Cute animals in powered exoskeletons: 6 wondrous items from the 2015 Wonder Festival (Japan)


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The latest edition of Japan’s bi-annual Wonder Festival brought out both male and female cosplayers, plus Sailor Moon figurines, which are well-known stalwarts of any good event celebrating anime and the creative arts. But what about the actual handmade models that put the wonder into the festival?

Amateur hobbyists converge at the event to display and sell unique goods, resulting in an array of never-before-seen models and items that can’t be found anywhere else. From ramen kewpie dolls to seductive vegetables, we’ve got photos of the most imaginative and eye-popping goods you’ll see this season.

Sylvanian Families powered up in exoskeletons

These little guys are a great introduction to the creative, no-holds-barred, mixed influence nature of the show. The cute, furry animal characters won’t put up with any funny business in these outfits.



▼ 2,000 yen (US$16.84) for an exoskeleton set? You won’t find these sets at your local toy store.





Ramen Kewpie Dolls

Incredibly popular in Japan, cherub-faced Kewpie Dolls are always up for a bit of creative cosplay, having appeared in the past as fish roe, balls of algae and all manner of fruit and vegetables. Popping up in a bowl of ramen, however, complete with cascading locks of noodles, is a surprising scenario, even for this character.



Relive memories from long-lost amusement parks

The model kits at the Yukinonz stand might look ordinary, if not a little amateurish, to the untrained eye. Nostalgic hobbyists, however, would see this as a unique chance to breathe life back into old fun parks which have sadly disappeared or fallen into disrepair.

Nara Dreamland once shuttled happy passengers around the park in a shiny, three-carriage monorail. Today, it sits lifeless amongst dilapidated buildings, visited only by curious haikyoists, or urban explorers.



▼ The submarine is another abandoned monument from Nara Dreamland.


Takarazuka Family Land once had a glorious ropeway in operation. Sadly, the ropeway and amusement park no longer exist.



Vegetables with attitude

Otonamiya is a company that uses resin and clay to create an extensive range of goods, including the Kewpie Ramen figures featured above. It’s their remarkable harvest of carrots and radishes that really steals the showm though.






Optimus Prime featuring Original PlayStation

If you’re a fan of the original PlayStation console and have a soft spot for Transformers toys, this is the stuff dreams are made of. Takara Tomy A.R.T.S is set to release this kit on 28 February. Standing at 19 centimetres (7.5 inches) tall and retailing for 10,800 yen (US$90.94), Optimus Prime folds up neatly into a replica original PlayStation console, complete with memory card and controller.



Venus de Milo action figure

The Figma doll series, produced by Max Factory and distributed by Good Smile Company, has done more than just give this famous beauty arms, creating a fully poseable Aphrodite to keep artists and fans of classic sculpture entertained for centuries to come.


There are some great gems to be unearthed at the Wonder Festival. With the next event scheduled to be held at the Makuhari Messe Convention Centre on Sunday 26 July 2015, we’ve still got some time to save up for our upcoming wondrous purchases!

A Closer Look at the Optimus Prime BE@RBRICK


Not too far back we revealed the series of special BE@RBRICKs dropping to coincide with Transformers 4: Age of ExtinctionStanding at 5.8 inches tall, the Optimus Prime model is certainly more than meets the eye, going from bear to Autobot after doing a 180 flip onto its head. Sure the robot head popping out of a precarious spot might make some snicker, but the amount of detail Medicom Toy has managed to pack into the small figurine is unmistakably impressive.

Features include multiple points of articulation on the arms and legs, and finishing touches such as an embossed Autobot and BE@RBRICK logo on the back near the switch that completes the sequence. The BE@RBRICK is currently available for order at select retailers including Robot Kingdom alongside the other Transformers BE@RBRICKs in the series, Bumblebee, Starscream and Megatron.

For more Closer Looks, check out the rest of the series here.


Transformers x Medicom Toy (Japan) Bearbrick Collection


Image of Transformers x Medicom Toy Bearbrick Collection
Medicom Toy has released official imagery for its upcoming Transformers collection of Bearbricks after an initial look surfaced over the weekend. Celebrating the impending release of Transformers: Age of Extinction, the collection sees the likes of Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumble Bee, and Star Scream each available separately in 145mm-tall Bearbrick form.
Retailing for ¥4,800 JPY (approximately $47 USD) each, the Transformers Bearbricks can be pre-ordered now online ahead of the film’s release this Friday, June 27.
Check out this link:
Image of Transformers x Medicom Toy Bearbrick Collection
Image of Transformers x Medicom Toy Bearbrick Collection
Image of Transformers x Medicom Toy Bearbrick Collection

Medicom Toy (Japan) Transformers Bearbrick Collection

Image of Transformers Medicom Toy Bearbrick Collection

Certainly no stranger to one another, Medicom Toy’s Bearbrick division has teamed with theTransformers franchise for yet another special collection of bear-styled figures ahead of the film’s June 27 premiere. Although they may appear as your average Bearbrick in a Transformers cloak, Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumble Bee and Star Scream all open up to morph into the character they resemble. Quite the switch up from what we have come to expect from this line.
For more on its release, check out the Amiami blog.
Check out this link:
Image of Transformers Medicom Toy Bearbrick Collection



You can now hitch a ride from Optimus Prime with Uber


Image of You Can Now Hitch a Ride From Optimus Prime with Uber

In a prime example of cross-promotion advertising done proper, ridesharing service Uber has teamed with the Transformers franchise to make a childhood dream a reality. During the weeks prior to the film’s official premiere on June 27, Uber will have an Optimus Prime-custom Western Star semi ready to be hailed as your chariot. Requesting a ride is made easy by simply choosing the “AUTOBOTS” option within the mobile app, then selecting “ROLL OUT” to get picked up for a short, yet sweet 15-minute ride.

Unfortunately however, this service will only be available between the times of 1 pm and 7 pm in Dallas on June 16, Phoenix on June 19 and Los Angeles on June 21.


Check out this link:

You can now hitch a ride from Optimus Prime with Uber


TRANSFORM! … With these cool shape-shifting Transformers pens!


Pen top

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Okay, so the type of pen that you use in your daily routine may not be the most important detail in your life. But when you have a fun and attractive pen to write with, it helps to make your day just a little bit brighter, doesn’t it? In that spirit, we’ve already introduced you to a line of lovely Sailor Moon pens in one of our past articles, but this time, we’ve found some pens that may be a delight for those of you more into the robot/mecha genre. They’re Transformers pens, and yes, they actually change shapes — so Transformers fans, get ready to “transform and roll out” the letters!

The intricately designed pens, made by toy and figure manufacturer Sentinel Co., Ltd., come in three variations — Optimus Prime (or “Convoy”, as he’s known in Japan), Nemesis Prime (or “Black Convoy” in Japan) and a special edition Ultra Magnus.

As you can see, the pens are created in amazing detail to make the transformation from robot into pen possible, and in their robot forms, the figures have fully movable joints, which allows them to carry their blaster weapons in various positions.

Not surprisingly, the creator of this pen is a passionate fan himself, as he explains by writing in the Sentinel blog:


I love Transformers, and I wanted to work with the concept of having something you can carry around with you that you really like and be able to ‘show it off’, in a way, to people around you. I wanted it to be something practical, and that’s how I came up with the idea of a pen. I also didn’t want to compromise on the form and mobility of the robot; we had to make it look cool, too. In the end, I think we were able to create a product the Sentinel as a company can be proud of. We made sure the pen wasn’t too big, so that it would be easy to write with. It’s a quality pen, and we hope you give it a try!


The pens are 10.5cm (approx 4 in.) tall in robot form and 14.3cm (5 and 1/2 in.) long as a pen, and all three types are priced at 4,298 yen (US$42). The Optimus Prime pen will come out in September, while the other two pens will be released in October, and apparently, they’ve already started taking pre-orders for the Optimus Prime pen at several online shops. Unfortunately, the pens seem to be sold in Japan only, but we think you’ll still agree that they look pretty darn amazing.


Check out this link:

TRANSFORM! … With these cool shape-shifting Transformers pens!

▼Here are some pictures of the Optimus Prime pen, in both the robot and pen form, looking quite regal in the bright trademark Optimus colors.
pen Optimus 1

pen Optimus 2

pen Optimus 3

pen Optimus 4

pen Optimus 5

pen Optimus 6

pen Optimus 7


▼This is the Nemesis Prime pen, the dark coloring giving it a sinister yet cool look.
pen Nemesis 1

pen Nemesis 2

pen Nemesis 3

pen Nemesis 4

pen Nemesis 5

pen Nemesis 6

▼And this is the special edition Ultra Magnus pen, available only through the Hobby Link Japan online shop.

Collectors will definitely want to check this out!
pen Ultra 1

pen Ultra 2

pen Ultra 3

pen Ultra 4

pen Ultra 5

pen Ultra 6




Gingerbread Optimus Prime: Sugar in Disguise


Check out this amazing gingerbread Optimus Prime, made by Redditor downvotedagain.

autobot gingerbread 620x754

We don’t know much about this amazing holiday treat. Not even if this girl is the one who made it. None of that matters. All that matters is that this is a thing. A really awesome thing I would like to admire and then eat. The detail is really nice and he looks like he could hold his own in an all out gingerbread robot fight. Oh yeah. I break me off a piece of that robot and serve it up with a nice cold glass of milk. It would probably take a month to eat this thing.

Check out this link:

Gingerbread Optimus Prime: Sugar in Disguise


Man in China builds a 3-Story Optimus Prime to propose to girlfriend

transformers proposal 620x744

Most guys just get flowers, maybe some chocolates, get down on one knee, and pop the question. On the other hand, building a giant Transformers replica tops everything else that you can do. One man in China did just that.

Outdoing all other men, he constructed this 26-foot-tall model of Optimus Prime. It took him about 10 months to build it, all in the hopes that his girlfriend would say “yes.” This machine took 400 drawings, 40,000 rivets and nearly $10,000 worth of stainless steel and iron. There’s no way she could say no after this right?

Well, the news story doesn’t say what her answer was, but I’m guessing the answer was yes based on this image. This is how you get the girl and a cool statue at the same time.

She must be some catch for a guy to go through all this trouble. More than meets the eye.

Check out this link:

Man in China builds a 3-Story Optimus Prime to propose to girlfriend