It's here! We're finally seeing the last of the trio that is the Three Musketeers set from Plex's Door Painting Collectible Figure set (Luffy, reviewed; Zoro, reviewed). I say it that way because Nami (Animal ver.) is also a D.P.C.F., so it looks like the line is going to continue, just have different sets as a part of it. I personally hope that Luffy comes back in the Animal group of figures as well, but hey, we'll see. And that's not the point of this post, anyway.
What I do need to say is, shooting this figure has been one of the more patience-trying experiences of my toy shooting life. Curious as to all the mishaps that led me to this review? Or maybe you're just eager to see more pictures of the very good looking Sanji ... well, just hit the jump and read on.
First let's just get this box thing out of the way. Boxes are safe, right? Well, this one looks just like the others, except of course instead of Zoro or Luffy it has got an image of Sanji in the back instead. While the shipping box came to me very, very battered, the toy box itself looked just fine. This point I just made is kind of important. You'll see why soon enough ...
Here is Sanji out of the box. He looks alright here, but I'll let you know now, this is one of three different backgrounds you'll see throughout the review and in the gallery. This is also one of the last images I took, while the box image at the top of the post-jump is one of the first. Why the big jump in image order? I'll clue you in on the second (not first) mishap I encountered while shooting this figure: it had just rained, for the nth day in a row I'd been waiting around to take pictures of Sanji, and I decided to just go for it. The result? A lot of my images came out all fogged up and hazy, so I had to retake a lot of them. I really wanted to get the shots outside, so I suppose my ambition was just a little too much higher than the do-ability.
For the record, the above image was taken in my mother's kitchen ...
Looking at the figure, he's got a lot of awesome detail just like the other two. Like Zoro, the guns didn't stain his hands the way it happened with Luffy when I reviewed it, so I'm glad that got fixed. He's also got a black and gold palette (except for the blond hair and the blue in the guns), making him look very spiffy. You'll see later some of the gold dusting on the black base that really looks impressive.
Unlike the other two, his head can be posed, which is what led to my first problem being that he lost said head straight out of the box. It left me with a Sanji looking like this:
And as a result, the rest of this review became this elaborate game of, "balance the head on the body to finish the shoot, then stick him back in the box." Now, before I go any further, I'm going to assure you that I received very good technical support on this issue. The figure was broken when I took it out of the box. It was neither the fault of the retailer I purchased from nor my own, but I will be receiving a brand new toy to replace the one you're seeing in this review (that's where the fantastic customer support came through). When that toy comes, I'll just have to be ultra careful and just avoid messing around with that joint in general. I like the idea, but I hope that mine is one of the very few which suffered from the change.
That being said, if he's looking awkward in any of these images, it's cause his head is barely balanced on his neck, where the joint popped clean off (the ball stayed inside his head).
The only other issue I had with the figure was keeping the cigarettes in his mouth. There's a tiny hole where you could pop it in, but it doesn't go very far (only barely wedges in), so any movement may cause it to fall off. Because it's so precarious, you'll thankfully get two cigarettes in the tray (in case you lose one), but you should be careful either way.
I also wanted to point out, while you can't necessarily see it in the above image, both eyes are painted and visible depending on the angle. It would have been easy for Plex to be lazy here and just mold the hair on enough to not have to paint that detail, or just not paint it at all, but it's there.
Let's get into some of the details and further into positive grounds in terms of the figure review. Earlier, I mentioned some gold dusting on the figure, so above you're seeing an image of Sanji's butt! Well, it's not the butt that I'm pointing out so much as the belts (and holsters) he's got, which are black with that bit of gold detail on them. The holsters do indeed fit the guns, but Sanji just looks odd without anything to hold in his hands. I suppose for you folks who have got lots of little accessories or creative ideas, the holsters would come in handy, though.
The clasp of his belt is the only real colorful part on the figure. It's got a neat little design and doesn't stand out too much, but gives it a great touch. The studs are meant to be gold on the belt as you can see, and are more or less painted on there. I wouldn't call it a defect, although the paint is uneven here, but I don't feel it really needed to be perfect, either. That's just me, though.
Also notice the bottom of his jacket and how natural it looks.
His jacket in general is very detailed in its molding. It looks like someone's wearing it (isn't flat) and the gold paint is applied to all the zippers and buttons. The necklace is removable and poseable if you pop off the head, and his chest is looking pretty fine from this angle if you ask me. There is another frontal image of his chest area in the gallery.
Next up we've got a picture of the gun in his left hand. There's a little bit of spillover from the blue onto the plate detail there, but it's something I only noticed by taking a close up image of it. He's also got another buckle on his sleeve there, but I found that his hand doesn't swivel like Zoro's does. Like the other two, there are moving parts on the gun as well.
Yay! Boots! I really enjoyed the design on these boots compared with the other two. He's got the spurs and everything, which gives him this bad-ass cowboy look I like to see. It's just too bad he isn't wearing a cowboy hat in the original art, cause that would have really made him look extra great. Check out the gallery for a frontal view of the boots.
You've also got a view of the base here, which is the same as the other two. It just says ONE PIECE D.P.C.F.
And now ... let's see the set when they've been united!
The trio has joined together! The bases fit together due to their shape, but I felt they were just a little too far apart in terms of posing them like they are in the artwork, so I put Luffy's on top of the other two and took this shot of them close together. They look real nice posed like this, even if the picture is a bit humid-hazy. Thanks to Pedro for lending me the Zoro again so I could get the group picture, and Hobby Link Japan for the Luffy which, now that I've gotten the complete review set together for pictures, will probably come up in a contest soon enough.
Despite the exasperation of shooting around inclement weather and dealing with that decapitation defect, I actually really love this figure. It was an impulse buy on my part, which I regret instantly as soon as I opened the box. Now that a few weeks have passed and I've had time to look through my frustrated image gallery, write up this review and received an e-mail saying I'll be getting a free replacement, I'm back to loving the figure.
It's hard not to appreciate some of the detail that went into these, and while completely off-topic and random, I must say, looking and appreciating these figures only makes me look forward to the possibility of Fairy Tail figures coming out later, cause these figure companies (i.e. Plex, Bandai, MegaHouse) are really improving (excelling with) their One Piece lines. It just means that when the figures I sincerely lust after come out, they'll be amazing (just like Sanji, or even better).
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