Bandai started on a line of 4-inch figures a few years ago called Hybrid Action Figures, and it seems to be focusing on the Dragonball license. Research suggests there were a number of figures produced, but I’ve only come across Super Saiyan Son Goku in person. This is an… interesting… figure to own. It’s great to see a 4-inch posable figure of Goku, but truth is, this figure leaves a lot to be desired.
The idea and experiment is obvious: Bandai wanted a part of the re-emerging 4-inch market, and they were trying to make figures as poseable, as super poseable as possible. Taking a page out of Takara’s book, they produced an incredibly sculpted figure; the details and the ability to capture Goku at this scale is pure magic. But the execution of the articulation is wanting. Bandai tried to preserve the sculpt as much as possible in adding as much articulation as possible. And the result isn’t that great. We wind up with some kind of Kaiyado Fist of the North Star abomination.
The articulation is useful. You get the poses that are classic and that you can see in the manga or anime. But the disruption to the sculpt is so extreme that I’m constantly distracted by it. And the v-crotch hips are a killer for me — gimme some good old-fashioned ball-and-socket hips. The overall engineering and blending with the sculpt needs an incredible amount of work for this figure to work for me. The overall articulation is as follows: ankle rockers, hinged ankles, double knees, thigh swivels, v-crotch, ball waist, ab-swivel, v-cut chest, cut/swivel shoulders, ball shoulders, bicep swivel, double elbows, wrist swivel, and hinged wrists.
I will give it tons of aces in the paint department. The amount of detail in the painting in this scale is simply amazing. What the figure loses in articulation, it completely gains in paint. It is by far one of the best paint apps I’ve seen in a long time.
Goku here isn’t for everyone. The die hard collectors will love him and the 4-inch collectors that just want a 4-inch Goku will enjoy him, but I find the design and engineering of the articulation to be less that adequate and really distracting from the sculpt. You can still find these on Amazon.com, but beware — the price is a killer for them, running up to $100+ USD.
You can discuss this figure further on the Fwoosh forums.