Bandai Tamashii Nations launched a new line last year called Imagination Works. This is a premium level line in 1/9th scale that will feature characters from multiple brands. It’s first offering was Goku from Dragonball Z in his most recognizable form – an orange gi with base and Super Saiyan hair. It’s parts, accessories and articulation are similar to S.H. Figuarts with slight upgrades, so like a Super Saiyan S.H. Figuarts :). I’ve really enjoyed SHF Dragonball over the last 10 years, so I wanted to give it a look. We’ve run the figure through the motions after the break, read on to check it out along with some additional thoughts. He’s in stock now and shipping from TheToySource!
Imagination Works Goku – Overall Thoughts
So, new scale. 1/9th has been around a bit, and is getting some new attention by various brands of late. It’s in-between the market standard 1/12th aka 6 Inch and 1/6th aka 12 inch figures most of us collect. On first crack this is very similar to a S.H. Figuarts figure. Interchangeable heads and faces per. This time though, the eyes are a separate piece that also plugs into the head like the face and hair would. So on each head, you can swap out the eyes. The hands also pop on and off like SHF, and the options with Goku here are very similar to his normal SHF offerings. Even the stand, which is all white and has a printed larger base, uses similar tech to the Tamashii Stages from years past. Then we get into some new angles.
The arms feature a silicone overlay, covering the joints. It goes from below the shoulder to the wrist, which is covered by a band wrap. So it hides the elbow joint and most of the wrist joint. You still see and have a cut above the bicep. The upper gi is detached from the shirt, and moves with your posing due to it’s softer plastic/rubber material. From the waist down though, all hard plastic. The baggy pants DBZ is known for is always hard to get right with articulation, and they addressed it differently here. It’s similar to some of their model kits that have come before, with the knees recessed allowing for a smooth wide range of bend. That however, does not look clean. It’s functional, but not a clean look while standing still.
Layered into all this is additional texture and detail on the gi, which is a nice addition that the 1/9th larger size offers.
So what does all this mean? I am not sure. I like the size of it. Do I need to go 100 figures deep in this scale? Probably not. I would be more open to it if it went a slightly different route. Since we have S.H. Figuarts with hard plastic, interchangeable heads and hands, etc – I think going more in the direction of One:12 would have been better. 1/9th scale, silicone body that actually covers all joint points (neck, all of the arms, any other skin on future figures), and then high end soft goods for the clothes. That would have been a unique offering that stands apart from SHF, and if done well could have really made these stand out. Great centerpieces regardless of how you collect.
So for now, I think it’s a cool piece that would be good for folks that don’t do SHF but want a single stand out Goku on their shelf. For those into 1/12 or SHF, continuing that may be best. Take a look though and decide for yourselves! He’s out and shipping now, check out TheToySource and online retailers to pick one up!