STGCC this year was held at Marina Bay Sands, Sands Expo and Convention Center, the organisers are starting to like this new spot over the old venue at Suntec Convention center. The sights this year are typical to any STGCC, with key booths such as Hot toys, couple of game studios dotted near the front of the entrance, with smaller toy and vendor booths at the back and the artist alley (small sale booths) at the end of the hall. All these are situtated in the center hall (Hall B), The extreme left hall, (Hall C) is used as the event main stage and Hall A is open and free for all the use. It was nice for the event to open up a whole 2nd hall (Expo A) just for the cosplayers themselves.
Despite being one of the pioneers of large-scale Cosplay events in the Singapore, it was a disappointment that STGCC failed to introduce any new displays or additions to better the showcase of last year, especially to distinguish themselves against other similar events such as Cosfest in downtown east and Anime Festival Asia (AFA). I do hope the state of such conventions here won’t go down the path of PC/IT shows in Singapore, which really muddles the visitor experience with it’s large commercial influences.
Also, there is nothing much entrance fee to justify the increase the $19 single day entrance fee. Though there were noticeable more stage events going on- DJ Night was something new and open. I figured maybe contrary to having separate concert tickets previously, the organisers possibly has bundled all the event into one single more expensive ticket (it used to be ~$9 prior years) and do away with the crowd management and queue issues to attend closed events.
There was healthy number of Cosplayers on the venue, a good mixed of Japanese Anime characters and likes across the Pacific with American characters (Starwars, Marvel and WB Chars) and Anthro animal mascots. You will tend to see the bulk of them mingling outside the paid convention area and Hall A. There is no better way to showcase the awesome than life sized displays of or favorite gun totting duo, Rocket and Groot, there was even a Groot cosplayer on the prowl too. I was expecting more displays of Guardians of the Galaxy, considering it was a hit show when it opened here in Singapore.
Notable finds this year are a number of booths actually selling limited/out of production edition toys (such as Mask toys), comics and Pop bobble heads, which were pretty well received this year. The ~$600 price for a single small booth at the artist alley is still steep for a 2 day convention in the region as opposed to other similar cons I’ve seen around in the UK and US. Still it might not be fair to compare this small con to that of the more established likes of Dragon or Comic Con.