People who know me know I’m a SEGA guy. I had a Master System before an NES and a Genesis before an SNES. And despite some epic schoolyard brawls over which was better, I eventually learned that it’s only a rivalry if you’re a shareholder in one of the companies. Oh yeah… also, SEGA obviously lost the battle anyway. Suffice it to say that I’m still a big fan of many Mario games, and I was excited to see the movie, which turned out to be absolutely delightful. I laughed a lot and had fun picking out all the little hidden nods. Jakks Pacific gave us some toys from the movie, which had a big presence at Target, and I eventually snapped up Mario, Luigi, Toad, Peach, and Bowser. Today I’m having a look at the Mario Bros themselves!
Obviously, this is not Jakks first outing for Mario. They’ve had an extensive run of toys based on the games for a while now, and I even reviewed their 4-inch Mario and Luigi figures all the way back in 2015. These new offerings weigh in at 5-inches, making them not only bigger than the regular line, but the Figma release as well. The figures come in window boxes to show off the goods and you get a big picture of Mario on front, regardless of what character is inside. With the black backdrops, these aren’t the most striking package designs out there, but they do let the figure do the talking, and in this case that ain’t a bad thing. Let’s start with Mario!
So, first off, I love that the movie did not mess with the look of the characters at all. These aren’t updated or modernized or any of that nonsense. These could have been based on one of the recent games and I wouldn’t know any difference. The proportions are really nice, with Mario having a short and chunky build and a gloriously big head. A lot of the coloring on this figure is in the plastic, which makes for some bright and shiny colors that really pop and not a lot of room for paint flubs. And what paint is here is pretty sharp and clean. I especially like the shiny gold paint used on the clips for his overalls. Sculpted detail is kept to a minimum to convey the cartoony look, but you do get some stitching around the overalls and laces in the shoes.
Oddly enough, one of the call out features on the boxes are the “realistic eyes” which leads me to believe the person who wrote that has never seen real human eyeballs. I’m kidding, and clearly its referring to the way the eyes are designed with actual clear plastic lenses and the eyeball painted behind it. It gives a bit of an illusion that the figure’s eyes are moving to always look at you. It’s not really that spectacular an effect, but the eyes do look great and I think it’s cool that they tried something creative like that. The rest of the head sculpt is spot-on Mario with a bulbous nose and big broom of a mustache. The hat actually looks like it’s a separate sculpt and attached to the head. Que Bella!
When you get down to it, the articulation here really isn’t all that different than the older 4-inch figures, and that’s not a bad thing. The knees are still single hinges, the hips are ball jointed and you get rotating hinges in the shoulders. The big difference here is the rotating hinges in the elbows, which offers a bit more display options. Mario is still a chunky little dude, so the range of motion is limited, but he can still run, jump, and do the usual Mario things. All the joints feel great, and overall the figure has a great in-hand feel that begs to be played with.
Mario comes with one accessory and that’s his plunger. It’s simple, his right hand is sculpted to hold it, and here’s where my only nitpick with the figure lies. I usually talk about price at the end, but let’s do it here. These figures debuted at $20 and that’s a spicy meatball! They really needed some more extras to justify that price. A simple power-up block, a super star, a little static Goomba… anything would have helped. Heck, even Jakks’ smaller and cheaper 4-inch line each came with a cardboard power up box with a little mystery bonus accessory in there. OK, let’s move on to Luigi!
I don’t want to snub Green-Mario, but pretty much everything I said for Mario holds true here and I don’t have much else to say other than the figure looks fantastic. Luigi is taller and a little less chunky, and his overalls are darker blue, but that just makes the bright green pop all the more. Because of his longer legs and arms, it’s a little easier to get Luigi into those running poses, but the points of articulation are all the same.
Luigi’s accessory is a flashlight, which he carries in the movie and while it’s not the same style as in the games, it’s still appropriate if you’re a fan of his Haunted Mansion series. I really liked that a number of his solo scenes in the movie paid homage to those games. The flashlight is a bit more substantial than Mario’s plunger, but again, just getting the one accessory hurts the value a lot. In the movie he carried a tool bag for a while and maybe they could have given one figure the bag and the other the stuff to put in it.
I picked up Mario as soon as I saw him and while I loved the figure, the price point seemed too high to go in on the rest of the lot. But shortly after these got released, Target put them on sale for $13.99 each and that’s when I grabbed the remaining three figures. I guess they started to sell really well, because shortly after they went back to $20 and they seem to be holding there at most retailers now. I think $15 would have been the magic number. But quibbling about pricing aside, these really are excellent figures. The simple sculpts capture the character’s perfectly, the colors look great, and they are fun to play around with. Next week, I’ll finish up this assortment with a look at Toad, Peach, and Bowser!