KOTOBUKIYA first began as a single toy store for dolls operated by Jusaburo Shimizu in 1947. In 1951, he re-created his sole proprietorship into a limited liability company, together with his two brothers.
In 1983, KOTOBUKIYA first began to venture into original products as a model kit manufacturer. The first original model kit , Armament, was followed in 1985 with King Godzilla, its very first licensed kit .
What really set apart KOTOBUKIYA from other model kit manufacturers was the acquisition of the model kit license for Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam THE-O mecha, the first time a company other than Bandai was able to release Gundam products!
In May of 1989, the company successfully launced Soft Vinyl Statues and the Active Styling Figures (today branded as ARTFX Statues). Since then, the company contined to increase lineup with fully assembled and painted resin statues (now known as Fine Art Statues), Action Figures, One Coin Mini Figures and more!
As a model kit manufacturer, KOTOBUKIYA always strived to further improve the material and detail and articulation of our kits. That level of commitment has continued throughout all product types that we have developed, and KOTOBUKIYA is renowned for our quality and dedication to craftsmanship.
Kotobukiya hosts well known annual sculpting and painting contest, which is judged by our in-house and other known sculptors and outside judges, including the editor-in-chief of Hobby Japan, the Japanese model magazine. The number of entries normally exceeds three hundred, with entrants from all over Japan. The contest today is one of the most important events in the industry where many capable sculptors and artists were scouted by major vendors in Asia.
Over the years, Kotobukiya attracted the attention of not only top artistic talents, but also the favor of publishers and licensors who wish to work with only the best the toy and collectible industry has to offer.
KOTOBUKIYA (USA)/KOTO INC.
In October 2009, A highly capable USA team was formed to strengthen its marketing and product development capabilities for the US market. The team was named KOTOBUKIYA KREATIVE 3. K3′s members are well known as one of the most talented US sculptors and artists in the arena of collectible statues and toys.
With a fusion of cutting-edge technology and creative craftsmanship, KOTOBUKIYA is now much capable of responding to the sensitivity and fluctuation of market needs, as well as collector’s persistent demands for product perfection.