The 10th anniversary of the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention will be the biggest one yet.
From the 4,000 sq m space at the first convention at Suntec in 2008, the event has expanded this year to cover 17,000 sq m at Marina Bay Sands Expo.
The organiser also anticipates an increased attendance of about 50,000 people, which is 10 per cent more than last year’s figures.
More importantly, the event has gone beyond just something for a niche geek crowd – it has become a mainstream pop-culture event with something for everyone, be it American comic books or Japanese anime series.
Ms Lin Koh, assistant project director at events company Reed Exhibitions, which organises the convention, says: “We’re trying to make the convention more accessible to everyone, for the hardcore collectors, anime and gaming fans, and for the wider audience in general.
“So while there are still the exclusive toys and comics for collectors which the convention is known for, we’ve also brought in lifestyle offerings such as Star Wars-themed tableware and carpets.”
Something new to look out for this year is the Costume Repair Station, where cosplayers can stop and get their costumes fixed for free.
WHERE: Marina Bay Sands Expo (Halls D, E and F), 10 Bayfront Avenue
WHEN: Sept 9 and 10, 10am to 8pm
ADMISSION: From $7 online ($9 at door) for a Good Game Experience + Akiba Zone Pass to $85 for a VIP ticket that covers all zones with priority entry and seating, available from www.singaporetgcc.com
The booth is managed by last year’s Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention Championship of Cosplay winner, Ms Erika Jean Garbin.
There is also a new Chillax Zone, where attendees can challenge one another on various console and virtual-reality games while kicking back on bean bags.
For most people, the biggest draw of the event is still the chance to meet some of the biggest names in the pop-culture industry, who are flown in to sign merchandise, give talks, or perform.
Guests include Korean-American comics artist Frank Cho, who is known for his Liberty Meadows comic strip series as well as books such as The Hulk for Marvel Comics; Simone Legno, the co-founder and creator of the tokidoki line of toys, which have amassed a cult following; and popular anime soundtrack composer and DJ Taku Inoue.
Who to look out for at the convention
Any fervent comic book fan would know of this American comics artist who has worked on books featuring famed superheroes from Batman and Superman to the X-Men and The Hulk.
The 54-year-old has a prestigious Eisner award for Best Single Issue for a Gumby comic book.
American comics artist Cebulski, who works for Marvel, is known not only for his artwork, he is also a talent scout who looks out for potential artistic talents for the company.
Aspiring artists who missed last week’s deadline to submit their art portfolios to him during the special one-on-one review sessions at the event need not fret – try to catch him wandering the grounds and see if you can get some advice on the spot.
Color Pointe is not a typical teenybopper Japanese idol group. As their name suggests, this five-member group sings pop songs set to elegant ballet moves.
In the saturated J-pop idol world, they are a girl group who set out to be different: They sing and dance, but they also actively promote cleanliness. The group’s slogan is after all, “Keeping Our Streets Clean!”, and they meet their fans on a monthly basis to, well, clean the streets.
This hunky professional Italian cosplayer is a star, with fans following him to various pop-culture events around the world.
The 26-year-old has been hired by many major companies to cosplay for their film promotion activities, most notably by Twentieth Century Fox’s Assassin’s Creed movie across Europe last year.
• The specific times and dates for the guest appearances have not been confirmed. Go to www.singapore tgcc.com for updates.