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We recently made the trip out to Chiba Prefecture for the winter 2015 iteration of Wonder Festival, where we could have spent all day admiring the awesome anime, video game, and movie cosplay going on. But as eye-catching as the outfits were, Wonder Festival is actually an event for showcasing new figures and models, and taking a look around the booths taught us something about the anime industry.

Trends may come and go, but Sailor Moon is here to stay. More than two decades after the phenomenally successful magical girl series made its anime debut, modelers are still making new figures based on its characters, and they’ve only gotten better in the twenty-plus years they’ve had to practice.

The second arc of Sailor Moon Crystal is currently streaming on Nico Nico Douga, and the first part of the reboot is set to finally start airing on TV. Even public broadcaster NHK is getting in on the Sailor Moon action, as it’s contracted for the rights to show reruns of the original 1992 anime.

Accompanying this media blitz has been the most intense Sailor Moon merchandise release schedule since the mid-1990s. As such, there’s a whole new wave of Sailor Moon figures coming both from major toy industry players like Bandai as well as independently produced kits from individual modelers. The Sailor Senshi were out in force at Wonder Festival, so let’s dive right into the best of what we saw.

Starting off with Sailor Moon’s biggest patron, Bandai was displaying this posable Super Sailor Moon from its S.H. Figuarts line.

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The hair may look like Sailor Venus, but the face-obscuring glasses let you know you should call her Sailor V.

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Something look a little off on this Sailor Moon figure? That’s because it’s actually the villainous Zoisite, disguised as the Fake Sailor Moon from the original series’ 33rd episode.

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▼ The rest of the cast in their S.H. Figuarts renditions

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If you’d like your figures a bit more compact and cuter, not to mention cheaper at just 1,620 yen (US $13.75) each, there’s the Tamashi Buddies line of SD Sailor Senshi.

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On the opposite end of the spectrum, these lengthy limbs and glossy colors could only come from the character designs of Sailor Moon Crystal, which hew closer to creator Naoko Takeuchi’s original manga artwork.

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▼ Somehow, the sheen on the unpainted plastic makes Sailor Mars look even leggier than she usually does.

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With a rebuttal, here’s Mega House’s Petit Chara line, which is so plump it’s hard to tell if the characters have knees.

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▼ Unless they’re bending them, of course.

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As Sailor Moon Crystal moves into its Black Moon story arc, it makes sense for new figures of the Specter Sisters to show up.

▼ Can someone this cute really be one of the bad guys?

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▼ SD Sailor Senshi posing with daintily decorated cookies? Sure, why not?

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While the majority of the figures were of the cast clothed in their combat attire, this 1/10-scale Usagi does a great job of showing off the pleats in the skirt of her school uniform.

▼ And also the character’s slender midriff

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Being classmates, Ami wears the same uniform, but is ladylike enough to keep her bellybutton covered.

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▼ As is Rei

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Mixed in with all of the plastic-molded offerings were these plush versions of Sailor Moon and Chibi Moon from manufacturer Sekiguchi.

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But Wonder Festival isn’t just for big companies. Individual modelers also show off their wares, which often give up nothing in quality compared to those which are shipped to major retailers. As an added bonus, individual modelers have a bit more freedom in straying from the original character designs, and the way they add their own special touches can make their figures a treat for collectors who already have a full team of by-the-book Sailor Senshi models.

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Eldora Model did a fantastic job recreating Sailor Moon’s regalia.

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Searching for their niche also sometimes means the individual modelers will recreate characters’ alternate costumes, such as this stunning Sailor Jupiter from Usa P House wearing her stage musical outfit.

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But perhaps the most impressive work of all came from Ryunryuntei.

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Based on Sailor Moon’s Sailor Moon Crystal design, the recreation of her intricately flowing hair is uncanny, and a closer look reveals the modeler didn’t scrimp on attention to the smaller details, either.

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This figure is a real showstopper, even if the past 20-plus years have taught us there’s no stopping Sailor Moon.

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Photos: RocketNews24
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