SHF: Super Saiyan Son Gokou

So, we’re up to the 2nd release from the Dragonball SHF line. And it is a character that needs no introduction, Super Saiyan Son Gokou!

It looks like they decided to start from the Cell Saga this time, and release the SS forms first, which is actually the way I prefer it as I can’t wait for a decent action figure of SS Shounen Gohan.

Bandai’s SHF line has proven themselves to be exceptional when it comes toΒ  Kamen Riders, but are they as capable when it comes to human/anime characters. The release of Hana placed a lot of doubts in our mind, but with the debut of Piccolo from the Dragonball line, a favourite for many toy collectors in 09, the fate of the Dragonball SHF line looks to be in good hands.

In terms of quality, SHF’s Gokou is of a similar level to Piccolo. Certain characteristics are improved, but there are also other aspects that are not as well done as its predecessor.

The first thing I noticed upon opening the figure, is that it looks a lot better in person than it did in a lot of the pictures I’ve seen out there. Some of the pictures out there looked very pasty, and made the hair look like unriped bananas.

This time, a matte coating has been applied to the clothing, which really accentuates the textures inherent in the DB style clothing. This is a huge improvement to Piccolo as it rids the figure of its raw plastic-y look. A look that Piccolo’s clothing and a fair number of SHF Riders have on certain parts. But to be fair, Piccolo had the matte treatment done on its green flesh coloured parts, and light blue shading effects done on its cape.

The skin has been left in its original plastic colour with light shading effects to better emphasise the contour of the muscles. The hair, while the shading effect is not as apparent as it appears in Bandai’s official photos, it is still there very subtly.

Accessories-wise, we are given an extra face, 2 pairs of swappable hands, and another hand for “Shunkan Ido”.

The image below shows how the hair is removed to swap the parts for a different face, this is done in the same fashion as Bandai’s Saint Seiya Myth Cloth figures. Because of the contours of Gokou’s hair, the seams are pretty well hidden.

I also commend Bandai for moulding the face in flesh coloured plastic instead of painting it on like in the Saint Seiya figures, which is plagued with QC problems with scratches, chipped noses, chipped lips, unwanted moles, pimples and all sorts of unmentionables caused by blotchy paint jobs.

The QC for the face is not as consistent as Piccolo, the pupils is a tad too small for the regular face, especially with the fringe (bangs for the American folks) in the way. Though after playing it for a while, I have gotten used to it. Some people also complain of the black lines around the eyes being too thick on the default face. I find it tolerable, and this may vary from figure to figure. The hair sculpt looks great in my opinion, as does the face, the nose is very sharp.

The level of articulation is very similar to Piccolo by design, although the joints are a lot tighter, so it is recommended that you move the joints more gently. The head is also a bit loose, and detaches from the neck a tad too easily for my liking. I had initially thought the above 2 problems might have been one-off cases, but upon speaking with Kaido, his had the exact same problems, so I think it’s safe to assume that it may be a common problem across the Gokous.

The image below shows how far the elbow bends. It is less flexible than the Rider SHFs, due to Gokou’s muscles. The ankles are also less flexible than Piccolo’s, due to the boots being in the way.

The ‘toe’ joint is held together with a thin metal tube, and notice the area I highlighted on the knees, when you try to straighten it back up, that bit actually gets in the way, so you may have to push it down a little to flex it back to its original position.

The 2nd face the figure comes with is fantastic for all sorts of action poses. Some have complaint that it ought to have come with a 2nd entire head including the hair, but this doesn’t bother me much as the parts are easy to swap and Gokou is really only in this costume ever as SS mode. However, for future figures such as Vegeta, and Trunks, I hope they include extra hair as well where it comes into use, especially in non-SS mode. It is likely that the upcoming Cell Saga costumed Vegeta is the SS version, and they’ll release the black haired version in the Freeza Arc costume. Say, if you swap the black haired Vegeta to the Cell Saga costume, the Freeza Arc costumed Vegeta would need an extra head, as he never appears as SS Vegeta in that costume.

Kamehameha!

Gokou: “If only I were a smooth talker like Naruto! We wouldn’t need to fight and everybody would be alive again!”

“Get out of the way Kaioshin. You useless sod.”

“Let’s become one Vegeta!!”

Some eye-candy.

Overall, this is definitely one of the best Gokou action figures out there. It stays faithful to the show/manga with its crisp sculpting on the clothes, a clean paint job and finish, and is sure to provide hours of fun with its impressive articulation. While a third face would have been desirable (better yet, hair for Gokou’s SS2 form), the accessories still provide for many possibilities. (Get creative!) A much more affordable, and more impressive figure than Medicom’s RAH I’d say, if you were to compare it with recent Gokou action figures on the market.

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    • redmage20386
    • April 7th, 2010

    okay, now you’re review makes me want to buy it straight away… the other pictures in the store are not that interesting. but your review is great, you have to make photography tutorial one day πŸ˜€

    -redmage

  1. You should! It’s a great figure, highly recommended. Definitely the best Gokou action-figure out there.

    Haha, thanks, but I’m just an amateur with a point-and-shoot camera and 2 desk lamps. πŸ˜›

  2. desk lamps that uses compact fluorescent bulbs are much better than those that still uses incandescent lamps.`’

    • ky
    • November 7th, 2010

    hi,awesome review. can i ask u a qsn?
    can the thighs be pulled down to extend the legs? cos i cant see this action in the photos. thanks.

    • Yes, it’s possible, especially when you need to do a kicking pose. I just avoid the angle when photographing it, because the gap can look a little awkward when it isn’t required.

    • cooldude7208
    • June 4th, 2012

    I don’t have one thare to much $

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