Anime Figure Review: Sabo Variable Action Heroes
As stated previously, I’ve somewhat recently gotten into One Piece, and I’m trying to obtain figures of characters I liked while reading the manga. While I like the Straw Hat crew, I found myself intrigued by Luffy’s sworn brother, Sabo. If anything, Sabo’s outfit and aesthetic are very interesting, and translate to figure sculpts well!
After poking around the internet (mainly MyFigureCollection, Mandarake, and eBay) I decided to pass on the Portrait of Pirates Sailing Again Sabo due to his inflated cost, especially in comparison to the Robin and Zoro from that line. (Zoro is more expensive than Robin, but not as bad as Sabo.) My second choice for this character was the Variable Action Heroes variety, which I assumed was like the Figma or SH Figuarts lines.
Upon first glance, the box is quite impressive. I personally like it more than Figma boxes, which are somewhat bland, even if intentional.
The other sides of the box were just as bright and busy as the front, with various poses you can put the figure in strewn around the back.
Inside of the box are various accessories, extra hands, and an extra face plate. The accessories all look as they should, and the pipe in particular really stands out as one of the best accessories included. The little dents all over it make it look as if it was really in a few fights! (I like the simple backdrop with Sabo’s emblem as well.)
Unfortunately, the goggles on the hat had a tiny speck of extra paint on the lens, which was disappointing to me. I figured I might be able to scrape it off if I deem it necessary, but it might cause more damage to the plastic if I do that.
Sabo himself also had extra paint on his neck of all places. This paint is a lot more noticeable and a lot more disappointing. I could potentially Magic Eraser it off, but it could cause more damage like the goggles. Since I bought this figure from a third party seller and not a store like Amiami, I probably couldn’t contact Megahouse about it. Honestly, it’s probably not worth all of the hassle either, but it’s disappointing to see lacking quality control on a somewhat pricey figure.
Anyway, the other accessories look great. The Flame-Flame fruit has no flaws I can see, and the flames themselves seem to appear as lively as they could for plastic fire. Aside from the paint speck, the hat and goggles are true to the manga, and the extra hands are well sculpted and fit into place relatively securely.
Posing Sabo seems to be no issue. I was able to change his hands easily, and while his face plate posed some difficulty, it was far easier than Di Molto Bene’s Minissimo line. Unfortunately (yes, again) his hair line for his hat has a small gap when closed, and it shouldn’t. I couldn’t push the pieces together any more than this, and I didn’t want to force them.
The Variable Action Heroes line does not come with stands, which is something I knew prior to ordering Sabo. Unfortunately, the price point for the figures doesn’t really reflect the lack of a stand, in my opinion, since the official stand produced by Megahouse costs anywhere from $12-$20 on Amazon. Without a stand, Sabo doesn’t like to stay up, and the SHFiguarts stands weren’t strong enough for his weight. (Either that or he was just refusing to cooperate with Sailor Venus’ stand! He is about an inch taller than she is, to be fair.) I ended up purchasing an official one through a different seller, but it didn’t arrive in time for this review. I’m sure it will work fine, though.
VERDICT: I like this figure a lot, but the inconsistent quality control on my particular Sabo and the price point of almost $20 more than a Figma (with no stand) convinces me to only purchase these figures on sale, if I can. The posing is fine, the sculpt is great, but the problems that are there shouldn’t be, and that really hurts the pros of the figure.
Did you enjoy my review? Are you interested in purchasing this figure? Amazon has Sabo listed currently. If you order him through that link, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 🙂 Thank you!