Doraemon World 2012 @ Genting Malaysia

Doraemon World 2012 Genting Highlands Malaysia

Doraemon World 2012 was held at the Arena of Stars in Genting Highlands Malaysia from the 23rd of January until the 5th (last Sunday). Didn’t know about it or was busy during Chinese New Year and wish that you could’ve gone for it? Don’t worry, you didn’t miss much. You can practically read and see everything on this entry. Some of the people I know who went for this so-called extravaganza told me that they felt cheated by the production – well I can fully relate.

There were four phases – the first phase consisted of five rooms, four which you can see in the images below. Due to the lack of space in every room, visitors had to queue up to enter in groups. I don’t know whether the staffs were lazy or were afraid to keep too many people waiting for their turns, but the group I was in had quite a large number of people and the visiting time given for each room was too limited, resulting difficulties of getting a good photograph with the plastic life-size figures of the characters without having other people in background, and the never-ending camera flashes. I cannot imagine how much worse it could had been if I went on a weekend. I was immediately disappointed as soon as I entered because none of the rooms was impressively done. The backgrounds were just painted wooden boards and not everything was arranged according to the popular Japanese manga/anime series, not even the iconic room of Nobita.

Doraemon World 2012 Genting Highlands Malaysia
Clockwise from top left – Doraemon time traveling in the wormhole; Nobita and his parents at the dining room of his place; Suneo‘s (Sinyu)’s place with Shizuka, Nobita, himself, Gian and his mum painted in the background; Nobita‘s room with Doraemon and Doralin present.

Visitors were allowed to walk around and explore freely from second phase onwards. They called this section the Doraemon Town, I call this the “cardboard world” – see the images below and you’ll know why. Besides the background, almost everything seemed cardboard-ish here. Visitors here could take pictures with the cardboards around, hug the plastic life-size figures of Doraemon, shop for some Doraemon merchandises, top-up their Touch ‘n Go cards, and also purchase overpriced unauthentic Dorayaki cakes. The dumbest part here was that visitors were prohibited from taking pictures of the playground with their own cameras and had to pay another RM25 for a photograph with the poorly built setting (the three concrete pipes are obviously way larger than this in the comic/cartoon). Suneo (Sinyu) mascot was running around doing his best to entertain the crowd, which made me wonder why was there only Suneo. I was already speechless by this point.

Doraemon World 2012 Genting Highlands Malaysia
Clockwise from top left – assigned photographers preventing me from taking a picture of the Doraemon playground setting; a higher ranked staff spoiling my photograph of the playground with her fugliness; cardboards!; more cardboards!

Doraemon World 2012 Genting Highlands Malaysia
Clockwise from top left – Nobita’s school; bigger view on the “cardboard town”; one of the plastic life-size figures of Doraemon; Iris Loong with the cardboard figure of Shizuka‘s mum and resident.

Before the entrance to third phase, a row of original Doraemon comic strips were hanged on one of the walls. The next phase was the Doraemon Gallery, a museum of Doraemon’s popular gadgets. No offence but they looked like the works of college art students. None of the displayed items were produced to demonstrate anything at all, not even to move a little. It was like looking at bootleg replica toys that may be available on Ebay. View at the images below and tell me if I’m too harsh.

Doraemon World 2012 Genting Highlands Malaysia
Clockwise from top left – argh I lost to Doraemon in paper-rock-scissors!; the row of original Doraemon comic strips; Iris posing in front of the entrance to the Doraemon Gallery; Time Furoshiki and Ankipan.

Doraemon World 2012 Genting Highlands Malaysia
Clockwise from top left – one of the original Doraemon comic strips; Iris and the yellow Doraemon with ears; Galliver Tunnel; Shitsunai Ryokoki and Take Copter.

Doraemon World 2012 Genting Highlands Malaysia
Clockwise from top left – (mini) Dokodemo Door; Big Light; Kamisama Robot; (mini) Doraemon Time Machine

The final phase of the woeful carnival was a little outdoor funfair they called The Fun Factor, which consisted of game booths, foods and some stage activities. The light rain at that time could had made the experience even more unpleasant than it already was. Nothing here was free and all payments must be made using Touch ‘n Go. The games were not cheap (RM5 for one play) and none of prizes were easy to win. Then on stage, there were mascot version of the Doraemon main characters performing a dance routine. The costumes were nicely made (the Doraemon one could blink its eyes!) and the people in them did a lively and adorable job, although they weren’t playing the roles accordingly (I don’t believe Doraemon ever jumped while smiling and flapping his arms like retard). They also had some of the people from the audience to go on stage to participate in a simple dance contest which none of them gotten anything from it at all, not even the winner.

Doraemon World 2012 Genting Highlands Malaysia
Clockwise from top left – game booths at The Fun Factor; me having a go at the Gian’s Strength game; Doraemon and the other mascots performing a dance routine on stage; Iris posing around the game booths

Before the exit of Doraemon World 2012, there was the Doraemon Mall where official Doraemon merchandises were sold. There was also bigger one at First World Genting Indoor Theme Park. The stuffs weren’t cheap. I bought an official Doraemon t-shirt there for RM49.90. Apparently, some of the limited edition items were sold out on the first day of the event itself.

Doraemon World 2012 Genting Highlands Malaysia
Clockwise from top left – Doraemon soft toys; the limited edition Doraemon Touch ‘n Go card; the Doraemon mall within Doraemon World 2012; the Doraemon mall at First World

The admission tickets were priced at RM30 for children and RM35 for adult (came with free limited edition Doraemon Touch ‘n Go card preloaded with RM5). The press release said that the re-creation of the Doraemon Town was going to be life-sized, the Doraemon Gallery would display all of Doraemon gadgets and that Doraemon World 2012 would include a musical. Did I misunderstand or am I right to say that I was cheated? Did the producers quietly swallowed half of the budget? ‘Cause it certainly didn’t seem like a RM1.5 million production to me. As a huge Doraemon fan, I was utterly upset with this heartless profit-driven gimmick.

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  1. ken

    well, an exhibition in Genting – a place renowned for pricey stuff.. haha.. good place for the kids to enjoy i guess, not for the adults? 🙂

  2. Eric Lee

    woi…so polite ur review..haha if i am the one there n blog about it, i will bantai like shit la…if this one is rm1.5 million..i have nothing to say la…although the sculptures are really expensive but they shouldn't ripped ppl off like that

  3. CandyliciousCat

    I went to Doraemon World myself and was quite satisfied actually. I think we Malaysians are quite pampered with huge discounts these days…. RM1.5mil as Nath said, you have to take into consideration renting the venue, costumes, shipping of merchandise and materials all the way to Genting, construction of the items, and man power required to run the event.

    "None of the displayed items were produced to demonstrate anything at all, not even to move a little."

    I'm sorry…. but from the way you phrase it, sounds like you were expecting the lampu kecilan to actually make you smaller? Or you were hoping to jump into the mesin cahaya masa to go back to time and stop yourself from getting on your ride to Genting. It'll be silly if the gadgets only flash lights or make sounds and I can understand why they won't allow us to fiddle the gadgets since there's small children there too and those items won't be able to last before the event ends.

    I agree there's a lot of improvement needed and the sea of people was unbearable but I felt the trip wasn't wasted and the fee is reasonable with the TnG card they throw in.

  4. Post

    @CandyliciousCat If these are your only defence for this paid event (which required you to pay more in there), then it's insufficient.

    Sorry that I didn't phrase my words as well as I wanted them to be interpreted. The point was that the gadgets built up to the disappointment. First the cardboard-ish environment and then these pointless display of gadgets. The flashlights had no lights, the Mini Doraemon couldn't move, the Take Copter didn't spin, etc. They could've at least put some background or description of the gadgets. It's either they're lazy or unwilling to spend money on it. No heart, no effort. It's obvious they just wanted easy profit.

    The fee is reasonable with the TnG card? What if we didn't want it? Then does it make it unreasonable? No, because at the end of the day whatever amount I paid, I didn't pay to experience a mediocre production.

    You were satisfied? Good for you. Maybe I can try selling you air now.

  5. Eric Lee

    Honestly, I can understand what Candylicious is getting here. But first thing first, why I agree with Tony that this is a ripped off. First of all, given the budget of RM1.5 million and some even say RM1.8 million, this event looks TOO CHEAP to justify the budget. I can say so based on looking at the pictures because well, I'm an event and exhibition designer. I DESIGN THESE SORT OF STUFF. And I given a max RM500,000 for the overall design and construction. Believe me, this number is already huge seeing how they only use plywood and tarpauline sticker. Sculptures are expensive but do you know that a shopping mall decoration cost less than 10% of the budget stated for this exhibition. I believe this is an event by Genting? Therefore, the rental is absolutely unnecessary. Sure, transportation might be expensive but I doubt it will cost up to RM50,000. If the organizer is not Genting, they could have it at elsewhere cheaper. I bet the MIECC where Hennessy Artistry is held annually rental is way much cheaper especially without the tentage and marquee. SO in conclusion, I bet this is a ripped off especially when they sell overpriced stuff and charged such a high entrance fee. I agree that the management tries to avoid fiddling with the props but not allowing ample time for photography is plain bullshit.

  6. HSC

    Eric> The event isn't by Genting. It's by T2 Productions.

    I understand Design and Construction costs max 500k. How about marketing and promotions? Logistics? Rental (no, it's not by Genting)? Licensing? All these cost easily in 5-6 digits each.

    Places with any decent form of traffic flow in KL, for that size (about 17k sqft?) costs anywhere from 50k-100k/day. I would imagine Genting costing more.

    I'm an event organizer myself, and MIECC is not "way cheaper".

    Satisfactory or not, that's up to the individual. But if you ask me whether an event that needs 40,000-50,000 people in 17,000 sqft for 2 weeks just to cover cost is a ripoff….its definitely not.

  7. Eric Lee

    Alright I understand that. Sure, It will be taking a million ringgit in consideration of all the rental and marketing right disregard the cost of set up? It still did not justify how cheap looking the whole thing is. For goodness sake, I can even see air bubbles on the backdrop stickers, that's way too amateurish for a event cost this much. Did you see the Doraemon pocket arch?

    Can I ask something? Is T2 Production the event company organizing this thing OR is the company the one who wanted to run the doraemon world on their own? There is a difference

  8. benjamin foo

    Well moving all arguments aside.

    I really don see a reason to put it up at Genting and especially during the CNY period when Genting is flocked with a lot of tourists and ppl going up there.

    Sounds more like a very profitable production to me.

    All I am saying is, why market it as such if you don wanna put enough effort in making it really memorable la.

  9. Eric Lee

    Oh yeah, would anyone go advertise telling ppl it cost that much including logistics, marketing value n etc? As far as I'm concern, I believe telling that budget would make ppl automatically assume the whole construction + rental cost that much? Let's say for example, do a bowl of RM5 noodles included the cost of experimentation of the recipe which would cost some money? In the beginning, the company should announce ONLY the cost of the whole construction + rental and not other stuff as well..

  10. Kian Fai Koh

    HSC> if you posting your stress and trying to teach a lesson in other people blog, please open a class for your underclassman and teach them how to create a event that satisfy everyone.

    I would like to tell you that not everyone is very satisfy by attending a "EVENT". I would think that many Malaysian sacrifice their own petrol to see this "Doraemon World" and of course most of the "bad" comment either kept inside their own heart of post it ON Facebook / Twitter / Blog.

    If you cant accept the fact people posted above, why do you care about it?

    I don't care 40,000 people or how many fucking 17,000 sqft. People are not happy, they got the right to express the feelings like you do it on the comment above.

    I am not happy because you are wasting your time here and teaching non related shits in this post!

  11. HSC

    Eric> What you say might be true. I am not arguing whether the quality was shit or it's a good or bad event. I'm just saying for that size and scale and the IP (intellectual property), charging any less will probably cause the company to possibly lose money haha.

    From the poster, the organizer is T2. If they're just a third party, they'd probably be listed something else. =/

    Kian> I'm not arguing opinions. If you actually took the time to read my post, it was not directed to the main post. You (and anyone else) have the right to be displeased with the event (or me). I'm arguing reason and facts–cost is likely over a million, MIECC is not cheap, Genting is not the organizer…etc.

    At least be dissatisfied over the event for the right reason.

  12. Eric Lee

    HSC> To me, a bad event is a rip off. One thing why I would think MIECC would be cheaper is because there would be no rental of tentage and marquee for 2 weeks. For that size and scale, MIECC definitely can fit that much ppl. What I'm concluding is that the area is chosen because is CNY and it would be crowded with Chinese customers going to gamble. SO incidentally, this event would provide a platform for the kids to have fun while the adults gamble. Nonetheless, I'm aware the organizer is not Genting but since Genting might be their client in this case? I'm referring to the company who comes out with the idea because they have the final say on stuff. I do not think there will be any company with in-house production or event team unless its an event company. The price might be justified but the value is not. AT LEAST give ppl ample time to take pictures.

  13. Anonymous

    Not Genting, I think the organizer should take charge which they didn't and caused chaos
    Anyway, was happy that I got the Touch and Go card… happy me!!!!

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