ICYMI: TOYCON Evolution 2024, The Philippines’ Pop Culture Playground

by Ronette Tibay
TOYCON EVOLUTION 2024
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The Philippines’ biggest annual pop culture event, TOYCON Evolution 2024, was another massive success as collectors, artists, hobbyists, and enthusiasts of all-things pop culture-related flocked to the SMX Convention Center last June 14 to 16.

Beyond toys and collectibles, TOYCON Evolution 2024 celebrated all areas of pop culture. The event had something for every fandom—from comic book artists to movie prop displays, J-pop and P-Pop performances, cosplay tournaments and anime voice actor panels.

So in case you missed it, here’s what went down in TOYCON Evolution 2024.

Cosplay Extravaganza

Wolverine cosplayers posing to the famous Spider-man Meme at TOYCON Evolution 2024

Wolverine cosplayers posing to the famous Spider-man Meme at TOYCON Evolution 2024

Showing off Filipino talent and artistry, cosplayers of all ages graced the three-day event with incredible costumes and outfits. Impressive recreations of Marvel superheroes like Doctor Strange, Ironman, Wolverine, Deadpool, and Jubilee were exhibited, while spot-on cosplays of Batman, Harley Quinn, Red Hood, and Catwoman of DC Comics also stole the spotlight.

Impressive recreations of Marvel superheroes like Doctor Strange, Ironman, Wolverine, Deadpool, and Jubilee were exhibited, while spot-on cosplays of Batman, Harley Quinn, Red Hood, and Catwoman of DC Comics also stole the spotlight.

Photos from SEA Wave Pop Culture Magazine

Anime fans also brought their favorite characters to life, including Android 18 and Chi-Chi from Dragon Ball Z, and Foot Soldier D from Go! Go! Loser Ranger!  Video game icons also made appearances such as John-117 Spartan and many more.

Pop Idol Performances

Japanese Pop Group BUGVEL and Sakura Doll at TOYCON Evolution 2024. Photo by Marivic Aguilar

Japanese Pop Group BUGVEL and Sakura Doll at TOYCON Evolution 2024. Photo by Marivic Aguilar

Aside from the vibrant display of movie, anime, comic book and video game characters, the SMX convention center became an electrifying concert venue when performers from Japan and the Philippines took the stage during day three of the event.

Japanese Pop Group Chicken Blow the Idol and KUROGURO at the Toycon Evolution 2024 | Photos by Marivic Aguilar


Japanese Pop Group Chicken Blow the Idol and KUROGURO at the Toycon Evolution 2024 | Photos by Marivic Aguilar

Pop idol fans were treated to live music from high-energy J-pop groups like N.Ssign, BUGVEL, Krage, Chicken Blow the Idol, Ziga, Sakura Doll, Negishi Ai, and Pastel∞Mix. P-Pop’s Female Alphas G22 and indie pop rock band I Belong to the Zoo also represented the local scene, rounding out the list of amazing musical performers.

Filipino Pop Group G22 and Indie pop rock band Belong to the Zoo at the Toycon Evolution 2024 | Photos by Cornerstone Entertainment

Filipino Pop Group G22 and Indie pop rock band Belong to the Zoo at the Toycon Evolution 2024 | Photos by Cornerstone Entertainment

Fear not If you missed any of the performances on day three, as TOYCON PH uploaded a live video featuring the whole lineup on their Facebook pages.

Star-Studded Celebrity Appearances

Myrtle Sarrosa, Matt Lozano, and Big Boy Cheng | Photos from Johan Andrew Ocampo, GMA Entertainment, and Big Boy Cheng.

Myrtle Sarrosa, Matt Lozano, and Big Boy Cheng | Photos from Johan Andrew Ocampo, GMA Entertainment, and Big Boy Cheng.

From big-screen stars to popular influencers, celebrity appearances were also a major draw at TOYCON Evolution 2024. Matt Lozano, better known as Big Bert Armstrong from Voltes V: Legacy graced the event as he also received the Special Citation for Best Anime Live Action 2024 from Otaku Choice Awards 2024.

Cosplayer, gamer and actress Myrtle Sarrosa, along with the toy and luxury brand collector Christian “Bigboy” Cheng, drew massive crowds for their meet-and-greet sessions, with lines wrapping around the venue.

The cast of “Encantadia Chronicles: Sang'gre” and “Friendly Fire” | Photos from SEA Wave Pop Culture Magazine and Black Cap Pictures.

The cast of “Encantadia Chronicles: Sang’gre” and “Friendly Fire” | Photos from SEA Wave Pop Culture Magazine and Black Cap Pictures.

Fans were also ecstatic to meet the enchanting cast of the highly anticipated Encantadia Chronicles: Sang’gre, which included Bianca Umali who will play the role of Terra, the next keeper of Brilyante ng Lupa, Faith da Silva as Flamarra, next keeper of Brilyante ng Apoy, Angel Guardian as Deia, next keeper of Brilyante ng Hangin, and Rhian Ramos as the villainous Mitena, twin sister of the first queen of the land, Cassiopea.

The stars of Mikhail Red’s upcoming film Friendly Fire were also in attendance for an exclusive cast meet-and-greet. The film will delve into the Philippine esports scene, featuring personalities such as Alodia Gosiengfiao, Loisa Andalio, Jan Silverio, Yves Flores, Bob Jbeili, and the director himself, Mikhail Red.

Collector’s Exhibit and Vendor’s Galore

Photos from SEA Wave Pop Culture Magazine

Photos from SEA Wave Pop Culture Magazine

One of the main attractions of every TOYCON event throughout the years is the collector’s exhibit and vendor’s galore. The extensive Collector’s Exhibit was a true paradise for toy enthusiasts, as it showcased collections of beloved characters from various pop culture universes.

The Marvel section boasted an impressive array of Avengers characters including Iron Man, Spider-man, Thor, and Hulk, among others. While the DC section had meticulously detailed statues of icons like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman.

Photos from SEA Wave Pop Culture Magazine

Photos from SEA Wave Pop Culture Magazine

Anime fans were surely in for a treat with stunning displays such as Sailor Moon, One Piece, and Gundam, amongst many others. Intricate figurines, scale models, and collectible items from these beloved franchises were also showcased.

The Star Wars section transported visitors to a galaxy far, far away, with an impressive collection of ships, droids, and characters from the iconic sci-fi saga. Rare and vintage figurines, and the Star Wars Lego exhibit, were among the highlights.

Photos from SEA Wave Pop Culture Magazine and Quiccs Maiquez

Photos from SEA Wave Pop Culture Magazine and Quiccs Maiquez

Toy shops were flooded by toy collectors who were either just browsing for nothing in particular or collectors who were in search of that one missing item for their collection.

Beyond these major franchises, the Collector’s Exhibit and vendor galore showcased a diverse range of rare and vintage toy lines from various eras, shows, cultures, and genres, providing a nostalgic trip down memory lane for many attendees, as well as booths from local artists and brands with various assortments of prints, accessories, and collectibles.

Childhood Nostalgia

Elle Genovata, Nica Rojo, Rean Delos Reyes, and Mark Ivan Uy at Toycon Evolution 2024 | Photos from CaliCo Toys

Elle Genovata, Nica Rojo, Rean Delos Reyes, and Mark Ivan Uy at Toycon Evolution 2024 | Photos from CaliCo Toys

Filipino voice artists who dubbed the Filipino versions of our favorite anime series delighted fans with meet-and-greets and panels. Elle Genovata (Ochaco Urahara in My Hero Academia, Mavis Vermillion in Fairy Tail, Sakura Kinomoto in Cardcaptor Sakura), Mark Ivan Uy (Nobita Nobi in Doraemon, Eren Yaeger in Attack on Titan, and Yuri Briar in Spy x Family), Rean Delos Reyes (Kakashi Hatake in Naruto, Abarai Renji in Bleach, and Kageyama Tobio in Haikyuu), Nica Rojo (Nami and Chopper in One Piece, Tsunade in Naruto Shippuden, and Buttercup in Powerpuff Girls), Alain Alfred (Ichigo Kurosaki in Bleach, Gintoki Sakata in Gintama, Kirito in Sword Art Online, and Lee Min Ho in Boys Over Flowers) and Blair Arellano (Naruto Uzumaki in Naruto, Might Guy in Naruto, Whisper in Yo-kai Watch, Raphael in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Roan in Ragnarok the Animation) were just some of the VAs who interacted with fans. To the delight of collectors, VAs also held an autograph signing for toys featuring the beloved characters they have voiced.

The three-day pop culture and collectibles extravaganza may have already ended, but the passion amongst the dedicated fandoms and creative communities will continue to thrive until the next TOYCON. So if you missed this year’s event, you better get ready for the next one, which is scheduled for June 13 to 15 next year.

What do you want to see in TOYCON 2025? Let us know in the comment section below!

 

 

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