The Best Dragon Ball Action Figures to Power Up Your Collection
The Dragon Ball world started as a manga series in 1984 by Akira Toriyama. It follows the adventures of Son Goku, a Saiyan from another planet who collects powerful orbs (dragon balls) while encountering friends and foes along the way. As Son Goku gains experience, he becomes Earth's savior numerous times.
The series became popular and expanded into multiple spin-offs, movies, and merchandise. Today, the Dragon Ball franchise is considered a foundation of both anime and manga culture worldwide. Fans collect the best Dragon Ball action figures, depicting their favorite characters in dynamic poses while replicating some of the iconic battles portrayed in the show.
Here, we'll cover some of the best Dragon Ball action figures and what to look for when expanding your collection.
History of Dragon Ball Action Figures
When Dragon Ball began in the 1980s, both manga and anime quickly gained popularity. Manufacturers began turning the beloved characters into tangible, collectible figures for fans as the franchise grew. At the start, these action figures were less detailed while still capturing the essence of heroes and villains like Son Goku, Piccolo, and Master Roshi. As the saga continued, new characters such as Vegeta, Majin Buu, Trunks, and Gohan were introduced.
The earliest figures were also usually portrayed in one stance. As manufacturing techniques improved, newer toys would have points of articulation, allowing users to adjust them into dynamic poses. Companies also started using materials like softer plastics or rubber to add texture and greater detail to many action figures.
A few major manufacturers have been famous for creating high-quality Dragon Ball action figures and merchandise, including Bandai, MegaHouse, Jakks Pacific, Mattel, Irwin Toy, and Banpresto.
Top Dragon Ball Action Figures to Add to Your Collection
When choosing DragonBall action figures to add to your collection, a few toylines stand out, including Dragon Ball Stars, Tamashi Nations, and even Dragon Ball Z Funko Pops. Let's look closely at some of the best Dragon Ball action figures.
Dragon Ball Stars Action Figure - Super Saiyan Blue Gogeta
Many fans will recognize Super Saiyan Blue Gogeta as the fusion between Goku and Vegeta from Dragon Ball Super. The figure is 6.5 inches and costs $19.99. It has multiple points of articulation and comes with a pair of accessory hands.
As with other action figures in the Stars series, Blue Gogeta is highly detailed, making for an accurate and realistic addition to your collection. It's on the top of our list because it has all the features that make up a high-quality collectible and is also an iconic fan-favorite character.
Bandai Dragon Ball Stars Super Saiyan Goku Action Figure
While buying a fused character can add some uniqueness to your collection, there are a few Dragon Ball classics that you'll need as well. One example is the Dragon Ball Super Saiyan Goku action figure by Bandai.
This one portrays Goku in his Super Saiyan form. While this may not be his strongest power level, it's still essential to the overall Dragonball series. It was first introduced in Goku's iconic battle against Freeza on planet Namek.
This edition of Goku is 6.5 inches tall and has 16 points of articulation, making it a good toy for play and display. It comes with a pair of extra hands that can snap on the wrist joint easily. The golden-haired Saiyan isn't as detailed as the Super Saiyan Blue Gogeta above, but it still shows some decent accuracy. It's on the list because a Super Saiyan Goku should be an essential part of every Dragon Ball collection, and it's affordable at $25.30.
Tamashii Nations Majin Buu Super Dragon Ball Z Action Figure
This Bandai Spirits version of the antagonist, Super Majin Buu Dragon Ball Z action figure, takes detail to a new level. The texture and paint application are spot-on, elevating the figure's overall detail. This is a larger piece, standing at approximately 9 inches tall. Majin Buu also comes with three sets of hands at additional heads with different facial expressions.
The points of articulation are interesting in this figure. For example, Majin Buu is known to wear large baggy pants. When this is translated to a toy, it makes for some limited and awkward knee flexion. At the same time, this edition of Buu can twist at the waist, which isn't all too common for action figures. It's on this list due to its impressive size and attention to detail. Majin Buu is a bit more expensive at $70.
Dragon Ball Stars Goku Black Rose Action Figure
The Goku Black Rose action figure is an antagonist from the Dragon Ball Super saga. He was created with the help of the dragon balls by Zamasu to destroy all Earth's mortals. Like the standard designs of other Dragon Ball figures, he stands 6.5 inches tall. However, he also comes with accessories like additional hands and a chi energy blast.
This figure is unique. We're used to seeing editions of Super Saiyan Goku with golden hair rather than blue or rose-colored versions. Goku black, while looking similar, is still considered more rare. Despite that, he's not that expensive at $26.94.
Funko Pop! Dragon Ball Z Vegeta Figure
While some might be interested only in the original Dragon Ball figures, others might want something slightly different. This Funko Pop vinyl figure depicts Vegeta as he first appeared in the anime with his original battle armor, scouter, and monkey tail.
The figure is fixed in one position and shows Vegeta standing cross-armed. It's also a bit smaller than the other options on this list at approximately 4 inches. However, a Funko Pop version of the Prince of Saiyans is on our list as a great way to add some variation to your overall collection. Other Funko Dragon Ball options are also available.
Dragon Ball Stars Super Saiyan Future Trunks Action Figure
This Dragon Ball Stars figure portrays a super Saiyan Trunks as he appears traveling back in time to help Goku and his friends. It's highly detailed and perfectly captures the nuances of Trunk's clothing. Trunks stand at 6.5 inches and cost $19.99.
We're putting him on the list due to the high attention to detail regarding accessories. He comes with an extra pair of hands, a head, and open and closed swords. With the standard 16 points of articulation, you can make future Trunks easily strike dynamic battle poses.
Factors to Consider When Buying Dragon Ball Action Figures
Collecting Dragon Ball Z (DBZ) action figures can be fun. However, you'll want to consider a few things before committing. Your chosen character should be high in accuracy and look just like the source material. A collectible with higher detail unveils overall quality and craftsmanship. At the same time, you'll want to pay special attention to material, price range, rarity, and overall value.
Your prime concern when buying a Dragon Ball Z action figure should be authenticity. To ensure you get standard pieces, consider only buying from reputable manufacturers rather than third-party companies. Some famous companies include Bandai, MegaHouse, Jakks Pacific, Mattel, Irwin Toy, and Banpresto. These original versions might be pricier than bootlegs, but the higher level of quality is apparent.
Material and Craftsmanship
Material and craftsmanship should be the next thing to consider when choosing the best Dragon Ball action figures for your collection. Compare your desired figure with the source material in the manga or anime. The color applications should be identical, as well as the texture and the detail.
More accurate representations suggest better craftsmanship. Likewise, your chosen toy should be made from durable materials like PVC plastic, rubber, or other soft plastics.
Articulation and Poseability
Whether you want to play with your Dragon Ball Z action figures or just have them on display, points of articulation can be a major benefit. Typically, these points will be around the shoulder, wrist, and knee joints. They should move smoothly and allow your character to stand in dynamic poses.
It's worth noting that the reputable brand Banpresto doesn't make articulated figures but rather focuses on overall detail. However, their Dragon Ball action figures are still considered very valuable. These are better for display pieces, while more articulated examples like the Dragon Ball Stars series can be toys and display pieces.
Price Range and Availability
Once you've assessed the overall quality of an action figure, you can move on to analyzing the price and rarity.
DBZ figures widely vary in terms of price points. For example, mass-produced and mid-range models can be anywhere from $5 to $100, while high-end models will be up to $500. Some ultra-rare collectibles statues and limited editions cost upwards of $500.
Caring for Your Dragon Ball Action Figure Collection
After buying your favorite Dragon Ball action figure, you'll want to ensure it lasts ages. While authentic products are certainly high quality, taking care of them correctly is important. Some general guidelines include the following:
- Keep them dry – Your Dragon Ball Z action figures should always be dry. Avoid exposing them to moisture by placing them in a glass display case.
- Avoid harsh sunlight – There's nothing worse than a faded paint job. Store your toys away from direct sunlight. Otherwise, the colors will appear less vibrant over time.
- Room temperature is best – Avoid either very high or low temperatures for your Dragon Ball action figures. A cool, dry room is the most appropriate option.
- Dust them off occasionally – Use a brush to lightly remove any dust accumulating on your action figures. Be especially mindful of the joints, as debris can get stuck inside.
Where to Buy Dragon Ball Action Figures
There are a few places to consider when looking for a DBZ action figure. You can opt for conventions like Comic-Con since these events promote new figures. Other places include specialty stores like Hot Topic, trusted online toy stores like ToyShnip or Amazon, and manufacturer stores like Tsume.
If you choose to buy online, always check for buyer ratings to ensure you're getting an authentic product. If a price is too good to be true, that's probably because it is. Cheap Dragon Ball Z action figures can frequently be knockoffs. Low-quality display packaging is yet another indication that a product might be counterfeit.
Join the Saiyan Elite: Next Steps in Your Collection Journey
Choosing the right action figures DBZ toys for your Dragon Ball figures collection doesn't have to be difficult. Look for highly accurate and detailed figures with standard points of articulation. The Dragon Ball Stars toyline is a great standard, with each piece standing at 6.5 inches. Famous brands include Bandai, MegaHouse, Jakks Pacific, Mattel, Irwin Toy, and Banpresto.
For the best action figure toys, head over to ToyShnip. There, you'll find a wide range of your favorite characters, including the Dragon Ball franchise's best-looking figures.
What is the rarest Dragon Ball action figure?
Many Dragon Ball figurines are rare, and their prices aren't even estimated. Instead, dealers would have to negotiate for them. One amazing figure is the Banpresto Ichiban Kuji Angel Goku. It depicts Goku as he leaves for heaven (the protagonist dies during the Cell story arc only to be revived later).
What is the most expensive Dragon Ball Z figure?
The issue with Dragon Ball Z collectibles is that many don't have estimated prices. Instead of fixing a price to the figure, collectors will engage in bidding. However, one example of a very expensive Dragon Ball Z action figure includes Guru, the great elder, sitting on his throne. Only 100 of these units were ever made, costing over $1,000. Other editions can be just as expensive if they come as a Dragon Ball action figure set.
What is the highest-rated Dragon Ball Z?
The highest-rated arc in Dragon Ball Z would be the Majin Buu story arc. This series of episodes were the most anticipated, and they also served as the finale of the Dragon Ball Z series.