Thursday, December 11, 2014

Toyconstruct goes to NYCC 2014! Part 2

Hi Guys,

It's been a while!! And in the blink of an eye, the year 2014 begins to set on us!

Oh but what a year it has been. As Josh has given a great detailed account on what New York Comic has been, I shall add my perspective onto his post on how NYCC has blown my mind.

For starters, the genre of cosplayers is way more expansive then what I get in Conventions back in Singapore. The diversity of cosplaying spans beyond just anime (as predictably seen in STGCC).

The picture above says it all, it's a guy dressed up as Sharknado... I mean noone, I literally mean noone would get it or even think of dressing up as this in Singapore. The Coolest thing about NYCC is that not dressing up... makes you stand out. Like these two friends of ours

To add on, Josh had the chance to come across fellow Battlestar Galactica cosplayers. They started chatting with him and even asked him to join a Colonial Day event. HOW COOL IS THAT? The whole atmosphere was friendly and embracing. It is just so great to see people casually chatting up to strangers to take pics and commend on each others costumes.

It's Tyrion Lannister! The IMP 

 Josh taking a swing at the Black Knight from Monty Python's The Holy Grail

In our adventure exploring the layout of NYCC, I came across two entertaining encounters of my own. One was with the Black Knight. He was showing some concern by asking if I was alright as I was on a crutch (due to a rather nasty knee injury).

To that, I replied, "Just a flesh wound" which immediately made him laugh and add, "Dude, you made my day."

Another encounter was when Josh and I were walking out of the Artist Alley. We cross paths with Batman from the Dark Knight film.

To which I shouted "WHEREEE IS SHEEEE?" in my best Dark Knight Guttural Voice.

To which he replied,"I DUNNOOO" in the same guttural voice. Passers-by could not help but laugh at the commotion.

Taking a hit from Wolverine...

Deadpool Nation is strong.

Among the crowd of Superheros and Anime cosplayers, I happen to stumble upon a group of Deadpools up to their usual "deadpoolish" antics. Can't have a legitimate comic con without the Deadpool Nation..

And here, I bring you a few more collectibles on top of the ones shown by Josh.

Our friend mucking around in the background behind this awesome statue of Thranduil done by Weta Workshop

Play Arts Kai - Rorschach from the Watchmen

Really Cool Figures of Daft Punk by Bandai. (Considering getting this for myself)

"I am the Law" Judge Dredd

While both Josh and I have featured numerous figures and statues, NYCC had more to offer than that. In actuality, a good half of the exhibition hall featured comics old and new. I have a feeling that compared to San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), NYCC has a bigger focus on comics (which is a great thing).

The Nerd Crew NYCC 2014

 Photo Op session with none other than Karl Urban, aka Judge Dredd, Eomer and Dr. Leonard Mccoy

Love it or Hate it, these celebrity photo op session thingies are big money for the companies who organize it. Furthermore, what other appropriate place can you do a photo-op then put it in Comic Con. While the photo session was brisk, fast and guarantees that you will have a photo taken of you and the celebrity, the cost can be staggering especially if the star is a A-Lister. Regardless, I think it is a necessary evil business model that satisfy the fans on getting their pic taken with their celebrity without having to wait half a day at some place and missing out all the other attractions in the Comic Convention. The convenience and the guarantee of snapping a picture with your favorite star is quite a compelling pull factor to part with your money. And that's my 2 cents worth.

 Awesome Mass Effect Weapon Props, with an awesomely heavy price to pay. :p

Before we knew it, time passed deftly quick and day 1 of NYCC ended for us on a real high note. Having an early night, Josh and I prepare to go back for Round two on Sunday. Without a moment to lose, we proceeded to the Artist Alley of NYCC, and boy was a blown away by the artworks there.

Street Fighter Head Portraits by David Yardin

The Talent Pool of Artists here was huge. I am so overwhelm by all the awesome artwork that I immediately felt quite depress on my artwork capabilities.  To draw/colour half as good as these guys would make me so happy and contented.

It is at this moment where Josh and I went on a spending spree. It is safe to say that my expenditure in Comic Con trumps all other activities I have done in New York. On top of buying several printed edition artworks for various artists, Josh and I were determine to get at least one original artwork. Josh got the Street Fighter Cammie Original Portrait Art Piece by David Yardin which quite honestly was a freaking amazing work of art. The Colouring by Yardin was flawless.

As for me, I got a Galactus original warm up sketch by Freddie E.Williams II. I love the vantage point and angle that Freddie drew Galactus. You feel the "Massiveness" of Galactus oozing out of the page as his hand is put forth to the foreground.

Galactus by Freddie E. Williams II

More Amazing Pieces of Work

One of the talented Artists focusing on doing Commission Work.

All in all, it was a great event and an experience I would not forget ever. NYCC has been increasingly gaining more traction and popularity. In fact, this year's NYCC 2014 can't really be classified as the lesser brother of SDCC. There were many interesting panels and a considerable amount of big stars that appeared for NYCC. Back to the Artist Alley experience, one of the regrets I have was that I should have gone earlier so that I could place a Commission Artwork to be done for me.

Nevertheless, with this much spoils from my nerdy adventure, I can't really say I am discontented.

It has been so great to meet up with Josh after being apart for quite awhile. And nothing is more appropriate than the Toyconstruct team exploring NYCC 2014 together. Best Bromance experience!

Be sure to check out Josh Album on NYCC 2014 Part 1 here.

And my album on NYCC 2014 Part 2 here.

Till the next post,

I have only this to say: Winter is coming... and so is Christmas, Brace thyself!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Toyconstruct Goes to NYCC 2014!

Hey Everyone

It's been awhile since we last updated as things have gotten busy...on the nerdy side :) JQ and I (along with some friends from home) were finally able to make our way to the New York Comic Con 2014, and boy did we have a blast! I think we still have the NYCC vibes going strong in us...

For the NYCC, JQ and I will be writing up 2 separate posts to show the best of our photos together on this blog. Be sure to look around for JQ's post that'll come later!

And your esteemed authors did dress up for NYCC: JQ as Finn from Adventure Time and I pulled out my Anovos BSG Raptor jacket. JQ and I geeked out with fellow nerds, stood amazed by fantastic cosplayers, oogled over miniatures, rubbed shoulders with a Hollywood actor (some $$$ involved - I'll leave that to JQ to spin a tale about it), and even lightened our wallets at the Artists's Gallery. If you're a nerd, you owe it to yourself to make it to the NYCC (or SDCC) at least once in your life!

We only spent Saturday and Sunday at NYCC and one thing for was always packed when we were there. When we first entered, we were nearly flattened by how many people crowded into the Jarvits Center, and NYCC must be making a killing with the admission fees! Even though our entrance was the first moment of our NYCC experience, we already spied some really cool cosplaying going on...especially the MarioKart one.

This is awesome cosplay. I love the spirit!
The passion is strong in this group...
Lots of time and effort must have gone into these costumes.
"Make way for the Dark Lord Sauron!" - actual words from an escort.
First, we grabbed a quick bite and proceeded first to the main floor to check out the assorted booths of dealers and merchandise. Lots of comic books (even some renowned classics), miniatures, collectibles, statues, and clothing were all up for sale. Interestingly, the main floor even had a booth that allowed you to draw and clip it up to showcase your artistic talents, and some of them were really good.

Sometimes you wonder if the comic con is an arena for comic book stores...
The world-famous Action Comics #1: rated a 6-ish but still commands a hefty fee I wager.
J Scott Campbell's Gwen Stacy - a lovely piece.
Sideshow's Chewbacca Premium Format Figure - easily out of my range...for a long time.
Over 9000!!!
A showcase of artistic talent among the visitors - some are pretty impressive!
Although we only had our minds set on spending in the Artists's Gallery, we did see some awesome collectibles. We saw a good variety of models/prototypes, such as Machinen Krieger, Megaman, TMNT (by James Jean which looks way cooler than Bay's), and Attack on Titan (I'm told that this is a kick-ass Anime line). We saw more comic book shops than manufacturers displaying their wares, I wonder if SDCC would have more toylines...or it's entirely possible that we missed displays too.

TruForce's Megaman: a project that may end up on Kickstarter.
Sentinel's Ma.K Fliege - the baddies's first response to the Firefly suit of the good guys.
Sentinel's Ma.K Kauz in White - the later version that replaced the Fliege.
Good Smile Company's TMNT: Uber Cool!
Good Smile Company's Titan: Repulsive yet strangely alluring...
Somehow by accident, we managed to catch the end of the Street Fighter: Assasin's Fist panel. If you haven't known yet, it's a new live-action web-series based on Street Fighter that have received great reviews. It's about Ryu and Ken uncovering their master's (Gouken) past and learning more about the dark art of ansatsuken ("assassination fist"). We managed to chit-chat with some of the actors, and managed to get a photo with Akira Koieyama aka Gouken.

Scoring a massive nerd-doken by chilling with Akira Koieyama!
Weta Workshop had a tremendous presence at NYCC. It goes without saying that they set the standard for props and miniatures, and best known for their excellent work with Peter Jackson's LOTR/Hobbit movies. They went to town with their displays,with a huge statue of Azog from the Hobbit, and the humongous dragon head even served as a landmark for us! It was incredible to look through their workmanship and wonder at the great amount of talent involved.

The Infamous Azog - hot damn.
Three Words: Parenting Done Right.
It's easy to hear Cumberbatch's voice in my head now...
Bard - definitely a big role in the coming (and thankfully last) Hobbit movie.
The Gate to Erebor - a forlorn reminder of the past glory of the dwarves.
The NYCC also featured a display of various Batman costumes used in the various movies. It was kinda hard to take photos of them since the crowd was considerable and the glass panels (though necessary) reflected lots of light/images back. It was really cool to stand close to the costumes we only saw on the screen, not to forget the "nipple Batman!"

The Sonar Suit - Batman Forever.
It should be noted that nipples didn't destroy Clooney's career.
I'm still wondering how his back was fixed.
It goes without saying that the cosplayers are "heartbeat" of NYCC. These guys and gals have our utmost admiration, for their passion and time-investment in making costumes that are awesome to behold, and their patience and enthusiasm in welcoming us taking photos of them. We saw some really awesome ones, and some of them even talked in character! We had an awesome moment with a guy dressed as the Black Knight - but I'll leave that to JQ to regale the tale to you all since he was in the middle of it!

Khal Drogo graced us with his biceps.
Black Cat: Mrrrreeeeeooow!
JQ and Cammy looking good!
Samwell Tarly! A true hero.
I think it's awesome when a whole family dresses up!
The tactical Robocop!
Kitty Pryde: I feel sorry she had to leave her lunch on the floor.
I can tell that this group is awesome.
The Arrow and Black Canary from the awesome series.
That's a power DC couple!
Jessica Rabbit and She-trooper - Girl Power!
Flame Con is planned to be the first LGBTQ Con - going on Kickstarter until Dec 4th
A comic con also needs to have art, lots of art. JQ and I made our way to Artists's Gallery, and we had a sensory overload. Rows upon rows of artists had displays up, and on our first trip we sampled and marked out artists we would like to buy from. We gave ourselves a day to deliberate over the art that caught our eye, and bought our art on the 2nd day. Needless to say, this was where most of our spending went to! (the day of waiting did not make us spend less unfortunately)
You just gotta love art - I try to avoid not to take in Artist's Gallery but some are just too good.
A fight that has certainly been a topic of many discussions.
The Product of an Inefficient Healthcare System - A Stellar Series.
If days were 48hrs long, I might have time to play this game!
One of the most memorable characters in video game history - The Illusive Man.

JQ and I certainly had an memorable time at NYCC, and as all good things go...they always have an end. However, getting a taste of the awesomeness of a "real" comic con, we foresee ourselves going to another in the future, even perhaps the fabled SDCC! For the future comic con, we plan to dress up once again (maybe a little more hardcore), maybe plan and catch a panel, and post about our exploits once again on this humble blog :)

The Teen Titans - and the end of our NYCC experience :(
Thanks for your support and continued readership. Geek on!

PS: Our Facebook page has more pictures - do check it out!