WonderFestival Summer 2013 – An Awe-inspiring Exposition for Figures, Cosplay and More
By Don “datadub” Kratzer
Kaiyodo’s wonder festival is held twice a year and has become an institution for the Japanese Independent Figure artist scene. The possibility of getting a one-day licence and being able to make and sell a figure of your favourite anime or tv show monster is one of the shows attractions. It is also become a major showcase for the Japanese cosplay scene and a meeting place for some of the more wild and weird super-talented Japanese artists.
It is almost impossible to take in the entire event in the short time that it is underway, and as an exhibitors at the show, my free time to check out the show is even more limited.
I started at the Industry hall for a quick stroll through the massive show. Here are a few things that caught my eye.
Attack on Titan/Good Smile
Starting at the Industry end of the show Good Smile company had a massive Titan head dominating their booth.
They also had Titan themed Bentos for sale.
Next to the Good Smile booth there was a large display of sculptures by world-famous pop artist Murakami Takashi. Murakami-san himself was giving a series of lectures at a small stage nearby while sexy cosplaying companion girls handed out paper craft versions of Murakami’s latest creation. It was kind of surreal.
Liscensing powerhouse, Medicom Toy’s booth had an impressive display of their ever expanding line of Japanese Soft Vinyl (Sofubi) toys. In addition to classic Japanese properties like Kamen Rider and Tiger Mask, there were prototypes of new Batman and Joker Japanese style vinyl toys!
New Assembleborg (Kaiyodo)
Assembleborg is a figure building system created by manga artist Yasuhiro Nightow and produced by Kaiyodo. The building function is the basis for the popular Revoltech line – but I find these new original creations announced at the show more exciting than any licensed property.
Historically Wonderfestival was a showcase for Garage Kits, independently produced figures cast in resin and sold unpainted. In addition to One day licence figures, there is an incredible array of original creations with amazing paint applications. A Squid man, a giant insect creature, dragons and these strange zombies are just a small sample of some of thousands of works to be seen.
Keshi Gomu (Rubber erasers)
In the 1980′s in Rubber Erasers shaped like the characters from Kinniku Man (M.U.S.C.L.E. overseas) were all the rage with kids the world over. Now there is a new trend to create original Rubber figures. WIth a Wonderfestival One-day license, Shamrock Arrow made rubber figures based on the 1970′s wrestling superhero AsteKaizer. Booth mate Nerd One created original Rubber creatures that come in a Soft Vinyl Oil Drum, combining 2 different mediums in an original way.
Large Scale Creations
From the small we move to the large, many artists had works on display that were impressively large. Working exoskeletons, live size robots and Incredibly realistic Godzilla puppets all made an impression at the show.
Indie Soft Vinyl
In the last decade Japanese made Soft Vinyl (Sofubi) has become the medium of choice for independent figure designers to create both nostalgic and original figures. The colourful vinyl babies are by Warashi – an artist from Osaka who has started creating soft vinyl figures at his own house instead of using a factory. Comet Debris makes cute Kappa and Robot figures reminiscent of old advertising mascots. Kaiju Ken and Kaiju Shojo makes new versions of classic 70′s superheroes. The Giant 2-headed gorilla figure is by MISHKA, the popular Brooklyn-based street fashion brand. Mr. Ishizuki, the President of Bullmark – the company that started making soft vinyl version of Godzilla and Ultraman Kaiju way back in 1960′s, is shown here with a new Jumbo version of Red Man.
The President of Bullmark
It was summer all day with this gigantic pool bringing drinks back and forth.
This huge “Attack on Titan” rubber mask is on sale now (5,500 yen).
“Girls und Panzer” Anglerfish Team cycling jersey and bicycle
“Attack on Titan” enormous giant model
Mikasa Ackerman Eren Yeager (Attack on Titan)
Visitors could ride in a Countach at the Good Smile Racing booth.
A full-size plastic model of the German Wiesel 2 armored vehicle.
The Type 95 Ha-Go, a light tank from the former Japanese army.
Tachikoma earphone jack mascot
Otaku diorama sets (romance, Matrix, and army; 1,500 yen each)
This museum-quality Pacific Bluefin tuna model can be disassembled in 12 places, and comes with several display stands. (29,400 yen)
A walking Danbo (from “Yotsuba&!”) as seen in the event hall.
The Obitsu 150, a life-sized doll with 53 points of movement.
Smaller versions are also available.
Tarukaze motorized bicycle
Junko Enoshima (Super Dangan Ronpa 2) garage kit
Junko Enoshima（ Super Dangan Ronpa 2) Booth girl
GIRLS und PANZER
Canon Daiba (God Eater Burst)
Calne Ca (初音ミク Hatsune Miku)
EXOSKULL ZERO ccp 1/1 REPLICA SERIES Vol.002
Wonder Festival Official Website
YATTAR TV vol.8 Wonder Festivai 2012[Winter]
YATTAR TV vol.9 Wonder Festivai 2012[Winter]