Tuesday, June 19, 2012

ToyCon 2012: Sound, Fury and Lots of Green Hair

Welcome to Toycon, where piles of rubber like this:

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...turns into Transformers dancing to YMCA:

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Toycon 2012 had racked up around 10,000 visitors by day 2, and the venue was just about big enough to contain all the action. Sorta.

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Toycon was divided up into two areas - the main stage at the front where all the cosplay took place (and a small room stuffed with action figures or whatever), and the booth space / shops selling stuff at the back. Mainly I lurked at the front, and was fortunate enough catch the introduction from a lady who wasn't having much luck. They had a bunch of people come up dressed as characters from local MMORPG type games, and one of the highlights was when they auctioned off a "rare in game cloak" that ended up selling for about £200+.

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So of course, she starts asking where the cloak is so she can "give" it to the winner and things got a little awkward while someone explained that it isn't a real item.

Which made it all the funnier when they had the winner come up on stage and be handed precisely nothing at all, then walk off again to no applause whatsoever.

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And then he just sort of wandered off again, replaced by this small child in a robot costume who appears to be a well known cosplayer or something.

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Another highlight was when the host decided to give away a freebie via the art of "lobbing it into the crowd". I knew it was a mistake the moment I saw her arch her arm back, and sure enough the below photo is seconds after she managed to get it stuck in the lighting rig.

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As best I can tell, some dude had his precious spear volunteered for "jab it in the rafters" duty until the boxed item fell out.

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I didn't stay for the whole event, but most of the presentation that I saw followed a similar pattern, including "The Batman interview" which was so painful to experience I still can't believe it actually took place. More on that later. For now: some random pictures of people in their costumes. I have no idea who some of these characters are, so don't ask.

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Well okay, that's Thor and Loki on his mobile. No idea about most of this lot though.

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Is this next guy a mash-up of Thor and Sting? The Crow? Edumacate me, please.

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I THINK WE ALL KNOW WHO THIS GUY IS SUPPOSED TO BE.

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Also these guys.

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There was another well known cosplayer walking around dressed as Lara Croft, but who needs pictures of that when we have some sort of alien in high heels?

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NO, IT'S BEHIND YOU! Silly space marine.

Special mention to the JLA doing the rounds - they were awesome, but unfortunately located right next to a table of people doing things with computers. As a result, I just....could....not.....get a good pic of these guys. The Donna Troy (just in shot) and Elastic Man were great, and Aquaman....hoo boy, he seemed to be having a lot of fun. Huntress was good too, but....NERDS WITH COMPUTERS.

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By the way, in case you were wondering: dozens of buster swords, Clouds and Kingdom Hearts characters. NO PICTURES OF THOSE FOR YOU.

I'm almost certain this next character is from one of the MMORPG games.

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There was also an obligatory Nyancat cosplay, complete with Nyancat theme playing out of speakers in his head.

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Iron Man!

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Green haired boat holding lady!

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A number of local celebrities were also present, including someone who does TV and sings or something. I think:

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Elsewhere, a pro cosplayer and her sister judged the Cosplay competition and signed stuff in their booth:

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There was also mini Batman versus R2-D2, and I swear this kid was just trying to come up with a way to rugby tackle the robot to the ground. If a midget had fallen out I would have showered everybody with cash money.

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No, Batman! Don't do it!

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So anyway, that was fun. Not so fun: the dude from the Batman booth, which presumably was tied to the large amount of Dark Knight Rises marketing / promo material all over the place, going on stage.

Clearly, he had no idea that he was going to be asked to do anything beyond look badass in his costume:

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Then the host tried to have him hype the movie, and by hype the movie, I mean "Batman guy refuses to answer anything related to the movie and listens to a host ask spectacularly odd questions".

This poor Batman dude starts off with a sort-of passable Bale growly voice imitation, then forgets to do it, then kinda half does it, then abandons ship completely in favour of "uh...uh....uh...." wide-eyed panic.

"...hope you're enjoying yourself..." [shuffle hop from foot to foot] "...would like to invite you to watch the movie..."

The host started quizzing him on what to expect from the film, including questions such as "Will you have a new love interest in the movie? Can you give us her initials?"

I'm willing to bet this poor guy has no freaking clue what Catwoman's initials are, let alone be privy to some special screening for dudes in Batsuits but on it went leading to the most amazing exchange ever:

Host: "What do you see when you look in the mirror?"

Batman: "....the Dark Knight?"

My face:

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Additional thought: one of the hosts kept going on about a "Booth babe contest", and while describing them said something along the lines of "These girls are so beautiful they don't even need to cosplay", which to me sounded like an implication that the cosplayers could only look good by dressing up in green wigs and short dresses or whatever.

Things not to say at a huge cosplay event: THAT.

Minor hiccups aside, the event was entertaining enough that I demanded to go back on the Sunday to see the group cosplay competition - tomorrow I'll cover that, and the story of how a bunch of people in Final Fantasy costume acted out the killing of Aerith to the strains of Bohemian Rhapsody.

And there's something I'm only 40% sure I'd never write...

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