With the recent reveal of Nintendo's next console, the Switch, and everyone anxiously awaiting the next Legend of Zelda game, now seems
like a good time to return to Jakk's Pacific World of Nintendo line. Their latest line of 2" figures brings us three new Super Mario Bros
enemies: the blooper, bob-omb and a bone piranha plant. We also get a recolored squid from Splatoon, K.K. Slider from Animal Crossing and
a blue Pikmin. I was also able to finally find a 2" Metroid from the previous series to torment Samus. The latest series of 4" figures
gives us three repaints: Star Power Mario, Link in Goron Tunic, and a green Koopa Troopa. They also managed to finish off the core Star Fox
team with Peppy the Hare and introduce Animal Crossing into the line with a Villager figure. And there is also one exclusive figure to add
to the pile as well, a repaint of OoT Link as Shadow Link. It's really impressive just how many characters Jakk's is producing with these lines.
So let's get started.
Packaging - Shadow Link 9/10, others 8/10The packaging for the regular 2" and 4" series figures, the packaging hasn't changed. I like the simple, clean design. And it is great that the design allows figures from each individual game to have a unique and consistent look but they still look great together. They did change things up for Shadow Link. His card isn't shaped around the character in the top left character. In the case of OoT Link, that is a good thing since Link's ear sticking out is very easily damaged. They also gave the card a black background to match the figure. It looks great. But as with the other figures, the material for the cards is very thin and easily damaged.
Sculpting - Green Squid & Blooper 5/10, Bob-omb, Metroid & Mario 9/10, Others 7/10There are a lot of reused sculpts in these two series of figures. Star Power Mario, both versions of Link, the green squid and Koopa Troopa are all direct reuses of previous figures. I'm not a huge fan of the Oot Link mold as it is the least detailed Link figure that they have done. But given the graphical limitations of the game it's based on, that makes sense. Of the new sculpts, the Metroid and Bob-omb are standouts. Both are near perfect representations of the characters. As with his larger sibling, the Metroid has a sculpted interior that is housed in a clear, rubbery body. It looks great and even give you a bit of the soft, gelatinous feel that I imagine an actual interstellar jellyfish would have. Until they can make action figures out of actual Jello, this is about as realistic as you are going to get. Flipping to the other end of the quality spectrum, we have the blooper. He's not a bad figure. From the front it is a great representation of the game character. But from the sides they didn't do nearly as well disguising the seams for the figure. And on something this simple, I don't want to see multiple seams. The remaining figures are all pretty much in line with what you should have come to expect from the World of Nintendo line by now. The overall look of the figures is very close, if not spot on to the designs from the games. But as figures go, they just aren't that impressive compared to some of the other figures out there. I'm glad to see that they changed things up a bit with the Blue Pikmin by making him a fully developed flower Pikmin. But that just makes me want versions of each color Pikmin in each development stage. Finally we come to the Animal Crossing Villager. This is the same version of the Villager that they used for the 2" line. But I'm really disappointed that they didn't go for the Villager's Super Smash Bros. look. He is a nice looking Villager. But since we are not likely to see many more AC characters in this size, I fear that he is very quickly going to become the lonely little guy in the corner that doesn't fit in with anybody else.
Paint - Goron Tunic Link 6/10, Shadow Link & Peppy 8/10, others 7/10The paint work on all of the figures is well executed with no issue worth noting. There's some small detail work missing from most of the figures. But all the important details are painted. I was surprised to see that Star Power Mario is not just clear plastic. He either has a coating or has some colorant added to the plastic to give him a sparkly, iridescent look. It's a cool, unique look. And it makes me wish that it had a built-in, light up feature. Peppy and the Villager have more details than average. In Peppy's case, it is a lot of small costume details such as his belt, zipper and stripes on his boots. I would have given the Villager an extra point as well if the pattern on his pants wasn't missing from the joints when he bends his knees. Finally there are the two versions of Link. Goron Tunic Links suffers from a lack of contrast between the red of the tunic and the browns and yellows of his belt and chest strap. The result is a torso that blends together into a muddy mess. The you can compare it to Shadow Link who has less paint work. But the silver of his shield and sword and the red of his eyes really stand out. So even with less paint work from his red counterpart, Shadow Link still looks much better.
Articulation - Blooper, Metroid, Bone Piranha Plant & Squid 0/10, Pikmin, Bob-omb & K.K. Slider 3/10, Peppy, Mario & Villager 6/10, Others 8/10The articulation level of Jakk's World of Nintendo varies a lot from figure to figure. Three of the figures (Blooper, Green Squid and Metroid) have no articulation. And the Bone Piranha Plant has just one point of articulation which allows the plant to rotate in the pipe. But you could just turn the pipe for the same effect. Bob-omb, Blue Pikmin and K.K. Slider all have some articulation. But it isn't actually enough to allow them more than the default pose. Things improve greatly as you move up to the 4" figures. Mario, the Villager and Peppy all have a fair amount of articulation. But the sculpts and design of the articulation means that the range of motion is fairly limited. The two versions of OoT Link and the Koopa Trooper kick the level of articulation up even further with twenty points of articulation on the Koopa and forty for Link. That is a lot of articulation to fit on such small bodies. Honestly, they go overboard. Several joints end up being redundant. And they seem to have prioritized the sculpting over the articulation. That means that some of the joints are limited. But the joints don't break up the look of the figures.
Accessories - Villager 3/10, Peppy, Koopa, Pikmin, Metroid, Blooper & Squid 4/10, other 2 inch figures 0/10, Mario & Links 6/10As with the past assortments, the only accessories included with the 2" figures are clear plastic stands for those characters that need them. Although I did recently see that the chain Family Dollar has versions of some of the 2" figures from past series which included a bonus accessory recycled from one of the 4" figures. But for the regular retail versions, it's only the 4" figures that come with the more interesting accessories.
Value - Peppy & Mario 6/10, Blooper, Squid and Pikmin 4/10, Villager & Bone Piranha Plant 3/10, Others 5/10The 2" figures sell for $5 each. The regular series 4" figures sell for $10 to $13 depending upon the store. Shadow Link is an exclusive and carries a heftier price tag of $20. So first things first, Shadow Link is expensive. It is really annoying that we are forced to pay double just because the figure is an exclusive. But the concept and execution of Shadow Link are great making him really hard to pass up, even for the inflated price. The Bone Piranha plant is nice. But since I'm primarily interested in the 4" figures and figures that are in scale with them, the bone piranha plant is too small to be of much interest to me and will likely be taking up a permanent home in a drawer soon. The Villager is a nice figure as well. But he doesn't work as a Smash Bros. character. And I all ready have the 2" version which works well with all the other AC figures that have been released in the line. The Blooper, squid and Pikmin are all nice little figurines. But I wish they could do something to deserve to be called action figures. The remaining figures are not going to win any figure of the year contests. But they are nice renditions of the characters they represent, and help fill out the ever expanding roster of characters in the lines.
Happy Hunting:The World of Nintendo line has some fairly spotty distribution. They are carried by all of the major toy retailers including Target, Walmart and Toys R Us. But they often aren't in every store and finding the latest releases can be fairly difficult. I actually got all of these 2" figures while I was in New York for Comic Con back in Oct. The 4" figures with the exception of Shadow Link came from Toys R Us. Shadow Link of course is from Spencer's Gifts. If you aren't able to find them locally, both Spencer's and Toys R Us have the figures available on line as well.