Ah, summer. Is that the scent of soft-vinyl, spray paint, and diecast metal in the air? It’s time for another Wonderfest!
That’s right — the biannual convention that’s dedicated to giving amateurs a single day of “copyright amnesty” to sell handmade kits and trinkets based on otherwise expensive-to-license characters. And sell them they did. Freaks and geeks of all streaks were out in full force.
Scary cos-players in full costume selling prop swords. Guys who look healthy enough to have normal sex lives but spend their days molding garage kits of little anime girls sitting on toilets. Fish fanatics selling resin kits of rare and exotic sea-life they can’t afford to purchase live. Obsessive dudes who don’t appear to have any solid employment or place of residence, but can sculpt Godzilla as he appeared in each of his films, blindfolded. Toy gun nuts dressed up like “Solid Snake.” Nazi wonder-weapon fetishists. UFO fetishists. Nazi UFO fetishists. Yes, they’re all here, and under one huge roof: Big Sight, in the scenically industrial Odaiba on the outskirts of Tokyo.
Established companies like Yamato, Max Factory, Takara, and Fewture Models were out in force as well. Personal favorite sightings at the show included:
-Liquid Stone’s spectacular (and at $500, spectacularly expensive) 1/6 scale, “full action” resin kit of the Starship Troopers powered suit.
But perhaps even more interesting was all the stuff they wouldn’t let attendees shoot, including:
-The creepily-named Good Smile Company’s latest prototype of their diecast Tachikoma from Ghost in the Shell, featuring articulated claws and an opening cockpit;
-Yamato’s fully-transforming Garland bike from the Megazone 23 series, which won’t hit shelves until at least mid-2006;
-And the big surprise of the show, Max Factory’s own diecast, transforming version of the Garland, which appears nearly identical in size to that of Yamato’s. No word on a release date yet.
And there ya have it. Time for me to go soak my aching feet in a hot spring….