Anime Programming in the US
Making a Living in Manga in Japan with Felipe Smith
Lost in Translation
Super Action Statue Jean Pierre Polnareff (Part 5)
Series: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
Guys, I forgot. There's another category of Astro Toy (see last week) that I didn't mention. The fourth category of Astro Toy is “ridiculous items that will never in a million years get by my editor.” I'm always digging deep in the toy listings, trying hard to find unusual stuff to mix it up with. When I do that, I find toys that would be really awesome to run here... or so I think. Sometimes stuff doesn't get by! Sometimes I pitch stuff fully expecting it not to get by! Such is life, such is toys.
So here's an item I did not think was going to get by.. but here it is. In its endless pursuit to make completely faithful action figure representations of every single character in the Jojo epic, Medicos has given us this wonder: JP Polnareff In Wheelchair. I could not resist. That there has been a Jojo revival in the past few days-- the new TV series, the PS3 game-- is total coincidence.
This happens to Polnareff in Part 5, alright? Due to circumstances, our favorite comic relief character, nicest guy in the world, really, finds himself wheelchair-bound... in a Silver Chariot, if you will. Consider yourselves spoiled. I haven't read this part either. It's kind of not legally available in English, you know, and it probably never will be! Sorry, Polpol-kun. Sorry, all the other Jojos.
Anyway, looking pretty good, ain't he? I know what Polnareff would say, if he were here. “I'm looking pretty good, aren't I?” I have already raved about the sharp sculpts and clean paint jobs typical of the Super Action Statue line: they're really an order of magnitude above comparable figure lines and do justice to Araki's famously eccentric character designs. Figmas don't look this good, Figuarts don't either, and Revoltechs definitely don't look this good. There's a reason that I so enjoy coming back to this line.
Here's a helpful diagram that lets us know what cool parts of Polnareff's sweet new mechanical legs aren't actually action figure joints and will break if you mess with them. It's the lower thigh and the joint at the ankle. This “what exactly moves?” diagram comes with every SAS figure: though it's mostly obvious stuff, I didn't notice that Pol's broken-heart-shaped earrings also move around a bit.
Now the whole lower part of the body does indeed move, with the same kind of joints as with any other Jojo SAS figure. You can stand Polnareff up and probably put him in any number of such poses... that's just not canon, is all. So if you do, be careful, because Hirohiko Araki will not smile down upon you from his vampire lair.
Let's take a look at the wheelchair by itself real quick: it's a very lightweight item, kind of reminiscent of the vehicle accessories you can buy for Figmas. All the wheels roll, the front wheels swivel, and the handle on either side moves as well. It is a completely functioning toy wheelchair. I don't think they sell those for Figmas. Segways? Bikes? Yeah. Wheelchairs? I'm not so sure.
So Polnareff challenges us to come up with cool poses for a dude who's bound to a wheelchair. I'm sure you can think of some stuff. The trademark Polnareff charisma can be used from a chair, as well.
Since Jojo characters fight wih Stands (and since Stands are sold separately, see our previous double reviews) there is only a single weapon provided: Polnareff's hand can be swapped out for a short blade, for charging headlong with the “chariot”.
Though you probably won't need it for anything, this figure does indeed come with the same stand as every other SAS figure. It's very straightforward, nothing fancy and gives no problems either.
Definitely not canon.
So this is a pretty neat gimmick figure, and probably-- given the cost of doing this-- the only of its kind you're ever likely to see. Can you think of another famous anime character in a wheelchair? They didn't do a Nunnally action figure, did they? Whether it is worth the high cost depends entirely on what kind of totally nuts Jojo completist you are. Judging by the amount of figures that this franchise continues to produce years and years after the original manga storylines ran, there are a lot of folks like that out there.
Which brings us to the cost. This cost us $100 shipped from Amiami, way more than you would expect to pay. Blame the exchange rate (in yen it was only about 7700) and the giant box. One could probably have two other Jojo SAS figures for the same price, but this was just too interesting to pass on. Only the most serious Polnareff admirers need apply. Chariot, Polnareff's stand, is also available: it comes with a weapon for Pol and a very important turtle.
When he isn't killing time on fighting games and mahjong, David Cabrera gets hype about anime, manga and gaming at Subatomic Brainfreeze. You can follow him on Twitter @sasuraiger.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history