My Summer Wonder Festival 2017: Part 1

Hello everyone and welcome to another event coverage on Tiro Finale. Today, we have a two-part feature of last month's Summer Wonder Festival 2017 which I had the opportunity to visit. Yes, the event may have been over for quite a while now but, I thought it would still be a good opportunity to share my highlights of the event with you, our fellow readers. Having sifted through the hundreds of photos, I have chosen those which stood out to me the most at the event. In Part 1, we will be featuring the works of Alter, Amakuni, Aniplex, Banpresto, Bellfine, Cospa, Flare, Kadokawa, Kotobukiya, Pulchra and QuesQ. With so many booths to go through, let us get right into the thick of it!

Alter has always been one of my favorite booths in Wonder Festival, regardless if I am attending or not and they certainly did not disappoint this year. While their Idolmaster showcase was the main highlight, I was particularly drawn in by the Alpha & Omega Eli and Nozomi figures.

Alpha & Omega have been working on a Halloween Nozomi figure in collaboration with Pentel for quite a while and at WonFes, we finally get to see the real thing.

And it did not disappoint!

Put next to Eli, they looked like the perfect couple especially with the matching outfits from Love Wing Bell!

If you did not know, Alpha & Omega is a joint-collaboration between Alter and Mega House. Two very big figure makers.

No word on Nozomi's release or price but, I do not expect her to come cheap.

Eli has already been released and, now, commands a significant mark up on the re-seller's market. Somewhere to the tune of 16,000 Yen.

With the original Love Live having its second run of Alter figures, it was about time that Sunshine received a line of Alter figures too.

The first member in the lineup is arguably the most popular member of Aqours, Sakurauchi Riko.

Since her debut at WonFes, Riko has since been made available for pre-order. Standard high Alter quality and price apply.

Have you ever heard of Amakuni?

Chances are, you may have not. But, still recognize many of their figures. That is because Amakuni is a premium scale figure manufacturer which works closely with Hobby Japan.

Persona 5 was a huge success when it was released.

As such, manufacturers are capitalizing on its popularity with more merchandising unlike the previous iterations of the game.

While they were still in prototype stages, they certainly looked very good.

Amakuni has always had an impressive track record and I am sure Persona fans would not be disappointed.

It is just a pity there were not all that many people visiting their booth.

Aniplex's booth this year focused primarily on Madoka Magica and Fate Grand Order but, mostly FGO really.

They even brought in some merchandise for sale. These are often very hard to be found outside of events.

It was not all FGO though, a lone Shinobu stood among all the chibi figures.

There were also two High School Fleet figures for sale.

While simple, they looked to be very well detailed, painted and sculpted. Certainly one for the fans.

The one which impressed me, and many others, the most though, was the Devil Homura and Goddess Madoka figure.

This thing was absolutely insane! Not to mention, they were actually available for pre-order.

While I would have given Alter my Best Booth award last year, Aniplex easily takes the cake for this event with stunning figures one after the other.

It was not just limited to Madoka Magica as the FGO figures were equally impressive albeit at not such a scale.

Put together, they not only look great but, also induce certain bankruptcy.

The FGO figures had by far, the longest queue in the entire event. That came as no surprise considering the popularity of the series/game at this moment.

I was just surprised to see some Madoka Magica merchandise throughout the whole event. Surprised but, glad. Hopefully we can get some Mami merchandise in the next one!

By mid-day, many of Aniplex's merchandise has already sold out.

Banpresto's booth focused on prize figures and upcoming Kuji prizes.

They too did not hesitate to cash-in on the FGO craze.

The Monogatari series, in its many years of airing, is never short of fans. As such, it even has a new Kuji coming soon.

This time, it focuses entirely on Shinobu!

KanColle may not be at the height of its popularity like it previously was but, there still is a healthy amount of figures being produced for the series.

Whether it is a more minor character or;

One of the more popular ones.

Banpresto were even showing off their new EXQ line of premium-prize figures. Perhaps a bridge between prize and premium scale figures?

I had never seen Bellfine figures in actuality before so, it was nice to finally see the real thing.

It was a pity their booth was located at the periphery of the hall with only a small display space. Personally, I feel Bellfine is a very underrated figure manufacturer with great potential in the figure space.

Their KonoSuba figures have proved just that much, carefully balancing price and quality.

Moreover, they are really going all-in with the series producing as many characters as they can.

Even Yunyun gets a figure.

Perfectly matching Megumin which has already been released.

Eris is next with Darkness to follow. A part of me is really hoping they make Wiz too!

Everybody's favorite apparel maker was present too in WonFes as they are every year.

Yes, more FGO.

Unlike other booths, Cospa's actually focuses on sales.

Besides revealing the product at the event, they also make it available for sale.

Early sales, as they call it.

I was surprised to find a healthy dose of KonoSuba merchandise on sale.

You could even get a plush Chomosuke!

And Megumin mug. Youjo Senki next, Cospa?
Flare was not a company I had known of prior to WonFes. This is because they are relatively young. Having started in 2014 and producing primarily premium scale figures.

Nevertheless, they had a pretty sizable booth in WonFes and rightfully so because their designs were one of the most impressive and refreshing I had seen in a long while.

Like a mix of Eastern and Western, Flare's figures almost look like figures of anime characters made by a Western company.

I am not a particularly big fan of Evangelion but, Flare's works certainly impressed me.

Of course, they did not shy away from the classic exaggerated proportions of bishoujo figures either.

Kadokawa is primary a publisher and do not often make many figures.

But, when they do. The prices often go up quite a bit in the re-seller's market probably owing to the Japan-only availability of these figures.

This time around, the focus was on 4 Goddesses Online, SAO and Love Live.

Aqours are getting their Birthday figures. I found this a little odd as, traditionally, these would be released later and in the song outfits that the group used to win Love Live (adding to the sentimental value). Alas that tradition only held true for Muse so, no harm in Aqours doing things a little different.

Kotobukiya may not as big a force as GSC but, it was one of the first figure makers to penetrate the Western market and is till date one of the premier Japanese manufacturers of Western characters. GSC may slowly be catching up but, for now Kotobukiya still holds on to the more serious stuff.

Girls und Panzer, like Madoka Magica, has an endearing fan base. As such, can always be found in most figure events.

In response to GSC's Nendoroid series, Kotobukiya has their Cu-Poche.

The Cu-Poche series was not doing very well a year or two back but, has since bounced back with some very clever moves.

Not only have they established a particular design language, Kotobukiya has utilized its knowledge in plastic model kits to introduce accessories for their Cu-Poche figures.

We see GSC doing the same too with their Nendoroid series but, not to the extent that Kotobukiya is able to push it to.

As such, Kotobukiya is still well and alive!

If Aniplex won the Best Booth, Pulchra certainly won the Most Endearing award. Yes, that is indeed a 1/1 scale Renge from Non Non Biyori. Yes, she was standing atop the roof of the booth. Yes, it was a sight to behold.

There was even a 1/1 scale Noire from the Neptunia series.

They do not just make 1/1 figures though as conventional 1/7 and 1/8 figures were made by them too.

But, for the most part, they were just really proud of their 1/1 scale figures.

Or should we call it statues instead?

The smaller scaled version for those who do not have an infinite amount of disposable income.

Besides FGO, Re:Zero was also very popular. I just had not focused too much on the series but, these 1/1 Rem and Ram should more than make up for it.
QuesQ, a figure maker I have always had mixed feelings about. While their concepts were often great, the final execution (finishing, paint, etc.) always left something to be desired.

When I saw that they were planning to make a Sonico figure, I was immediately curious.

Sonico on a rocket then. The concept is interesting but, Sonico's proportions just leave me wanting. It is not often you would hear me say this but, I hope that QuesQ would tone down her bust size.

If they are able to rectify Sonico's proportions and not muck up the finishing, QuesQ's Love Bomber Sonico might actually work out. Until then, I remain skeptical.

QuesQ even had some exclusive merchandise for sale.

It would not be QuesQ without these extravagant figures.

With that, we come to a wrap of Part 1 of the Summer Wonder Festival coverage. In Part 2, we will be taking a look at the largest booth of them all and one that I am sure most figure collectors have high regards for, Good Smile Company. Together with that, we will also be taking a look at Sega and several other miscellaneous booths. Until then, thank you so much for reading and have yourself a wonderful day ahead!


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