I woke up a couple of hours late than I had initially planned this morning and arrived at 9:15am at Tokyo Big Sight to attend the 23rd World Characters Convention (WCC). Although the convention is not as popular as the major ones like WonderFest and CharaHobby, there were still quite a large number of people (guesstimate about 500 people) lined up in front of me by the time I got there and joined the line to enter the convention. The long line was for those who wanted to purchase the 23rd WCC exclusives while others who just wanted to get into the convention joined a separate and much shorter line. About half an hour after I joined the line, another (guesstimate) 200 people had joined the line and more kept coming as the official opening time of the convention at 10:30am drew near. When the line started moving several minutes after opening time, groups of people who already got into the convention and bought the exclusives were seen running out of the convention and got back in line again to purchase extras of the exclusive items, most probably for scalping purposes. All exclusive items are limited to one per person, but they do not prevent anybody from rejoining the line again to purchase extras. All exclusives were sold out roughly around noon time.
There were only a handful of toy companies showcasing their upcoming releases at the convention including Bandai, Takara Tomy, Medicom Toy, Marmit, Vice, Fewture Models/Art Storm, and several small companies. The convention hall was mostly filled with dealers selling their old stocks, collections, vintage kits and toys, import toys, Gundam kits and toys (heavily discounted from 30-70% off), and TONS of soft vinyl toys of Ultraman, Godzilla, and kaijyu monsters. Check out the 23rd WCC dealers map. The convention was basically a big flea market rather than a gathering of toy companies showing their latest and upcoming products as is usually the case with WonderFest and CharaHobby.
Several interesting events and guest appearances at the 23rd WCC include autograph and photography sessions with Fujimiya Miki (I honestly have no idea who she is. An actress from the classic Godzilla films perhaps? Please contact me if anybody knows who she is), interviews with Den Ace and Crusher Kazuyoshi, introduction and promotion of the upcoming Silver Kamen movie, and autograph sessions with Kenneth Duria (he played as Mr.J/Crocodile Orphenoch in the Kamen Rider 555 show), and two Kamen Rider suit actors (I only know one of them played as Kamen Rider Imperer in the Kamen Rider Ryuki show). If only I had bought a Mega House Art Works Monsters Crocodile Orphenoch figure and brought it over for Kenneth Duria to sign, I wouldn't mind paying 2,000 yen for the signature, but unfortunately I don't have the toy.
I finished checking out the convention at around 1pm and planned to head back home early until I noticed several familiar faces at the convention. They were none other than Matt Alt and Roger from ToyBoxDX, and Nekrodave (CollectionDX writer)! I also had the pleasure of meeting Matt Alt's friend, Asahino-san, who works for Wave as a sculptor/designer/manager (I'm sorry I forgot which one!). It was fun hanging out with those guys, had lunch together, and checked out all the interesting stuff on sale at the convention. Looking forward to meeting them again, hopefully in the very near future! If you guys are reading this, come on over and visit the office and I'll prepare some freebies for you guys!
Click here for 250 gallery pics of my 23rd WCC coverage!