When Vegeta first appeared in episode 5 of Dragon Ball Z in 1989, he was as villainous as most other villains out there and seemed like your typical big bad. However, Akira Toriyama took his story in a different direction and as a kid, I often found myself cheering for the Saiyan prince as the show carried out his redemption arc. Sure he’s prideful, egotistical, and a cold-blooded killer, but he was still more relatable than the actual protagonist of the show, Son Goku. Vegeta is constantly struggling–both inwardly and outwardly–throughout the show, and given his past, it’s easy to see why he lives his life in constant pursuit of strength. On the other hand, Goku seems to be the embodiment of perfection and is always ready to be the world’s knight in shining armor; even when he’s dead, Goku saves the world!
That’s why one of my favorite moments of the show was 125 episodes after his debut, when Vegeta finally became a Super Saiyan after what seemed like an eternity of training. I still remember how for once, Vegeta was the one who would save Goku as he was being plagued by a heart virus, and how Android 19 and 20 were no match for the Prince of Saiyans. It was an epic moment in the show, reminding young me that sometimes, hard work does eventually pay off.
So it should be obvious now why I chose Super Saiyan Vegeta as my first DBZ collectible item. Now let’s talk about why I chose S.H. Figuarts as the brand.
To be honest, I was pretty new to collecting figures when I made this purchase and hadn’t even heard of S.H. Figuarts. I figured that given DBZ’s popularity, there would be many brands who made quality action figures. After I did some Googling, I was surprised. The consensus on the internet was nearly unanimous in favor of S.H. Figuarts for many reasons. First, the articulations are top notch and there is a good balance of quantity vs. looking too much like a toy. Second, people seemed to swear by the consistency of quality in the figures, with comments about the sharp paint quality and the sturdiness of the plastic. Lastly, there were opinions that S.H. Figuarts was a collectible more than a toy, and as a grown man, that appealed to me. At this point, not seeing how I could buy any other brand, I splurged $40 on eBay and bought this S.H. Figuarts Super Saiyan Vegeta.
Here are some details about all that comes with Super Saiyan Vegeta:
- The action figure stands at 5.3 inches (13.5 cm) tall
- The materials used are ABS and PVC plastic
- Vegeta is fully articulated at all joints except his fingers
- There are 4 interchangeable faceplates: serious, smirking, yelling straight and yelling sideways
- There are 4 left hands: clenched fist, Kamehameha hand, open hand, and posed hand
- There are 5 right hands: clenched fist, Kamahameha hand, open hand, posed hand, and pointed thumb
- There is a separate crossed arms part that you can interchange with Vegeta’s actual arms
My experience with the S.H. Figuarts Super Saiyan Vegeta lived up to the internet’s expectations. First, let’s talk about the appearance. As you can see in the below photos, the paint looks great. The contrasts are crisp and there’s a nice matte finish across the entire figure that keeps it blemish-free. The next thing I noticed was just how durable this action figure was. As I tend to do any time I get a new collectible, I was pretty careful as I tried out all the parts and poses, but I quickly realized that I could (and needed to) apply a lot of force with interchanging parts, and the figure endured my efforts with no issues.
The one minor gripe I had is that the crossed arms part was really tough to to insert. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing, since the connection between the arms and the shoulder should be one of the sturdiest in the entire figure, and it just may be that my power level wasn’t high enough to dislocate and put back in the Prince of Saiyan’s arms.
As usual, here are photos of some poses of Super Saiyan Vegeta that show off his various parts and articulations.
The S.H. Figuarts Super Saiyan Vegeta was definitely the first high quality action figure I’ve owned and it was a joy to pose him for photos. Because of that, the Prince of Saiyans gets the prime spot on my bookshelf, with that cocky smirk on his face as he stares down the rest of my figures.