Though he is easily the most unpopular of the Straw Hat Pirates, Franky is still more loved than 95% of the named characters that show up in the One Piece manga and anime. Due to his immense size and crazy proportions, though, Franky is also toy companies’ least favorite member of the Mugiwaras. While MegaHouse will finally be releasing One Piece POP Franky Sailing Again Figure this summer (after two years of development), today I’m reviewing a Bandai figure that beat MegaHouse and everyone else to the punch: it’s the Figuarts Zero One Piece Franky New World Ver. Figure, and it is definitely SUUUUUPERRRR!!!
Right off the bat, I want to give major props to Bandai for releasing the entire New World Figuarts Zero Mugiwaras crew–including Franky–almost two full years ago. This is a feat that MegaHouse still hasn’t accomplished two years later with their One Piece Portrait of Pirates figures. Bravo, Bandai!
Next I notice the gorgeous, top-notch work that the factory did with the paint applications on the One Piece Figuarts Zero Franky New World Ver. figure. All of the metal parts of Franky use a shiny, almost metallic paint that make them clearly stand out as being cyborg portions of Franky. I especially love the glossy red robot shoulders on Franky, which denote him as BF-37 (Battle Franky #37). The text written on Franky’s shoulders and even the palm trees on his tropical shirt have been painted with perfect accuracy and care. Beautiful!
In my eyes Oda-sensei (author of One Piece) can do no wrong. But, well… his redesigned shaved head of timeskip Franky’s New World design is not my favorite. At all. Bandai did an admirable job of translating shaved-head Franky into plastic, but I still don’t really like looking at this version of Franky. Luckily…
Bandai thankfully included a pre-timeskip Franky extra head, depicting Franky with his iconic spikey hair! Not only do I think Franky looks vastly better with this hairdo, but the figure also looks much-improved thanks to the cool, cocky grin on this alternate Franky head.
And the icing on the cake is that Bandai included not one but two pairs of Cyborg Franky’s trademark sunglasses with the Figuarts Zero One Piece Franky New World Version figure! Thanks to the super-slick sunglasses, Franky can look as SUUPPPEEEERRR as you remember him in either his pre- or post-timeskip looks!
While Armored Franky is gigantic in the manga and anime, that posed some logistical issues with this Bandai Franky Figuarts Zero One Piece figure. The way Bandai got around having Franky be as tall and top-heavy as you’d expect is by putting him in a crouched pose with his left arm full stretched to the ground for balance. While this pose does successfully cut down on Franky’s size (and this price) and allows him to stand stably, I’m still not a fan. This just doesn’t seem like a pose to me that Franky would usually be doing, and it certainly isn’t as iconic as many of the other Figuarts Straw Hat Pirates’ poses.
The pose is a clear compromise for logistical reasons, and it dilutes what’s otherwise a really spectacular One Piece figure. In addition, Franky seems to be smaller than he should be because of the crouch pose–there’s just no way that Franky should ever be shorter than Luffy, crouching or no!
I bought my Figuarts Zero One Piece Franky for the amazing deal of $39.99 with free shipping and no tax from Amazon–there’s no better deal for this Franky Figuarts Zero figure out there! For a long while this was among the rarest One Piece Figuarts Zero figures, and sold for well over $100. New World Franky was reissued in late 2012, and I’d definitely advise picking him up for $40-$50 before he sells out and his price goes crazy again.
Overall: It seems a shame to not give the only Figuarts Zero One Piece Franky figure an ‘A’, but he doesn’t quite earn that top mark. While the sculpting, paint, and personality of this Armored Franky figure all off the charts, I’m disappointed in Franky’s pose and especially his being a little bit too small. He’s a fine figure overall and I absolutely love the heads and sunglasses he comes with, but he needed to be just a bit bigger and better posed to reach perfection. As he’s the only One Piece Figuarts Zero Franky New World Ver. figure, he absolutely earns a recommend, but I’d love a pre-timeskip Franky figure from Bandai sometime in the near future.