Showing posts with label Toys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toys. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Our first ToyCon: what we saw, what we did, what needs improvement

This post is brought to you by SMART Communications, Inc..

My Facebook feed is exploding with updates about ToyCon and I just need to tell you that my family had the fun adventure of trekking to SMX to go to our first ever ToyCon Manila!!! Thanks so much to SMART for inviting me and my boys—big boy and small boys haha—to ToyCon. I swear my life's become really so much more fun ever since I became a SMARTie!

Anyway, we were so excited to go! Toys toys toys! We left early to get there early, but it seems there were more people even more excited than us because the place was already packed with pop culture fans, nerds, cosplayers, and kids. My boys and I are still talking about it! Here's what we saw and what we did:

Voltes V! This was really big—20 feet tall—even though it doesn't look so impressive in this photo. Because it's its 40th anniversary, it was the centerpiece of the event and it towered over everything. I just don't know why it was encased in those scaffolding. It didn't look safe to approach as a result.

The exhibit that we enjoyed the most was the Stan Lee Excelsior!. Stan Lee is Marvel and Marvel is Stan Lee, and this is his personal private collection of Marvel memorabilia.

As a mom of boys passionate about Avengers, I of course had to bring the boys in to check it out. There were vintage comic book covers, artwork, movie props (some signed by the actors!), and other collectibles.

They didn't just check it out. They climbed all over it! Buti na lang napaka-stable ng Iron Man Hulkbuster na yan.

There was a lot of musical performances lined up for the three-day affair. When we went, Japanese musicians Eletric Ribbon, Yanakiku, and DJ Kasu were live.

I must say these Japanese performers are so enthusiastic! And kinareer talaga nila mga outfits nila.

Pero ang kinareer namin ng asawa ko is to catch Game of Thrones star Kristian Nairn. Sana naka-costume din siya like the other people with him! LOLz

We are still reeling from his final appearance on the phenomenal HBO series (naiiyak ako right now just thinking of it) so it was so nice to see him... alive! Hehe.

Here we are at SMART's big booth! These are toy boxes and you pose inside and pretend you're a toy in a box. So smart! Here are my boys as Kai of Ninjago. They loved it!

They're huge fans of Ninjago. I remember having to write down all the names of the ninjas, villains, et al when they started their obsession with this Lego show. Haaaay, mom life!

Yes, as a mom, I do have a few suggestions for future ToyCons so that the experience for families will be better:

1. More light.
We couldn't see anything, guys. It's hard to appreciate toy collections and toys for sale if we can't see the merchandise. The whole venue doesn't need to be lit up like a mall—just the selling areas. I gave my husband and kids a budget. A big budget, too. How much did we spend? Wala pang 2K dahil wala kaming makita!!!

Plus, it's the age of social media. Lahat ng tao there was selfie here, selfie there, picture with toys, picture with cosplayers. But it was soooo madilim. Kailangan pang i-mega filter, mega-brightness lahat ng photos bago ma-post sa Instagram. Huhu, more light please!

2. More room.
SMX is huge. In the middle was the stage. To the left was crammed the selling area, the food area, and the exhibit areas. To the right was practically nothing. So there was definitely lots of space, just not utilized well.

That was another reason we weren't able to shop. The space for shoppers to walk through was like 2 feet wide. There's no space for shoppers to dawdle, look through bins of comic books, check out the toys, haggle. People were pushing each other forward. Super siksikan! Dapat sobrang luwag sa shopping area, at least 2 meters, maybe even 3! There were people with kids, with strollers, on wheelchairs, in elaborate costumes with capes and horns and wings! Two feet?! Really?! Ilang beses kami natusok-tusok ng mga sungay at spada at guns, guys.

3. Real booths.
Real booths and not tables or shelves the sellers had to bring themselves. Yung parang mga tiangge sa Greenhills na may tents and walls so that the sellers are clearly identified and separated from each other. For example, SMART had a really nice booth. Okay, they're a brand so of course they had a nice space, but the organizers sana made the sellers' spaces more pro. Mas masaya ang shopping experience pag mukhang shop!

4. More seating.
Look at my kids sitting on a window ledge. Cute hehe. Anyway, back to my point! Please please pleeeeease provide benches and chairs. A place to rest! We sat on the floor a lot and we had to eat standing up, too. We wanted to explore more but we were so tired from all the standing and walking that we went home earlier than planned. Sayang! We wanted to do more and spend more!

Just four suggestions! Everything else was amazing. That Walking Dead exhibit was unforgettable. The cosplayers were intense. The crowd was fun! It was fun to be around nerds! So congratulations on the successful event, ToyCon! Jampacked with lots of great attractions, stars, musicians, and toys toys toys. Good job!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Vito on my phone

I finally learned how to transfer my files from my Sony Ericsson Elm phone to my HP Mini!!! Congratulate me please! Yep, I may be married to the Third World Nerd but that doesn't mean I'm just as great with gadgets. So now that I finally understood Bluetooth, I feel like I've achieved a lot!

I uploaded more photos on Facebook but I'm sharing some of them here for you, my loyal readers. As you can probably tell from the pics, my life is spent in the bedroom, staring at this little wonder. And though he has a crib (with a special extra-long mattress I had a hard time looking for!), he prefers to sleep with Mama and Papa.
3 days old.
Vito is still looking bashed up from the birth--cone head,
puffy eyes--but he's still so adorable!

2 weeks and 3 days old.
Vince and Vito getting some sun.

3 weeks old.
Vito is attacked by infant acne. You know what cured it?
Breast milk applied 3x a day. Doctor said so!

3 weeks and 3 days old.
See? Infant acne reduced dramatically just 3 days
after the breast milk application.

Vito always sleeps with the iPad playing his sleepy music.
 The iPad also saves me from boredom while I breastfeed him!

3 weeks and 3 days old.
My little bobblehead's awake! Vito wears Tushy Wushy cloth diapers.
Fantastic invention! Sometimes it lasts longer on him than disposables!

1 month and 1 day old.
When Vito wakes from his afternoon nap, he's all happy,
then fussy, then hungry, then sleepy. This is obviously the happy part!

 1 month and 4 days old.
Love that smile! Many thanks to Auntie Anj and Cousin Zo
for all the nice clothes little Vito has!

He's too cute! Vince wants me to use the Olympus when taking photos of his son but my phone's always beside me so... It takes good pictures, no? Love Sony talaga!

Friday, May 14, 2010

My electric bill has doubled... but I'm okay with it

I found two really cool gadgets online today (scroll below). And this reminded me of another issue concerning us Filipinos--our energy bills.

I've been keeping quiet about my electric bill even though every Filipino I know is raising a huge fuss about theirs... and with good reason. The bills people quote are shocking! How on earth did their bills get that high?? I just nod and agree and say, "Yeah, my bill doubled, too." What I don't say is, "My bill doubled from P900 to P1,900." Yup, I have shoes and dresses that cost more than my spiked bill.

The Power Aware cord, by Magnus Gyllensward and Anton Gustafsson. The cord visualizes how much power is 
being drawn: For example, getting more intense when you turn up your stereo. 

I know why my bill went up--it's because my energy consumption went up. But Vince and I have always been energy-savers so what we consume is probably less than the average Pinoy household. Here are just a few things we do:
  • All our appliances are energy-efficient. They cost more when you buy them but they really do pay for themselves. Every month, I see the proof in our electric bill.
  • All our light bulbs are energy-efficient, too. 
  • Our window panes are tinted to decrease the strength of the hot hot hot sun. When that fails, we have triple-lined curtains to block the sun out. These curtains cost more than regular ones but they instantly cool the house.
  • We open our windows. There's no need to turn on the A/C or even the fans because the winds that flow around a high rise are quite cool and powerful. We just open the windows a crack and the entire apartment is like a wind tunnel.
  • We turn off and unplug everything in the house when we're not using them (except the ref!). It's an extra step when we do want to watch TV, use the computer, etc but we think every little thing helps!
  • Oh, and baby powder helps big time! I'm usually powdered everywhere because the heat is unbelievable but baby powder saves me from getting sticky!
Another tip I can share--though this isn't mine--is to call an electrician and have your meter and wiring checked. My parents used to get huge electric bills no matter what they do. When they finally called in an energy auditor, they found out that there was a "ground" so the appliances were continually using energy even though they weren't in use. The electrician fixed the ground and the bills went down.

The Energy Aware clock by Loove Broms and Karin Ehrnberger. The clock would chart electricity use in 
real time and lets  you track your energy consumption over time.

In this terrible summer we're all experiencing, it's really difficult to think of saving energy when the heat is enough to drive us insane. To be honest with ya, I've been turning on the A/C almost every night. It's just too hot! But energy can be saved--invest in new energy-efficient gadgets, find ways to cool the house without using electricity, dress in light clothes and use baby powder!

Photos and product descriptions from's article: Can Designers Save the World?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Anniversary post still: What we got for the third wedding anniversary

The traditional gift for the third wedding anniversary is leather. Vince and I had been toying with the idea of giving each other bags--he needs a laptop bag and I... well, I don't need a bag but I definitely will not refuse one!

Instead of bags, however, we found ourselves getting these throw pillows:

They're embroidered black leather pillows from Dimensione, about a P1,000++ each. They come in other designs and there's also white versions. We like how they ground the look of our living room, which has started to look too feminine. Plus, you just need to wipe them clean!

P.S. That's my old teddy bear, Mozzarella! You can tell he loves the new pillows, too.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The gift that rocks!

Someone, impressed with my husband's gift-giving skills, asked me why I didn't blog about Vince's Christmas gift to me. Well, because by the time December and January came along, I was in the midst of that first trimester madness and totally forgot that my Christmas--despite all the morning sickness, sleepiness, fatigue, etc--was extremely happy and blessed!

So what did Vince give me for Christmas? Actually, we gave this to each other because we both wanted it and since it was kinda not cheap, we both decided it'll be perfect for us both! We got ourselves this:
 Just look at that smile on my face!
 Unwrapping giddily. I'm the guitarist. I'm really good at it!
Vince is the drummer. He's really good at it, too. 
Me? I can never get the hang of it!

Happiness! We totally love Rock Band 2! Super funnest game ever! Ya, I know the girls reading this are disappointed ("A video game? WTF?!") but you have to understand I'm a geek and I'm really good at some video games. That would make me every guy's dream girl, right? But Vince doesn't even want to play with me sometimes because I can get fiercely competitive. It's not about having fun for me, it's about annihilating the enemy (and if you're the other guy, that would mean killing you). Worse, I'm a sore loser. I don't take defeat lightly at all, which makes playing games with me totally not fun. 

But Rock Band is just fun. Fun! Fun! Fun! I've never had so much fun playing with others--we've even done Rock Band parties because it's the kind of game that just makes everyone happy.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


It's Valentine's Day today but my head's not there because tomorrow is Vince's birthday. All he wants is a video game. Again. I've been giving him video games for the last eight or so years and I'm really starting to think I'm a horrible gift giver. I've given Vince shirts, toys, shoes but nothing makes him as happy as the latest video game. So I'm giving him (surprise!) a PS3 game tomorrow.

Now when it comes to gifts, Vince is very very good. He gives me the best gifts! Special edition books, quirky stuff like my hot pink Christmas tree, roses as big as my fist, my diamond engagement ring... Then there are the poems and love letters! He's an A+ when it comes to gifts. But let me tell you about my favorite gift of all.

When Vince and I met, he was a talented writer from a rich family, lived in a posh gated neighborhood, drove his own car, had a lucrative advertising career. I was a nobody. His girlfriends were these beautiful women who were incredibly rich and glamorous. I was a nobody and I owned three pairs of shoes. His friends were jetsetters who talked about diving in Palau, shopping in Hong Kong, summers in Spain. I was a nobody who's never been anywhere. I honestly didn't know what he saw in me.

One afternoon, Vince and I were walking in a mall when I saw this beautiful red velvet bag. It was small and it was hand-beaded completely with shiny beads and sequins. I ran my hands over the bag and said, "This is so beautiful, Vince!"

"Buy it," he said.

I put the bag back on the shelf and sadly said, "It's too pretty for me," and I put it out of my mind because back then we were so poor that to be happy, we just didn't dwell on things we didn't, couldn't have.

A few days later, Vince gave me a package and in it... was the red velvet bag. He said, "Everyone deserves to have something pretty. And you're beautiful."

That pretty much changed my life. I used to think I should just be content with my lot, to not want and ask for more because I didn't deserve anything good and beautiful. But with that one bag, Vince showed me that I'm special, that I'm somebody after all and the world was mine to conquer. Everything--jobs, friends, life--was easy after that.

The bag is not the most expensive gift Vince gave me, not even the prettiest, or rarest, or most fabulous. But it's my favorite because it changed my life. Thanks, Vincent. Happy hearts day and happy happy birthday!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Want, want, want!

I guess you all probably all know that Apple launched the funnily named iPad last week.

Well, I want one. It's the future, my friends. I won't really go into all the specifics and what it can and can't do (this isn't a tech site and my husband can explain it better!) but from what I've seen, it's magic!

This week, Sony also launched their adorable new VAIOs, the super colorful VAIO E. Vince and I were invited to a lovely dinner for the launch but I wasn't feeling well and Vince had to stay at work so we didn't show up. Therese and Avvy of Virtusio, if you're reading this, I'm sorry! Was this the series you were launching? Just wondering...
I think these babies are beyond cute but Sony really has to offer better laptop deals--their laptops are insanely overpriced so, much as I want a VAIO, I bought my HP Mini instead (which I love!) and if I ever get oodles of money, I'd buy a MAC!

Or an iPad. I read that Sony plans to copy the iPad. Sony's CFO Nobuyuki Oneda said, "We are confident we have the skills to create a [similar] product." I'm sure, but again, Sony, you have to make your prices competitive. Since the iPad is only around $500 (P23,000), that's an unbeatable price for such an amazing gadget!

We're definitely getting the iPad come March. But we have to buy that Olympus EP1 first! How about you? Any gadget lusts?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The birthday post!

I know I said I had a very stressful November--my birthday month!--but do know that I had a wonderful wonderful wonderful birthday because of my husband. Vince gave me my blender! And a clothes steamer, too! These may not sound very romantic to you women out there who prefer diamonds and trips abroad but if you're a homemaker/career woman like me, believe me, it's the home gadgets that you'll scream over!

Vince, thank you for my silver Osterizer and for now drinking yogurt smoothies against your will yet you do so happily for me. Thank you also for the clothes steamer and for bearing with me and the mountains of clothes to be pressed that now no longer exist because of your wonderful gift. Thank you also for my beautiful tulips and for telling me that I am even more beautiful than the gorgeous flowers. I had a great birthday. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Now this is one "twilight" I like

I am now in the process of making my wish list for Christmas. A Wii maybe so that I can be encouraged to do some exercises, a Philip Stein Teslar watch so that my headaches and stress will be tick tocked away, a pair of Jewelmer pearl earrings and the pink Sony Cybershot TX1. I know. That's some wish list! Gosh, I need to make more money to buy myself these expensive things!!!

Vince and I love this commercial for the Sony Cybershot TX1:

We love the song--it's called "Firefly" and we really want to know who sang it and if it's a full song.

UPDATE: The wonders of Google led me to Emma Pask, an Australian Jazz singer. She sang at Nicole Kidman's wedding! Anyway, she sang this especially for the Sony TVC. So it's as short as that. What a shame. I love that song! Here are the lyrics:
When the twilight sings, it's washed away
Way by the sea, open up your eyes
Believe the dream
You see how I feel
That feeling something's just not real
We are drifting through the stars
Floating here to Mars
Believe the dream

Wow. That did not make any sense at all. It's like something you'd find on Japanese stationery. I love it! Anyway, the camera will be loved for its ability to capture sharp and clear images at night. They call it "handheld twilight" and this feature allows you to take photos at night without the need for a flash! I need this! My photos with flash are always washed out and ugly.

Sony!!! If you're reading this, please send me a TX1 (pink please)! I live in a Sony world--PSP, PS2, PS3, e-Book Reader, Sony Ericsson phones, voice recorder, camera, Bravia... I really really want the TX1 (and the star pendant in the commercial, too!).

Friday, October 16, 2009

Some good news: I won a brand new phone!

This is my brand new red Samsung Omnia SGH-i900. I love it because it's sleek, fast, elegant, and red!
I won it in a writing contest, too, so I'm very puffed up with pride and happiness right now. Samsung held the contest early this year, asking people to answer this question: "How can the Samsung Omnia make your wishes come true?" So you write down your wishes and then you describe how the Omnia's features can make your wishes come true. Simple enough except by the time I joined, there were thousands of entries already. I truly did hesitate!
But I figured I have something going for me--I can write pretty darn well so this writing contest shouldn't be so hard! I studied the phone's features. It has a sensitive touch screen, very much like the iPhone (Vince's phone) and I liked that. You can surf the Internet with it, has Windows Mobile and Microsoft Office suites so it's like a super miniature netbook. And then there's that fantastic 5MP camera which beats iPhone's sad excuse for a camera. Oh, don't think I dislike the iPhone, okay? I love the iPhone, too! The Omnia has a host of other fab features but I don't really know what they are (really! All I do with this is text and call and fill up the calendar) so I'll let PinoyTechBlog give you the details instead.
Anyway, it looked like a phone I'd like to win so I wrote down my answers (there was a word limit, too, which added to the challenge!) and submitted my entry with fingers, wrists, arms, toes, ankles, legs and eyes crossed --yes, this is my lucky secret! I think I did well but I didn't think I did that well because when I got the email from Samsung congratulating me that I was the one and only winner in the entire country, I was shocked to my bones!
Oh, I'm so happy. This is the second prize I've won this year in a writing contest. The first one was the Gucci bag.I actually claimed this phone just before Typhoon Ondoy struck so, even though I was so happy with my luck, I didn't feel it was right to write about it when there was so much suffering everywhere. But life goes on and, despite the fact that bad things are to be expected in life, good things happen, too, and I'd really like to point those out and be grateful.

Oh, what a lucky girl I am! There are many other contests actually--do check out Nuffnang--but I only join when I really really want the prize. And I do believe that if you really really want something and you work for it, the universe will give it to you. Uh, yes, you still have to work for it!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Stuff's sooo adorable!

My friend Anna Go of Rustan's just told me the cutest news: Stuff at Rustan's is now available! Stuff is all things quirky, fun and crazy. I'm delighted just looking at Stuff's stuff. And since I'm already starting to shop for my Christmas gifts (it's never too early, folks!), I'm over the moon because I have a new place to buy (and request!) gifts!

These lip pots disguised as pastries sure look yummy!

I love how these fruity key rings bloom
into nylon shopping bags!

Clever clock and bulletin board! Now if only it had a wabbit...

This is supposed to be a huge clock similar to mine
(but I like mine better!)

Remind yourself with this golden ribbon ring.

Delicate necklaces with sweet messages inside!

Love, love, love them! There are more Stuff stuff ranging from silly shower caps and pencil holders to funkily designed socks and jewelry! Stuff by Rustan's is available at the Young Adults Section at all Rustan's Department Stores. Drop by soonest!

P.S. If you're in the mood for beauty products, do check my beauty blog. I'm selling beauty loot to raise funds for a little boy's chemotherapy.