Dragonball Z Striking Z Fighters – Irwin Toy

Dragonball Z Striking Z Fighters by Irwin Toy

Series: Dragon Ball Z

Company: Irwin Toy

Year: 2001-2002

Size:  +/- 12 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 Striking Z Fighters. “Z Fighters” are what the Dragonball Z characters are called. The figures “strike” the board with their toy action, hence the name.

The figures came in their own blister packs and were released in 3 waves of 4 figures, creating 12 different figures.

On their backs is a switch that when moved, will move their arms. This was the “striking” action. By hitting the wooden board that comes with it, it will break in 2 parts, like a classic karate chop.

Dragonball Z Striking Z Fighters by Irwin Toy back switch

Under the characters feet is the branding. It reads in indented font: © 01 / 02 B.S./S.T.A. Licensed by Fun.® Irwin. China

Series 1
Release date: 2001

The first wave existed out of 4 figures;
Super Saiyan Goku, Super Saiyan Vegeta, Piccolo and Super Saiyan Future Trunks.

Series 2
Release date: 2002

The second wave existed out of 4 figures;
Great Saiyaman, Krillin with a Destructo Disc, Goku in a Kamehameha stand and Perfect Cell.

Dragonball Z Striking Z Fighters by Irwin Toy series 2

I got the Great Saiyaman.

Dragonball Z Striking Z Fighters by Irwin Toy Great Saiyaman packaging

The figure comes with a “Striking Wall”, and his cape can be removed.

Dragonball Z Striking Z Fighters by Irwin Toy Great Saiyaman

He has little articulation. His legs can technically move, but his cloth prevents this. His head can turn. His arms can spin, but the shoulders move by mechanism.

Series 3
Release date: 2002

The third and last wave also existed out of 4 figures;
Dabura, Buu, Super Saiyan 3 Goku and Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks.

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 bought the Great Saiyaman as I didn’t have a Great Saiyaman at the time (I found him later) and wanted 1 of each. I loved how you could remove the cape of this one, and I often gave it to Vegeta to make a “King Vegeta”, haha.

When I started saving for Uni I sold some of my collection. I considered selling this one, but because I played with the cape, I couldn’t. I’ve kept him all this time since, cape nostalgia I guess!

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.

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!

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