They flew in from Bangkok just to get their Iron Man figure
Local and overseas fans queue eagerly for the world premiere of Iron Man Mark III toys at this year's Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention
They flew in from Bangkok, spent the night in a sleeping bag and had only cup noodles for dinner and coffee for breakfast.
Thai couple Mr Chatchawan Pim-at, 40, and Miss Tawachinee Ponyomma, 29, went through all that just to get their hands on the Iron Man Mark III (Stealth Mode Version) limited-edition collectible figure.
The highly-anticipated figure by Hong Kong toy production house Hot Toys made its world premiere at this year's Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention (STGCC) at the Marina Bay Convention Centre on Saturday.
Mr Chatchawan and Miss Tawachinee, both government civil servants, started queueing from 5pm the previous day, and were the first in line to buy the Iron Man Mark III figure.
It was available in two bundle sets: with the Iron Man 3 Tank Mark XXIV collectible figure, and the Raiden (Inferno Armour Version) collectible figure. Bundles were limited to one per customer.
Each set retailed for $819.90.
Miss Tawachinee said their Bangkok home is "full of toys, even under our bed", but she was happy to support her boyfriend's hobby as she also likes the figures.
By the time the two-day convention's doors were due to open to the public at 10am, the queue for the Iron Man Mark III figures had grown to around 300 people.
Those who purchased VIP tickets to STGCC got their sets earlier as they had priority entry at 9.30am.
One of them, Mr Patrick Koh , 42, was the first in Singapore - and the world - to get his hands on the Iron Man Mark III figure.
"I didn't queue particularly early. I came in at about 8am," the luxury watch supervisor said. "But I'm very excited about owning the Iron Man figures, especially the Mark III, as it's the world premiere for it.
"I've loved Iron Man since I was a kid, and what Hot Toys is doing with the toys is amazing; the level of detail is just awesome. I fell in love with them right away."
Mr Koh confessed that he had spent "about $3,000" on toys that day, including a Bearbrick Action City "Jiang Shi" (Chinese vampire) figure, which debuted at STGCC and is exclusive to Singapore.
After some 17 hours in the queue, Mr Chatchawan added: "It was a long wait, but definitely worth it. I've been a big fan of Iron Man since the movies came out, and these figures will be a great addition to my collection."
Other foreigners in line were Hong Kong university lecturer Ricky Lau, 43, who came to STGCC for the weekend with his 13-year-old son, as well as Miss Anunya Phanidpodchamarn, a 28-year-old hobby shop owner from Bangkok, who was buying the figure on behalf of her sick boyfriend.
One of the big spenders of the day was local toy collector and father of three, Mr Ivan Siow.
He forked out a whopping $4,500 on toys at STGCC, including the Iron Man figures and a Star Wars: The Force Awakens First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader collectible figure, which was available for pre-order in Singapore for the first time.
"I'll have to get a loan from the bank after this," joked the 55-year-old, who would reveal only that he holds an executive position.
Asked if his wife supports his expensive pastime, Mr Siow replied, with a twinkle in his eye: "She would rather I spent on toys than other vices, like gambling, boozing or going to karaoke bars. Toy collecting is a healthy hobby."
Ms Anita Wong, marketing and business development manager for Hot Toys, declined to reveal how many Iron Man and Star Wars collectibles were put on sale for STGCC, but they had not yet sold out at press time yesterday.
"This Iron Man is in a special metallic blue colour that never appeared in the movie, and Hot Toys is the first to launch (it) in 1/6th scale. And the Star Wars: Force Unleashed figures are the latest ones launched...
"The response is good as those are the newest items for customers."
She added: "We chose to unveil these great items at STGCC because Singapore is one of our biggest markets in South-east Asia, and our fans here are excited about our items. Plus, STGCC is the biggest toy and comics event in the region."
Another top highlight of this year's STGCC, which attracted around 45,000 attendees, was the inaugural STGCC Championships of Cosplay competition and Kids Cosplay Parade yesterday.
Accountant Handry Winata from Indonesia won the competition with a white Iron Man costume, rather than the usual red and gold colours.
He spent about four months and $800 putting together the costume and chose white because it is his favourite colour.
Mr Handry, 26, explained how he got into cosplaying: "I wanted to be the superhero of my childhood dream and my favourite hero is Iron Man."
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