While all the other One Piece collectibles licensees have been dropping the ball for the past year-plus, Banpresto has continued to fight the good fight with new characters and unique poses. But there are some cash-cow characters that Banpresto can’t avoid doing, and Luffy’s other brother is one of them. The Banpresto Sabo SCultures figure is available for about $20 shipped online–and at that price, it’s another steal…
That said, Sabo is one of my favorite “recent” additions to the One Piece cast (having debuted a scant 250 episodes ago), so I have no problems with getting plenty of PVC figures of him while he’s still “hot” (which could be a pun, given Sabo’s Devil Fruit and all, I suppose…).
There are a lot of Sabo figures to choose from on the market right now, but by far the best “cheap” large-sized figure of Luffy’s “other” brother is this Banpresto SCultures Sabo.
Just like all the other Banpresto SCultures figures out there, Sabo comes unassembled in a beautifully-decorated box. Seriously, if a window box isn’t an option (and it definitely is not for the SCultures figures), then full-color boxes like this one with tons of great artwork are the right way to go.
The Sabo SCultures statue comes in five pieces (upper body, lower body, figure stand, two pieces of lead pipe) that can be put together firmly in a snap. Because the lower torso slides into the upper torso of the figure, there are zero seam lines–you would never know that this started out as anything other than one solid figure!
For this PVC figure, Sabo is captured mid-step, with one heel raised off the ground and the trademark lead pipe firmly in his left hand. This isn’t a big departure from what we’ve seen elsewhere, but what is hugely different is the amount of sculpting detail and paint deco put into this statue.
Simply put, there’s more detailing on this figurine than any other Sabo figure on the market. Sabo’s design is a simple one, so you may not notice it at first, but side-by-side you notice all the little “extras” this Banpresto Sabo has, such as the purple paint and sculpted texture inside of his coat.
Rather than giving Sabo’s goggles translucent blue lenses, Banpresto chose to paint the lenses metallic blue. On paper this doesn’t sound nearly as good, but it turns out that the shiny paint reflects light nicely and look surprisingly cool. I approve.
Maybe my favorite detail of this figure isn’t the figure at all, though–it’s his weapon! While the lead pipes we’ve gotten from Bandai Japan and MegaHouse have been very clean and simplistic, the Banpresto One Piece SCultures Sabo figure comes with a pipe that’s battle-worn, with dents and battle damage in it and a screw-like portion at the end.
In fact, I got this official SCultures Sabo figure this week for $17 shipped on sale–a tremendous value for a figure of this size and quality. Banpresto is absolutely killing it with quality, price and character selection for this SCultures line.
- Sabo’s skin seems a shade too pale–he looks more much lighter than my POP Sabo
- Sabo’s scar on his face isn’t sculpted at all–it’s 100% painted-on
- It can be a little trick to get Sabo onto his figure stand, as the “heel” portion of the base is movable and has to be swiveled perfectly to get the figure onto the base
Overall: For the price–currently available for under 20 bucks shipped–you absolutely cannot get a better Sabo figure. The sculpting and paintwork on this figure are excellent, and at close to 9 inches tall he’s big enough to fit in with a P.O.P. collection. I especially love the highly-detailed lead pipe accessory. On the downside, Sabo’s skin-tone seems a bit too light to me and I think his scar should be sculpted on his face–not just painted. Overall, this is an excellent rendition worth picking up of a character getting plenty of attention from other lines and companies.