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Man, the host has such a velvety voice. This was an awesome look at a show that I never seem to get to.

Great piece!

It's just amazing the variety of figures being made.

I wonder what will happen to figures when 3D printers inevtiably become more popular. For example, Desktop Factory is $5,000 so the cost barrier will soon drop...

It was something like a less malevolent version of OTAKU NO VIDEO. Nowdays only some otaku choose coluntarily to hide their faces; sixteen years ago Gainax mosaiced all of them by policy, as if to suggest their very visages were obscene.

I guess the shots of the preggo figures didn't make the cut, huh?

Most impressive...

I have questions. For having 40,000 people cram into the hall, it didn't look all that crowded. Was it just the space created by having the camera crew and press pass, or was it more there were key booths that got the piled on Otaku attention and it was fairly smooth sailing if you didn't get near those booths? Or just once you got past the line of doom the hall itself was so huge it became easy to move around...

Honestly, it looked a lot more laid back (except for the opening rush) than I expected. I've had pictures in my mind of Otaku jammed buttpack to belly, a long continious human serpent slowly winding its way past each booth...

You should be ashamed, sir, to not have grabbed a Dessler sofubi to wave at Mr. Peppler!

The extra part into the making/background really made this piece. Great work.

I'm interested in the legality of all of this. Is it legal to profit from fan created versions of anime characters, or is it simply ignored? It seems that because the market is so large in Japan it probably isn't just ignored.

Don't take this as 100% fact, I've never seen anyone write about the process (Matt? Sounds like a job for you for the magazine!), but what I know, it's something like this.

The license holders allow this, but it's controlled. You're only allowed to produce so much, and you have to get a special licensing sticker. It *seems* to be something they do in co-operation with the festival because there appears to be 'class' or some other level of stickers, like 'A' 'B' 'C' that may be keyed to blocks of copyright holders...or something.

I don't think there's any actual approval process. I don't know if the seller pays a blanket fee (as part of the table cost?) or pays a per-piece fee, or if the fee is generated as part of the selling price.

Of course one has to understand that Japan is different from the US. I don't think the 'entitlement' mentality (I can do this because I WANT to and screw anyone who says I can't!) is in effect over there, I think on the whole people who wish to create something out of love for a show/character wish to do so within the rules.

You know, it would be a facinating article to follow the process. From "I want to make this and I think people might buy it" to the sculpting, the mold making, the production, signing up for Wonfest, setting up the table, and sales day...yeah, I'd want to read that.

I think there have been some contentions in the past of fansub anime, but I can't remember any particulars. I am interested to know if it is a cultural difference or a legal one.

Not being a garage-kit maker myself I've never investigated the process in detail, but Steve's pretty spot on as far as I know. When Wonder Festival first started out decades ago, people sold stuff without asking permission. But times have changed and now dealers need to obtain a proper one-day copyright clearance from the license holder for the things they sell. (There's an established system for getting that permission now, and I suspect that the powers that be won't even let a dealer through the door without having the paperwork.)

I also hear some properties are harder to get permission for than others. This is why you see tons of SF3D and Yamato merchandise, but very little Gundam stuff.

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