'We do it for the people': Cosplayers have a ball at Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention

Visitors decked in cosplay attire arrived in resounding force at the Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention (STGCC), which took place over the weekend (8 and 9 September) at the Marina Bay Sands Expo.

Billed as the largest pop culture convention in Singapore, this year’s STGCC featured unique toy figures, comics from past and present, musical performances, and special guests which included Marvel comic artists David Finch and Mark Brooks.

Most of the visitors who cosplayed did so either as Japanese fictional characters from video games and anime, or as superheroes such as Superman, Black Panther, Spiderman, Captain America, and Thor.

Malaysian pair Stefaan Fangman and Jonathan Goon, who were both dressed in the iconic Ghostbusters jumpsuits, said that they engage in cosplay mostly “for the people”.

“It’s about meeting fans, and seeing old friends that you have not seen in a long time,” Goon, 30, said.

“I’m here just to make new friends. Sometimes when you go into cosplay, you meet people who have similar interests as you,” Fangman, 30, said, adding that he first met Goon – dressed in a Ghostbusters costume – at a pop culture convention in Melbourne in 2012.

As for 29-year-old Aliff Hurairah, however, his cosplay outfit was a rather unconventional one.

Hurairah cosplayed as veteran professional wrestler “Woken” Matt Hardy from WWE, the popular US sports entertainment company known for producing household names such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena.

He wore a large mask-painting of the wrestler, which depicted the wrestler’s signature catchphrase, “Delete! Delete! Delete!”.

No stranger to STGCC, this is Hurairah’s fourth time cosplaying at the convention. His past cosplay outfits include a crossover between Doctor Who and Homer Simpson, as well as the Amoeba Boys from The Powerpuff Girls.

“Every year, it has always been something quirky, something different. I don’t like to follow the mainstream,” the senior executive said.

On why individuals like him consistently engage in cosplay year after year, Hurairah said: “We don’t do it for validation. We do it because we want it, we like it. We just want to show our passion for something. As long as someone out there says ‘Delete!’ or ‘Eh, Matt Hardy!’, I’m happy,” he said.

STGCC cosplay guest Olivia Mears, who is from the US, said that she would love to return to the convention if given another opportunity to do so. The cosplayer is famous for creating costumes made from recycled materials such as wrapping paper and paper napkins.

“The convention has been really great. There’s a lot of incredible cosplay, and a lot of really nice people who’ve come by to stop and talk to me about costuming,” said Mears, who dressed up as Wonder Woman on the final day of the convention.

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