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.
After the visual riot of the puppet battle, the featured artists including several Thai artists as well as Sven of Coarse and Amanda Visell came on stage for a brief introduction and QA Session. The artists were followed by the cutest segment – a kids cosplay fashion show featuring both shy and bold toddlers to teens as their favorite Marvel and Disney characters. After the children took their last bow, Red-hot Thai actor Mario Maurer and Ron English made a quick appearance in support of their collaborative Mario Grin figure which debuted at the Madness event later that evening.
The spectacle of the TTE opening was quite enjoyable. That said, I’m not sure it would translate to say Dcon. Never say never, I guess.