I'm always happy to see nice original character designs, though it's arguable how original this Freesia design is. She's the third in a similar series of designs for Kotobukiya's Tony Heroines Collection after Daisy and Annab...
Ever since Kotobukiya announced that it would be creating a series of ArtFX+ figures inspired by (or in tribute to) the DC Super Powers Collection I've been sitting on the edge of my seat (figuratively speaking, because I would fall off after a while). At NY Toy Fair 2015, Kotobukiya unveiled the line... and it's a total curveball!
This is a line of statues which don't look like statues. They look plastic (and not in that ratchet kind of way) thanks to a surprisingly flat paint tone and simplistic sculpt (as well as the cloth capes). The figures feature lines to give the illusion of joints so, at a glance, you'd think they were normal toys. In some cases, those marks represent limbs you could swap out with an interchangeable joint (as seen with Superman's "power punch" arm in the case).
The initial line-up is all heroes: Superman, Flash, Green Lantern (with lantern accessory!), Batman, Robin, Hawkman, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman (they release in that order, starting this August). It's worth noting that these were the eight superheroes who appeared in wave 1 of Kenner's toy line and, if it's successful, I wonder if Kotobukiya will follow up with the villains from the wave.
The coolest part, however, is the apparent US$30 MSRP which makes them cheaper than the usual ArtFX+ figure (maybe they ARE made of plastic?). Pre-orders are already open for Superman. I can't wait to get my hands on some of these.
It's only been a few days since she was teased, but now Bishoujo Sakura has been revealed in all her sailor-suited glory. And you know what? I think she looks pretty darn great. Sure, there's the contentious face which is common to the line, but I think it's pretty mild here. Mostly they've rubbed off some of her cheeky tomboy edge for a more mature feminine look, which can go either way depending on your preference, but it's a very mild makeover. The pose is perfect too, radiating girlish energy and get-up-and-go attitude.
I've never bought a Bishoujo before but I think I'm in on this, since Sakura was the first Street Fighter character I ever played and remains a favourite to this day. What about you fellow fight fans, are you sold?
Sakura's illustration previously appeared in the Kotobukiya catalog and depicts the character in a fairly typical Shoryuken-style rising uppercut (her version of the attack is called the Shoudoken). While this is generally a good pose, we won't know how the figure turned out without seeing the face. I'm guessing that the full figure will be officially unveiled to the public come this weekend at Toy Fair.
Kotobukiya isn't only about their Shunya Yamashita-designed Bishoujo series figures, in case you've forgotten. They also make, well, bishoujo figures... in the traditional sense.
Kristina was able to get a load of photos from...
While Kotobukiya's Bishoujo Raven and Lady Deadpool may have just been illustrations on cards, our intrepid reporter in Japan managed to capture some additional photos of the upcoming Bishoujos on display.
These photos include images of the newly unveiled Wasp alongside She-Hulk, Zatanna, Anna Williams, and Nina Williams. Unfortunately, the display seems to be set up in a way that you can't get a lot of other angles of Wasp. I was somewhat interested in how she held up as a whole. On the plus side, this one again reaffirms that She-Hulk looks great.
After showing an unpainted preview last month, Kotobukiya showed off the final painted version of its statue of the ArtFX J Grell Sutcliff Grim Reaper from Black Butler. Besides a smile and being "covered in red", Grell ...
It's unfortunate, but Durarara!! has been a long neglected series deserving of figures. Sure, there have been a few scale figures (of the same three characters) and a bunch of trading figures, but there's been no real variety...
You don't have to wait for Toy Fair to have all of your biggest Bishoujo questions answered. Kotobukiya has unveiled the full artworks for its Raven and Lady Deadpool at Winter WonFes (Mass Effect 3's Tali appeared as a silhouette). Also on display were painted prototypes for Wasp and the previously revealed She-Hulk.
The full artwork for Raven looks incredible. Almost too good to be true. As if the finished thing won't be anywhere near on par with the sketch. Although one can always hope, right?
For those wondering how Kotobukiya was going to manage a gratuitous ass-shot of a caped character, Raven's cape is clearly to the side so her full ass is exposed. Congratulations, Shunya, you truly do think of everything...
On the plus side, the completed Marvel Bishoujo Wasp still looks really good so I won't give up hope that Raven will translate well. While I look forward to seeing additional images, I'm going to say that Wasp may be among the nicest Bishoujos we've seen thus far. The full illustration that we saw last year neglected to display what the figure would be standing on and, to my surprise, it looks like the character is skipping on water. It's a very cool effect. Kudos, Kotobukiya.
The Lady Deadpool illustration shows that, alas, she will NOT be accompanied by Squirrelpool (although *maybe* they'll add into the base later?). I'm not overly impressed by this artwork, though.
Finally, the display included a no-photo fully painted prototype for the Street Fighter Bishoujo Sakura.
Well, this is something I didn't expect whatsoever. Kotobukiya has had its weird concepts for its popular Bishoujo line. Sure, there's the oddball, at least to me, of Freddy and Jason, not to mention the MiB Agent. The latest...
Fans will recall the roughly 4-inch line consisted of DC's superheroes, supervillains, and a few characters who were made up just to sell toys (I'm looking at you, Golden Pharaoh!). Each figure featured an action gimmick: by squeezing their legs, it would trigger things like arm flailing (if my balls were being scrunched, I imagine my arms would flail as well).
Kotobukiya humorously introduced the line of statues as follows:
"Return to the classic era of action figures with the DC Comics SUPER POWERS COLLECTION, a vintage-inspired line of ARTFX+ statues from Kotobukiya! With features such as 'Power Action' stances, multiple points of non-articulation and real cloth capes it will feel like the 80’s all over again! Remember…only you can decide the battle of good vs. evil!"
Personally, I can't wait to see the series... even if I'm not expecting much from "Power Action" stances. (Prove me wrong, Kotobukiya, prove me wrong.) The inclusion of cloth elements should help to really set the line apart both from Kotobukiya's usual offerings as well as comparable collectibles from other companies.
Will Kotobukiya release an ArtFX+ Darkseid? And will he feature light-piping? Only time will tell.
Kotobukiya has posted a teaser for its upcoming Marvel Bishoujo Wasp along with caption, "We need a name! It should be something colorful and dramatic, like... the Avengers!"
True believers (and Kotobukiya fans) will recall that the Bishoujo Wasp's artwork was unveiled last year (following a teaser). While there's no guarantee that Wasp will turn out awesome, I have some hopes for when the figure is fully unveiled in the near future.