The first time I ever saw Brook and realized he was going to be part of the Straw Hat Pirate crew, I was like, “Oh HELL no!” I was convinced the insane loving skeleton was going to disrupt the chemistry of the crew and I was determined that I would never accept Brook as a member of the Strawhat Pirates. Predictably, he’s my favorite member of the crew now. The undead musician is the only MegaHouse One Piece Portrait of Pirates character I own 3 versions of (all that exist), so it was a foregone conclusion I’d buy the Bandai Figuarts Zero One Piece Brook figure as well. While FAZ Brook is–for the most part–music to my ears, he still hits some glaring off-key notes…
One thing I’m totally giddy about regarding the Brook One Piece Figuarts Zero toy is that Bandai is decisively one-upping MegaHouse with this release in one way. Bandai has achieved what MegaHouse repeatedly failed to do–and that’s giving the musician an actual instrument to play. As crazy as it sounds, no One Piece POP Brook figure has ever come with an instrument! But this Brook New World Ver. figure comes ready to rock out with his shark guitar, something I’ve been wanting to have a Brook figure do for ages!
The sculpt itself is also pretty stellar, as Bandai opted for a totally dynamic guitar-playing Brook figure. Choosing a design like this is a real double-edged sword (which I’ll be discussing at length momentarily), but for what Bandai intended, the execution is outstanding. Figuarts Zero Brook’s legs are as long and slender as they should be, and his boa looks fantastic front and back. The facial expression that Bandai has created for Brook looks like it jumped straight out of the anime, and is definitely suitably wacky for the character. Is he singing or “Yo Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho!”-ing? You decide!!
The unique pose for One Piece Figuarts Zero Brook chosen by Bandai is both a blessing and a curse. Because Brook is bent over playing the guitar, his figure is just barely taller than the other Mugiwaras. Instead of towering over them and fitting in well at the back of the display like he should, Brook ends up being mostly obscured by the figures in front of him.Considering what a huge visage Brook is in the anime and manga, that’s quite a disappointment.
In addition, the crazy pose Brook is in means that there is no way (and I mean NO WAY) he will ever stand unassisted without his display stand.With a little fiddling the other Figuarts Zero One Piece Straw Hats can be made to stand up independently, but with Brook’s spindly legs and uneven pose, forget about it. You’ll always need to have at least one huge and very noticeable figure stand in your Straw Hat Pirates figures display, like it or not.
Finally, as much as I like that the Bandai Figuarts Zero Brook is something totally different from what MegaHouse has done with the Brook figures in their Portrait of Pirates line, I sort of wish Bandai had given us a different Brook to start off with. As it is, this Brook was first released over a year ago and to date is still the only Brook Bandai has planned. So if you want a neutral-standing Brook or a battle-ready Brook or a Thriller Bark Brook, you’re out of luck with the Figuarts Zero One Piece line–you’ll take your goofy guitar-playing Brook and like it. As the only Brook figure Bandai seems intent on releasing, I don’t know if this specific Brook pose was the right choice.
The first batch of Figuarts Zero Brook exploded on the aftermarket after selling out, so Bandai released a second batch this summer. That run is also close to selling through completely, but you can still pick up New World Brook for $33.50 with free shipping and no tax from Amazon as of writing.
Overall: I desperately want to love this Figuarts Zero One Piece New World Brook figure and I just don’t. I can absolutely appreciate the zaniness of the pose, and I think Bandai did a terrific job with the paint applications on the figure (particularly on the floral pants and shiny guitar). Even so, I wish that they’d given Brook a neutral or battle pose of any sort so that he’d look more natural with the other Straw Hat Pirates figures and potentially even stand up without his figure stand. In addition, he doesn’t display as well behind the rest of the crew as you’d expect due to being bent over to play the guitar. The One Piece Figuarts Zero Brook New World Ver. figure is a colorful and very uniquely-posed sculpt of the character, but the very wackiness of the design limits the ways that he can be displayed and enjoyed. I recommend him, as this is Bandai’s only Figuarts Zero Brook, but I definitely hope that they release another version of Brook in the future.