In 1947, KOTOBUKIYA was built as a toy store in Tachikawa, Tokyo, and it became a limited liability company in 1953. While always continuing to focus on retail sales, KOTOBUKIYA first venture into original products as a model kit manufacturer began in 1983 with Armament, their first original model kit. This was followed in 1985 with King Godzilla, their very first licensed kit.
What really set apart KOTOBUKIYAfrom other model kit manufacturers was the acquisition of the model kit license for Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam THE-O mecha, the first time a company other than Bandai was able to release Gundam products!
Their first foray into the non-kit busienss was in May of 1989 with soft vinyl statues and the Active Styling Figures (today branded as ARTFX Statues). Since then, they have increased their lineup with fully assembled and painted resin statues (now known as KOTOBUKIYA Fine Art Statues), Action Figures, One Coin Mini Figures and more!
As a model kit manufacturer, they were always striving to further improve the material and detail and articulation of their kits. That level of commitment has continued throughout all product types that they have developed, and KOTOBUKIYA is renowned for their quality and dedication to craftsmanship.
In their retail stores, they hold annual sculpting and painting contests, which is judged by their in-house and other known sculptors and outside judges, including the editor-in-chief of Hobby Japan, the Japanese model magazine. The number of entries normally exceeds three hundred, with entrants from all over Japan. In fact, many entrants at the contests have been scouted by the industry manufactures in Asia over the years.
They attracted the attention of not only top artistic talents, but also the favor of publishers and licensors who wish to work with only the best collectible toy industry has to offer.
KOTO Inc., and KOTOBUKIYA Japan today has a strong collaboration in the KOTOBUKIYA product development for North America Territory.