When it comes to merchandise, Nintendo fans today have got it made — if they can afford it, that is.
Growing up, there was no shortage of Nintendo merchandise, ranging from cartoon shows to comic books, pencils, folders, shirts, books, bedsheets, and more. And while I wouldn’t trade any of that, or the sometimes-unique art that came with them, for anything… I have to say that there was one thing missing that was always conspicuous by its absence: action figures.
Strange as it is to believe, it was not until the release of the Super Mario Bros. movie that we got any sort of standard action figure line for our favorite digital heroes. Even then, those weren’t quite the “ideal” versions of the characters for most — those wouldn’t come until Toy Biz’s Mario Kart 64 line.
Today, however, in addition to amiibo giving form to characters who might otherwise never receive tangible representation, there are just so many options for Nintendo figures that simply never existed when I was at an age that I could best appreciate them. For one, there’s the relatively affordable “World of Nintendo” line from Jakks Pacific, which features not only Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, but also Metroid, Star Fox, Pikmin, and more! (As well as toys besides action figures, too.)
For those with a higher budget, there are the more sophisticated “collectors” toys from Japan. One I’m looking forward to in particular (even though I might never get it) is a Figma rendition of Link from The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds on Nintendo 3DS, which I absolutely loved:
This is an unpainted prototype, of course, but the sculpt looks fantastic so far (you can see the full figure over at Tomopop). I can’t wait to see what accessories and other features this comes with, and the number of articulation points will probably be through the roof.
That’s what really sets these apart from Jakks’ offerings, too. While the price tag is higher, you get a lot more poseability and a lot more interesting accessories as well. For instance, they already have a Bowser (and a Donkey Kong) figure that is pretty close to scale with Bandai’s Figuarts Mario figures. And while the cheaper option is sculpted well, the fact that the New York Comic Con saw the reveal of a Figuarts Bowser figure just changed everything:
In addition to undoubtedly being more poseable, I imagine Bowser will come with a good few accessories as well — flame breath seems likely, if nothing else.
Plus, the line has been full of packs of additional accessories, featuring pipes, enemies, blocks, coins, power-up items, and various pieces to help situate them. With enough of these, making your own Mario world is a snap:
From that display, I’m not sure what comes with Bowser and what is strictly an accessory pack item, but now we’re getting Hammer Bros., Lakitu, Spiny, Bullet Bill, and more! You can see more pics in the gallery at Figures.com, which I came by when reporting on the Tamashii Buddy X and Zero figures at The Mega Man Network — yet more figures I didn’t have at the time (I made my own Mega Man out of clay — he wasn’t quite to scale with my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, sadly).
There’s a lot to look forward to… again, if you can afford it. And this is just the tip of the iceberg! As it is, I’m still hoping I can get my hands on those Figurarts Yoshi and Fire Mario figures that are out/coming soon.