After Royal Selangor, free time around Clark Quay and for some strange reason or it could be the fact that Smashpop is mind-controlling us from Malaysia, the friends of Serge started to do the POPjump. Serge too joined the fray and let us say that most of us, our legs were hurting badly with all the jumps.
Afterwards, it was a trip to Singapore Flyer. For those who has not been here, the Singapore Flyer is the world’s largest Giant Observation Wheel at a height of 165m overlooking Singapore’s Marina Bay and capturing glimpes of Malaysia and Indonesia. Each capsule can hold up to 28 visitors and a rotation takes about 30 minutes. Singapore Flyer was conceived and designed by Dr. Kisho Kurokawa and DP Architects, Singapore. It held its groundbreaking ceremony in September 2005 and was launched in 2008.
As Serge had been in the Singapore Flyer, this visit wasn’t at the top of his visiting list. Nevertheless, seeing Singapore in the late evening was a rather nostalgic feeling as he knew that in just a few hours, he’ll be leaving the city-island back to Malaysia. When we arrived at SG Flyer, we were greeted by one of the staff who brought us press release kits for us to use and to read. As he read the kit, he is amazed by the fact that the Singapore Flyer stands on 33,700m2 or 363,000 ft2 – an area that will fit 172 tennis courts or 1,120 parking lots. A typical parking lot is 30m2.
Like any typical visitors, the bloggers here started to camwhore and took pictures of the very lovely scenery. Half an hour gone, we left and headed of to the Royal Selangor located at Clark Quay. The Royal Selangor is a name synomynous with epic pewter product and we were given the opportunity to watch the pewter makers carve and make fabulous pewter. Did you know that pewter is a malleable metal alloy, traditionally between 85 and 99 percent tin, with the remainder consisting of copper, antimony, bismuth and lead.
After viewing some pewter making, we were given the opportunity to make our own pewter bowls. At the workshop, a round flat pewter disc was given and we were then asked to knock any words we wanted on it with specially made metal sticks that had letters at the end of it. Once that was done, we hammered and hammered and hammered until it curved into a bowl. It was a tiring experience just to just one, imagine trying to do a lot and to maintain consistency.
With all the knocking and banging done, we kept the pewter and the apron that was given and was given a certificate for our participation. After this, we had some free and easy time to explore Clark Quay and Serge will talk about it in his next post.
After we left Chinatown Heritage Center, we went on to the Mint Museum of Toys which is located next to Raffles Hotel at 26 Seah Street. Mint Museum of Toys is the place for the young at heart and those who loves to see all the classic toys from yesteryear. As we arrive at Mint, our group was split into two in which one group went for the Raffles Hotel tour while the group which Serge was, did the Mint tour.
The tour started with our Curator-Tour Guide Richard, telling us the story of Robby the Robot who starred in the movie Forbidden Planet, a 1956 which starred Richard Anderson who was the narrator for Kung Fu:The Legend Continues. Robby the Robot in the display set at Mint was amazing, the colors were something as the paint which they used had lead in it and unlike the toys the kids of the 90′s play, it is made out of die-cast metal and not some cheap flimsy plastic.
Next we were introduced to some quirky facts that some of the toys that was being displayed here (500++) is just only 10% of the owner’s collection and some of them were actually bought in Malaysia at a cheap ass price but now, if sold will give a 500+% profit. There are some which is as expensive as USD$10k+. What Serge found amazing about the toys is how well it is kept and they still have the box that came with it. According to Richard, the box is important as it tells the collector on what the toy can do. When you’re here at Mint, the display set was done in such away that each toy does not have direct lighting and not one single toy standing side by side of each other will cast a shadow upon each other. How this was done is simply spectacular
As we learn about the history of toys, we too learn about art and color. The Americans loves bright colors while the Brits loves dark colors. Some say that a toy that should be a collector’s item is one which has blemish and no mistakes, this is not true. According to Richard, it is the toy that has a deformality, a misprint on the box, a right hand instead of a left hand and other errors that makes a collector’s toy unique. Why ? Simple really, most of the toys that was produced are of good quality and since most toys do come from nations that prides themself with perfection, seeing an imperfect toy is indeed rare.
As we went floor by floor, Richard explained that movies, cartoons and new toys are a copy of the toys being displayed here. What the new toy maker does is to refurbish the old toy, make some changes and stick a new name to it. Here at Mint, they even have some really scary looking Felix the Cat and Mickey Mouse. Scary as Felix the Cat was fat, Mickey Mouse was fat, had whiskers and two bucked-tooth. The design of the characters was based on the revolution of that era.
At the end of the tour we were brought to the roof top bar and here we took photos of the plaque and posters of beer. After all the cam-whoring was done, we went down stairs to their below sea level cafe. You heard Serge right, below sea level and the inner building is an archictectural ingenuinity. Each floor there is no support pillars but is only supported by the side walls only. It looks as though it is just hanging/floating there. Because some of the toys are made of die cast, there is no sunlight coming in as the UV rays can damage and fade the toys color.
After all the goodbyes and thanks to Richard, Serge went to McDonald’s for a drink as he waited with Robb Chew and Zach as we waited for the others to finish Raffles tour and those who went for the Raffles tour to finish the Mint Tour. Serge skipped Raffles as he had been there before. In the next post, Serge will talk about URA Museum and before we leave here are the details of Mint Museum and he really recommends that you pay a visit
Mint Museum 9.30am to 6.30pm
Mint Shop 9.30am to 6.30pm
Mint Cafe 9.30am to 10.30pm
26 Seah Street Singapore 188382
Contact Mint Museum Tel: +65 6339 0660 Fax: +65 6334 3373
Mint Cafe Tel: +65 6339 6266 Fax: +65 6883 2212
With only less than 5 days before Nuffnang Awards, many of us Malaysians are getting prepared by packing our luggage, checking our passport and changing money as we head down to Singapore to celebrate and participate in the first annual Blog Awards and 2nd anniversary of Nuffnang. Serge on the other hand needs to just pack his luggage and dry clean his awesome coat and prepare some items.
As he looks at the group and the itinerary that has been given to him, Serge is impressed by the places that his group will go to on Saturday and thanks to Uniquely Singapore, this will be good. Thus let’s talk about some of the places that the Cool Group will be roaming about and breathing in the sights and some places which they have listed, Serge has not been there before.
Singapore is to Serge one of the best Asian countries to visit and to Serge if he was given the opportunity to be awarded a trip here, he will go for it. Why ? Why should Serge be given the opportunity to travel to Singapore ?
The answer is simple; it is the arts. Which other country can you get main international artiste playing in a country which is also a city capital ? Then you must have missed the awesome SINGFest 2008 where great acts such as Jason Mraz, Lost Prophets, Alicia Keys …etc came and rock Fort Cannings Park
F1 Rocks is the all new live music and televisual that will run along side the 2009/2010 F1 calender. From the 24th till the 26th of September 2009 at the awesome Fort Canning Park, Singapore, LG with Universal Music will host F1 Rocks !. This music extravaganza will bring in acts such as N*E*R*D, Beyonce, ZZ Top, Jacky Cheung, Black Eyed Peas, Simple Minds and many more to rock you and your friends as this is the precursor to F1 Singapore that will be held on the 27th of September.