Wow! I am still pinching myself that I was lucky enough to visit Wonder Festival in Tokyo…Japan! What a tremendous experience. I must say that the people of Japan are lovely and friendly, the food was absolutely delightful, and the sights are one of a kind…what an astounding part of the world to see. I simply cannot wait to go back.
As for Wonder Festival itself (held on February 18, 2018), it was eye-opening for sure. The event is massive, with three gigantic exhibit halls. One hall is dedicated to major retailers, such as Kotobukiya, Good Smile, Figma, Prime 1 Studio, and Figurama Collectors (this is where I spent most of my time, as you will see below). The other two halls are strictly custom garage kits, figures, and models…this is stuff that you simply will not see anywhere else…some very cool, and let’s say, unique stuff in on display here.
Having grown up in North America, most of the items on display were new to me. There was a sprinkling of the standard fare (at least for me) Marvel, DC, and Star Wars characters…I would estimate maybe 10% of the overall show. The remainder I would estimate at an even split between robots/mecha and anime related (ranging from the familiar to the bizarre). This event is truly the biggest of its kind, and being a one day event, I don’t think it is possible to see everything on display…although I tried!
A quick note: the general organization and respectfulness of the Japanese people astounded me at this event. Without any provocation, they began forming lines at the various booths in order to take photos one person at a time…I mean, I have simply never witnessed anything like this before!
The focus of our coverage centered around statue producing newcomer, Figurama Collectors. We had a chance to visit with Shanab (CEO), Grant (legal/licence acquisition), and Yoshi (general awesome guy). These fine gentlemen gave us an up close and personal look at all of their current products, as well as great insight behind their philosophy as a company. They are all collectors and/or artists themselves, and each is passionate about the hobby…its evident in their voice when they talk about their statues, these are labours of love!
I hope you enjoy viewing the summary of our coverage below as much as I did making it. This event is truly one of the most unique I have ever attended. Even if anime and robots is not your thing, I highly recommend going to Wonder Festival if you ever get the chance…it really blew me away with its awesomeness…and hey, you’d be in Japan, so it could not possibly be bad!
Vash the Stampede Elite Exclusive: Review
A prototype version of Figurama’s Vash the Stampede was on display…and what a piece of eye candy! Wow, this thing is full of action…you have bullets ricocheting off the base, explosions, gun shots, bullet holes, falling steel and concrete…it’s a sight to behold. The paints are outstanding, notably on Vash’s boots where there is some mud and weathering added. But, enough reading, checkout the video and photos below to see for yourself!
Vash the Stampede: Photo Gallery
Ragnarök Thor Elite Diorama
Ragnarök, the comic series from IDW Publishing, is legendary comic book writer and artist Walt Simonson’s own vision of the Thor mythology. Thor is not trying to stop Ragnarök, it has already happened. Asgard is in ruins, and even Thor himself was defeated and left for dead (hence his unique look in the series)…that is, until he was awakened from his eternal slumber. Thor is angry, and you won’t like him when he’s angry…wait…someone else says that line, but you get the idea!
Figurama has paid homage to this re-imagining of the classic mythology with this amazing 1/6 scale Elite Diorama, featuring the titular character laying waste to 3 Draugr enemies with his trusty Mjölnir. The statue is definitely premium quality. I had a chance to unbox (unboxing video coming soon) and assemble this statue before the show, so I got a chance to handle everything. The statue assembled easily with color coded parts, it felt secure, and it had a good quality, weighty feel. Not to mention, it looks damn cool…like a page straight from the comics! The piece on display is a production piece, so this is what collectors can expect to receive in hand.
Please enjoy this exclusive coverage of Ragnarök Thor from the floor of Wonder Festival! Oh…and it is still available to purchase HERE! Oh, did I mention that each base is hand signed by Walt Simonson himself?
Ragnarök Thor Elite Diorama: Figurama CEO Interview
Ragnarök Thor Elite Diorama: Review
Ragnarök Thor Elite Diorama: Unboxing
Ragnarök Thor Elite Diorama: Photo Gallery
Devilman vs Amon Elite Exclusive
I will admit right off the top, the Devilman vs Amon from Figurama was my favourite piece from all of Wonder Festival. So, excuse me while I gush about it, 🙂
What is not to like about this piece? It’s big and eye catching…I mean BIG! With Devilman seemingly suspended in midair, wings fully spread, this piece is a beast. Then we look at the paint…the layered skin tones, the subtle vein work, and the faux translucent effect on the wings…seriously, it fooled me. I filmed the review talking all about the translucent wings, and had to redo the whole thing because Shanab told me about the unique paint effect, which was used to help increase the longevity of the piece (solid resin vs translucent resin). The packaging and engineering behind this piece really set my mind at ease as well. With its appearance as a very delicate and intricate piece, I suspected that it would not “pack” well. I was proven wrong…I will be posting an unboxing video soon, so you can see for yourself. I haven’t even touched on the masterful sculpt from Caleb Nefzen yet…I could go on and on about that, so I will let the photos and videos below speak for themselves. Oh yeah, this display piece was an actual production piece, so this is what collectors are going to receive in hand! Enjoy!
Devilman vs Amon Elite Exclusive: Review
Devilman vs Amon Elite Exclusive: Figurama CEO Interview
Devilman vs Amon Elite Exclusive: Unboxing
Devilman vs Amon Elite Exclusive: Photo Gallery
Alucard of Hellsing Ultimate Elite Exclusive
Figurama’s grand reveal of the winter Wonder Festival was non other than the Bird of Hermes, the Ultimate Vampire…Alucard! As Hellsing’s greatest weapon, the vampire Alucard is charged with the destruction of other supernatural powers…and he takes great, great pleasure in their destruction!
Depicting his Level 0 form from the climactic Battle of London. Figurama has shown Alucard in all his explosive glory. This piece was INSANE! Literally something new to see from every angle. There are eight…yes eight…Vatican soldiers being consumed by Alucard’s familiars, then you have the glorious cape, the swarm of bat familiars, the Baskerville Hound, countless hand painted eyes…this piece was extremely popular for the whole day, with crowds wanting to take photos (one at a time, of course).
The piece on display was dubbed ‘Massive Scale’…and it was suitably massive indeed. Rumour had it, this prototype weighed in at 75 kg, was 91 cm tall, and nearly just as wide at the base. The actual production piece will thankfully be scaled down slightly to 67 cm, making it much more displayable for the average collector.
I was in awe of this piece, and judging by the quality of the Devilman and Thor production pieces, I believe it will be something special for fans of the anime. Please enjoy the exclusive bmutha.com coverage of Alucard below!
Alucard of Hellsing Ultimate Elite Exclusive: Review
Alucard of Hellsing Ultimate Elite Exclusive: Photo Gallery
Prime 1 Studio
Prime 1 Studio, in the grand scheme of things, is still a relatively new company in the statue collecting world. But, they have made a huge impact in ashort amount of time. They came out of the gate and won Statue of the Year (for Megatron) in our inaugural Statue Awards! event four years ago, and have handily won the X-Large Statue Category every year since. Being a Japanese company, they always look to make a good showing at Wonder Festival and they did so in winter 2018, no doubt. Debuting several new pieces such as Terminator, Poison Ivy from the Batman Hush line, Nioh, King King, Bane (from the Dark Knight Rises) and others, collectors were left gawking at all the eye candy! I had a chance to browse through the booth myself, but it was so crowded I could not quite get the coverage I wanted…at any rate, I did get some video and photos, so please enjoy viewing them below.
Prime 1 Studio: Booth Tour
Prime 1 Studio: Photo Gallery
Tour of Wonder Festival
If you are like me, you have heard of Wonder Festival, probably seen hundreds of photos and videos of the statues on Facebook and forums…but, do you really know what Wonder Festival is? I’ll be honest, I had no idea how big and unique this event really is…so, join me on this brief tour of the retail hall of Wonder Festival!
*Note, I had every intention of showing the entire event to you, up close, but the sheer scale and size of the two ‘Wonder Showcase’ halls (the custom and garage kit portion) just made it impossible to do. If I ever get to go back to this incredible event, I will make a point of focusing on these areas…some stuff that you just will not see anywhere else!
Wonder Festival Photo Gallery
Below is a smattering of photos from around the show floor of Wonder Festival, both the dealer side and the “Wonder Showcase” side. These photos are really just the tip of the iceberg of what you can expect to see at the event. Some of it is unique, some amazing, some captivating, and some…let’s call it interesting. Enjoy!