Tomopop Review: Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Seto Kaiba

4:00 PM on 11.29.2012 // Kristina Pino
  @geekerydo

Let the dueling begin!

No Yu-Gi-Oh! figure collection is ever complete without the one and only Seto Kaiba! Following the release of Yami Yugi (reviewed) in the ArtFX J line, Kaiba is out in the wild and ready to fight. It's his turn to shine in the spotlight.

Kaiba is in full action pose with a fierce expression and one of those back-breaking stances I always snicker at the MegaHouse P.O.P. line for. I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just saying you should try and stand with your pelvis dislocated forwards for a few minutes and then you might see what I mean.

Back to our regular programming, though -- check out my full review after the jump!

Figure Name: ArtFX J Seto Kaiba
Figure Maker: Kotobukiya
Original Release: September 2012
Retail: ¥7,800
Available at: HobbyLink Japan | AmiAmi

Kaiba's box is absolutely huge. It got a little smushed in the mail as well, which obviously isn't Kotobukiya's fault.

The main reason why the box is so big is because of Kaiba's flow-y coat. It billows out quite a bit, so he takes up a whole lot of space, which made the tray and box bigger.

Beyond that, it's a nice box with plenty of graphics of Kaiba's confident/sometimes manic expression and a blue motif, which is a contrast to Yami Yugi's box. Even the inside is colored differently: Yugi's is gold and Kaiba's is silver.

Once you get him out in the fresh air, he's got his normal arms on and his hands are poised to slap some cards down. He looks a little bit silly without them, but I kept him like this for the initial turnaround shots. His base is also pretty much the same as Yugi's, so it's easy to create a cool diorama with the two of them facing off against each other. 

Kaiba's coat has this weird bunched up, spiky thing going on at the waist. The figure is definitely an accurate representation of the way the character design looks, but I can't help but wonder how awkward would it be to cosplay Kaiba and try to keep your arms from messing that up, there? Unrelated, I know.

The coat has silver buttons and some Kaiba Corp. emblems, which are all painted very well. As Brian mentioned back when Kaiba went up for pre-order, he's gooped up in glossy paint for some extra shine, which I think looks great. I know some folks aren't fans, though, but rest assured it isn't too much gloss. It just gives the coat enough of a latex-y look to it to make the whole thing look fluid and give the figure more of a sense of motion. 

He's got a necklace on, but it isn't independently molded so you can't pose it or move it around. In a way, this is a good thing -- no risk of breaking or losing it, unlike Yugi's which is on a free chain and can definitely be lost or broken if you aren't careful.

Kaiba's back is actually well-sculpted, and it's no surprise. The way his head is posed, he looks good from all angles, and particularly from behind so you get his eyes. Here, he's got more buttons/studs as well as a spiffy popped collar and some good shading which defines his back.

Kaiba's upper arms and his boots have these blue belts around them. Though these may look it, they aren't actually made out of any sort of bendy or leathery material, which is probably a good thing. We wouldn't want these straps sagging down over time, now would we?

Ah, his hands. Nice and clean, and they hold onto the cards rather well without having to force-wedge them in. The shading is nice and the etching for realism is greatly appreciated (nails, knuckle wrinkles, etc.).

The cards themselves are the same deal as Yugi's - they have the simple back design and the fronts are blank.

Once you do an arm swap, you can plug Kaiba's duel disk into his left arm while his right stays the same. It is pretty much the same accessory that's on Yugi's, the only difference being the angle at which the thing is perched on Kaiba's arm.

Once you've got all his accessories on, the ensemble is very fun. The image is complete - he's ready to wreck some fools.

As mentioned in earlier posts, Kaiba also does come with a freebie. Before getting to his face, I'll just drop this right here. Kaiba Corp. blimp keychain!

Alright, so Kaiba's face. The good and bad thing about Kaiba's face is you can't really see it clearly unless you hold him up over eye-level. It's good because it helps with the mood of the overall look, but I'll always kind of prefer that figures' faces aren't down-turned.

Kaiba has a dangerous look on his face, rather than the sort of permanent open-mouthed over-confident face like the one on the box. That's pretty much the perfect Kaiba reference right there as I remember him character-wise.

So, bottom line? If you're a fan of the character, I definitely recommend the ArtFX J figures. If you haven't watched the show or are indifferent, it's up to you whether this kind of figure really appeals to you. For someone that may not be familiar with the character or anything, Kaiba might seem slightly boring with the simple standing pose and a color scheme that ultimately doesn't stand out (particularly in my collection, which is rather colorful). This isn't a negative against Kotobukiya since, again, it's an honest and accurate representation of the character. Based on dynamism and looks alone, I'd take Yami over Kaiba, though (hypothetically).

But if you are a fan, it's so worth it to have both figures. I'll try and take some more pictures, and some of them together, in the near future as a separate gallery for you guys so you can see what I mean.

Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Tomopop with this review sample! Kaiba is a beautifully crafted figure that pays perfect homage to the original source material and can be appreciated by the right collectors. He's far from sold out, so there's still plenty of time to snag one if you were still on the fence.

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Kristina Pino, Managing Editor
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Kristina Pino is a Cuban-American teacher-like person from Miami. She is happiest when reading or traveling, and writes/vlogs about both often. Read more at GeekeryDo or connect with her on Twitt... more   |   staff directory

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