As I mentioned last week in my mini-review of the Medicom Real Action Heroes Dragon Ball Z Son Gokou, I was able to pick up Piccolo and Goku for a relatively good price recently. Still, as someone used to paying around $10 for a super-articulated action figure, there was a bit of sticker shock. I was pretty impressed with Goku (Son Gokou in Japan), but to be honest it was Piccolo that was the bigger draw for me.
Like Goku, Piccolo comes with an assortment of additional hands so you can recreate his iconic poses. There’s five extra hands in all. On top of that, his cape and head (more on that later) are removable.
Piccolo features the same articulation as Goku, and as such has better movement than anything else I’ve ever seen in this scale, including Marvel Legends Icons. In contrast to Goku, while the articulation for head and neck are the same, Piccolo seems to have greater range of motion with his head – I think that may be from a wider socket that Medicom used to make his head removable. Why the removable head, if he doesn’t come with an extra? Medicom is producing a figure for Gohan (Goku’s son) in its Vinyl Collectible Dolls line, and it will include an alternate head for Piccolo. This alternate head will feature an evil grin, his antennas, and no turban.
Incidentally, although Gohan is part of the VCD line, he will be around six inches tall – so he’ll be in scale with the Goku and Piccolo figures, just not as articulated. Unfortunately, Sideshow has told me that the VCD Gohan that they will be importing will not come with the alternate head for Piccolo.
Another difference between Piccolo and Goku is how Medicom chose to construct their arms. Unlike Goku, who has traditionally sculpted and articulated arms, Piccolo features a flexible sheaths covering articulated armatures for his arms. While it looks great, the sheaths do hinder the poses you can get – they force the arms to unbend from more extreme poses. The sheaths can slide up and down the arms a bit, and I found that there were some sweet spots in where the sheaths were positioned over the elbow joints that enabled more range of motion.
The other points of articulation are great, with the hands again being a major highlight of the figure. Like with Goku, you can get Piccolo’s hands positioned in just about as many ways as you can move your own. Piccolo’s cape also contains thin flexible wires that lets you position it. However, I would have preferred the wire used to be a bit thicker, as the weight of his cape is a bit too much for the current wire to hold some more drastic wind-blown poses.
Overall, I’m very pleased with Piccolo and Goku, though I fear this is just the start of a much more expensive hobby for me.