Kotobukiya 60th Anniversary Celebration
Six Decades of Excellence and Craftsmanship...
My history with Kotobukiya goes back to 2000, when traveling to Japan for the Tokyo Toy Show was a magical experience and being introduced to Kotobukiya's product in person even more so. The imaginative characters of Final Fantasy, the outrageous King of Braves GaoGaiGar and those oh so awesome Armored Core action figures. Kotobukiya's product was unprecedented for the time - simply top notch quality collectibles. Not all their licenses resonated with American collectors back then, but their was no denying the craftsmanship that went into those toys. There's a reason "craftsmanship" is part of the Kotobukiya name.
2013 and Kotobukiya is still going strong... much stronger actually, with a portfolio of licenses that captivate the globe. Star Wars, Marvel, DC Comics... need I say more? 2013 is a milestone for Kotobukiya, the company celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year. WOW. I honestly had no idea they had been around that long; my 12 years of dealing with Kotobukiya have quickly been put into perspective.
In honor of the occassion, Kotobukiya hosted a very intimate event at the Soho House in New York City during Toy Fair. This small gathering of guests included close retail, licensing and media partners. Dan Lujan, Director of Media Operations for Koto Inc., started the night by warmly thanking all in attendance for coming. A very moving video was then played showing how Kotobukiay started off as a small hobby shop in Japan - 60 years ago - and its successful, sometimes rocky climb to the intenational giant it is today. Did you know that Kotobukiya owns its own manufacturing plant? That two Kotobukiaya stores were lost to fire? The retrospective was a fascinating journey through Kotobukiya's career; a testament to that old maxim "If at first you don't succeed,: Try, try, try again."
After the presentation, licensing representatives for Lucasfilm and Warner Bros. addressed the room praising Kotobukiya for their incredible work, commitment and professionalism in the industry. Closing the ceremony, Hiroyo Shimizu, Executive Managing Director of Kotobukiya, made an emotional speech thanking everyone for their support. A toast was made and the room filled with cheer.
As if being invited to this special event wasn't enough, Kotobukiya thanked all their guests with a departing gift bag. Inside were numerous tokens of their appreciation, including a unique Golden R2-D2 ARTFX+ statue. It was an evening to remember, a milestone of well earned success. Here's to another 60 years of excellence and craftsmanship.
- Jeff Saylor
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