Kotobukiya ArtFX Star Wars figures

Discussion in 'Collecting' started by WitchKing73, Feb 7, 2004.

Moderators: CrazyMike, LAJ_FETT
  1. WitchKing73 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 1
    This post has been started for what I believe to be some of the sweetest character figures ever produced. Of course I'm talking about the Japanese produced Kotobukiya/ArtFX models! They're definitely right up there with the Marmit figures in quality, and I dare say much better looking than the benign design of those WAY overpriced Frenchy Attakus statues. Sacre bleu! Though, I've always wondered why these Kotos are referred to as "models"? All one has to do is snap a few limbs together and ya don't even have to paint 'em, so I don't know where calling these figures "models" got started. I tend to think of them as statues or even works of art considering their price(ouch!), size, and superb detailing. What do you call them? Hopefully this post will become a place where fans and collectors with much, much more knowledge than myself can post information in a wide range of all things SW Koto related.

    To get the ball rolling here I'll make a few comments in general and on the two figures I've acquired (so far); Darth Vader and Darth Maul. Let me start off by saying no picture can do these characters justice. From the military sheen on Vader's helmet & boots to the amazing detail on Maul's eyeballs--these guys are nothing short of jaw-dropping. Even the terrific Unleashed figures have to tip their collective helmets in admiration to these guys. Usually an afterthought on other figures, the pegged platforms they stand on is very pleasing to the eye. Specifically, it's cool how the designers left the plastic slots under Vader's feet clear (unlike the yellow color in some pictures). I display this bad-boy on top of a sturdy lampshade, put a red/orange lightbulb in the lamp, turn it on, and voila! You got yourself a menacing pose straight outta Bespin. I get tons of positive comments on him, even from the ladies, wink wink. Vader was a little more difficult to snap together than Maul, but shouldn't be that much of a problem considering these figures are aimed at the older fans. Another thing that's great about Maul is that his limbs turn easily, thus allowing a higher degree of posability. (Totally just made that word up)

    Picking up these two villains was a no-brainer, but some of the other characters have led me to pause a little bit. Like, why do the Japanese designers insist on an "almost anime" design on some of the figure's faces? It seems like all of the caucasians have small eyes and big noses. Well, maybe on the Stormtrooper figure it's suppose to be Mark Hamill's face BEFORE his early 80's car accident. Watch the road, buddy.

    Please share any of your Koto information, release schedules, advice, stories, problems, haves & wants, etc. That's why this post's been started; to cut our own slice out of the Star Wars figure pie. (Uh, that sounded better in my head) Unleashed has their own post, so why not Kotobukiya?

    Have at it . . . .
  2. DanakinSkywalker Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2003
    star 4
    I wish I could get all of these, they all look fantastic. Right now I'm just aiming for the Anakin one. At a convention I could've sworn I saw some decent prices for them, hopefully at the next one I go to someone will have them. Do you have any pics of yours? I'd like to see the Vader especially.
  3. DaDarth Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 4
    I have the Vader and I just love it. The best Vader I have ever seen!
  4. CrazyMike JC Collecting Manager and RSA Canada

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2000
    star 7
  5. Jedi_Riibu Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2001
    star 4
    I remember when these came out in Japan.. around the time of Episode 2. I scored an Obi-Wan off eBay for $50. I think the $99 price on the US releases is a bit high. In Japan they were ??99, which is less than $99, and prices are typically lower in the US anyways.

    Ah well, all I need is my Obi-Wan. And it certainly is the best Ep2 Obi-Wan available.
  6. WitchKing73 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 1
    For those wanting additional information on Kotobukiya figures, I found the following helpful link full of good info and pictures;

    [link=http://forums.thebothanspy.com/showthread.php?s=5bcea11a8d9964fce7935c788fe50311]Kotobuykia[/link]



  7. JED1 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 1998
    star 4
    I have both Vader and the Clone Trooper and agree that these figures are just awesome. They have pride of place in my collection. I hope that one day Boba Fett is made as I think he would be fantastic. It appears from reading this and similar threads that the Koto figures are harder to find in the US than here in the UK, is this an accurate belief?
  8. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    I've got Jango and he is great. Like Jed1, I would buy Boba if they did him. I have seen the other ones at Forbidden Planet in London and they all look fine. I do like the Attakus statues as well though, and I have Jango on pre-order at the moment. I like the Boba statue as well, but every time I have seen it offered the price has been near or over $1000 US - way too expensive.
  9. WitchKing73 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 1
    It's true, fans in the U.S. are actually playing catch-up to the rest of the world when it comes to these figures. Some Kotos have been available for over two years in Japan, Australia, the U.K., and even in Canada. (Who says Americans are spoiled and get everything first?!? Though, it's true that our country has become litigious and fat. Let's all sue McDonalds!)

    Up until now, the biggest prohibitory issue in collecting Kotos has been the mad expense of the import shipping costs due to the rather large, bulky boxes they come in. I've even seen this price up around the $35-40 range. (Yuck!) If you lack the patience in the Force like ESB Luke and me, then it pays to search around and find a good collectable store who imports asian-themed figures in bulk and can then pass the savings onto you.

    This was the only way to get Kotos stateside until recently (excluding ebay) when the marketing wizards finally caught on and made a deal with the Japanese company Koto, Inc. (Now if we could only get an American distributor for the movie, "Battle Royale" . . . . Uh, sorry, I digress.) The official Star Wars site informs us that [link=http://www.darkhorse.com/search/search.php]DarkHorse[/link] is now the official distributor for Kotobukiya ArtFX figures in the U.S. The first (and arguably most infamous) Koto was just released this past winter and was appropriately none other than Darth Vader. According to the Darkhorse website, this is the release schedule and SRP for the other figures here in the states. One caveat; this company, as has been seen with their comics, is notorious for not making their advertised release dates. Hence, I give you the obligatory "dates are subject to change" waiver.

    Kotobukiya Darth Vader Pre-painted Soft Vinyl Model Kit 12-17-03 $99.99
    Kotobukiya Jango Fett Pre-painted Soft Vinyl Model Kit 03-10-04 $94.99
    Kotobukiya Clone Trooper Pre-painted Soft Vinyl Model Kit 03-10-04 $94.99
    Kotobukiya Obi-Wan Kenobi Pre-painted Soft Vinyl Model Kit 04-14-04 $94.99
    Kotobukiya Stormtrooper Pre-Painted Soft Vinyl Model Kit 04-14-04 $99.99
    Kotobukiya Yoda & Mace Windu Pre-Painted Soft Vinyl Model Kit 04-14-04 $99.99
    Kotobukiya Anakin Skywalker Pre-Painted Soft Vinyl Model Kit 05-12-04 $94.99
    Kotobukiya Darth Maul Pre-Painted Soft Vinyl Model Kit 05-12-04 $99.99

    Definitely shop around, though. If previous economic history is any indicator, once the supply starts to outweigh the demand, prices will probably drop about $30 from the suggested retail price. (Hence those convention prices you've heard rumors about.) So in that regard, Yoda reveals great wisdom with his whole patience mantra. I musta skipped class that day.



  10. WitchKing73 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 1

    For additional information on Kotobukiya ArtRX figures, I found the following link full of good info and pictures;


    [link=http://forums.thebothanspy.com/showthread.php?s=de287e9e59bc582676a6afb69a1bdf04&threadid=3493]here[/link]



  11. Meriwyn Former RSA

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2002
    star 4
    These figures are incredible. I have Obi-Wan and Darth Maul. There are rumors that they are going to do more OT characters. I hope this is true :)
  12. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    For those in the US, [link=http://www.entertainmentearth.com/hitlist.asp?searchfield=kotobukiya&x=17&y=7]EntertainmentEarth[/link] carries these.
  13. LuukeStarkiller Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2003
    star 1
    Little help here please. Did anyone else have trouble assembling their Darth Vader? The only piece I have left is the head, and I'm having a hard time snapping that little bugger into place. Any suggestions? If not, I guess I'll just have to hit the gym and build up these guns. :D
  14. WitchKing73 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 1
    To Luuke Starkiller,

    As with the rest of the Jedi order, it seems Vader is giving you problems too. Specifically, his evil melon. I didn't have a tough time with mine, but I have heard of other collectors struggle with this tight fit. I've read about two options you might try.

    1) First try lubing the knob (sorry, couldn't resist) at the base of the head with soap. Maybe that will help when attempting to snap the helmet in place.

    2) Secondly, some owners have even used a file to shave down bits of plastic off for a better fit. I'd be careful with this option as it is obviously permament.

    Hope that points you in the right direction and thanks for visiting this post.


  15. WitchKing73 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 1
    For further information and additional pictures visit this website

    [link=http://forums.thebothanspy.com/showthread.php?s=de287e9e59bc582676a6afb69a1bdf04&threadid=3493]here[/link]



  16. WitchKing73 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 1
    SirSteveGuide.com has posted a preview picture of the forthcoming Boba Fett Kotobukiya figure.

    You can see it [link=http://sirstevesguide.com/news/?m=show&opt=enlarge&id=30202]here.[/link]

  17. WitchKing73 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 1
    theforce.net and sirsteveguide.com have posted images of the new Kotobukiya Han Solo that will be available in Japan this fall. You can check out some rather crappy photos of our favorite smuggler [link=http://sirstevesguide.com/news/?m=show&id=30368]here.[/link] Look for better ones later.

    On another note, I picked up the Mace & Yoda duo the other day and a couple of things surprised me about this kit:

    THE BAD; Mace's head was the toughest so far to snap on. Actually had to file it down this time. Also, both lightsabers had to be groomed to fit into their respected handles.

    THE GOOD; The figures look even better in person than any picture I've seen so far. The detail on these figures still amazes me. Mace's clothes are much dirtier and Yoda's skin is darker than I expected. Very nice paint job! Also, I believe Mace Windu has the longest lightsaber blade seen so far. (But then again, we all knew that already: )

    Look in "ebay stores" for a sweet deal from Texas on the pair--you will not be disappointed.

    Oh, and in case you didn't know, the figures can be split-up as the rocky base comes in two seperate pieces. Late.


  18. WitchKing73 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 1
    We were stuck all the way back on page 5. That just won't do!

    So. . . . What do people think of the Ham Salad, er, Han Solo Koto statue? And what's up with that black box thingy he's resting his foot on? Is he back to smuggling cartons of Death Sticks again? I remember from the P.S.A.'s around twenty-five years ago that R2D2 actually use to smoke . . . .

    As I stated a few months ago, I still have my beef about the Japanese artisans inability to properly sculpt the whitemans' face, but judging by the crooked nose, it is a closer resemblance to Ford than the Obi figure is to McGregor or the stormtrooper Luke is to Hamill's increasingly ugly pug. (Sorry dudes, but after recently seeing him in person again, it appears Mark's face has decided once and for all to collapse on itself.)

    Long gone are the glory days of the "Corvette" summers . . . .
  19. WitchKing73 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 1
    Sir Steve's Guide comes through again with a new "Koto" photo of ESB Yoda. There's some brief, accompanying info also.
    Maybe we'll get lucky and see it over here stateside sometime this winter.

    [link=http://www.sirstevesguide.com/news/?m=show&id=30551]Yoda Kotobukiya[/link]


  20. -The_Chosen_One- Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2004
    star 4
    Can someone tell me how tall these figures are? I've heard 13'...

    I've seen the Mace, Vader, Maul, Clone, Jango, and Obi-Wan, and the Vader looked awesome, even at the steep price of $150. I might buy the Vader, but I think I'll wait 'till Boba comes out because he looks amazing as well.
  21. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    I am waiting for Boba as well. The only other one I have is Jango and he is still boxed as I have no place to put him right now. I would say 13-14 inches sounds about right for him. I've seen most of the others in Forbidden Planet and they look like they are around the same height.
  22. Darth-Kevin-Thomas Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2002
    star 5
    i want these. Maul looks fantastic as does clone trooper and vader. I would aim for those ones. That is a lot of money for a starving college student.

    one day........perhaps.



    dkt
  23. WitchKing73 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 1
    Here's some new pixs of Koto Chewie and Yoda;

    Chewie
    http://www.hlj.com/scripts/hljpage.cgi?KBYSW-13

    Yoda
    http://www.hlj.com/scripts/hljpage.cgi?KBYSW-14





  24. Meriwyn Former RSA

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2002
    star 4
    Is it just me, or is Chewie kind of...underwhelming?

    I like the action poses of the earlier ones. These latest ones seem kinda dull. Maybe it's just me, but the Han was kinda boring. They're all beautiful figures but the "motion" ones like Maul, Obi-Wan, Anakin and Jango were so unique, kind of like Unleashed on steroids...LOL
  25. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    I'm still waiting to find Boba here in the UK. I thought he was due out here in Sep/Oct but none of my regular sites has him in stock yet.
Moderators: CrazyMike, LAJ_FETT