I wrote a review of the first series of Jakk's Pacific's World of Nintendo four inch and six inch toy lines way back in February and
said that I bought them in anticipation of the release of series two of each line which was to include Samus, Toad, Luigi and Diddy Kong in the
four inch line and Ganondorf from Wind Waker and a Metroid in the six inch line. Well, I guess ten months is the limit to my patience
as I finally broke down and paid through the nose to order the new six inch figures. In the meantime, I also found the third series of four
inch line which added Fox McCloud, Princess Peach, repainted versions of Yoshi and Mario and a Goomba. And then to put a little icing on
the cake, I also picked up a few of the latest two and a half inch figures as well: Shy Guy, Skull Kid, a Yellow Pikmin and Link in his 8-Bit
incarnation. So now that the gang is all here, it's time to see if Jakk's Pacific has been able to live up to the potential that this line
Packaging - 2.5 Inch and 4 Inch line 7/10, 6 Inch line 8/10The packaging for all of the figures remains the same as the first series. All three lines share a common graphical design with simple, one color backgrounds and fairly small logos for both the "World of Nintendo" line and each video game as well as an image of the main character from each game in the top left corner. The four inch line card backs have photos of all of the figures in the line at the bottom as well as several photos in the center showing off the figures' articulation. The smaller line lacks the space for multiple photos. (And in many cases they lack any articulation to show off.) So they include a lot more text giving the background of each character which is something I felt the four inch line could have used in the series one review. But with such small cards and because the text is printed in two languages, it has to be quite small print, a bit too small for the longer write-ups such as for 8-Bit Link. The designs are a bit generic overall, but that is to be expected since they have to work for so many different game properties. And the card material is quite thin, which leaves it prone to damage along the edges and creases.
The six inch line comes in cube shaped boxes that are about seven and a half inches in width. The graphic design applies the same asthetics as the four inch carded figures: simple design, solid backgrounds, relatively small logos and not a lot of text. The design looks decent and the boxes are certainly sturdier than the cards. But the interiors of the boxes could use some attention. The simple grid pattern used for the background is quite boring and generic. But that is not a huge issue.
Sculpting - Ganondorf 6/10, Metroid, Toad, Princess Peach, Star Fox & 8-Bit Link 8/10, others 9/10I honestly did not have high expectations for these figures. At a glance, they don't look all that impressive sitting on the store shelves. But once I got them opened up, there is a lot more detail to these sculpts than I realized. Ganondorf is the least impressive of them. But that is not to say it is a bad sculpt. But when you take the relativly simple Wind Waker designs and scale them up to such a large figure, it looks a bit dull. Ganondorf could really use a little embellishment. The same is true for Princess Peach, Toad and Star Fox. All three appear just a bit too cartoon like for my tastes, especially Fox McCloud. The lack of texturing for Fox's fur or depth to the details of his outfit resemble Ganondorf and the Wind Waker style too much. 8-Bit Link matches the original sprite well enough. I just wish they would have done more to separate his sword and make it stick out from his body. Then in the "isn't it ironic" category, you have the Metroid which I fully expected to be fairly dull. It is a great big floating blob with teeth afterall. But they went all out creating a detailed sculpt of the internal organs of the Metroid and its exposed body on the bottom. It is really impressive looking. Now we just need a twelve inch tall Samus to fight it because the Metroid is HUGE! I suspect it was meant to represent the baby Metroid as seen in the climax of Super Metroid. But that was one metroid and it only appeared that way for one scene. And without Motherbrain to go with it, it just looks comically oversized next to Samus. The other figures are extremely well done. Luigi and Samus might benefit from having a bit more depth in the detail work, but other than that, this line has some truely impressive looking figures. And I love that they are taking advantage of the different lines to create characters of various sizes that are still more or less in scale with each other. (Hey Playmates! Pay attention!)
Paint - Samus, Skull Kid & 8-Bit Link 7/10, Fox McCloud 9/10, others 8/10The paint work on the World of Nintendo lines is not overly elaborate. But the paint work is well executed and more than sufficent on most of the figures to bring out the detail of the sculpting and compliment them creating some very good looking figures. Fox McCloud deserves a bit of additional recognition since there is a bit more painted detail on his outfit than on most of the other figures. Skull Kid looks good, but the colors of his outfit are too bright. He is suppose to be dressed in burlap and rags and living outdoors. His outfit should look dirty. But the figure is bright and colorful. 8-Bit Link has no paint work. All of the color is from the various colors of plastic used. It isn't inaccurate. But I can't justify giving him more credit than this when there is no paint work to speak of. Finally there is Samus Aran, the one figure that is lacking in paint work. In particular, the details of the sculpting for the yellow portions of her torso and the orange part of her left arm are hard to see. a little paint wash would have added some shadow and made this figure look far more impressive.
Articulation - 8-Bit Link 0/10, Ganondorf, Pikmin & Skull Kid 4/10, Peach & Toad 5/10, Fox 8/10, others 7/10Here is another area where Jakk's Pacific really outdid any of my expectations. To be honest, at first glance while they are in the packaging, these don't look all that well articulated. But once you open them up, most of the figures have far more articulation than expected. 8-Bit Link is the only one that is completely unarticulated. Given the 8-Bit style, I don't mind that. The Yellow Pikmin has a rotating neck joint while Skull Kid has rotating joints at the neck and both shoulders. Not that impressive. But given the size of these figures, you can't expect much more. Ganondorf has just nine points of articulation: rotating neck and wrists, hinged elbows and rotating and hinged shoulders. That's not horrible. But given his size, they should have been able to work in a little more articulation. Princess Peach and Toad both have rotating necks and rotating and hinged shoulders. But Peach also has hinged elbows and a rotating waist. Not a lot of articulation for figures this size. But it is enough to allow them to create at least a few different poses. And given the limitations inherient in their character designs such as Peach's large dress, it's tolerable. Luigi has the same thirteen points of articulation as Mario. But the sculpt doesn't restrict his range of motion as much as his brother's does. Samus has sixteen points of articulation: rotating neck, shoulders biceps, waist and ankles, rotating and hinged elbows and knees and ball jointed hips. Her articulation is a bit limited. But most of the poses I wanted to create could be done or at least approximated, I just had to manipulate several joints to do it. Diddy Kong has eighteen points of articulation. But the odd geometry of his hips and ankles means that you options are more limited than they should be if you want Diddy to still be able to stand on his own. Shy Guy, who I would have been just fine with being an unarticulated lump of plastic even manages to have three rotating joints. (shoulders and waist) Even the Metroid gets in on the action as each of its talons can rotate and are hinged where they connect to the body. They can even latch on to larger figures. But what I particularly love about the Metroid is that the outer membrane is made of soft, pliable material. It's similar to a thick, deflated rubber ball. So that gives the entire body a soft, malulable feel that I really didn't expect. Finally there is Fox who also sports eighteen points of articulation like Diddy. The hips are a bit too limited. He wouldn't be able to sit in the cockpit of an Arwing properly even if they had produced one. But he can wag his tail! I have to give him bonus points for that.
Accessories - Peach & Fox 3/10, Diddy & Toad 4/10, Luigi 5/10, Samus 7/10, others 0/10The small two and a half inch figures don't include accessories other than a stand for the Pikmin. And I'm not giving them any credit for the stand since the Pikmin couldn't upright without it. But they are small enough that I don't really expect them to have accessories. Ganondorf and the Metroid on the other hand really should have included some. At the least, Ganondorf should have had his twin swords. And the Metroid could really use a stand to support it and make it look like it is "floating" in the air. So it is only the four inch figures that have accessories. And they seem more like afterthoughts than anything else. Princess Peach has a parasol, but no way to hold it or use it other than clipping it onto her wrist. Toad comes with the same yellow coin as Wario from series one. Diddy Kong has a bunch of bananas. Both the bananas and coin look fairly cheap though since they aren't painted. Fox McCloud has a miniture arwing. It's tiny and has no use. I don't know why they didn't include his staff from Star Fox Adventures or at least one of the power ups from the Star Fox games instead. (Maybe Fox is really an otaku and into model building.) Luigi has a one up mushroom, a simple repaint of the power up mushroom included with Mario in series one. But at least it makes sense and looks nice. Samus has the best extra, a morph ball version of herself. It's a bit predicable. But the morph ball make sense and looks good. So that puts it ahead of just about all of the other accessories.
Value - 8-Bit Link, Skull Kid & Pikmin 4/10, Ganondorf 5/10, others 6/10Jakk's World of Nintendo lines should cost about $4 for the small figures, $9 to $10 for the four inch figures and $15 for the large figures. That's not bad considering how expensive the alternatives such as the Max Factory and S.H. Figurarts import figures are. And Jakk's Pacific is rapidly putting together a substantial lineup of both core and slightly obscure Nintendo characters, something I think many fans have been waiting for for years. But it does pay to pick and choose. Even someone like myself who will usually buy an entire series of figures didn't see the point in buying the oversized Goomba from the third series of four inch figures or a pink Yoshi.
Happy Hunting:Here's where things can get difficult. The world of Nintendo lines don't have the greatest distribution. To start with, Walmart does not carry them. Both Toys R Us and Target do though. And a lot of smaller video game stores may carry them. But even if you can find a store that carries the lines, they often don't carry all of them. And even at the stores that carry the line, Toys R Us is the only store I have found locally that carries the larger six inch figures. I resorted to ordering them online but paid twice retail for them. The smaller figures and four inch line are easier to find. Though with the third series of the four inch line has already been out for quite some time and the next series should be arriving on shelves soon. So if you want the figures from the second series (Luigi, Diddy Kong, Samus and Toad) you should get them while they are still around. Shy Guy, Skull Kid, the Yellow Pikmin and the 8-Bit characters are the newest releases in the two and a half inch line. So they should be showing up on more and more shelves as time goes on.