Ever since Bandai Japan teased some of the characters that would be included in their SH Figuarts Captain America Civil War figures series, MCU collectors have been practically wetting themselves with anticipation of the S.H. Figuarts Black Panther figure. And today, there’s good news for those collectors–and also bad news. The Black Panther SH Figuarts figure will go up for order next week–but he’s not gonna be cheap. The Bandai Black Panther Figuarts figure will be yet another Asian Bandai Tamashii Web Shop Exclusive!
So it was with great relief that I saw this morning that Bandai Japan had actually confirmed the impending pre-order for their SH Figuarts Captain America Civil War Black Panther figure… which just so happens to be a Japanese web exclusive.
I’ll talk about the implications of that “exclusive” label in a minute, but first let’s take a look at the actual figure. As usual, Bandai has created a 100% new mold for Black Panther, with absolutely no recycled parts from any other figure. And frankly, at the prices they charge, that’s the way it should be.
The leather-like texture of Black Panther’s costume is intricately sculpted, and you can see that Bandai has loaded T’Challa up with the full complement of articulation, from ankle rockers and hinged toes to double-jointed knees and upper torso ab crunch.
Without having him in-hand it’s really difficult to say whether Hasbro or Bandai have won the articulation battle on this figure, but the two certainly look to be pretty comparable.
My chief complaint about the Hasbro Marvel Legends Civil War Black Panther figure was the lack of any alternate hands, but we can see from these photos that the Black Panther S.H. Figuarts figure will include at least three pairs of hands: fists, “clawing” and “at ease” hands. But on the flip side, Hasbro gave us a pretty solid unmasked T’Challa head, whereas Bandai is giving us none.
Of course, availability and pricing need to be taken into consideration when comparing the two 6″ Black Panther figures. When distribution has eventually saturated the market, we should be able to snag the Black Panther Marvel Legends figure for around $20 without too much effort (one would hope).
The SH Figuarts Civil War Panther, however, is gonna be a little more tricky and a lot more expensive…
As Bandai Premium Web Exclusives, Black Panther (and the previously-solicited Black Widow) will not be available via the “usual” import shops like HLJ, AmiAmi and so forth. That means no discounts–sorry. And seeing as how the MSRP on this figure is 6,480 Japanese yen (about $59) to begin with, you can imagine that buying him and having him shipped from a U.S. shop that bought him and shipped him from Japan is just going to make him more expensive.
The S.H. Figuarts Civil War Black Panther figure will be available for pre-order via U.S. importers next week, but as he’s an overseas Tamashii Collectors Shop exclusive, he shan’t be cheap. I’m guessing this figure is going to carry a price-tag of around $100 in the United States–and if Black Widow’s sales are indicator, T’Challa is still going to sell out lightning-fast even at that hefty price-point.
What are your thoughts on the Bandai Figuarts Black Panther figure, Marvel collectors? Are you satisfied with the Hasbro version of this character, or do you prefer the work that Bandai Japan has done on Black Panther?