The Case for KotobukiyaThe Case for KotobukiyaDiary

MoroMoro8 years ago
Much as I've seen a lot of complaints about the quality of Revoltech (something I've addressed in a prior post) I've seen complaints that Kotobukiya has shoddy quality control or is just inferior in general to other companies. Usually it's being compared unfavorably to Good Smile Company, especially as in a couple of cases the two companies both produced figures of the same character.

Everyone has their favorite manufacturer, and I really am not here to go criticizing Good Smile Company or any other company. What I am here to discuss is the matter of Kotobukiya's quality and why based on my own experience I feel that disparaging of the quality of its figures is unjustified.
I won't speak on the matter of their customer service, though. There is no disputing that GSC has superior service with their willingness to replace parts so readily--Kotobukiya won't send replacements unless you bought the figure directly from them or from a handful of specific secondary retailers.

One thing I will say is that I find Kotobukiya's prices to be better than most other companies without a doubt. To be honest I'm not inclined to buy any further from GSC until they lower their prices back to reasonable levels. Every new figure is a ludicrous price now.

The most common complaint I've seen about Kotobukiya figures is that their paint jobs lack polish and are careless or sloppy. Naturally, ANY figure company can make errors in the painting process--many details of figures are painted by hand and anything hand painted is not going to be 100% perfect. Even the "sacred cow" of companies, Alter, is capable of making mistakes, however small they might be.

With that in mind, do Kotobukiya figures really have more paint mistakes than figures from other manufacturers? I own four figures from Kotobukiya, all from Evangelion. (Anyone who's been reading my blog for long should be used to this pattern. EVA EVERYWHERE.) Thorough inspection says no, not really. The details on Kaworu and Mari are painted with precision and accuracy, and even up very close I cannot detect any outstanding errors. Comparing them with my figures from Max Factory, MegaHouse and Gift, I do not see a consistent pattern of one manufacturer having more paint issues than the other. From my experience, figures in roughly the same price bracket are generally the same in quality.
My two older Kotobukiya figures are less polished. But any manufacturer's work from an older "generation" of figures is less polished than modern offerings and I doubt I would find anyone who felt that was false.

"But Moro," you protest, "I have two figures from Kotobukiya too, and they both have paint problems! But all my GSC figures are flawless! Anecdotal evidence can just as easily contradict your argument as support it!" And of course you would be correct on that. Had I the means, I would conduct a study using a large quantity of figures from each of the largest manufacturers--Good Smile Company, Max Factory, Alter, MegaHouse, and Kotobukiya--and systematically inspect them all for quantity and type of errors, noting them on a chart. For each company I would use a large number of the SAME figure and I would try to keep the figures between companies as close in price as possible. With a large enough number of figures, a pattern would start to reveal itself.

I don't have the means to conduct a large scale study like this, unfortunately.
I should also note that with my love of Evangelion, Kotobukiya is the most prolific producer of scale figures for that franchise. So I am necessarily biased. However, I would very much like to hear about your experiences with them. All, the good and the bad. I don't have the financial means to conduct a study as I described, but perhaps I've just heard the complainers because those who are happy with their Kotobukiya figures don't speak up!
Tell me about your Kotobukiya experiences. I'm a fan of them, what about all of you?
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My experience with kotobukiya has been quite disappointing . I wished to have their asuna for a long time then my friends bought her for me as a birthday present. When she arrived in the mail i was so happy and then i have unboxed her and the poetry ended : she had a huge scratch on the base. I sent an email to kotobukiya asking for a replacement and they never answered me back. You pay more for gsc, that' s true but you pay for quality and if the quality doesn't reach the promised standard you'll have a replacement for sure
6 years ago
BatFruits6 years ago#2709741Unfortunately I'm only lucky enough to have one Kotobukiya so far (ITEM #48844) and I have to say she is really outstanding. Paint and sculpt are amazing, even her eye decals have a lot of life to them, and there's an interesting mix of techniques (such as slightly transparent materials) used in sculpting this figure. She is a real gem and I honestly can't fault her. I have my eye on a few other Kotobukiyas (Very much like yourself its the evangelion ones I'm after mostly) and have ordered her Rei counterpart (ITEM #47764) which I can't wait to receive :)
Yeah, Koto's Eva figures are really top notch. It's a high priority franchise for them, I think. And they've always been innovative in their techniques while keeping their figures really affordable compared to some other companies.
Ah, Asuka and Rei will look nice together :D
6 years ago
Unfortunately I'm only lucky enough to have one Kotobukiya so far (ITEM #48844) and I have to say she is really outstanding. Paint and sculpt are amazing, even her eye decals have a lot of life to them, and there's an interesting mix of techniques (such as slightly transparent materials) used in sculpting this figure. She is a real gem and I honestly can't fault her. I have my eye on a few other Kotobukiyas (Very much like yourself its the evangelion ones I'm after mostly) and have ordered her Rei counterpart (ITEM #47764) which I can't wait to receive :)
6 years ago
Koto are my favourite aside Alter. I don't own many by GSC, their paintjobs are stellar, but I've never had an issue with Koto (like you, my primary figure base, besides Jojo's, is Evangelion, so Koto are my go-to).

Only issue that I have is: ITEM #141607

Trying to get her helmet to stay on her hand is a nightmare to the point that I dread going to clean her.
7 years ago
I've honestly never had any issues with Kotobukiya, from small stuff like the Yu-Gi-Oh One Coin figures up to larger figures like the Bishoujo series, I've always found their quality and detail work to be top-notch. They honestly set the quality bar for me, and I hold most other figures I buy up to their standard. Actually, one of my favorite figures in my entire collection is by them! This Kirino: myfigurecollect... is an absolute GEM.

Since you mentioned Revoltechs... I used to like them more than Figmas in the earlier days, honestly. My Yoko and Haruhi Revoltechs look way better than my original Haruhi & Lucky Star figmas, IMO. My more recent purchases of the Kenshin Revoltech and the Kyouko (PMMM) Figma have swapped my mindset, though... Kyouko is just lovely, and Kenshin is kind of awful (but I got him on sale and love his face, so..)

Back on topic: I'm so bummed to hear other people have had such bad experiences with Kotobukiya though!! I guess I've been fortunate to not have any issues with anything so far. I love Max Factory and GSC too~ Though I have had some issues with Nendoroids and Petit Nendoroids and their stands being unsupportive (Sebastian Nendo anyone?) or, in the cases of Petits, having to reaaaally force the pegs into their backs, I couldn't complain about the paint and sculpt quality.
8 years ago
I have some bad experience with some Kotobukiya figures ... found out that sometimes they feel like a lottery.

One of them was ITEM #12 ... had some problems placing her on stand, couldn't do it without moding it a bit (removing one of the holders) ... also some noticeable details :( wizzard.undergr... on her dress.

Next would be ITEM #75564 ... made in china stand, had to do heavy moding of it with my dremel tool to place her on it :/

And last is ITEM #42143 ... came up with cracks in her coloring of the chest part ...
8 years ago
The best "quality meter" you can find about Koto is their Bishoujo line.
They have released some awesome ones (Catwoman, Wonderwoman), some acceptable ones (Elektra, Storm) and some shitty ones (Asuka, Mystique).

It's usually a good prototype and their production line decides the final result.
Sometimes, the paintjob is horrible, sometimes it's great and most times it's average.
Unlike Megahouse or Orchid seed, their productions are unequal in term of quality.

To conclude, they can't be compared to GSC, Alter and MaxFactory.
Mainly because those three are in a world of their own, above everyone else. That's not an opinion, that's a fact.
But, Koto isn't playing on the same level because they're simply cheaper.
And for the price they ask, the result is quite good.

By the way, the quality check of GSC is one of the worst since 2012.
Just look at Miku snow, Inori and Miku Racing. Three fucked up releases...
8 years ago
I love what Koto makes and i can't wait for my Takamura Yui and Cryska figures to arrive <3
ITEM #127080 ITEM #117547

I'd also want to point out that the FRIGISHLY BEAUTIFUL figure that made me and other collectors drool all over the place ITEM #42095 and if u have anything to say on her looks then u need an eye check btw the figure looks twice as good in front of you :3
8 years ago
Eagleam I do what I can!
My earliest figure purchases were all Kotobukiya and frankly I've been happy with their releases from the start. I don't judge a figure by the company anyway, if I like what I see I'll pick it up. If various companies are releasing a character I like/want then I'll choose whichever I like on what I see, not who is producing it.
8 years ago
RolanMcDolan8 years ago#1318906I have no experience with their scale figures, but Kotobukiya's model kits tend to be somewhat lower-quality than that of the competition. The plastic tends to have occasional mottled bits where the color is slightly lighter, so it looks worse unpainted than, say, Bandai plamo do. Of course, once you have 'em built and painted, there's no difference, but Koto does have a weak point.

Model kits from them are an area I don't have any experience in. I've only built Gunpla before. I don't usually expect much from the lower level model kits from any manufacturer, though.
8 years ago