It’s been over a month since I last revisited Kotobukiya’s “New 52” Justice League statues from their ArtFX+ line. I haven’t forgotten about these! With Superman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash already under my belt, let’s pick up where I left off, this time with everybody’s favorite fish-whisperer, Aquaman. As some of you may know, I’ve never been the biggest fan of Aquaman, but I think he’s fared quite well since the whole reboot. He’s been a pretty integral character to the Justice League book and he’s been at the heart of one of my favorite JL story arcs so far. I’ve even gone so far as to pick up the first two collected volumes of his book and they’re waiting on my stack of vacation reading. That’s the first time I’ve ever bought an Aquaman comic, so that’s saying something.
Obviously, we’ve seen this packaging before. These statues come in clear plastic boxes with character specific artwork that makes for quite a striking presentation. The panel of character art is designed to link up with the art on the other boxes in the series to provide a nice backdrop for all the statues. The statue rests between two trays, and once you unwrap the surrounding plastic, the statue can display fairly well if returned to the box if you’re someone who prefers the mint-in-box look. On the downside, the packaging is rather fragile and probably won’t fare too well in storage. The stand is positioned just below the characters feet and the only assembly required is to connect the trident head to the staff and then slip it into Aquaman’s hand. Let’s get this guy loose and see how he looks.
He looks fantastic! The composition here is quite similar to the one Koto used for Superman with the key difference being Aquaman’s right arm is held up to grasp his trident. While the pose is fairly passive and self-aware, the stance still manages to convey a sense of energy and excitement. The sculpted detail in the costume offers a wonderful contrast between the smooth lower half and gloves and the upper armor, which has every single scale sculpted. The leg fins are a bit understated and the twin fins in the gauntlets look rather vicious. Koto’s statues rarely disappoint on the sculpt, and Aquaman is no exception. At 1/10th scale, these statues are in a league of their own. They’re notably larger than the DCUC and DC Collectible figures and yet a bit smaller than Koto’s Bishoujo statues. I think the scale works well as it allows for a good amount of detail, while not taking up too much shelf space.
The portrait bears the same anime influences that have carried through the rest of this line. Aquaman’s eyes have a certain Asian countenance, which may throw some collectors. I rather think it adds to the more youthful art styling of the “New 52” League members, so it doesn’t bother me one bit. Like Superman, Aquaman is holding his head slightly down and gazing up to the side. Because of the orientation of the heads, these statues are probably best displayed on a high shelf or at least at about eye level. Otherwise, the portrait sculpt is amazing, and I’m particularly impressed with the way the hair came out.
One of the most striking things about this line of statues is the high gloss metallic coloring. It’s been a selling point for me all along and I think it suits Aquaman the best of all. Besides the beautiful metallic gold on the scales, the slick glossy sheen on the pants and gauntlets makes it look like he just leapt from the ocean. Beautiful!
And that brings us to the Trident, which is the only point of this statue where I have some qualms. It’s a nice and simple accessory and he looks good holding it, but I do wish it wasn’t quite so long and I would have much preferred that it was designed so that the butt of the shaft rested on the display base, rather than far to the front. With all the other statues confined to their bases, Aquaman sticks out a little awkwardly on the shelf as a result of the trident, and you can’t really pose him without it because he’s designed to be holding it.
Other than the trident you get the same black metal base that came with the other statues, complete with the “Justice League” logo printed on the front. The magnets in Aquaman’s feet help him to cling to the base and you can position him on it as you like.
At about $25, Aquaman was the last of these Justice League statues that I was able to pick up at well under retail and that was a big reason why he was my next purchase. But even at the regular retail price of around $40, these statues feel like an incredible value. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I had no intention of getting into this line, but after seeing the reviews and pictures from a certain kool kollector overseas, I was immediately sold. Individually, they are gorgeous pieces and together they are building up to have the makings for an epic display. I’ve got three more to go and the one of those is already on his way to me. Next time we revisit this line, we’ll check out Batman!