Singapore premiere comic and toy convention is back this year with a new name. This year is the first time the convention goes under the “Singapore Comic Con” moniker. The annual gathering event of pop culture was held over this weekend at the Marina Bay Sand convention and expo center.
Notably, the event held the Singapore Toy Comic Convention name for almost 10 years. Now, it goes in the likes of New York and San Diego comic convention. Finally, is it a convention worthy of incumbent comic cons? Let’s check it out.
Moreover, the convention is held on the open vast level 1 Sands convention halls. Learning from past Conventions, the organizer had rather good crowd control. There is a section dedicated to security screenings out of the common areas. Cosplayers can also use the basement floors to for logistics and gathering. Also, security checks are speedy and friendly
No comic convention is without an army of toys in display and sale. Also, despite the lack of “Toy” in the new name, there is no lacking in terms of the available toy merchandise available for sale in the convention.
Notably, toys are one of the main convention highlights. Morever, there is quite a selection here this year. First off, local premium toy company XM studios is out at full force again this year.
The display booth have in place, a large centre piece booth seated right in the centre of the main convention hall. There are some really detailed models this year from both the Marvel and DC universes. Some of them are really detailed, not to mention huge in proportions.
Moreover, Tokidoki is also back with full force with a booth complete with long queues. Even Tokidoki creator, Simone Legno was around too (and last year convention) to sign merchandise. Interestingly it looks like Singapore is part of his annual visitation mainstay.
Beast Kingdom and Tamashii Nations
Furthermore, we see the return of several collectable makers, such as Royal Selangor with a new decked out booth. Also, Taiwanese based Beast Nation and Japan-based Tamashii Nations also were around to showcase their latest collections for the coming toy seasons too.
Both Beast Kingdom and Tamashii Nation are popular in each of their own franchises. Beast Kingdom is known for several Disney tie up such as their Ironman and Marvel figures, as well as those in the Zootopia series. Tamashii brings the Japanese elements with SHFiguarts figures from your favorite video games such as those by Capcon, as well as Dragon ball and several more.
However, I noticed that simply toys with their Funko pops are notably absent this year. Moreover, Lego is pretty aggressive this year too. They have a booth decked out with a mini Lego world and a couple of play areas for kids. You can find some good bargains off regular priced Lego sets too.
Moreover, there is a sizable motorised train set. It runs through a Lego jungle and mountains side, offering very good photo opportunities. There is also a Lego Technic play area allowing kids to literally get down and dirty with the bricks.
Mighty Jaxx Sesame Street series
Also, notable toy exhibitors this year is Mighty Jaxx with their Sesame Street see-through series. Here we see figurines of several notable Sesame street figures, such as Elmo, Cookie monster, Big Bird, Bert and Ernie. Favourites such as Elmo toy figurine were sold out on the first day.
In addition to toys, there is also a notable large book presence. We have the Book Depository and Books Kinokuniya having large book hawking reads are heavily discounted prices. For instance, Kinokuniya was running a 25% off special which is a very good deal for books on sale.
There is however, not quite a large collection of comics on sale, especially vintage ones. It be good if there are more vintage sellers catering for the niche market.
E-games and table top gaming
Moreover, E-gaming and table-top gaming had been a mainstay of every Singapore Comic con. We see table-top gaming sector around since the 2016 convention. You enter into the convention halls either into the artist alley area (through security) or into this gaming and table-top gaming sector via the expedited “badge” route.
This gaming section is a self-contained little corner complete with its own E-tournament stage. It is also used to host various talks, tutorials and PVP Esports E-games championships. Here, you see games of Hearthstone, Mobile Legends and DoTA.
Did I mention table-top gaming? Yes you get row and rows of tables for Magic the Gathering fans, as well as Warhammer 40,000 table top gamers. Here, you can catch on-going competitions or casual games of Warhammer and A Song of Ice and Fire Miniatures Games.
The figures which makes the game is also an art too. Additionally, Gamersarus Rex, is also running a couple of Warhammer 40,000 table top figure painting sessions with their citadel paint, where you can take your home when done.
Also, it blends both gaming and individualisation of hobby crafts by creating your very own custom painted figures. Notably, model painting itself is indeed an art of its own.
Furthermore, being a comic convention, the Singapore Comic con sees no lacking of cosplayers and customers who goes out to be their super hero alter-ego, even for the weekend.
Here, we see cosplayers from all sizes, age, experience and budgets. Some makes are pretty really good with face paints and custom self-made costumes to those off-the-shelf ones.
Also, notably, Singapore comic con does have more emphasis on American/Western character cosplay. This is possibility due to differentiate themselves among other cosplay Conventions, like the Anime Festival Asia (AFA) which was held at Suntec city last weekend.
We see a number of Disney princess on the prowl this year, also with the movie Frozen being a hit this year. Furthermore, this year is also the year of the Joker.
However, interestingly, even with the recent Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie, there is not many Jokers around this time round. On the contrary, there is notably many Spidermans and Batmans in this year’s comic convention.
However, there is a notably smaller Starwars presence this year. This is despite with thetheatrical release of the “Rise of Skywalker”. Still we see the likes of Starwars fan groups, such as the Singapore Garrison – 501st Legion, Mandalorian Mercs and FightSaber with their fan bases.
The 501st were around to showcase their Memorabilia, as well as promote their fan club. Fight saber always up the entertainment with their delightful light saber matches.
Also, the Mandalorian Mercs are known for their movie-accurate rad costumes and detailed props. Often, you can see them making their rounds around the convention grounds, much to the delight of convention patrons and photographers alike.
Stage and Wrestling events?
Topping up the line of events are also a series of stage events. The main stage is home to performances and talks with guest and celebrities. It is a great way to connect with your comic idols on their planned stage dialogue sessions. Moreover, interestingly, amateur Wrestling is a new thing this year too.
Life fights on-ring are planned at 3 hour intervals. Hence, that translate to about two fights daily. Also, you get a full-fledged run right in the middle of the halls complete with a commentator and referee. I found the fights rather gimmicky, but totally rad if it is for entertainment value. Each round has a winner crowned. Notably, the matches do get quite a fair bit of attention from the crowds at each match too.
Topping out other miscellaneous sectors includes one devoted new movie releases, such as Sonic and Jumanji- Next level. Interestingly, the latter has a tiny obstacle course set from the movie for kids to play through.
This year, the Singapore Comic Con see several new notable guests in the creative scene. This includes Greg Capullo, Jock and Andy Kubert, to name a few. Moreover, this year is a good year where you get to see and meet several renowned old – time artists in the Marvel universe in the flesh.
Notably, the fans agree too, with queues signatures going up for 3 hours long, to meet their comic idols.
Moreover, there are some optimisation of booth areas, with celebratory signing booths tucked away in the corners to accommodate long snaking queues. Also, thankfully, there is no segmentation of sectors this year. This is unlike the confusion of 2016, where sectors are confusingly compartmentalised with people unable to find the exits.
Also, there is notably, the convention grounds this year is open and spacious, with crowd friendly layouts and space management. Notably, previous notoriously packed areas always include the Artist Alley.
Moreover, I am pleased to report the sector this time don’t have the crowd bottlenecks as seen in the previous years. Stores similar lines both sides of a walkway and is open and spacious, able to accommodate groups of people without causing much bottlenecks.
Notably, thankfully, Marina Bay Sands has large basements which also serves as holding points for cosplayers groups. Also, this reduces the need for an additional spare hall booked for cosplayers to gather.
Alright, I believe that is all for my extensive coverage of this year’s Singapore Comic Con. In conclusion, the event was a rather well organised one, with plus points of the addition of several prominent distinguished comic personalities, a good balance of cosplayers, toys and events. The wrestling event was gimmicky, but still great for entertainment value. Still, the event is a good step towards a Dragon Con or San Diego Comic con-sized event. Kudos to the organisers of the event and many more to come!