Review by Optimal III
Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, & Dragon Ball Super all have strong arguments for "best series" in the franchise. However, I think DBZ has dibs on "best villains". They made the show as much as anything else, and Majin Buu took it to another level as the final bad guy. He goes through several transformations, so today, we're taking a look at his original and most powerful form, Kid Buu, part of the new Figure-rise Standard line from Bandai.
Bandai's been in the model kit game for a long time, primarily with Gundam. So, it's no stretch to think they can do good things with non-mecha/robots. And from the outside, it looks to be on par with their usual quality of work.
While the front is a blended image, the sides demonstrate the difference between art and "real deal". The bottom shows off the accessories and certain features.
Additional contents include the instruction manual & two flyers for Dragonball Xenoverse 2, Japanese & English. These aren't just cheap plugs for the game though. Each has a DLC code for getting a TP medal, which is used to obtain certain special moves. The Japanese one expired at the end of 2016 and was for PS4, but the American one is good till the end of 2017 and works for PS4, XB1, & Steam. Honestly, this is the best pack-in I've seen since Gundam Wing first came out on DVD in the US (each DVD had a mailer card, which if filled out, would get you a free MSIA in the mail). Very cool.
There are five part sprues and a small sticker sheet. Nothing crazy, but probably on par with a high-grade kit. All I used for tools were a sharp cutter, a Gundam marker, and some cuticle pieces for the stickers.
So, if you go by the instructions (which I always recommend for kits), you start with his head. No paint is necessary for any of this, but you may have noticed how completely pink the body parts are in comparison to the art & photos. Majin Buu has steam valves along his arms, back, chest, and head. None of them are colored in, along with his ears and nails, so that's what I used the marker for.
You'll next construct his two faces, neck, abdomen, & chest. The process is comparable to any other humanoid kit, but it's interesting to see how the muscles and body parts layer over each other.
You'll next build his arms and hands.
Put them all together and you're half-way there. Buu's body is like putty, so him being a mobile torso is a thing that could and probably did happen at some point.
Last are the legs & hips which you get in about one shot. This is the one part I became a little confused with, but it was only a couple of minutes till I figured it out.
Behold, evil incarnate! And in child size to boot. I haven't watched DBZ in a few years, but Kid Buu looks spot-on. The only place additional paint would be nice is inside his wristbands on the top, a shade of brown or tan to match the art. The gold bands and center of his belt are stickers, along with his teeth and tongue in the open-mouth face.
I asked my co-workers which face they preferred and everyone voted for this one, so that's what we're using for the review. Swapping from one to the other is easy since you just pry it out and off the head. I'm glad they went for something so expressive, rather than a neutral face. Not that he doesn't have those moments, but Kid Buu is a hair-trigger violent monster who delights in the destruction he causes.
Though diminutive like the character, barely 5-inches, he's a sculpted, muscular specimen from the waist up. From the waist down, it's just sculpting since we can only see his genie pants.
His articulation isn't insane, but it's pretty good. His head sits on a ball which lets it tilt & turn. His neck has a bit of lean front and back, but minimal on the sides. He tilts all around at chest and waist level too. He also has full rotation at waist level. All simple and subtle. Dynamic comes in with his arms. His shoulder hinges are the far side of balls nestled inside his chest, which can be extended outward for more reach. Below, he has bicep swivels and elbow hinges. And his hands rotate at the wrist socket. They get a little tilt, but not much because of his wrist bands.
He beats his chest with the best of them.
His hips are balls encased in swivel hinges mounted on a central pin. His knees hinge 90-degrees. And his feet tilt at the ankle. Joints will be exposed if you do anything beyond the A-stance, but he looks good regardless. I just wish his feet were jointed, front and/or back. He's light enough to balance on one foot, but it always takes a little fiddling to get him stable because his feet are so small.
For accessories, Buu has a total of 4 hands. Two are fists, two are open palms.
He has two faces.
There's a stand adapter that plugs into his back. It's meant to work with one of the Tamashii stands but it fits the stand he comes with. The small of his back is also removable, for plugging him onto another type of stand.
He has an energy ball which can be hand-held. But it's precarious, so they included a brace to plug it into, which fits around his wrist band.
And he has a more traditional projectile. I suppose it could be pegged onto the brace, but I used the stand instead. And yes, he does shoot blasts from his mouth too. He totally spits that hot fire. Or maybe it's the purple stuff they always pass over in the Sunny D commercials. It's plausible since he constantly eats & drinks.
Overall, I'm satisfied with everything except for the stickers. His mouth and belt were no problem, but the ones for his wrists and ankles were a bit annoying. If I was savvy with painting, I'd have done so. The manual even tells you what colors in case you go that route.
Still, this little guy is lots of fun. The included stand isn't really made to support him because it's too light and has a thin/tiny base. But I pulled some stuff off. So, whether he's kicking gorillas in the face, making new friends who also like to pound their chests, or showing off his swag, it's all good.
Kid Buu is quite the pleasant surprise. Also surprising is that Bandai hasn't made him in S.H. Figuarts form yet. But I guess with DBZ being only one of the many series that line covers, this is a good way to get more Dragon Ball characters out there for the fans in modern fashion. And cheaply too, with some retailers selling the kit for as little as $25. If you like kits or Dragon Ball, this is a nifty piece to pick up. Thanks again to Bluefin Distribution for the sample. Now I'm on the lookout to see who else gets the Figure-rise treatment.
|Posted 13 January, 2017 - 10:43 by Optimal III|