For 17 years now, ToyCon PH has been bringing excitement, astonishment, and nostalgia among pop culture enthusiasts in the Philippines.
But this year, the people who established the ToyCon PH community decided to focus on one key aspect that brings life to the convention-- the Filipino genius.
Here are some of the extraordinary things you should expect at the convention:
1. Filipino-American superstars
This year's ToyCon PH is said to be "extra special" as the organizers, in partnership with PopLife Fan Experience, brought some of the most renowned Filipino-American personalities in Hollywood to the Philippines.
They include Fil-Am Michael Copon, who is known for his roles in TV series "One Tree Hill," "Beyond the Break," as well as his breakout role as the Blue Ranger in "Power Rangers: Time Force."
Dante Basco, a full-blooded Filipino, is also gracing the convention. He is known for his role as Rufio in the movie "Hook," where he worked with the late Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman.
Apart from Copon and Basco, ToyCon 2018 also features American actors Kelly Hu who played Lady Deathstrike in Marvel's "X-Men 2" and Kevin Grevioux who played Lycan Raze in the "Underworld" franchise. They will be available to meet fans throughout the three-day run of ToyCon PH.
2. World-class Filipino performers
Alongside meeting their idols, ToyCon PH attendees will also have a chance to watch performances from world-class Filipino talents, such as APL.DE.AP., member of Grammy Award-wining group The Black Eyed Peas, and Janice Javier of "The Voice Philippines."
They can also expect performances from Hyolin, former member of K-pop group Sistar, and J-pop group KissBee.
3. Engaging, creative competitions
In an effort to discover emerging Filipino talents, ToyCon PH is also holding the first toy design competition in the country, which will feature original toy designs and concepts from Filipino designers.
The winner will receive a P30,000 prize, a prototype of his toy design, and a chance to earn royalties from the sales of their design as it goes through a limited sale.
ToyCon PH is also holding contests on customized action figure, customized mecha figure, toy diorama, cosplay, art, and best toy gallery display, among others.
4. Diverse community
More than just a conference, ToyCon is also a community where pop culture enthusiasts can meet one another, said event marketing head Cholo Mallillin.
"What we want to give ToyCon fans every year is a sense of belonging with various fan communities," he added.
True enough, apart from more exhibitors, this year's ToyCon PH is packed with diverse participants who come from an array of fandom. There are Marvel and DC fans, toy collectors, and designers, among others.
5. The Filipino genius
A substantial space in the exhibit features some of the most iconic Filipino superheroes, including Darna, Captain Barbell, and Lastikman.
It also highlights Carlo J. Caparas' "Kamagong," which has been given a new life as an animated series.
Neal Adams, the legendary artist behind the reinvented look of Batman and the revitalization of Green Lantern and Green Arrow, called the Philippines as "the home of the best comic book artists in the world."
"I know a lot of Filipino artists in America. You may know that I am instrumental to bringing those Filipino artists to the United States. You may know that they call me 'Dad'," he said.
Adams, however, apologized for "taking away" some of the country's most creative minds, and bringing them to the U.S. "But we pay them so much more money," he said in jest.
There are affordable items, too. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
A kaleidoscope of hues waiting to be picked up. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
You can also find iconic collectibles. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
There are also a number of mind games that you can try. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Attention, robot fans! George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Lady in red boots. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Darna merchandise that are up for grabs. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
(L-R) Copon, Grevioux, Basco, Adams, and Hu.
Passes to ToyCon are available in all SM Ticket outlets and through www.toyconph.com.