Kotobukiya is always a must-see destination at Comic Con, and this year’s showing was particularly impressive. With a strong focus on their DC and Marvel properties, the company’s upcoming offerings were both as stunning as always, and also some exciting and innovative new flourishes which up the fun factor of their products.
The DC ARTFX+ line will feature Red Hood, who received extremely positive response as soon as he was announced, as well as Red Robin, effectively rounding out the Bat family. This will segue into the DC villains line, and the sculpt for Lex Luthor made its debut at the show.
The Arkham Knight Series is another cool ARTFX+ line, and features a first for Koto– a modular base system that can be reconfigured into different variations. This is, in effect, their version of Lego building systems, and the holes in the walls were designed to accommodate other figure stands, such as Figma or Bandai’s clear display stands, making these bases the perfect diorama for the Arkham Knight statues, and countless other figures, as well. This lineup will feature Batman and Arkham Knight, and Kotobukiya is looking to expand this base concept into Marvel in the future.
The Super Powers ARTFX+ series is launching next month with Superman, based on the classic Kenner line. These are static statues, but sculpted with the cuts of the original toys’ articulated joints. Wonder Woman, Hawkman and Aquaman are on the horizon for the future of this line.
For the DC Bishoujo Collection, Zatanna is coming next month, with Raven and Black Canary to be released this Fall. Harley Quinn version 2 was announced at Comic Con, based off her New 52 costume.
The Flash will be the next character in the ARTFX Collection. Jim Lee sketched the design in front of a live audience, then it was sculpted by the same team who made Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.
Kotobukiya’s Marvel showing was equally impressive. The Wasp Bishoujo is coming this Fall, and the sculpt for Lady Deadpool made her debut. This statue will include an interchageable head and hand, so she can be displayed masked or unmasked, and either giving a gesture with her thumb up, or holding her mask. Koto also announced Spider-Gwen as the next Marvel Bishoujo release, coming in 2016.
The ARTFX+ X-Men is almost ready to launch. Just like the Avengers ARTFX+ line, Adi Granov did the concept art, and Junosuke Abe did the sculpts, so these pieces will flow very nicely with the Avengers line. The X-Men line will begin with Cyclops, then Emma Frost, Magneto, Magik, Rogue, Beast and finally, Wolverine.
Marvel’s Fine Art line has Rogue coming this Fall, and Comic Con was the official debut of the Black Panther. The Age of Ultron Hulk vs Hulkbuster ARTFX statues have proven to be very popular, and they will be joined by a large scale statue of Iron-Man in his final armor from this summer’s Avengers movie.
On the Star Wars front, Kotobukiya debuted the fully painted AT-AT Trooper, who will include pieces to do three distinct poses. The Snowtrooper two-pack has enough pieces to offer a total of four poses. Kotobukiya is not sure if their license would allow Arkham Knight style display bases in the Star Wars ARTFX+ collection, but I think this could be a very exciting display option, if it can work out.
September 4th will be the big day, when Koto will finally reveal their collection based on The Force Awakens.
There was also some cool video game inspired products making their debut at Comic Con. The Street Fighter Bishoujo line is adding Poison, with a full paint master on display. She will include switchable parts to hold handcuffs at the end of her fingers. After Poison, Ibuki will be the next fighter to get the Bishoujo treatment.
Another innovative concept in Koto’s current offering is the Halo ARTFX+ line, which features articulation in the upper half of the statues– including a ball joint neck, arms, and wrists– and interchangeable armor that fits on the Spartan base buck. These will be sold in multiple formats, such as separate base bodies and armor packs, a complete set of a figure with armor, and a two-pack of two figures with two sets of armor. The future of this collection will also support Halo 5: Guardians in the future.
Rounding out Kotobukiya’s latest showcase were the first Aliens ARTFX+ statue, based on Big Chap from Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi horror classic. This piece will be followed by more aliens in the future, with a focus on the creatures themselves and not the humans they fight. Another surprise was the reveal of Tali’Zorah from Mass Effect 3. It’s been a while since the last Mass Effect Bishoiujo release (female Shephard), but it’s great to see Tali finally seeing release. Due to her design, Tali is not too far into the Bishoujo look, so will fit in both a Bishoujo collection, or a less stylized, more general Mass Effect display.
There’s a lot to look forward to in the coming months from Kotobukiya. I find their unique take on the big super heroes to be among the most unique and visually dynamic on the market… they have certainly found a niche even in this world of mass appeal comic book heroes and villains. I’m intrigued to see how the new concepts such as the modular bases and articulated statues work for the company, and I think there is potential in these ideas that push the envelope in terms of maximizing display options for their amazing looking products.