Wonder Festival Summer 2009
The 2009 Summer Wonder Festival (Wonfes for short) was held on July 26, 2009 at the Makuhari Messe International Convention Center in Chiba, Japan, about 30 minutes by train from Tokyo. Admission was 2,000 yen (about $20).
Held twice a year (Summer and Winter sessions), Wonder Festival is an event to display and sell garage kits, models, toys and figurines mainly from dealers, many are individuals and small independent outfits.
The kits and models are usually replicas from anime and game characters, but also popular mecha/sci-fi characters and creatures.
Some of the most popular items, usually sold out early, are the limited-run kits made by respected individual sculptors -there is usually a long line-up before the event starts with a mad stampede after the gates are first opened.
First held in 1985, this event attracts huge crowds of otakus (fans) and collectors, with attendance of over 45,000 during the one day event.
Dealers occupied the cavernous halls A through D.
While major hobby companies, including Max Factory, Good Smile Company, MegaHouse, Griffon Enterprises, Kaiyodo and others were located in E hall.
As usual with Japanese anime and game conventions (see my previous blog postings on the 2008 Tokyo Game Show and the 2009 Tokyo Anime Fair), costume play or cosplay was also held outdoors just outside the convention area, where fans can see and photograph excellent costumes.
A legion of Star Wars Stormtroopers and Indiana Jones FTW!