Thursday, April 5, 2012

Review 4: S.H. Figuarts Super Saiyan 3 Goku

If by some chance you wandered here and do not know who this character is, I would like to take this time out to tell you to go ahead and slap yourself…go ahead…I’ll wait.
How’d that feel?
Good. Let’s go.
Of course, this guy needs no introduction, but I’m, gonna do it anyway. Pretty much the personification of good, and protector of planet Earth, Son Goku. This guy is ridiculous, and quite possibly the most powerful humanoid creation in anime/manga history. It’s Goku…Freakin’ GOKU!
Born “Kakarot” of low class Saiyan warrior Bardock on Planet Vegeta, he was launched to Earth as a child in order to conquer it, but hit his head when he crash landed on the planet. Found by Grandpa Gohan, he was raised Son Goku, and blah, blah, blah. If you want his complete bio (which will take you several hours to get through, I’m sure), go ahead and check it out at
For the meat and potatoes: Goku is a Saiyan that doesn’t find that out until he’s grown, married with a child. After a hella long series of events, Goku learns how to tap into his Saiyan blood and become a Super Saiyan…the first one in millennia, actually. Turning his black hair golden, his black pupils green/blue/turquoise (depending on who drew and colored it), but most noticeably the 500% boost in battle performance. Not that Goku is was slow or weak to begin with, but as a Super Saiyan, having a mountain fall on you, being punched by a intergalactic warmonger(s), or having planet-destroying beams of light shot at him really isn’t much of a problem.
But the reason you’re here is because of stage 3 of his transformation. Dubbed “Super Saiyan 3”, the most notable changes are his increase in hair length atop his head, and the waning of his eyebrows. The thing that makes this special more so than the look, is that Goku is about the ONLY Saiyan to pull off that transformation by himself, and was the first one to do it (I’m not counting Gotenks. Fusion warriors have no claim with me). Although, I think Toriyama picked about the worst villain to unleash this power on, the debut was actually pretty epic. It took an entire episode for him to transform, and a LOT of yelling. In fact, legend has it that Sean Schemmel (voice of American Goku) passed out in the booth doing this episode from screaming. Not that I blamed the guy at all, it was 20 min of straight yelling at the top of his lungs at the least. He gets a gold star from me for that.
Another notable time this was used was the Fusion Revival movie, in which Goku squared off against Janenba. He (SSJ3) and Vegeta (SSJ2) battled him together, getting thwamped at every turn, until they fused and Gogeta opened that can on him. The short fight with SSJ3 Goku was very well drawn for nearly 20 years ago and featured a certain style of fighting that I didn’t exactly notice before. Though Vegeta is not as powerful as Goku, he certainly seemed smarter against Janemba, being more tactical and thinking ahead for his attacks, as Goku seems to think more on command, and rolls with the punches.
Tamashi Exclusive box



All Special parts

Factory Base Setting

Interesting design for the hair works making use of versatile ball joints
Anyway, the figure. GOOD JOB BANDAI!! Had to get that out the way. Bandai really listened to their fans on this one. Compare to SSJ Goku, this figure trumps it 10 fold. Firstly, it is much simpler to get him to do the Kamehameha pose. Also, when moving the arms around, it’s easier to maneuver the shoulder clothes back to the torso to make a smoother transition. It’s not just a silly body repaint, with head retool, nor is it a new mold either.
I’ll start from the head. It’s heavy, and don’t be fooled when dealing with it. You’re going to have a hell of a time dealing with weight issues, especially when standing it up. The ankle joints are not strong enough to support the mass of the entire figure for long without eventually tipping over, but there is no need to worry…we’ll get to that in a minute. The head and hair is sectioned off into 5 separate pieces: the face, the “head” and start of the hair, and three more links of the hair ball joint connected. The inter-changeable face is done by a square slot and two circular pegs that insert into the square peg and holes in the head. The ball joints allow for some articulation on the hair, but not a lot, so don’t be too excited. Head it ball jointed to the neck, which shares the same formula as the original Goku figure.

Instant Transmission

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Shall not pass

Cracking knuckles for battle

*Insert punch sound effect*

Halo effect is perfect

 Come with me, if you wat to live...

The remainder of the body is about the same as well, that is until the elbows. The elbow joint itself is still a double hinged joint, but is slightly longer, giving the bicep and forearm but a millimeter more space than its predecessor, or at least is the case in my particular figure. Again, the hand ball joint is amazing. What I assume they did is take back some of the forearm plastic to allow better range of movement for the wrist, or even added a small mechanism that allows for the joint to protrude some if needed when the selected hand is at an extreme angle. Anyone of the two or even a mix of them would be my best guess.
The paint...well done. No shit. S.H.Figuarts is no noob to toy modeling, and as a professional manufacturer, I expect exquisite detailing. I sure as hell paid for it (got 2 of them just in case). Painting on the face is great. It’s not like there was much to do, anyway. It’s a DBZ character…eyes, mouth, some indents by the eyes, and the “blush” factor to look more realistic, yet stay true to its cartoonish nature. It pretty much looks like makeup on a figure. All that, and the standard yellow they use for the hair blades at the top of the face piece. The hair pieces have a nice shade fading from orange to yellow as you branch outward. They did an even better job of painting his fingernails on all his hands this time. The boots keep the red trim and ropes while the wrists still have his blue sweatbands, matching his undershirt on his orange gi. Now, his orange gi is not the same color as the last Goku. Mind you, I have the original and not the SDCC exclusive so we’re dealing with the bright outfit with bright, minimal shaded and toned hair. The original has more of a bleached look to it. This, I assume is in part to express that Goku’s body glows, and makes his gi glow from the inside out…or something like that SSJ3’s gi is actually golden, though a but dingy golden. I like it this way. It looks cleaner, and he looks more radiant as a character, and not just a shiny fighter. He almost looks a bit…divine, can I say?

Help from D-Arts Zero

Ki blast

Cosmic powers?

EX Gemini Saga's contribution



D-Arts Rockman X First Armor assist

I'm stronger this time...

From the air this time

Take this!!!!

I made this just for you

You will not survive...

Special parts: just enough for me. We don’t expect Goku to come with any weapons, so the best you can expect are faces and hands, right? Well, that’s what you get. A pair of open hands, a pair of “Kamehameha” hands, an “Instant Transmission” hand, and an angry face with pupils to the right. I am NOT a fan of the angry face. In fact, I was hoping that they would give him the yelling face that the original Goku has.  That was a great face. This one makes you move the head for posing, and the way I have to move it, my particular figure has a painting and manufacturing “blemish” on the right side of its neck. Now, the big thing with this release is the special power crescents. They have the ingenious little arrangement that connects with any beam of a Tamashi Stage to surround him. Make no mistake…this is indeed awesome! Makes an already formidable and impressive character/figure that much grander. I’m so appreciative of the job they did for this. Be forewarned…assembly and reassembly GREATLY runs risk of snapping plastic. I did it 3 times, am I’m already starting to see cracks in the plastic, so be careful, and pose wisely. Now, if you recall me talking about how you need not worry about the ankle joints, it’s because SSJ3 Goku comes with its own Tamashi Stage…and rightfully so, since without one, the super cool aura crescents would do you no good. If only they did this with EX Gemini Saga, instead of teasing you with his Galaxian Explosion effect with no means of displaying it rightfully. Of course, they slyly release the EX stage at the same time of Saga’s release, advertising him all over it. No, I didn’t fall for that one, Tamashi Nations! Also, a halo that inserts into the back of the head via a hair blade. That is just beautiful.
Saiyans in attendance
"I've been waiting for you, Kakarot."

"Don't do this, Vegeta. I'm stronger this time."

"Silence, Kakarot!"

"I dont have time, Vegeta!"

"Make time."

"Stand aside!!!!"

"Make me!!!!"

"Not smart, Vegeta."

"Argh! Damn you, Kakarot."

*Insert Flash Kick*

We settle it here

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Hands down, get this thing. It’s not that expensive, and well worth it. It will be gone fast, and will be a rare thing to find later on. You don’t have to be a big fan or follower of DBZ to appreciate this. This just happens to hold more than nostalgic value for me, but its sweetness is too much for it to get away from you. Even if you don’t collect, buying this simple piece and displaying it one the corner of you room, or next to your computer will always looks nice. I’m giving this a 9.5/10. Reason being, the body vastly surpasses its predecessor, the paint was done faithfully with complimenting colors, its effect parts, and stand all for not even 100 bucks. That’s a good gesture to your fans and customers, Bandai. My only real complaint, is that it is a chore trying to get Goku to work with the Tamashi stage, and all his dynamics (hair, and aura crescents) get in the way of each other in certain poses. But this should not at all be a deterrent for purchase. Good job again, Bandai. Keep it up!

"Don't make me tell you again, Vegeta...stand aside."

I have a universe to save.

His final home with the rest of the DBZ family. Patiently awaitig Trunks.
To conclude this ever-so-long review, as always, some motivation to get you to go and get this thing. Here is Goku SSJ3 in some of his more memorable moments.
P.S. – Shoutout to Asis Galvin. If you don’t know him, check out his Facebook, and his Youtube. He does hip-hop remixes to anime/video game music, and I have been following him for several years now. He recently made a nice rendition of SSJ3 American transformation. Check it out:
Figma Guts also arrived in the mail. Since I don’t want to break my word, I will be doing a joint review on him and BRS 2035. They will be my first figma reviews, so stay tuned!

Hobby Hobbying, everyone!


  1. Awesome stuff and sweet photos. Just some advice, you may want to extend the width of your post bodies. Just some feedback.

  2. You are really good at this reviewing thing. If you weren't in the military I'd say you should work for some sort of hobby review magazine. You keep writing them I'll keep reading them. Can't wait for the guts figure review. You do know there are 3 new Berserk Anime Movies in the work right?