Like the Winter event, Good Smile Company had a very big and varied turnout this year. From a lot of Darling in the Franxx figures planned to some lovely SSSS.Gridman merchandise. The Batman Ninja additions were also impressive but the nicest figmas on show were those from Splatoon (shown above).
You also had the massive and thoroughly epic Swordfish II from Cowboy Bebop (shown below), with the key point here being that T-Rex handled the modeling. Price and release date are still unannounced, but at this size and scale, I don’t think I will be able to pass this up.
There were a few Freeing entries this time around again, Notably, the ships from Thunder Force, as well as what looks like a new Bubblegum Crisis figma but the highlight for me was the first boss from the original R-Type. I only hope that Freeing follows this up with more R-Type related bosses and ships.
The Sentinel booth had some interesting additions, from the Iron Spider from the comics and all the new MOSPEADA toys. For me, I am glad they are tackling Wataru, as that is very much an under-represented yet still very popular series.
One surprising addition was the news of a collaboration between mecha designer Junji Okubo and manga author Tsutomu Nihei. With the former designing a mecha for the latter’s Blame! inspired synthetic human figure. Sadly, this wasn’t shown in prototype form but this is definitely something I will be keeping an eye on.
Following that, Bandai Spirits made a big and impressive entry this Summer, showing off lots of new kits and toys. The Neko Busou Tenkomori range, or cats decked out with weapons, looks to be something rather popular if not a little crazy.
The remaining standouts in the commercial hall were Takara Tomy’s ongoing and increasingly popular Diaclone toys, now finally with the modular and somewhat terrifying Waruder figures. Followed by Kaiyodo’s enormous and eye-wateringly expensive Discovery from the classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The hobby halls were less eventful this Summer but there were a smattering of curious additions. In that, we had some nice Mega Man kits and a surprising amount of new Armored Trooper VOTOMS kits, especially from Armor Hunter Mellowlink.
Bar that, the hobby side of things was a little quieter compared to the Winter in terms of creative output but these things tend to be cyclical.
Overall, this was a big and eventful Wonder Festival and while the brutal heat and humidity did impair some of the fun, it was still a good day out. While it was nice to see Bandai return, it’s clear that both Good Smile Company and Sentinel are on a bit of a roll.
Read my Forbes blog here.