SUPER FESTIVAL 51
A Look at the International Model and Toy Show Held in Tokyo on January 10, 2010
Author: Ed Godziszewski
Official Site: Super Festival
In years past, it used to be a big deal to attend toy shows such as Super Festival— each show yielded not only its share of exclusive items, but they were a expeditious way to accomplish a good deal of shopping all in one place. Rather than spending time and train fare scurrying about Tokyo, Super Festival offered one-stop shopping where you could find not only most every current item, but also a nice selection of vintage (and sometimes otherwise unheard of) items.
Due to a change in my business trip schedule, it had been almost 6 years since the last time I attended Super Festival, so attending this most recent incarnation this past January 10 impressed upon me just how much times have changed.
Still held in the Science Center adjacent to the Imperial Palace, Super Festival was the prototypical Japanese shopping experience… wall-to-wall people crammed into tiny spaces, crawling over each other to see and buy the items of their desires. It was not for the faint or claustrophobic of heart. But time, the absolute glut of product available, internet auctions, and online stores have transformed the Super Festival experience. Instead of waiting in line for 20 minutes to get in, now a mere 5 minute wait was all it took. The number of dealers present was down by around 25%, and there was elbow room to spare. Business was still brisk, especially for those companies offering event exclusives, but the previous crush of humanity was no more to be seen.
To draw people in, Super Festival now offers special guests and displays— this particular show featured an appearance by former Toho special effects director Koichi Kawakita, hawking staff jackets and his two latest books. Kawakita spoke together with KAMEN RIDER (Kamen Raidaa a.k.a. MASKED RIDER, 1971) star Hiroshi Fujioka about their work on the film ZERO FIGHTER (Ozora no Samurai, 1976), which was also conveniently available for sale.
On display in the same room was a collection of props from P Productions television shows, including original costume masks from SPECTREMAN (Supekutoruman, 1971), LION MARU (Raionmaru, 1972), and DENJIN ZABOGA (1974). Rounding out the special guests were Hollywood effects artist Chris Walas (GREMLINS, THE FLY) and everyone’s favorite Toho star, Akira Takrada, both who were on hand to sign autographs.
So what new and interesting items were available?
Well, if you are a fan of the newest Ultraman or SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO films, you were probably a bit disappointed to see nothing new of note for sale on these films. However, Toho monster fans could see prototypes of Marmit’s two upcoming impressive large vinyl figures of Destoroyah (final version) and Burning Godzilla with translucent eyes and skin/fins (both from the 1995 film GODZILLA VS DESTOROYAH). Marmit also had 4 new Godzilla-themed jigsaw puzzles for sale.
Also on display was Biliken’s newest figure, the 1955 type Godzilla (from GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN), although only a glow in the dark version was available for sale at this time.
As usual, toy maker deluxe M-1 was on hand with a table full of show exclusive color variations of previously released Godzilla figures, as well as a selection of their vast line of standard vinyl figures.
Super Festival merely marks the kick off to this year’s collecting events. Winter Wonder Festival 2010, one of the main events of the year which is scheduled for Sunday February 7, waits in the wings.
Be sure to check out Ed’s previous report on Wonder Festival: