It looks like my Dragon Ball Z collection is complete, or as complete as it is likely to get while Jakks' Pacific still holds the license.
Their constant repackaging of the same figures and now the decision to change the scale of the line means that the latest wave of two packs,
themed around the greatest battles in the Dragon Ball Z series, will likely be the last that fit in with those figures already produce by
Irwin. Legendary Battles is more than a slight misnomer for the line which includes Raditz/Gohan, Vegeta/Frieza and Goku/Uub. You have
three sets of character's whose fights were remarkably one sided. The toys themselves aren't very exciting either. Five of the six figures
are reuses of fairly recent figures. Gohan is the only new figure. But I was enticed to get this one set if only due to the fact that this
is the first figure of Gohan in his original outfit.
Packaging - 6/10I have to give Jakks credit where it is due, they did a nice job designing the packaging for their two packs. The figures aren't just standing in static poses in the middle of a card. The figures are packaged with Gohan posed as if he just launched head long at Raditz who is slightly hunched over like Gohan just rammed him in the gut. Images of both characters occupy the top corners of the card. Jakks' did cut corners slightly by reusing the same images with a lighting effect to look like they are powering up on the insert at the bottom of the bubble. The card back is also a bit lacking since they only thing on it are photos of more products including the two packs, Dragons, movie figures, chibis figures and stadium playset. Since the front of the cards are unique to the sets, it shouldn't have been that much harder to add at least a little set specific information on the back.
Sculpting - 8/10Raditz gets a much needed height boost over the original Raditz figure, standing almost 3/4 of an inch taller. The separate tail is a nice improvement over the original Raditz, but the soft rubber material doesn't really hold a pose. It doesn't look quite right no matter how you try to position it. The head sculpt is slightly off too. The chin is to pointed. They also tried to cut down on the weight of the hair by making it mostly hollow like on the first figure. Unfortunately since the hair is sculpted as if it was being blown by the wind, the gap in the hair becomes very noticeable. But it is Gohan that sells this set, especially since the same Raditz figure was included in another two pack just a year ago. Gohan is nearly perfect. The proportions and details are all very well done. I only wish that Jakks hadn't chosen to give him an angry face sculpt. While appropriate for a set based on his 'fight' with Raditz, it is generally out of character. But while I don't like the expression chosen, I must say it is light years ahead of the likeness on the Gohan that came with in the Dragon set.
Paint - 4/10The quality of the paint applications are only average, even for mass market figures. The white trim on Raditz in particular seems prone to being slopped onto other areas. And with the amount of white trim on the saiyan armor, there is a lot of room for errors. Gohan is better, mostly due to the simpler design of his costume, but there is still some sloppiness to the white paint.
Articulation - 6/10Over the course of the line, Irwin really stepped up the articulation on the Dragon Ball Z figures. Happily Jakks' has continued in that vein. While they have since been surpassed by the likes of Toy Biz, Raditz still packs a considerable amount of articulation:
Accessories - 2/10Some one at Jakks' Pacific must be a card carrying member of the amateur geologists society of America, because they sure do love their rocks! The same four rocks return once again with this set. They are joined this time by a larger rock pillar and a scouter for Raditz. Once again, the three smallest rocks can be placed inside the larger one to pretend it breaks into rubble. It was a neat idea, but after getting the same rocks for the third or fourth time they are getting old. And I don't even buy all of the DBZ figures anymore. Completeists must have a veritable quarry going by now. The rock pillar shows that Jakks is at least trying to do something new. But the effort is lackluster at best. The sculpt lacks the clean details of the other rocks. There is no way to pose a figure on it. And the triangular base makes it look like it is part of some greater playset or accessory when no such thing exists. On the plus side, Jakks' did manage to work most of the kinks out of Raditz's scouter. It is still vastly inferior to the scouter that came with the original Raditz figure five years ago, but at least it stays on the figure's head this time. Unfortunately it is packaged with the tab bent over, so it will need to be repositioned to use it.
Value - 2/10The retail price for the two packs is $18; though most stores sell them for between $13 and $15. Either way, these are an extremely poor value. Even if you didn't already have any of the figures in the set which is unlikely given the high rate of reuse, $7 per figure is fairly steep for these figures without proper accessories. I was fortunate enough to get this set on clearance for half price, and even at that price I balked for a while before caving in and buying it. If you can find it cheap, the Gohan figure is nice, but nowhere near $18 nice unless you are a serious Gohan fan.
Happy Hunting:The Dragon Ball figures are getting to be harder and harder to find as Jakks' Pacific's strange choices and an aging license cause interest to lag. Toys R Us is the only chain I know of that still carries the line in reliable numbers. I do still see them pop up from time to time at Wal-mart, but not necessarily the latest series of two packs. I found the set at Target which briefly brought the line back at one of the local stores (one with the three aisle layout for action figures) but even they have dropped the line once more now that the Star Wars Ep.III toys have been released. Online options are not much better. Worst case scenario, you can order these directly from Funimation's web store at www.zstore.com. There are a handful of other stores online offering the sets, but they seem to be charging even more.