Wonderfes 2015 summer

Discussion in 'Japan Toys' started by maxaltoman, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. maxaltoman

    maxaltoman Side Dealer

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    Wonderfes 2015 summer
    If you are expecting tons of pictures from WF2015 this past weekend, then this may disappoint as pictures are not my strongest forte :D
    I believe several others will have pics and videos to contribute later. I just thought to share my thoughts on WF these days.
    Initially, I was hesitant to attend this WF. In part, the ticket is very costly to me this time round and summer fest is always seriously HOT and filled with rather unpleasant odour. It is almost sauna liked in those halls.
    Over the years of attending WFs, one thing that hasn't change is the crowd. Of course, only a small proportion of the crowd in WF are there for the sofubi that this community love. It is good to see WF continue to draw large crowd and growing stronger by the year, but this may inevitably drive prices higher.
    Talking about prices, retail prices of sofubi has been creeping up over the years for sure.
    For one of the rare few times, I actually ran out of cash at this WF that forces me to restrict buying. These days, retail prices of 15,000yen, 20,000yen, 30,000yen are becoming common. Some premium stuff were retailed between 40,000 to 60,000yen at this past WF.
    I guess it is somewhat ok that the makers who are still in this niche hobby making a little more to enrich themselves than to benefit some middlemen if they were to set the retail prices lower.
    Overall, you need a pretty healthy toy budget to make WF worthwhile for you.
    Obviously I am hoping that friendlier retail prices will be the norm rather than the exception.
    I am quite surprised by myself that I actually managed to burst my budget this round. Especially since the makers which older collectors like myself go for are no longer participating in WF for various reasons. So without Gargamel, RxH, Buta, Marmit, Cronic, Toygraph, etc etc I thought there wasn't much I would be buying.
    I guess over time, the hobby rejuvenates itself. Relatively newer makers like MirockToy, Goccodo, Restore, etc etc etc have come to the fore while the older ones like Denboku, Blobpus, CKA, M1Go, KK etc have continued to hold their fort. Overall, nice to see the newer makers filling the void. Although I still hope Gargamel, Buta, and RxH etc will return someday.
    The sofubi buyers have also evolved over time. Several of the known long time sofubi resellers are turning away from sofubi at the fest these days. I thought this is great, and that I finally have a stress free time buying stuff at WFs. I couldn't be more wrong. Competition were as keen as ever with a mixture of old timers, newer local folks and influx of foreign buyers. Of course, there are also a newer generation of resellers who have replaced the familiar ones. Overall, it appears that sofubi buyers have increased which I think is good for the hobby overall but makes it tougher when it comes to getting the more popular releases.
    Finally, I am glad to have picked myself up and attended this WF afterall. I still feel the excitement in collecting at these events and hope to continue to do so for as long as I can.
     
  2. RudeBeast

    RudeBeast Line of Credit

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    Wonderfes 2015 summer
    Nice post and thread, can't wait to see videos and pics (and hoping for the usual, very generous cover Andy offers us via Kaiju Korner).
    Personally I'm very excited to see the latest bag of Denboku mini Tiger Mask figures but looking forward to see more!
     
  3. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    Wonderfes 2015 summer
    That is a fantastic post. I really appreciate hearing some insight from others on how they see the state of the sofubi hobby too. I completely agree I have seen many parallels in what you have mentioned. While the popularity (and market) is experiencing a good deal of growth, it is also changing considerably from what a lot of us are used to. Small as it may still be in terms of otaku culture and collectables, it is still no longer really a niche like it once was. This is both bad and good, depending on your perspective and your focus. For me, prices for most new releases have reached a point of being unaffordable, but I can still really appreciate the incredible quality and detail artists and vinyl toy companies are putting out there. On a personal level, I am sad at the decrease we've seen from standard companies like M1-Go, Marmit, Bearmodel (and the loss of Toygraph), but I can fully appreciate and understand the need to go after the higher end market, both in terms of a business model to continue to operate under growing pressure and decreased availability of vinyl manufacture, as well as competition with all of the growing young, popular companies like you've mentioned. And the aftermarket is ever more difficult to navigate [already today I can see WF stuff posted]. It is a difficult time, but also a great time for the hobby. I am happy to still be an observer, and welcome the chance to attend festivals and the like, but I am also equally glad I can sit back and appreciate what I have been able to collect, and understand that time, and tastes, change. While I would like to see the market come back down to a more stable level, I am glad to see it allows for more independent talent and makers to step up and have a shot at building a fanbase. Ideally I would like to see it come to a fair balance between the two, the high-end 'art' folks can have their amazing HPs and creative kaiju inspirations in a vinyl medium, but where there is also room for some good ol' fashioned toys as well. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and experience.
     
  4. plasticXO

    plasticXO Comment King

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    Wonderfes 2015 summer
    I can share a lot of feelings with maxaltoman as I was lucky to attend the show yesterday.
    This is my second coming to WF and the first time was 6 years ago, so I can't really comment on the evolution of the scene.
    What I can say is that traditionnal Kaiju is going away from the seller shelves and that independent sofubi makers are now dominating the market.

    I was quite disappointed to see only 3 toys for sale on the Bear Model booth for instance. Like he felt compelled to attend the show with something...
    Medicom is the last herald of licensed Kaiju with new items every months, immediately resold in stores with a minimum mark up of 1,5 times the original price. So strange for toys made to order.
    Their exhibition was a treat to the eyes.
    I did not see that many foreigners interested in sofubi items though. And I stayed a few hours.

    You still have to prepare your toy hunt run from the beginning as resellers are not shy to bypass you in front of the booth to buy everything which is written on their cell phones. I guess there can be rude japanese people actually.

    I'm still quite happy with what I've found and I did not reach my budget at the end of the day.
    I was really tempted by the CKA items on preorder, but my budget did not allow it unfortunately.

    I'm just sad my Japanese is not better as sellers were quite happy to share a few words with me, but the language barrier was to important to go far...

    Now I'd like to attend a SF to see the difference and I think Marmit and other brands are still attending this show. Maybe someday.
     
  5. kichigai

    kichigai Removed by request

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    Wonderfes 2015 summer
    What did CKA have for preorder? The black vinyl set? Something new?
     
  6. Anti Social Andy

    Anti Social Andy Die-Cast

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    Meh! Too many manufacturers and 'artists' believing their own hype and douchebags with too much ¥¥¥ looking for internet glory and willing to pay!

    Interest-killing pricetags! :?
     
  7. Michael Beverage

    Michael Beverage Line of Credit

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    I have never understood the "internet glory" part of the equation. We are adults collecting toys, where the glory in that? :lol: Hard to feel any glory when your wife thinks you've lost your mind!
     
  8. Lixx

    Lixx Mr. Grumpy™

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    I'm definitely more of a traditional character guy sticking with the bigger companies, but I never minded independent sofubi manufacturers and their designs till the last few years. The level of quality has dipped and it seems anyone with some lame monster design and money to burn can get their toy out these days. Price tags go up, limited hype goes up, and then they are the market all of a sudden. Ehhh not impressed.
     
  9. JoeMan

    JoeMan Mini Boss

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    Looked like a good one! I think I saw about 10 new toys I wanted. I haven't remembered wanting so much at a Wonderfes in about 8 years. Ahhh, the good ol' sting of so many unobtainable desired toys.

    I think if you know the cost of producing a standard toy, 15000 from an indie guy makes sense. Even up to 20000, if the paint work is intricate. I think 30000 for a one off standard is fair. To me, more than that and you might be starting to get a little greedy, unless it's a very complex paint job.

    I think if your shit is popular, instead of raising prices, make more. If you are raising your prices instead, maybe you don't really believe a real market is there?

    On the other end, there are guys like Restore and Cojica who I feel really underprice, but they do very large runs.

    Oh well, aslong as the factories stay busy, I guess in the end that is all I care about.
     
  10. living dead

    living dead Prototype

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    False! You are a toy crackhead so that is why you need such a HUGE budget and still exceed it. I went to score for a buddy and still fairly enjoyed myself. The line outside BLEW though and the sun was beating down by 9 AM so that sucked too.

    I spent 400 yen on some shaved ice, not too bad :D

    But overall not really my kind of event, but still pretty enjoyable overall. It seems to be more geared to the otaku perverts in my opinion. Did you see the one life size doll that was sitting in a box with her legs spread? Some dudes were feeling her up :? That was crazy.

    Crack is wack. I think we need to hold a board intervention for you :lol:
     
  11. gatchabert

    gatchabert Prototype

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    :lol:
     
  12. Schorsch

    Schorsch Toy Prince

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    Nice discussion !

    Do you have an idea how large a run from Restore (the unpainted neo Japans / the new iron meat) is ?
     
  13. JoeMan

    JoeMan Mini Boss

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    No clue, just speaking on numbers I've seen from past runs and pre-orders.
     
  14. andy

    andy Mini Boss

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    I wasn't at this show, but at past shows in Japan and overseas, Abe-san has typically sold around 10-20 pieces for painted runs of Debris Japan and Neo Japan. My sense is unpainted runs are larger, and pre-orders for painted runs are probably larger too.

    I feel his prices are reasonable for such meticulously crafted and painted figures. The mixed media figures especially (like some of the Debris Japan versions) look like a ton of time went into them.
     

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