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WHF Ariake 18 at a glance

I just walked in the door from World Hobby Festival Ariake 18 Final and am now in the midst of processing images for our site coverage of the event. First up is a preliminary overview of some of the exceptional items on display at the Big Sight today, which will be followed shortly by a roundup of news from PVC makers who were there (lagging slightly behind the Tokyo-based blogs due to the four-hour trek home after the event ^^;;). Stay tuned!

Griffon goes nekomimi Kanu at WHF Ariake 18

I thought Griffon’s WHF Ariake 18 lineup was complete with their listing a few days back, but it seems such musings were premature – last night they unveiled a nekomimi-clad Kanu Unchou resin kit from Ikkitousen that will be making its sales debut at the event. The kit is an unpainted/unassembled resin cast kit with a total of 42 parts, 1/7 scale (11.5 cm tall), with a sculpt from Akiyama Akio (previous work includes this Hakufu cold cast from Griffon’s R-Line brand). The kit includes chibi versions of Chouhi Ekitoku and Ryuubi Gentoku, and it seems clear that the skirt part (at least) is removable. Griffon will be bringing 70 copies of the kit to the event, where it will retail for 8,800 yen; no word of mass production as a finished kit has been announced, but this is one we’ll be keeping a sharp eye out with the hope of seeing a cold cast or PVC version announced soon. Image below:

Yamato announces Creators’ Labo Ignis

Figure maker Yamato updated their event page today with a listing for their appearance at World Hobby Festival Ariake 18 Final on May 5th. All of the display items listed there are things we’ve seen before, except for one intriguing addition to the Creators’ Labo lineup – a figure described simply as “Jingai Makyou Ignis”. I thought Orchid Seed’s Ignis the White brought an end to the storied dynasty of Ignis figures last fall, but it seems she’ll be back for at least one final PVC encore. This raises the question of which Ignis kit the listing is referring to; my money is on Cerberus Project (G.O)’s version, given that a) Yamato has featured Cerberus in the Creators’ Labo series in the past, and b) I’m not aware of any other non-PVCified Ignis kits of any quality still at large. We’ll be keeping a close eye out for further news on this kit, and will be sure to document the display prototype fully at the event. (no more)

Griffon PVC announcements, event news

Figure maker Griffon updated last night with several bits of interesting news, including two new PVC figure listings and announcements of what they’ll have for sale and on display at World Hobby Festival Ariake 18. The newly announced PVCs are finished model renditions of two resin kits we’ve covered here in the past: the Harada Takehito interpretations of Demonbane‘s Al Ajif and Fate/stay night’s Saber. Both are scheduled for release in August at 5,775 yen retail (tax included), non-scale (15 cm tall), with Al Ajif’s sculpt from Yoshino Atsushi and Saber’s sculpt from Katou Taichi. Both figures are currently available for preorder on Griffon’s official site, and should be listed elsewhere soon. Event news and images below:

World Hobby Festival to end with Ariake 18

Word is in from the official World Hobby Festival site today via Dengeki Online that the event’s final iteration will occur on May 5th, 2008 with the holding of WHF Ariake 18 at the Tokyo Big Sight. This is bitter and unexpected news for hobby fans, as with its various events held through Japan multiple times each year WHF has for the past several years been an anchor of hobbyist activity between the Wonder Festivals in August and February, as well as for those unable to attend larger events in Tokyo and Osaka. The reason for WHF’s termination is not given, but my first instinct is to speculate that a combination of resources spread over many small events and the competition provided by the recently inaugurated Hobby Complex events has rendered their continuation financially unfeasible. The final three WHF events will be WHF Nagoya 8 on March 30th, WHF Kobe 28 on April 29th, and WHF Ariake 18 on May 5th. Circle applications for the latter two events are still being solicited, and they’re trying to take things out with a bang rather than a whimper; I know where I’ll be on May 5th, that’s for sure. I’ll post again should any further information on the reasons behind the event closure come to light.

Further information on WHF and reports on past events can be found here:

WHF Ariake 17: the best of the rest (garage kits galore)

We wrap up our coverage of World Hobby Festival Ariake 17 today with a look at all the other great stuff that didn’t make it into the earlier posts. Contains a run down of garage kits in the following categories: Anime / Manga, Game, Group, Misc., and Ero (18+). I believe most of the miscellaneous kits are originals, but there are probably a few anime and game ones that I wasn’t able to source; if you can correct me on any of these it would be much appreciated. On to the gallery!

WHF Ariake 17: Hatsune Miku, Gurren Lagann, Lucky Star

In addition to recently popular standards of the garage kit repertoire (Nanoha, Touhou, Rozen Maiden), World Hobby Festival Ariake 17 saw the emergence of some new titles that are currently taking hold of the fan imagination in Japan. Chief among these at the event were virtual idol Vocaloid Hatsune Miku, the cast of Gurren Lagann, and Lucky Star, all of which saw a sharp rise in representation since the last figure event covered by HD. Check out the many offerings below for a look at the cutting edge of what’s heating up the winter ’07 garage kit world!

WHF Ariake 17 at a glance

I just made it back from World Hobby Festival Ariake 17! It’s going to take a little while to get all of the pictures sorted and processed and to suitably gather thoughts for a cogent event report, but for now here’s a sample of what went down at the Big Sight today:

Figure News: off to WHF

World Hobby Festival Ariake 17 takes place today, and I’m doing some last minute list checking before heading out the door to document the event. A few items of interest: REFLECT (Mitsumasa Yoshizawa) has a new original Yamashita Shunya-based kit coming out, Polygonia is putting out a Gurren Lagann Yoko (nice paired with Grimrock‘s Darry), and Kaoru of Klondike (Studio Saru Bunshitsu) has a great new original kit up for release; Vispo had some trouble with his Asuka and it sounds like she won’t make it out until Wonder Festival in February, but hopefully he’ll bring a display model. There are bound to be plenty of surprises in store, so check back in about 12 hours for first impressions and the eventual review! In the mean time, why not take a look at our coverage of WHF Ariake 16? (no more)

Event News: World Hobby Festival Ariake 17 circle list online

Word came in from the World Hobby Festival website over the weekend that the circle list is now online for the upcoming WHF Ariake 17 (list by space, list by kana, hall map). For those unfamiliar with WHF it’s essentially a miniature version of Wonder Festival: an event where garage kit dealers gather to hawk their wares and PVC makers display some of their hot upcoming items. WHF Ariake 17 will take place on Sunday, December 23rd, from 11:00 – 17:30 in East Hall #1 of the Tokyo Big Sight. Despite being just a week before Comiket (argh) I’m going to try to make it down for the day and whip up some sort of event report; if you missed the last one you can check out our look at WHF Ariake 16. More geekdom below:

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