14th Philippine ToyCon 2015: “Same old, but still fun to check out”

Each year, we go to SM Megamall’s Megatrade Hall for ToyCon 2015 — and while most things haven’t changed (merchandise sales, the toy gallery, Alodia’s presence, cosplay competitions, movie promotions, etc.), there are a few tweaks here and there in each iteration (such as the addition of iflix to the fray of presenters, DC Comics-licensed hoodies, new toys and, so forth) which gives a different flavor. It’s like fried chicken — last year was spicy (no thanks to the Lap Dance skit on Day 1 — I have not yet moved on from this even though I missed it), but this year is delicious … so delicious that it should remind you of the good old times.

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I’m having a hard time thinking on how to review this iteration of ToyCon, so I’ll start with what comes to mind.

Day 1 is said to be as jampacked as the following days and the assumption that I have is that university students who are undergoing academic shift took a day of their vacation to go there. I actually overlooked that, but I was thinking it might not be a major factor given that only a few universities so far have implemented a calendar shift. As with any first day at ToyCon, there’s not that many people — and the Toy Gallery was still closed at that time, so that’s sad for Mikki as he wanted to see the Coca-Cola collectibles.

Marshalls are waiting for the go signal on when Doraemon and friends will come out of the Megatrade Conference Center and into the stage at Hall 3.

The security for this year was quite lenient as I saw a picture from AnimePH with a lightstand at the hallway going to the Fashion Hall as the subject — take note that security was expected to be strict as the organizers posted venue rules on their website as well as on social platforms.

I was thinking if this happened because the crowds were just too big to handle, or if they gave up, but nevertheless I have received good feedback from my comrades — the security personnel were polite, and they don’t treat cosplayers as second-class citizens.

If you take note of this and the security at Ozine Fest 2015 (my goodness, we just can’t stop comparing the two as they are the two major events that take place at the Megatrade Hall), you could see that the security personnel in the former are stationed outside, unlike the latter. I didn’t see any group eyeballs too, which was a great improvement as the attendees are now much cooperative compared to before.

I believe those who have been reading Deremoe know this but for the benefit of those who want to know why, let me tell you this one word: marshalls.

Since ToyCon is partnered with Anime Alliance Philippines, they are given a set of volunteer marshalls who assist the guests. You saw those assisting Doraemon on Day 3 using a trolley? That’s them. You see those guys assisting Alodia and Ashley in and out of the event? That’s them. My point is that the effectiveness of the management of marshalls is so commendable that they don’t need security guards and such. Speaking of Alodia, there were quite less people who flocked her this year compared from last year’s. Perhaps people are getting tired of her?

On another aspect of the event, I was told that ToyCon is going back to its roots. I cannot figure out what this means at this moment, but it does make sense — the event is wholesome, family-friendly, and I have not heard bad feedback about the event as a whole — if I heard any, it was for personal reasons. I repeat: merely personal reasons.

It is good to know as well that the Group Cosplay Competition was well-attended with six groups participating. I have good footage for five of them (I didn’t got the last one, sorry) and I will share that on our YouTube channel this July.

ToyCon will move to SMX Manila next year for their 15th Anniversary, but they announced that the event will only be two days long instead of three.

Overall, ToyCon 2015 is still the same fun and games that I experience annually since my first attendance in 2010. At least it has a different, wholesome flavor — and I am very much happy with that. I will leave you with photos that I shared on Flickr.

Thanks to The Asian Comics, Toys and Hobbies Collective, Inc. for having us at ToyCon 2015. We still have more posts on ToyCon so stay connected with us.