One branch of One Piece toys that I was pretty oblivious of until this summer was the Banpresto One Piece World Collectible Figures (WCF) line. The line isn’t nearly as famous as the MegaHouse One Piece POP Figure line or even the Bandai Figuarts Zero, and it’s not widely-imported to North America. But once I oogled the figures, I knew I’d be buying some soon enough. And thus, for the mere retail price of just $11 from Play-Asia, my first-ever One Piece WCF figure arrived last week: The greatest Fishman swordsman (sorry Hachi), Hyouzou!
Some people might think Hyozou is a strange choice to begin my One Piece WCF collection with, but buying him was a total no-brainer for me. Of all the New Fishman Pirates, Hyouzou was the one with the most credibility (we’d been hearing about him since waaaaaay back in the Arlong Park saga) and who seemed to be by far the most formidable. Since both Bandai and MegaHouse seem to hate Fishman Island (outside of Princess Shirahoshi), I don’t expect to see a P.O.P. or even Figuarts Zero One Piece Hyouzou figure anytime soon. Thus it looked like the One Piece Vol. 29 WCF Hyouzou was my best bet for ever having a good toy of the character, and I placed my order as soon as he came available.
The removable sword Hyouzou comes with is a huge bonus, as I had no thought whatsoever that he would include an accessory! You can wrap the sword’s hilt around Hyozou’s raised tentacle and position it at a variety of angles, meaning Hyouzou will be able to effectively battle other swordsmen (Fishman or otherwise) regardless of how their sword is angled. The removable sword is a great feature of this figure that really increases my enjoyment of it.
All adult figures in the One Piece WCF series are 7 cm (2.75″) tall, and Hyouzou is no exception. As this figure is less than 3 inches tall, I didn’t think the paint would be all that nice. I was completely off-target–the paint on this figure is gorgeous and well beyond the standards for such small figures released in America. From the carefully detailed texture of the sheathe to the curved spots on each of his tentacles to the paint applications on his removable sword, Banpresto went all-out with the paint deco on Hyozou. For a figure in this scale, he looks simply incredible.
The sculpt on the Hyouzou WCF Vol. 29 figure is a knockout. Whereas some figures in the One Piece World Collectable Figure line looks really super-deformed, I don’t see it at all in Hyouzou’s case. He looks more like a finely-sculpted 7 cm Portrait of Pirates figure than a chibified version of the character! Everything from the suction cups on Hyouzou’s tentacles to the folds on his shirt have been captured masterfully.
Zippo. Paint is pristine, sculpt is dead-on–I’ve got no issues with this figure to speak of.
“Where Can I Buy It?!”
Hyouzou is currently available for about his retail price of $11 from Play-Asia. If you want him (and you should), I’d recommend ordering Hyouzou while you can–most One Piece WCF figures tend to sell out fast.
Overall: This One Piece WCF Vol. 29 Hyouzou figure is a fantastic representation of the character that far exceeded my expectations. For a figure under 3″ tall, there’s an incredible amount of paint deco on this figure, and the sculpting is marvelous. The removable sword is an unexpected bonus feature, and I love that WCF Hyouzou can stand up with or without his display base. This is likely to be the best figure of Hyouzou released in the near-future (if not ever), and I have no problem giving it my highest possible recommendation.