Final Form Frieza
|Character Design||Akira Toriyama|
Review by Rob
Reach your final form at BigBadToyStore!
Bandai’s tenure of making action figure model kits outside of their more mainstream Gunpla has been an off-and-on trend over the years. While the Sprukits line from the US is proving to be short lived, they at least are continuing their efforts to make poseable action figure model kits in Japan based on characters from various television and anime series other than the machines from Mobile Suit Gundam.
In 2009, Bandai created the “Figure-Rise” line beginning with 1/8 scale Master Grade models of characters from Dragon Ball Z, Kamen Rider, and the Tiger & Bunny anime series. They later produced models in a less space consuming 1/6 scale line called the “Figure-Rise 6.” However the line-up consisted only of a handful of kits based on the Tiger & Bunny theatrical films and the Kamen Riders Kabuto and Faiz.
By 2016, Bandai introduced the newest form of the Figure-rise series called the “Figure-Rise Standard” which continues their concept of making more organic looking character model kits in a relatively inexpensive scale that are easy to build. At the same time, Bandai is using the Figure-Rise series to produce a sub-line of figure busts for Gunpla and Macross Delta model kit displays.
At this time, the Figure-Rise Standard kits are limited to characters from the armored police series Active Raid and the forever popular Dragon Ball Z.
Released as the third kit in the Figure-Rise standard line, and second model from Dragon Ball Z is the villainous Frieza in his final form appearing in the series’ “Namek Saga” and “Resurrection of F” film.
Bandai’s intended pattern for the Dragon Ball model kits has them coming out in pairs reflecting each chapter of the story. As such, Frieza was released as a follow up to their Super-Saiyan Goku model kit, to be reviewed by Leo.
“Make me immortal!”
Introduced during the “Namek Saga,” Frieza was an evil galactic prince bent on universal conquest. Leading an army of alien goons across the galaxy to the Planet Namek where he, like all other villains in the wild Kung-Fu adventure, attempts to take the mystical Dragon Balls in order to become immortal.
Frieza represents a recurring pattern in Dragon Ball where the villains will take on different, more powerful forms throughout their battles with the Z-Fighters. First appearing as a diminutive figure with armor and horns Frieza changed into two much larger, menacing appearances including a hyper-muscular homage to Ridley Scott’s Alien before taking on his final form.
Frieza's fourth and final form is a deceptively small body that masks his Power Level of over 1,000,000. In some respects, Frieza’s somewhat featureless form resembles a ‘Grey’ alien with a long lizard-like tail.
Out of the box, the “Final Form” Frieza model is comprised of five plastic runners, only three of which are used to make the main figure.
The two additional runners are for a clear plastic display stand and clear pink special effects parts for his “Death Ball” and “Death Beam” special attacks.
Like certain Gunpla, the display stand that comes with the model is made exclusively for the special attacks.
The model is molded in white-lavender and purple plastic for Frieza’s body while his eyes are molded in white and red plastic.
Surprisingly, the model does not use any polycaps and relies on the durability of the plastic to hold itself together.
Right on the box, Bandai announces the gimmick for the Dragon Ball models as the “Muscle Build-Up System.”
This means the part seams conform around, and literally build up the muscles of the figure rather than splitting parts in half along typical flat edges.
In many ways, the parts design is outstanding and Frieza’s simplistic form really makes it easier to appreciate.
There are some obvious seams and separation though. A key example would be Frieza’s tail which is split down the middle on a typical flat edge.
Naturally this is a simple fix and the entire model kit can be completed to a show room finish with just a little glue and light sanding.
The lavender color of the plastic has a certain glow to it that really brings out the details in the muscles, so much that I hardly used a detailing pen on the engraved lines.
Because of the character’s minimal colors, I really didn’t feel the need to add paint to the model other than to fill in the areas it use decals such as on Frieza’s (toe and finger) nails, teeth, and inner ear sockets.
As a whole for working on this kit, I focused mostly on joining the parts together, sanding the seams, and finishing it with a flat topcoat to eliminate the plastic look giving it a more natural flesh like finish.
You could say this model can be built in five minutes, both realistically and in Toriyama time!
Fully built, Frieza stands at five inches tall, which for a non-scale kit, puts it just at the same height as Bandai’s 1:144 scale Gunpla.
However seeing how the line is still limited in characters, I feel it looks comparable to someone in his S.H. Figurarts form since he doesn’t have his own Figure-Rise model.
The model has an incredible range of articulation thanks to its joint design that rivals even the SH Figurarts collection.
The joint design is on par with Bandai’s other lines but masks the simple mechanics with the organic parts design. Its double jointed knees and elbows are complimented by the increased range of movement in the shoulder area and swiveling scissor joint hip connection.
One shortcoming is the tail, which is limited to swiveling at three points, but it still manages to convey its appearance well and the pre-molded curves look natural when it’s turned at every angle.
Moreover the tail serves as a tripod in order to help balance the top heavy figure.
This even allows it to take on more dynamic poses without the aid of a support base!
One problem I have with the tail is it sometimes slides out on the post where it connects to Frieza’s body.
The reason it does this is so you can connect the mounting clip for suspending Frieza from an Action Base.
The model comes with a modest level of additional hands, two heads, and Frieza’s two special attacks.
What I feel really sets the high mark for the model is the two different heads that give Frieza more expressions.
The first is his default face with that coy evil smirk and the second is his unhinged angry grin.
Both heads are perfect for those “POWERING UP!” moments or Frieza being purely evil.
“Ow, right in the tit!”
Frieza’s Death Beam fits over his finger tip and can rest on the display stand to bring it to different heights and angles.
While it floats a little loose, Frieza has no problems holding it unaided.
His Death Ball on, or literally off, the other hand requires the display stand and its own unique display piece.
Made in the shape of a loop, the piece fits between his wrist and forearm and posts into the Ball, suspending it over Frieza’s hand.
Overall, Final Form Frieza is a true to form effort for something new from Bandai from a classic series.
I’m impressed with how well this model looks and how easy it was to build. While we can only wait and see how far into the Dragon Ball roster Bandai is willing to go, they’ve certainly proved they’re up for the challenge.
This sample was provided by BlueFin Distributors!
|Posted 17 November, 2016 - 22:52 by Rob|