Monday, June 25, 2012

I couldn't resist and bought the book. I know its seems like spoiling myself for the upcoming movie, but I was curious how it was written and after reading the first two chapters did I realize how interesting the movie would be.

My only comment and advise for everyone is that if you plan to buy the book and expecting it to be written like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, you might be disappointed with the writing style, or in my opinion, very much relieved that it veered away from lifted literature and created its own fictional alternate history biography of one of America's well known presidents.

The best comparison I can give when comparing the storyline is that its similar to George Lucas' Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire where you get to see what happened behind the scenes that led to The Empire Strikes Back, except that Star Wars was never a factual history, nor that George Lucas (no offense) wrote Shadows in the way he wrote the prequel Trilogy. Although with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter I would need to brush up with the history of America's Civil War to fully appreciate the scenes and situations that dotted its literary landscape.
 So I'll leave it to you guys to either watch the movie or read the book first, but for now I wont mind spoiling myself on the details of the story, as the book entertaining in itself.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My really late Toycon Day 3 Report

The last day turned out to be quite a handful in terms of sales.  Most of our shirts were out, since we never really considered to properly calculate our tshirt stock.  But since we were able to make good sales on the last two days, every sale we have today is considered enough to deal with overhead expenses. We ran out of Big Bang shirts and we are left with whatever is left to sell.  But as I said earlier, since we made good sales, we could buy another set of collectibles if ever we find one.

I actually stumbled into the Pepsi Nex Gundam Bear Char Zaku, including this very detailed figure of a Zaku I that was similar to my Zaku cosplay in Singapore's Anime Festival Asia. What's special about the Gundam Bear is that its original, as compared to my previous findings. (photo 1) (photo 2)

Also found these cool Evangelion 2.0 figures that are just 2.5 inches high.  Its not shown in the picture but these came with accessories that include a thermal shield, guns and vibro-knife.  Too bad though the EVA-01's horn was half missing, but the overall was still ok.

This was the last one bought, just within the hour before closing time.  I stumbled into this T-800 limited articulation 5 inch figure in the booth just across us.  And it was an incredible find for two reasons: (1) it was being sold for only P50 and (2) it was molded from glow-in-the-dark PVC.  The gun, I bought from another store that sold figure accessories.  Too bad somebody bought all the gatling guns so I opted for the next best thing, the shotgun.

Again, the spending didnt even go beyond P450, with the total 3 day spending with only just P1,350.  Im happy with what I got and proud to say that some of them are simply gems you cannot just get with the price you haggled for. :)

End of report.

My really late Toycon Day 2 Report

Day 2 was as expected, a whole "universe" of people who took advantage of the weekend to come over and buy stuff at Toycon.  Sales were good to the point that we ran out of both the Robotorso and United Colors shirts ran out just after lunch.

I came in late that day because the whole morning I was out picking up our second delivery of our shirts, particularly the Big Bang.  We had people reserve that shirt since yesterday and they were all scheduled for pick up that day.

Also Im glad Toycon also improved its floorplan layout, separating the cosplay "universe" (their new name for their cosplay event) from the sellers floor to avoid last year's fiasco about overenthusiastic cosplay fans bothering the buyers and sellers of Toycon (not against cosplay being a cosplayer myself, but after all, thats why its a Toy Convention, to cater to toy enthusiasts).  So since its separate, those who want to check out cosplay event can go to Hall 3, while everything about toys can go to the opposite side of the event.

So again I get to find another set of collections that's within my budget.

These came in a pack and its all made of high impact soft plastic
Saw again this treasure of Zeon conscript toys, a ACGuy, Z'Gok and Zock. They were pretty sweet deals considering the Zock was over 5 inches high.

Rei taking a break, while the other's body is ready. XD
Also, as part of our growing collection and my wife's insistence, our con visit would not be complete without some Rei Ayanami figure hunts.  There are a lot, best ones are every expensive.  But the beauty of the hunt is to find one that is so unusual yet very affordable.  Saw this pair in another toy bucket booth and is now added to our collection display at home.  They were original figures although I feel both are loose figures as they came without any form of platform or accessory.  Plus the Bread Snack Rei's head was broken from the neck down so I had to repair her when I got to home.

I have no idea who they are but they were cute and affordable enough to be collected.
Found this set literally in bits and pieces.  These were inside Flux's toy box, where I saw the heads, feet, arms, accessories, etc all over the place.  Flux told me if I were to find every last piece, he's willing to sell it to me next to nothing.  Since I  had plenty of spare time in my hands during the lull hours of the t-shirt sale, I knelt down and did some serious digging.  I was able to assemble the yellow one on the left and the blue one on the right (who was later identified by my friend Wilson as a figure from the Super Robot Wars series).  The middle ones I accidentally assembled because I mistook them as parts of the ones I originally found.  In the end, the booth owner gave those two in the middle to me for free.  That was awfully nice of him!

All in all I was able to spend less than P450 for all of them.

Meanwhile, if you remember that almost naked girl figure I bought on the first day, I had clothes made for her and made her our official Chesto Booth model. :)

Now on to Day 3.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

My really late Toycon Day 1 Report


The annual Toycon started on a Friday, and to make it interesting for me, it became my first time to be there as a seller instead of a buyer (well, most of time anyways).  So along with my wife, we were selling our shirts under the brand Chesto featuring my parody and mash-up designs popular pop-culture elements.

In the meantime, visit our Chesto Facebook page to make this shameless product placement a wee bit worthwhile. :P

As expected, since this wasn't the weekend, this was considered the soft opening for the event.  Even on a weekday there were a very decent amount of visitors and by 4pm the halls were already full of people (but not full enough to get rid of your oxygen supply-- that im expecting this weekend to happen!).  We were able to sell a decent amount of shirts that day and were hoping to get more buyers this weekend.  Best seller that day was one of the Nippon Humor shirts, particularly the Robotorso.

But as usual, it wont be any less meaningful if I attended a Toycon without checking out the toys.  Fortunately we were located right beside The Toy Stash booth, which to my surprise was part-owned by Flux, boyfriend of my former classmate in UP Fine Arts, Hiyas.  So he graciously gave me free reign over one of his toy boxes and I scrounged for unusual collectibles, and I was not disappointed.

4 inches high die-cast with flamer and static pilot figure!

The helmet opens to reveal pilot.  You can remove the head to reveal an empty suit.
Either Alex Murphy had major revamps on his hardware, or Darth Vader decided his old suit sucks.

I was very surprised of my find.  I recognized this immediately when I saw its dark drab olive color.  And I only saw a picture of the toy in a New Type magazine back in 2004.  Its the Power Suit of Starship Troopers. Yes, the one Robert Heinlein wrote and made into a B-movie starring that Guy-who-met-your-mother.  After the movie was launched, Japan decided to create a short lived anime that included this design (Although it was never animated/revealed, methinks) but ended up in the Revoltech series.   Flux seemed impressed how I was able to identify it immediately and even offered me the static orange figure that went with it.

Later I found this little cute gem of a toy, unusual because of the subject: a marble-spitting SD Godzilla. XD

2 inch high plastic of awesomeness!
I love this guy's gaping expression and the marble that went with it was subtle enough to make it compliment the toy as a whole.  I showed this to my wife Jewel and promptly displayed it on our booth desk like a Maneki-Neko or Japanese Fortune Cat.  Its actually a cute homage considering Godzilla's design was indeed part cat due to its small almost indistinguishable ears.

Later that day I decided to dig in Flux's box and saw this most unusual thing that I couldnt believe was in the box. It was so obscure that I had no idea where it came from, but I suspect it to be North American in origin as the attempt to make an anime-esque style seemed to fall into the Strange Zone.

Yes, she came with the stand, and a pair of panties.

The last one was the kind of impulse purchase as I never really came across something so, well, it was just like sitting there with no one batting an eye to her direction due to her unusual circumstances.  So despite what my wife initially thought of my motives, I bought it anyway and took her home with a plan in mind.

The whole bunch didnt fall beyond P400, believe it or not, so I was still within my promised budget of P500 a day collecting toys that are strange enough to be worth keeping.

My overall thoughts on the Toycon event itself is that its considered a "slow" day since its the weekday, but it was the last weekday of the salary week that enough con goers passed by to buy enough shirts to pay off the rent. :D

Next entry will be about Day 2.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pets cosplaying their favorite characters?

I am amused as how some event organizers cash in on the cosplay craze and use it to describe costume party events.

Case to point: Pet Cosplay.

Making costumes for your pet is a common and generally liked hobby by pet enthusiasts.  But to use the word "cosplay" usually brings to mind a mind-boggling marriage between a hobby about wearing costumes of your favorite character, and a creature that generally has a hard time communicating with humans what their favorite is, beyond their familiar comforts such as food, shelter and attention.

Cosplay is about wearing the costume of a character you love and admire.

Im sure he admires lobsters.
I  have nothing against owners dressing up their pets.  I think its cute that they wear something different once in a while to amuse human beings.  I just don't like how Cosplay is being inserted in just about everything concerning costumes.  What's next? Ati-Atihan CosplayMariones Cosplay?

Going back, I had always hoped that cosplaying would be within the limits of pop-culture and its fandom, normally done inside the confines of a convention.  It would help as a reminder that we are there to celebrate one's fandom, that we chose to do so willingly and not forced unto us by higher beings thinking we look cute in them, or its a sure-fire way to win a contest by sacrificing our dignity.

For the record, I'm glad that pets are such forgiving creatures.  Either that or very patient ones when it comes to plotting their revenge.

Its been a while

Its been a while since I last posted.  For the past month there has been so many things I'd like to say about cosplay but I just end up deleting the whole entry because it reads like I overdosed myself in LSD and is now looking for a face to chew on.

But in the end, I realized its just wasn't worth the time to mull over as there are much better things to work on like preparing for upcoming Cosplay Tournament of Champions and Cosplay Mania.  In the end I'm glad I didnt go through my initial foam-in-the-mouth rants as a few days later I read this article by cosplayer Jin Joson called "The Misunderstandings about Cosplay" and my faith is restored.

If you don't know who Jin Joson is, then it's high time that you should go beyond the media drivel of "cosplay gods and goddesses" labels and get to know her, as she is in my opinion the best person to represent the virtues of cosplaying.

A lot of people tend to follow only the surface and never dig deeper as their reasons are never really about the hobby but about other things.  Don't worry, I totally understand that one.  A friend may have invited you to join in without providing any real insight, or discovered your crush has joined the ranks and wanted to be part of it just to be close, or you saw the success on TV and decided its a stepping stone to fame and fortune-- these can be legitimate stepping stones in trying to find out the real core of the matter regarding cosplay.  That is, if you are even willing to take that one crucial step beyond that.  But since not many people are really the research type and are more of "im-just-here-for-the-moment", they probably wouldn't care less about the hobby's core concept and history and just go with the flow and make things up as they go along.  "Walang basagan ng trip".  To each his/her own.

The sad thing about this is that some of the media (traditional and new), in their goal of making things more interesting, make things up and label it as their "their own style" just to make theirs different and yet use the same word to describe them.  Sooner or later, the Apples and Oranges comparison will no longer exist, as the end product will most likely have no resemblance other than the kind that stink.

But I'm just glad that there are still those who do it right.  I was asked time and again that maybe I should be more vocal about my views or even be more involved.  I am in my own way, through this blogs, through the events I help organizing, and by example.  I'm not after sending a loud message for the masses, just a clear whisper for the few willing to listen or having the patience and insight to ask.