Company: AB Groupe (Re-released by KidzBiz and Irwin Toy)
Year: 1996, 2000
Main distribution: Europe, America
These bendable figures also known as the “Flexible Super Guerriers” (Flexible Super Warriors) were made by the AB Groupe. AB Groupe (now Mediawan Thematics) is a French broadcasting group, and the distributor of the Dragon Ball merchandise for European and Canadian markets. They made the English dub for the Dragon Ball Z movies in the Netherlands (based of their French dub), with awkward changes like Piccolo being “Big Green” and the Saiyans “Space Warriors”. As terrible as that dub was, their toys were one of the first you could get in Europe. Here you’ll find the flexible figures of them. They made 8 different ones, 4 which later got re-releases under KidzBiz and Irwin Toy.
Main distribution: Japan, Hong Kong, Europe, America
Bandai released some of the first figures of Dragonball Z when the show started airing in Japan. This line was called “Full Color Battle” and 36 figures / sets were made. These were later re-released in Hong Kong, as well as by AB Groupe as “Super Guerriers” (Super Warriors), and then re-released again by Irwin Toy, bringing them to the West.
Irwin Toy was a Canadian distributor and manufacturer of toys. They started off by re-releasing Dragonball Z figures from other companies, like AB Groupe’s “Super Guerriers” (Super Warriors) or 2″ figures, bringing these toys to America. Later they made their own version, 1″ figures, using the exact same molds scaled in half. They made 96 different ones, released in 12 packs over 8 series.
With the success of Dragonball Super new Action Figures got released. Bandai created a new line called ‘Limit Breaker’ series with large 5 points of articulation Action Figures. They are being released in waves.
Italian manufacturer DeAgostini released a set comprising of approximately 60 characters from Dragonball GT in 1996. In 2001 these gotten a re-release as the Atlas Editions, and also came to Germany and France. They came bundled with a magazine, and each month a new figure would be added to your collection.
With the success of Dragonball Super new Action Figures got released. Bandai created a new line called ‘Dragon Stars’ series with various poseable / articulated Action Figures, and later Nano versions as well. They are being released in series, 16 series so far are out.
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 line of small figures that came in blind boxes, called “Dream Fusion”.
These are large figures that came in a line called “Museum Collection” from Unifive. 14 different figures are in the set, released from 2003 to 2005. The figures are a nice 3D representation of the artwork from Akira Toriyama.