Sunday, April 23, 2017

SUPER FESTIVAL 74! The Toys Are Back in Town!

April 23 saw Super Festival 74 stomp into the Science Museum in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. As someone who has now attended this event for several years, I don't really have that much else to say about it. It was fun, but the show never seems to change that much.

Of course, many toys, models, DVDs, and various other kinds of memorabilia were offered for sale. If you look hard enough, some real bargains could be found. But I'm not much of a collector, and I certainly never touch any toys or models. Just not my bag, and I don't want to be encumbered by it all.

Ultraman Powered swoops into action! Photo by Brett Homenick.

Ultraman Powered (a.k.a. Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero) was featured at Super Festival, due to the recent release of the series on Blu-ray in Japan. Toshio Miike was on hand to talk about the series and sign autographs. 

Takeshi Sasaki (a.k.a. Kamen Rider 2) finishes his interview session at Super Festival. Photo by Brett Homenick.

The headlining guest at Super Festival was Takeshi Sasaki, the man who replaced Hiroshi Fujioka on the original Kamen Rider (1971-73) series and then teamed up with him when Fujioka recovered from his on-set injury. The autograph line for Sasaki was quite long (as to to expected), which goes to show how popular Kamen Rider remains in Japan.

 Producer Toshinori Nishida promotes LEDX at Super Festival. Photo by Brett Homenick.

While wandering around the halls, I spotted producer Toshinori Nishida, whose independent kaiju film LEDX was recently released. I met Nishida-san in March during a screening of LEDX, and we've been in touch ever since. It was certainly great to see him again.

Hey, look, it's that total performer himself, Pee-wee Herman! I remember when this doll was being sold in toy stores across America, and it was pretty funny to see it randomly for sale today. I hope no birds were around to interfere with this high-wire act this time.

Yours truly with Yuji Kaida. 

I also ran into artist Yuji Kaida again, whom I last saw in late February. He and his wife, Aya, were selling various merchandise. The Kaidas are always wonderful to see.

Ultraman Jack suit actor Eiichi Kikuchi. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

It just wouldn't be Super Festival without Eiichi Kikuchi, the Return of Ultraman (1971-72) suit actor who makes just about every show and was helping promote LEDX.

Those are about all the highlights. I'm sure the hardcore toy collectors could tell you all about what figures were on sale, who manufactured them, what kind of paint was used, etc., but I can offer no such details. I'm a fish out of water at toy shows like this, and I only come to meet guests and see friends.

Still, it's always cool to take photos of interesting figures and models, but that's all I need to take with me. You can keep the rest!

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