SINGAPORE - This year saw a surge in home-grown exhibitors at the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention, held at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre.
Of the 160 exhibitors at the showing - held at Marina Bay Sands over the weekend - more than half were home-grown.
There were a total of 93 Singapore-based exhibitors, compared to just 51 last year.
Among them was Mighty Jaxx, a Singaporean creative collective founded just six months ago by Mr Jackson Aw. The 22-year-old Nanyang Polytechnic graduate collaborates with, and distributes works by, Singaporean artists, saying that there is a niche for the works.
"As of now, there are no (big) brands or companies that produce original figures with local artists," he said.
At the convention, he was showing works by graffiti artist and illustrator Eman Raharno Jeman, 26. As of yesterday, some 150 of the 300 limited-edition figurines available by the illustrator were sold. Each cost $140.
Also at the convention was Mr Andy Heng, 43, a well-known blogger on the toy scene. After suffering from a stroke two years ago, he was inspired to collaborate with artists.
He said that the demand for home-grown toys is on the rise as people move away from "licensed" toys, such as those by Marvel or DC Comics. They are increasingly seeking out independently produced works.
Mr Heng said: "In the past, the scene wasn't so prevalent."
Graphic designer Tan Chiew Ling, 26, has developed an interest in Singapore-made toys, saying that "they stand out".
"Sometimes, the non-Singaporean designs are quite common or just cute, but the Singaporean ones are cool and special," said Mr Tan, who hails from Malaysia.
The convention - now in its fifth year - saw international names as guests, as well as cosplay events being held, and attracted about 34,000 people.
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