Mario is the short, stocky plumber who is the star of Nintendo’s Super Mario game series, not to mention numerous spin offs and other media and unless you’ve been living under a rock since the mid 1980’s there’s little to no chance you don’t know who he is. Mario has never received a true action figure, only statues or vinyl figures with limited articulation. Finally Bandai steps up to the plate to bring us what can be considered a definitive version of Mario.
Name: Mario/Play set B
Line: S.H.Figarts Super Mario
Price: Then: 1500 YEN. Now: depends on place of purchase – at least $30 MISB
Scale: 4.3 Inches in height (Mario)
Accessories: Mario – One coin, one mushroom, one question mark box and one small stand for the coin.
Play set B – One set of grasping hands, One Coin, One Goomba, One turtle shell, Two coin stands, three pipe pieces and two sets of clear hand connection pieces.
I was lucky enough to be over in Japan when this figure was released there in June, it was almost impossible to escape the giant store displays and even TV ads for this figure. Not to mention when you would walk into any Yodobashi – Akiba style store, there would be stacks and stacks of the figure piled up near said store displays.
Even though I had one ordered at BBTS how could I not pass picking one up? So of course I did (and a couple as gifts too). My friend Javier (who was holidaying in Japan when I was) ended up buying two sets of everything! (Mario + Play set A + Play set B) I’ll be in Japan in December again this year and hopefully with a little luck I can pick up Luigi too.
There was no way I was going to pass up buying such an awesome Mario figure at the time of release from its country of origin, as a toy collector, I feel it’s just one of those once in a life time awesome experiences. Especially seeing I buy most of my toys online these days, it’s always great to be able to head out when in Japan and snatch up new and old toys at great prices!
This is one of those great examples of sculpting for a video game character, Mario looks perfect, from his head down to his feet, it’s unmistakingly Mario. I think he ticks enough boxes to represent both new and retro versions too. I feel he’s bordering slightly more on the retro style for me. He looks great and I really can’t say enough positive things about Mario’s sculpting! It’s easily one of the stand out categories for Mario.
For Mario paint is kept to a minimum, mainly just for small details like his buttons or the inside of his mouth. It’s very crisp and clean, I can’t fault it at all. Mario’s accessories have the most paint and they are the same high level of application as Mario. His eyes are definitely a stand out as there is a lot going on there paint wise. I love that that for most pieces they have just cast it in the colour it’s meant to be, this is the best approach and I think the end result is great!
Most of Mario’s joints are swivel/hinge style joints with a couple of ball joints thrown in for good measure. Mario’s articulation is as follows: Ball joint/swivel head, swivel/hinge shoulders, hinge elbows, swivel hands, swivel/hinge groin, hinge knees, ball jointed feet. Mario has a good amount of articulation and most importantly you can place him in most of the poses Mario needs to be put in. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty damn good. Obviously a choice was made at some stage to make Mario look as seamless as possible but have as much articulation as he could too. His head is restricted a bit by the closeness to the body, the same with the shoulders; otherwise it’s got great articulation.
Mario by himself comes with the basic parts you would want, where this figure really starts to shine is when you pick up the play sets A and B to go with him, that it really becomes a pretty epic figure. Extra hands as well as all the bits and pieces you would want to create a mini Super Mario world display. I only purchased play set B, but now I’m feeling more inclined to pick up set A too as the variety of play and poses greatly improves with a stand to get some great in air poses. All the accessories are great and are well made and sculpted well too, it really feels like a lot of effort went into the design to make it look perfect to the source material, for not only Mario, but his accessories too. I would expect nothing less from a Japanese company, dealing with a very well known and much loved Japanese creation.
Bandai, on the whole, make very well made toys. Mario is a great example of this and I don’t think you would have too many issues with this figure; however, I would be gentle with the clear stands and take your time when swapping out hands. I wouldn’t try to force Mario into any extreme poses he’s not made for either. But besides that, Mario is great, but, like the box says, definitely for collectors and children aged 15 years and over.
I paid about 1,500 Yen for Mario and about the same for play set B, from one of the many toy stores in Akihabara, That’s the best price you are going to find anywhere and is well worth it! No shipping costs or heavy store over heads. To put this in perspective when I got back home to Australia EB Games was selling just Mario for $50 AUD. Shop around and you can get Mario for a good price. But just don’t pay exuberant amounts for him.
This is probably one of the best, if not THE best Mario figure/toy ever made, that’s a big call, however, this one is so perfectly executed and made, that it leaves any competition eating its dust! You aren’t going to find a better one and now that Luigi has been announced I hope its full steam ahead for a complete series of Mario figures. If you are still on the fence about whether or not to buy this figure I wouldn’t think about it too long as the obvious choice would be to pick it up ASAP!
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