Toy Fair 2016: Kotobukiya Gets Uncanny, Cute and Deadly This Year
I'll say this about Kotobukiya, when it gets a statue right, it really gets a statue right. The company's Fine Arts and ArtFX+ lines have been testaments to that fact for some time, and the upcoming releases planned for 2016 and beyond look to continue that trend. There are also some promising Bishoujo on the horizon, which might come as a bit of surprise given the hit-or-miss nature of the "beautiful girl" statues. That also includes me continuing to pretend the horror-themed branch of Bishoujo just doesn't exist.
For the past few years, Kotobukiya's teamed with Adi Granov for two different Marvel ArtFX+ series. The Marvel Now Avengers collection was a big enough hit that it spawned a similar wave based on the Uncanny X-Men that launched after the conclusion of the Avengers vs. X-Men event that altered the course of the Marvel Universe until Infinity altered it again, and then Original Sin, and then... you get the idea. There are still three more statues to release in the line, but at least the Uncanny X-Men will finally be united in ArtFX+ form just in time for Marvel's next big summer event to completely wipe them out again, probably. At least this set will let you imagine Wolverine is still alive, and he's got a snazzy Adi Granov design.
Though it was a bit early for the next Marvel themed ArtFX+ line to be on display, Kotobukiya did announce Stefano Caselli would be taking up the reins on an Amazing Spider-Man set. You can probably count on a Venom and Spider-Gwen to join Spider-Man and the other half-dozen or so characters in this set. We'll likely get a better look at the first entries later this year. Spider-Gwen did make an appearance at Toy Fair in her new Bishoujo form, and the statue looks just as nice in person as it did in the promo pictures. This kind of piece is exactly the kind of collectible the Bishoujo line should be striving for every time.
Thor, Loki and Wonder Girl will soon be making the leap to Bishoujo form as well. The preliminary artwork by Shunya Yamashita holds some promise, and as it stands these next three statues should fall in line on the good side of the spectrum. The Jane Foster Thor strikes a strong pose, and we definitely need more collectibles for her before some Marvel event does away with her in time for the next Thor movie. A lot could go wrong with that Wonder Girl, but I do like that Koto went with the pre-New 52 version.
The biggest and arguably best new addition was the Thanos Fine Arts statue. The Mad Titan is represented in all his glory, Infinity Gauntlet and all, in the upcoming piece. While previously I had held the Black Panther Fine Arts statue as the pinnacle of this series, Thanos is already giving T'Challa a run for his money in prototype form. The massive frame and clean, crisp detailing really cements this as a premiere piece of art. The base is a little bit boring, but the figure itself more than makes up for the lack of ground detail.