Metroid! Man, that game influenced so much of how I grew up. To this day, I plant bombs in walls just to see if there are any secret passageways. But anyway, Metroid was the first video game advanced enough to allow the screen to scroll in more than one direction – I’m not talking about moving from screen to screen like in Zelda, I mean actual constant motion. And oh boy, did it ever use that freedom well, creating a labyrinthine world with the types of secrets still in use in games today.
And central to that terror were the titular Metroids themselves. Voracious, nearly indestructable predators, these jellyfish-like monstrosities fly through the air, latching on to a life forms they find and sucking them dry of everything – blood, electrical charge, energy.. everything. In-game, they came straight at you rather than moving in pre-set patterns, giving you a very brief window to first freeze them and then blast them apart with missiles. For a small kid in the ’80s, it was sheer terror. The lack of Metroid toys over the years is extremely disappointing – Japan got a few mono-colored keshi, but that was about it. There’s a Samus toy from the early ’00s, a few expensive FiguArts, and an Amiibo, but until just now, you couldn’t find anything mass-market. Jakks Pacific has finally included a couple of Samus Arans and a Metroid in their line, though they are all hard to find. The Metroid is one of the large-scale vinyl figures, and will cost you about $20. It’s also absolutely huge.
Made of vinyl and rubber, the Metroid actually feels like it could be a slimy jellyfish monster. Its dome is essentially squishy and flexible, and although this might give it durabilit issyes (store it by itself, and padded), it certainly adds a great tactile effect.
The Metroid is actually articulated, with four ball joints for its mandibles. Yes, that’s right, you can adjust it to latch onto whatever it wants to grab. I almost expected some sort of mouth in the underside, but this seems accurate to a lot of in-game models.
The paint is slightly less detailed than expected, but it works – its interior brains-heart-meat-nucleus has only a ew shades, and yellow dots to accent some parts, but it works. A proper paint wash would leave it looking more visceral, but through the dome, it looks just fine. it’s creepy how Metroids do not have eyes, yet their design makes it seem as though they are looking straight at you.
Scale is somewhat of an issue in trying ot make it interact with other toys. There was a gigantic metroid in Super Metroid (poor hatchling! Noooooooo!), and this could certainly stand in for that one, but otherwise it’s gonna be in a scale all its own. Still, it looks great!
The flaws on this figure are very small – the non-removable dome, potential future fragility issues are all fairly normal, and expected for most toys, though that is a little too bad. However, the Metroid looks fantastic – we finally have a decent Metroid toy! And it’s got play as well as display value, such as terrorizing your… wait no, don’t terrorize people. You meanie.
So yes, overall I’m quite glad to have found this fantastic figure, even if it’s having a difficult time adjusting to the household…