Sunday, February 10, 2013

[LAS PIÑAS] Yexel's Toy Museum

Once upon a time I used to live in a village in Las Piñas called Pilar, where in front of a cousin’s house was another house that had a life-size figure of Spider-Man adorning the façade. Years later, I come for a visit and find out that Spidey has since been joined by other superheroes from other studios as well as various cartoon characters. Superman. Lightning McQueen. A giant Rubik’s Cube. Even the façade itself has been modified to resemble a large yellow Lego brick, along with bold letters spelling out YEXEL. And so that is what the house has come to be, a full-fledged toy museum in a residential village.

First things first: directions. Pilar Village is located behind SM Southmall. You do not have to get lost if you follow this simple instruction. Enter SM. Head to the southernmost entrance. Walk through the large parking area until you find yourself at a passageway going to the village. There are no security controls. Virtually anyone can enter, if you are walking, that is. If you have a car, you'll need a sticker, and I would suggest that you just pass through the main gate of the village located a few blocks away from SM itself. Or perhaps, the best way is to park your car at the mall and take a tricycle going in.

If you prefer walking, just follow the same instructions. When you reach the path going to the village, you have to walk past two blocks. The third road is where you turn left then walk straight. How would you know that you are on the right path? Follow the tricycles. Yexel’s is in Sampaguita Road which is the main road heading out of Phase Five from SM to the other zones of the village. The place is ubiquitous and hard to miss, what with its rather flamboyant presentation. The entrance fee is 300 pesos. Opening hours is from 10 AM to 8 PM during the weekends. They are closed during weekdays, at least according to one of the staff members. Contact numbers are: 8072628 and 09157714777.

Is it worth the hype? I'd say yes. As already mentioned, saying hello from the entrance are Spider-Man, Superman, and Lightning McQueen. I believe that Yexel’s staff themselves made those life-size figures. If not, then they must have bought them for a high price because even if you check them out closely, you'll realize how authentic they seem to be. Like, are you guys working for Universal Studios or something? Seriously, just the keen attention to detail evident in each of those life-size figures is already worth the admission price.

As you enter the house you'll see the Simpsons to your right on a sofa. You can sit with them for a photo-op, although I'd really reserve that camwhoring moment for Optimus Prime. You pay the entrance fee and start your tour. The friendly staff members are everywhere in case you have questions. The ground floor houses several glass vitrines displaying a vast toy collection ranging from Disney to Tekken to Lupin III, whose folks, along with other popular anime manga characters have their own corner to occupy. The Incredibles also have their own corner to themselves. Photo op! Again. Here at Yexel’s, camwhoring never ends!

You then have the option to visit the room where Lightning McQueen is, although the view of that car is much better from the outside. Go upstairs and you end up where a corner each is reserved for the cast of Street Fighter and Super Mario Brothers. Again, life-size. Woody and Buzz Lightyear are also there along with Mike Wazowski. You are then led to a room featuring many a Hollywood movie classic. The Lord of the Rings collection makes any Mordor fan die of envy. The swords, Gandalf’s (or Saruman’s?) staff, the figurines! You will also see several busts enclosed in glass, mostly characters from DC comics.

There is no other way to go but up the stairs where a Star Wars and Aliens collection is waiting for you. There is a life-size figurine of Darth Vader as well as a young Anakin Skywalker. Once you go through the maze of corridors, (well it is not an actual maze, I just like to use that expression but would it not be fun if it literally was!) you end up at the balcony. The door to the right leads to Optimus Prime. OPTIMUS PRIME!!!

The giant Optimus Prime bust is, without a doubt, the highlight of it all. I guess we can tag it as “life-size” again. Word of the day. In any case, that is how big one would imagine Optimus Prime to be. Complete with lights and sound effects, the room will make you think for a moment that you were Shia LaBeouf. This is where all the hardcore camwhoring is concentrated because honestly, where else can you find such opportunity here in the Philippines? Enchanted Kingdom? You wish. After Optimus, you are greeted by Marvel’s superheroes before you exit the door. End of tour!

[LAS PIÑAS] Yexel's Toy Museum

1 creature(s) gave a damn:

Marc said...

Too bad it's closed and they didn't bother to update their FB page! Wasted 3 hours driving there and back!

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