The difficult thing with collecting Portrait of Pirates is definitely being there to order them. However, that is a recent thing; you used to have at least a day or two to order whoever you wanted. Even as late as last summer it was possible to have a P.O.P. go up at five in the morning and still be there when you woke up. So when I didn't pick up the Strong World version of Brook, the undead and extremely perverted musician of the Strawhats, it was purely financials that kept him out of my hands. He was even discounted after his release, but I still lacked the sufficient funds to pick him up. A couple weeks later, he joined the rest of his brethren in the land of sold-out toys. He became yet another P.O.P that I'd look at and not be able to get.
Lucky for me, I happened to find good ol' Brook at Otakon 2011 while Kristina and I were filming video for Tomopop and Japanator. While he wasn't a good "deal," he wasn't over-priced and was legit, so I picked him up. Hit the jump for some pics of this stack of pervy bones!
If you're on the look out for old Brook, you'll be looking for this box right here.
It's nice and tall, much like its inhabitant. Besides that, it isn't that impressive. As far as P.O.P. boxes go it's pretty plain. Odd thing too, considering how wacky the character is. However, this isn't a look at the box, this is a look at Brook, so let's get him out here.
My my, what a jaunty fellow! One of the many reasons that I loved the original Brook P.O.P. (reviewed) was the amount of personality Megahouse managed to stuff into a figure that lacks a face. What they did last time was give him an active position with accessories that accented aspects of personality. With Strong Edition Brook, they repeated this winning formula with a different posture and many of the same accessories.
Before I move on, I'll address the bright pink elephant in this review. Yes, Brook is balanced on one foot with barely any support from his back foot. He's plugged into the base via two small pegs, which seems destined for horrific lean. Well, not to worry folks. From what I've seen, lean hasn't been a problem for people. The bigger problem comes from the instability of having him on one leg. To be fair, MH designed Brook to be balanced fairly well, even with all the accessories in his hands. You'll just have to be careful where you place him.
Alright, with the elephant addressed, lets get back to Brook.
My boring and ordinary hat is tipped to the sculpting genius who worked on my bony friend here. Making a suit is simple. Making it feel properly worn and in motion is a completely different matter. Brooks closed suit clings to his body, unlike his original P.O.P. which exposed his open gut. Instead of seeing his spine, he get some great detail in the fabric of his jacket, ending with the left edge curling up. It's such a small detail, but it shows how much care was put into this piece. Of course, I'm not going to forget the orange ruffles on his wrists or the bright red cravat around his neck. Both make this pervert look like quite the gentleman!
This shot here shows off the level of attention that MH's painters go through with their figures. In particular, I'm talking about the color choice for Brook's exposed skeleton. Most figures that have exposed bone either choose a straight white or an off-white that covers the entirety of the exposed section. With Brook, the painters chose a suitability worn color that is off-set by his pearly-whites. It goes well with the orange and brown of his shirt and the red of his cravat.
Enough of the color talk, lets get to some weapons!
With this back shot you get a slight glimpse of his blade and an excellent look at his hand-cannon. As you can see, it's a helluva huge weapon, nearly spanning across Brook's entire length. It can fit into an alternate right hand, but I decided to keep it on his back due to balance fears. As is, it acts as a good counter-balance and will keep the potentially precarious Brook on his feet. His sword is pretty standard. Nothing special, it just looks nice in his hands.
I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about Brook's head, or rather, it's ability to open up. In the show, Brook's skull opens up like a chest to show off the tone dial he keeps in head. The original P.O.P. came completely off his head, but the Strong Edition gets it right. The skull flips open on a hinge hidden on the left side of his head to show off whatever you keep in his 'fro. I keep his tone dial in there, as you can see from photos in the gallery.
Brook's bottom jaw can be pulled open with some difficulty. It's probably because he's still new and I prefer to keep his mouth shut, but it too quite a bit of jimmying to get it open. Finally, Brook's top hat can be placed on his head via a peg on the hat and a small hole in his fro.
So that's it for Strong Edition Brook. As usual, he's pretty hard to find outside of conventions, where I've seen him pop up a couple of times. I got him for US$100, which is a deal considering the additional costs of shipping and the exchange rate. He was definitely worth every single cent to me and if you're a fan of One Piece, he'll be worth it for you!
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