Series: Dragon Ball Z & One Piece (crossover)
Main distribution: Japan (as price only)
This is a very special collaboration between Dragon Ball Z and One Piece to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Weekly Shōnen Jump. It’s a large plush of One Piece’s Chopper, dressed up as Dragon Ball Z’s Goku. This plush was released in a limited run and could only be won in the arcades.
For the 40th anniversary of Weekly Shōnen Jump the 2 most popular manga collaborated and did a crossover. Dragon Ball Z and One Piece got special, limited edition merchandise, including this plush.
The plush features One Piece’s favourite mascot, Chopper, and is dressed in Dragon Ball Z’s lead Goku’s iconic outfit. Chopper also wears his pink hat, and holds the 4-star Dragonball.
It’s quite a big plush at 26cm. His face features are embroidered, and he has a small light blue, plastic button nose.
Chopper has a soft yet smooth texture, whereas his hoofs, antlers, suit and hat are more of a smooth, shiny material. The Dragon Ball stars, Goku’s outfit logo’s and feet details are printed or pasted on. The large X on his hat seems to be of felt.
It comes with a hang string on its head. It’s fairly top heavy though, so he has a hard time sitting upright by himself.
Its tush tag is a fairly standard Banpresto one, and also mentions the year. The hang tag, which is attached to the tush tag, features “40th Weekly Jump” logo, Goku from Dragonball Z and Chopper from One Piece, along with the usual accompanying logo’s from all parties involved. The back lists how it is “for use as prize in Japan only”.
I remember the 40th anniversary of Weekly Shōnen Jump well. I was getting pickier with my anime merchandise, but Dragon Ball Z remained a high favourite. I hadn’t seen much Dragon Ball merchandise anymore lately though, so seeing these had me ecstatic.
I also admired the magazine that has been running since 1968! No small feat, especially in a day and age where online and digital reading is becoming more and more a thing. On its 40th anniversary, the American Shōnen Jump had its 5th anniversary. Although technically neither of these were available in my country (except I later found one comic book store in Utrecht selling them for a high mark up), my uncle who worked at NATO, an American base, was selling the American Shōnen Jump in their convenience store. He bought me them whenever he saw them, as they didn’t always arrive in that shop every month. From 2007 to 2009 I got it, with a few months missing here and there. As I can’t read Japanese, getting this magazine made me feel closer to the Japanese distribution of Manga. I also loved how it was a platform for my favourite mangaka when they were starting out.
In 2009, I temporarily moved to Sydney, Australia. Much closer to Japan, and a major city as well, there was just so much more stuff I suddenly could get my hands on. I found a massive bookstore that stocked Weekly Shōnen Jump and I loved looking at the pictures. There were several arcades with many prices, and the first time I encountered an UFO crane machine!
This Chopper was in one of them. I am pretty good with the regular crane games, but had never played an UFO one before. It was the first and only price I ever got out of an UFO machine. I feel they are more about pushing the plush in the hole than actually trying to grab them, and I find them a lot harder and more costly to play. Nevertheless, it was a Dragon Ball plush, a Shōnen Jump anniversary, and I had to have it!
A decade later, and the poor fellow has mostly been in a box stored away (hence his pristine condition). It has travelled over 3 countries so far! As much as I like Dragon Ball Z, I don’t like One Piece. And Goku isn’t exactly my favourite character. So Chopper in Goku’s outfit doesn’t appeal to me that much to be honest. It was cool at the time to find Dragon Ball stuff in an arcade, but practically I have no room for stuff I care only mildly about. And as much as I love limited edition anniversary merchandise, I’m giving this one up.
I still have the Goku in Luffy’s outfit figure, so it’s not like I abandon this line completely. I will always remember my time in Sydney, the time I won this and rekindling my joy in Dragon Ball.
Again, the plush itself is alright, and mostly personal preference. I just don’t like the character, don’t like plush that can’t sit on their own, and the printed details crack easily. It’s just not my thing anymore. I hope he finds a new home where he will be much more loved.
I still wanted to catalogue him here for fellow collectors. The photo’s are, as always, of the actual plush in hand and not stock photos.
Got any more details / information you think I should add? Or did I get something wrong? Do you own the same plush? Do you agree or disagree with my findings? Let me know in the comments below!