Oh, S.H. Figuarts, how you love separating me from my
ill-gotten hard-earned money! At this year's San Diego Comic-Con, the Bluefin Tomashii Nations booth was the place to be for fan's of Dragonball Z, thanks to the S.H. Figuarts Con-Exclusive Piccolo figure! While I missed the show, a friend managed to hunt one down and ship it my way. Now, it's time for a review!
The packaging is familiar for the S.H. Figuarts license in that it's a window-box. However, all of the colors and artwork are exclusive to each particular figure-- in this case, the turban-sporting alien from Namek: Piccolo! The back of the packaging shows some of the various poses you can put the figure in by utilizing the various accessories... and also has bunch of writing that is in English thanks to the SDCC-ness of this toy. Usually the back text for these toys is written in Japanese.
S.H. Figuarts are packed, PACKED with accessories, and Piccolo is no different. He comes with: two extra heads, a cape, two add-ons for the cape, a set of crossed arms (non-articulated), 5 various hands, and a flight stand. The heads and hands pop on and off easily enough, but stay on tightly so there's no worry of them falling off at random.
Sculpt-wise, Piccolo is spot-on with his namesake from the classic anime. From his antennae, to his fanged snarl, there's no denying who this figure is supposed to represent. The wrinkles of his clothes and the grooves in his boots also invoke the familiar art style associated with Dragonball Z.
Most of the figure has been molded in the appropriate colors, but where paint has been added, it is very cleanly done. in fact, the difference in paint from the original release is what sets this con-exclusive apart from it's pre-released ancestor. The arms on the SDCC Piccolo have a pink hue of the anime, while the original version featured more yellow detail as seen in the original manga.
The articulation on this figure, like all S.H. Figuarts I own, is simply insane. It's tough to come up with a pose that these figures cannot replicate-- and that includes Piccolo. Thankfully, there were no loose joints as that can make posing these guys very difficult. Piccolo manages to hold all poses well, but when sporting his massive cape, has huge problems with balance. For those keeping score at home, Piccolo features: a swivel/hinge neck with dual ball-joints at each end, dual ball-joint inner shoulders, hinged shoulders, hinged shirt sleeves, swivel biceps, dual hinged elbows, swivel/hinged wrists, ball-joint hands, ball-joint waist, hinged & ball-joint hips, swivel thighs, dual hinged knees, ball-joint ankles, and hinged toes. Crazy, right?
All in all, this figure was exactly what expected: a nice update to an already great figure, and a good addition to my Dragonball Z collection. For more on the S.H. Figuarts line (you can pre-order Krillin at your local LCS and various online stores now), be sure to check out Bluefin Tamashii Nations' Facebook page. They're the official importer of Bandai's many figure lines, so they're always tossing up pics and release info!