Friday, September 11, 2015

STGCC 2015 Media Preview: The Biggest, Most Record-Breaking Edition Yet


It has been a very busy and record-breaking day for us today as we prepare for our first STGCC coverage as accredited media. With this post, we will be setting a new record of publishing three full-length feature articles on the same day. In addition, this might also be the shortest article to ever feature on the site. Seems like there will be no short article. Without further ado...

The Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention (STGCC) has always been one of the XDantheManX Online team's favourite events to attend in Singapore. We simply love the unrivalled freedom of interaction with the guests, the diverse mix of Eastern and Western pop content, the stunning and incredible guest cosplayers they invite every year and who could forget- the riveting stage programmes, including the annual DJ Night!

The new DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe at Marina Bay Sands

At the Media Preview!

You can imagine how overjoyed we were when we received media accreditation for this year's edition. Members of the media were invited to attend STGCC's Media Preview at the newly-opened DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe yesterday. One of the biggest guests at this year's convention, superstar artist Adam Hughes, was in attendance, along with toy designer Huck Gee and cosplayer Stella Chuu.

Super Heroes Cafe!

What's on the menu

Lin Koh, Assistant Project Director, Pop Culture Cluster, Reed Exhibitions, started off the preview by sharing some tidbits of this year's STGCC.

  • STGCC is into its 8th edition this year. The biggest ever yet and a record-breaking one.
  • An expected 45,000 local and regional fans to attend this year.
  • A mindblowing line-up of 29 comic, toy, cosplay, anime and game personalities from both the East and West have been invited to STGCC 2015.
  • There are also close to 180 new product launches (with many exclusives) by 240 exhibitors from 16 countries, including 180 Artist Alley participants in the largest turnout yet.
  • Many of the guests are here in Singapore and Asia for the first time.
  • In addition, there are many new show highlights including the inaugural STGCC Championships of Cosplay, STGCC Celebrates Local Talent and Women in Comics panel.

The event emcee, Misa, took over next, introducing some of the highlights for STGCC 2015. Looks like you won't have to wait until CharaExpo 2016 to see her again (yes, she's the same stage emcee).

STGCC Championships of Cosplay

The winner of this year's inaugural STGCC Championships of Cosplay will be selected to represent the convention in the 2016 C2E2 Crown Championships of Cosplay in Chicago. The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), held annually every March, is one of the biggest comic conventions in North America, along with the well-known San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con.

Watch the shortlisted cosplayers battle it out on stage at 4.30pm on Sunday afternoon! You can be assured of quality costumes and performances with the attractive prizes up for grabs.

STGCC Kids Cosplay Parade

STGCC has always had an annual Cosplay Runway showcase. However, you rarely see our little ones gracing the stage. For the first time this year, children aged 5 to 12 will be able to dress up as their favourite superhero and characters and rock the runway. Come and watch these adorable mini-cosplayers at the first ever STGCC Kids Cosplay Parade on stage, taking place at the same time.

Life-sized Hulkbuster VS Hulk


STGCC has always thrilled attendees with their gigantic life-sized displays every year, be it the towering Star Wars stormtroopers last year or the massive Marvel booth in 2013. This year, a colossal 7m high by 8.5m wide Hulkbuster VS Hulk installation from Hot Toys, straight from summer blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron, will be taking centre-stage at STGCC 2015.

Time to whip out your cameras and take that obligatory convention picture again!

1000% Jiang Shi BE@RBRICK

Catch this Jiang Shi BE@RBRICK display at STGCC!

Do you like watching Chinese vampire films? Toy manufacturer Medicom Toy has introduced a unique new line of Jiang Shi BE@RBRICKs, inspired by the Hong Kong films of old. Take a closer look at the huge 1000% model, supported by many other small 100% models at the Medicom booth and soak in the nostalgia! They will also be on sale in the 400% and 100% versions.

STGCC x tokidoki SG50 Unicorno

So golden and so cute

In celebration of Singapore's Golden Jubilee, STGCC has joined forces with Italian artists Simone Legno, co-founder of the Japanese-inspired tokidoki lifestyle brand, to produce an exclusive SG50 Unicorno collectible! It is produced in a limited run of 1000 pieces and will be available for purchase at the STGCC Ticketing Counter from 8am to 3.30pm on both days of the convention.

Buyers may choose between two offers, which includes a one-day or two-day pass to STGCC. More details are available on the STGCC website.

The spotlight was also cast on a few product exclusives at STGCC.

Hot Toy's Iron Man Mark III (Stealth Mode) Collectible Figure

How cool!
Stealth Mode!

Witness the world premiere of Hot Toy's 1/6th scale Iron Mark Mark III (Stealth Mode) Collectible Figure exclusively at STGCC and be the first to add it to your collection! There is also an extensive range of Iron Man exclusives at the booth, including the Iron Man 3's 1/6th scale Mark XXIV (Tank) and the Mark XLIII (Stealth Mode) Cosbaby Bobble-Head

tokidoki Unicorno Series 4

Aren't they so cute?

Ever since we got (won) our first Unicorno two years ago at STGCC, we have been won over by these colourful, adorable little unicorn figures. The Unicorno Series 4 will be having its regional launch at STGCC so be sure to get one of these cute vinyl figures home as a memento! As the emcee kept gushing about it, "Aren't they so cute?"

Bryan Tan, the Business Director of XM Studios, STGCC 2015's platinum sponsor took a few minutes to introduce the Singapore-based figure manufacturer next. Despite being a new company, having emerged only in 2014, it has attained the Best Statue Company of the Year (2014) award by Statueforum.

Bryan Tan, Business Director, XM Studios

The company bases itself on principles such that it only hires the best artists, sculptors and talents and involving the community in their process by gathering feedback through social media as they fine-tune the figure designs. Their motto is "Collectors first, business second".

XM Studios' 1/4th scale Ghost Rider Premium Collectible

He added that the company would be opening pre-orders for two exclusives at STGCC, a 1/4th scale Ghost Rider figure in its Premium Collectibles line and a 1/4th scale Green Goblin bust in its new Premium Bust line. Adding that there as there are no 1/4th scale busts on the market at present, XM Studios decided to venture into this territory.

He affirmed the company's commitment to quality by assuring that in this age of 3D-printed works, every bust in their line is produced by the traditional method of hand-sculpting, by a group of sculpters based in the Phillipines.

XM Studios' 1/4th Scale Green Goblin Premium Bust

In closing, he teased that sneak previews of a very special Batman line of figures would be on display at STGCC, adding that "you would have never seen them in this manner". Regarding future releases, XM Studios is currently working on a line of 1/4th scale figures featuring famous characters from Hong Kong comics.

The talent showcase with the guest talents started off with a few casual conversations between Misa and the guests. Here are some of the highlights:

Adam Hughes

  • Finds Singapore to be a really beautiful and lovely place and can't wait to experience it. Would love to see the Sun here.
  • Really looking forward to meeting the fans here as he hasn't travelled to this region before. It's a completely different market from North America.
  • Would love to go home with many toys at STGCC. (*Hint hint*)
  • If he weren't a comic artist, he might've been a hobo or a bum. (tongue-in-cheek)
  • Used to have aspirations of becoming an astronaut when he was young. 
  • Would love to be the first cartoonist on Mars since Nasa has stopped the moon-landing missions.

Huck Gee

Toy designer Huck Gee his new figure, The Blank

It may look simple but Huck has been working on The Blank for the past 3 years

  •  Highest point of his career was having his work picked out as a design piece  in the New York Museum of Art.
  • Identifies with his Skull Head figure the most and even has it tattooed on his neck. It has followed him throughout most of his career and has became a logo of sorts for him.
  • Was a graffiti artist 20 years ago and was working on sketchbooks full of character designs.
  • Introduced himself to toy company Kidrobot (which was importing toy designs from Hong Kong at that time) as a toy designer although he wasn't one and he has enjoyed the roller coaster ride that is his life ever since.
  • Pencil on paper is his preferred medium of working. "There is just a certain flow to it.". He has experimented with many tools in his hands eg. styluses, etc but found that nothing beats pencil on paper.
  • Has been working on his newest creation, The Blank for the past 3 years. Sourcing for a manufacturer in the US as he does not want to "wait for a boat to deliver his products from China" has proven to be a challenge.
  • Doesn't have a final product. Plans to keep releasing updated versions of his products as he learns and improves.

Stella Chuu 

Stella cosplayed as Tharja from Fire Emblem Awakening

  • Made her Tharja cosplay from Fire Emblem Awakening in 3 weeks specifically for STGCC.
  • Costume is made from velvet with thick satin- heavy winter-clothing material. She thought that it would be fine in Singapore but realised otherwise later.
  • She will be wearing her Yuffie cosplay from Final Fantasy VII at STGCC!
  • Thinks that you wouldn't be able to cosplay if you didn't love it as a lot of time and money has to be invested in cosplaying.
  • Used to think that cosplaying was all about being able to dress up.
  • What she loves most about cosplaying now is being able to see her friends all over the world.
  • Enjoys the creative process and problem-solving behind designing new costumes. Finding ways to translate costumes with video game physics to reality is challenging for her.
  • Loves travelling around the world to cosplay- something not really possible in the past.

Adam held an art demonstration next, putting the finishing touches on a Mary Jane Watson fan commission while his wife, Allison Sohn spoke about his drawing process.

Mary Jane Watson is one of the most requested fan commissions for Adam

For a beautifully-illustrated cover by Adam, it could take anything from 8 hours to 4 weeks to complete. It all depends on its complexity and the right conditions. Sometimes, when the weather conditions are right, his artwork dries faster and he is able to complete them in a shorter period of time. In humid surroundings such as Singapore, it takes a long time for the ink to dry.

A master artist at work

The pair have a studio on the lower level of their house where Adam works. Adam mentioned that he is "allergic to discipline". He is not very good at keeping to schedules and works according to conditions dictated by his assignments, such as deadlines. Sometimes, he would work more meticulously and at other times, more casually.

Almost done: Adam putting the finishing touches on the fan commission

However, when he actually works, he works all day and doesn't take half the day off as he wants to continue to get his creative juices flowing.

The media preview ended with refreshments served by the DC Comics Super Hero Cafe. They were so appetising, especially the Batman burger and brownie! You may grab them for lunch over the weekend while you're at STGCC.

Tantalising refreshments

The drink for superheroes - Batman Cola!

With that, have an enjoyable STGCC weekend! Like our Facebook page for more updates and check back for new articles on Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival and STGCC 2015 in the week ahead!