May 11, 2015
Seen: Thailand Toy Expo Opening Ceremony (4.28)
It’s been a week since I’ve been back from my three comic-con/toy show adventure in Bangkok. While I’ve posted plenty of pics on our instagram, I haven’t blogged much about Thailand Toy Expo, Bangkok Comic Con and Thailand Comic Con, all three of which were held at the same time (4.30 – 5.3). With the jet lag gone (mostly), I’ll try to cover the highlights here on the blog proper.
Before Thailand Toy Expo officially opened on the 30th, things got underway with the Opening Ceremony (4.28). While the concept of a formal opening is pretty unusual for western conventions, it does seem somewhat common for many events in Asia. I really had no idea what to expect other than a few speeches and artist appearances.
As the picture above hints at, the TTE Opening was all that and quite a bit more. The festivities took place on the main stage at CentralWorldwhich was flanked by a massive (call it life-size) Funko Pop! Hulkbuster statue. After a few presentations by the hostess, mayor of Bangkok, a Marvel representative, and the show’s organizer, Jeep Tumwattana, a group of clad-in-black dudes (ummm… Ninjas?) carrying large stone props took over the stage.
Confusion turned to pleasant surprise as a large puppet of Ashley Wood’s KDO Tomorrow King emerged from behind the stones. Smoothly and expertly manipulated by the ‘Thai Master Puppet Team’, KDO battled and eventually defeated a red winged demon. As I was shooting these pics, I was wishing I had it on video –- but it was one or the other. The photos only partially convey the grace of the movement and the skill of the puppeteers. What started off pretty conventionally, had turned into an exciting show in its own right.
Apr 30, 2015
Mario Maurer & Ron English – Madness Exhibition at Thailand Toy Expo
The Madness exhibition by Ron English and Mario Maurer, arguably Thailand’s most popular young male actor, marked the beginning of Thailand Toy Expo’s collecting frenzy. Tuesday’s (4.28) VIP grand opening event on the top floor of CentralWorld, the expo venue, featured the debut of the new Mario Grin figure produced by MINDstyle. Created as a collaboration with the movie star, the new toy is the latest in English’s Grin series, named after the toys’ immediately recognizable skeletal smile.
Billed as “Where Art Meets Play”, the exhibition blurs the lines between the two with life-size versions of Mario Grin as well as several of Ron’s other characters including Fat Tony and MC Supersize presented alongside striking walls featuring his pioneering Popaganda art from floor to ceiling. The crossover collaboration drew a huge a crowd to the Sky Lobby, eager for the first chance to purchase the figure and to meet both Maurer and English. Madness and the Hikari: Creatures of Light exhibition share the same atmospheric space, two in one. If you’re in Bangkok, drop by through Sunday (5.3).
Hikari: Creatures of Light in Bangkok
Hikari: Creatures of Light, running alongside the Thailand Toy Expo venue in Bangkok, showcases Funko’s new Hikari (Japanese for “light”) collectible toy line which is powered by MINDstyle. The exhibition of Japanese-style soft vinyl figures as well as the Ron English x Mario Maurer show opened with a VIP event on Tuesday and both run through the close of the Toy Expo on Sunday (5.3).
Creatures of Light presents an impressive array of Hikari figures spanning the line from the initial pop culture-themed editions including TMNT, Batman, Spiderman, Transformers to the recently announced Star Wars collection. In conjunction with the exhibition, Funko has released two new editions the Star Skull Walking Stick Hikari figures by Ron English (above, pictured with Mario Maurer) from the Asia Signature Series—the Bangkok edition and an exclusive Pearl edition timed with Thursday’s opening of the Toy Expo.
Hikari brings the style and production techniques of Japanese sofubi figures to a new audience. The use of special treatments including translucent vinyl, effects including metallic and weathered finishes, glitter and more brings a new look to iconic characters from comics, movie, and television. Creatures of Light highlights the nearly limitless potential and crossover synergy of the new line.
After Bangkok, Hikari: Creatures of Light will travel to San Diego this Summer to coincide with San Diego Comic-Con.
Apr 25, 2015
Amanda Visell for Thailand Toy Expo 2015 (4.30 – 5.3)
Amanda Visell will be making the trip to Bangkok as one of the featured artists for Thailand Toy Expo 2015. She’ll be presenting original art alongside Coarse in a massive booth on the 2nd floor of the CentralWorld mall. Expect additional paintings and a few Coarse collaborations. We’ll be there to bring you photos of her new work as well as all the other awesomeness from the toy expo.
Thailand Toy Expo 2015 (4.30 – 5.3)
Thailand Toy Expo kicks off its third annual show on April 30th and runs through May 3rd 2015 at the CentralWorld mega mall (6th largest in the world) in Bangkok. We’re excited to be making the trip out to check out the show and the other two comic cons happening at the same time (more on that in a sec). The lineup is a strong mix of Western and Asian artists/brands including 3A / Ashley Wood, Amanda Visell, Benzilla, Coarse, Fools Paradise, FunkoInstinctoy, Mighty Jaxx, Pobber, Ron English, SML, ZCWO and many more. Browsing through the official FB page, it looks like there will be a heavy focus on indie 1/6 figures as well as a strong showcase of Thai artists.
Plus… Thailand Toy Expo is one of three pop culture conventions going on in Bangkok at the same time (4.30 –5.3) ! In addition to Toy Expo, there’s also Thailand Comic Con (Siam Paragon) and Bangkok Comic Con (Bitec Bangna) This sensory overload is officially called Bangkok Entertainment Week which is a brand new concept for 2015.