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My Top Picks from Wonder Festival 2018 (Summer)

This year's summer edition of Wonder Festival was a surprise for me, in more ways than one. I completely forgot when it was going to be held and I didnt even have the time to check out the previews from the different figure manufacturers. Unfortunately - or fortunately for my wallet - I felt like I wasn't missing out on much, come the actual event. Perhaps it was a matter of taste but the figures and other collectibles that were showcased didn't appeal to me. 

Although the scale of Wonder Festival continues to grow every year, I sensed that the manufacturers were looking forward to the Winter edition in around six months instead. That being said, I couldn't deny that the quality of the figures previewed trumped previous editions, as it should be. I'm blown away by the increasing attention to detail the manufacturers have, such as the creases on a jacket or painstakingly painting minute accessories like zippers or patterns on a skirt. Here are a few scale figures that I found particularly appealing, although I'm sure that there are many more that I missed out. All photos are taken from Nekomagic's coverage of the event.

1. (Alter) Kunikida Hanamaru 1/7 scale figure from Love Live! Sunshine!!

Personally, Hanamaru's scale figure is the most attractive one from the Love Live! Sunshine!! franchise so far. I'd say it even trumps the Birthday Project series by Stronger, thanks to the level of detailing and how closely it resembles the art it was based on. You can easily spot the creases on her skirt and pullover and Alter even went through the trouble of using a glossy black paint just for her shoes. I hope that the other 8 members of Aqours receive the same treatment and if Kanan's figure is anything to go by, there's no need for fans and collectors to worry.

2. (Stronger) Nero Claudius (Saber) 1/7 scale figure from Fate/Grand Order

The Roman emperor with exhibitionist tendencies has received more than a few scale figures but nary a single one that features her 3rd ascension outfit from Fate/Grand Order. Coincidentally, I featured another Nero Claudius scale figure from Stronger as one of my top picks from last year's Wonder Festival, specifically the Type-Moon Racing one which I pre-ordered the moment it was available. Unfortunately, I'm hesitant to do the same for this but I'm willing to bet that this will be one of the more popular Fate/Grand Order scales out there, due to how opulent her dress looks. I'm constantly drawn to the gold detailing, be it on the hems of her skirt or on her corset. The only gripe I have would be Nero's expressionless face but I doubt that it's a deal breaker for potential buyers.

3. (Megahouse) Roronoa Zoro 1/7 scale from One Piece

I'm hardly the biggest One Piece fan out there, having stopped watching the anime soon after the Arlong Park arc more than a decade ago. However, the characters remain as memorable and having friends that continue to read the manga week in and week out helps. Zoro was and probably still is every teenage boy's favourite character, I mean who else wields a sword with his mouth? His appearance has changed little throughout the years, swapping swords a couple of times and receiving scars here and there. Megahouse has a winner on its hands with this scale figure, with his sculpted physique threatening to empty the wallets of many a fangirl out there. I'm looking forward to the fully painted prototype in a few months' time and I'm sure more than a few One Piece fans will be as well.

4. (Amakuni) Iowa 1/7 scale from Kantai Collection

I haven't been keeping up with the Kantai Collection franchise due to the lack of any anime being produced for it. Unfortunately, I lack the time to play the browser game as well, choosing to stick with Love Live! School Idol Festival and Fate/Grand Order instead. And as for the arcade version, Singapore won't be receiving it anytime soon so there goes my last option. Fast Battleship Iowa was introduced to the game two years ago and it appears that she's a fan favourite, having multiple figures announced just at this one exhibition alone. It's easy to see why, with an appealing character design and vivacious personality to boot. Amakuni has had a stellar track record with their scale figures so I don't think they'll be flopping anytime soon, especially with this one.

5. (Amakuni) Nitocris (Caster) 1/7 scale figure from Fate/Grand Order

I'm glad to see figure manufacturers expanding their portfolio of Fate/Grand Order characters. It's sorely needed, especially with how many Artoria and Nero scale figures there are out there. The Egyptian pharaoh makes for a particular attractive one, with her gold and purple colour scheme ensuring that she'll stand out no matter how big your figure collection is. One thing I'm interested in would be the base that Amakuni decides on using for the mass production version. I don't think it'll be the easiest figure to assemble and display but then again, I have a serious case of butter fingers so that skews my judgement especially when it comes to Nendoroids. Amakuni has announced several other Fate/Grand Order scale figures as well, featuring less prominent characters like Helena Blavatsky and Medusa's Lancer version. Kudos to them!

Although this year's summer Wonder Festival was hardly a disappointing one, it still lacked that special something. I'm looking forward to the winter Wonder Festival come January next year and I'm sorely hoping that the manufacturers will pull out all the stops there.

Written by ET

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