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Monday, July 30, 2018

Be still my beating wallet; the figures we saw at Wonder Festival are amazing


News by Matt S.

Over the weekend, another Wonder Festival came and went, the bi-annual event that Japanese figure manufacturers use to show off their upcoming new releases. As usual, it's an event that I pay very close attention to, because it tells me what Hatsune Miku figures I'll be buying in the months ahead (and at this stage I've come to accept that I have no choice but to buy them all).

This Wonder Festival has been particularly exciting. In fact, I'd go as far as to say the next six months or so, as these figures are released, will be the most enjoyable as a collector of them.

Let's start with the most exciting of all; the Hatsune Miku wedding dress:


At the previous Wonder Feastival, there was an announcement that this figure was being made, but this is the first time we've seen what it will look like. And it is just beautiful. Miku would make an incredible bride. Lucky KAITO (or Rin. That's a good ship right there).


Sticking with the beautiful, classical designs, there's a symphony Miku figure in production! The Hatsune Miku symphonies have become a major part of the concert calendar for fans in Japan, so it's great to see this beautiful, elegant design being turned into a sculpt.


But wait, there's even ore classically beautiful Miku designs in production! I'm not sure exactly what this module is called, but for people playing along, this is Miku dressed as an Oiran. Not Geisha (and you just know some people are going to make that mistake out in the west). Oiran. Oiran were the very (very) high class prostitutes of old Japan, but to that culture that meant they were major celebrities and set all kinds of fashion trends. Japan was largely untouched by the puritan religions, remember.


The Thailand Racing Miku series has become a major series of its own when it comes to figures. I think we're in the third or fourth "generation" of them? It's hard to tell from the greyscale sculpt, but this one might end up being my favourite of this particular series. Those shorts are spectacular.


Speaking of Racing Miku, here's the latest iteration of the "main" Racing Miku line. Another art work by Tony Taka, no less, and of course it's stunning in its classy pinup manner. The creasing of the skirt is subtle, but so, so sexy.


I'm actually not sure what this module/costume is. I can't imagine it - which is not to say that I won't immediately recognise it once I see it painted, but whatever it is I do like it a whole lot. Any time Miku's costume includes an open midriff section is a good figure.


And here's a standard costume Miku! I actually haven't had a reason to buy a "standard" Miku for quite a few years now, but this one looks quite delightful. A very cheeky pose!

There were other Miku figures announced, including two from SEGA's crane game prize line (which is good to see in that it means that at least part of SEGA still has a relationship with Crypton, even as there doesn't appear to be a new Miku game on the horizon). But the figures above are the main ones for me this Wonder Festival, and I wanted to show off a couple of figures for other characters - namely Miku's vocaloid buddy, Rin, and Ann from Persona 5 (finally, an Ann figure I really like!)


I really like the long hair version of Rin, and her "Future Tone" look where she's got the same costume as Miku. I'm actually surprised it's taken this long to create this Rin figure. For too long she's been underrepresented for collectors.


Back to the super short shorts! I do like short shorts!


This is Ann's iconic pose from the Persona 5 dancing game. I've actually been a little disappointed with the standard of the Ann figures to date; the one with her in her body suit from Persona 5 wasn't sculpted so well, in my opinion, and that's been especially disappointing since Risette from Persona 4 has had some amazing figures. But this one looks like it'll buck the trend and I'll finally have a Ann figure.

- Matt S.
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Be still my beating wallet; the figures we saw at Wonder Festival are amazing
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