Thursday 10 November 2016

Toybox Review: S.H. Figuarts Super Saiyan Vegeta [2016]

Do you hear that? That’s the sound of Dragon Ball Z collectors selling off their S.H. Figuarts Super Saiyan Vegeta –Premium Color Edition- figures after Bandai Tamashii Nations almost immediately followed its release up with the announcement of a newly improved mould. Unlike the five Vegeta figures that have preceded it, this S.H. Figuarts Super Saiyan Vegeta isn’t an exclusive release and marks the first time the character has been a mass release figure – despite being the secondary lead in the franchise by this point. Using the same new-style body as the recent Super Saiyan Trunks figure, this Vegeta is supposedly based on the ascended version from the Cell Saga but ultimately works as him from any point in the show’s timeline.

The quality of the Dragon Ball Figuarts has improved considerably over the past year or so, and you don’t need to look at the figures themselves to see that difference. The rise in overall quality has been marked by a new packaging design, which is currently shared by Super Saiyan Goku Awakening Ver., the new Super Saiyan Trunks, Beerus and Whis. These predominantly white boxes feature monochrome images of the figure along with a secondary colour specific to each character, and in Vegeta’s case it’s a rather fitting shade of “Super Saiyan aura” yellow. The back of the box features coloured images of the figure, showing off the various accessories in a number of Vegeta’s signature poses.

Despite boasting the “Premium Color Edition” tagline, the last Super Saiyan Vegeta release was effectively a slight repaint produced to bypass Bandai’s unwritten rule about reissuing web exclusives. The colour was little more vibrant, but whether it could actually be considered “premium” is up for debate. This Vegeta on the other hand feels premium in every sense of the word, as the updated sculpt and high quality paint job leaves the older figure in the dust. Gone are the bright glossy colours – here we have a beautiful matte finished figure far more in line with the Awakening Goku figure. The body’s muscular detailing is brought out nicely by the wash of brown paint, and the face sculpt features sharper detailing than has previously been seen before. Additionally the Super Saiyan-charged hair is now a wonderful pale matte yellow, as opposed to the rich glossy shade seen on the Premium Color version. If you own the recent Trunks figure you’ll know exactly what to expect from Vegeta. If not – this is definitely the Vegeta figure you want to own.

An improved body of course means improved articulation, the most notable implementation being the new segmented style hip joints previously seen on Goku, Trunks and a handful of Naruto Figuarts. They may not be able to drop down from the body anymore, but these hips offer an equally excellent range of motion without making the legs look detached from the body. Other upgrades include the inclusion of a proper ball-jointed waist, segmenting the torso to allow an even better posing range than before. The rest is your usual S.H. Figuarts fare – ball joints in the head, neck, and shoulders complimented by double hinge elbows and knees, bicep swivels, ankle rockets and hinged toe sections.

Vegeta has a similar accessory range to the original, however Bandai have also thrown in a few extras to help encourage buyers to upgrade. First we have the three alternate faceplates – one smirking and two in a shouting expression (one with the eyes to the centre, the other with the eyes to the left). The smirking and shouting/eyes off-centre faces were also included with the original, but shouting/eyes centred one is a more than welcome newcomer. Finally Vegeta can be posed in attack stances while actually looking at his opponent! On top of those there are seven additional hands - one more than the original. Among them are ones suitable for Galick Gun and Final Flash, but curiously no perfect Big Bang Attack pair (which were present in the original release). Another highlight is the thumb-pointing right hand, which when combined with the smirking face gives Vegeta a level of smugness that’s rarely seen in Dragon Ball anymore. Rounding things off in a cross-armed piece, which can be attached in the place of the articulated arms to provide a more natural-looking pose. 

Admittedly the figure could have definitely done with a few more things though. Effect parts is a complaint common with almost all Dragon Ball Figuarts, but once again Bandai have forsaken fans by not including an untransformed head as an accessory. Trunks came with the option, so why can’t Vegeta? This isn’t the first time it’s happened either – Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan (aka Super Saiyan Blue) Goku can with both heads, yet Vegeta was stuck with only a transformed head. It seems even when he finally gets a mass release figure and a decent mould, poor Vegeta is still getting shafted in some way.

Vegeta has been long overdue some love in the Figuarts line. As well as never getting a mass release figure until this point, his old mould has constantly been repurposed and is has really begun to show its age. This however is the figure that the Saiyan Prince truly deserves. Oozing the same quality that made the Awakening Goku figure such a success, this release brings Vegeta up to the standard of modern Figuarts while putting all the other variants to shame. The lack of an effect part is always a bit of a disappointment when it comes to this range, but the range of additional expressions and hands here is undoubtedly impressive. All Bandai need to start doing now is releasing Dragon Ball figures with multiple heads or accessory packs and collectors would be set.


Anonymous said...

Will you do a review for shfiguarts kamen rider w renewal in the future?

Alex said...

Certainly will! Literally only got the figure a few days ago so should be up in the next week or so!

Anonymous said...

Good to hear that!