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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Embracing the child in you at TOYCON 2022

Whether it’s that paper boat made out of scratch paper or a limited-edition collectible, a toy will always be a powerful captor of memories. 

Over the weekend, a lot of my childhood memories flooded in as I checked out each hall at what is tagged as the country’s biggest pop culture event. The Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectible Convention or TOYCON is in fact Asia’s biggest and longest-running convention for toys and collectibles, cosplay, comics, gaming, and digital entertainment. 

When you step into the three-day event, you’ll find yourself in the midst of toy collectors and aficionados in the country.

Modern action figures of Voltes V

TOYCON 2022 is indeed a grand celebration of pop culture and a showcase of toys, games, movies, animé, cosplay,and collectibles. It was thrilling to meet top toy creators, artists, designers, and celebrities in one place.

TOYCON 2022 took place at the Megatrade Halls of SM Megamall from July 8 to 10, Friday to Sunday. For the convention’s 19th year, iconic Japanese character Voltes V took center stage again. This was part of a promise made by Smart Signature ambassador and world-renowned Filipino artist and toy designer Quiccs in 2019 to launch TEQ-63, his new line of trademark toys in Voltes V style.

‘Darna’ stars Joshua Garcia (left) and Jane De Leon

Voltes V’s story is a tale of a family divided, of struggles suffered and survived, and a reunion of love. TOYCON is exactly like that. It is a personal reunion with every childhood experience. For the event organizers, this year meant a homecoming. The convention is back to where it all started in terms of location. Nostalgia and familiarity took over.

This year, some of the event highlights included the biggest Voltes V licensing and merchandise exhibit in collaboration with Telesuccess Productions Inc., celebrity appearances by stars of GMA’s Voltes V Legacy and ABS-CBN’s Darna, Funko Funatics Philippines’ release of exclusive and celebrity signings, top toy studios and designers from the region going on exhibit, TOYCON Creator’s Alley (where top Filipino toy creators met the up and coming creators), Artist Alley (the country’s top comic book artists signed and sketched), TOYCON Collectors’ Gallery, Toy Art and Customizing competition, ToyClick and Cosclick photography contest, TOYCON Cosplay competition, and the World Cosplay Summit, Collectors and Customizers’ panel discussions, the Pinoy Pop Culture Icon Awards, and more than 250 booths of toy collectibles.

The cast of GMA’s ‘Voltes V: Legacy’

Newly introduced to the annual tradition are the online selling seminars, live auctions, and livestreams by Lazada and NFT workshops by Smart Signature. The talk featured Chairman, CEO and CTO of BYC Inc. (Bayanichain) and Founder of Hacktiv Colab Inc. Paul Soliman and Quiccs who dished out insider scoop on his NFT game BulletPunk BitWars. It was truly a well-rounded event that went beyond the thrill of being with fellow adults going giddy over toys.

Personally, I’m embracing TOYCON as an annual treat for myself. As a popular quote by George Bernard Shaw says, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.

Cosplayers enjoying TOYCON 2022

This year’s toy convention was organized by VLAC Event Management Inc. and co-presented by Lazada and Smart Signature.
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