I regularly cover some fairly hard-to-find figures in this blog, but today I’ve got what’s probably going to be the more limited figure I review all year: the Figuarts Zero One Piece Boa Hancock “Extreme Looking Down Pose” variant figure. The Snake Princess of the One Piece world, Boa Hancock is one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea. She’s also canonically the most beautiful and seductive woman in the world, though she packs to the power to turn men to stone with one gesture. Hancock is also “a bit” arrogant and self-absorbed, hence her iconic pose where she looks upward–the joke is that she looks down on people so far, that she’s looking up. It sounds goofy–and it is–but I love it. And so, as soon as I saw it, I was committed to making Bandai’s ultra-limited web exclusive my own. And though she may have turned my wallet to stone, I am ever so glad that I did…
The exclusive Boa Hancock Figuarts Zero figure comes in an unassuming brown box with some Japanese writing on it. I actually was a bit concerned that I’d been sent the wrong figure, as all opaque brown cardboard boxes look pretty similar, but that was just my OCD acting up. I’ve never gotten the wrong figure from Bandai yet, and the Boa Hancock “Looking Down On You So Far She’s Looking Up” exclusive was no exception.
Inside of the brown mailer box, the Figuarts Zero Boa Hancock box is wrapped inside of a layer of tissue paper to help keep it in pristine condition. And inside of the figure’s box and bubble, the figure itself is wrapped in plastic to prevent scratches on the paintwork. This is a rare and expensive exclusive, and Bandai definitely did the right thing by going all-out to make sure it arrived without damage to collectors.
Not only does the box for Boa Hancock come well-protected, but it’s also quite appealing in its own right. The box has the typical Figuarts Zero One Piece styling on it, with pink as the primary color and etched gold-foil detailing. It’s quite lovely to look at, just as a package containing the adorable Hebihime (Snake Princess) should be. There are windows on the front and side so you can gaze upon most of the figure without ever opening the package, and the sides and back show some great glamor shots of the exclusive. It’s worth mentioning that Bandai didn’t just use the standard Boa Hancock figure packaging for this exclusive–this is a newly-designed package especially for the Boa Hancock Extreme Looking Down Pose figure.
The paint deco on this Boa Hancock figure is a work of art. This is legitimately the best paint job I’ve seen on any toy I’ve purchased all year. Though in the anime Boa Hancock’s clothes look as flatly colored as everyone else’s (and they’re black & white in the manga, obviously), Bandai opted to use shiny, metallic paints on her clothing for this figure. And it works. Oh god, it works. The shiny paints are absolutely mesmerizingly gorgeous, and this really looks like the kind of exquisite clothing that the Snake Princess should be adorned with. Her shoes are the same fantastic metallic red, and the cuffs of her blouse are an eye-grabbing translucent pink. As a whole, this figure just looks unbelievably awesome.
Bandai wisely included a small, clear piece of plastic with the Extreme Looking Down Pose Boa Hancock. I wasn’t certain at first what it was supposed to be, and thought maybe it was a little stabilizer to stick Hancock’s foot in so she could stand up without the full display base. That works (to an extent), but I eventually realized the clear plastic piece has a slot in it for you to insert the bottom of the exclusive Boa Hancock’s cape in. With the clear piece, you’re able to easily get the Boa Hancock figure standing at any time with zero problems at all. For a piece of plastic that probably cost less than a nickel, it’s a brilliant addition to the figure that really helps facilitate my enjoyment of it.
The other accessory the Boa Hancock Extreme Looking Down on You Variant figure comes with is, of course, the obligatory Figuarts Zero figure stand. Whereas these display bases are one of the most exciting parts of the Uzumaki Naruto and Hatake Kakashi figures I previously reviewed, the One Piece Figuarts Zero figures’ bases are pretty mundane. This one has “Boa Hancock” written on it, along with the Snake Princess’ logo, and some Japanese writing I can’t read. It does its job and is another excellent way of keeping the Boa Hancock figure standing, so I’m glad to have it, even if it’s not as thrilling as the Figuarts Zero Naruto Shippuuden bases.
This is Boa Hancock posed “looking down on you so far she’s looking up”–which means she should look haughty and dictatorial. Instead, she’s got this “*tee-hee*” look on her face. Yes, Boa Hancock is the cutest woman in the world (the anime said it, not me), but she shouldn’t have that kind of expression when she’s in this pose. Boa Hancock should look regal and condescending when posed in this manner, and she simply is not. If this figure included an alternate head, as One Piece Figuarts Zero figures often do, there wouldn’t be a problem. But this Boa Hancock exclusive version has only the “sweetsie” face she’s packaged with, and it really brings down my enjoyment of the piece as a whole.
“Where Can I Buy It?!”
The online retailers selling the exclusive Boa Hancock Looking Down version are all charging ungodly prices, so in this case your best bet for getting an exclusive Boa Hancock figure for a price that’s not totally obscene really is by trying your luck at online auctions.
Overall: The Figuarts Zero One Piece Boa Hancock figure is not for everyone. In fact, it’s probably not for 99.9% of collectors. It’s a super-limited, Asian-only exclusive figure with zippo points of articulation. That said, this is the absolute best-looking and best-posed Boa Hancock figure I’ve ever seen from any company, and my One Piece collection would not be complete without it. The paint deco on this figure is masterful, and the figure itself looks more like a work of art than a plastic toy. I’d have preferred a less prissy facial expression on Hancock, but this is otherwise an absolutely perfect figure. If you’re a Boa Hancock fanboy (and what man isn’t?) and can find this figure–and afford it–it earns a high recommendation.