Kōzan nihonjin o tsukurimasu!
Ah yes, everyone one loves Japanese imports.
It could be your ramen noodles, your anime (and yes your hentai too – we don’t judge) or if you are like me, your collectibles.
Unless you have been under a rock or hidden in your “Man-Cave” for the last couple years, you would have noticed the proliferation of the Kotobukiya brand in the market.
For those not in the know, Kotobukiya is a Japanese company that started out making dolls and in time branched out into model kits. Due to the fine detailing of their sculpts and the general high quality of their offerings, they were able to score licenses for many of the biggest properties in the business, including though not limited to Marvel, DC, Star Wars and innumerable anime and manga properties.
Kotobukiya has a series of product lines catering for its clients across the economic spectrum. One of my favourite lines (and by that I mean within my budget) are the ArtFX, ArtFX+ and Bishoujo lines.
The Middle Class Collectors Guide to Kotobukiya
For purposes of your edification, all you need to know is that
ArtFX is a slightly more expensive (though not the most expensive of Kotobukiya’s offerings) that are typically in 1/6 scale (North of 30cm in most cases). They are non-resin and can be made of PVC or ABS. They are never made of polystone. These statues may include some electronic and/or interchangeable parts and usually involve some minor assembly.
ArtFX+ is the more entry level offering and is almost exclusively in the 1/10 scale (between 16 – 19 cm for the most part). These are made of PVC and usually have interchangeable parts requiring some assembly. These figures usually come packaged with a magnetic base and magnets embedded in the feet negating the need for a peg hole.
The Bishoujo line is a separate line by itself and as the translation of the name suggests depicts various characters as “beautiful girls” often in a sultry/ come-hither pose. These figures are cast in the 1/7 scale (between 20 – 25 cm depending on the figure).
With the rand/ dollar rate being what it is, I have unfortunately had to scale back a lot and am looking almost exclusively at the Kotobukiya ArtFX+ line to get my collectible statue fix. In the weeks to come I will look at some of the older figures released which are for the most part still available in stores.
However, next year looks to be an exciting year for collectors and patrons of the brand as I recently took a gander at their upcoming figures between now and May 2017.
All I Need In My Life
My Koto – wish list (in no particular order I swear) includes:
- DC UNIVERSE HARLEY QUINN ARTFX+ STATUE
After a few different versions of Harley in the Bishoujo line (and in her New 52 Costume no less) this new release will showcase Harley in her classic costume which is my favourite version of the character. Sexy, dangerous and oh-so crazy, I imagine that this figure will slot in nicely with any Batman collection.
Due in May 2017
2. STAR WARS YODA & R2-D2 DAGOBAH TWO PACK ARTFX+
Two of my favourite trolls in popular culture – R2D2 is the sassy astromech droid and Master Yoda is the original “G” who gave us all timeless classics like “Do, or don’t do – there is no try.”
Preview images show both character sculpts to boast a phenomenal amount of fine detail which is noteworthy considering the smaller size of these statues.
Apparently there will also be an included a translucent “Jedi – spirit” version of Yoda included – that’s basically three statues. Shweeet!
Due: November 2016
3. DC COMICS BATMAN ANIMATED ARTFX+ STATUE
1992 was the year many of us started our lifelong love for the Dark Knight as a result of the Batman Animated Series.
Now at last we have what looks to be a decent entry level statue depicting batman in this form. This statue is said to include a myriad of interchangeable parts to help you bring the character to life. I hope that this is only the first in a series of statues showcasing the animated universe version of the characters.
Due November 2016
4. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ARTFX+ STATUE
Okay so the fact that there are three different movie universes showcasing Spider-man is testament to the enduring nature of the character. This statue will showcase Spidey in is classic blue and red costume with black webbing design and spider emblem on his chest in a pose worthy of a “Spider-Man”.
Although early reports reflect that the statue will be a little on the smaller side (The Kotobukiya site lists it at 8.5 cm tall), this looks to be a nice entry level statue and I am still pretty glad to have gotten my pre-order in.
This statue is the first in the new series being released by Kotobukiya as previously seen before with the New 52 Justice League, The Marvel Now! Avengers and the Marvel Now! X-Men lines.
Due: December 2016
5. MARVEL ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN ARTFX+ STATUE
This is the second statue in the new line which showcases the current Marvel Ultimate Universe version of Spider-man Miles Morales.
I like the choice of pose which depicts Ultimate Spider-Man in a low crouch with his left hand extended to sling a web and his right arm back for balance.
This statue is pegged to be roughly 10.5 cm.
Due: March 2017
6. MARVEL NOW! SPIDER-GWEN ARTFX+ STATUE
By now my bias towards Spider-Man would have become obvious as the next entry on my list is this rendition of Spider Gwen is going to be around 8.5 – 9cm tall.
I think it’s interesting how much of fan appreciation this relatively new character has garnered. While I haven’t been completely swept away by her to warrant dropping my Madiba – print-moolas on some of the other Spider-Gwen merchandise out there I would be keen to grab this one.
Due: April 2017
7. DC COMICS BATMAN & ROBIN TWO-PACK ARTFX+ STATUE
I know what you are thinking , “Jeez!!! Another Batman with a “yes batman let him cavort around in trunks and pixie boots” version of Robin?”
Ah but you see, this isn’t just any Batman with a “please insert your own disparaging comment about the classic Robin costume here” ArtFX+statue.
It is an ArtFX+Batman and Robin based on the works of Frank Miller and Jim Lee in the All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder comic series replicating Jim Lee’s work on the cover to issue #9 of that series.
I doubt anyone needs any more convincing than that.
Batman is due to be roughly 15.5 cm and Robin will be 9.5 cm tall.
Due: March 2017
8. GORRILLA GRODD ARTFX+ STATUE
One of the Flash’s greatest and most enduring villains, this new 52 inspired version fo the character is going to be a mammoth (or more accurately “ape”) of a statue.
Even in the 1/10 scale this figure still pegged to be roughly 25.5 cm.
I’m not the biggest Grodd fan ever, but this looks to be a lekker display piece and I wouldn’t mind splashing out on it.
Due: May 2017
9. DC UNIVERSE WONDER WOMAN SUPERPOWERS ARTFX+ STATUE
This particular sub-category in the ArtFX+ catalog is a bit of a hit or miss.
Based on the look and style of the classic “Super Powers 5-point articulation action figures”, this statue is a blast from the past that is designed to look like the action figure line it is based on, only as a statue.
With all the attention focused on Wonder Woman generally next year with the movie coming out, it can’t hurt to have a classic version of the character in your collection.
Then there’s also that whole thing how I can’t pass up on a classic so it’s pretty much a no-brainer what I’m going to be doing.
This statue will be roughly 19cm tall.
Due: February 2017
I am trying desperately not to unleash my inner Indian car salesman tendencies here. So for full details on each of these statues as well as comprehensive photo galleries, don’t hesitate to go check out the manufacturer’s website at https://www.kotous.com/
This list is not intended to be a closed list of all the upcoming releases. In fact there are several other statues due in this line including Sinestro, Aquaman, Bizarro, Hawkman and Captain Cold.
I’m not too much of a fan in respect of those characters myself but the preview images of these look awesome as is expected of Kotobukiya. Who knows – maybe Kotobukiya will make me a collector of those too…
What are you waiting for?
In the meanwhile, be sure to get your pre-orders in for these (and other) statues.
Local Suppliers offering these statues (including payment plans) include:
Cosmic Comics who can be reached at:
email@example.com or www.cosmiccomics.co.za
Project Mayhem who can be reached at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or www.projectmayhem.co.za
Tell them Zaid sent you and that you are interested in their payment plan option (we know you are broke; it’s okay don’t be ashamed).
Be sure to share your wish list in the comments below.
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