Our World Hobby Festival Ariake 17 coverage continues with a look at what the official industry presence had to offer at the event, as well as what I took away from it personally. Includes what may be an HD exclusive look at the original resin cast of Orchid Seed’s Tsuzuki Shiori, with hopes that it bodes well for the PVC! Needless to say, this post is not safe for work.
As our report of the previous iteration of WHF Ariake explains, the event catalog is necessary to gain admittance to the venue (cheap at 1,000 yen), and if you want to take pictures you need to register your camera and pick up a sticker/badge. Prior to picking up the badge I roamed around a bit in search of loot, my first stop being Hikouki Dake wa Kanben na, who didn’t show up, and my second stop being Vispo, who didn’t show up either. It’s some consolation in Vispo’s case that he spent the day sculpting his new Yoko kit instead.
Next I swung around to circle Cherry Blossom, who was being swarmed by one of the longest queues in the hall for their Konata and Kagami figures. I decided to stop back again later, as I was aiming for the Toria original Nanbu Tsukasa kit and guessed from past experience that it likely wouldn’t sell out. As I wandered away from Cherry Blossom I came upon what for me was the amazing surprise of the event: a phenomenal Queen’s Blade Menace kit by circle Komotsu-Tei. A painted sample wasn’t available at the event but the lines of the sculpt were extraordinary and the price was right, so I snapped it up… pictures of the prototype coming in the next post.
The third kit I picked up was the resin version of Orchid Seed’s Witchblade Tsuzuki Shiori. I picked her up despite the announcement of her PVC conversion primarily because I was curious about her castoffability, and didn’t want to risk missing the chance to pick up a castoffable version of the kit if the PVC turns out not to be. As the pictures above reveal, the original sculpt is very deliberately detailed beneath her bikini top, and while of course we don’t know what Orchid will do in the PVC version the potential for something really nice is definitely there. :3
A trend I’ve been noticing at figure events recently is that the most popular circles are less able to produce kits for sale at these events because their production schedules are full with PVCs. The ballooning of the PVC market means that a lot of circles are being co-opted into the industry relatively quickly, thus starving the resin market of some of its most talented artists; whether this will ultimately have any real impact on the resin scene is unknown, but there are only so many A-rank sculptors out there. A case in point from this event is Tandem Twin, who was unable to produce a new kit for the even because he was busy sculpting the prototype for his new Doubutsu Nee-chan PVC coming from Yamato, as seen below:
The only real news here that hasn’t been reported yet are the three new items on showcase from Yamato: their Air Gear Ringo, Yuria Hyaku-shiki Yuria, and Doubutsu Nee-chan Inu B. All three were on display here for the first time, with price and release details undisclosed. We’ll be keeping an eye out for further word on all of these from Yamato.