Dragonball Z Goku
following is a guest review. The review
and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford
or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the
|Tonight's guest review is from
YoNoSe, back with a look at a classic character - take it away, Yo!
Thanks, Michael, for letting me post another round of blah, blah, blah!
There’s nothing Hollywood likes better than a property that’s already
made a ton of money. Unfortunately, interest doesn’t usually go much
further than the brand name. It’s a little scary nowadays when your
favorite comic/book/TV show is given the big screen treatment. You have
your odd Star Trek or Spider-Man, but mostly we end up with Batman and
From the beginning there was little hope for Dragonball: Evolution. The
source material contains everything from high-flying, magical kung fu
to futuristic cities and vehicles, to casual nudity. We were never
going to get a faithful Dragon Ball or Dragonball Z movie made on a
conservative budget by an American studio.
Maybe it’s because I knew that going in or maybe I’m just getting too
old to muster the fanboy venom that flows like a Digital River (get
it?) on the Internet, but I don’t hate the movie. That’s not to say I
wouldn’t have preferred the epic, effects laden blockbuster fans
dreamed of. It’s just that after years and years of watching my
favorite comics, TV shows and video games get adapted into
cringe-worthy movies I was prepared to accept Dragonball: Evolution for
its limited charms.
charms was Justin Chatwin’s performance as Goku. Though the
script assigns him a predictable load of garden variety teen angst
Chatwin still manages to get some of Goku’s endearing goofiness onto
the screen. He also does an admirable job of looking totally committed
to some extremely awkward, and sometimes downright awful, dialogue.
to that the fact that this is almost definitely the only live-action
version of Goku we’re ever going to get, Enterbay’s reputation for
incredibly lifelike portraits, and a $60 merchandise credit at
Bigbadtoystore, and this figure became an easy buy for me.
So now that I’ve rationalized my purchase, how’s the figure???
Enterbay packaging is sturdy. You get one big old box containing two
smaller boxes, containing, alternately, a plastic tray (for
accessories) and a foam encasement (for the figure).
The graphics are nice. The picture of the figure exemplifies how
Enterbay has made a name for themselves with human portraits – if it
weren’t for the ridiculously styled hair (which I’ll get to in the
Sculpting section) you might think this was a photograph of a living
The only other Enterbay figure I own is 24’s Jack Bauer and aside from
the specific graphics this packaging is identical to Bauer’s with one
notable exception: While both figures come sandwiched between two foam
cutouts, Bauer was separated from the foam by a thin piece of tissue.
With Goku, they’ve gone into heretofore-unexplored collectible
territory with…a pencil case.
Not what I was expecting but it works! My first Bauer figure arrived
with a nasty nose rub thanks to a rip in the tissue paper. Goku’s face
paint was happily undisturbed.
This is a fantastic head sculpt! At first I wasn’t sure about the
likeness. But after a closer look you can see they’ve captured the
shape of the eyes, set of the mouth and furrowed brow of movie-Goku.
Chatwin does not have the most distinguished face working today which
makes it harder spot at this scale. I would say it’s on par with
Enterbay’s other excellent work. It just doesn’t benefit from the
identifiable grizzle of someone like Kiefer Sutherland.
The face is about as real as they come but the hair is another story.
The biggest problem is the design, and I can’t fault the sculptor for
that. Goku’s trademark ‘do is an explosion of triangles. What works on
paper seldom translates perfectly to reality and thus we are left with
some wacky hair on movie-Goku.
The sculpt itself is quite intricate and thoroughly detailed. There are
no tootsie rolls here. Close examination reveals every part and spike
used to approximate the animated design.
No amount of detailing, however, can make this hairdo look real. The
sheer mass and abnormal shape immediately register as fake to the eye.
That’s actually appropriate since it looks weird in the film as well.
The glossy paint doesn’t help, but that too is fairly accurate to the
I’m not going to dock the sculpt (which, after all, is excellent) but
since the design greatly effects the overall aesthetic of the figure it
should be mentioned here. The sculptor is not responsible for the
design but it is part of the product. If you are interested most in the
“realism” of a figure this could be a huge turnoff.
There’s a subtlety to the paint application that is rarely seen in this
scale. Even meticulous customs don’t often achieve this level of
realism. There are no hard lines on the face to remind you that you’re
looking at a toy. The skin tone has several complimentary colors at
play but it’s so skillful you might not notice it. The eyes are
incredibly lifelike (though not perfectly centered).
So why not a perfect score?
The real problem is the paint on the belt and wristbands. Not only do
they look obviously like shiny plastic, but the paint itself feels
tacky and in one small spot even rubbed off on the gi. The
paint seems like a quick fix to add some depth to the appearance.
That’s hard to swallow at this price point.
The underlying body is Enterbay’s RM-1. It’s the same as Bauer but, as
EB’s web site notes, this iteration sports improved ankles. This is
good news for me since my Bauer lilts from side to side almost as much
as the real Kiefer.
Height-wise it’s taller than a Medicom but not quite as big as a
Truetype, though Goku’s hair does throw off the comparison a bit.
Here’s my best guess at the breakdown of POAs (I wasn’t breaking the
belt for the sake of peaking at Goku’s unmentionables): Ball jointed
neck, shoulder, elbows, and wrists. The hips have a ball joint-type
range of motion. The waist is cut and there is a mid-torso pin joint
(this only seems to move forward). Knees are double jointed. Toes are
also articulated, though the hard plastic boot doesn’t allow for any
Joints are tight and hold poses well. Articulation is nowhere near the
top-of-the-line Hot Toys Truetype and I miss that body’s smooth
movement in the joints. Enterbay uses a ratchet type joint in the hips
– they seem to “click” into place every centimeter or so - making it
more difficult to find the hallowed “sweet spot” for dynamic poses.
I do like the natural shape of the body. There are no inappropriately
bulging muscles and generally the articulation is well hidden.
Then there are the elbows….
Yikes! Looking this figure over from top to bottom, you can’t help but
notice the elbows. You have a fantastically realized human face on top
of a realistically shaped human body and then you hit the most obvious
set of elbow joints this side of Hasbro Hill. I’m not opposed to
visible articulation, these are not statues, but these seem more
bulbous and toy-like than necessary. Only now do I see how Jack Bauer’s
long sleeves added to the realism of that piece.
Also notable about this body is the weight. You may appreciate it since
it feels more substantial than most 1/6 bodies. Personally I prefer a
lighter body. If this guy falls, he’s going down hard.
Goku comes with his stick, his four-star Dragonball, five hands, and a
The stand isn’t much to look at but it’s a pleasant surprise. It’s
leaps and bounds better than the stand that came with Jack Bauer. That
one was plastic with a flimsy waist clamp. This one is 100% metal, with
a wrought iron feel. The adjustable waist clamp is very tight and
hinged to tilt backwards. Coupled with the adjustable height this
allows for some great flying poses. The base even folds out to nearly
double the size for more leverage. The sturdy materials and
construction support the weight of the body easily and could seemingly
hold such poses for a long time without fear of “wilting.”
The stick looks movie accurate though it lacks any texture. The little
bit of paint present is neatly executed. It fits in the dedicated hand
Goku’s Dragonball is cast in translucent orange plastic. In the film,
the stars float around inside the ball like a snow globe. Here the
stars are flat, star-shaped cut outs. It’s a very small detail but they
look a little too much like cookie cut outs. Passable, but I can’t help
think there must be a better way.
There are five unique hands: two fists, one gripping right hand for
holding the staff, a wide open left and a slightly less open left. Each
is well crafted and very realistic. The grasping hand for Goku’s stick
is just tight enough to get it in and out without worrying about paint
wear but not so loose that it slides.
While that is a good assortment it is still fundamentally lacking.
Goku’s signature attack, the Kamehameha, is prominently featured in the
film. It involves placing one hand palm up and the other palm down
above it to gather your ki into an energy ball. Pretty simple, and it
would have been a perfect, iconic pose for the figure. Unfortunately
there is no open palmed right hand. This is a major missed opportunity
and even more annoying considering they doubled up on open left hands.
The clothing varies greatly in both accuracy and quality. The upper
half of the outfit is excellent. Goku’s orange gi really pops. The
stitching is well done and matches the source material. Goku wears the
symbol of Master Roshi on his chest and back and these are also
duplicated nicely here. The symbols are glossy and feel thick. I’m
guessing they were achieved using a high quality heat transfer.
The undershirt is equally nice and looks movie accurate. The visible
folds are realistic, indicating a good material for this scale.
In-depth examination of the undershirt is impossible due to the belt
being glued together. This might be a negative if you’re looking to
adjust or customize the figure but since I have no intention to remove
any of the clothes it doesn’t detract at all.
Said belt and the wristbands are hard plastic. They are cast in black
with a faint brown wash. I’d really prefer soft goods for these areas.
The sculpt / paint combination doesn’t replicate cloth material very
well and the result here is a little cheap looking.
Also in the “cheap looking plastic” category are the boots. There’s
nothing to say about them other than being a simple sculpt cast in
solid black, hard plastic. It’s impossible to say how accurate the
boots are since they are usually covered by Goku’s pants in the film.
That being the case, the figure’s pants should cover up these cheap
looking booties, right?
The worst part of the outfit, by far, is the pants. Goku’s pants are
clearly blue in the movie. They’re also very baggy and have a
straight-leg cut all the way down to the floor, completely obscuring
The only similarity between this figure’s pants and the movie costume
is that they are both baggy. These pants are black. They may appear
dark blue due to lighting in some pictures but I assure you they are
black. They are also fitted with elastic at the bottom of each leg. You
know that pair of black sweatpants you keep around for painting? Goku
is wearing those.
Thankfully they are so baggy that it is possible to pull down the
excess material and approximate something like the movie look. Sort of.
But still – this is such a huge departure from the source material, and
such obvious corner cutting, that it almost eclipses the excellent work
on the gi and undershirt from a scoring standpoint.
Of course, what really matters is how it looks all together. In this
case the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. The
excellent work on the gi and shirt attract your attention, making it
easy to overlook the funky, junky pants and boots.
Value - **
Your opinion will depend greatly on what you value in a figure. This is
another beautiful head sculpt and half of a great outfit. The body is
not the best on the market but very far from the worst. $130 + shipping
feels a little hefty to me considering the quality of the pants, cheap
looking boots, and plastic belt and wristbands.
This figure is the ultimate mixed bag. For every attribute that exceeds
expectations there is another that drags it back into mediocrity.
Taken on it’s own, I love the way it looks on my shelf displayed with
my other Goku figures.
But it’s impossible not to compare with similarly priced 1/6 figures
and, in that sense, even the great headsculpt isn’t enough to compete
with the overall level of detail and accessories you get from many Hot
Toys figures for about $20 more.
Hardcore DBZ fans with a tolerance for the cheesy movie will likely
enjoy having this in their collections. Non-fans – save those ducats
for the next Hot Toys figure.
This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer.
Photos and text by YoNoSe.