SHF: Son Gohan

During the pre-teen years of my childhood in the early 90s, I’ve always longed desperately for a Super Saiyan 2 Son Gohan action-figure, but truth be told, most of the posable Dragon Ball action-figures released out there have been hit pretty bad with the ugly stick. (They didn’t have a SS2 figure back then anyway, maybe a resin.)

My favourite line from memory is an action-doll series released around 1995, where the character comes in the form of a model kit, but the outfit is made of rubber and had to be put on in order to hide the joints. Unfortunately, only 5 character models were ever released in the series, none of which are from the Cell Saga.

Despite Dragon Ball’s immense popularity across the globe, most of the series’ best figurines seem to be those released as Gashapon or Banpresto’s catcher machine prize items, neither of which have any posability.

Having been a huge fan of the SHF Dragon Ball Kai figures released earlier on in the year, I couldn’t contain my excitement when Gohan was finally announced to be the next instalment, especially when its SS2 form is included!

The cape does get in the way quite a bit, so let’s throw it aside for now so we can get a better look at the figure.

The figure measures approximately 11cm tall, not including all the hair, which makes sense in order to keep it in scale with Gokou and Piccolo.

The figure comes with 3 pairs of hands, a cape, 6 facial expressions, and two sets of hair. The expressions are all extremely well sculpted which closely resembles the original artwork, the only exception being the “happy face” Gohan wears when training to maintain his Super Saiyan form in everyday life with Gokou. It just feels a little off, as I remember the pupils and the brows are usually touching. But given the number of faces included, this isn’t all that big of a concern compared to the can of worms I’m about to open.

The bloody freckles that are on his face however, are an issue that I have a bone to pick with! I don’t know what Bandai was thinking when they decided to change the lines used on the initial prototype (similar to what was used on Gokou) to this. It wouldn’t be so bad if they had inked them in finer, but on some of the faces, they look like blotches. Thankfully, they are a little less distracting in person than they appear to be in a close up shot. But still, it’s frustrating to know that Bandai had the winning formula, but decided to fiddle with things which ended in a screw up.

It’s also a shame that the hands used for the Masenko attack are not included.

For those who are very picky, and are blessed to have the good fortune to do a QC-check before you purchase the figure in a store, I’d suggest to take note of scratches on the face. While they are barely noticeable in most angles, they are still visible if scrutinised under direct lighting. (If you’ve already purchased one and haven’t noticed any, don’t go try looking for any blemishes now!)

Again, I must slap Bandai and ask them why they went with such a pasty and washed out looking purple for Gohan’s outfit in the end, it’s meant to be a very deep purple! The waistband is also moulded in a murky shade of red in comparison to Piccolo’s, which was another let down. (If only they followed anime colour and used the blue one…)

Given the RRP of 3,200 charged for such a tiny figure, you’d expect Gohan’s outfit to receive the same matte coating treatment Gokou received, but unfortunately, there is none…

The head is attached via the hair piece, so the faces can be swapped directly without removing the head. The pants and sleeves are basically a downscaled version of what we’ve seen on Gokou and Piccolo, but the elbow joints are slightly different from what is usually used. The metal screws normally found in the joints of SHF figures are absent, perhaps due to size constraints.

A demonstration of the figure’s range of articulation.

The faces are swapped out in the same method as Gokou, by removing the fringe of the hair.

One of the most exciting things about this figure is that you can display Gohan in SS2 mode along with the cape, something that is only seen in promo artwork and posters.

While the folds of the cape are given the same blue shading as Piccolo’s to accentuate the shadows, it lacks the same matte texture the original had. It also feels thicker, and is therefore more restrictive of the arm’s movements.

The skin tone appears a little more natural and closer to what it should be this time, as Gokou’s was a little too pink.

We really need a SHF Perfect Cell figure for this to work and fully exhibit Gohan’s SS2 prowess.

Gohan’s takes the first strike.

BOOM! And there goes half of Cell’s body.

The Kame Hame Ha poses are not quite as convincing as Gokou’s, as Gohan’s shorter arms make it appear a little forced.

Piccolo-san, I want an outfit like yours!

A teacher and his pupil, how the student has grown!

Final days of training in preparation for the Cell Games.

Has Gohan surpassed his father?

This post would not be complete without trying to recreate this epic finale.

Super Saiyan 2 Gohan is without a doubt, a fan favourite amongst Dragon Ball fans. While it does regrettably come with a handful of issues (e.g. accuracy in regards to colour choices, and the bloody freckles), the face and hair sculpts are still fantastic, and seeing as the flaws aren’t design related, it doesn’t take away from the figure’s play value.

Those with emotional investment in Dragon Ball and experienced the mania in the early 90s will no doubt have a blast of nostalgia with the figure, while those who are more casual about it, will enjoy it, and probably won’t even notice some of the cons I’ve been rambling on about!

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  1. i think i would love to have gohan but its a lot of money and bids

    • johnny
    • February 28th, 2012

    can i know were you can get them

    • matt
    • November 8th, 2012

    how tall is it

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