Series: Dragon Ball Z
Company: Irwin Toy
Size: +/- 10~14 cm
Main distribution: America / Europe
Irwin Toy was a Canadian distributor and manufacturer of toys. They started off by re-releasing Dragonball Z Action Figures of Bandai and AB Groupe, bringing these toys to America, before making their own Dragonball Z Action Figures. Alongside these Action Figures more elaborated toys were created, like these Blasting Energy Action Figures.
The figures came in blister packs. The first series came in their “The Saga Continues” square packaging, but the second series got their own packaging which was dark blue and more round.
The figures are spring loaded. When placing the Blast in place, the spring gets pushed in. Under their arm is a button, that when pressed, releases the spring and shoots the Blast forward.
Under the characters feet is the branding. It reads in raised font: © 2000 B. S./S., T.A. Irwin Licensed by Fun. ® China
The first wave existed out of 6 figures.
Super Saiyan Goku with a blue Ki blast / Kamehameha, Goku with a blue Ki blast, Piccolo with a Special Beam Canon, Frieza (first form) with a purple Ki blast out of his mouth, Vegeta (saiyan saga armour) with a pink Ki blast / Galic Gun and Captain Ginyu with a purple Ki blast.
There are promo images that also showed a kid Gohan with 2 orange Ki blasts and a Krillin with a Destructo Disc, but these were never produced.
The second wave existed out of 5 figures.
Krillin with a blue Ki blast, Gohan in Saiyan armour with a yellow Ki blast, Super Saiyan Future Trunks with a yellow Ki blast, Cell with a yellow Ki blast and Frieza (third form) with a pink Ki blast.
I got 2 figures, Krillin and Gohan, although I used to have Trunks too.
Gohan comes in his Saiyan armour from the Frieza Saga and has his gelled hair. He has an angry expression on his face, with a closed fist.
Krillin comes in his orange gi. He also has an angry expression on his face, and has 2 open palms.
I still have the fronts of the packaging, but no longer the backs…
I was a massive Dragonball fan at the time, and one of the first series I truly collected besides the Lion King. I spent all my pocket money on these, and harassed my family to go out to the bigger cities so I could buy these once I had saved up some.
I travelled almost weekly by train to Sittard to the Atomic comic bookshop to buy cards and these figures.
This was a time before internet, and we hunted for these figures in all the shops. Trading and selling on was a huge part of collecting, especially then, and it created some cool friendships.
I also played lots with these! The ones I was missing, my friend would have and vice versa (often shops only had 1 of each, and we both bought them). Dragonball was also a huge influence in my understanding of English. I played with these figures in English!, as they spoke English on tv. Kid logic?
I mostly bought the “standard” action figures. These felt so limited in play I found. I really like Gohan though, as it’s hard to find him in his Saiyan armour, let alone in scale with the others. I bought Krillin as I didn’t have a Krillin at the time (I found him later) and wanted 1 of each. Trunks is one of my favourites, so it was a no brainer I got him as well. I remember I always wanted the Vegeta as well, but never found him.
When I started saving for Uni I sold some of my collection. I remember finding Trunks’ face weird, and he was very shiny plastic, and I already had a Future Trunks, so I must have sold him as I can’t find him anymore. I don’t know why Krillin didn’t go as well… maybe no one bought him at the time? Gohan is definitely my favourite of the sets though and I’m not letting him go, despite his shiny plastic look. I might let Krillin go in the future if needed be.
As simple as they are compared to the figures now, these mean a lot to me and are so nostalgic! I still prefer the regular action figures though, but Gohan is a great addition to them.
Got any more details / information you think I should add? Or did I get something wrong? Do you own any of these figures? Which one is your fav? Do you agree or disagree with my findings? Let me know in the comments below!