REVIEW: Kotobukiya SILVER SURFER Fine Art Bust

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    Oct 2001
    Fredericksburg, VA

    Kotobukiya SILVER SURFER Fine Art Bust

    A sophisticated sculpt of the Sentinel of the Spaceways

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    The "Sentinel of the Spaceways" and Herald of the Mighty Galactus comes to you with the Kotobukiya Marvel Studios Silver Surfer Fine Art Bust. The Silver Surfer first appeared in 1966 in Fantastic Four #48. A creation of Jack Kirby, the Silver Surfer was actually Norrin Radd, an astronomer from Zenn-La who bargained with the mighty Galacatus. In order to save his homeworld, Radd was imbued with a portion of the Power Cosmic and became the herald for Galactus, the Eater of Worlds. Silver Surfer made his theatrical debut in 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. He was portrayed by Doug Jones, and sculptor Seijiro Manabe has captured this incarnation of the character for Kotobukiya.

    Standing 9 inches tall, this cold cast porcelain bust features the Surfer grabbing the front of his board while his back hand reaches out behind him for balance. The figure is perched atop a lighted movie marquee styled base with the logo for the film on the front and a spot on the back for the collector’s plate.

    Kotobukiya does not intend for their busts to be displayed in the packaging, so the box containing the piece is rather bland. The large black cube features some writing on the front in both English and Japanese, and one photo of the bust on the back. The back also features a few other busts available from the company, but the package is primarily to protect the statue and not to entice impulse buyers. There are reliefs of the Fantastic Four logo on the top and sides that are almost invisible to the eye and only can be appreciated by touch.

    The front opens by pulling on a cardboard flap held in place by a hidden magnetic clasp. This reveals a small set of windows that allow you to see the head of the stature inside the packing and the small collector’s plate which lists the number of the statue in the production line. (This review piece is 831 of 1500.) The back side of the flap contains a short biography of the character and comments from the sculptor.

    Removing the box shows us that the statue has been tightly packed within a Styrofoam cube and the collector’s plate is taped to the front so that it could be seen through the window. The collector’s plate is intended to be placed on the base of the statue by the owner once the package has been opened. Removing the bust from the Styrofoam shows that a clear plastic film has been used to protect the bust even further from the elements. The plastic covers both the bust and the base and is removed without much effort.

    The sculpting of the figure is superb. Taking cues from some of the classic masters of sculpting, Seijiro Manabe has created a figure that is sleek and lean and invokes a sense of grace and majesty. With his left hand firmly gripping the front of the board, the Surfer appears strong and resolute. There is no doubt that he is a powerful and dominating force and his grip symbolizes his ability to command a situation. The grip also causes his hand to take a fist like appearance from the front view, making it known to all who view him that if you see him coming directly at you, he is ready and willing to fight you if he needs to.

    His right arm is extended behind him in a surfing stance used to maintain balance when sliding on the waves of the ocean. Symbolically, this shows the side of the Surfer that is calm and intelligent. It portrays him as someone who knows how to use his board and sure enough of himself that it need not be clenched into a defensive position while his other arm is used for offense. These symbolic meanings for the hands and arms, outside of the surfing references, are found throughout history in many classic works of art and their use here only adds to the overall sense of quality in the piece and satisfaction brought to the viewer.

    Because this is based off of the appearance of the character in the film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the base is designed to invoke the movie theater marquee. The logo for the film rests on the white sign and a small switch on the bottom of the base lights the sign and completes the movie theater marquee experience.

    The illuminated portion rests atop 5 pillars, 4 at the corners to suggest stability, balancing the figure above. The 5th column is in the center and resembles a movie theater ticket window, with the Marvel Logo in place of the ticket counter.

    The Silver Surfer has remained a fan favorite character since his inception and his appearance in the second Fantastic Four film brought him to a new generation of movie goers. Kotobukiya entrusted the design and sculpt to one of their best, and the result is outstanding. On both a physical and symbolical level, Seijiro Manabe has captured the look and characterization of the Silver Surfer like few before him. Fans of the comic books and the movies will want to add this piece to their collections.

    For more images of the Silver Surfer Fine Art Bust, CLICK HERE!

    Review and Photos by Doug "DiRT" Turner

    Review Sample Courtesy of Kotobukiya

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