Bulma SH Figuarts – Action Figure Review
Hey everyone, Josh here again with another SH Figuarts review. If you are familiar with my page, you know that I am a huge fan of Dragon Ball. In this article, I will be reviewing the Bulma SH Figuarts release.
Well, what can I say except this action figure has it all! Seriously, we have been waiting on an SH Figuarts Bulma release for a long time and this one does not disappoint. The best thing about this figure is that they decided to go with a version of Bulma that comes from the original series end credits scene. She looks like she just jumped right off of the TV screen and onto my shelf, ready to join the rest of the Dragon Ball cast.
Some peripheral fans of Dragon Ball Z may not really know how important Bulma is to the story, but those that watched the original series will completely understand. Bulma is Goku’s oldest friend. This relationship is what started the whole adventure into what would become a great series and then spawn 2 sequels (3 if you count Dragon Ball GT). Without Bulma’s desire to find the mystical Dragon Balls, we would have never met Goku.
Box and Accessories
Bulma comes packaged in the current SH Figuarts box, that honestly, I’m not as much a fan of as the older boxes. But, I’ve covered that point in my other review for Goku – A Saiyan Raised on Earth . The biggest difference is that because this action figure is slimmer and smaller than the others, so her box is also much smaller. The artwork on the box is colorful with a lot of action shots that depict different poses.
The accessories are a high point for this figure. Since she is from the Dragon Ball line of SH Figuarts, she comes with the five star ball. This gives us three current characters that have been released with a Dragon Ball and a young Krillin on the way with another. In the instruction booklet, it shows a picture of the ball being placed at the base of the Shenron SH Figuarts figure. This suggests that we are going to get three more characters from the original Dragon Ball series and they will have the other balls that are missing from the set of seven.
Another great accessory she comes with is a dragon radar. This fits onto a peg on one of her hands. The only gripe I have with this is that the radar is blank. It could have had a Dragon Ball displayed on it, suggesting that she was hunting one down.
Of course, she comes with additional hands. There is one for the aforementioned dragon radar. There are also two hands that will hold the machine gun in different poses. She also has two hands that can hold the Dragon Ball, depending on whether you’d like it to be in the right or left hand. One issue with these hands is that they don’t always hold the ball securely. She also has a pointing finger hand, a fist hand and an open finger hand. These can be used to give her some dynamic poses with the other accessories.
She also comes with a machine gun, as depicted in the end credits scene and a pair of goggles that can be placed around her neck. She can hold the machine gun in a few different ways, depending on the hands that you are using. The goggles are a nice touch but a little disappointing. This is because they are only able to go around her neck. They are not functional as a true accessory.
Also included are three face plates for different looks. One has a winking smirk, the second is a happy face and the third is a very happy face looking off to the left side. I would have preferred at least one more face showing Bulma with an angry or scared face. If you’ve watched the anime, you’d know that Bulma is not always happy. One of these faces would have been great to show her in one of her classic angry moods or as the damsel in distress that she sometimes ends up being. However, I am happy with the faces that were included.
Overall, the accessories are great. They are definitely better than some of the standard accessories that have been part of some of the other latest releases.
This action figure was designed to depict Bulma from the end credits scene in the Dragon Ball series. To my knowledge, this is the only time that she has been drawn in this outfit.
The colors used on the figure are done really well. There is so much going on that it is easy to just dismiss this figure as, well, another SH Figuarts. I think that they did a really good job at giving us a figure to be proud of. Some people may argue that the colors are off from what is drawn in the anime, and they are not 100% the same shading or color, but they work together and really shine on this figure. The additional color and detail are worth dismissing this argument.
The small details that are on this figure are so important. From the bandages above her right knee, to the bandage on her right cheek, they give this character a lot of flair that could have been overlooked. There is a good amount of sculpting throughout. The pants, shirt and armbands have wrinkles that make them look real and fluid. The buckles on her boots and belt are well-defined as well.
Overall, the design is anime accurate with additional details. What more could you ask for?
This is one area that has both good and bad points. Let’s start with the good.
- Bulma’s neck allows a lot of forward motion. This gives a lot of options for the different face plates and action poses. She can look down at the dragon radar or her gun. The only limitation is that her hair keeps her from looking up.
- Her wrists have the typical ball peg and offer a lot of motion for dynamic poses.
- She has a lot of upper body articulation that along with the waist will allow for great motion. In fact, she has some of the most ability for poses from her upper body and waist than some of the other popular SH Figuarts characters. She can lean almost 90 degrees backwards.
- The ankles don’t have a lot of forwards or backwards due to the sculpting of the boots, but she has a ball hinge that allows a lot of good all around articulation. They are similar to the ankles of the Marvel Legends line. This is a step forward in my opinion.
- She can move her legs forward and backwards a great deal, almost able to do the splits. Side to side is acceptable.
Now for some of the bad, or really less desirable points of articulation on this action figure.
- She can’t look up at all due to her hair, but that can be a moot point.
- Her shoulders are ball hinge socket with no ability for forward motion like the other figures with butterfly joints.
- There is no bicep swivel. So posing her arms can be very limiting if you are going for something that would require this.
- She has single-jointed elbow and knees. This is limiting and feels a bit cheap in regard to the usual SH Figuarts standard of articulation.
- There is also no thigh swivel, or at least very limited at the hips. This makes it difficult for action style poses.
- The feet do not have a toe hinge either. I don’t really think that this is a bad thing, but it is a step backwards in the ability to pose her.
One thing to note, the hip bag is on pegs that allow it to swivel up when the legs are stretched to the side, so this is definitely a nice touch that could have been handled worse.
Could it Have Been Better?
Well, overall I can’t complain too much about this action figure. Yeah, the negative points of the articulation are very limiting but this is a character that does not fight or have the ability to use energy to power up. So if she had some of the points of articulation that the other characters have, it may have actually been a bad thing. She would have looked less like the Bulma I would have wanted and more like what I might expect from an SH Figuarts Launch action figure.
We’re missing a couple of faces that would have made this character more complete. This is probably my biggest criticism. I would have loved to have been able to pose her smacking Goku on the head and berating him while he cowered in fear. Bulma is practically the only person besides Chi Chi that can get away with hitting Goku and yelling at him. Goku has even admitted being scared of Bulma when she’s angry. This speaks volumes for the level of friendship and reverence that Goku has for Bulma.
So in reality, I’m not sure that this action figure could have been much better.
SH Figuarts Bulma is worth picking up. She is not only necessary because we need more action figures of Dragon Ball characters other than Goku and Vegeta, but also because she is the first one to be released. Along with being the first, the design is something that most of us would not have anticipated SH Figuarts to do. It makes sense in that she’s an action figure, but I would have thought they’d have gone for Namek Saga Bulma or maybe Androids Saga Bulma. It also makes sense because they are trying to release figures with Dragon Balls and Bulma is nearly synonymous with them.
The positive points of this action figure more than make up for the limitations. So what are you waiting for, if you are a fan go get this one, you won’t regret it.
Thanks for reading, any questions or comments are welcomed!