Toy lines based on video games don't have the best track record of success. And even if the line does catch on,
the shelf life of the property rarely last past a wave or two of figures. So the fact that Jazwares has made it to
three complete series in their Mortal Kombat line is fairly impressive and has left fans wanting more. One of the
biggest oversights is the lack of less human characters such as Goro. Well the fans' patience has finally been rewarded
as the four armed beast finally saw the light of day last summer. Unfortunately that was as a convention/retailer
exclusive. But a regular version wasn't far behind. And after waiting for months for it to show up locally, it
finally did a few weeks ago along with the new, black repaint of Noob.
Packaging - 6/10Jazwares can't seem to use the same packaging more than once. And now they have changed it for a forth time. The physical design is no different than series three figures. The new packaging even pictures the same characters on the back of the card despite the fact that most of them are no longer shipping and the one new figure, Goro, isn't pictured. What they did change was the color. The green hue has been replaced with tans this time around. That might have been a mistake with Goro since the figure is fairly similar in color to the cards so it fails to stand out as well as if they had just kept the old color. The cards are a bit larger than they need to be, but they are fairly sturdy and look nice.
Sculpting - 8/10, Noob 7/10Noob is exactly the same as the previous release. That's not a bad thing, it is a nice sculpt with plenty of detail. But I can't really say how accurate it is since I know very little about the character. I am a bit more familiar with Goro. And the figure matches up to the images of him that I have seen quite well. In terms of the overall character design, the only change I would make would be to thicken his neck. Goro does have one other drawback. With so much of the figure being exposed skin, there isn't a great deal of detail there. Where there is some clothing, the sculptors provided quite a bit of detail for everything except for the trunks. It is also worth noting that there are two versions of the head sculpt. The regular version of Goro has his teeth bared, but otherwise his mouth is closed. The San Diego Comic Convention/Toyrocket exclusive version has an open mouth.
Paint - Noob 8/10, Goro 6/10The repainted version of Noob is a fairly straight forward repaint. The took all of the gray areas of his costume and made them significantly darker. They still aren't quite black though. But the difference is quite striking. It also makes the silver accents stand out far better than they did with the previous version. I have mixed feelings about the paint work on Goro. There areas that were painted look good. Quality control issues are very minor though there are some around the edges of his trunks. And the fact that they painted Goro's markings on his back shows that they really did try to properly represent the character. The issue I have is that there is too much exposed, unpainted skin. It makes the figure look a bit dull. It might have been nice if they had given the figure a very light wash to add some shadowing. And it wouldn't be out of place considering how so much of the games are spent in dark settings.
Articulation - Goro 8/10, Noob 6/10The articulation on the Mortal Kombat figures has been pretty good through out the life of the line. But with a figure like Goro who has two extra arms, there was a significant chance of the articulation being reduced to cut costs. But to Jazwares' credit, that isn't the case. Both Goro and Noob have the following articulation:
Accessories - 5/10Just as with the other figures from series two and three, both Goro and Noob come with circular base with the Mortal Kombat dragon logo on it. They aren't really needed for posing the figures normally, but they can be useful for more dramatic poses. But yeat again Jazwares has done one of the strangest things I have ever seen. They included two swords with Noob who has no way to use them what-so-ever. I wish I could say I appreciate the effort. But if they want to give us some accessories, they should at least be somewhat related to the character and usable by the figure.
Value - Goro 8/10, Noob 6/10If you are fortunate enough to find these at a brick and mortar toy retailer, you can expect to pay $6 to $7. In a day when there are few action figure lines that sell for under $10, that is a good deal for decent figures. And given the added complexity of Goro, he is an even better deal. Noob's value will depend on whether you already bought the previous version that shipped with series three. While the darker paint scheme is nice, I don't think it will be worth rebuying the figure for most people.
Happy Hunting:The worst part of these figures for me was finding them. Goro and the repainted version of Noob have been shipping for quite a while. But they did not show up here at the Toys R Us in Madison until a few weeks ago only to disappear with in two weeks. The case assortment doesn't help either. From what I saw on the pegs here, the figures appear to ship in a case of 12 figures with Noob, Goro and a repackaged Johnny Cage evenly packed. Why they bothered to ship Johnny Cage at all, much less in equal numbers with the two more desirable figures is puzzling. He doesn't seem to be in much demand here as a week later there was nothing but the four Johnny Cage figures left on the peg. So in short, if you are interested in these figures and are fortunate enough to see them in a store, don't pass them up.