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Show and Tell: Dragon Ball Z action figures

4:00 PM on 05.13.2011 // Chris Pranger

Well, look at that! It's Friday again, but not just any Friday. Oh no ... it's the greatest Friday ever: It's Show and Tell Friday with Chris! Now that I'm getting the hang of this whole Show and Tell business, last seen with my Show and Tell on 2" Pokemon figures from Tomy a few weeks ago, I figured I'd step my game up a notch and ask a friend to help me out with the video a bit. You know, because I care and all. :)

Anyway, let's not waste another second on this intro and get right into the meat of today's Show and Tell: Dragon Ball Z action figures from Irwin and Jakks Pacific. Hit the jump for the full article and video.

Growing up, there were few things I loved more than Dragon Ball Z with notable exceptions being Pokemon and Ninja Turtles, as you're aware of by now. I was introduced to the series in sixth grade late one night during a sleep-over and immediately thought it was the stupidest thing I'd ever seen. About a year went by and I found myself watching the anime on Cartoon Network, ranting to my dad every day when he'd get home from work about how moronic the show was. And then one fateful day, Goku transformed into a Super Saiyan and Dragon Ball Z was the greatest show ever.

Sadly, as I explain in the full video here, living in the U.S. meant crappy toys based off the anime characters, starting simply with imports from Japan that made no sense to us as we we'd just started with the series and Japan was importing characters from the final episodes of the show, which had already wrapped in Japan. Who was Trunks? And why did he have a shotgun thing? No one knew except those that searched the Internet for spoilers.

Eventually things got better, but it would take a long time. For every movement forward in quality, there was always a handful of reasons why the toy designers just weren't getting it. Good figures, but no main characters from the series. Then popular characters, but less dramatic poses. Then better detailing with a loss of articulation. Great characters were getting bad figures, and inversely bad characters were getting great figures. Nothing seemed to make any sense whatsoever.

I regret that I didn't go into the accessories including with the toys, such as little Dragon Balls (I now have an entire sack of hundreds of Dragon Balls), collectible cards for the Collectible Card Game, and also medallions that portrayed various characters and scenes from the show, though not necessarily relating to the figure you're buying ("Buy Vegeta and get a medallion of Android 18 kissing Krillin!"). It was a nice little addition, but any time a weapon was included it felt weird, excluding Trunks' sword as it completed his ensemble.

I dropped out of collecting by the time the series had wrapped up and the figure waves were just releasing any random character they felt like, such as finally releasing a Mecha Frieza and a Tien but still not giving us a decent Kid Buu or Super Saiyan 3 Goku. You can find a great figure for just about any character now, but not typically in the U.S. Them's the breaks, huh?

Anyway, that's enough of the text rambling as the video's over 26 minutes long (you're welcome DBZ/Pranger fanboys). If you want more videos with greater detail about each figure, I'm happy to make up an addendum within the week, but you have to ask for it. Like, really nicely or something. So yeah, enjoy the video and feel free to share your memories of Dragon Ball Z in the comments, as we all should be doing on a daily basis.

[Thanks to Derich Hartfeil for help with the video!]

Chris Pranger,
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