Thursday, February 23, 2006

2nd Annual Toys & Comics Fair 2006 – Jakarta

On the 11th of this month, I literally stumbled upon the 2nd Annual Toys & Comics Fair here in Jakarta. There was a solid cricket match on between India and Pakistan. We usually congregate for such events at Aphrodite Bar which is located in Club Rasuna on Kunningan. They have ALL the channels and they show most major sporting events. I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived there to see the common lobby area completely occupied by the exhibitionists. I did not have my camera so I had to use a phone so the quality is not too impressive.

I have never actually been to one of these things and I am not a hardcore fan of comic books, however there are a few that I have really gotten into, like Sandman. Neil Gaiman is awesome. Unfortunately there was nothing relating to that at this convention. In fact, as far as comic books go I did not see too much, but they had loads of collectibles. There were numerous retailers of action figures and even collects who were displaying their stuff, open to barter and buy. I had never noticed any of these retailers at the malls before.

I must say that I was surprised to see the turn out. Considering that Jakarta is such a populous city one would not really consider a turn out of a couple hundred people something to write home about, but I am a relatively naïve person and when I see people congregating to celebrate shared passions I get just a little bit excited. There were some real characters there from the stereo typical nerdy types with thick glasses to the Final Fantasy idolizing kids (some older than me) with platinum tinted hair and painted faces. At one point I even saw a group come in dressed like Darth Vader and the foot soldiers.

Apart from the common Superman and Batman figures, there were much more detailed and attractive characters that really attracted a lot of attention. Some of them were priced as high as a couple of hundred dollars.

Of course what blew my mind were the figurines of rock stars. Most of this stuff belonged to private collectors though. I am pretty sure many of them are not even in production anymore. I wanted very badly to buy this Jim Morrison doll but it was not for sale. This guy also had Slash, Kiss, Elvis, and Ozzy.

This other guy who I met had a full collection of everything KISS. He had dozens of action figures plus belt buckles, masks, Frisbees, cups, caps, you name it, and he had it. The only thing I did not see was the totally 70’s classic KISS metal lunch box. You could see that this guy was a serious collector.

One section of the exhibition featured old games and toys. They had these classic Star Wars Lego sets that seem to be worth quite a bit. Some people were also selling used Star Wars action figures for about Rp.100,000 a piece but I did not see any of the main characters in there. It was mostly foot soldiers and Ewok’s.

Some of the participants were card collectors. I was surprised to see some old basketball and wrestling cards I used to trade as a kid. They brought back that nostalgic feeling. There was this card that brought on a totally different feeling. If I only knew they were out there this is what I would have been collecting.

It was a pretty successful convention from what I heard. It only cost Rp.5,000 to get in so it was not really about the money but more about sharing your hobby. I met some cool people and learned about some other events that take place in this city and I had no idea about. I will make sure that I am armed with a decent camera the next time.

1 comment:

AmitD said...

Shit like this you don't see in accra at all. Chale keep em comin.