My personal pilgrimage to the 10th Philippine ToyCon event 2011

My pilgrimage to the holy land of toys and cosplayers has been accomplished.. I’ve long waited for this moment to happen and finally last June 19 (Sunday), I was able to make my way to the 5th level of the SM Megamall for the 10th Philippine Toy Convention and got to experience for myself the thrill and the intensity of being there as a first-time visitor… I have to admit that days before the opening of the ToyCon I was starting to have second thoughts about attending the said event due to personal reasons, but since I’ve already promised a friend and Made in X member Adrian Soco that we would meet there, I had to be at the convention no matter what! More or less I knew what to expect during the ToyCon based on what I have been hearing from my friends and what I have been reading from past articles regarding the annual event, it was a good thing that Adrian (Soco) was available on a Sunday since I wouldn’t want to go there as much as possible on the opening day (June 18/Saturday) because I have this feeling it would be a nightmarish scenario of having to see thousands upon thousands of people flocking to the event, so going there on the second day was my best option… and so I thought.

My ticket to Toy and Cosplay heaven…

I wouldn’t want to take my chances since it coincided with Father’s Day that Sunday and for sure traffic could get worse if  I slack myself too much so I woke up around 8:30 a.m. and got myself ready, got a cab and left home before 11 a.m. Traffic was starting to get really annoying along San Miguel Avenue going towards SM Megamall and soon after I reached the entrance of Building A, I raced myself up the escalators to the 5th level and though the line to the ticket booth was still manageable, you can still see from the outside that there was already a fairly large number of people inside the venue. As soon as I got my arm stamped, I went inside and immediately felt that I was in toy heaven! As far as the eye can see, you’ll be amazed at the sea of toys that literally flooded the place, and as for first-timer me, I had to compose myself and prioritize on taking snapshots for my blog and for Made in X since the crowd was still bearably light and if I didn’t work on it then my main purpose of going there would be put in vain, of course work comes first before leisure (yeah right, keep saying that to yourself…) From one area to another and jumping from one booth to the next, I was snapping away with my camera while doing a little toy hunting as well. I got to buy a few items there though honestly I wasn’t able to enjoy a “thorough” toy shopping during the ToyCon because the next thing you know crowd build-up was getting thicker and thicker by the minute and soon Megatrade Hall’s 1, 2 and 3 was overrun by a legion of toy enthusiasts and cosplayers everywhere!

Time flew so fast that I found myself wandering from one place to another hoping to find a chance to take a photo of an event or a toy booth that I want to feature on my blog, but my legs were starting to get all weak from all the walking and the free can of Coke Zero that I drank didn’t help either since I had it with an empty stomach which was a bad move! I was fortunate to see Lena Cobangbang present at the Secret Fresh booth and she graciously invited me over to hang out for a while., it was there that I took a few more snapshots before tucking away my camera and raised my white flag surrendering to the fact that I was dead tired, hungry and on the brink of collapsing! My buddy Adrian Malantic and his friend Francis Velasco dropped by the booth and after hanging out for a while, we left the premises and accompanied the two while they grabbed something to eat at Tokyo Cafe… all I ever wanted at that time was something to sit on and I felt like winning the lottery after getting a table at the resto! Much as I wanted to stay longer at the ToyCon but it would be suicide if I force myself to go back up there with Adrian (Malantic) and Francis… the spirit is very much willing but the flesh is so damn weak. And as I type this blog post, my body is still aching all over and hopefully the pain killer will do the trick…

Overall, my very first attendance to the Philippine Toy Convention was an experience of a lifetime, it was exciting, tiring and making your way through the thick and maddening crowd was an adventure on its own. Hopefully by the next ToyCon in 2012  I’ll be more prepared and equipped with the things that I need since my half-a-day stay there was a big learning experience. Though according to the organizers of the ToyCon there might be a possible change of venue by next year and they’re considering the SMX Convention Center to be ToyCon’s new home which is far more bigger than the three Megatrade Halls of SM Megamall combined, but with a bigger venue comes the reality of a more larger and crazier crowd than the other previous conventions… Oh well, that’s life as we know it… So bring it on guys and let ’em rip! Can’t wait for ToyCon 2012!…

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