Folks, I was a SEGA kid. Now, I’m not talking just Sonic and Genesis, no sir. My first 8bit console was a SEGA Master System and I loved it. What I didn’t love was feeling ostrasized in the playground because I wasn’t playing Super Mario Bros. or Metroid. Nope. I was playing shit like Aztec Adventure and Wonder Boy. And the only kid who I could talk to about that was some weird Polish exchange student. I later remedied the situation by trading a few sundry items for a broken NES system, which my father (who happened to be an electrical engineer) promptly fixed, thus giving me the best of both worlds. I never lost my adoration for SEGA, but I soon learned to appreciate the wonderful world of Nintendo. I’m only slightly aware that there have been Nintendo toys for ages, but it’s only now that I’ve noticed an attempt to build a truly cohesive line of action figures based on The Big N’s various franchises. I spotted these on the pegs a while ago and I couldn’t resist picking up the Mario Brothers.
This line comes to us via Jakks Pacific. It’s a company that I know so little about that I frequently get them confused with Jazwares and that’s probably only because they both begin with a “J” and have both been associated with putting out some questionable product. A quick scan of my Index of Reviews tells me that the only other Jakks Pacific toys I’ve featured here on FFZ were some Smurfs that I found in Target’s dollar section. Anyway, the packaging is everything it needs to be. You get a bright red card with Mario’s big mug at the top, left hand corner and a large bubble showing off the figure inside. The cards are generic on the front, but character specific on the back. An insert declares the character name with little fanfare and the name of the game they’re from on the bottom of the bubble. You also get a “Mystery Accessory!” Oooooh! I should also note that the figures I’m looking at are from the 4-inch line and that there is also a 2.5-inch line running parallel with this one. They are also putting out some Deluxe 6-inch figures to allow larger characters, like Bowser, to scale with the 4.5-inchers and some Micro Playsets that look like quite a bit of fun. Alright, enough with the Menu Screen. Let’s Push Start. 1UP = Mario.
First impressions out of the box is that this is a pretty incredible figure for the money, and let me remind you that we’re talking about ten bucks. Mario is chunky and colorful and has a nice heft to him. I can’t fault the sculpt at all, as they’ve really captured all that there is about the essence of this iconic portly plumber. It’s only when I really start to scrutinize the figure that I can start to see some blemishes, like weak paint on his overall’s buttons and some rough texturing on the top of the hat. Of course, these are minor complaints for a figure in this price range and possibly just QC issues on this specific figure. Still, overall I have to say I’m impressed.
The package boasts these figures have 11 points of articulation, which breaks down to: Rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, swivels in the wrists, ball joints in the hips, hinges in the knees, and a ball joint in the neck. Super articulated, this figure is not, but it is certainly serviceable and makes for a fun figure to play with. I think my only complaint would be that the neck joint doesn’t have a lot of range of motion.
Luigi is every bit as good and in fact my Luigi has virtually no paint flubs or rough plastic. Even the buttons on his overalls are bright shiny, leading me to believe that if I hunt around I can find a Mario with better paint. He’s obviously taller and a little leaner than his brother. There isn’t a lot more to say about the sculpt other then once again this figure captures all there is about the character. He also scales wonderfully next to Mario.
Overall, Luigi feels like he has a little more range of motion than Mario, but that’s to be expected with his less stocky sculpt. I should also note that these figures are beautifully balanced. I love that you can pose them in a running position without even using a stand. Magnificent!
As for those Mystery Accessories, each one comes in a cardboard box made to resemble one of the blocks in Super Mario Bros, which makes the box itself a nice display piece. Inside, ecah one came with a Power Up Mushroom. A green one for Luigi and a red one for Mario. I don’t believe these items are random. From what I’ve seen these are what you get every time.
Even a SEGA kid like me can’t deny that Mario is as iconic a pop culture character can get and Jakks has done a really nice job recreating him and his brother as action figures and at a great price too! It sounds like a crazy thing to say, but when you’re as into collecting toys and stuff as I am, sometimes buying this stuff can feel like a sense of duty. Add to that how the Internet has become “The Great Spoiler” of all new releases and it’s rare these days that I can get pleasantly surprised prowling the toy aisles. That’s probably why finding this pair and getting them home and playing with them was sheer delight. They’re just so colorful and durable and so much fun to play with.
Now, if your’re willing to go all out with your Mario toy buying budget your best bet is probably still the S.H. Figuarts release. I had the opportunity to play around with that figure (and Luigi too) but even at a good price those will run two to three times the cost of either of these guys from off the peg at your local Big Box.. While my own personal Nintendo well of knowledge may not run as deep as this line, I still may go all in just to support it and hope it continues on and on and on. Considering Nintendo’s rich history of characters, if Jakks can keep putting these kinds of figures out at this price point, they could have a veritable gold mine here.