I have been singing the praises of the Bandai S.H. Figuarts execution for a long time because it is giving me some first class action figures from some of my all-time favorite properties. However, as a further testament of their strengths in making toys, even when they release something that ISN’T an action figure, I am still excited. Case in point: The Super Mario Play Set D.
I went so long without a good, comprehensive Super Mario Brothers action figure line, and for the last 18 months or so, Bandai has been doing all kinds of things to rectify that. I have AMAZING figures of Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi, and more are on the way. I will buy just about any character that they release, from Toad to Donkey Kong (he kind of counts, right?), and my pipe dream is a complete set of Koopa Kids. However, with each figure release, Bandai has also supplemented the Super Mario Brothers world-building with an accessory pack. These generally contain small pieces, like bricks and coins, but they have also included sizable pipes and small enemies. Well, Play Set D has just been released alongside Fire Flower Mario, and with this, I am actually more pleased with the accessory set than the actual figure.
That is not to say that Fire Flower Mario isn’t great, because he is, but he is mostly a retread whereas with this set, I am getting three new little enemies in the Koopa Troopa, Bullet Bill, and Boo, as well as a reissued Little Goomba, of which I need in endless amounts. These little pieces add a lot of character to the cast, as well as new shapes and sizes to the shelves, so even though this might sound like heresy, I think these are just as important as the figure releases. In terms of the “little enemies,” this is by far my favorite set yet, and while I have two already, I might just need a few more.
In this set you get:
- Koopa Troopa
- Bullet Bill
- Green Base
- Two Display Arms
- Stand (for the Koopa)
Now, as I said, the Goomba is a re-release, as are the base and display arms, but where the latter where “nice to haves” before, they are essential for Boo and the Bullet Bill. I like the display arms as they are functional, and you can pose the attached figures in a variety of heights and angles; if I had to pick one thing, I would like to get the base in a different color other than green, but that is not really a detractor here.
I really dig all of these new little figurines, but the Koopa Troopa is by far my favorite, and he needs a red repaint immediately. Remember, these are not meant to have articulation, so I am kind of sad about that, but there is some movement in place with these figures. The Goomba and Boo are completely static, but the Bullet Bill arms move on a full twist, and the Koopa Troopa has bit of movement in his neck, but it is limited. The lack of articulation only really hurts the Troopa, so while he is my favorite of the group, he would be INFINITELY better if he were fully poseable.
That movement nit not withstanding, everything in this set is executed with the precision we have come to expect from Bandai. The sculpts are dead-on and all of the paint is crisp and clean. The relative scale between each of them, as well as previous figures, is just right, so the world that we are building on our shelves is diverse, but beautifully compatible.
I absolutely adore collecting this line, and even when a figure release doesn’t excite me terribly (as in with Fire Flower Mario), the playset completely makes up for it. I want tons of these sets, so building up the Super Mario World is just as big of priority for me as getting all of the main cast. April will bring another great set with a Lakitu, Spiny, and others, so this train is not slowing down. I cannot wait to see what Bandai cooks up next, and I hope this line lasts a very long time.