A Roundup of ToyCon UK 2024!


I am Cat, also known as Vinyl Creep, and have been collecting designer art toys since about 2004. I have been helping out at ToyConUK for the last couple of years.


 

ToyCon official poster which is a graphic of a Godzilla like monster stomping over a city which includes other characters including Transformers

ToyCon UK is the UK’s only dedicated designer art toy convention. It takes place annually in Hammersmith in London. This year’s show was the 11th year it’s taken place and many agree it was quite possibly the best one yet!

A large blue dinosaur or Godzilla fibreglass figure stands in front of a ToyCon UK poster

TCon mascot in front of one of ToyCon’s older posters

If you ever wanted to attend a Con which just felt like a big friendly warm hug, this is the one to attend. Buying amazing art toys is just part of the occasion. It’s a chance to take a deep breath, relax and chat to other fellow toy geeks without those “but…why” glances and questions you may get from non-toy-collecting friends and family. It’s two days of nerding out and chatting to some of the nicest people you can meet! My most important tips for the Con are, don’t look at your bank balance until Monday, it’s a tomorrow problem, and speak to everyone! I have yet to leave a Con without a few more new friends.

ToyCon UK started with a bit of madness for queuing for the biggest draws. The queues quickly formed for Japanese artists RealXHead and Goccodo, with British artists MuffinMan and Koncrete not far behind. RealXHead, Goccodo and MuffinMan quickly sold out of their stock both Saturday and Sunday morning! Attention was then swiftly turned to other artists including the amazing Punk Drunkers, Marusan Toys and Uamou also from Japan.

A large number of people queuing in a convention centre

Queues for RealXHead, Goccodo and Uamou!

Once people had managed to snag a few of their grails it was time to do some circuits and see some of the other fabulous artists from many different countries, both established such as Jon-Paul Kaiser, CometDebris, Dolly Oblong and Dead Beat City, to newcomers including Last Bastion Studios, Mosa Toys and Sour Lemon. There were also other retailers here including Ko-Re Ko-Re, Unbox Industries and Collect & Display. There were 50 different artists and producers with so many different styles! From customs to original designs and blind boxes, from plush to resin to vinyl. Whatever your taste, there was something for you!

A collage of various artist's tables at the convention

A big draw for the weekend were the lotteries, so many stalls had lottery systems for some very limited edition pieces, including Headlock via Ko-Re Ko-Re, Koncrete and Artiqfox. Dead Beat City even had a “Tin Can Alley” competition where you could win figures (or candy floss!). If you saw a large queue suddenly forming, or found your way blocked by a very large group of people, you had just found a lottery! I saw so many happy smiling faces with people clutching their prizes.

A collage of photos of artist's tables

A collage of toys at ToyCon

A collage of photos from ToyCon

I was really pleased with my finds, although also saddened at my utter poor-ness and not being able to afford some of the amazing figures with higher price tags. Having deep pockets (or a few generous credit cards) certainly helps. Some of my favourites I bought included a very limited “Leap Head” Dino Uamou (she had only brought one in this colour and I snagged it fast!), a ToyCon special edition colourway of CometDebris’ “Chakaiju” and of course a Yasu figure, a gorgeous “Urukoma” in blue. I was also gifted an amazing and very limited little Elfie from Unbox. I was very excited at one stall, Ancient Mariner x The Ugly & The Beautiful, who had brought a vast array of vintage and older Japanese kaiju figures and I picked up a few older Ultraman Bandai kaiju beasties. Their stall was very busy all weekend. We toy nerds love both the old and the new.

A collage of a collection of toys

My haul from the two days!

Had I had unlimited funds, I would most certainly have come home with a lot more, including the custom large pastel glittery Godzilla from Son of a Creatureman, some of the fabulous huge kaiju figures from Marusan Toys, Vega Relics, Ragnar and Last Bastion Studios, and I would have toughed out the queues for Goccodo and RealXHead.

ToyConUK 2024 was a huge success, everyone seemed delighted with their buys and their sales. We’re all looking forward to 2025!

 

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