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ToyCon and the Rise of Cosplay

Cosplayers having fun at ToyCon 2010. On a personal note, I'd like to thank Dianne Sison for reminding me of the positivity of sixties music. Video by voltesfiveno5 on YouTube.

Aside from serving as the largest annual hobby fair in the country for nine straight years now, The Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention (ToyCon) also serves as an index for the continuous growth of cosplay in the Philippines. Consider the following sequence of events over the last two years.

Cosplayer Autographs and Virtuous Cycles

Filipina cosplay queen Alodia Gosiengfiao signs autographs at ToyCon 2008.
Filipina cosplay queen Alodia Gosiengfiao signs autographs at ToyCon 2008. Photo by Mike Abundo.

At ToyCon 2008, exactly one cosplayer got behind an autograph table: Filipina cosplay queen Alodia Gosiengfiao. Up until that point, exactly one cosplayer had built up a large and loyal audience with whom she could personally share her love for anime and gaming culture. ToyCon 2008 also introduced Alodia to international otaku culture blogger Danny Choo.

Filipina cosplayers at ToyCon 2010 pose with their mothers.
Filipina cosplayers at ToyCon 2010 pose with their mothers. From left to right: Ashley Gosiengfiao, Alodia Gosiengfiao, Mariglor Gosiengfiao, Jessica Ouano, Monique Dimanlig, Winnie Dimanlig, Jan Illenberger, and Eva Pesino-Labadie. Photo by Richie dela Merced.

Just two years later, at ToyCon 2010, five cosplayers got behind autograph tables. To my knowledge, this is unprecedented in the history of Philippine cosplay. Four of them had just appeared in Danny's photobook Otacool 2: Worldwide Cosplayers -- Alodia, her younger sister Ashley, upcoming talent Monique Dimanlig, and Cebuana teen Jessica Ouano. Popular US-based Filipina cosplayer Jan Illenberger rounded out the set. That makes five cosplayers who've built up large and loyal audiences with whom they can personally share their love for anime and gaming culture.

With Alodia's discovery by Danny during ToyCon 2008, the Philippine cosplay scene attracted international attention. With Jan's visit to Manila during ToyCon 2010, the Philippine cosplay scene attracted an international cosplayer. ToyCons 2008 and 2010 could mark the first loop in a virtuous cycle of international cosplay cooperation.

Great Moments and Ultimate Expressions

Popular US-based Filipina cosplayer Jan Illenberger cosplays Bayonetta at ToyCon 2010.
Popular US-based Filipina cosplayer Jan Illenberger cosplays Bayonetta at ToyCon 2010. Photo by Richie dela Merced.

We at GameOPS were privileged to have Jan visit our booth at ToyCon 2010. I was pleasantly surprised to hear she owned most of of the classic game consoles we had on display. Jan's passion for gaming contributes to her passion for cosplay; she portrayed Bayonetta and Tekken 5 characters during the convention.

Cosplay is one of the ultimate expressions of passion for toys, hobbies, and collectibles. It's no wonder, then, that The Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention would play host to such great moments in Philippine cosplay. Wonder what great moments we'll see at ToyCon 2011.
ToyCon and the Rise of Cosplay Reviewed by Mike Abundo on 6/25/2010 05:16:00 PM Rating: 5

11 comments:

  1. Anyone with more than two cosplayer friends knows how drama-filled the cosplay community can get. Fortunately, at ToyCon, all you need is love. ^_^

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  2. I should also mention that one cosplayer got three booths all to herself at ToyCon 2009. Guess who. ;)

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  3. got to be one of the coolest videos ever. love the music man!

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  4. It's true, Rocky. It was true in the sixties, and it's true today. It was true for the hippies, and it's true for the otaku. All we need is love. ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  5. All you really need is love in our cosplay community

    so why can't all cosplayers get along? Everyone will benefit from this success anyway.

    If one cosplayer got the chance to cosplay on other countries, we should support them, not criticize them, we must all remember that they are waving our very own flag after all.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Exactly, Siops! Cosplay is an emerging art. Every cosplayer's success makes it easier for other cosplayers to succeed.

    ReplyDelete
  7. As Siops points out, all the cosplay community needs is love. How fitting that Alodia's full first name, Alodia Almira, means Princess of Love. ;)

    ReplyDelete

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