Villains, Heroes, Fans, Toys Galore published in China Business Philippines

I just stumbled this article in a search and its a lost article from last year, this was published in "China Business Philippines magazine" last year. Thanks to Chester G. Galias for the interview last Toy Con 2007. and according to the article, yes we are pretty beat up that year and I'm beat up too and so tired, and got time to do this interview.

I'm posting everything, just to save the article for future use

Villains, Heroes, Fans, Toys Galore
You wouldn’t expect the toys you used to throw around when you were five to cost thousands of pesos today. And because you were a brat and didn’t take care of them like you were told, you can do nothing now but watch as others make serious money selling classic Legos, Transformers, and G.I. Joe action figures.

The toy business in the Philippines is a growing enterprise as proven at this year’s Philippine Toys, Hobbies, and Collectibles Convention. From around 40 in 2003, there were some 90 booths at the recent ToyCon. Visitors (ages 3 to 70, according to organizer Azrael Coladilla) admired and purchased collector’s items on display.

Each ToyCon is anchored on a particular theme, usually an upcoming big-budget US summer flick. In 2007, it was Transformers; this year, The Dark Knight, the sequel to Batman Begins (2005). A steady stream of visitors had their pictures snapped next to a life-size replica of Batman and The Joker’s bust. Other popular photo-op dummies were Superman, Godzilla, and The Joker’s assistant, Harley Quinn. A very realistic replica of the head and shoulder armor of Iron Man was also on display.

Dressed to Kill
The convention floor space was filled with nearly a hundred vendors plying thousands of authentic movie memorabilia, comic books, robots, trading cards, CDs, hats, dolls, pins, action figures, and other hard-to-find items.

But costume play was still the main attraction. Costume play (“cosplay” among aficionados) is a contest where fans get to dress up and act like their favorite characters in animé, video games, comic books, and movies.

Darth Vader, Yoda, Spiderman, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Super Mario, Chun-Li, Naruto, and Lord Sauron from The Lord of the Rings novel were just some the over 100 creatures walking around the venue for photo-ops and, of course, for the best cosplayer award.

Not to be Outdone
The 7th ToyCon may have been overflowing with merchandise from animation and comic book powerhouses US and Japan, but the Philippines and China also had some strong representatives at the venue. (Even “Manny Pacquiao” was there!)

Some young Filipino comic book artists doing subcontracted work for foreign clients were on hand to give practical tips on how to succeed in the comic book industry. Also featured was a video of Filipino American artist Whilce Portacio, where the former Marvel Comics artist encouraged budding artists.

The classic works of homebound master illustrators Alfredo P. Alcala (Voltar and Alcala Komix Magazine) and Mars Ravelo (Darna, Dyesebel, and Captain Barbell) were also exhibited.

The Philippines was also represented by the “Foldabots,” a Transformers-inspired line of paper art robots crafted by architect Jose Miguel “Jomike” Tejido. Its first commercial run was in 2006 for K-Zone Magazine, from where kids could simply cut out Foldabots from its pages. The robots have Filipino names like Buhawi (whirlwind), Tutubi (dragonfly), and Kalasag (shield). Most of the Foldabots turn into either local vehicles or endemic species. New versions come out every month, some of them even designed to form one bigger robot.

As for China, TOSE China and mobiusgames launched GONG!, a multiplayer online soccer game that has totally different, wacky rules and unconventional playing fields.

TOSE China was established in Shanghai in November 1993. The firm is a fully-owned subsidiary of Japan’s TOSE Co. Ltd, said to be the world’s largest non-publishing game developer.

TOSE’s second studio in China was founded in Hangzhou in 2001. So far, TOSE China has produced 400 titles for the world’s top gaming companies and mobile content publishers. The company is also involved in creating games for consoles, handheld game devices, and 2G and 3G mobile phones.

Organizers are pretty upbeat that next year’s ToyCon will again be bigger. They could be right. After all, there’s an inner child in all of us, as proven by the multi-billion-dollar toy industry.
- China Business Philippines