Tuesday, May 26, 2015

World of Nintendo: Samus Aran

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 then I'm coming over right now with my SNES and we're playing Super Metroid, what you're looking at is Samus.  In ball form.  No, I have no idea how she crams herself into this little ball, but it is called a Morph Ball, so I suppose there's some morphing going on.

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.

G'night folks!


  1. Fantastic! Does she look alright next to Joes, or is it weird? I do like that she's taller than Link, that feels appropriate.

    1. She's about as tall next to Joes as she is to Link:


      She's big, of course, but she's 6'3 and nearly 200 pounds of solid ass-kicking OUT of the suit, so she should be suitably big IN the suit. I'd say she's right in scale!

    2. Yeah, that looks about right for Samus. The girl's a HOSS.

      Hell, put her next to some of the more recent joes (Retaliation Ultimate CC, 50th Destro) and it'd be even more perfect.

    3. Yeah, I was thinking of getting a height range for the Joes, but I didn't feel like digging out the tall guys. And I JUST bought that Destro, too. That has to say something about my pile habits...

  2. Super Metroid was one of the first video games I successfully completed, and my whole family was there, and it was a really great time. To say that it's my favorite game would be something of an understatement. I've only disliked one Metroid game, and it's probably the one you're thinking of. Small Jonesy would have gone insane for a Samus figure. Or, really, any type of Nintendo action figure, for that matter.

    So, yeah, I was really happy to see that there was another Samus figure I could put next to the Figma - and it kinda took me by surprise, since I don't keep up with World of Nintendo news. Unfortunately I'm not sure if she's as sturdy as you think - I wasn't in the room when mine broke, but my brother informed me that he "just picked her up." She broke at the knee, and the pin that connects the joint does look kinda pathetically thin.

    I'll probably glue her back together and let her stand next to my SNES. And I'll still buy another one to take her place.

    BTW, I did see that there's apparently an actual Metroid in the WoN line - have you found that yet? I haven't.

    1. Well, there's only one Metroid game that is generally disliked, so I guess I have to assume it's Other M. Which is sad, because I honestly enjoyed the hell out of the gameplay - it was just most of the story and Samus' characterization that was flushed down the toilet. If they hadn't messed that up so badly, I would be looking forward to an evolution of the gameplay in a sequel.

      AGH, that sucks to hear! Hopefully the leg falling off is just a fluke with your particular figure. She is holding up nicely on my end - and that's from having moved her around a LOT, so far. I'm all gentle with my 50 dollar figure, but this one I'm movin' around and making shooty noises 'n such. I bent the knee to see what you mean, though. The peg IS pretty thin. Hopefully they keep improving this line as they go along. I am totally up for any more versions of Samus that they can muster.

      As for the Metroid: I saw it at Acen for the standard "screw you, buddy" price, but not in Toys R Us, yet. TRU seems to be the only place stocking the big ones! And now Target - who at least stocked the normal figures - have pushed the figures off to an end cap and took away their prime isle space. I really hope this line isn't dying already.

      Anyway, I'm looking forward to the Metroid, though it's HUGE. It's more like the Baby Metroid at the end of Super Metroid, in scale compared to Samus. Which isn't bad, mind you, but I would like a normal Metroid as well.

  3. nice review. i agree with the toys should be for kids first and foremost comment.also, if possible, can you tell me the articulation on that meta knight toy. i have my eyes set on a kirby that is from the same line but, i'm a little skeptical on paying for it when i have very little information about it. a quick review would be nice. much appreciated.

    1. Well, that particular Meta Knight is from this model line. I'm fairly sure he came on a parts tree, and then you had to build him like any model. It was simple enough, if I'm remembering correctly (I got 'em a LONG time ago). He has magnets in his feet (though it's not strong enough to hold him up on a fridge) and you can remove his sword and cape with no effort. His arms also slide out a little easier than I'd like, but they'll stay in if you aren't playing with him.


      The second pic is as far as I can get him apart. Basically you're just looking at movable arms that move up and down. Honestly though, with the way he's designed, the arms are the most you'll get out of that guy until Figuarts designs something amazing.

      All in all, he's my top favorite Meta Knight item that I own, and the only one I could call an "action figure", pretty much. I've already gotten down on the ground with my nephew and used Meta Knight in some "Smash Bros" play and the figure stands up to some mild beatings.

  4. YES, awesome Samus GET!

    I loved their Link figure so this is a must for me. Space Pirates and Ridley when?

    1. "Ridley when?" is my battle cry, right now. We NEED a Ridley in the current larger scale. I don't care what else happens in this line so long as we can JUST GET A RIDLEY!


  5. Lol I love the Samus Granamry pic at the end. :)

    1. Thanks! The original idea was to modify Granamyr in the paint program to look like Kraid, but...that was way more work than I felt like putting into it. Sooooo, instead: Simple joke!

  6. It's a shame this line isn't doing better, because Samus is a rare Nintendo character where she actually looks different game-to-game (her and Link amongst the big guns), so it'd be pretty easy to re-use some parts and churn out a heap of variants.

    1. Yeah, I'm hoping the line isn't doing TOO bad. So far Target is the only one to shove them to the side, but then again, Target and TRU are the only ones stocking them! TRU is doing what it does, though: Stock some, ignore the rest. There's always the first wave of ANYTHING at TRU, and then maybe - just maybe - TRU will decide to stock some other waves before filling up on the first one again.

    2. Yup. That's exactly what happened with the 50th Joes here in Canada - they stocked the first wave, then gave up.

      (Only good thing is that everything eventually hit clearance, meaning I got to grab a bunch of VAMPs for customizing into brown / green / Stinger variants. Great deal, since I wound up with four weapons crates as a result and that's more plastic weaponry than any sane man will ever be able to find uses for in this lifetime.)

      What's worse is that they solicited the second wave, and then cancelled everyone's orders. Thankfully BBTS was there to pick up the slack, but who knows if that will be the case this year.