The SM City Fairview Annex Atrium was jam packed with moms, dads, kids, kids-at-heart, babies in strollers, mascots, as well as all kinds of cartoon character goodies this Friday afternoon. We quickly circled the entire area to find entrances, and to get an idea of the event’s general lay out, so we knew what we needed to do in that sea of people. Stage and audience area on one end, the booths and play centers in the middle, and the gift shop on the other end, next to the registration booth and main entrance to the cartoon fest. Check!
We went around the booths as the characters were being introduced one by one onstage and the booths were still empty. We found a booth that Lia loved at first sight: the Barbie Ballerina booth, where there was a table for coloring pages and activity books, as well as a table where she could get her nails painted. My 4-year old daughter did not like the idea of having her nails painted, but took a seat without a moment’s hesitation on the activity table and started coloring Barbie pages.
She had to stop coloring when Spongebob went onstage and shrieked with delight upon the explosion of the confetti. Confetti that kids would love throwing onstage, up in the air, and at each other, afterwards.
At five o’clock, the characters went to their respective booths one by one so kids could come meet them, or have their photos taken with them. Lia, upon going through all the booths, also one by one, and overwhelmed with the mascots’ sizes, said they were all scary so we went around the shop instead. And here is where she found the most joy, amidst the Barbies.
She was quite begging me to buy it, and like a typical little girl, would not leave without that box. For the record, I have never bought my daughter a Barbie doll. Ever. But I let her play with all kinds of dolls, especially the paper ones where you change the clothes, shoes, hair and accessories, because I played with them as a child too. I and my sisters used to draw our own dolls and their dresses. I used to even make little paper furniture, hangers, cabinets, to complete the experience. At this point I would have to admit that I buy nearly all of Lia’s toys (and books), and really, buy them, not for her but for me! Hah! I love those little playhouse things! I love those paper dolls. We’d play with them together for hours.
Lia also has a fascination with ballerinas, from her introduction to it by way of Angelina Ballerina. She keeps doing ballerina dances at random times, as her friends at Potter’s Place School can attest to.
Personally, I liked the purple Ballerina doll, but Lia, because she says blue is her favorite color all the time, wanted the blue one. And after much prodding, I gave in and bought the blue doll. On the way home, she said to me, “Mama, you want the purple one? Maybe we can come back and buy it for you.” Oh, my sweet little girl.
Maybe this explains why she was not too happy when she was having her photo taken with the in-the-flesh ballerina dressed in pink? Maybe Lia would have smiled if she was all blue?
But well, she loves Dora too. And she actually asked me to take her photo with Dora but she didn’t even smile!
That meant something though, because with all the others, she just refused to go near any one of them. She was just so nervous with Dora! I like to think that that was her “fan girl moment,” when you finally see something/someone you only see on TV or in books “in the flesh”, you don’t know what to do with yourself.
We went around the shop one more time, looking for other interesting or nice things I or she would want to buy…
…like that Dora doll over there, perhaps?
…or Barbie bags maybe?
But my daughter had made up her mind about her blue Ballerina Barbie and didn’t want anything else.
I did buy more paper dolls for me, err, for her. I just love paper dolls!
And then went around the booths again, now nearly empty, where we saw lots of other kids, and not-so-kids, having their photos taken. See, this event is not just for kids really!
And got more activity pages from the Sesame Street booth while we watched other kids have their arms painted.
It was indeed a fun afternoon for both Lia and me. Maybe we will go again when the Cartoon Fest comes to SM Megamall. Or is it? I will watch out for that schedule and maybe, next time, Lia will smile with Dora. Or maybe, she would insist that we buy the purple Ballerina Barbie, for, you know, me.
The SM Cartoon Fest not only showcase meet and greets with beloved characters such as Spongebob and Patrick, Dora and Boots, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Barbie Ballerina, Polly Pocket, Monster High, DC Comics Heroes, Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry, Angry Birds, Hello Kitty, Despicable Me Minions, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Bert & Ernie, Lorax, Hop, Garfield, Robby Rabbit, and Ironman; there are also fun activities like face painting, coloring, scrapbook making, cartoon film showings, arts and crafts shows, raffle prizes, and special discounts for toys and other character items on sale.
The summer long festival starts April 12 and ends May 31, going through 44 SM Supermalls nationwide.
SM’s Cartoonfest is supported by Bates/Nickelodeon, Richprime, Pacific Licensing, Honeybarn, Solar Entertainment, FCI, Click Licensing, and Astroplus/Magnavision, among others.
For more details on SM Cartoonfest events and promos, connect with SM Supermalls on Facebook.
Disclosure: I and other bloggers were invited to this event.