark VI, and Figma Love Machine from Summer Wars. Ryuk, slouched notwithstanding, is undeniably bigger than even the tallest figma figure in the market to date. Please left click on the image below for a higher resolution photo.
Below are more snaps of my Ryuk figutto.
I’ll show you guys Yagami Light some other time :)Continue reading...
Here’s a perspective. From the shots I’ve shown in my ToyCon 2011 Cosplay Day 1 post, I got two unexpected reactions offline. One from a Singaporean friend, born and raised in Singapore, where else, and siblings who have no connection whatsoever in the cosplay/otaku scene and who just happened to see the cosplay photos last night. I asked Singaporean friend what she thinks of the cosplay scene in the Philippines from the 20 shots she’s seen so far. The reply, “oh, definitely better than Singapore’s.” Give yourselves a huge pat on the back everyone! Your passion knows no bounds and it translates to your craft. The best ones seem to still get better and the rest follows suit. Of course, I told Singaporean friend that I’ve already weeded out the not so appealing shots from the set, where most of them were my fault and my cam’s.
UPDATE: I received this message an hour after this post, “FRITZY I saw your second post! HEHE OF COURSE the cosplay scene is better in PH!!! Look at Jayem! JUST LOOK AT HIM!!!! <3333 *fans self* He’d better stay away from me or i’d totally molest him LOLOLOL” (and then I died laughing)
Friend number 2 and her sibling were checking out the photos last night and the sibling told her he’s seen cosplayers in Megamall two years ago and he says it looks as though it’s tremendously improved. I don’t know how friend managed to hear her brother’s comments because all I can hear from her the entire time we talked is how she’s so stoked about JayEm Sison’s physique to the point of her saying “if you manage to get to know the guy, please tell him I’m inviting him over for dinner. His choice of resto. On me.” Way to go JayEm! And she’s about to get married that girl.
Before the shots, let me again share with you…
I mentioned I joined the ToyClicks Toy Photography contest during the con. The subject is a Major Motoko Kusanagi toy from McFarlaine manufactured a decade ago in 2000. I bought it in February for 700 from an online seller. I got it sealed but look at the state of the box.
I took the toy out of the box for the first time in March, saying her beauty doesn’t deserve to be sealed in that way. LOL the first two shots I got of her shortly after are:
I was so tempted to just submit the second shot but some inspiration hit me to create this:
No digital manipulation whatsoever. It may have lost but I’m not giving up on toy photography just yet if only because friends think the final output was stellar. They have good taste and perfectly heightened senses, what else can I say. Hahaha.
I was only planning to roam around taking shots of very random cosplayers who I think deserve the bandwidth I was told to judge the Group Cosplay and Game Girl Cosplay event so my Fritzparazziing continued in front of the stage from 5PM onwards so there. I would have loved to take photos of Kristell Lim and the SuckerPunch girls but I could not anymore find them after the competition. I’m so sorry Kristell, Gab Lopez, Katrina Pallon, et al. I really tried finding you, I swear! Apologizing on plurk isn’t enough. Seriously.
If you know who the person is and/or the character they’re portraying, should the caption show a blank, do leave me a comment below so I can populate and give credit. Thanks in advance. That’s it for ToyCon 2011! See you next year!Continue reading...