REVIEW: Bandai's Power Booster Super Saiyan Goku

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Bandai is undoubtably the largest manufacturer of Dragonball toys and action figures in the world, and Japan has enjoyed literally thousands of incredible figures based on the Dragonball franchise for many years. 2008 has been a special year for the American Dragonball fan however, as Bandai’s new Ultimate Collection, Flash Changer and Power Booster lines, (among several others) are the very first Bandai Dragonball creations native to America, and not re-releases of older Japanese toys.

The Power Booster figures are the largest figures of these new releases, measuring in at 7 inches a piece. The series consists of two figures so far - Super Saiyan Vegeta and up for review today, Super Saiyan Goku.

The 7” Goku figure comes with 3 yellow, transparent Energy Shields that click into holes in the figure, and can shoot off when Goku’s legs are squeezed together. There is one Energy Shield for each arm, and a third for his chest.

Goku’s pectoral region is sculpted in a semi-transparent rubber material, that you can make extend forward to help the Energy Shield shoot off his chest more easily. An unnecessary feature, Goku’s pectoral muscle action unintentionally makes the figure very hilarious. This is the first, and hopefully the last time we ever see a Goku figure with incredible man boob articulation!

PACKAGING: The packaging on this figure is highly disappointing and plain, which is extremely uncharacteristic of Bandai, who arguably has created some of the nicest toy packaging ever in the past. The package does succeed in the fact that it shows off the figure and accessories very well through the front window, but over all just looks somewhat lifeless.

SCULPTING: From the front, the sculpting on this figure is a bit unpleasant, but from the sides, it’s an amazing sculpt of a Freeza era Super Saiyan Goku! The somewhat unnecessary pectoral piece actually does help the figure look more like it’s anime and manga counterpart then most Super Saiyan Goku figures, because of how exaggerated and huge it makes Goku’s muscles look. Goku is huge in those episodes, and I’m almost positive that this figure was molded after pictures from that part of the series.

The head sculpt is also great; the face looks perfect, and I don’t say that lightly. This is a great Super Saiyan Goku head! The locks of hair hanging over his face is a great dramatic touch, and his eyes where given great attention despite the fact that one of them is hidden by his hair at some angles. I also really like the extra piece of hair that is attached so that Goku’s hair line flows more naturally with his neck - very smooth looking.

Although I’ve already mentioned that I’m not crazy about the separate pectoral piece, his whole upper body really is sculpted very well - this really looks like Super Saiyan Goku from the Dragonball anime. The pants are where some of the sculpting falls apart for me however - they are just to smooth and undetailed in the crotch, buttock and upper thigh regions, and really just don’t look like the pants that Goku wears in the show. However, I do see it was necessary to create the action of the leg so that the Energy Shields will fly off.

My only other problem with the sculpt is the screws holding him together, which are very visible on his back. It’s a shame that he couldn’t be held together some other way, considering how nice the sculpting truly is on the upper portion of his body. The holes in order to attach the shield are very noticeable, and somewhat distracting, but necessary for the Energy Shields to attach correctly.

PAINT: Not even one complaint as far as the paint applications go, can’t find one paint flub anywhere on him! Impressive for such a large figure.

ARTICULATION: Power Booster Super Saiyan Goku doesn’t have a lot of articulation, but what he does have works well, and is pretty much all he needs. His head can turn from side to side, his arms can spin all the way around, and one of his legs can be pushed up against his other leg to cause the Energy Shields to shoot out. His feet do not move, and his waist does not turn. I was impressed that his arms could move, since there are two large holes in each shoulder for the Shields.

As I mentioned before, you can also make his pectoral muscles move up and down… the strangest articulation I have yet to see on any action figure ever! Over all I think of this guy more as a display piece, and as a sculpture of Super Saiyan Goku he really is very good!

ACCESSORIES: Power Booster Super Saiyan Goku of course comes with his 3 Energy Shields. Over all the Energy Shields are very distracting from the rest of the figure, but one thing I can contest to is the fact that it does work very well! The 3 pieces click in very securely, and shoot off with a good amount of force. I think the figure suffered from having this be part of it, but at the very least it works well, and is robust enough to stand up to a lot of play.

COST AND OVERALL IMPRESSION: Most places are selling this guy for about $20 bucks, which in my opinion is a little steep. The Energy Shield gimmick is undoubtably one of those gimmicks that was bound to happen at some point, but I can’t help but feel like what may work well in the show, just doesn’t work so well here. I love the idea that they are trying to work with the idea of the energy waves and auras always present in the show - you rarely ever see any toy company do anything with that aspect of the show, besides make energy wave weapons… So this is a unique idea for a Dragonball figure, but ultimately one that looks a little silly and strange.

Also, the changes that had to be made in order to accommodate the Energy Shields are unfortunate, because surely that’s the only reason why detail was not put into his pants… and why his pectorals are able to raise up and down. Without the Energy Shield, the figure would also not have large holes at three spots in his body, which really hinder the sculpt. Had these elements not been included, I think this would have been an all time favorite Super Saiyan Goku figure for both myself and many others.

For even more images of Bandai’s Power Booster Super Saiyan Goku, CLICK HERE!

To watch the Power Booster Super Saiyan Goku in action, check out the videos below!

Review, Photos and Videos by Amanda Sukenick

Review Sample Courtesy of Bandai

Posted by Jeff Saylor on January 26, 2009 07:47 AM

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