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Top Ten: Vintage World of Nintendo Characters

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Now that the Jakks Pacific World of Nintendo line is in full swing, it is time to start demanding our most wanted characters. Naturally, we have our own take on this!

We recently had the chance to sit down for a chat with the guys running the new World of Nintendo line, and the outlook is really strong and has us very hopeful. We are already starting to see a pretty diverse line-up of Nintendo characters being offered in their 4 and 6-inch lines, but out wish lists could go on forever. It sounds like the Jakks team has a lot of characters at their finger tips, so keeping the line fresh and diversified should not be a problem.

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At the moment, they are focusing on a lot of modern characters, both in looks and origins. Sure, we have a lot of old standbys, but as you know, even the oldest Nintendo characters have gone through a lot of design changes over the years. So, to keep this manageable, I wanted to take this all the way back to the beginning and start with the original Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES for short. Since I am really hoping for some cool collector nods within the WoN line, as I think the NES has a lot of hot nostalgia around it right now, I am going to pull from there.

So, this is my personal top ten list of characters (or LOOKS for characters) that find the origins back with the NES. Several of the “big guns” are already in development or on the way, but I want some of the older looks for those guys, and then some of the more obscure crowd, too.

10: Kirby’s Adventure – Kirby

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I admit it, I had a hard time picking this spot as there are A LOT of characters that could be here. I went back and forth between Kirby and Donkey Kong Jr., but ultimately, I went with the former. Kirby has become a well-known Nintendo character over the years and though he *technically* originated on the Game Boy (am I already breaking my own rule?), I have a lot of fond memories playing the Adventure game. Currently, he still keeps a high profile due to his Smash Brothers presence, so he is still relevant. Also, while his big round blob shape would probably not make for the most interesting figure in the world, he would definitely be an easy one to do.

9: Kid Icarus – Eggplant Wizard

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Man did the Kid Icarus game frustrate me a child. For some reason, even though I really did like to play it, I was never any good at the game. However, I have vivid memories of the Eggplant Wizard from the game, but also due to his role on the Captain N cartoon where he served as one of Mother Brain’s chief henchmen. I mean, the concept is beyond novel as well, having an anthropomorphic eggplant that turns little winged boys into his own form is required plastic for my shelf.

8: Punch Out – Little Mac

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It is hard for me to just type “Punch Out” as it will always be preceded by “Mike Tyson’s” for me. But whatever the form, the heroic Little Mac is certainly due his for in plastic and he would look great with a lot of the other idols of the NES. Plus, wouldn’t it be great if Mac opened the door for some of his greatest villains? I mean, my kingdom for a Soda Popinski figure! I spent hours and hours working my way through all of those great villains, so I think having a figure of the modest hero would be a great homage to that.

7: Ice Climber – The Climbers

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The Ice Climbers are on this list because I do like them, and I would genuinely LOVE to have figures of them, but they are also here to represent something more: all of the “smaller” NES games. See, while they all have varying popularity, some of those “Action” and “Adventure” Series did not ever make an imprint like Super Mario Brothers or The Legend of Zelda. However, that does not mean that the Balloon Fighters or Ice Climbers would not make for great figures that would tickle the nostalgia just right. In fact, getting these characters sprinkled in among the big guys would be a lot of fun and would do wonder for building that diverse World of Nintendo.

6: Metroid –¬†Ridley

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If you read our recent interview with the Jakks team, you know that both Samus and the titular Metroid are both coming to the WoN line soon. Now, while I think the version of the hero actually serves the NES look pretty well, I would take a classic version of her, too. That being said, I want as many of the enemies from the original Metroid game I can get, from Kraid, all the way to a giant deluxe Mother Brain. Can you imagine? However, I would DIE if we got a Ridley figure in the line because I think it is one of the coolest designs of the entire Metroid universe. Put him in the deluxe figure category and we will be well on our way to building out the original pixelated space horror game.

5: The Legend of Zelda – Ganon

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Yep, we are getting a “Toon” Ganon soon, and it looks really great for the source material. However, Ganon will ALWAYS be the big blue pig man to me. I am not completely sure why he ever lost this look as all subsequent incarnations pale in comparison, but I want this look in my collection. In fact, ANY characters from the NES game would be most welcome for me, so let’s get Ganon first so he can lead in his Stalfos, Moblins, and Wizzrobes.

4: Super Mario Bros. 2 – Wart

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Soapbox time: for the life of me, I will never understand why Nintendo has never used the Wart character after SMB2. Granted, he is not Bowser, but he was not trying to be, and I hate that he, and a lot of the other characters from the original Mario USA, have not been used more. After getting the fantastic deluxe Bowser figure, I can already see how awesome Wart would be and he would look great next to his more famous counter part. He is the boss of some very memorable characters like Mouser, Tri-Clyde and Clawgrip, so I would love to see Jakks breathe new life into them.

3. Kid Icarus – Pit

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I will be honest, I am not sure if he was actually named “Pit” at this point, but I want a figure of the original and more cherubic Kid Icarus hero. Sure, he is still popular to this day, but he and Link have had some substantial “anime” makeovers, and those looks just aren’t as memorable to me. I think Pit should be a little smaller than most of the other guys and have a more classic mythological look about him. The Kid Icarus game has a lot of potential for some great figures, and I want the original “Kid” on my shelf.

2. Super Mario Bros. 3 – The Koopa Kids

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Yeah, yeah, I know, this is technically jamming 7 characters into one slot, but these guys are a unit, and you cannot just release one without giving us the rest. I am really glad that Nintendo is putting Larry, Morton, Wendy, Iggy, Roy, Lemmy and Ludwig in the spotlight again, because these have so much potential. Bowser Jr. bored me to tears and I would take any of these guys over him any day of the week. Plus, they would make form some great and diverse action figures, even in their own little corner. Iggy and Lemmy are most certainly my favorites, but we have to start somewhere, so let’s get all seven to stand with the impressive figures of their boss/dad.

1. The Legend of Zelda – Link

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This figure is easily my personal most wanted figure in the line. Sure, we just got a great modern Link figure, but like Pit, I want to take it back to the original game and give us that classic look. This image is EXACTLY what I want for the figure and I would love to get some of his original implements with him. LoZ and Mega Man II are more two favorite NES games of all time, so building up that entire world would be a dream come true. This line is quiet and heroic with his iconic features before the character started moving in the more modern (and to me, inferior) look. In the deluxe execution, I think they could work wonders.

So, this is my list based off of the original NES crew. I did not include the bigger guns like Mario and company because, well, we know they are coming or already here. I could have made this list a lot longer, but you have to stay manageable, I guess. The World of Nintendo line is just getting started and I would love to see it be diverse in characters and eras as it matures into something for both kids and collectors. Who is your most wanted NES character?

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