Wonder Festival (Winter 2016) Report
Wonder Festival is a bi-annual event hosted at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan. It’s a place not only for big name companies to showcase their up-coming figures, but also for people to sell their self-made non-official figures (garage kits).
There is usually enough coverage of this event that it’s possible to see photos of most if not all up-coming figures on-line without attending the show, or even being in Japan. Sometimes, however, companies will have “no photo” signs next to figures that are still in early development stages, and although oftentimes sneaky photos of these figures make their way onto the internet, sometimes they don’t. (One example of this from this past show was an un-painted Elsa figma. I couldn’t take a photo because there was a staff guy standing right next to it at the time). Pokemon merchandise in general tends to get lost from reports, probably as a combination of there not being much Pokemon related merch available coupled with “no photos allowed” signs. Being able to report on this year’s Wonder Festival and see up-coming Pokemon figures in person was one main reason I wanted to finally attend Wonder Festival.
I’ve lived here for 7+ years, so why did it take me so long? The main reason is I hate crowds, also why I tend to avoid attending festivals or conventions of any kind here. (I only attend the summer festival in my city because the festival center is along the street just outside my apartment building, meaning I can go out, get food, and eat it inside my home!) Taking into consideration that Wonder Festival only lasts for 1 day, I was very concerned about how many people would be attending. My worries were basically for nothing; it was crowded, of course, and there were lots of lines for everything, including taking pictures of some of the more popular figures, but the lines moved pretty well, and it never got crowded to the point where you couldn’t move or didn’t have some semblance of personal space.
In short, it was a very enjoyable experience, more so than the Tokyo Game Show, which honestly isn’t very enjoyable. I hold more than a passing interest in figures, and I had a lot of fun seeing figures in person that up until then I had only seen on the internet. If you’re ever in the Tokyo/Chiba area when a Wonder Festival occurs, I highly recommend attending!
Moving on to the meat of this report…
Upcoming Pokemon figures!