WonderFestival 2016 Summer Round-Up

The Summer installment of Wonder Festival went down last week (no, not that one… or that one) and while I wasn’t there, social media makes it easy to see what was on display from the comfort of your home. Plus, there’s less chance to rub sweaty, sweaty elbows with other attendees that way.

Originally started as an event for small manufacturers to create licensed kits using one-day licenses way back in 1985 is still kicking thirty years later. The original event coordinators, Gainax’s subsidiary General Products, are no longer at the helm and the event has expanded considerably to feature figures and toys, but it’s still Wonder Festival.


First up, something I’d never expect to see in the year 2016: A garage kit based on Yoshihisa Tagami’s manga, GREY.

It should be no surprise that I’m a huge fan of GREY, so this 1/35 scale Ohm by A-H-M Beta is a real treat. It may be one of the few, if only, garage kits based on GREY.

Rapture had some charming kits based on original designs, plus some cat conversion kits by GAS for use with Maschinen Krieger (Ma.K) models.

Speaking of Ma.K, there was a lot on offer from Kow Yokoyama’s sci-fi series (look for an article about Ma.K sometime soon here on Zimmerit), but for my money, here’s what I found most exciting:

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COSPA, which should be familiar to anime fans thanks to their awesome, but expensive clothing, announced they’ll be doing a run of Ma.K merchandise in the near future. As great (and expensive) as COSPA merchandise is, it also tends to be extremely limited. Retailers like Hobby Link Japan and AmiAmi carry their stuff, but preorders sell out fast.

Also on offer was some gashapon-style Ma.K kits in 1/35 scale by Kaiyodo. Ma.K kits are traditionally 1/20 scale, and while there’s been a fair amount of kits released at the smaller scale, they tend to be garage kits or more uncommon releases, like Hasegawa’s Nutcracker kit.

While these were resin, word is they’ll be released as plastic kits in a wider release sometime in the near future.

Finally for Ma.K offerings, I’m not the biggest fan of super deformed mecha, but it’s hard not to like this S”D”AFS kit from Twelve Modelers that sold out as quickly as you’d expect.

When it comes to VOTOMS models or toys, more often than not we’re talking the iconic Scopedog. It’s a great design, sure, but it’s always nice to see some of the more under-appreciated designs from that series get some attention. The Zwerg isn’t my favorite mecha design, but it’s also exactly the kind of  stumpy, weird supporting design from the 1980s that tends to get forgotten.

As for the ubiquitous Scopedog, threezero had that covered with an all new 1/12-scale Scopedog featuring some gnarly weathering effects. It’ll also probably sell for an equally impressive price.

Speaking of franchises that often rely on repurposing the same design time and time again, Macross actually had some toys and kits based on its more under-appreciated chapters.

There’s been a few Macross 7-based toys and kits released over the years, but any sort of representation of its spaceships has been far and few between. This new kit by Arcadia (which is some sort of reincarnated Yamato Toys) looks to change that. Scale and price? Who knows!

Evolution Toy also showed off new versions of their maligned VF-2SS toy from Macross II, but they aren’t really anything more than the same toy with differently colored stripes. As much as I love the Macross II designs, Evolution Toy’s first effort received a lot unfavorable reviews and I’m holding out hope that sometime in the future we’ll receive something from Macross II that isn’t an overpriced, fiddly mess.