Singapore Toy, Game Convention 2017 recap as an exhibitor and attendee STGCC

, Marking Singapore Toy, Game Convention 10th year anniversary, The Toy Chronicle joined JPK on one epic adventure. For The Toy Chronicle, it wasn’t the first time to be in Singapore but it was the first time for us heading to STGCC. Reporting throughout the years, this year was the chance to see for ourselves if it lived up to the hype as an exhibitor and attendee. JPK returns to STGCC for the second consecutive time which meant he enjoyed the experience so much HE’s BACK for more.

JPK made it possible for us to join him on the STGCC 2 day adventure meeting new and old fans along the way. This would be the perfect chance to embrace the convention in two views, exhibitor and attendee.

First things first, Reed Pop who’s behind the convention doesn’t mess around when It comes to organisation. Everything that you’d expect from a convention before you enter the convention itself, advertising around the city attendees displays around the convention centre like the new Star Wars experience.

Set up day 

Plenty of staff to help us navigate where we needed to be VIP’s, Media and exhibitors gained enough info to head to our booth.

BIG was the word used, well that’s compared to the conventions that TTC have been to. A mixture or big companies and independent artists under one roof. Sound tests underwent meaning we were Jpop/Kpop and sounds of STAR WARS was a sample of what was to come in the next 28 hours.

Not bad booth space and our booth neighbours seemed nice:) No flimsy tables an average size, exhibitors could choose what size and style, obviously price and availability dependent.

Given enough time to prepare, we saw a couple of collectors lining for VIP passes which allowed collectors to enter STGCC hours before the general ticket holders entered. VIP’s also go the chance to enter the STGCC Be@rbricks and other goodies on offer.

As an exhibitor, we saw first hand behind the scenes stuff everyone preparing for the big day and endless coffee breaks. Here comes the double edge sword, security was pretty tight (for obvious reasons with the horrible world events) so this made the process of entering as an exhibitor and attendee very slow especially when you are carrying items for set up.

STGCC has a few zones all dotted around the gaming section in particular and the bigger brands in the other. Artist ally was straight down the middle so we were hoping for the traffic bring straight through and we would benefit new collectors at least eyes on what we represent.

STGCC day ONE

Coffee and coffee was running through our blood at this point and display finished ready. Doors about to open for collectors and noticed no booth numbers or clear indication where each zone is. The big downside for a company who is known to put on events of this magnitude. The benefit of a doubt, one mistake but a frustrating one as a couple of JPK collectors couldn’t find the booth to get the art toys they intended to buy when the doors opened. To our surprise, they didn’t have a floor plan handed to them.  Guess they could’ve printed one out via STGCC website but we would have liked to see a printout.

Seeing custom events like “The Art Of DARUMA” was pretty spectacular especially for a platform that’s not so familiar in the West.

 

Plenty to see from artists from around the world.



Anyway, the party started and we could see the doors opened as collectors rushing around to get what they wanted without looking at our watches. The buzz was real, loving the fact is wasn’t just an art toy convention its what STGCC represents.

30 minutes in and STGCC maintenance staff adjusting the lighting at JPK’s booth was a cause for concern especially when sparks were flying (don’t worry no one or art got hurt)

Nice seeing a mix of cosplay, gamers and collectors within the crowds. Just what everyone needs in the scene fresh eyes on art toy/collectables.

As an attendee, we got to look around at various brands and visit the game section opening our eyes to no so familiar interests. Seeing comic artist signing drew crowds for sure and looking at illustrations that interested us. Prototypes and meeting artists who we’ve never had the opportunity to meet as well as seeing old friends and a superstar like Daniel Yu was icing on the cake.

Singapore’s superstar and heartthrob Daniel Yu
Meeting Clogtwo in person, I can’t believe it!

Sorbet Jungle painting live at 1000toys x PowerCore booth

Sorbet Jungle painting live at 1000toys x PowerCore booth at #STGCC2017

Fans and new fans was a plus point at JPK’s booth. Mostly Asian based fans finally getting to meet him in person and seeing their faces light up. We can’t speak for other exhibitors but day one was pleasant and as the later afternoon died down (possibly for Singapore’s amazing variety of food which included the STGCC canteen lunch hour) other booths got to visit exhibitors. Still a fair amount of attendees right up to the final hours of STGCC which is good to see as previous cons it dies after a good few hours. Things picked up for various booths as artist signings and live painting sessions which pulled crowds. As the day went by fact that STGCC had a stage where J-Pop stars were singing gave us a pounding headache as the music was far too loud.

That’s it, it’s a wrap. Day one done and dusted. We know Singapore is known to be one clean city and so is STGCC! They had cleaners around the booth taking the trash away. Attendees had plenty of notice that doors were about to close so nice calm exit which leads to a good transport system or SHOPPING centre, in our case FOOD and HOTEL.

STGCC DAY 2 

Coffee already in the system day two started. Walking in it seemed the crowds looked more family orientated for the second day. Some hardcore collectors back for the special 2nd day releases for sure. But not crowds like the first day. Still nice to see fresh collectors.

It’s the most “thriving” indie scene inside a typical comic con -or- the last one that hasn’t moved out of mom basement (to look at it in another way) SDCC and NYCC are shadows of their former selves compared to what they were – Datadub aka The toywhisperer

Some questions asked at Marsham Toy Hour Stomping ground Facebook group to Don and Carlos who were at the 1000toys x Powercore booth exhibiting.

Gary Ham to Datadub aka The Toy WhispererIn your opinion, are there too many toy conventions in Asia? Not enough? Juuuuuust right? Did BTS occurring on the same weekend as STGCC have any impact on artist/company participation for either event?

Don Datadub Kratzer : I don’t think there are too many conventions when you look at the global picture. Each main city seems to have an annual established show and (for the most part) they seem to be conscientious of the dates of the other shows.

In fact, several of the Asian indie toy shows actually have booths at each other’s events to cross promote. These 3 shows had booths at the BTS show so I guess they are trying to establish an established “circuit”

– ToyArtCulture (Korea / May)
– Taipei Toy Festival (Taiwan / October)
– ToySoul (Hong Kong / December)

BTS occurring on the same weekend as STGCC was pretty hard on some of the artists who have traditionally made the trek to Singapore. The Japanese Sofubi artists had it particularly tough as there was the Go Nagai event also on the same weekend
Singapore is one of the few Asia regional shows where the indie guys are a block inside of a “normal” comic-con as opposed to having a local indie-only show. It may be time for them to consider setting up an indie show – however small (gotta start somewhere) that fits in better with the regional schedule.

As STGCC was less crowded we got to stretch our legs and do a little spending with our bag of change taking more times at various booths in a less crowded area. No shoulder to shoulder rubbing, HA. By the time it hit around 3 pm you could tell most were preparing to back up as the crowd died down. More LIVE painting and releases kept the collectors occupied and returning to the booths which are a plus point for sure.

 

One part was the main stage seemed lively with the music pumping away. Bless the booths next to it and hopefully, they can stick the main stage somewhere else next year.

Summary

As an exhibitor or an attendee, It was great to see artists from around the world joining STGCC 2017. We thought there would be a bigger celebration for the 10 year anniversary, to be honest, and the booth numbers and map situation was very annoying. The plus side it was big enough with floor space that could be filled further. The mixed attendee was the bonus for us, seeing their faces when they picked something up and asked questions. I personally would like to see more a bigger range of artist in the artist ally, maybe STGCC would give more incentives for them to join STGCC and support the little guys.

Events like STGCC are like a double edge sword, filled with collectors/ attendees what won’t be necessarily looking for your art but then could bring you a new fanbase in the future. Ask JPK whats it done for him flying halfway around the world not just for sales but to open up to a different audience and meeting his fans of old and new. Networking is key and giving collectors and fans to see your art up close and personal takes it to another level. Remember photos and video never pick up the detail and buzz seeing it in person.

Would we go to STGCC again… YES.

Thank you to Lai our Singapore TTC family for holding it down

Plenty of photos and videos of STGCC 2017 on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thetoychronicle/

(Some photos lifted from Lai, Azreen RahimJian Shen) 


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Article by: Andy

A Yellow guy with bad English who's a chef by trade but addicted to toys and art. Instagram nutter rambling food addict who likes to take photos of everything I eat (most Asians do right?) Please don't class me as a journalist or blogger, more on the lines of talent scout and always backs the little guy. Instagram ( BigToyPoo) (SushiKingUK) I am that one dickhead too.