This year Kotobukiya was at the Javitz center instead of their cramped showroom at Broadway. It was refreshing to be able to walk around without bumping into things. They had some great new items on display, but the focus clearly was on their ChopSabers. These are chopsticks shaped like iconic lightsabers from the star wars series of films. While the line has been out for a while, this year they are introducing three new sabers – Darth Maul, Luke Skywalker (ep 6) and Mace Windu. All look very cool, with super detailing, but the star of the show here is the Darth Maul chopsabers. They can connect to each other to form a double-bladed chopstick!
On display were their Marvel ArtFX figures. Red Hulk is HUGE, and comes with an interchangeable head. These heads for this (and other figures) are now held in place by magnets, making swapping parts easier.
Also new were the first products to come out of the KREATIVE 3 studio a US-based sculpting and design team. They're creating products based on US characters, sculpted by US artists, but managed by a Japanese company. It's an interesting idea. Upcoming releases by KREATIVE 3 include Wolverine and Psyclocke.
On the other end of the superhero spectrum – we have the Bishojo figures based on art by Shunya Yamashita. In addition to the existing line, new releases will include Phoenix and Dark Phoenix as well as Psylocke and the White Queen. But the even bigger news is the addition of DC characters to the line. Announced is Wonder Woman, and a silhouette suggests that Batgirl is also in the works. This new relationship with DC will also result in some large size SD vinyl of DC characters.
For model kits, few were on display but the spotlight was focused on Hoi Hoi san and Combat-San. The next release of Hoi Hoi san will have additional weaponry from the first release, such as a giant hammer and giant machine gun.
Following Hoi-Hoi san will be Combat San
Kotobukiya may best be known for their sexy anime statues, and this year did not disappoint. On display was the new character from Evangelion 2.0 – Mari, along with Rei and Asuka. Each figure is posed on a base depicting their respective Eva unit.
Also on display were bikini-clad vixens from DOA Beach Volleyball and Azumanga Daioh, which still remains popular despite the properties age.
The real draw of the show here for us was the new Lost Planet action figures. It has been years since Koto put out true articulated toy that were not model kits. I got a chance to handle the prototypes of these two mechas and they look really nice, with full articulation and heavy weaponry. Each will be released in two color schemes.
Finally, Kotobukiya will be releasing the books Otacool and Otacool2 in the USA. Otacool is a collaboration between Danny Choo and Kotobukiya in Japan, in which they publish examples of Otaku culture around the world. The first volume is all about Otaku Rooms, the second will be about worldwide cosplayers. The books are in full color and in both English and Japanese.
For more information these and other Kotobukiya products, please visit http://www.kotoUS.com