Kool Kollectibles content

21 Feb 2021

Kotobukiya Horror Bishoujo Pennywise from It

The Kotobukiya Horror Bishoujo series has released some iconic characters in the series, and the latest Pennywise is no exception. It took a while for it to arrive from Big Bad Toy Store, but it's a beautiful addition to the impressive lineup.

Click the link below to watch my review of the Leatherface statue over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can subscribe and stay tuned for more reviews 😃

I think Kotobukiya have definitely stepped up their game on the packaging art, and the latest certainly give pause for collectors to consider keeping or at least displaying the artwork. Unfortunately for me I just do not have the space for that anymore, so this sort of packaging usually ends up in the recycling bin. But for those with the space, I'd highly recommend displaying the boxes, or at least keeping the boxes for posterity.

The details in the sculpting and the paint app really impress upon unboxing. The paint on the head sculpt is super sharp, and I love the bright colours of the eyes that almost seem reflective. A nice touch would've been some glow in the dark effect, but still in natural light the eyes have a scary piercing look to them. The orange hair is a bright contrast to the white, and sets it off beautifully.

The sculpting in the costume is perfectly brought out with many layers of shading and colours in the paint application. I especially love the use of black wash and shadowing to accentuate all the folds in the detailed costume. The areas around the neck, biceps and upper thighs look fantastic.

The two areas that were a little disapointing to me are related. The main issue is the steel wire used for the ballon chord, which is not flexible or malleable. This affects posing of the balloon, especially since it leans so far forward when placed into the hand.

I used some warm water to soften the plastic around the hole since initial insertion is quite difficult. But once it's placed in, the steel wire tends to fall forward, given the balloon an awkward angle. This is made worse by how low the pose of the statue is leaning forward. The prototype photos were taken from a rather low angle, which sort of hid how much the status leans.

By leaning forward, it seems to hide the face sculpt and much of the details of the body too. I would've preferred a pose that was more upright, but still leaning forward slightly to hand the balloon to the unsuspecting child. I'll have to figure out some way to keep the balloon string as upright as I can without snapping anything.

Despite that nitpick, there are so many other positives to the statue. The paint app and sculpting themselves makes this perhaps my new favourite in the series. I love the metallic finish to the base that gives that perfect impression of it walking through blood. The SS Georgie sets it off perfectly as well with the movie.

As a Bishoujo interpretation of the character, I'm not sure Kotobukiya could've done much better in the design (pose aside). It's the perfect balance of creepy and beauty! Here's hoping they announce more of these horror characters in the not-too-distant future!

Kotobukiya Horror Bishoujo Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Kotobukiya Horror Bishoujo series has been high quality since its inception, and they just seem to be getting better and better too! I was glad my preorders for Leatherface and Pennywise finally arrived, and they were certainly worth the wait!

Click the link below to watch my review of the Leatherface statue over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can subscribe and stay tuned for more reviews 😃

The box art for this series seems to be getting better too, with some gorgeous photos of the statue along with the usual awesome prototype concept art by Shunya Yamashita.

I've decided to go with the stock head sculpt this time, and not the masked sculpt. The masked version is definitely a nice representation from the movie, but I find it almost too creepy. The unmasked sculpt just pretties up the statue for me, which is appropriate for this Bishoujo series I think.

The sculpting on this Leatherface is top-notch, with great natural folds in the costume. The apron almost seems like a separate floating piece, but does not rotate or adjust in any way. The bloody spatter is nicely done, but I do wish it wasn't so thick on the chainsaw blade. I think the prototype photos show more subtle bloody spatter on the blade which looks better. But overall it still looks great.

The prototype photos never really showed what was under her shirt tails, and the fan service is in full force with a nice view of her voluptuous rump. The wedgie from the undies adds to the fan service expected with this Bishoujo series.

The front view is also nicely done, and gives that unique Bishoujo spin on this iconic butcher outfit. I love the details in the bracelet, pulling your eyes briefly away from her deep cleavage 😍

All in all, the paint app is fantastic, even on the bare skin, with lost of nice shading detail too. The base itself has lots of great sculpted and paint details too. I was surprised at how much more I liked this statue than I was expecting!

I had decided to get this version over the business suit version, because I think this one is more iconic for the character. But no matter which version you get, I think Kotobukiya has done another fantastic job! Here's hoping they announce more in this series soon!

15 Feb 2021

Hot Toys MSS524 Commander Cody

I sold all my Sideshow Clone Commanders several years ago, and wasn't planning on getting any more. But the prototype head sculpt for Hot Toys' new Commander Cody was too good for me to pass up, and luckily the final production version is still fantastic.

Click the video below to check out my review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. I have a few more things coming up soon, so make sure to subscribe and stay tuned for more reviews soon 😃

The box art is the usual classy style, but I do find their new habit of including this wrap around picture on the front cover a bit useless. I'd really rather they save that effort to include something else with figures.

The figure doesn't come with all that much. The biggest things missing for me would be the Phase 1 helmet, and perhaps more action oriented hands. But other than that, they've pretty much included what you'd expect with this character.

The shoulder and helmet antennas are delicate, so go easy when installing those. The swap out light up arm is a nice touch, and is pretty good for the odd photo opportunity. It wasn't too hard to swap out, unlike other arms from Hot Toys, for which I was definitely thankful.

The body definitely feels more sturdy than the old Sideshow Clone Troopers, but almost feels too tight. The legs and thighs in particular are difficult to articulate the actual body, where the armour moves freely but that's all you seem to move. I did manage to eventually rotate the thighs out a bit more naturally, but the fat suit underneath is a bit too thick and restricts movement too.

The arms are on some ratchet mechanism, but do have decent range of motion hindered naturally by the armour. The swapping out of the head sculpt was also easy enough, and the unhelmeted head goes onto the peg without too much force.

It's a shame that the base they included has been the stock standard Star Wars trooper base with the foot prints. They've used this for previous Stormtroopers and Snowtroopers, and now this. It's great for those static musuem poses that my collection prefers, but the option for allowing more dynamic poses would be nice. I'd say just give a nice printed stand with a metal name plate would've been good enough!

Either way, the final figure overall looks fantastic. The armour weathering is subtle and realistic, and the head sculpt is the usual Hot Toys high quality. If you're fan of the Clone Wars or the prequels, this will make a nice addition to the collection. For me, it'll sit nicely next to Obi-wan and Anakin from the prequels, and patiently wait for Captain Rex next!

8 Feb 2021

Transformers Masterpiece MP-51 Arcee

It always seems to take forever these days for a new G1 TF Masterpiece to release, but luckily it's usually a good day when one turns up! This time it's the new MP-51 Arcee that as always with MPs in recent memory, comes with it's fair share of controversy.

Click the link below to watch my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. I go through what I think are the pros and cons, and overall it's another nice addition to the MP series! 

Packaging is the usual MP style, and accessories are enough to cover aspects of the cartoon movie and posing options. I particularly like the long rifle, where she evokes hints of Marvel's Black Widow in many action and crouching poses.

The car mode looks very nice, especially with the other characters from the 1986 movie such as Hot Rod and Ultra Magnus. The pink, which I thought was just plastic but it actually painted, is a perfect shade, and the overall styling is very cartoon accurate.

The wheels are quite thin though, and the clearance on the underside of the car is very tight. It was difficult for me to get things lined up perfectly enough to get the car rolling on all 4 wheels at once. I guess that's been a common problem with many of the carbots, including Hot Rod.

Luckily for the most part, the styling looks awesome, particularly with the sharp white and greys to offset the pink. It's strange that Takara did not include a Daniel mini-figure in this set, but I guess they've probably done enough of the human figures that came with Optimus, Bumblebee, and Hound.

The transformation sequence isn't as difficult as other MPs, but there still are a few scary moments. Three tricky areas stand out for me:
  1. Folding the rear head lights in on themselves was tricky, especially the first time when the joints are particularly tight. You need them folded flat and perfectly in order to fold and collapse the backpack as much as possible.

  2. Rotating and pushing the windscreen through the internal hole, which needs a specific rotation and angle to fit through. This part took a few goes to finally squeeze it through.

  3. Collapsing the front part of the car over the top of the backpack as the final part to completing the transformation. You really need to make sure the neckpiece is in place properly into its peg, and gently guide the outer part of the backpack so that it can be pushed down and tightly with the rest of the backpack.

But once all of that is done, overall she looks pretty nice. The backpack is sizeable though, and does present some balance issues. This is made more difficult with her small feet, but luckily the joints are tight and usually hold poses well enough. But similar to the Hot Rod that tends to fall backwards on its large backpack, you need to be selective in your poses so that she doesn't topple over too easily.

I have seen some pretty amazing poses over on the TFW2005 forums though, so she has some of the best MP articulation around. The torso area has a rather tight ball joint, but if you manage to loosen that a little bit, you can get some pretty natural poses to go with the leg and waist articulation.

The most controversial part of the figure is of course the horizontal level of her chest plate. I think many collectors incorrectly think that the horizontal level is too low, giving her the "saggy boob" look. But the horizontal level is actually anatomically correct as shown by the designers prototype art that showed the female anatomy on which it is based.

But the human female form doesn't necessarily translate literally to robot form all that well. That's where they made the mistake in making the incline of the top of the chest piece too steep, which leaves a large white area of her neck piece. If they had instead designed a way in which the slope was more gentle, and covered up more of the white neckpiece, it would look far better and not give the illusion of "saggy boobs". There have been photos of custom chest pieces that give this look, and show what a big difference it can make.

Aside from the chest piece, I think this is another great looking figure by Takara. The massive amount of articulation makes up for the less than ideal chest piece for me. In fact, inhand the chest piece doesn't even look that bad. It's strange how close up macro toy photography certainly makes it look worse than it really is. Either way, I'm glad to have another new G1 MP mold in the collection, and she definitely adds some shelf presence to the gang. Now I'm really looking forward to the new Starscream mold!