This article was first published in Geek Culture.
After visiting the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention (STGCC) over the past few years, I’ve always wondered how it could get even better.
In STGCC 2015, the energy was rather muted as though the folks were getting a bit of convention fatigue. Thankfully STGCC 2016 did not disappoint. Having visited Anicom in Hong Kong recently, I can say the positive mood was certainly comparable even though the scale of both events were different.
While I’m not entirely certain if the floor space of STGCC 2016 is bigger, it certainly feels that way.
With more room to walk around, it was comfortable to get around despite the crowd. Witness the usual scene of VIPs lining up early, with many rushing to pay for their yearly XM Studios haul.
When the highlight of the booth was this baby, you wonder how much bigger can XM Studios get. This is probably the peak of geek purchases short of a DeLorean.
Missing from the lineup when we last checked out Soundwave is the appearance of Ratbat! Imaginarium is looking compete with XM Studios in the statute space and have opted to attack another geek segment with Transformers.
We see Ultra Magnus in a new pose as well this time round.
When the doors opened, there was another line that immediately formed. Many made a beeline for Phil Noto of Jonah Hex, X-23, Uncanny X-Force and Black Widow fame, with plenty of comic books to sign. It’s good to see artists like Phil getting plenty of love.
One thing that struck me was that the usual incumbents for giant booths were not only exclusive to XM Studios and Hot Toys. It was nice to see how Bandai was taking a big leap in making their booth into sort of an art gallery. Having split their line into figures and models, Star Wars still holds the top spot as a booth.
This is one darn pretty brochure.
Can one ever get enough of dioramas? Of course not! Bandai’s plastic Star Wars models have been a big hit and we can see even more ships coming out with Rogue One on the way.
Voltron standalone? No this dude is a combiner just like in the TV show. Why stop at one robot when you can make kids buy five at a go!
Some highlights from Singapore
The beauty of toys — if you can dream it, there is certainly a way to craft it. That must be the mantra for the people at Masterpiece Collectibles.
Releasing a line of toys to celebrate the Singapore Civil Defence Force is impressive and refreshing in a space filled with all things Disney.
The Singaporean entrepreneurial geek market does not stop there. Sabermach continues to grow and has gone from simple booth to an elaborate display section of their wares.
Careful there! If you drop the Lightsaber, it’s considered sold!
Warhammer is back in Singapore with an official presence. Paint a figure for free and take it home!
VR makes a small appearance at STGCC 2016 as well. It’s great when you have animated guests making the most of the game.
For all that action, it illustrates how much space is needed for an actual proper VR game, space that many Singaporeans might not be able to afford.
Lastly, this is clearly a sign that the geek community is growing older. Who would have known these items from Simply Zakka be a hit.
Both ladies and gents alike were excited at the possibility of decking out their entire dining ware with all things Star Wars.
From Vader to Stormtroopers or droids, pick your poison, there’s something for everyone.
Overall, the vibe of STGCC 2016 certainly feels much better as compared to last year — this is despite not having extremely large booths from all the marquee exhibitors.
The local toy, game and comic scene has grown over the years to the point that you don’t need to be a big brand name to attract fans.
Here’s to hoping that STGCC will continue to build on this and, perhaps, even foster the community outside of convention season. Till next year!
Check out Geek Culture’s STGCC 2016 coverage here.
Top photo from STGCC Facebook