With most of the major characters already represented in PVC, Megahouse has finally gotten around to adding important side characters to their Portrait of Pirates line. We've gotten a couple of antagonists in the past, but it was pretty dismal for a couple of years. Thankfully, we've gotten some great renditions of side-characters like Perona (reviewed), Boa Hancock (reviewed) and Whitebeard (reviewed). However, there are still a metric ton of other guys and gals from One Piece that absolutely need a statue of their own.
With that in mind, the latest figures to join the P.O.P. line are two important side characters. One of them is a legendary pirate that one of the few remainders of a by-gone age and the other is an updated re-release of an early antagonist. These are the kind of releases that I was talking about: side characters that are worthy of a statue of their own. So go ahead and hit the jump to see photos of the completely new Silvers Rayleigh and the revamped Admiral Aokiji and why they're solid additions to the already vaunted line.
Let's begin with Silvers Rayleigh, the former first mate of the legendary Rodger Pirates. His box is fairly standard P.O.P. fare, though there is a ton of extra space in the box. There really isn't a need for so much space, though I'm sure it must provide extra protection for the figure itself. Anyway, it goes back to the aged look of older P.O.P. boxes with some shiny silver text. It's pretty nice overall. Let's take out the old sea dog.
There he is! Rayleigh is the standard human P.O.P. height, which is about nine to ten inches. Well, standard as of late; earlier P.O.P.s weren't quite as tall. That probably explains his higher price tag, as you aren't getting a lot with this package. He comes with the cloak on his shoulders, his sword, the flask and an extra pair of hands and arms. Normally I'd complain a bit more about his price, but there are a couple of things that really make Rayleigh worth the scratch.
Megahouse has done an excellent job molding and painting the proper age lines into Rayleigh to make him look like an old, grizzled pirate. On top of that, they've given him one of my favorite expressions on a figure. That smug grin can be hiding a lot of mischief! Add some pretty wild facial hair and a plethora of extra glasses and you have some of the best MH has to offer. My only criticism here has to do with his hair. Granted, it looks appropriately messy for a pirate, but you can see the seam lines pretty easily. At least they did a good job with placing the seams at natural places so it doesn't look too out of place.
We'll move on to the body proper. One of the many things that the P.O.P. line does well is clothing, which is a trend that continues with Rayleigh. With a simple costume, the sculptors and painters have to do something interesting to make the figure stand out. What MH did was make Rayleigh's clothing look lived in and wrinkled. On top of that, they added some texture on the inside of his cloak, which I always love to see. Oh, and they gave him leg hair. That's probably the smallest detail here, but it's appreciated none the less.
His cloak from the back looks even more raggedy than the old man himself. It's been painted to look aged and has some nice tears and holes in the sculpt. You can tell that this guy his been through a couple of things in his day.
Last thing I'll mention about Rayleigh is the blade in his hand. It was a bit difficult to jam into his beefy claws, but once it got in there it wasn't moving. The thing is about as tall as Rayleigh, so be prepared to have some room when posing him. He does look alright without the sword, but everything looks better with a sword!
Ok, I now move from pirates to marines with the re-release of Admiral Kuzan, aka Aokiji.
One again, this is a box. It isn't as nice as Rayleigh's box, but that's just my opinion. It's sufficient to hold the lanky Aokiji, who is quite a bit taller than normal humans in One Piece. Sucker is so big that I just had to show you the plastic prison he's kept in.
Yikes. Besides the usual shell that the P.O.P. is kept in, there's an additional hunk in the back for the cloak. Now, this setup was also used for Rayleigh and his cloak, but Rayleigh is smaller than the iceman here. I at least know that these figures aren't going to get damaged with all this protection. Not that there's a lot to protect, what with his only accessories being an ice lance, ice accent and the coat, but at least it'll be safe.
Here's Aokiji out of his box. He's one of the taller P.O.P's available, clocking in at nearly ten and a half inches. Make no mistake though, just because he's tall and lanky doesn't mean that he's flimsy. MH did a good job making him feel sturdy. There's no way he's going to topple or lean unless he's exposed to extreme heat or a persistent feline.
Like Rayleigh, Aokiji has a simple get up. Once again, MH uses superior sculpting and painting to make what could be a boring vest and shirt combo into a sharp costume. Aokiji also has a pair of glasses, but unlike Rayleigh he only has one, so be careful with the pair in the box. It had somehow gotten loose in transport and was bouncing around. They're also a little difficult to put onto his face, so be careful when wedging them into place.
This is as good a shot to use to describe the changes from the original Aokiji to this current version. First, the entire figure has gotten a new paint job. While it's the same basic colors, his whole outfit has been considerably darkened. He's changed from a pair of white kicks to a pair of black dress shoes, a picture which you can see in the gallery. The ice lance and accent have also received color makeovers, getting a better blue gradient. His base has gotten a darker blue paint job. However, the biggest difference is ...
A marine coat! Added on to match the upcoming releases of fellow admirals Akainu and Kizaru, this re-release comes with the coat that all upper level marine types wear. It looks great and is somewhat similar to the coat that Whitebeard (reviewed) wears, only with more justice and less pillage. It's the reason why the re-release is ¥1,500 more expensive and it's worth it. I can't wait to see how he's going to look with the other admirals.
So that's it for this current release. As usual, they're both a bit difficult to find. Fortunately, as of this writing Hobby Link Japan had both Rayleigh and Aokiji in stock, so if you're interested I'd snap them up ASAP. Fans of P.O.P.s know how quick these guys can disappear. A big thank you goes out to Cristian Alvernaz for lending me Aokiji for this review.
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