Star Trek (The Motion Picture): Admiral James T. Kirk Sixth-Scale Figure by EXO-6

EXO-6 is a company that has been stirring up a lot of noise in the Sixth-Scale figure market, and that’s not an easy thing to do with the Hot Toys and Sideshow juggernauts used to hogging all the attention. They’ve also managed to fill a huge void in the Sixth-Scale marketplace by snapping up the Star Trek license and releasing some pretty impressive figures based on The Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and soon even Enterprise. And now the original crew films with Admiral James T. Kirk himself as he appeared in the original motion picture. It’s a movie that would get overshadowed by it’s sequel, but still one that I will defend until my dying day. To me, Star Trek: The Motion Picture will always ne the most faithful piece of Star Trek ever created. It’s a film about exploration and discovery, and finding one’s place in the vast Universe. In its more than two hour running time, not a single shot is fired in anger. Sure, I love me a good space battle, but that’s never been what Star Trek is supposed to be about. And for you younger fans, you just can’t imagine what it was like to see the upgraded Enterprise and see the crew united for the first time in ten years. So let’s take a look at this figure!

The packaging is pure class! You get a heavy duty shoebox with a trifold top that secures with magnets. The front cover has the iconic rainbow from The Motion Picture’s poster with the original logo, the Enterprise and a picture of the figure’s portrait in the center. There’s a gold foil band across the top with Kirk’s name and a silver foil band across the bottom declaring this a “One Sixth-Scale Museum Grade Collectible Figure” all in the familiar Star Trek font. I also love that the sides of the box are emblazoned with a gold foil Starfleet Museum logo featuring the familiar Delta symbol. Open the box and you get an illustrated insert showing the hatch on The Enterprise where the shuttlepod docks after the inspection. Beneath that, The Admiral is nestled in a black foam tray. The stand requires a little assembly, but otherwise this figure is all set to go.

I have to admit, I was kind of speechless when I got this figure out of the box and in hand. Never in a million years did I ever think that this version of Kirk would get a high end collectible figure treatment, and yet here we are… and it looks quite stunning! I make no bones about the fact that the burgundy uniforms introduced in Wrath of Khan are my favorite uniforms in all of Starfleet history, but with that having been said, I really loved this design as well. It has that clean and minimalist look that gels so perfectly with late 70’s sci-fi. I think this design also bridges the gap beautifully from what we saw in the TV series to what would come in the next film. The Admiral’s tunic is crafted in a nice, heavy material with immaculate stitching along the borders that separate the gray from white. You get golden cuffs on the sleeves signifying rank, very much in line with the original uniforms. There are smart looking epaulets on the shoulders, a metal Delta insignia badge, and the black “belt buckle” device, which was referred to as a bio monitor. The gray trousers are simple and have stirrups that anchor the cuffs to the boots. Sure, Kirk spent the bulk of the film in a more casual short-sleeved shirt, but I sure am glad that this is the look EXO-9 decided to go with.

And then there’s the head sculpt, and oh boy is this an absolute masterpiece in every conceivable way. Not only did they get the likeness to Shatner at this age down beautifully, but they even managed to imbue the portrait with plenty of personality. Kirk offers a slight approving smirk and an overall friendly demeaner. Just the kind of look you flash when you deliver the news that you’re taking over the ship and demoting the Captain to science officer. And then demoting him again when the real science officer shows up! But seriously, I adore everything about this portrait, and I have to say I doubt even the wizards at Hot Toys could have done any better. Either way, I couldn’t be happier with it.

So what’s the downside to this beautiful figure? It comes with absolutely zero accessories. You do get two pairs of hands: Relaxed and fists, but nothing else. Now, granted, the usual gear doesn’t really apply here. It doesn’t make much sense to give him a phaser or a tricorder. But the one big oversight is his lack of a communicator. The Motion Picture used a one-off communicator design that the crew wore on their wrists like a watch and it seems like that accessory should have been a no-brainer. If for no other reason than to at least give him something!

EXO-9 sort of makes up for that with the figure stand. It’s a pretty standard base and post affair, with a wire crotch cradle to support the figure and hexagonal base. The base has a clear acrylic top and a design meant to resemble a transporter pad. The really nic ebonus here is a 1:1 scale replica of the Delta insignia worn in the movie. This piece is designed to be buttoned onto a shirt, but the base also comes with a foam cut out so that the insignia can be pinned to it and I think it looks fantastic.

Admiral Kirk retailed for $175, which is a pretty reasonable price for a licensed Sixth-Scale figure of this quality. Even Sideshow and Big Chief have been topping the $200 mark most of the time these days. Sure, you can argue that value is lost in the lack of accessories, but with how amazing this figure looks, I got over that pretty quickly. It also warmed my heart to see the reception for this figure. The Motion Picture is not nearly as well remembered these days as I think it deserves, and yet this figure quickly sold through pre-orders at just about every retailer I saw. By the time it started shipping, the only options to purchase seemed to be through Ebay. At present, EXO-9 is only planning to do one more figure from The Motion Picture, and that’s Spock in his Kolinahr Robes, and that one also looks to have sold through the pre-orders! In a couple weeks, I’ll revisit with EXO-9’s Star Trek line with a look at another of Starfleet’s truly finest… Captain Benjamin Sisko!

Popup Parade (Street Fighter) Chun-Li and Cammy by Max Factory

It’s been a while since I hung up my hat on collecting prize figures. I don’t really watch a lot of anime anymore and I had to start trimming out some areas to keep my collection from getting even more out of hand. With that having been said, the not-so-local comic shop did a “buy one and get one at half-off” deal on their Pop-Up Parade figures, and much to my surprise it included some new releases, so I fell off the wagon. Today I’m going to check out a couple of ladies from Street Fighter, Chun-Li and Cammy.

I think Popup Parade is meant to bridge the gap between prize figures and scaled figures, at least in terms of quality. But despite the high pedigree of Max Factory, to me these will always just be middle of the road prize figures. I owned Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo versions of both Cammy and Chun-Li, but the last time I moved, I was keen on culling a lot of my collection and I wound up selling off my entire Koto Street Fighter Collection. I can’t say as I regret it, as I got decent money for them, but when I saw these I decided I wanted some of these gals on a shelf in my Game Cave again, so here we are! The figures are roughly 7-inch scale and come in plastic packaging that really lets the figures do all the talking. There’s absolutely no character art anywhere to be found and even the character names are pretty low key. The figures display really well in their packages, although Cammy comes with her braids detached. Let’s start with her!

Sure, I love playing Cammy in the Street Fighter series, but she’s also star of one of my all-time favorite Dreamcast games, Cannon Spike, so not having her represented in my collection was criminal. The pose they chose for her here is pretty subdued, but I think it captures some of her best um, assets. The statue is best displayed with her body facing about two o’clock, her head partially turned and gazing over her right shoulder, and those ass cheeks on full display. It’s good to see her in her OG Street Fighter II costume, sans camo on the legs and with the additional tactical web gear and a leg pouch.

The colors on this piece look great, with bright matte green for her one-piece, glossy red for her gauntlets and matte black for her kicks and gear. You can even see a bit of her red socks peeping out the tops of her boots and a touch of silver paint on the buckle for her cross-strap. The skin tone is where a lot of these prize figures tend to falter, with it being waxy, but it’s nice and smooth here and not bad at all. The base is a simple black disk, which the foot pegs insert into.

The portrait is excellent, looking like it’s been grabbed straight from a character select screen. The eyes are printed perfectly and the I particularly love the way they blended the hair sculpt with the rest of the head. She has a scar on her left cheek and her long braids snake down past each of her shoulders. Her beret is a separate sculpt and worn on top of the head.

I love pretty much everything here. The sculpt is solid and the colors are beautiful. The paint lines could have been a little sharper, especially around the edges of the fingerless gloves, but overall I’m pretty happy with the way this one came out. Let’s move on to Chun-Li!

Chun-Li has a much more kinetic pose with her left leg drawn up and her hands at the ready, she’s definitely preparing to go a round or two. This figure sports a far more complex sculpt than Cammy, but that’s down to the costume design. There’s just a lot more going on here, which gave the sculptors a lot more to work with, and I think they did a beautiful job! I particularly love the way the tail end of her qipao kicks up in the wind. Some of the fringe on her dress is sculpted and while the sculpt on her boots is a little soft, it’s still got a lot of detail. You also get some nice muscle work, particularly in her famous thighs. I also really dig the sculpt on her poufed out shoulders.

Once again, the coloring here his superb. The electric blue of her qipao contrasts nicely with the gold leaf paint on the trim. There’s some shading in her stockings and some sharp silver paint on her spiked wrist cuffs. As for the quality, most of the paint here is sharp and clean, so I’ve got no complaints.

As with Cammy, the portrait here is very well done, and quite complex when you include the hair and the hair ties. The eyes are printed perfectly and she has an ever so slight smirk to her simple line of a mouth. She even has a pair of pearl earrings.

Chun-Li is easily the more interesting figure to look at, just because there’s more to take in, and as such it feels like maybe you’re getting a little more bang for your buck here. A such, I think she edges out Cammy as my favorite of the two, which surprised even me, because I tend to like Cammy more overall.

The figures retail at about $35, which puts them at the upper range of most prize figures. The quality is certainly there, so long as you aren’t expecting anything approaching a proper scaled figure. However, I think there are definitely better values out there when it comes to these types of figures, and I’d argue that companies like Banpresto are delivering a bit more for the money. I’m reminded of some of their recent One Piece figures that are slightly bigger have possibly more complex sculpts, and retail for about $10 less. Still, if you want a nice version of Cammy or Chun-Li for your shelf, these will certainly fit the bill nicely.

DC Multiverse (Titans): Nightwing and Donna Troy by McFarlane

Last week I started my look at the DC Multiverse Titans themed wave with Arsenal and Raven, and since this week is all about wrapping up unfinished business, today I’m checking out the other half of this assortment with Nightwing and Donna Troy. All four of these figures contain parts for the Collect-To-Build brute of a Beast Boy figure, but I’m putting him off until next week so I can have a look at him alongside the Gold Label Beast Boy. Yes, I was actually able to get a Walmart Exclusive with little to no effort thus proving that miracles do happen!

Here are the figures in package and there’s nothing really new to talk about. Nightwing comes with the Beast Boy torso and Troy comes with the arms. As always, each figure comes with a standard disk-style display stand and a collector card. I went a while keeping my DC Multiverse figures in their boxes, but I have since did a massive de-trashing so all bets are off now! Let’s start with Nightwing.

I’d have to double check through a lot of boxes, but it’s very possible that this is the first Nightwing figure I’ve ever owned! I’ve gone on record many times as saying I’m not a huge Batman collector and that extends to the Bat Family too. Still, it’s cool to finally have this version of Dick Grayson on my shelf. I like this costume a lot, even if it is on the minimalist side when it comes to the deco. The body suit is nearly all matte black with some amazing electric blue on the chest, back, shoulders, striping down the sleeves to the fists, and some trim around the soles of his boots. The vibrant blue contrasts beautifully with the black and I just dig it a lot. I also appreciate that McFarlane paints the pins the proper color, which is something Hasbro rarely bothers to do on their Marvel Legends. Indeed, as we’re about to see, all of my problems with this figure center around what it lacks rather than what it is.

The head sculpt is pretty good. These are meant to be the Not-So-Teen-Anymore Titans, so Dick has an older and kind of strung-out look. He has a great little smirk and his eyes are sculpted and painted to give his right eye a bit of a Deadpool-style pop. There’s a tiny bit of slop to the paint around the domino mask, but you have to get in really close to see it. Some strands of sculpted hair hang down over his eyes, adding a nice extra dimension to his coif.

Naturally, you want your Nightwing to be acrobatic and agile, and this body takes care of business. You get standard DC Multiverse articulation here, and aw hell, let’s just run through it. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double hinges in the elbows, and rotating hinges in the wrists. The legs have rotating hinges up in the hips, have double hinges in the knees, rotating hinges in the ankles, and hinges in the toes. There’s a ball joint under the chest and another in the neck. As usual, the only thing missing here are swivels in the thighs. Nonetheless, the lithe body works great with the articulation style and Nightwing is just tons of fun to play with.

So what’s the problem? No accessories and no extra hands to hold those non-existent accessories. Sure, when he comes with no accessories, it’s probably unfair to count no extra hands against him, but it’s such an egregious slight, It earns two demerits. How can you release a Nightwing figure without his escrima sticks? Is this version from a comic where he didn’t use them? Either way, I don’t care, he should have them. And since the figure only has a pair of balled up fists, you can’t even borrow them from another figure to give him. As I understand it, you can borrow stick-holding hands from one of McFarlane’s other Nightwing figures, but again… don’t care. It’s just two plastic sticks and he should have come with them and extra hands. It’s a shame, because otherwise I really love this figure. Moving on to Donna Troy…

Unlike Nightwing, I do have a few Donna Troy/Wonder Girl figures in my collection, but it’s been a long while, so I’m happy to grab a new one, but my how she’s changed! Well, let’s start with the outfit, because it is excellent. Sure, it’s very monochrome and I prefer either a little more color, or her trippy starfield suit, but clearly the context we’re going for is grimdark and I still can’t help but love all the detail and work McFarlane put into this costume. The suit itself is a black and gray combo with the gray bits being very nicely textured and the darker areas having some clean panel lines. The boots, bracers, belt, and shoulders are all cast in a somewhat pearlescent plastic, which looks a lot less flat than I expected. You also get some similarly colored stars on the outsides of her thighs, adding a little pop and cheer. If I wasn’t a huge fan of this costume at first, the sculpt sold it to me after just a short while.

The portrait, on the other hand, is a bit too grim, but like the body, the sculpt here is too good to not appreciate. I think the only thing that really bugs me here is the dark circles under her eyes. Granted, I don’t know the context of the comic this figure is sourced from, but I do know that I would have liked the portrait more with all that sinister shading gone. With that having been said, the nose is perfect, the printing for the eyes and eyebrows is superb, and I even like the little flash of teeth between her downturned lips.

The articulation here is exactly what we saw with Nightwing. The joints all feel great, and she has a nice balance to her.

Donna come with one accessory and that’s a pretty impressive sword. It’s cast in the same pearlescent plastic as her boots and such and the wedge shape of the cross guard matches the Amazonian buckle on her belt. Her right hand is sculpted to wield the sword while her left hand is balled into a fist to make with the punching!

Both of these figures would have been homeruns, if only we got some accessories with Nightwing. As a result, Donna comes out on top, even if it isn’t one of my favorite versions of her. And I guess that’s a common theme of most of this wave. I don’t really know these versions of the characters all that well, but that’s not going to stop me from enjoying the figures. Nitpicks and quibbles aside, this is a really solid wave and when you toss in the Beast Boy parts, well that’s just more to love. And next Friday, I’ll have a look at the Beast Boys!

By figurefanzero

Super Mario Bros Movie: Peach, Toad, and Bowser by Jakks Pacific

As I mentioned on Monday, this week is all about wrapping up loose ends, so today I’m having a look at the rest of Jakks’ Super Mario Bros Movie figures. And how about that movie, eh? It sure has been taking in a few bucks here and there. Last time, I had a look at those Super Mario Bros themselves, and today we’ll round out this assortment with Peach, Toad and Bowser!

The figures come in window boxes that let you see the figures themselves, which isn’t something to be taken for granted these days. The boxes are black and not terribly flashy, although you do get some nice color in the movie logo. These are all collector friendly, but I probably won’t be saving these boxes as I have a spot to display these figures in my Game Cave. Let’s start with Toad.

Toad is just as adorable as you might imagine and Jakks really did a nice job on this figure! He’s the smallest of the bunch with his mushroom capped noggin being just a smidge bigger than his entire body, but he still feels quite substantial. Toad sports his blue and orange vest, which is part of the body sculpt, and some big and puffy pants with a sculpted waist tie in the front and brown shoes peeking out at the bottom. His face is a simple design of two oblong black eyes and a rather softly sculpted smiley slit for a mouth. All that’s great, but the sculpt and paint really shine around back with his stocked backpack full of gear. It includes a coiled rope, drinking cup, and lantern. All of these are part of the sculpt and look great. There’s also a big slot in the middle for his frying pan. So, sad story here. When I went to bed last night the cats were playing floor hockey with his frying pan. I didn’t think anything of it, but today when I went to retrieve it, the damn thing had disappeared. It’s too big for them to eat, so it’s got to be somewhere, but if you want to see it, you’ll have to just look at the packaged shot. My guess is that the Universe could not bear me showing off two frying pan accessories in one week. If it turns up, I’ll add some pictures later on.

As small as Toad is, I’m amazed that Jakks actually gave him leg articulation. Not only do his feet swivel left and right, but he can actually sit down! Of course, that backpack makes him pretty back heavy, but I have been able to tweak him to stand with it, it’s just not easy. Toad also sports a ball joint in his neck, which allows for a little up and down movement. His arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders but just single hinges in the elbows. I just love how great this little guy came out. He’s so colorful and fun to play around with. Let’s move on to Peach!

I was expecting Peach to be a teepee of a figure and that’s sure what we got! From the waist down she’s just a plastic cone with tiny feet sculpted under it. But she does make for a really pretty sculpt. Her outfit is cast in two-tone pink with big ruffles on her shoulders, a blue and gold broach on her chest, and a red jeweled crown nested atop her head. The blonde hair is sculpted perfectly, and her face features those cool “realistic eyes” that we saw on the Mario Bros themselves, which feature clear plastic lenses over painted eyes.

With bubkis articulation in the legs, Peach does get a ball joint in the waist and neck, rotating hinges in her shoulders, and single hinges in her elbows. Unfortunately those balloon shoulders really inhibit much lateral movement to the point where they might as well just be rotating. All these hits to Peach’s articulation don’t really bother me too much, but in light of how agile she was in the movie, it’s fair to say this figure doesn’t really reflect that. I would have liked to see Jakks release her in her jumpsuit with better articulation, but I have a feeling this line will be one assortment and done. Oh yeah… Peach also comes with an umbrella accessory, which the cats were not at all interested in. Anyway, as limited as her play potential is, I still like her a lot.

And that brings us to the big brute, Bowser. Bowser really stole the movie for me. Sure, I was pretty liquored up, but a couple of his scenes almost had me pissing myself laughing. Anyway, this is a big and beautiful figure with some really nice texturing on most of the skin, and some cartoony bulbous aspects to the design that reflect both the movie and video games very well. He has a lot of useful articulation too, with rotating hinges all over the place, swivels in his ankles, and even two swivels in his stubby tail. Granted, he’s best displayed in his sumo-squat position, but there’s still a ton of play value here when it comes to poseability.

The coloring on this guy is also fantastic with the yellow and green blending together in certain places. The green is most pronounced on his shell, along with some brown rings around his spikes. The shock of red hair and eyebrows adds even more pop to the deco. The only thing here that grounds him are the black bands around his wrists and biceps, and even those have some silver studs to make them shine.

There’s no articulation in the mouth, but Jakks makes up for that with his electronic feature. His shell comes off to reveal a battery compartment. Pop in three AAA batteries, add a few drops of water to the concealed hole in the back of his head, and press the button hidden under one of his spikes and his mouth glows red and he blows smoke! It looks awesome, but you have to keep pressing the spike to keep the smoke flowing. Still, this is an amazing little feature and a nice surprise, as I had absolutely no idea about when I bought the figure.

Peach and Toad retail at $20, which is the same as Mario and Luigi. It’s a lot of pretty plastic, but with less articulation, it feels like these should have sold for about $15 each. Luckily, I picked them up when Target had them on sale for about that. They are both great looking figures, but they don’t have the same fun factor as the Mario Bros do. It’s even crazier when you consider that I got Bowser for only $30. He’s much bigger, has much more complicated articulation and has the electronic feature too, easily making him the best buy out of the bunch. But aside from quibbling over a few bucks, I think this assortment turned out fantastic, and I’m still hoping to get back to the theater to see this movie one more time! It would be great to see another wave out of the movie, with a different version of Peach and some of the Kongs, and with how well it’s doing, I suppose that’s possible.

Indiana Jones Adventure Series: Sallah and Marion (Raiders of the Lost Ark) by Hasbro

This week is going to be all about wrapping up loose ends, as I finish off looking at some figure waves that I started, in some cases, weeks ago. I try to keep my promises, but sometimes it can take me a little while! So, let’s kick things off by checking out the last two figures in the first assortment of Hasbro’s 6-inch Indiana Jones Adventure Series and then build us an Ark of the Covenant! So far, I’ve been up and down on this wave with mixed opinions on Indy as well as Toht and Belloq, so let’s see what happens in the final lap.

Once again, we get completely enclosed boxes with pictures of the figures. We already know that Hasbro will be stepping away from these and going back to window boxes for most if not all of their 6-inch figure lines. With that having been said, I think the art design on these does a nice job of conveying the heart and soul of the film franchise. At the same time, these also illustrate why these types of packages border on false advertising. And when it comes to disparity between box pictures and actual figures, Sallah and Marion are two of the biggest offenders in this wave. It’s probably always best to let the figure speak for itself through a window, even if it does mean shaving a few hundred years off of the planet’s lifespan, right? OK… let’s start with Marion…

This is Marion in the outfit she wore in Cairo, and to be honest, I think I would have preferred the version we got in the old Kenner line in Belloq’s dress. Kenner did do a version of this Cairo Marion but only as a static piece to go inside a basket in their Cairo Playset. Hasbro later did a 3 3/4-inch version in their line that released alongside Crystal Skull, and that brings us to now. To cut to the chase, this figure is what I would call passable. It doesn’t excel in any particular area, but it’s not a total trainwreck. I think the colors on the outfit are nice, and there’s some sharp printed patterns on her blouse, but ridiculously puffy garments don’t usually translate well to plastic, and I’ll just say that Hasbro probably did as good as anyone could turning this type of outfit into an action figure.

The portrait looks better in hand than I expected. There’s definitely some Karen Allen in there, but I think the zombie-like expression sabotages whatever credit the likeness may have had. I like that they printed her freckles and the hair is sculpted pretty well too. Then again from some angles any semblance of the likeness disappears. For a company that has a long history of failing to capture a certain actress’ likenesses who played a character in a galaxy far, far away, I don’t think this is that bad, but it’s not particularly great either.

Articulation is solid enough for this type of outfit, but those rotating hinges in the sculpted billowy sleeves can barely do 90-degrees and the same goes for the knees. You also get rotating hinges in the shoulders, wrists, and ankles. The hips are ball jointed and you get swivel cuts in the thighs. There’s also a ball joint in the waist and ball joints at the top and bottom of the neck. The ankles joints are big and bulbous balls, which are fine for posing, but look pretty bad. Fortunately they’re somewhat obscured by the billowy cuffs.

Marion comes with a frying pan, which if you ask me is a pretty sexist accessory for a female action figure. Yeah, I kid. It was actually used as a weapon while she was being chased through the streets of Cairo. And overpowering a dude that has a knife using only a frying pan is pretty bad-ass. The frying pan looks as basic as you can get and it’s made out of super thin plastic that looks almost translucent if you shine a light through it. Hasbro put no effort into it at all.

More impressive is the little traitor monkey bastard with his teeny tiny vest. This is a pretty great sculpt for such a little accessory and the paint is decent too, but it looks no where near as good as the picture on the box. There’s articulation in the neck and the base of the tail, which surprised me. I think he could have been sculpted a little better to attach to Marion’s neck or shoulder, but eventually I was able to make it work. Overall, this figure is OK, but it’s pretty lacking for a premium 6-inch collector line. Let’s see if Sallah does any better.

The short answer is… Nope. Again, there’s some stuff here that is passable and I have to acknowledge that it’s a guy in beige robes and there’s only so much you can do with that. There aren’t any flashy colors to draw the eye or complex costume to sculpt. The lower half of the robes are cast in soft plastic with slits running up the sides to help give his legs a bit of space to move. The robes are textured and there’s some brown sandy weathering brushed on here and there. The tan belt looks nice and I like the vest with the black fringe down the sides. I did find this figure very difficult to keep standing, as he kept wanting to fall backwards and I’m not entirely sure why. In terms of the body, it gets the job done and that’s about it.

The portrait is at least recognizable as John Rhyes Davies, especially in the eyes and nose, but the beard looks bad. The paint is sloppy and uneven. And what is going on with this neck? They gave poor Sallah some kind of turkey neck that’s way too long and juts out unnaturally. It looks like some kind of NPC video game glitch. Mine is also covered with mold flashing that makes his skin look like it’s peeling off. What a mess!

To add insult to injury, Sallah comes with some pretty crappy accessories. The shovel is a good call, but it’s just a warped wreck. The handle is all bendy and the shovel itself is made of the same super thin plastic as Marion’s frying pan. Even in the relative low light of these pictures you can see the light bleeding through the plastic. The handle is also too thin for him to really grip it very well.

The other accessory is just a coiled rope, and oh boy is that a fun accessory! You can put it on his shoulder or have him hold it. I would have literally rather just got a coil of actual string. At least that would have added some play value. How about a torch? How is it we didn’t get a single torch in this entire wave? I just don’t have anything more to say about this figure, other than it would be acceptable as a 3 3/4-inch figure, but not in this scale and certainly not at this $25 price tag, and that’s mostly how I feel about Marion too, albeit she is definitely the better of the two. Let’s move on to the Ark!

The Ark is assembled from a total of twelve pieces scattered across the five figures of the wave. Half of the pieces make up the carry poles, leaving the top and bottom, side pieces, and end pieces. As I collected the pieces together I did not have high hopes for this thing. It seemed like it was going to be way under scaled and some of the plastic looked terribly thin and cheap.

But, to my surprise, once it was all together I was pretty happy with the final result. The poles are a bit bendy and soft, but I think the finished Ark looks pretty damn good. It feels like it’s scaled quite well for the 6-inch figures and the carry poles work really well. I think the gold finish looks pretty nice, with more of a satin finish as opposed to high gloss. At least there’s none of that awful looking swirly plastic gold Hasbro uses from time to time. The bulk of the sculpted detail is in the lid, and that is indeed the real showpiece here. The angels look beautiful and the intricate sculpting on the little fence around them is quite well done. You did good on this one, Hasbro!

So yeah, this wave has been a bit of a roller coaster. It’s still odd to say that I still think Belloq is the best figure in the assortment, with Sallah taking the dubious prize of being the worst. Toht and Marion fall somewhere in the middle. As for the star of the wave… I had a lot of nitpicking with Indy, and while I think the figure showcases a lot of inexcusable little fumbles, he’s grown on me a bit more since that review. Indeed, he’s been on my desk for weeks now and I really enjoy picking him up and fiddling with him on my downtime. And despite my lackluster reception to this wave, I have decided to press on and pick up a few of the future releases in this line, so we’ll see how things go from here.

Indiana Jones will return!

Indiana Jones: Escape From The Lost Tomb (#77013) by LEGO

I don’t have a heck of a lot of regrets in my decades of toy collecting, but one that I do have is not getting in on the previous Indiana Jones LEGO sets, because if you haven’t looked lately they go for a lot of monies. So, when LEGO announced some new sets to launch in advance of Indiana Jones 5, I jumped on board as quick as I could. There are three sets up for sale right now, two based on Raiders of the Lost Ark and one on Last Crusade, with a fourth based on Temple of Doom that mysteriously disappeared and may have been cancelled. I’ve already built two of the three sets, and I’m starting today Escape From The Lost Tomb!

Oh God, it’s so good to see Indy themed LEGO packaging again! It makes me want to bust out my Nintendo DS and re-play some LEGO Indiana Jones. I don’t know what kind of tortured PR rationale goes into naming these sets, but clearly The Well of Souls was off limits. Maybe the word Souls isn’t cultural sensitive enough in some countries. But whatever the case, this set depicts the final resting place of the Lost Ark of the Covenant from Raiders, and gives you everything you need to recreate the recovery of the Ark and the subsequent escape from The Well of Souls. At exactly 600 pieces and only one thick instruction book, this set is a fun and satisfying build that gives you the playset, the Ark, and four Minifigs. Oh, and also a whole lot of snakes! Why did it have to be snakes? Let’s start with the Minifigs!

The set includes four Minifigs: Indy, Marion, Sallah, and a Mummy and each of these is excellent. Indy looks as iconic as can be with his printed leather jacket, satchel and fedora-hairpiece combo. He even has his holster printed on his belt. He comes with his coiled whip, and I actually got two of them in the set. They did a great job on the whip, as it’s flexible and the end can even be plugged into a stud. Marion has her printed dress with hairpiece and she comes with a torch to fend off all those snakes. Each of these figures have two printed faces.

Sallah and the Mummy are also really well done. I do feel like they skimped on Sallah’s printing a bit as there’s nothing from the waist down, but he still looks good. He has a turban on his head and just the one face print. He doesn’t come with any accessories, which is a shame. They could have at least thrown in a shovel from some other set. The Mummy is suitably gross with some really intricate printing both front and back.

And here’s the Well of Souls all built and ready to be explored! I think the scale here is really good for a set of this size, as it recreates all the basic beats of the movie set without skimping. Even Kenner’s old Well of Souls playset didn’t include the two statues. There’s some excellent detail in the wall in the back with different textured bricks, some gaps to show it’s crumbling down and lots of stickers with hieroglyphs. There are a pair of sarcophagi on the back wall, flanking the alter that holds the Ark, and a little archway leading up to it. The statues are on swiveling bases, and the one on the right has a handle for a play gimmick we’ll see in a minute.

It’s worth noting that my set included two of the wrong pieces, for building one of the statues. If you look close you can see the two gray pieces that are holding the hips on the statue on the left, whereas the statue on the right is built correctly. It’s a lucky coincidence that the pieces they included were still able to be used in the build, even if it throws the coloring off a bit. I even went back through the instructions to see if I had used the wrong ones earlier, but nope. Anyway, I really dig the build on these statues and some of the creative uses of pieces for the abs and the face. Each uses three stickers to add some detail.

Speaking of detail, the hieroglyph stickers are fantastic, and one even recreates the R2-D2 and C-3PO cameo in the movie. I remember seeing that image in one of the books I got about the movie and thinking it was the coolest thing ever.

The Ark itself is a pretty neat build. The pieces they used to recreate the angels on top is really creative and there are some stickers on each side to give it a little more detail. You also get the carry bars, so Indy and Sallah can transport it. Just don’t open it!

The back of the playset is a little unfinished, and you can see where some of the gimmicks are set up. I do like the little raised platform and covered hallway as it offers a little more play space for figures. On the right you can see a little chute that can be used to drop snakes into the front of the playset using the lever. They drop out to the left of the Ark alter right where the snake is coming out of the wall. It’s funny because I had no idea what that was going to be even when I was building it. Each of the snakes on the floor come with clips to keep them in place.

The main play gimmick in the set has the right statue fall back and knock down the wall, so you can recreate the scene where Indy pushed it over to make their escape. It’s very simple engineering and works well, but you have to hold the statue and wall in place if you transport the playset because there’s nothing holding either up. Some kind of catch might have been worthwhile. Still, I’m impressed how well everything holds together even after I knocked that wall down about a dozen times.

The final feature recreates the scene where Marion goes through the fallen wall and the Mummy springs out and scares the shit out of her (and 12yo me as well!). The Mummy Minifig hides under the raised platform and when you pull on the technic piece the platform swings out to reveal him. Again, a very simple bit of engineering that works beautifully. I also dig the creepy sticker in the alcove which features some spiderwebbing and mysterious eyes glowing in the darkness.

At $40, this is one of the few times I can say that a LEGO set feels like a decent value. This is a fun build, although there is some redundancy here as you are building the same statue twice. Still, with four Minifigs and some solid play gimmicks, this set recreates the sequence of the film very well and offers a bunch of fun display options when its on display on the shelf. It also reminds me of just what a perfect fit LEGO and Indiana Jones really is. If you aren’t up for the big challenge and price tag of the Temple of the Golden Idol set, then this is an excellent pick up. Or do what I did and just get both! I’ll be checking out the larger set when I revisit with this line in a couple of weeks.

The Flash: Batmobile and Batman Unmasked by McFarlane

I can think of few toy reveals that rippled outward with such a shockwave of excitement than McFarlane’s take on the Batmobile from the upcoming Flash film. It speaks volumes of how iconic that design has become in the three decades since it appeared in the ’89 Batman film, and makes me wonder why Mattel didn’t cash in on some of that love back when they had the DC license. And while I have no interest in seeing The Flash movie, I guess I have to at least be thankful that it resulted in this ’89 Batman resurgence and some cool toys. Today I’m checking out both the Batmobile and the Target Exclusive unmasked version of Michael Keaton as Batman. Let’s start with the Batmobile! This thing is a little too big for my regular photo staging area, so I had to improvise!

This sweet ride comes in a fully enclosed box that’s drab and boring. It’s a pretty good sized box, but that’s to be expected as this is a 7-inch scale car with very little assembly required. In fact, all you have to do is free it from it’s plastic bag and plug in the rear fins to get it ready to patrol the streets of Gotham. If you pop open the canopy, you’ll find a collector card hidden in there, similar to what we see included with all of McFarlane’s DC Multiverse figures.

Oh yeah… that’s the stuff! This design is still as dead sexy as ever, and McFarlane did a nice job recreating all those sleek curves. But make no mistake, this toy is a textbook example of give and take, so let’s get some of that stuff out of the way first. McFarlane had to play with the size here a bit to get it at the price point they wanted. As a result the car is a tad smaller than it should be, but I don’t find it that noticeable. It certainly doesn’t feel as downscaled as McFarlane’s 66 Batmobile. Along with the scale, the car also lacks the heft you might expect. The plastic is nice and sturdy, and the toy actually feels quite rugged in hand, but in the end it is mostly just a plastic shell. Indeed, as we’ll see the only play feature you get is the opening canopy and the rolling tires. I’m guessing pop up machine guns would qualify as forbidden by Warner Bros weird No Guns policy. Sure, I would have happily paid a bit more to get some extra gimmicks, but I’m also fine with them being left out. Finally, the profile of the canopy is definitely higher than the actual car, but it’s another thing that doesn’t really bother me all that much.

With all that having been said, I think this toy looks fantastic. The car has a beautiful glossy sheen to it that makes it look like it just rolled off the assembly line. Alfred really is an expert at buffing and waxing! You get some beautiful sculpted detail in that bullet shaped turbine in the front, and while I recall that being black in the film, I think the gunmetal gray here looks good. There are sculpted panels where the machine guns would pop up are present, as well as some additional panel lining on the sides. Yes, under bright lights the canopy is gray, but the variance between the gray and black is a lot more subtle in room lighting. When I first took it out of the box I barely noticed it, but under studio lights it can’t be missed. It’s not optimal, but it sure isn’t a deal-breaker for me either.

The rear of the car has a central turbine in gunmetal gray with two pairs of silver exhaust pipes and two sets of red taillights. The organic curves of the fins look great, as does the sculpted vents positioned between them. The tires are made of rubber and have gold bat symbols on the wheels, and you get some silver pipes and detail on the side cutouts, as well as circular vents angled away from the rear wheels.

To open the canopy, there’s a button just in front of it on the hood. It releases the catch and allows you to slide the canopy forward to reveal the driver cabin. There’s only one seat and while it isn’t accurate, it works fine for this toy. I’m extremely happy with the level of detail in here. You get a fully sculpted seat, which even has some sculpted stitching on the cushions. The banks of instruments and gauges are all picked out with silver paint and it all looks really sharp. The steering wheel is positioned dead center, but does not turn. Let’s switch over to have a look at Unmasked Batman and then we’ll get him in the Batmobile!

I’m using McFarlane’s in package solicitation shot here because mine got pulverized in shipping. It’s the same style packaging we’ve been seeing in the DC Multiverse line only branded for The Flash film and with the foil Gold Label corner. You get a stand and a collector card too. I almost wasn’t going to buy this figure, but he was billed to ship before the regular masked version. And I’m pretty glad I did, because my masked version probably won’t arrive until next week and I wouldn’t have had anyone to put in the Batmobile!

I won’t get too long winded here, because I’ll probably do a comparison when the masked version comes in. The suit is a lot different than I expected and I would have preferred something mare akin to the ’89 film. Here it looks more like sculpted armor and less rubbery, which sure ain’t bad, but just different. The sculpted muscles are a tad more pronounced and angular in some areas, particularly in the abs, I really love the detail on the forearm bracers, you get some panel lines in the upper legs, and the boots look great. Yeah, I’m bummed that the belt is now black instead of yellow, and a little surprised that the bat symbol is more orange than yellow here. Still, I think the suit looks great and I especially dig the glossy finish.

The cape is cloth, and while it looks a bit thin under the studio lights, it looks fine with the figure in hand and under normal lighting. Obviously, they went with softgoods here to make him work with the Batmobile, but I really wish they would choose softgoods over plastic more often. It just makes the figure so much more fun to play around with. Speaking of which, Batman hits all the usual points of articulation that are standard for the DC Multiverse line. The only thing I can really complain about are the continued lack of thigh swivels.

And then there’s the portrait. Well, from certain angles I can see Keaton in there, but not enough to make the likeness anywhere near a slam dunk. I actually think the flat paint is what’s letting down the likeness more than the sculpt. Considering you had to buy a whole different figure to get the unmasked head, I think this probably should have turned out better.

Batman comes with two sets of hands: One pair of fists and one pair of accessory holding hands. The included accessories are his grapple gun and a batarang, both of which are silver. Both are nice sculpts, but it’s a little odd that they aren’t black. Maybe they’re silver in the film? Someone will have to let me know, because I’m not going to see it.

Getting Batman into his ride is pretty easy, thanks to that cloth cape. He sits a little close to the steering wheel, but if you have more patience then me, you can probably get his hands on the wheel. I’ll make more of an effort when the masked Batman comes in.

Overall, I like this figure a lot, but I’m sure I’ll like the masked version even more. Chances are, I’ll wind up leaving this one in the Batmobile and displaying the masked version beside it. Then again, I do have McFarlane’s giant Batwing coming in at the end of this week, so I guess one of them may wind up sitting in the cockpit while the other stands beside the Batmobile. As for the Batmobile… If you’re looking for a perfect rendering of the 89 Batmobile that will hold a figure, well this isn’t it. But then, I don’t think such a toy exists. The old Kenner Batmissile Batmobile released in 1992 is your best alternative option, but it’s scaled for smaller figures, has some silly play gimmicks, and has it’s own share of inaccuracies in the design. It’s also selling for three or four times what this one is if you can find one complete and in good condition. Considering that McFarlane’s put this out at $60 seems like quite an amazing feat, and considering how quickly it sold out everywhere, I’ll go out on a limb and call it a success. I pre-ordered this at three online retailers just to be sure I got one. Only one of those retailers delivered the goods and that was Target. Another retailer outright cancelled, and my Amazon pre-order is in limbo and will likely be cancelled too. There’s certainly some room for improvement in this toy, but I love it and I’m glad I was able to get one!

ReAction TRON Lightcycles by Super7

A few weeks ago, Super7 announced that they were doing a series of TRON figures for their 3 3/4-inch ReAction line, which was one of those good news and bad news scenarios. The good news was they were doing a wave of carded figures and some Lightcycle sets, and that we were going to get some figures that have never been done before, like Yori and Ram. The bad news was these were being listed as Disney Park Exclusives. In the end, two of the Lightcycle sets (Tron and Flynn) were sold on the ShopDisney website, but the quantities seemed to be limited. I was able to get a set, but it looked like they sold through in about an hour or less. Granted, Disney World is only about three hours from my home, but I didn’t want to have to drive up to Orlando to get the rest of the toys. Luckily a buddy of mine took his kids up there and was able to score me the Ram Lightcycle set, but they didn’t have any of the carded figures. Still, I’m happy I got what I did, so, let’s take a look at these beauties!

All three sets come in nearly the exact same package with the only difference being the name of the character on the front. You get a window box with an extended back flap and it shows off the toys beautifully. Each box has a grid pattern that’s very evocative of the movie with the TRON logo emblazoned on the backflap. The figures are placed beside their respective Lightcycle in a clear plastic tray with their Identity Disc beside them. These look absolutely fantastic in the packages and everything is collector friendly. The back of the box shows the four carded figures, including Yori, Sark, Grid Warrior, and a repaint of Flynn from when he absorbed an enemy’s energy and turned red. Let’s start with the figures!

When Tomy did the original TRON figures, they went with a pretty cool translucent plastic look. These made for some very distinctive looking toys, but they weren’t great likenesses for the characters on the screen. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted those figures something fierce and they were extremely difficult to find. Eventually my Uncle got me a set and I had a ton of fun with them, but not so much fun working off the cost of the toys by mowing lawns that summer. With that having been said, it’s cool to get retro-style versions that actually look like the movie characters and I’m really happy with how these turned out. The figures are each cast in the same light blue plastic with their circuit patterns printed in darker blue. The printing is razor sharp and I think they look really nice. If I had one gripe it’s that Ram should be shorter, but they obviously wanted to reuse some parts and that’s fair enough.

Just like the Tomy figures, these guys have Discs that peg into their backs and can be held in their hands, by either gripping the peg or holding the Disc from its side. Tron and Flynn have identical Discs, while Ram’s has a different pattern printed on it. In following with ReAction’s retro theme, these figures have five points of articulation, with points found in their shoulders, hips, and head.

The Lightcycles all use an identical mold, with the only difference being the coloring in the shell and the wheels. Tron’s is orange, Flynn’s is yellow, and Ram’s is red. Tomy’s cycles only came in yellow and orange, and I think the idea was that Sark’s was supposed to be the red one, even though it should have been blue, but that color was never released in the Tomy line, and so far it isn’t in this one either. The fact that Sark was released on card makes me wonder if there will be a blue cycle released by Super7 at all. I’d definitely pick one up if they do make one and it’s offered on the Super7 website.

The cycles are cast in pretty light plastic, but they still feel durable. The Tomy versions had ripcords that would make them go and heavier rubber rear wheels to give them more heft, but I’m fine with deep sixing that gimmick. These do stand pretty well on their own and they can even be made to lean a bit to make it look like they’re leaning into a turn. The colors are done mostly within the plastic and the shells have a beautiful sheen to them that really makes them pop under bright lighting. Now, I will say that the sculpts look a bit crunched, almost super-deformed when compared to the Tomy cycles, which are proportioned a bit longer. It’d not a deal breaker for me, and I didn’t really notice it until making a direct comparison, but it’s definitely there.

The cycles open up in a similar fashion to the vintage toys with the shell lifting forward to give access to the interior and locking up tight again when lowered. Something I really love here is how you put the figures inside. The Tomy versions had them sit in the cycles, but these have the figures lean forward. Of course, in the film, the Lightcycles formed around the driver while they were leaning forward in this fashion as if they were holding the front wheel. This design mimics that idea a lot better. There’s also a peg inside if you want to stand the figure in the cycle, but I can’t really see the purpose of that.

I’m probably the easiest sell there is when it comes to TRON toys, as I’ll pretty much buy whatever I can get my hands on. With that being said, I absolutely love these! Everything from the packaging to the figures to the cycles themselves just have a wonderful charm to them. And again, while I loved the original Tomy toys, as a kid I think I would have liked the style of these figures even more. What I don’t love is Super7’s way of distributing these. I don’t pretend to know how licensing works, but my guess is that Disney would only allow the partnership if they were sold primarily as Park exclusives, and all that does is screw the collectors. It’s nice that Super7 was able to sell a couple of the sets online, but these kinds of arrangements really suck. What’s even worse is the HUGE disparity in price. The cycles that I bought from ShopDisney were $39.99 each, but at the Parks they are selling for $69.99 each. Seventy bucks for each of these is absolutely outrageous. I actually couldn’t believe it until my friend texted me from the park and asked if I still wanted it, and sure enough Ram’s set has the $69.99 price sticker on the bottom. I was willing to blow that amount on one just to complete the trio, but I doubt I would have spent it on all three. Will I be getting the carded figures? Probably. I’ll just have to find one of these weekends when I have nothing better to do, I’ll drive up to see if I can find them.

By figurefanzero

DC Multiverse (Titans): Arsenal and Raven by McFarlane

While most of my time collecting DC Multiverse has been going back and picking up older figures on sales and clearance, I did pre-order a couple of new waves which came in over the past couple of weeks. And while I always feel a little guilty about checking out new figures with so many older ones waiting their turn, I’m still going to bump these to the head of the line. So, today I’m going to kick off a look at the Teen Titans Wave!

This assortment consists of four figures with Arsenal and Raven being the focus of today’s review. This wave came in slightly bigger boxes than usual, as each figure also has parts to build a rather uncharacteristically large Beast Boy. Arsenal has his legs while Raven has his head and hands. As usual, I’ll check him out after I’ve been through the rest of the figures. I don’t have anything new to say about the packaging, except I finally decided to toss some DC Multiverse boxes, and that meant ripping the character cards and figure stands off the back of the tray. Let’s start with Arsenal.

The last time I looked at an Arsenal figure was nine years ago when I checked out DC Collectibles figure from Red Hood and the Outlaws and I liked it quite a bit. This version is a different look for the character, but not drastically so. You still get a two-tone red and maroon suit, shoulder and bicep tats, and the baseball cap. The proportions are nice, giving Roy a lean and lithe look, The suit features some fine texturing on the red parts as well as some intricate detail on some of the reinforced maroon bits, giving the costume a nice bit of complexity. The boxy quiver plugs into his back and the cluster of arrows is a separate sculpted piece, so I guess you can pull it out if you want to display him having shot all his arrows? Sure why not!

The portrait is solid, although I’m not a huge fan of the visor and preferred him with just the domino mask, but that’s just me. The backwards baseball cap has some very nice texturing and appears to be sculpted separately from the head. I like the little lick of hair that’s jutting out above the hat band.

The tattoos are printed crisp and clean and look really good, especially with the neon yellow-green coloring. It’s a bit of a shame the one on his left arm has the bicep cut running through it.

In addition to the quiver and arrow cluster, he comes with his bow. I dig the bow itself, but I absolutely hate it when the strings are done with plastic instead of actual string. It just looks terrible. I usually like to leave my figures stock, but I will likely clip the plastic string off and tie a real one on. Also, it’s pretty disappointing that you don’t get a single arrow for him to knock into the bow. At least the articulation works well with the bow itself, or reaching over his shoulder to grab another arrow. All the joints on this guy feel great right out of the box.

Taken on his own, I like this figure well enough, despite some big missteps with the accessories. The sculpt is solid, the coloring looks nice, and the articulation makes him pretty fun to mess around with. Still, all in all, I like the overall look of the DC Collectibles version a bit better. Granted, a lot of that has to do with differences in character design, and the articulation on that DCC figure can’t compete with what we got here. So, in the end, I’m happy to have both. Now let’s have a look at Raven!

The only Raven figure I have in my collection is Mattel’s old DC Universe Classics version, which looked OK, but was really designed for one pose, so she wasn’t a lot of fun. I almost picked up DC Collectibles Earth One version a few times, but I was not a big fan of that design, so I never did. I think this modern look is pretty cool and it gave McFarlane some interesting design beats to work with. Most of the suit’s detail comes in the sculpted pattern on the front of the torso, with the segmented built of red and gold disks adding some color. Speaking of color, I dig how the leggings and boots are a dark shade of blue rather than black like her one-piece. I didn’t even really notice until I got her under bright lights and it looks good. The red and gold disk just above her chest serves as a type of fastener for the cape and hood and matches the design of the belt. There’s some nice texturing on the cape, and thankfully it isn’t too big and heavy.

I really dig this portrait! The hood is attached to the head to allow for some decent movement in the neck and I love the layered look with the hair sculpted between the hood and head, and a few strays peeking out below her right eyebrow. She’s got some glittery pink paint applied to her eyes and mascara and a very deep maroon to her lips.

Raven shares the same articulation as Arsenal, and after suffering through so many of Hasbro’s female arms with limited articulation, I’m always happy to see the gals here get the same double-hinged elbows and bicep swivels as the dudes. I do wish she came with the flight stand that McFarlane sometimes throws in with the flying characters, but I can always borrow one from another figure, I guess.

Raven comes with a pair of translucent pink effect parts, which replace her hands and unfortunately these didn’t turn out so great. The pieces themselves look fine, but since they replace the hands, the wrist pegs can be seen inside and really spoils the whole effect. Either these needed to be designed to go onto the hands, or they needed to make those wrist pegs translucent pink as well. I don’t know how anyone thought these looked good enough as a final design, but it’s a pretty big fail.

Both Raven and Arsenal are solid figures that lose points for some poorly implemented accessories. Arsenal really needed a single arrow and an actual string on his bow. I can fix the string issue and borrow an arrow from the DC Collectibles release, but I shouldn’t have to. Meanwhile, Raven’s effect parts just don’t work with those unsightly wrist pegs. Still, I dig both of these designs well enough and it’s cool to have the characters represented on my McFarlane shelves. When I revisit this wave, I’ll check out Donna Troy and Nightwing, as well as the Beast Boy figure!

Super Mario Bros Movie: Mario and Luigi by Jakks Pacific

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!