Kotobukiya Commander Bly

Kotobukiya Commander Bly model kit

Kotobukiya has been doing they're 'model kits' for quite some time now, and every body knows they aren't really models, or at least not the kind you and I think of when we hear the name.  No, these are hard plastic (actually vinyl) statues, with just some very basic assembly. Why do it that way?  I suspect it saves on assembly costs, and more importantly, there are different customs and tax rules, as well as licensing restrictions, with 'model kits'.

Normally these babies sell for around $80 - $100, depending on the kit and the retailer.  However, right now Things From Another World is having a fantastic 50% off sale on

To get the discount, you can simply use THIS LINK to hit the landing page. There you'll see which Kotos they have up for sale, and the coupon code SWKOTOS will already be applied to your shopping cart. If you don't use the above link, you'll need to add the code manually.

With this promotion going on, I'll be covering a number of the Kotos on sale over the next couple weeks.  Tonight I'm starting with Commander Bly here at MROTW, and the R2-D2/C-3PO set over at QSE. At 50% off, you can get Bly for just $50!
Kotobukiya Commander Bly model kit

Kotobukiya Commander Bly model kit
Kotobukiya Commander Bly model kit
Kotobukiya Commander Bly model kit
Kotobukiya Commander Bly model kit
Kotobukiya Commander Bly model kit
Kotobukiya Commander Bly model kit

Packaging - ***
Koto packaging is never particularly fancy, but it does the job of protecting the figure (or parts, in this case) and showing it off as well as it can. That's kind of tricky for something that's not assembled, since he looks a bit like one of Dexter's victims, but they do they best they can.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Koto Star Wars statues are 1/7th scale - it says so right on the box. I suspect that's a bit of licensing finagling as well though, as many of these are really closer to sixth scale.  In fact, Commander Bly stands a full 12" tall even with the slightly bent knees, making him far closer to sixth scale than the Medicom Star Wars figures.

Don't get me wrong - he's still a little small, since with the armor on he takes up too little volume. But as you can see in the shot with Sideshow's Connor, it's not too far off.

There's also excellent detail in the hard vinyl body. Of course, the armor is smooth, but the body suit underneath has the sculpted ribbing, and the shoulder plates are dimpled, making them look like separate materials.

I do wish that the skirt in back, which should be cloth-like, had some texturing. It's almost completely smooth (with the exception of a thin sculpted 'hem' line) and it's the only area that needed a bit more attention from the sculptor.

The base has a sculpted round section, plus a damaged droid torso for Bly to stand on. The droid could use a bit more detailing, but the base does a nice job of keeping him upright, and adding a little something extra to the display.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint work on Bly is excellent, especially the battle damage and wear done on the armor. There's plenty of it, and it's evenly spread across his uniform. Areas where you'd expect more wear, like the arms, chest, helmet and feet, have more wear, but they've included it appropriately every where.

The base paint work isn't quite as high quality as the figure itself.  The ground is a single color, without any sort of wash or highlighting, although there are a couple small droid pieces that break up the monotony of the color a little bit.

Under Bly's left foot, where the pegs are in the base, the section is colored differently than the ground, the same basic black that the base was cast in. I wish they'd painted this, since it does show from certain angles.

Articulation- Bupkis
Generally these 'model kits' don't have any articulation, but it's worth mentioning because that's not always true.  Every once in awhile, they put a joint here or there. They aren't supposed to be articulated, but that doesn't mean they don't find a way to add a joint here or there occasionally.

That's not the case this time, but since not getting joints is the expectation - much like any statue - I won't be holding it against Bly in his Overall score.

Accessories - ***
Like the Articulation, there are usually no Accessories with the Koto statues...but some times there are.  This time, there are two possible heads that you can use, and you can swap them whenever the mood strikes.

One head is the traditional Clone Trooper helmet. That's the one I consider the standard, with the second helmet as the accessory.  This second helmet has the 'binoculars' attached, which are really just glued onto another identical helmet. I prefer the helmet without, but having both is a nice addition.

Also, the base is technically an accessory this time, because you CAN get him to stand pretty easily without it.  It requires something small to put under his right foot, but it doesn't take much to get him balanced. As I mentioned in the sculpt section, the base is well done and has a great design.  A little more detail on the destroyed droid would be nice, but it's a minor nit.

Design - ***1/2
Most Kotobukiya statues have great designs.  Once in awhile, they'll do some bizarre, weird pose, but most of the time they get it right.

This is one of those times where not only did they get it right, but they got it right with benefits.  The pose is very dynamic, with Bly caught mid-battle, both blasters drawn old West style. You can almost feel the battle raging around him, as he fights his way through Battle Droids.

I like their choice in where he is aiming and looking as well.  Rather than battling something his own height, he's fighting with one of the larger droids, firing upward at the enemy.  This works well not just from a basic design perspective, but it also means that if the figure is below eye level (as is often the case with most displays), he is still looking up at the viewer. Poses looking straight on look best viewed straight on, poses looking down only look good viewed from below, but poses looking upward look good from any vantage point.

Fun Factor - *
These are statues, not action figures. While they look might good on the shelf, they aren't intended to be toys.

Value - Usually **; right now at TFAW ***
Usually, this guy would cost you around $100.  If you shop around, you can find some people with it on sale for $70 - $80. At the usual $80 and up, I'd say these are slightly overpriced.  Sure, Medicom charges a ridiculous price for their Clones, but Sideshow is producing them for a price closer to these statues.

However, you can get this guy for just $50 right now from TFAW.  At that price, you're getting a very good deal.

Things To Watch Out For
I didn't have a thing.  The parts went together smoothly, stayed together, and there was no risk of damage or breakage.

Overall - ***1/2
This is one of my favorite Kotobukiya Star Wars Nerd Hummels. I love the dynamic battle design, mixed with a little of that gunfighter style. My only real nits are around the skirt, which lacks the kind of detail and texturing I'd like to see, and the minor issues with the base.

While the sale at TFAW is scheduled to go for quite awhile, I don't expect this particular figure to last long in stock.

With the two helmets, and with it's close similarity in size to the Sideshow figures, you could conceivably find a very good use for the extra head.  With some basic repainting, you could add this helmet to your Obi-wan Kenobi in Clone Armor display, perhaps placing it in his hands as though he had just removed it. It's not a perfect match to the animated style, but it's close enough, especially if you are only going to use one of the helmets for your Commander Bly.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - Bupkis
Accessories - ***
Design - ***1/2
Fun Factor - *
Value - normally **; at TFAW now ***
Overall -  ***1/2

Where to Buy -
There's lots of options of course, but right now Things From Another World is having a fantastic 50% off deal on a TON of Kotobukiya statues/kits, and Commander Bly is included!  That means you can pick him up for just $50, and he's one of the better clone troopers they've done. If you use THIS LINK, then the discount will be added automatically to your shopping cart after you pick the statue.  Or you can used the code "SWKOTOS" after you get there, although I'd appreciate it if you used the link for tracking purposes.

Related Links -
Other Kotos I've reviewed include:

- the last one I reviewed was the TIE Fighter Pilot.

- prior to that was Indy and his pops.

- also in the Star Wars line was the Snowtrooper, and the Boba Fett.

- I had a guest review of the Terminator T-X.

Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  Averaging and Converting to a five star system for comparison is: 4.375

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Kotobukiya Commander Bly model kit

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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