Wonder Festival, held twice a year in Tokyo, Japan, has easily become my personal favourite event to attend. I was lucky enough to attend the Winter 2018 event, and it was a dream. Now, back for the Summer 2019 event, my feelings were confirmed. Japan is an absolute treat to visit (The food! The culture! The food! The sights!…The food!), and having the added bonus of a convention unlike any other worldwide just makes the experience even more memorable.
The event spreads across three huge halls at the Makuhari Messe convention centre, located in Chiba, about 30 minutes by train from Tokyo Station. The retail hall only occupies one of these halls…the other two, called the Wonder Showcase, are filled to the brim with custom garage kits, models, figures, and statues. Literally, these are things that you can see nowhere else on the planet. Unfortunately, Wonder Festival is only a single day event, and there simply is not enough hours in a day to cover the Wonder Showcase in depth. I hope to cover those area someday soon, but this year, the coverage focuses on the retail hall.
There is still so much to see across the retail hall that it is impossible to even cover that in its entirety. So, our coverage is centred on Figurama Collectors and Prime 1 Studio…but, we found time for a quick walk around the floor looking at random stuff along the way.
Figurama Collectors has made Wonder Festival its premiere showcase event over the past few years. At this past winter event, they debuted the absolutely stunning Attack on Titan statue (sadly, this was not on display at the summer event), and they had another big reveal this time around…the follow up to the Tokyo Ghoul hit, Kaneki vs Yamori…Touka vs Tsukiyama! Figurama did not stop there, though, as they also showed the production sample of Alucard for the very first time (featuring the newly revised portraits), AND revealed FOUR new licenses and a teaser render of the upcoming Rurouni Kenshin statue.
Make sure to watch the videos below in magnificent 4K!
ALUCARD OF HELLSING
Up first in our coverage is an interview with Figurama CEO, Mr. Shanab, where we discuss the first showing of the new Alucard production sample. I had a chance to assist assembling this beast, and if this is what to expect as a final product, get pumped! In a word, it’s stunning. Check out this video and see for yourself.
TOUKA VS TSUKIYAMA
Touka vs Tsukiyama was the grand reveal for the summer Wonder Festival. Following on the heels of the sold out Kaneki vs Yamori, this piece has a lot to live up to. Sculpted by Keita Okada, who co-sculpted Kaneki vs Yamori along with Daniel Simon, the statue shares a lot of the same visual style as the first Tokyo Ghoul piece. The colours are vibrant and the scene is iconic.
The piece on display was a very early prototype that has not yet undergone the extensive engineering that these statues need, so Touka’s kagune wing is propped up by a wooden strut only for this particular event…rest assured, the strut will not be there on the final piece. A light up feature and extra bust display stands (for the extra heads) are planned for the piece in the future.
Check out what Mr. Shanab has to say about the piece below!
KANEKI VS YAMORI
At the time of this event, Kaneki vs Yamori had just begun shipping to collectors so there was a lot of buzz about it heading into the convention. This display was my first chance to see the piece first hand (although, stay tuned for a full unboxing and review coming soon!), and it really impressed. As a production piece, you can easily see that Figurama did not cut any corners. Find out why this statue is Mr. Shanab’s personal favourite from Figurama’s collection so far in the video below!
FIGURAMA FULL BOOTH TOUR
The interviews above focus on the three newer reveals at the event, but Figurama had some older classics on display like Devilman vs Amon and Ragnarok Thor. The video below is a complete tour of the booth, including all six statues that were on display!
Being a Japan based company, Prime 1 Studio has also made Tokyo’s Wonder Festival its signature event for new reveals. The 2019 Summer Wonder Festival was no exception. Although their booth was a little more modest in terms of the number of statues, the impact of some of these pieces was immense!
The booth tour below covers every single piece Prime 1 Studio had on display, with glorious 4K closeups of the amazing new pieces like Red Sonja, the Predator, and Medieval Batman!
SUPER SAIYAN SON GOKU
Over at the MegaHouse display was the Prime 1 Studio/MegaHouse collaboration statue, Son Goku! This statue, sporting the long hair SS3 portrait during the event (one of FOUR portraits), is sure to be a huge hit among collectors. Have a closer look at it in the video below.
Wonder Festival Retail Floor Tour!
As mentioned above, there is simply not enough time to cover everything shown at this awesome event. So, hopefully this video is the next best thing…let’s take a walk around the show floor to five you a feel for the event, and stop to take a look at random things along the way. One of my personal favourite lines was the MegaHouse Portrait of Pirates statues, based on characters from the One Piece series…simply incredible stuff!
Wonder Festival is such a special event to me. Over my two trips to this convention, I have simply fallen in love with Japan. Any excuse to travel there, I will take it. And, attending one of the coolest, most unique events with some of the most original collectibles is one heck of an excuse! I hope this coverage has given you at least a small taste of what Wonder Festival is about, and I strongly encourage anyone and everyone to attend this even at least once in your life!