Dragonball Z Series 5

I'm Colin Gill and I'm doing another guest review for Michael.  This review will cover the fifth series of the revamped Dragonball Z series.  The original figures for this line were American releases of Japanese figures that were previously only available through import and comic shops.  These figures were really little more than glorified statues.  Many figures had only shoulder articulation.  More articulated figures may have had rotating ankles and waists.  The likenesses were usually very good but the lack of articulation hurt the play value.  In late 2000, Irwin Toy began issuing new sculpts that were better articulated and represented the characters that kids were seeing in the daily show.  Many of the original figures are for characters that still have not shown up in episodes released in America. This assortment contains Dr. Gero, Teen Trunks(in armor), and Super Saiyan versions of Goku, Vegeta, and Gohan.

Packaging - **1/2
The packaging features the Dragonball Z logo at the top with a blue field taking up most of the package.  The blue field has a large "Z" logo with some Japanese characters along the left edge.  The cards for this series also feature a red border which differentiates newer DBZ figures from those in older series.  Series 4 also had the red border.  The back features all 5 of the figures from this series.  Cards are identical for all characters in a series with a paper insert in the blister containing the character's name and the episodes from which this version of the character was drawn.  Episodes are broken down into arcs called "sagas".  The packaging is better than it was during the release of the original set of figures but could still stand some improvement.

Sculpting - ***
The figures are very good likenesses of the characters from the show.  Some of the posing is odd, most notably Goku's hands. They just don't look right. Gohan has a hard plastic cape that is not removable, thus limiting the usefulness of his leg articulation.  This line also has a problem with scale.  Gohan is just about as tall as Goku when he should be about a head shorter.

Paint - ***
Generally the paint is neat, especially on the faces.  There is a little bit of paint that tends to bleed at the edges of gloves and boots.  These are, however generally very minor bleeds and not noticeable unless you are looking for a flaw.

Articulation - ***
While the original DBZ figures were basically statues, the newer figures are actually capable of a good range of motion.  All have neck, shoulder, hip, and knee articulation.  Dr. Gero also has elbow and bicep joints.  All of the others have ball jointed shoulders.  Gohan and Goku also have wrist articulation.  The articulation on these figures is pretty generous when you compare it to a comparably scaled figure from McFarlane, Hasbro, or Mattel.  Considering that these are supposed to be martial artists, ball jointed hips would have been nice but that is a fairly minor quibble.

Accessories - **
Each figure comes with 3 Dragonballs and a medallion coin which depicts a scene or character from the show.  The Dragonballs are fine and an appropriate accessory.  It is difficult to get all seven that have the correct numbers.  The medallions are basically worthless.  It is a numbered set and the highest number that I have is 55.  Nobody, be they collector or kidlet, is going to ever collect a complete set.  I would rather pay a little less for the figure and let them keep the medallion. Dr. Gero also comes with a hat.  It looks pretty goofy but it is a very appropriate accessory as it covers his bubble brain in the show.

Value - ***
At $6 a piece they are not a bad value.  They are good representations of the characters, have sufficient articulation, and come with some fairly appropriate accessories.  They are $6 at Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, and K-Mart.  The last time I saw them at a Target(which has been a while since there isn't a Target where I live), they were $7.  They are $9.99 at KB.

Overall - ***
This is a really good set of figures.  If you are into Dragonball anyway, you'll probably already have this set of figures having never read the review.  These figures are nicely done and complement the rest of the Dragonball series very well. There just isn't a standout figure that would make me run out and buy him if I weren't already collecting these toys.

Thanks to Colin for another great guest review!  If you're interested in doing something like this, check out this page.  Thanks!

Figure from the collection of Colin Gill.

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