REVIEW: Kotobukiya ARTFX+ Star Wars Clone Wars Series One – JEDI

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    Oct 2001
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    Kotobukiya ARTFX+ Star Wars Clone Wars Series One – JEDI

    A new scale for a new series

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    Last year, we were introduced to a whole new chapter in the Star Wars saga with the CG Clone Wars movie and series. The show is burning up the airwaves and a huge hit for the Cartoon Network. Meanwhile, various collectible companies have jumped on the bandwagon to provide us fans with cool toys, statues, and much more. Kotobukiya, long known for its ARTFX series of Star Wars statues, came up with a new format to bring the great characters from the Clone Wars to life: ARTFX+. At a smaller scale than the standard ARTFX figures, the Clone Wars ARTFX+ offer quality figures at a reduced price, something many fans can appreciate.

    The first series of ARTFX+ figures are the Jedi of the Clone Wars series. The series consists of three individual releases: Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Ahsoka Tano. With lots of cool extras and special features, there’s a lot to this new figure set.

    The Jedi ARTFX+ figures come in large boxes that feature an opening fifth panel. The outside of the boxes are mostly white, with lots of Star Wars and Clone Wars logos. The front of each box has a photograph of the individual Jedi (with slightly photoshopped lightsaber), his or her name at the bottom, and a breakdown of the included additional parts.

    The back of each box shows the Jedi in multiple views with images of the other figures in the series, along with explanations of the special features and bonus parts. Open the front panel (held closed by magnets) to see an image of the Jedi from the show on the left and the parts tray on the right. All in all the packages are very clean and streamlined.

    Bust open the box and you’ll find a huge plastic tray holding the components of your Jedi, base parts, and bonus pieces. Thankfully, there’s also a very easy to navigate sheet of pictorial assembly instructions. As usual with Kotobukiya figures, the pieces fit together easily and you’ll have your Jedi up and ready for battle in no time.

    It just takes one glance to recognize that this trio of galactic heroes is pulled directly from the current Clone Wars series. The outfits, colors, and style are pure Clone Wars. Anakin wears his dark blue, maroon, and gray Jedi robes with armor plates around the collar. Obi-Wan comes equipped with his half Clone Trooper armor suit, a more conservative look in a time of war. The Padawan Ahsoka wears her traditional Togruta garb – a halter top, layered pants, boots, and open fingered gauntlets. Posed ready for battle in traditional lightsaber combat stances, each figure has a very good sculpt with clean definitions at seams, musculature, and lots of cool details.

    Ahsoka is of course distinguished by her head-tails and montrals (horns), while her boots and gauntlets feature intricate folded material and sculpted buckles. Obi-Wan’s armor plates are all individually defined, with interlocking parts and added layering around the ankles. Anakin has the most varied sculpt, with flowing Jedi robes, banded boots, armor plating, a utility belt, and complex cybernetic arm. Each Jedi is posed wielding his or her respective lightsaber complete with character specific hilt and slightly translucent blade. Of course, each figure also has a very impressive head sculpt that accurately matches the Clone Wars character design.

    The only thing more impressive than the sculpt on these figures is the paint. In the Clone Wars series, the people (humans and aliens alike) have a very marionette-like quality as though their faces are painted on wooden models. The ARTFX+ figures recreate this look very well, and each Jedi is distinct with the different color palettes. Obi-Wan is the white knight, with ivory armor and light tan robes. His hair and beard are a darker brown, while outstanding details include his piercing blue eyes and the dark red Jedi Order logo on his left shoulder. Anakin occupies the other end of the Jedi spectrum and is much more imposing in his dark colors. The browns, blues, maroon, and silver flow in the different layers of his clothing. Anakin too has the Order logo, along with metallic accents on his prosthetic arm and belt components. His face has a very good paint job, his facial scars and pursed lips accenting his focused expression. Ahsoka is the most colorful and diverse, starting with her bright orange skin tone. Her clothing is all earth tones in white and multi-hued browns, with metallic buckles and a decorative symbol on the front of her skirt. The most detailed paint is on the Togruta Jedi’s head. Ahsoka is very colorful with her white, blue, and green head-tails and montrals framing her orange face which is itself decorated with white designs, blue eyes, and brown lips.

    While some Kotobukiya ARTFX statues come with complex display bases, the ARTFX+ do something a bit different. Each figure has built-in magnets in its feet, designed to attach to the included interlocking metal-plated bases. These tiles come in two varieties (square with Clone Wars logo and rectangular with Jedi Order symbol), and can be combined and assembled in various ways. The magnets in the figures’ feet work very well with the tiles and stand securely. They can also stand on their own, but for maximum stability you’ll want to use the bases.

    The Jedi series has two more extras. Ahsoka comes with an optional backpack accessory that contains the Huttlet Rotta (or “Stinky”) as depicted in the Clone Wars film. The pack attaches securely to the young Jedi’s back for carrying the little monster if you’d like to recreate those scenes. Anakin can share the burden, and he comes with a second set of backpack straps for affixing the accessory to his larger frame.

    Best of all, however, each Jedi comes with parts that combine to form a fourth figure: Yoda! In scale with the others, Yoda is a fully sculpted and painted figure that’s no mere accessory. He also has magnets in his feet and looks great posed with his compatriots.

    The ARTFX+ Jedi are very cool figures that are probably the most accurate depictions of the characters in plastic. The new line is very collector-friendly, with a smaller, more manageable size and accompanying lower price. The entire series is available at many e-tailers for around $150, which is a great deal when you consider you’re getting the three main figures, plus accessories, bases, and the cool Yoda! For fans of the Clone Wars these figures are highly recommended. The Jedi will also go great with the continuing ARTFX+ lineup including Sith and Clone figures coming soon.

    CLICK HERE for more images!

    Review and Photos by Scott Rubin

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