#3135: Krillin – Earth’s Strongest Man

KRILLIN — EARTH’S STRONGEST MAN

S.H. FIGUARTS (BANDAI)

It’s been a bit over a year since my last Dragon Ball Z review, and I’ve got to keep these infrequent stops back at that particular well going, right? Right. Honestly, it’s not even a conscious thing really. They just keep putting out one figure I want just every so often enough to keep me from completely falling out of it. Last year it was Piccolo. This year? We’re finally circling back around to my man Krillin. And I sure do love me some Krillin.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Krillin – Earth’s Strongest Man is a 2022 release for the DBZ subset of Bandai’s SH Figuarts line. He started showing up domestically in the last month or so. This is the third version of Krillin in the line, and the second to be specifically DBZ-based. As with Piccolo, it had been a while since that last DBZ Krillin, so another version was definitely due.  The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and has 43 points of articulation.  As I noted in my review of Piccolo last year, there have been some definite adjustments made to how Figuarts implements articulation on their figures, especially for this line in particular.  Krillin continues that trend, and, despite his smaller stature, he’s still notably sturdier than some of the earlier figures, which is a definite plus, and something that makes the figure a lot nicer to actually mess around with.  The legs are notably a lot less prone to getting all floppy in certain poses, and his arms have less pieces that just float around during posing.  You still want to be somewhat careful, as parts can still pop out of place (as his right shoulder did during my initial posing), but for the most part, it works a lot better.  Krillin’s sculpt is all-new, and aims to address some of the issues with the last DBZ Krillin.  The biggest of those, ironically, was the size of the original figure.  He was far too tall to be an accurately scaled Krillin to go with the rest of the line.  Given his supposed canon height is supposed to be 5 feet, this new figure’s scale seems to be more or less on the mark.  Beyond that, the new sculpt is just a solid match for Krillin’s animation model, as well as the overall style of the more recent figures.  In terms of sizing, design, and how the articulation is worked in, he’s just an overall better representation than the prior release.  There are four different heads included with this one, each with a different expression.  The standard, right out of the box one has a fairly basic intense looking stare, but there’s also a surprised one, a yelling one, and an angry one.  They’re all consistently sculpted, so they look like the same character, and they’re all a good match for the character as seen on the show.  I wouldn’t mind getting something with more of a friendly smile, but the ones we got are solid.  I myself am partial to the surprised head, because that just feels so very Krillin.  The color work on Krillin is generally pretty basic.  A lot of it is molded colors, but there’s enough paint to get all of the important details.  The application is all pretty sharp, and he looks appropriately the part.  Krillin is packed with six different sets of hands (pointing, two different styles of open palm, two different styles of open gesture, and fists), an extra left hand holding a bag of Senzu Beans, and a Destructo Disk effects piece.  Pretty much all of the essentials are covered here, and I can’t really think of a ton of other stuff you could give him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The first DBZ version of Krillin was released just enough before I got into the line that there was no way for me to get him at a reasonable price.  I’ve kept my eye out for other options in the scale pretty much ever since, and ultimately made do with the Dragon Ball version of him for a little bit.  That said, as soon as this one was announced, I was on board, and I eagerly awaited his release.  In hand, he’s a ton of fun, and very much worth the wait.  Given how much I like Krillin, I’m kinda glad I didn’t settle for the earlier version, and waited for what is definitely the best version of him out there.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3093: Shin Ultraman

SHIN ULTRAMAN

FIGZERO S (THREEZERO)

Holy crap, is this two Ultraman reviews, in under a month?  Can that be right?  I mean, yeah, it can.  It’s my site.  I do what I want.  And some times what I want is two Ultraman reviews in a month.  That’s just how I roll.  Today, I’m shifting focus ever so slightly, and delving into Shin Ultraman, a reboot of the Ultraman franchise which is, after a few delays, supposed to be released at the end of this week.  The film follows up Shin Godzilla, a similarly handled reboot of that particular franchise, both of them headed by Hideki Anno (creator of Evangelion, amongst other things) and Shinji Higuchi.  They will be followed by Shin Kamen Rider, and are all supposed to be taking place in a shared universe.  Shin Ultraman has gotten a modest merchandising push in the last year, as they’ve lead up to its actual release.  That includes some coverage from comparative new-comers on the Ultraman front, Threezero, who are expanding on their anime-inspired Ultras and giving us two different versions of the titular Shin Ultraman.  I’m looking at the smaller version today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Shin Ultraman is the inaugural release in Threezero’s FigZero S line, which is a line of 6 inch figures, playing into the same market as the likes of Figuarts and MAFEX.  Notably, all three of the lines tackled this particular take on Ultraman, which I guess gives a good mark for comparison.  Not that I’d be crazy enough to buy the same design in similar figure styles three times over.  Right?  Right.  I’m not gonna do that.  I swear.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 40 points of articulation.  The movement on this guy is pretty solid.  I got to mess with the Figuarts release, and the movement, especially at the neck, was my real complaint.  This guy still has some restrictions, but he’s generally a little more posable.  He’s at the very least capable of the flying pose, and that’s a pretty key set-up, I feel.  The rest of the joints all offer a decent range as well; I quite like how the butterfly shoulders work.  I’m not too crazy about the knees, which, at least on mine, seem a little stuck on the lower potion, resulting in a range that’s just okay.  Shin Ultraman is based on his design from the film.  It’s a pretty straight forward update on the classic Hayata Ultraman design.  The fin no longer runs all the way down the back, and he’s no longer got the color timer, but otherwise he sticks pretty close.  I like the design, unsurprisingly, since I also really like the original design.  The sculpt does a good job of capturing the design, at least from what we’ve seen of it thus far.  The joints work into things alright, and he has a pretty slick feel overall, which certainly feels right for the character.  I also dig the skinnier, more alien design, which feels like an intriguing departure from prior looks for the character.  His paint work is fairly decently handled.  The silver is very shiny, which I really like.  The red seems a touch on the dark side, even when compared to shots from the movie, but it works well enough.  The application is a little bit spotty on some of the change overs, but it’s minor for the most part, and not terribly distracting given the scale.  Ultraman is packed with four sets of hands, in fists, flat, open gesture, and relaxed.  No effects pieces, though thus far none of the Shin Ultraman items have those, so it could be a license thing.  The extra hands do at least offer a nice variety of looks when posing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I love me some Ultraman, and I’m also growing to love me some Threezero.  I like the 12 inch figures I’ve gotten from them so far, and when this guy was shown off, I was definitely down.  It’s been a little bit of a wait to get him, but I’m glad I waited it.  He’s different from the Ultra-Act stuff I’ve gotten previously, but I can dig the changes, and I’m intrigued to see what else Threezero tries at this scale.  Until then, I’ve got this really cool Ultraman.  And who can knock that?

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3084: Mechagodzilla

MECHAGODZILLA

S.H. MONSTERARTS (BANDAI)

Just over a year ago, Godzilla Vs Kong premiered on HBO Max for streaming…and was also in theatres, I guess, but I was still avoiding them, so, you know, I wasn’t tracking such things.  I really enjoyed the movie, though, since it delivered on pretty much everything I had hoped for in a movie called “Godzilla Vs Kong.”  It had Godzilla, it had Kong, they were versus-ing, and, more importantly, it also had Mechagodzilla, Godzilla’s robot doppelganger, and my second favorite thing about the Godzilla franchise.  I picked up Playmates’ movie-inspired version of the character last year, and was pretty happy with that one, but you can always use just a little bit more Mechagodzilla, right?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mechagodzilla was released as part of Bandai’s S.H. Monsterarts line, hitting retail domestically at the end of February of this year.  He’s the third figure in the Godzilla Vs Kong subset, joining the Kong and Godzilla figures released last year to more closely tie-in with the movie.  The figure stands about 7 1/4 inches tall and he has, like, so much articulation.  Just many articulations, you guys.  The tail is almost entirely segmented into individual joints, and the pistons on the hips are designed to work.  He’s got an articulated jaw, he’s got butterfly shoulders.  About the only things missing are finger and toe movement, but at this size, that’s far from an issue.  They’d probably be at risk of breakage anyway.  As it stands, the current articulation scheme gives this guy a pretty solid range of motion.  The elbows are notably a little restricted, but beyond that, it’s impressive, especially that tail.  Mechagodzilla sports an all-new sculpt, based on his appearance in the movie.  Obviously, at this price-point, the sculpt is a lot more involved than the Playmates equivalent.  Everything is much sharper, and I do mean that literally; you gotta be careful with that tail.  Everything is very crisp, and convincingly mechanical, and there’s a ton of really great detail work on the inner mechanics of everything.  He’s also got a little bit of diecast metal worked into the legs and feet, which not only gives him a little extra heft, but also makes him very stable on his feet.  Mechagodzilla’s paint work isn’t too terribly involved, at least in terms of coloring, but it’s at least consistent.  The silver is all painted, which looks quite nice, and the handful of red accents do a good job of breaking things up just a little bit.  Mechagodzilla is light on the extras, but not completely without.  He gets two different sets of hands, one set open, the other closed, in order to add some extra variety to his posing.  It might have been nice to get a blast effect for his atomic breath, or possibly even some damaged parts, but ultimately, it’s nice that we got anything at all.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I like Mechagodzilla a fair bit, but the nature of his release meant that I wasn’t expecting to have an easy time getting ahold of this one through my usual means.  I was also pretty content with the Playmates figure, which is surprisingly good for its price-point.  That said, when one of these rolled through All Time, and I was able to snag him for a pretty solid deal.  Coupled with a general slow down in what I’ve been picking up, he just felt like the right thing at the right time.  This figure’s really solid, but in like a subtle way.  There’s a lot going on with him, but he’s not overly showy.  He’s just a really cool figure, and I’m glad I picked him up.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3073: Hush

HUSH

BATMAN: HUSH MAFEX (MEDICOM TOY)

Every so often, I like to jump into the world of imported toys, just to try out some of the finer things from time to time.  See how the other half lives, or something like that.  It’s a little tricky with some of them, given that the prices can get a bit insane on the domestic market, and things don’t always have a clear line of distribution.  A line that I’ve been intrigued by for some time is Medicom’s MAFEX line, their contribution to the 1/12 scale market.  Unfortunately for me, most of what I’ve been interested in has been of the Marvel persuasion, and those don’t have direct domestic distribution, making them pricier, and therefore less appealing.  I’ve been looking for a decent entry point, and I finally found a pretty good one.  That’s…not what I’m looking at today.  I’ll get to that.  What I *am* looking at today is Hush, based on his appearance in the self-titled arc from the comics.  I said don’t talk about it.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hush is figure No. 133 in the MAFEX line-up, the fifth Batman: Hush figure, following the two color variations on Batman, Catwoman, and Superman.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 46 points of articulation.  Hush marks my first time messing with a MAFEX figure, so it’s the first time I’ve checked out the articulation scheme.  It’s a mix of a few different styles, most closely resembling Figuarts in how it’s laid out and implemented, but I found that the motion seemed a little more fluid, at least on this figure compared to the Figuarts I’ve picked up.  Also, in a rather amusing sort of a set-up, it should be noted that four of those points are on the pouches on his belt, which can be posed up, as if he’s mid-jump.  It’s such a minor thing, but it’s also kind of cool.  The only slightly weird thing is that it’s just the pouches on the belt proper, not the lower hanging ones.  Still, it’s a nice touch.  Otherwise, the range of motion is pretty impressive for the scale.  Hush’s sculpt is a totally unique one.  He’s based on his appearance in the comics, directly patterned on Jim Lee’s art from the books, much like the old DC Direct figures.  It does a really good job of capturing the Jim Lee stylings, and there’s a lot of really good small detail work.  The technical work is just really impressive.  Hush includes three different head sculpts.  Two of them are the full bandaged look, one with a calm expression, and the other an angrier look.  The heads are nicely detailed, and internally consistent in their detailing, as well as matching up pretty nicely with Lee’s illustrations of the character.  The third head, and by far my favorite, is a Jason Todd head, based on the famous reveal panel.  It’s a great sculpt, with a ton of character, and super well-suited to the body.  Given the bare neck, this was clearly the head that the body was sculpted specifically for, with the other two being more of a package deal.  Hush’s paint work is really nicely handled.  The application is really clean, and the colors are nice and bold.  There are no missing details, or any notable slop, and the whole thing just looks pretty slick.  Hush has an impressive selection of accessories, including the three previously mentioned heads, plus five pairs of hands (in fists, gripping, relaxed, open gesture, and blade holding), two handguns, a coin, a separate knife, two different insignias for the chest (one H and one R, depending on display option), as well as two different belts (again with the H and R set-ups), and a display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I touched on in the intro, this figure isn’t the one that broke me on MAFEX, though he did come rather close.  No, that would be the Hush Nightwing, which is just too cool to pass up, and will be added to my collection just as soon as I can get him.  Of course, right after Nightwing was announced and I got my order in for him, this guy got traded into All Time used, giving the opportunity to mess with a MAFEX in hand, and also a slightly cheaper option for getting this one to go with that Nightwing I’m already down for.  I mean, it’s not that crazy to have the two grown up Robins, both from a rather formative comic book storyline for me, right?  Right.  So, after much hemming and hawing, I brought this guy home.  Was it the right call?  Simply put, yes.  This is a really nice figure, who really feels worth the heightened price point.  I can’t really afford to go all-in on a set of them at this price point, but I’m definitely even more excited for that Nightwing, and I’ll probably be picking up one or two other figures, as they do characters I have more draw to.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3004: Grice Anna – 19th Legion United

GRICE ANNA — 19th LEGION UNITED

BATTLE FOR THE STARS (JOYTOY)

Hey, remember when I was talking about Joytoy?  It was, like, three days ago?  Man, wasn’t that cool, and new, and different?  I sure thought so.  How about we give that another go, perhaps?  While the main focus of their output is the cool Mechas, Joytoy actually puts quite a lot of effort into the scale figures that go with said Mechas.  Enough effort that they don’t just want to leave them only available within the larger sets, so they also sell them in a few other ways, including just flat out selling them on their own.  So, today, I’m looking at one of those figures on its own.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Grice Anna is from Joytoy’s Battle For The Stars line, which, in contrast to the last item I looked at, is actually one of their 1/18 scale lines, meaning the humans are roughly at that 3 3/4 inch mark.  The figure follows suit, standing just shy of 4 inches tall and sporting 32 points of articulation, at least on the base body.  The design also features an exoskeleton sort of brace kind of set-up, which also features some articulation, though mostly its really just in a fashion that allows the underlying figure to still be posed without any trouble.  The articulation on the core figure is a lot like a 30th Anniversary/POC Joe, but even further improved, to the point where there’s even toe articulation, which, at this scale?  Well, that’s pretty impressive.  The joints are also quite well-toleranced, so she’ll be able to hold poses without much trouble, which is always a concern at this scale.  Anna’s design is sort of a merging of modern tactical gear with a little bit of military sci-fi, in keeping with the other stuff Joytoy’s been doing.  The core figure is much more on the realistic modern tactical side, and you could honestly fit her in pretty well with Joes and the like in this state.  She’s got a long sleeve shirt and some combat pants, as well as armoring on the torso, knees, and shins (the shin armor is a separate piece, so you could remove those too if you wanted).  The full armor is comprised of a pair of shoulder pads, an alternate helmeted head, and an exoskeleton that hooks over the wrists and legs, and runs pretty much the whole body.  She’s also got a cool neckerchief, you know, for a little bit of tasteful accessorizing.  Everything slides into place pretty well, although you will need to do a little bit of disassembly of the main body to get everything on there.  My only complaint is that the helmet isn’t actually attached to the alternate head in any way, so it falls off a lot.  Feels to me like it would have made the most sense to just glue it in place, especially since the alternate head foregoes even giving her painted eyes or anything, which winds up looking pretty creepy.  Her paint work is generally pretty nice.  The base work is clean, and she also gets a darker wash on the armored parts, as well as the pants, which helps to not only emphasize the sculpted details, but also to give her a slightly more worn-in appearance, which fits the setting they’re going for.  Anna is packed with two sets of hands with differing grips, as well as an assault rifle and a pistol.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been keeping Tim in the loop on my delve into Joytoy, since he is also big on the cool robots front.  This turned out to be a point in my favor, as his sister-in-law Becca was looking to get me something cool for Christmas this year, and he was able to point me in the direction of this particular figure.  I wasn’t intending to jump down the rabbit hole of the individual figures quite this quickly, but this one’s admittedly really cool.  Sure, she’s not the same scale as the one Mecha I have, but I guess I’ll just have to get a Mecha that scales with her.  Oh darn.

#2758: Evangelion Proto Type 00/00

EVANGELION PROTO TYPE 00/00

ROBOT SPIRITS (BANDAI)

Despite being a pretty big fan of the whole big mechas versus big monsters sub-genre, I somehow managed to avoid any major exposure to anything Evangelion until the last two years.  I know, shame on me.  Last winter I marathoned my way through Neon Genesis Evangelion and it’s follow-up movies, and then after a few months, my brain started working again, and now we’re kind of here?  I did enjoy the show, despite it’s brain breaking properties, and I certainly was down for some toys.  Fortunately for me, there’s a lot of options on that front!  I’m decidedly going with something generally more on the recent side, and I’m kicking off my collection with Eva Unit-00, who I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Evangelion Proto Type 00/00, or Unit-00 for short, was released as part of Bandai’s Robot Spirits toyline.  She’s figure 270 in the line, and marks the second of the Evas for the line.  This particular version of Unit-00 is based on her appearance in the Rebuild of Evangelion movies.  While Units 01 and 02 remain rather similar to their original designs, Rebuild does mix things up a little bit more for Unit-00, who in the original begins as an orange mecha, and then switches to blue for her more armored appearance.  In Rebuild, she instead keeps a more consistent orange and grey color scheme between both appearances.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and has 54 points of articulation.  This sucker’s pretty darn mobile, with a very impressive range of motion.  My prior exposure to Robot Spirits was through the Pacific Rim figures, and they  were solid for what they were, but the posability definitely wasn’t like this.  The figure’s designed for a lot of deep poses, as the Evas are prone to get into within the series, and that definitely works out very nicely.  I was also quite impressed by the engineering of the articulation, and how it works within the sculpt.  By far the coolest part is on the neck, which has a segmented construction that actually simulates stretching and compressing.  It’s really cool.  In general, the sculpt, which is quite an impressive piece of work, does a really good job of working in the articulation in an aesthetically pleasing way, while still maintaining a nice bit of accuracy to the source material.  Speaking of accuracy to the source, Unit 00 has two different looks in Rebuild, and this figure is actually designed to replicate both of them.  Right out of the box, she’s in her later, more armored up appearance, complete with the shoulder pylon things.  The shoulders are even on separate joints, so that you can keep them properly oriented, and out of the way of the arms when posing, which is pretty cool.  The shoulders, chest plate, and part of the thighs swap out for secondary parts, allowing for a conversion to the more streamlined appearance from earlier on, which looks pretty good too.  I’m more a fan of the out of the box set-up, but extra display options are always fine by me.  Unit 00’s color work is bold and clean, which is what you want to see on such figures.  A lot of it’s done through molded plastic, but the actual paint application that’s there is cleanly applied as well.  I certainly had no issues with it on my figure.  Unit 00 is quite nicely accessorized.  There are, of course, the previously mentioned alternate armor pieces, but on top of that she gets six sets of hands (fists, gripping, flat, relaxed, and two different styles of open gesture), an umbilical power cord, knife, smaller rifle, larger gun (complete with a spinning drum), handcuffs, an alternate open port for the plug, and some sort of crucifix antenna thing that I assume is somehow plot relevant to Rebuild.  It’s a really impressive selection of extras, and pretty much covers anything I could possibly think of wanting for the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I hadn’t seen anything Evangelion-related until the last two years, I also hadn’t gotten any of the toys, since I (typically) steer clear of toys for things I haven’t really experienced.  After watching the show, I definitely found Unit 00 to be my personal favorite of the main Evas, and I was definitely down for some version of it in toy form.  I’ve been looking at my options, and then this one wound up being the first of the Robot Spirits Evas to come into All Time, which certainly made my choice quite simple.  It’s a really fun figure, and probably the most fun I’ve had with a Robot Spirits release.  There’s so much cool stuff going on, and so many different options for display, but at the core of it, there’s a figure that’s just really, really fun to play around with.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2716: Ultraman – The Animation

ULTRAMAN — THE ANIMATION

S.H. FIGUARTS (BANDAI)

You know what be nice?  Not going over a year between Ultraman-related reviews.  Wouldn’t that be a novel concept?  I think it would!  I’m going to do my part, and so should you!  Now, my part is very clearly purchasing the Ultraman items and then reviewing them.  Your part is…reading the reviews?  I guess.  Seems like one of these jobs is gonna be way easier.  Not gonna say which.  But I’ll imply.  Because of the implications.  When last I spoke of Ultraman, I was focussed in on the Netflix animated adaptation of the manga, and I’m staying in that general area for today’s review.  But, while that review was of the Ultraseven stand-in, this time I’m looking at the series’ main central Ultra, Shinjiro Hayata.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultraman (The Animation) was released as part of the greater S.H. Figuarts line back closer to Netflix’s launch of the animation, as a tie-in.  I know, it’s a radical concept, right?  This is the second version of Shinjiro, following the manga-based version of the character that launched the Ultras into Figuarts back in 2015.  In adapting into animation, the suit uses the B Suit version’s colors, which were tweaked a bit to more closely read as the classic Hayata suit. The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 40 points of articulation.  Ultra’s movement is rather similar to the Ace suit, as opposed to Version 7, where the hips and legs have good range, but the shoulders are a little more restricted.  It’s slightly different, since it’s not sculpt getting in the way so much on the shoulders, but more the joints just being tighter.  So, it’s possible to get more movement out of them, but it just takes a bit more doing.  I suppose that’s a little better for long-term posing, but it does at times make me worry I might break the joints.  The figure’s sculpt is up to the usual standards for Figuarts, so it’s sharp and pretty precise.  Compared to the pointy-ness of 7 and the boxy nature of Ace, this one’s a fairly good middle ground.  He’s fairly compact and streamlined. It has a lot of similarities to the 2015 figure, obviously, but it looks like parts sharing between the two is minimal.  This one adjusts things to slightly more streamline the silhouette.  It makes him look quite sleek, and I really like how clean he looks, especially when you get him into the right poses.  It also better captures the slightly adjusted design of the later suit, better emulating the classic Ultraman design.  The paint work on this guy is, like the sculpt, clean and sharp.  The color scheme is the later design’s colors, which, while perhaps not as unique, I find to be a bit more eye-catching.  The larger sections of the same color just seem to read better for the character.  In terms of accessories, Shinjiro includes three pairs of hands (fists, relaxed, and open gesture), two Specium Slash pieces, a Specium Ray effect, standard arm guards, arm guards with the Specium Blades deployed, and one arm guard with a spot to plug in the Specium Ray.  It pretty much covers all of the basics for the character, and they’re all pretty solid pieces.  I did have a little trouble with the arm guards popping out on my figure, but it’s not terrible.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After getting the Version 7 figure from Super Awesome Wife for Christmas, I found myself with both Ace and 7, but no standard Ultraman, which seemed slightly incomplete.  She and I wound up with several Barnes & Noble gift cards after the holidays, and this guy was one of the figures they had in stock, so I figured it was as good a time as any to snag him.  He’s a fun figure to be sure, and I’m glad I finally rounded out the set.

#2709: Piccolo – The Proud Namekian

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.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2634: Iron Giant

IRON GIANT

RIOBOT (1000TOYS)

Robots sure were a somewhat common theme amongst the gifts I received this year for Christmas, and when it comes to robots, a fairly early one in my personal lexicon is The Iron Giant, Brad Bird’s lovely ’50s period-piece animated film from 1999.  I saw it in the theatre, I had the poster up on my wall, and I’ve had a small little collection of the admittedly small selection of merchandise to come out of the film.  There’s been a bit of of an uptick in stuff from the movie in recent years, including some offerings on both the lower and higher end.  I’ve covered a couple of the lower-tier items on the site previously, but now I’m jumping into the higher end, with an offering from my rather recent discovery, 1000Toys!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Iron Giant was released by 1000Toys as part of the Riobot imprint, where he’s figure #019.  This is the standard version of the Giant, but there’s also a Battle Mode Giant from the film’s climax.  But the standard’s really where it’s at, and that’s where I’m at too.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation.  The Giant continues the trend of the 1000Toys figures I’ve had of being very nicely articulated.  This one’s not so much about the quantity as much as it is the quality of those joints.  The most impressive piece of design work is the neck and jaw, which are technically one joint, but a very smartly designed one.  It’s a ball joint, which the jaw piece clips onto first, thereby allowing the mouth the much more fluid range of motion the Giant’s jaw demonstrates in the film.  It’s key to getting some of his more notable expressions, and I particularly enjoy the ability to give him that lopsided look that he uses when he is confused.  It’s a subtle thing, but it really works well.  One area I was initially disappointed by was the elbow movement, which I at first found to be very surprisingly limited.  Like, not even getting past 45 degrees levels of disappointing.  What, did Mattel design this figure?  Not to worry, though.  It turned out I’d just not fully loosened up all of the joints, specifically the sliding component on the forearms, which allows them to move further down and get the elbows a much deeper bend.  It’s another clever design, and one that again adds a lot of potential to the figure’s range of motion.  Additionally, the tolerancing on all of the joints is nice and smooth, while still being tight enough to hold the poses.  In order to give the Giant that proper sort of heft, a good portion of the figure is made from die cast parts.  Some of the smaller parts, such as the head and lower arms, are plastic, so as to prevent any issues with wear or breakage.  The sculpt itself is quite a nice piece of work.  It takes the animation model and does a very solid job of replicating it in proper figure form.  It’s clean, sharp, and properly geometric, and the proportions are all pretty much spot on.  The layers to the sculpt are well rendered, and it’s just a nice and slick looking figure.  The Giant’s color scheme isn’t exactly the most complicated thing, being pretty much just variants on grey.  The figure sticks to that, of course, but does a pretty bang up job of making it not totally bland or too basic.  There’s quite a bit of variance in the types of grey, and the application is all really sharp and clean.  The Giant has a pretty impressive selection of parts.  Obviously, they split all of the specific Battle Mode stuff into a separate figure, but this guy still gets four different heads with slight variations on how his eyes are configured (fully open, fully closed, angry, and concerned), two different jaw pieces (with and without his lower teeth), a set of upper teeth to clip onto the heads, three sets of hands (in fists, open gesture, and flat), and the “S” sign he uses when playing “Superman” with Hogarth.  There’s again a lot of subtlety to some of these parts, especially the heads, but there’s also a lot of variation possible, making for some very fun posing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Iron Giant is a movie I fondly remember seeing in the theatre with my parents, and one of those instances of me wanting to immediately run out from theatre and buy a toy of the Giant, which I in fact did.  Over the years, I lost the hands to that one (because they didn’t ever really stay in securely), and I’ve been really looking for a real proper upgraded Giant figure for a little while now.  I’ve been really liking everything I’ve gotten from 1000Toys, and I’d been eyeing this guy for a little bit.  My parents were nice enough to get him for me for Christmas this year.  He’s really an awesome offering, and just so much fun.  I’m definitely glad to have this guy in my collection.

#2370: Great Saiyaman

GREAT SAIYAMAN

S.H. FIGUARTS (BANDAI)

Oh wow, another Dragon Ball review?  This soon?  Is the reviewer going crazy?  Or is it just that he’s got no means of getting new toys and so therefore just has to make his way through pretty much whatever he’s got sitting here waiting to be reviewed in order to keep up with a daily review schedule?  I think it might actually be both, but I’ll let you know when I figure it out for sure.  So, Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z‘s got a couple of time skips built into it.  The first is of course the big jump from Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Z, which sees Goku and his friends go from kids to adults.  However, within Z, there’s also another sizable jump following the resolution of “Cell Games”, doing a similar time skip to what we saw with Goku, but this time with his son Gohan, who takes over as the series’ main focus, at least until his dad comes back from the dead…again.  During his time as lead, a high-school aged Gohan takes on the secret identity of the Great Saiyaman in order to protect the city without giving away his identity.  I’m looking at a figure of that identity today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Great Saiyaman was released in 2019 as part of the Dragon Ball Z-sub-set of the S.H. Figuarts line.  He’s the third Gohan figure, slotting right in the middle between the previously released kid Gohan and adult Gohan.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation.  Saiyaman scales pretty well with the rest of the Figuarts Dragon Ball stuff I’ve got, excepting of course the Krillin that’s out of scale with everything else.  The sculpt is probably the sturdiest and cleanest of the Dragon Ball figures I’ve looked at.  The articulation doesn’t break up the sculpt too much, and he seems to follow pretty closely to the animation designs for the character.  The only part of the figure I don’t really much care for is his cape, which has a hard plastic construction (except for the part on the shoulders, which is rubber), which makes it really awkward to handle.  It doesn’t help that it also doesn’t stay in place particularly well, meaning it falls off a lot during normal posing.  If you can get it to work with you, however, it makes for some dynamic looks.  The paint work on Saiyaman is pretty simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a solid application.  It seems to match pretty well with the show in terms of color, and I quite like the slightly different finish they’ve given the helmet.  It does well to differentiate it as a different, harder material than the other portions of the costume.  As with most Figuarts releases, Saiyaman is quite a well accessorized.  He’s got four sets of hands (in fists, open gesture, wide open gesture, and flat), two faceplates for the standard helmeted head (calm and angry), a plug for the spot on his back where the cape usually goes (should you wish to display him without it), an alternate left forearm without his watch, and not one, not two, but three separate extra heads.  He’s got his “tournament” look with the bandana and sunglasses, which is kind of the standard alt look for this costume, as well as a standard unmasked Gohan, and a Super Saiyan Gohan.   What I find most impressive about this release is how many distinct alternate appearances he’s got thanks to all those parts; you can effectively build four different figures with the parts included here.  I’m planning to stick with the helmeted look, but boy is it tricky to stick with just one.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though my main focus with DBZ is the Android Saga, which is before the time-skip that leads to this guy, I did watch this particular chunk of Gohan’s story pretty regularly when it was airing on Cartoon Network.  I’m also just generally a fan of Super Heroes, so this part of the story always stuck out to me.  The story of how I got this Saiyaman figure is pretty similar to how I got Krillin, though without the “I missed out on the previous version” bit.  I recall him being announced, and I thought about picking him up a few times, but never did get around to it.  He was traded into All Time, and I still had some trade credit to burn, so he was mine.  I didn’t have much in the way of expectations for this figure, and I wasn’t sure about what to do with him on his own, but this figure’s such a nice package deal to himself, and I’m really glad I decided to grab him.