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).

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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.

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The kits and models are usually replicas from anime and game characters, but also popular mecha/sci-fi characters and creatures.

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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.

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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.

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Dealers occupied the cavernous halls A through D.

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While major hobby companies, including Max Factory, Good Smile Company, MegaHouse, Griffon Enterprises, Kaiyodo and others were located in E hall.

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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.

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A legion of Star Wars Stormtroopers and Indiana Jones FTW!

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5 thoughts on “Wonder Festival Summer 2009

  1. Yeah, I was working that weekend, otherwise I might have considered going. I’m not a big fan of figures (I’ll build the little plastic models, but I’m not going to shell out $200-$1000 on a fully-painted cast resin model. I do know people that will, though…), and it’s a bit expensive to keep riding the trains out to Makuhari Messe and Big Sight, so I’ll usually only go out for something that’s specifically anime or manga related. But I would have liked to see the higher quality models. Maybe next year. So, thanks for the great photos! (Looking closely for the maids…)

    • Me too, I’m actually not a big fan of figures either. I am just curious about these conventions and Makuhari Messe and Big Sight are not too far for me to visit either.

    • One of the advantages of living in a big (the biggest in fact) city is getting to go to all these cool conventions and events. On the negative side, it is very crowded and all concrete (not to mention very hot in the summer).

      You gotta take the bad with the good.

  2. Pingback: Year In Review: Exhibitions « Konnichiwa

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