One of my favorite stops every Toy Fair is Kotobukiya. The Japanese toymakers are one of the best in the business when it comes to sculpting and design, and seeing their latest pieces on display is always a sight to behold. This year saw the continuation of some popular lines like the Bishoujo collection and DC Art FX+, as well as great new series like The Avengers Art FX+.
The Marvel, DC, video game and movie Bishoujo Collections are all getting some great new pieces in 2014. DC will see the release of the Armored Wonder Woman in May, Starfire in October, and Black Canary later in the year. For Marvel, Spider-Woman will hit stores in June, followed by Jubilee later this Fall. Street Fighter will include Chun Li in late February, Cammy in August and Juri as the third release. Tekken will continue with Jun Kazama in March and the popular Nina Williams later this year.
Rounding out Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo plans are a creative pair of ladies inspired by slashers Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, set for release in late 2014. Rather than release the horror icons as standard Art FX+ statues, Kotobukiya decided to have some fun and ask master illustrator Shunya Yamashita to re-imagine the creatures as Bishoujo. The resulting character designs looked great, and these two will make an interesting addition to the Bishoujo Collection.
Kotobukiya showed an early look at their Halo 4 Master Chief Art FX statue, as well as new robots from Metal Gear, including Ray and Rex. For Star Wars, new Art FX+ releases will focus on the heroes of the Oriignal Trilogy, with Han Solo and Chewbacca set for release in November, followed by Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.
The DC Art FX+ series is going strong, with Supergirl ready to ship in just a few weeks, to be followed by Nightwing in April, then Batgirl and Green Arrow. More pieces are planned for the lineup, with a focus on the Batman family of characters. A great looking Art FX+ Arkham City Batman was on display, which will feature swappable hands with a batarang of grapple gun. This piece will be followed by a similarly scaled Arkham Origins statue.
For Marvel fans, the Fine Art Statues are continuing, with the upcoming releases of X-Force Psylocke in April, Juggernaut in August and Brown Suit Wolverine to follow later. Toy Fair was the first public appearance of all six members of Kotobukiya’s truly remarkable Avengers Art FX+ collection, which kicks off next month with The Hulk. Each figure looked fantastic, and much like the Justice League, the same sculptor created this entire set of heroes, giving them a perfectly uniform look. I cannot wait for this series, which will see release throughout 2014 as follows:
- Hulk – March
- Black Widow – May
- Captain America – August
- Hawkeye – September
- Thor – October
- Iron-Man – December
Marvel Art FX+ will continue past The Avengers, as well, with future releases to include Deadpool and two movie style characters from Guardians of the Galaxy.
It’s a true testament to Kotobukiya’s talents that I can never tell which pieces in their display are production samples and which are prototypes, because their final products look that incredible. Their technical skills are amazing, and it’s great to see them expanding their horizons, trying new things with their great properties. With fun character choices for long running lines like Bishoujo, and promising new series such as The Avengers Art FX+, there is a lot to look forward to this year from Kotobukiya.