Here it is! The number one toy to put in a backwards time capsule so my kid self could have made use of this figure: Samus Aran, star of the video game series: Metroid.
I've already spoken about Jakks Pacific's World of Nintendo toyline in reviews for Bowser, Link and Donkey Kong, so you know I'm loving the affordable little figures of some of Nintendo's finest.
...but OH MAN...this one is the holy grail. I've wanted a simple, playable Samus figure ever since I first laid hands on a controller to play Super Metroid. Not to mention one in a 4 inch scale! If this had been in my hands back in the day, I'd be reviewing a loose, faded and very used figure right now.
Lets jump right in with the package. On the back, you can see an obvious shot of the prototype. The original idea looks far less articulated, and based on a mix of the Other M design and some Metroid Prime thrown in. Glad we didn't get this one, though it still looks nice (and I like the size of the fist, since the final product's hand looks a little small).
Our finished product is based on Metroid Prime's design (specifically Prime II, I think), though she can pass for Super Metroid, a little. In general: It's freakin' SAMUS, and can't be mistaken otherwise. I just...well I've inspected the differences in the suit designs. So yeah.
Her arm gun has been a few different sizes over the years, but we've got the BIG one, since it was a bit larger for the Prime series. It makes the most sense out of all of them, as you can imagine an arm fitting in there while leaving enough room for the mechanics of the gun.
The proportions all make sense, save for the hand, which feels a little small. Her shoulders are properly large, as Samus' shoulders should be, while wearing the Varia Suit upgrade (which is pretty much her iconic look) and the armor hits all the marks you'd expect it to. I could go on, but I think I already cranked this badboy into Turbo-Nerd, so lets move on to articulation! 'Cause that's less nerdy than knowing intricate details about Samus' suit.
This might toss some of you off the Samus wagon, 'cause her articulation is a little weird. Not enough to bother me, but certainly enough to wish for a few modifications.
First off: The shoulders are just cut joints, at an angle. While this does help in terms of getting her hand to hold the gun, it also makes things awkward for most other things. I would have liked some ball joints here. They wouldn't fix everything, but they would allow for some more range and ways to aim her gun.
On the other hand, as a toy, the cut joints DO make her sturdy as heck.
Knees and elbows work as you'd expect, up to 90 degrees. I'd like a bit more (especially for the gun) but I ain't complaining. The arms both have two swivels - at the elbow and the shoulder. It's kinda superfluous, since you keep having to twist the bicep back into the correct position. I think the elbow swivel is just a side-effect of the way they have the arms attached, so the bicep swivel is probably the normal one to use.
The neck turns (would have also liked a ball joint there) as does the waist. The hips are ball jointed, but the way they are sculpted (more a fault of the armor design, rather than the toy) means that they don't move outward very far, and that they move forward at an angle. It allows for some basic movement and play.
The knees, like the elbows, have a swivel because of how they're attached. The feet also swivel...which is one of the more annoying things. Those REALLY needed to be on ball joints for various stances. The ankle swivels are nearly useless as they are.
I'll say again: The articulation choices are a little strange, in some cases, but I can't bring myself to be bothered by it. This is a classically playable toy, and that is ideal, for me. Nice 'n sturdy! Only other thing I could mention is that the colors are a tad bright, but it does give her a bit of an old fashioned feel.
Now, as the package says: She comes with a secret accessory! I'm more of an accessory man, so you can guess I'd be excited...but I knew what this was gona be.
It's not so much an accessory as an alternate form: Samus' Morph Ball form! If you haven't played any Metroid
It has an action feature called "being round." Here's how it works:
Works like that.
ANYWHO...it certainly is a cool addition, but I feel like it's a staple getting in the way of some other items, like a regular sized Metroid or maybe a little missile item. Perhaps with another figure?
Now, if you are a Metroid fan, I'll have to address the elephant in the room: Why even buy this while the Figma figure exists?
Hopefully the answers should be obvious:
- For one, this is MUCH cheaper. So much cheaper. Figma Samus will run you from 40-60. She is magnificent, however, so I feel like you'd be getting your money's worth. Still: If you want a cheaper alternative...here it is!
- Do you have kids? 'Cause this is their Samus! I wouldn't be getting the Figma version for any kid who isn't going to display it. WoN Samus is sturdy and will stand up to inside or outside play. I've already dropped her once or twice! Still lookin' nice. But that goes without saying, right? These are toys! They should stand up to kid play, first and foremost.
If you have the money, go for the Figma. If you want a cheaper figure or one to match the other Nintendo figures in size, then this is your figure!
In the end, I would have liked some changes to the articulation, but it's a fun toy, so I can't really fault it for a few minor articulation hiccups. Especially when I can still pull off stuff like this:
If you're big on Metroid, I'd pick her up, no question.
...I don't have more things to say, but I took more pics.
Wait, was that fire up there? OH YEAH I HAVE FIRE!!
Alright, that's enough. I probably love this figure more than I should, so take my opinion with a grain of salt that tastes like Alexx-loves-the-crap-out-of-Metroid. I could totally go for a toyline just based on Metroid, but if this is what we get, I'm still pretty dang happy.