It seems entirely strange that we have been waiting so long for a comprehensive action figure line based on the wild World of Nintendo. Sure, there have been some one-offs and figurines, but Jakks Pacific is finally pulling it all together into one cohesive line. Well, after all this waiting, we are now sprinting out of the gate because now that the second series is here, the characters are rolling in.
I have to admit, getting a full-blown line of action figures based off of the the Nintendo properties has been one of my biggest action figure wants for a long time. I really love the characters, especially those that have been around since the 8-bit days, and there are so many toy-etic characters out there, from Mario to Mother Brain and everything in between, I am hoping that the team at Jakks goes deep into the license and we get them all. With the first series under our belt, the second series, featuring Samus, Luigi, Blue Toad and Diddy Kong is still keeping with some of the heavier-hitters, but we are getting some pretty good coverage in terms games already.
Well, I was lucky enough to happen across the latter two characters at Target this weekend (someone nabbed Luigi and Samus ahead of me), so I was pretty happy because Toad is my favorite Mario character, and Diddy Kong might be the best overall figure Jakks has done in this line thus far.
“I’m the BEST!” Ah, but I love this little guy. I think I really started liking Toad with the Super Mario Brothers 2 game and through his appearances on the Super Mario Brothers Super Show. While he has been known as an active player and supporting character throughout his history, Mario Kart, Smash Brothers and the New SMB games have really put him back in the spotlight. But as you probably know, Toad is of an entire race that populates the Mushroom Kingdom and while I associate the actual Toad with his classic red dot hat and blue vest, this blue Toad has gained notoriety due to his playable role in the the New Super Mario Brother Wii and Super Mario Brothers WiiU.
So, Jakks has offered this version first, which is fine, because I am positive that, like the previously-released Yoshi, Toad will be due for logical repaints as the line goes on. Overall, I think the likeness is nice on this figure and as you can see in the pictures, he is proportioned well and in-scale with the likes of Mario and Yoshi. The paint is pretty clean for the most part and while there is a bit of bleed here and there, it is not in any critical spots like the dots on his hat.
Now, sporting three points of articulation, Toad comes in as the least articulated of these figure yet, but I was kind of expecting that. Let’s face it, Toad’s squat build, a third of which is his hat, does not lend itself to a lot articulation chances. He has the swivel head, of course, as well as partial-ball shoulders that allow for front to back and side to side movement. Now, I wish that his neck would have had a ball joint, but since this is Toad, it is not as egregious as it would be if it were, say, Samus. Getting a bit more creative, I suppose a point could have been added at the waist and feet, but again, the lack does not take too much away.
This is a good representation of Toad and even at three points of articulation, he still move better than any other Toad figure I have on my shelf, so that can be counted as a win. I REALLY hope the standard red Toad is on the way soon, and then we can get yellow and green on down the line.
I will admit it, I am not a Diddy Kong guy. I did not get into the DK Country titles as much as a lot of other people did (though I did enjoy the first one), and I have always been more of a supporter of Donkey Kong Jr. I think that once Diddy showed up, DKJR kind of got shuttered and that is just too bad, considering his history and role in the DK-verse and the Nintendo world at large. That is not to say that I hate the character of Diddy Kong, he just never really did anything for me.
Do you see where this going? See, even when I am not a huge fan of a character, I absolutely LOVE when an action figure based on said character is so good, it makes me like the character more. That is certainly the case with Diddy, and I have to be so bold as to say that, at least in this four-inch scale, Diddy is probably the best figure Jakks has done for the WoN line thus far.
The sculpt and likeness to the character is spot-on and Jakks has done a good job of taking a character that has more going on in terms of design well represented, but still in the same style of the other figures he will be standing next to on the shelf. Case in point is Donkey Kong, and while I know that the verdict is split on him, I love the figure and he looks fantastic next to Diddy. They go together so well that I cannot help but pose them in fun ways on a shelf that is actually kind of vanilla. This makes me want a DK Jr. even more now because of how well the simians have been realized here, so Diddy is a great win in terms of likeness.
He also races past all of the rest of the figures in terms of articulation as well. All told, he has at least 16 points and all of them are actually really functional. So, while I would have loved biceps swivels and bit more movement out of the neck joint, the arms, legs and tail allow you to get him into all kinds of monkey business. His legs have a great range and his arms are long enough that you can pose him on his knuckles. If you want to get crazy with the poses, his tail moves, too, so you can use that to add personality or support if you need it. Or, you know, just go the logical monkey route and pose him hanging upside down by that tail. It works really well.
So, while I don’t have Samus or Luigi yet, I do have all of the rest of the four-inch figures from this line and while the giant Bowser probably still ranks as my overall favorite, Diddy is best of the standard line for sure and I think he will surprise a lot of people with just how good he is.
Need a more “live” look at the articulation on these guys? Check out the video!
The Jakks Nintendo train is chugging along and we are starting to build out our universes a bit. Sure, the focus is still mostly on the SMB guys, but you cannot blame them for that, and even though this is not my preferred Toad, I am still really glad to have him. The same goes for Diddy as well because while he might not rank as high in terms of character for me, the figure itself goes right to the top of the pile because his likeness and articulation is just great. These guys are hitting Target right now (I am stalking for Luigi and Samus), but they are bound to hit the other retailers soon.