So, almost a month has past since the second anniversary post, and Hobby Hovel still hasn’t resumed regular operations. By this time you’re probably driving in the last nails into our coffin, but I beseech you, be not so hasty with thy mallet — for here comes a filler post!

For those of you who don’t know, the fifth Wonder Hobby photo contest invited figure collectors worldwide to submit their photos to have a shot at internet glory (as well as a bunch of nifty prizes). It garnered 1,598 entries, 322 of which belonging to foreign contestants. The winners of the contest were announced at the winter Wonder Festival 2011 over a live webcastAll the participants were given a commemorative Nendoroid display stand, and the top 200 contestants were given photo books featuring their work.  I was fortunate enough to place within the top 200, and I was really excited when I first heard the news. Sadly, I didn’t win any other prizes asides from the photo book and the nendoroid stand, but I gotta say that having this tangible commemoration of my little achievement isn’t shabby at all.

I’ve been meaning to share this thing since way back in April, but after having coerced my friend into de-binding and scanning it for me, I realized that not all scanners are created equal, as the quality from his humble desktop all-in-one left much to be desired. Fast forward six months, and I find myself surrounded by expensive printing and scanning equipment at work — what better way to spend a lunch break?

…But first and foremost, allow me to show you the BEST page in the entire book. Beautiful, ain’t it? I wonder how many people actually followed the URL I placed in the notes.

On the left side we have the winners for the grand prize, gold prize and silver prize. The prizes were a MacBook Air, PS3 + BRS OVA bundle and a Nerf machine gun, respectively…yeah, the silver prize winner kinda got the short end of the stick, which is a shame because I really liked that photo. On the right side we have two special category winners. The top photo is the winner of the Good Smile Company prize,  and the bottom the personal pick of Max Watanabe, the boss-man of Max Factory. That photo was shot by none other than Zai from Plastic Parfait, who received a big box of figures (and a scarf!) for her troubles!


Here’s the pick of Masaki Apsy, as well as the picks from Type-Moon. Who from Type-Moon picked these photos? Beats me!

Of course, being the conductor to the GSC bloc’s recent gravy train, Huke also served as a judge in the contest. However, unlike the Type-Moon judges, he did not exclusively choose photos which feature his characters — and trust me, there is an overwhelming number of BRS figures in this competition. On the right side we have some people who won a figma Max Watanabe (thank you Luth for the correction!).

…And here’s more people who won Max figmas! These are either runner-up picks or the winner of the internet vote. So yeah, if you know Japanese and can read some of these category names, I’d be super-grateful if you could drop me a few clues in the comments (many thanks to Luth for filling me in on many of these categories)! The page on the right shows off the gallery of these top 200 photos at WonFes 13, as well as the winner picked by the attendees.

I won’t go over all the pages one by one, but here are a couple featuring the handiwork of two friends. On the left side you’ll find Miette-chan‘s photo of the GSC 1/8 Misaka Mikoto, while Luth‘s photo of the animation version of Black Rock Shooter is on display on the right.

As you can probably tell by this point, there was a fuckload of nendoroid photos in the top 200, which shouldn’t come as a surprise, as nendoroids are both popular and incredibly photogenic. While I personally prefer scaled figures, the creative possibilities with nendoroids and figmas are simply far greater. And besides, nendoroids are so cute that making funny photos with them is a breeze. Hmmm, maybe I should dust off that Nendoroid Saber Lion and do something with it after all…

Here are the scans of all the pages for your viewing pleasure. If you have better things to do than wait for these images to load one by one, you can download a compressed archive of these scans here. Feel free to spread the love and have this contest be known! …Actually, that would mean there would be more competition next time, wouldn’t it? Okay, scratch that — enjoy these scans as privately as humanly possible. SPEAK NOT A WORD OF IT TO ANYONE.

Jokes aside, I’m not even sure if I’ll have anything to submit for the next contest. I guess I’ll go with one of the shots in the outdoor World is Mine Miku set, but I’m not terribly confident with those. I actually haven’t bought anything new from the GSC bloc in the past year at all. I was supposed to get the Nendoroid Cirino, but then I ran out of money. There was also the figma Michael Jackson, but the five-month delay gave me plenty of time to reconsider. But hey, as long as there’s a participation prize, I’m sure I can figure something out.

Hope to see you in the next contest! =)