Monthly Archive for June, 2008

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SG Toys and Comics Convention: Preview Night and Funny Incidents

Tonight was the preview night for the inaugural Singapore Toys and Comics Convention, organised by PI events. They didn’t give me a press release so I’ll just write what I remember. The guest of honour was the Minister for Sports and Community Development, Vivi (Black Mage from FF9) Balakrishnan. The convention is being held at Suntec convention centre, hall 603 and it’ll last for the weekend.

There are quite a few booths there. My favourite was the Nintendo booth, as they hired many cute girls (ok not all were cute) to play Wii and DS. There were about 9 Wii consoles there each with a different game. There was Mario Kart, Wiisports, Wii Fit, Rock Star, Link’s Crossbow etc. I played most of them as the crowd was sparse due to it being an industry-insiders only night.

The adjacent booth was one by D-Box, a high end game simulator company which makes armchairs that are like megasized versions of the force-feedback controllers the PS2/3 have. They sway, rumble and pitch all over the place while you watch your action movie, which in my case, was FF7 AC. AC’s graphics felt really shitty for some reason, shows how fast-paced graphics progress. DBox also has this car-driving simulator, hooked up to 3(!!) widescreen TV’s. Fair to say, that was the most awesome racing game I’ve ever played. If you skidded, the smoke machine blew smoke at you! Pity the prices are insane. The driving set costs 22 thousand, while the armchair is about 9 thousand. They don’t appear to have a website, strangely.

Most of the other booths weren’t that interesting. There’s an entire row of artist booths, one of which is my secondary school teacher, Otto Fong’s. He’s now a full comic artist. He didn’t teach me personally but he taught my brother and lent him loads of comics. I was intending to say hi but decided against it because I am nerdy otaku. You can buy art books and pieces at this section of the convention, some of them are real beauties (the art).

There are quite a few booths which are just selling stuff you can get at shops, so no point.

Interestingly, Odex makes a return but undercover. They are the holders of the Bakugan Battle Brawlers booth, which is like some super pumped up version of bloody MARBLES. Except the marbles can transform into monsters, which is quite cool because they do transform in real life like transformers, automatically. Pity the anime is so, so bad, it makes Yuugioh look like Last Exile.

There are some seemingly famous cartoon designers in the Walk of Fame section, but I don’t know them because I only know anime and we all know anime is a mere subset of toys and comics.

Bandai has a huge presence in the middle of the hall displaying their Gundams, Chogokin and other mecha. They are really promoting the 3 Kingdoms SD Gundam series, which is quite frankly, utter crap.

Hasbro has a Star Wars: Clone Wars section with a contest. Count the number of Storm Troopers and win 500 bucks of Storm Trooper toys. I was too lazy and just copied the guy in front of me, he wrote 300. I wrote 301. I saw this woman write from 290-297.

The new Batman animation, which is sort of anime-styled, was given a premiere. I thought it was boring, Batman is boring.

I think it’s worth going, just for an hour or two. The problem with the event was how unfocused it was. There were stores that were seemingly doing nothing at all, like World of JJ’s. There were booths trying to sell goods, and others just displaying some random stuff. Some booths were successful, like the Pop Corn Movie Memorabilia booth that just basically placed their catalogue and a lot of posters. I am strongly tempted to buy from them. Nintendo’s obviously, was a huge success because the Wii is not very big in Singapore, here being a Sony colony. Most people have never touched a Wii before in their lives, me included. It’s a good experience. Not necessarily fun, but I bet I could persuade my mom to buy a Wii for herself.

Considering it’s a first time, the STCC is pretty well done. I might be going back on Sunday to check out the crowd, and because I forgot to bring someone and she wants to see strange people in anime costumes.

Some funny stories happened and I shall share them.

I wanted to take pictures, but when I turned on my camera and pointed at the figures, it read "No SD Card Inserted" or something. I left my card inside my laptop’s SD card reader. Ugh. This explains why there are no pictures. Thankfully, Windbell rented a large DSLR, on top of his own one, and was snapping away as I commanded, "Hey take that hot girl there!" Wait for him.

I met MistaYoh, a member of local doujin group Collateral Damage, at the Nintendo booth while I was lining up to play Link’s Crossbow training. He had two friends who he promptly introduced. I extended my hand for a handshake, and both of them reciprocated. Here comes the funny part, not knowing what to do with two hands, I grabbed both their hands, AT THE SAME TIME with my right hand and shook vigorously. Imagine, 3 male otakus in a handshake. It’s hilarious now that I think back. The best part was the 2nd guy’s hand was grasping onto his friend’s while I held the friend’s hand. So it looked like this >><, where the arrows indicate the direction palm is facing. Hehe, that was embarrassing. They mentioned they were from a certain figure forum, which I vaguely may or may not have heard of, and they asked whether I knew it. I said flatly, "No."

I took 3 hours to get home. Why? Because I took the wrong train. When I realised it, after 20 minutes, I got off and it was about 10 pm, which is very peak hour on a Friday night. I waited at a bus stop for these two buses. After 1 hour and a half, and 8-10 of these buses passed, all fully packed, I gave up and walked about 3 minutes down the road only to remember that I have 4 different buses that could take me home from this next bus stop and they were completely empty and have been since the start since they did not come from the city area. Amazingly, the PSP is a great way to kill time and I totally didn’t feel upset because I gained a few levels on Wild Arms XF during the wait, which I would’ve done anyway if I reached home. Get a PSP folks, and make your life far better.

[LianYL] An Ode To Me

Dear oh dear me, what is this I see?
My pockets empty, bankrupt as thee
Choices there are none, but to work hard as a bee
So hear my bitchings, in this ode to me

This sin I’ve done, ordering all Busou Shinki
Lands me a waiting job, in hotels of stars five to three
Acquainting with girls, I admit being rather pretty
One of them taught me, how to fold my napkins

Till this day I work, after going on an ordering spree
At the same time trying to sell my Kara no Kyoukai DVD off me
Each time I fold those soiled linen sheets
I think of the time you taught me how to fold them in a piece

I tried to get your number back then, but I’ve sucked at girls way before i was twenty
So now I regret, as I await your next working shift
Deep down inside, I know it’s history
Another tale of regrets to lament over tea

So dear oh dear me, as I await for she
Still working my ass off like a bee
Before I knew it, my BRStick drafts have piled to the ceiling
And I’d already cancelled my orders for Busou Shinki

—————-

Man, I suck at such writings.