Tuesday, January 26, 2016

World of Nintendo: Tanooki Suit Mario (And the Power of the Tanooki)

The last of the new wave: Tanooki Suit Mario!  The fabled suit, back in the day, and now a common occurrence in current Mario games.  This one was a bit of a surprise, as I figured they wouldn't hit something this cool so soon!  Lets take a look at what I can feasibly pass off as a "review."

First off: Inside our Question Block is the very leaf responsible for the "transformation"  (I.E. putting on a costume).  Granted, this is a new thing, since, originally, the suit came from a little icon that actually looked like a tiny version of the suit.  Nowadays they changed it up so that the Tanooki Suit is pretty much the same as Raccoon Mario (which you got from a green leaf).  Now you need a whole other "Stone Leaf" to use the Tanooki Suit's old Mario 3 ability of turning into a statue (In Mario 3D Land).

Tanooki Mario, like other Marios in the World of Nintendo line, is sized correctly when compared to the Figuarts Mario.

Design wise, this is everything you'd expect from Tanooki Mario.  It looks perfect!  Just like a...fat guy.  In a costume.

Anyway, the idea of the Tanooki Suit probably has a different feel than it used to, since it has replaced Raccoon Mario.  Back in the day, in Mario 3, you had to EARN this S.O.B..  It was won from out-of-the-way Toad Houses, or luckily found hidden in levels.  It worked like Raccoon Mario, allowing you to fly, but if you pressed down and jump while in the air, you turned into a statue!  Not only did that make you invincible for a moment (though you couldn't move) but if you came down on top of an enemy while in statue form, you could kill 'em outright - even some enemies thought to be unkillable (like the glowing oxy pads)!  So, while the mystique and importance of the Tanooki Suit has kinda been diminished, it will holds a special place in my heart.

As for articulation: It's actually pretty impressive!  It might line up with the standard WoN Mario, but I never got him, so I can't compare.

There's no swivel in the wrist, but the arms still have a nice, expressive range.

The legs might not have a huge range, but they're WAY better than what I thought they would be.  I mean, you don't really need him to do that much beyond what these joints allow you to do.

He has a little trouble standing, with the heavy tail, but I was able to get him in a lot of poses without much hassle.  And speaking of the tail, it's just a swivel: I kinda wish it was on a ball joint so you could get some up and down and side to side movement, but it's not a huge deal.

The REAL neat idea is the neck joint: I guess they just yanked the idea from Figuarts Mario, but it works sooooo much better here.  You can get a really nice range of movement with it!  He can't necessarily look up, but it goes back far enough for a the kind of flying pose he takes in-game.  He can look side to side with no problem, though, which is something the Figuarts Mario can't do.  It's a joint you appreciate the most when you have it in-hand.  Really well done, considering his massive noggin.

The most hilarious thing about the Tanooki Suit, to me, was that, for the longest time, I had NO idea what a Tanooki was or why the suit allowed you to turn into a statue.  The answers...are interesting.  Just hunt up info on the real and mythical Tanooki and you'll get what I mean.  Plus, watch Pom Poko.

Before I ever saw that info, though, my friends and I stupidly messed with the name all the time.  The most common was calling it the "Tatonka" suit, as in the scene from Dances with Wolves where Kevin Costner learns that buffalo are "Tatonka" to the Native American tribe he's crazily trying to communicate with.

Yeah, I dunno man.  You try to explain ten year old logic.  On top of that: When one of us would get the Tanooki Suit, we'd say "TATONKA!" and smash into each other while making horns on our head with our fingers.

It was good time.

I really like this figure, and I don't see any reason to skip it, if you're a fan.  Possibly my favorite Mario figure ever, until they make a Hammer Bros suit for him.  Nothin' beats the Hammer Bros suit!

Seriously though: If you see this one, I'd pick it up.  You won't be disappointed, like you were with me, when I devoted most of a review to a joke about magical Tanooki testicles.


  1. It's still just a bit sad, putting up the Jack Specific nintendo figures next to the Figma ones. The mold lines and cheap plastic on the Tanooki Mario really stand out, even if it is a higher-quality-than-usual item from the line.

    Anyhow, thanks for making me think about Mario's balls! I didn't know that would be happening today.

    1. I may not know much about plastic, but cheap, to me, is breakable. This guy is sturdy! So if it's cheap plastic, then I'm ignorant to the feel of it. I'm a playable-toy kinda man through and through, so I guess I'm just blinded by how fun this guy turned out to be.

      Really though, the highlight of it all, is the fact that you're thinking of Mario's balls. As is anyone else who drops by. It warms my heart in all the most terrifying ways.

    2. Calling the plastic cheap may be unfair. It looks cheap to me because of the visible mold lines, I guess? Maybe I'm just bitter ever since my WoN Samus broke at the knee. (But you better believe I'd snap up the Grav Suit Samus if I ever saw it!)

    3. I hear you there; any sort of break from a toyline immediately sours me toward it, usually (depending on the kind of break). There's this Kamen Rider line I've been meaning to try - a slightly older one where they have removable die-cast metal armor - and I finally gave it a shot. The figure's arms BOTH broke, right out of the package. It was whatever kind of plastic they used for the joints, I'm sure, but I'm still afraid to try another one down the road. I'm sure others would be fine, but it still makes me paranoid.

      But yeah, Grav Suit Samus is cool, so I'm glad you're not put off too much! If it's any consolation, I've got three of that mold now and they've all stood up to plenty of posing...for what it's worth, with the slightly awkward joints. They need to go back to the drawing board with her, but I can't help enjoying the figures nonetheless. They would have blown my mind, back in the day.

  2. "...all I've ever gotten from it was a tree suit."

    Now it all makes sense!

    1. I know you're always asking about the tree suit, so there's your answer! It was so simple!

  3. Am I wrong for preferring World on Nintendo over Figma? Figmas looks kinda robotic to me, especially near the knees, he kind looks armoured! WoN joints are ugly but proud!

    1. Mario is Figuarts, and honestly, they've got it a little better than Figma, to me. I haven't been amazingly blown away by Figma, most of the time, but Figuarts does okay. Still, Mario does have that "armored" look you're talking about, though, I'm not sure how else they were going to get his legs to move far enough forward for that classic "jump" pose. It feels like there should be a better way to articulate him. This figure has that "first" feel, like "Oh, this is the first version, the second version is way better!", ya know? There's just no second version yet. I think they could rework it to look better if they put their minds to it.

      Otherwise, honestly: Jakks does a great job mostly hiding the joints, I feel! Tanooki Mario has some standard toy knees and elbows, but the shoulders aren't obvious, and the hips have a decent enough range while hiding the ball joint. The neck joint is the kicker, though! Same basic thing as Figuarts Mario, but it works WAY better. The only thing I could say the WoN figure really lacks is wrist joints. Otherwise, I've got all I need from him.