In the days leading up to this weekend’s Jump Festa 2014 event in Japan, I heard some totally insane rumors going around. Maybe I was just in denial, but I refused to believe that the main One Piece products that Bandai was planning to push at the 2014 Jump Festa event were going to be a whole new assortment of the crazy, off-the-wall Figuarts Zero One Piece Artist Special figures of the One Piece characters as animals. Well… the rumors were true. So, uh… anyone want a bizarre Admiral Akainu as an anthropomorphic dog man figure? And if you like that, there’s plenty more where that came from…
Of all the things I’ve heard One Piece collectors say that they’re hoping to see unveiled at Jump Festa (or any other event), I can honestly say I have never heard a soul say that they were hoping to see a bunch more of the One Piece Figuarts Zero Artist Special figures. To be frank, these zany figures are… niche. They’re large, expensive, and produced in limited quantities to meet pre-orders through the Bandai Web Shop. There’s zero buzz surrounding them. Zero. Except, of course, when people post photos of them to laugh at them.
Along with the previously-revealed Shanks as a Lion and Trafalgar Law as a Snow Leopard figures, we got a huge showing of never-before-seen characters…
Artist Special Donquixote Doflamingo as a Flamingo: This just might be the single most insanely ludicrous piece of One Piece merchandise ever made. I might have to own this based sheerly off its preposterousness.
Artist Special Admiral Akainu Sakazuki as a Red Dog: This one matches the flamingo Doflamingo Artist Special figure in ridiculousness. If this wasn’t going to be extremely rare and expensive, it would really make a terrific gag gift. Alas.
Artist Special Zetto as a Bull: Aw, geez! C’mon, Bandai! You know I have a weakness for Film Z merch! The “cyborg” arm made of wood is amazing, as is the purple hair between Zetto’s horns. If I can afford it, I really will buy this figure. I’m dead serious.
Artist Special Roronoa Zoro as a Tiger Version 2: This was shown earlier in the fall, but Tiger Zoro is so absurd-looking with his closed eye making it look like he’s winking, I just couldn’t resist posting a new photo.
Artist Special Monkey D. Luffy as a Monkey Version 2: The original Luffy Artist Special figure is outright impossible to get for a fair price on the aftermarket now, so this was sort of a necessity to keep the line coming. Artist Special Luffy looks okay, for what he is.
I could probably spend several thousand words talking about these newly-revealed One Piece Artist Special figures, but I think this might be a case where the less said the better. So I’ll end my impressions here.
Alright, reader response time! Be honest, One Piece collectors: Who out there is legitimately interested in purchasing this new wave of One Piece Artist Special figures, with the figures likely costing around $100 each? For that matter, would any of you want these figures if they were the usual Figuarts Zero One Piece prices of $30-$50 each? I’m dying to know, guy! Let your voices be heard!