2014’s final Wonder Festival may already be over, but the experience me and fellow SGCafe writer Zenko had had was simply unforgettable. We made several minor mistakes at the event, but we treated it as part of an awesome learning experience, and we would like to impart a few of the things we have learned in our very first Wonder Festival.
First, before going there, make sure you wake up early and stock up on things to drink to keep yourself hydrated, especially during the Summer WonFes. You have to wake up early because others have camped out during the night to be the very first ones in line to buy the event-exclusive items. We arrived there two hours before the event and the line to get in was already too long.
You also have to drink lots of fluids, especially that long wait under the sun. And when you get inside, the air conditioner will get you reprieve from the heat for a bit, but the sea of humanity inside will make it hot once everyone is inside. Also, the lines for both the vending machines and the food booths are long, so stocking up on water, juice, or sports drinks would be great.
It would also be very wise to come with somebody to the event. Going at it alone will hold you back, but if you have someone with you, he/she can cover the areas you are missing. So you want to buy the exclusives from Good Smile Company and Medicom? Have your partner line-up at Medicom’s booth while you do GSC. In the case for me and Zenko, we also split the work as she lined up for the booths while I took pictures. Teamwork is necessary and I am very thankful she was there with me inside Makuhari Messe.
Taking pictures of the Wonder Festival figure displays has its own rules to follow. First, and most important is to wait your turn. There are a few displays which seem like a mess when it comes to the people taking pictures, but please be respectful to those who have come before you as it may not seem like it, but there is a first-come, first-serve basis. Some displays also have proper ques, especially in GSC’s booths. Naturally, if you see one, then fall in line until you see the figure.
There are also several figures which are not allowed to be photographed. A staff member is right beside the figure guarding it so be careful. Some of them can be identified easily as their names are written in red. Names written in black are ok red ones are a no go.
You also have to be very fast if you want to take a picture as some of the figures will be taken out of the display area after a few hours.
Wonder Festival’s true stars may be the independent garage kit builders who show up during the event to make a name for themselves. Do not be afraid of them as each person who would visit their booths will make them very happy. They are also very nice people who will not hesitate to accommodate you.
The figures and indies may be the main course, but there are cosplayers during the event as well. There are a few unwritten rules when taking photos of them though, and they must be followed strictly.
Like the figures, you have to wait your turn when taking photos of them. Don’t worry, they will be more than happy to pose for you… Some cosplayers however are so popular that the Que would be worth more than an hour.
There are also cosplayers walking around the event, however, some of them may not pose for a picture as they may be just taking a break and enjoying the event. There is also a rest area for cosplayers, so whatever you do, never ask them for pictures when they are there. There are some cosplayers like Space Dandy who won’t mind though, just be polite and ask.
Finally, bringing kids is OK, however, there is an adult-only area for the event so do be careful not to let them wander off near that area. They have an ID check though, and people over 18 can enter.
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