Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Samus Aran (World of Nintendo)

One of my formative gaming moments as a kid was playing Metroid. Look, we could go on for hours about how amazing a female hero was in video games at the time – and many have – and it was significant – but I was like six years old, so for me it was the exploration, the monsters, and the abject surreal nightmare-inducing horror (we were little kids, these were the best graphics we had, and it worked, dangit) that it produced. No, really. To a little kid raised on NES, finding secret passages and delving deeper into a dark planet is pretty dang creepy. But I was hooked. HOOKED. And, in time, Super Metroid became my favorite thing ever, to say nothing about the Primes, or Fusion, or Zero Mission, or… well, it’s a great series. It took way too long to get toys, but we finally have them! More and more! So, after the Amiibo and the Metroid, World of Nintendo released a Samus… which was almost impossible to find. And then they made about three repaints of Samus, all of which might as well be invisible. Finally, I found and snagged the rerelease of regular Samus Aran, nd we have our review. There’s also a smaller-scale Metroid out there somewhere, because life is unfair and I can’t find the toys I want. ahem. Anyway, on to the review!

And yes, I forgot to photograph the packaging again. Search for the Skull Kid review, and you’ve got all you need. The colors are tailored more towards Metroid, which is a great way to ID figures on the toy shelf.

SCULPT: ****

They nailed it on the first try. This figure looks exactly like Samus’s varia suit should, although it does have slightly less detail than in the 3D games. The scale is that weird World of Nintendo not-quite-five-inches, which is in scale with absolutely nothing else in the universe, but it’s a good figure despite that issue.

PAINT: ***1/2

In one sense, the paint is fantastic – exact, clean, and matching what it should, but i could also use a few more small details, perhaps enough to bring it up to the level of the Prime suit design. It’s not bad, though, in fact far from it – the minor lack of detail really isn’t an issue, and a paint wash could easily have been overdone.

ARTICULATION: **1/2

The articulation on this figure is strange. Lots of cut joints and odd swivels, the end result is a figure that can take some decent poses, but mostly, it’s too awkward to do what you want. Samus is going to stand, or vaguely aim, and you’ll be fine with it. World of Nintendo tends to make odd articulation decisions, and this figure is full of them.

ACCESSORIES: ****

Okay, for this you have to realize that World of Nintendo figures only come with one accessory each, so as much as we would all like Samus to come with a ton of items, they chose the best piece for a single accessory – herself, as the Morph Ball. I looks exactly the way it should, and adds plenty of fun play value for the figure. I would have loved more accessories, such as energy tanks, missiles, or just some in-game items, but since we could only have on, this was the best option.

THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Nothing. This figure is durable.

VALUE: ****

Yeah, it’s like $10, so you’re getting a good value, especially considering that the few other Samus figures out there are astronomically expensive. Thanks, Nintendo!

WHERE TO BUY

Pretty much everywhere, but Toys R Us seems to have this figure with the most consistency.

OVERALL: ****

Articulation issues aside, this is a great figure. It’s Samus, it’s accurate to the games, and it comes with the morph ball – you’ve got your display and play value…. right? Look, it’s like thirty year late, which is just crazy, but it’s a good figure. It’s soid in pretty much every way even though no particular details leap out massively in-hand.

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