PICCOLO — THE PROUD NAMEKIAN
S.H. FIGUARTS (BANDAI)
Last year, as I delved a bit into some lock-down-induced madness and lost my steady stream of new toys for a little bit, I expanded my ever so modest selection of Dragon Ball-related reviews with a pair of Figuarts I’d grabbed second hand. Well, it’s been, like, a year, and I’m really hoping this one’s not going to be followed by more lock-down-madness, but I’m looking at another Dragon Ball Figuart. This time around, I’m looking at one of the franchise’s most prominent characters, Piccolo, the Proud Namekian!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Piccolo the Proud Namekian (which is, by the way, this figure’s full and proper title) is an early 2021 release for S.H. Figuarts. This is the third time we’ve gotten Piccolo in the line following the prior Anime and Manga colored variants of the last mold. Both versions have shot up in price, and Figuarts have evolved somewhat since their release, so it was high time for a new version. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 38 points of articulation. Piccolo marks some pretty great strides for Figuarts articulation, at least from my interactions. The range on these guys has always been great, but all of the joints and various separate pieces needed to give the best range generally makes the figures feel a little bit less sturdy. As I touched on a bit in my Great Saiyaman review from last year, Piccolo is less broken up to facilitate the articulation, and just generally feels like a more solid figure, while still getting a really good range of motion. This is especially evident on the legs, which don’t feel as floppy as some of the other figures from the line tend to be. Notably, they lack the usual drop-hips, but are constructed in such a way that they don’t miss out on too much movement. I definitely dig this new set-up. Piccolo’s sculpt is an all-new offering, totally unique from the last version of the character. This one seems to go a bit more for a slightly later-show incarnation of Piccolo, after they were consistently drawing him as a bit more bulked up, looking a bit more like his appearance post-merging with Kami. It’s quite a nice sculpt, with sharp detailing, and a rather nice, dynamic layout to his outfit. Right out of the box, Piccolo is in his fully kitted out set-up, with his cape and turban. The cape is, as with most Figuarts capes, a little tricky to work with, due to its hard plastic construction. It’s a little better handled than it was on Saiyaman, and I had less issues with it falling off on this release. It’s using a multi-piece construction, with the shoulders and actual cape being separate parts, and the cape proper being made up of three separate sections in order to allow for more dynamic posing. The standard head has the turban in place and a calm, more neutral expression, which is a good fit for the character. Piccolo’s paint work is generally pretty basic, without a ton going on. It’s cleanly applied, and bright and eye catching. There are some very cool touches mixed in, specifically the small bit of exposed skin at his ankles; it’s an easily overlooked detail, but a cool one. Piccolo’s accessory selection is quite impressively large. He gets an alternate screaming expression for the turban-wearing head (the turban piece can be swapped between the two), plus three different heads without the turban, one calm, one screaming, and one with a really exaggerated expression. He’s also got seven hands, in fist (R/L), clawing (R/L), wide gesture (R/L), and special beam cannon (R), plus an alternate set of crossed arms (rather recurrent with DBZ figures) and an extra torn off left arm stump. Lastly, he’s got three pieces for his back; one to plug up the hole left by the cape, one for use of a stand with the cape down, and one for a stand with the cape up. *Not* included is any sort of actual stand, as is pretty standard for Figuarts; I provided my own for the photo at the top of this review. All in all, this selection of extras covers all the major Piccolo looks, and ives the figure quite a bit of range, which I certainly appreciate.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When I was first getting into these guys, Piccolo’s original Anime color release was already kind of pricey, so I held off on him, but still kind of wanted one. Last year, when All Time started carrying Dragon Stars, I thought about snagging that line’s version of Piccolo, but ultimately decided to wait for a chance at another Figuart. So, when this guy came in, it was kind of hard to say no. So…uhh…I didn’t? He’s a really impressive figure, and probably the best I’ve picked up from this sub-line. Definitely glad I snagged him.