Perhaps I’m a little bit spoiled in that I expect virtually every nerd event to involve toys. So while Seoul’s monthly anime cons were like a cosplay miracle, the fact that none of these cons had toy or figure vendors sort of put me in a panic. Where are my toys? How can you deprive a nerd of their toys? Thankfully the Seoul Kidult Fair helped to assuage my fears that I would leave Korea without an opportunity to fangasm over some sweet figures.
The Kidult Fair is an annual toy and hobby expo, hosted in a convention hall within the Coex megamall. It’s a combo of toy vendors, industry innovators promoting their products (i.e. 3d printers), contests, and toy and art exhibits, along with a massive gaming space. For someone like me, it was an endless heart-attack risk. I ran amok with the hyperness of a child, scouring through bins of discounted anime figures and marveling at the display of BJD dolls.
One of the more notable sights was the exhibit of felt sculptures and papercrafts. At the end of the exhibit there was an area to buy your own papercrafts, along with a workspace where you could assemble your purchases–with the aid of staff members if need be. Well aware that I lack goth the patience and precision for that, I was happy just admiring the pieces and identifying my favorite video game and anime characters.
The highlight of the expo for me was the Good Smile booth. Considering the line I had to wait on just to stare at the figures I wish I could afford, clearly I was not alone in that sentiment. Few things are as smile-inducing as a tiny, adorable nendoroid.
One unexpected and ultra kawaii surprise at the expo was the build-your-own mini waffle booth. For $5 you’re handed a tiny clay waffle, “whipped cream,” and a bowl full of tiny handmade clay fruits to decorate it. At the end they package your creation in a little keepsake box.
Besides being a fun experience for adults and kids alike, the Kidult Fair is a wonderful showcase for independent creators and artisans. With some artists creating new works at the event itself, there was an exciting and creative energy in the air.
For toy and pop culture fans and hobbyists alike, I can’t recommend this event enough. Not to mention, all the energy, visuals, and hands on activities–crafts, boardgames, video games–would make for a fun date destination. See more pictures below and let me know what you think