Last weekend the ‘Next Generation World Hobby Fair’ was on at the convention center near our house, so I felt compelled to run over and see what all the fuss was about. Boy was I glad that I did. The ‘fair’ was more like a major trade show packed to the brim with games and promotions by Bandai, Sony Playstation, Nintendo, Takara, Tomy, and a host of others.
The crowds were unbelievable. Living here in Japan for over 14 years I thought I had accumulated some experience with large crowds, but this group was way above and beyond any other crowd I’ve ever seen.
It took quite a while just to walk to the end of the line. The line snaked back and forth all over the walkways outside the building, across a bridge, into the other convention center building, into an event hall, then back and forth too many times to mention, back up another set of stairs,and out onto the street.
And the line never stopped moving. It took me over 90 minutes in line before I even got close to the show venue. On the other hand, admission was free, so I shouldn’t complain too much.
Inside the noise, the flashing lights, the huge character displays, and the like were almost overwhelming. There was a huge dinosaur (see video), game cards and characters everywhere, and so much energy that I had the impression I was at a rock concert. You can probably get a small taste of it from the video below.