Kotobukiya reveals the first King of Fighters Bishoujo figure. No prizes for guessing who.

Mai Shiranui joins the massive roster of Kotobukiya gals

While I’ve long since reduced my compulsive purchasing of video game/anime/pop-culture related merch, one line that still gets me to open my wallet now and again is Kotobukiya’s “Bishoujo” range. While I’ve ditched much of the toys, collectibles, and figures I’ve bagged over the years, I still have a neat shelf sporting the likes of Street Fighter‘s Juri, Poison, and Cammy. Tekken‘s Lucky Chloe and Asuka, Marvel’s Kamala Khan and Wasp, and many other awesome superstars. You can see some of them in this silly video.

But lordy, I’m going to need more room, as Kotobukiya has finally secured the King of Fighters ’98 license, essentially confirming that the fighting femmes of my favorite franchise are all about to receive the Kotobukiya treatment. Case in Point, fiery kunoichi Mai Shiranui, who was revealed this weekend as the first KoF star to be immortalized in Kotobukiya form. No date was offered for Ms. Shiranui’s arrival, but we did get an awesome concept art mock-up, done by the awesome Shunya Yamashita. I’m sure the final piece will look suitably fantastic.

Given that the Kotobukiya license is for KoF ’98 in particular, this suggests that Mai will potentially be followed by characters such as Yuri Sakazaki, Shermie, Blue Mary, Athena Asamiya, King, Chizuru, Mature & Vice, and perhaps my personal favorite, the indomitable Leona Heidern.

There’s usually quite a wait from promo art to prototype, and then prototype to pre-order, and then pre-order to launch. So we can expect more details on Mai and pals in mid-2022. I am doomed to buy them all. Every single one. C’est la vie.

Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s. Former Saturday Night Slam Master. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors.