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New Apo Whang-Od, Bigboy Cheng Funko Pop launched at Toycon 2024 |

Arts and Culture

New Apo Whang-Od, Bigboy Cheng Funko Pop launched at Toycon 2024

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo -
New Apo Whang-Od, Bigboy Cheng Funko Pop launched at Toycon 2024
From left: Apo Whang-Od, Bigboy Cheng Funko Pops unveiled at Toycon 2024 / Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo

MANILA, Philippines — Thousands of cosplayers and toy enthusiasts from all ages trooped to Toycon (Toy convention) last weekend in SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, scoring great finds and freebies, as well as indulging in performances from Japanese pop (J-pop) artists, and a Michael Jackson tribute artist, among others.

Now on its 21st year, Toycon Philippines' fair, dubbed this year as "Toycon Evolution," featured over 300 exhibitors, including artists and art toy makers from abroad.

But among the biggest highlights of this year's Toycon are the launches of JolliTEQ, the art toy collectible of the collaboration between Jollibee and Filipino visual artist Quiccs; the central giant booth and new collection launch of contemporary artist Reen Barrera; and the art toy launches of many other artists.

Quiccs' booth was fashioned to resemble a Jollibee counter — with his pieces presented like the fast food chain's food products. Instead of a Jollibee mascot, an oversized JolliTEQ figure stood in the front to welcome a massive crowd of collectors and fans. Many of Quiccs' Toycon exclusive merchandise were sold-out within minutes from the booth's opening last Friday.

The Secret Fresh Gallery booth, meanwhile, hosted the launch of the Funko Pop of disc jockey and toy and sneaker collector Bigboy Cheng, as well as limited-edition pieces from visual artists Christian Tamondong, Winnie Yip, Egg Fiasco, Distort Monsters, Kapitan, and Elmer Borlongan. Borlongan’s "Shyclops" art toy was launched at the Toycon.

Also unveiled at the Toycon was the second Apo Whang-Od Funko Pop, a limited-edition collaboration between the oldest "mambabatok" (traditional tattoo artist) of the Butbut Indigenous People of Buscalan in Kalinga, and toy maker Custom Pop.


Like the first Funko Pop issued last year for Apo Whang-Od's 106th birthday, the 107th birthday Funko Pop shows the "mambabatok" with her tattoos and in black and red Kalinga clothes. In addition, the art toy comes with a limited-edition paper bag, a certificate of authenticity, and a customized "tinik" that resembles the actual thorn Whang-Od uses for her craft.

According to Custom Pop, the Apo Whang-Od Funko has the tattoo artist as owner of the trademark and she and her tribe only permitted 107 pieces of it to be made to match her age. — Videos by Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo, video editing by Martin Ramos

RELATED: Living to 100: Secrets to Apo Whang-Od’s long life

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