Japan’s biggest figure event, Wonder Festival (WonFes), had been on an uncertain hiatus since the escalator accident of WonFes 2008 Summer, but event goers will be elated to know the 2009 Summer event will resume, albeit not at the Big Sight, but at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba.
WonFes 2008 Winter was set to open this February, but the controversy over the refusal of the event’s organizer (Kaiyodo) and the Tokyo Big Sight to accept responsibility for the non-lethal accident which injured 10 people (including some broken limbs) forced the cancellation of the Winter event and has apparently spurred the WonFes to abandon the famed Big Sight in favor of the Messe center.
The announcement came by way of Kaiyodo’s contacting previous dealers from the 2008 Summer event, disclosing information that the 2009 Summer event will take place on July 26th at the Makuhara Messe convention center.
The official WonFes website has yet to update with any news regarding the event’s reopening, but the amount of sources repeating this plus newspaper Mainichi’s reporting the news as fact does point to this as being reliable.
Figure fans have great reason to celebrate the return of the event, which dwarfs other events like WonHobi and Mega Hobby, but undoubtedly many will lament the loss of the Big Sight, long regarded as the premiere location for otaku events such as the Comiket.