Nintendo has long been weirdly stingy with the license for their properties. Sure, there has always been merchandise for Super Mario Brothers, but only recently have they really opened it up, at least for more toy style merchandise. They seemed to have opened the flood gates too, between the Amiibo figurines, and the World of Nintendo toy line. There is also a line put out by Bandai under their S.H. Figuarts lineup.
World of Nintendo is alright, but if you want the “Cadillac level” of figure, you’re going to want to spring for the Figuarts Mario.
Figuarts Mario is a bit of a departure from the standard Human figures put out in this line. Sure Mario is human, but he’s considerably shorter and ore stocky than your average anime school girl. The joint system all around also feels a lot more study than the other Figuarts I’ve handled. I’m not saying the others are garbage, just that Mario here definitely seems to have a different mindset in mind on his design choices. It kind of feels like that whole “Nintendo Quality” hand was probably involved in the design of this figure a bit to make sure he looks nice and solid in most poses.
This also is almost a determent however. He can make a lot of “classic Mario poses” but he’s also limited in a lot of ways due to his sculpt. He can’t stick his arms out from his sides, for example, due to how his shoulders work. He doesn’t have any alternate faces either. In fact eh doesn’t have any alternate parts at all, though there are some alternate hands included in one of the accessory packs.
What he does include is a Power Mushroom, one coin with stand, and a ? Block. There isn’t even a stand (That is also in an accessory pack). He’s plenty solid enough to stand without the stand though having one to do jumping poses would have been nice.
There is an upside to the lack of extra parts however, and it kind of makes the whole argument moot. Mario costs considerably less than your average Figuarts toy. In fact Mario plus the two initial “Playset” packs, probably puts him about your average Figuarts price, with an above average number of accessories.
Accessory woes aside, the figure is really nice. It’s build solid, as mentioned and the sculpt and paint are all spot on perfect for a modern Mario. Despite his limited articulation, he can pill off a lot of very Mario-like poses. Mario isn’t exactly a Ninja after all, he’s a fat, squat plumber. SH Figuarts Mario pulls this off nicely.