Friday, March 16, 2007

S.I.C. Imagination Works - Day 1 - 16 March 2007

First day of the S.I.C Imagination Works exhibition opened to the public today ... and I woke up 4 hours later than I had initially planned. :-( I was supposed to take the first train down at 5 am but I didn't wake up until 8 am, even though I had an alarm clock set to wake me up at 4:30 am and the alarm on my mobile phone set to ring at every 15 minutes starting 4 am. Guess it's time I get a better alarm clock (or two!) that can actually wake me up in the morning!

Arrived at LaForet shopping mall in Harajuku and headed straight up to the 5th floor (LaForet Museum is located on the 6th floor but one can only enter through the stairs on the 5th floor) at 11 am, which is the opening time of the exhibition, and initially I thought most of the people would have entered the museum by then and the line wouldn't be too long. Unfortunately, that was not the case as I approach the entrance, there are easily over 500 people in lines of two waiting to get into the museum. The line started from the entrance as seen here on the 5th floor, winding down the stairs all the way to the B1 floor then winding up again to the 1st floor! A guy who lined up in front of me asked one of the exhibition staff when did the first group of people started lining up for the event, and the staff replied they were there since yesterday evening!

When I got to the end of the line, I was on the 1st floor that led down to the B1 floor, which the line then connects to the opposite stairs leading up to the museum entrance. The line behind me probably reached the 3rd floor or higher. It was 11:10 am when I joined the line and didn't manage to get into the museum until two hours later! Thankfully, I brought my Nintendo DS with me and played Super Robot Wars W to pass the time. I'd be bored to death without it!

Upon entering the museum, I had to join another line that led to the register to purchase the exclusives, and that took me an hour waiting in line and only managed to purchase one Hibiki, two pamphlets, and two SIC V-neck shirts. They limit customers' purchase of the Hibiki and Ryuga exclusives to one piece per person. Ryuga, SIC plate, and neck strap quantities allocated for sale on day 1 were all sold out just as I got into the museum. They allocated a certain amount per item for sale on each of the six days (16-21 March) and it seems like those three are the most popular, or that they didn't make enough of them. Customers are allowed to buy the exclusives again as long as they line up again to enter the museum and buy a new entrance ticket (600 yen) to get the purchase form. Of course, there were plenty of people who lined up again and again to buy up as many of the exclusive figures as they could carry. I actually saw a 70+ year-old grandma with a stack of over 20 bags filled with exclusives sitting near the museum exit! I regret that I didn't manage to take a pic of her with all those stuff. Truly unbelievable sight! I assume she was asked to help carry all those stuff by her son/grandson who kept reentering the museum to purchase more of the exclusives while she guards the stuff.

As with all exhibitions, no photography is allowed inside the museum so I couldn't take any pics. Here's a glimpse of how it looks like inside the museum. It was open to industry and press people yesterday and GA Graphics was there to provide a brief coverage of the event.

Even though there were only a handful of Takeya's and Ando's original S.I.C. diorama sculptures on display, the ones on showcase were truly a sight to behold! I had to pick up my jaw from the ground each time I look at the sculptures. There are no words I could think of that could best describe just how bloody detailed and life-like those sculptures are. When I first saw Gattaider in the official S.I.C. diorama story, I thought it was around the same size as the normal S.I.C. figures, but when I saw the real thing in person, man, I couldn't believe just how big it was! It stood around 15" tall and nearly three times larger than the normal S.I.C. figures! I'd buy that in a heartbeat if Bandai decides to produce a mass market version!

All the S.I.C. figures, trading figures, and exclusives ever produced were on display, along with the upcoming Blade Jack Form & Leangle, and Kikaider 01 & Double Machine. Kikaider 01 & Double Machine on display were unpainted prototypes and they look excellent from what I've seen. The set will come with a statue that Kikaider 01 broke away from as seen in the diorama story and trading figure. Can't wait to see how the final painted version will look like!

Overall, it was a fascinating exhibition and could have been perfect if only Takeya and Ando were there. I was expecting them to be there for some talks and a signing event but unfortunately, there are no public appearances planned for both of them for the exhibition. They should seriously consider opening a special museum dedicated to showcasing their masterpieces all year round and continually adding more pieces to the museum. I'd certainly go there at least once a month!

No comments: