Wonder Festival Summer 2013 Report Part 2: Garage Kits

Pierce the heavens and rewrite destiny, just don't break any laws in the process! 

Pierce the heavens and rewrite destiny, just don't break any laws in the process! 

While Wonder Festival may be open to the public, don’t let that trick you into a false sense of security. Some garage kits are hyper-exclusive, blink and you’ll miss ‘em, one day and one day only-level rare!

Original characters are just as popular as licensed characters.


This is partially for practical reasons--the volatile solvents in the resin cast actually melt the silicone rubber mold after a few dozen pressings, so garage kits are not suited for mass production--but more than that, print runs are kept small to skirt legal problems.

An unlicensed sculpt is a bootleg, regardless of how much love the maker pours into the final product. During the early days of Wonder Festival, toy companies turned a blind eye to the small band of hobbyists, but as the figure market grew throughout the 80’s, the pressure mounted for amateurs to go legit.

General Products, then-leader of the Wonder Festival planning committee, hit upon a brilliant compromise--a one-day limited license system. It's exactly what it sounds like. Dealers pay a fee to the IP holder for single-event vendor rights. The downside being that the dealer is stuck with any leftover stock at the end of the day, which creates more incentive to create fewer quantities. But at least they can operate openly without fear of being sued.

Under this policy, sculptors are happy, rights holders are happy, everyone’s happy. Except for the poor sap who missed out on the item they had set their eyes on! Better luck at the next Wonder Festival--its only a six month wait, tops.