In December of last year, during the closing ceremony of Comic Fiesta 2017, it was announced that the event organising giant would be partnering with another team to host an event the likes of this community has never seen before.
Toys, Anime, Games & Comic Con (shortened to TAGCC) happened last weekend from the 7th to 8th of April 2018 at the Mid Valley Exhibition Hall, marking the first ever large-scale celebration of figurines and collectibles in South East Asia. The MAGIC RAIN was honoured to be reporting not only as exhibitors, but also Official Media Partners for the event. Here’s what went down!
The Mid Valley Exhibition Centre was split into a total of 4 separate areas – the Main Stage, Hall 1, Hall 2, and Hall 3. Hall 1 was the main attraction of the event and where the bulk of the figurines and collectibles were being displayed. A walk around the hall was a spectacle in itself, featuring displays by Prime1 Studio, Shiok Toys, Royal Selangor, Hero Cross and many others.
Most of the collectibles on display were from Western franchises, most commonly Marvel, DC and Star Wars. While there was a surprising lack of anime figurines here – with the exception of a few popular franchises like Naruto – it definitely delighted my inner Western Pop Culture nerd to see Western franchises being more celebrated.
A highlight was definitely the combined Shiok Toys and Prime1 Studio booths, which featured a Batman Ninja figurine front and centre, flanked by Venom and Anti-Venom in the background. There were also other gems displayed including Anne Hathaway’s Cat Woman, Bane, and Poison Ivy. The Royal Selangor booth was a sight to behold too, with favourite characters from the Star Wars franchise being recreated in iconic pewter. This included a 1:1 scale replica of Han Solo trapped in carbonite, which drew a huge crowd.
Other than that, there were several artist toys on display; a nice touch to showcase a seldom highlighted side to the collector’s and artist’s community. For the unacquainted, artist toys typically provide the plain base model for sale so that artists can paint and add their own spin onto the end result.
Hall 2 was where all the action and main activity was situated; the main attractions being Bushiroad’s trading card game tournament which took up most of the hall space, and the Hado arena organised by Hado Malaysia. With trading card games and virtual and augmented reality typically being a side attraction at most events, it was nice to see them take the spotlight and draw in a consistent crowd across the weekend.
Right next to the Hado booth was where The MAGIC RAIN booth was located, where we hosted a Pokémon TCG tournament, Magic The Gathering free play, Playstation free play, and Her Majesty’s Museum, a look back at Her Majesty’s Mansions previous maid cafés. Throughout the hall, there were also other interesting attractions like the Caster Chronicles booth, fan exhibitions of Tokusatsu and Lego.
Generally, I feel there was a good mix of content in this hall. While TCG tournaments appealed more to veteran players, free play activities such as Hado, Playstation free play and TCG learning sessions reached out to newbies and casual players, giving everyone something accessible to have fun with.
Hall 1 was the most reminiscent of a typical ACG convention layout, with a portion of it dedicated to doujin artists, another section for the Pokémon VGC tournament, and the rest were booths of collaborating brands and sponsors.
This was also where the KL Comic Week exhibition was held, featuring artwork from comickers from Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan! It’s always awesome to see initiatives that elevate Malaysian talents, and it was interesting to compare the differences in art styles between the best of each country.
The stage area, sadly, was the most underwhelming part of the event. Although there were some good content, e.g. talks about concept art for toys, production of toys, and the ever popular Cosplay Invitational qualifiers, the stage was vacant most of the time. It would be nice to see more stage content next year, especially those relating to the event’s main theme – collectibles and figurines!
Overall, I would say that TAGCC was a complete success for its first year! As collectors and admirers of figurines ourselves, it’s a breath of fresh air to see so much of an event dedicated to this community. Although there’s still much room for improvement in terms of content diversity and ratio between Japanese and Western displays, we have no doubt it’ll only improve in quality and quantity over the years.
Look forward to the coming weeks, where we’ll be focusing on specific parts of the convention, including a collector’s focus, a summary of all the stage talks, and more!
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