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Tomopop Review: Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Vash the Stampede

4:00 PM on 01.17.2013 // Tianxiao Ma

Made of love and peace

I hope you all know what Trigun is. See, in the mid 1990s, there was very little anime in the U.S. The internet wasn't exactly crawling with fansubs yet. A company called Pioneer brought to the U.S. a memorable series about a klutzy (or is he?) gunslinger named Vash the Stampede. It started out all lighthearted and funny. Then, it got serious. Then, it got awesome. Then, a legion of Trigun fans were born, me being one of them.

In 2011, Trigun got a film installation: Badlands Rumble. It was a pretty crappy movie, I thought, but some good did come from it. Kotobukiya decided to go be awesome and make a figure of Vash, sporting his signature upside-down revolver and red coat. It came out last week, so I decided to give it a thorough review.

Figure Name: ArtFX J Vash the Stampede
Figure Maker: Kotobukiya
Retail Price: ¥9,500
Available At: HobbyLink Japan | J-List | ToysLogic | Plamoya | Entertainment Earth | Big Bad Toy Store

The box pretty much shows everything you'll be getting:

What you might not be able to see very well is how Vash is wrapped like a mummy in plastic. Kotobukiya went all-out wrapping the figure and all the various accessories, even the paper insert with instructions.

I tore through the packaging quickly enough and attached Vash to the base. It's a weird arrangement - the base has four metal pegs that connect to the feet. The problem is that the pegs aren't stuck to the base. They can be pushed right through the holes, so it's a bit annoying to attach and detach the base from the figure.

With the base attached, I have to say, Vash looks pretty cool.

The level of detail on this figure is bordering on astonishing. Kotobukiya has a great sculpt here, capturing the absurd amount of straps, buckles, and torn up fabric featured in Yasuhiro Nightow's character design. The coat is made of soft plastic, so you don't have to worry about anything breaking off.

One thing I found odd was Vash's face. It looks weird without the glasses. I thought it was pretty dudebro-ish, like the kind of guy who would be named "Slater" and plays Call of Duty between rounds of beer pong at the frat house. It's only after the glasses go on that he really becomes Vash the Stampede.

Vash's glasses don't come attached to his face, which is unfortunate, because they come off pretty easily and can get lost.

The revolver sits pretty securely in the hand. The definition in the detail on the gun is lacking, which sucks because it's such an iconic weapon.

Aside from the aforementioned issues, I don't have any other problems with the figure. Even the thing with the base isn't a huge deal; Vash stands pretty well on his own (although to get the pegs out of his feet, I had to use my teeth).

I think the best part of any Vash figure has to be the coat. Just look at that bad boy:

It's finished in a glorious, glossy red, and I absolutely love it. Side note: the rubble I used is from Kotobukiya's Evangelion figures, and doesn't come with Vash.

The sculpt of the coat and Vash's pose make for a very striking outline, so I decided to do some silhouette shots.

The figure looks best from a high angle, I found. Head-on it looks too skinny, and from some other angles (especially from behind) you really notice the odd bend in his arm.

As a nice bonus for buyers, you get a little Kuroneko-sama figure!

This is the only Kuroneko whose authority I recognize. This is the proper Kuroneko, not some goth-loli poseur who isn't even a cat.

Kotobukiya did a fantastic job on this Vash figure. The only problems were minor, so I'm very happy with the package overall. The figure just pops with its vibrant red, and does a good job representing the Trigun aesthetic. I'm excited to put the upcoming Wolfwood figure next to Vash, as they'd look amazing together.

Well, that about does it for the review. Be sure to browse the gallery to see the rest of the set in higher resolution, and comment away!

Photo Gallery: (22 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Tianxiao Ma, Associate Editor
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I love all things gaming, most things anime, and definitely some things PVC. I'm also a photographer and internet personality! more   |   staff directory

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