Iron Man and minions conquer convention

A visitor poses for a photograph with Iron Man at The Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention at Marina Bay Sands on 31 August 2013.

Superheroes ruled at the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention this year.

And even with a prop of Thor's mighty hammer thrown into the proceedings, there was no question that Iron Man was the mightiest of them all.

For fans of the movies, there was the replica of the Hall of Armour from billionaire Tony Stark's mansion to gawk at. Or they could take snapshots with the life-sized replicas as though Iron Man was their bestie. And for the collectors, there was the limited-edition figurine of Iron Man 3: Midas (Mark XXI) to covet from the aptly named Hot Toys.

Student Andros Yeo, 23, queued from 11pm on Friday night to get his hands on one of the 800 available for $380. He said he slept "in line, on the floor, in the dark, in the cold".

While he seemed happy with his purchase, he also said that the system could be improved as there were only two counters to deal with all the prospective buyers. By around 1pm last Saturday, all the pieces had been sold.

Mr Yeo was one of 38,000 people expected to attend the convention held at Marina Bay Sands over the weekend. Last year, more than 34,000 fans attended.

Toys, games, T-shirts and collectibles from a dizzying array of titles from Marvel Comics, Japanese anime and even classic Old Master Q competed for attention as crowds thronged the aisles in search of their favourites.

Items featuring the adorable minions from the Despicable Me animated flicks found favour with this year's attendees. Mr Lin Yan Jie, 33, owner of toy retail store Rapid Culture, said it was because "everyone loves the movie". The Despicable Me 2 Minions Monopoly set ($75) sold out while the Build-A-Minion set ($50) was selling fast.

Still others came to be gawked at as cosplayers dressed up as their favourite characters and added to the carnivalesque atmosphere.

Siblings Shahida Sarifi, 22, a pastry cook, and Sarina Sarifi, 23, who is waiting to enter university, dressed up as hobbits in anticipation of the upcoming movie The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug.

They paid meticulous attention to their get-up, from the bow-and-arrow accessories to Sarina's pointy ears. Shahida was dressed as the character who slays the dragon in the film and added: "I'm a walking spoiler."

Not everyone was content to imitate. Tsuki is an original character created by a cosplayer who gave her name as Jounka Ai. The 21-year-old, who is unemployed, drew her inspiration from Japanese visual kei music. Her outfit was a riot of colours and she pointed out: "What's the use of colours if you can't wear them all at the same time?"

The convention was also a chance for fans to get up close with the creators of the different works.

Student Kok Cheng Da, 19, likes the "distinct and complex designs" of Japanese illustrator redjuice. After standing in line for 20 minutes, the satisfied fan came away with autographed picture cards as well as a photograph keepsake.

For student Megan Ng, 23, the event offered a rare opportunity to hear what the creators themselves had to say. She listened to a talk by Marvel Animation's vice-president of animation development and production, Mr Cort Lane, because she is a fan of characters such as Iron Man.

She said that the convention had a lot more professional displays compared to last year's offerings. She added: "There's an excess of Iron Man stuff, but I'm not complaining."

bchan@sph.com.sg


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