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Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Jakks Pacific Takes Flight With Raccoon Mario

Super Mario has gotten himself plenty of power ups over the last three decades, but is there one more iconic than the super leaf? First introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3 back in 1988, the super leaf saw Mario sprout the ears and tail of a raccoon - which in turn gave the portly plumber, and his brother, the ability to fly. We're not exactly sure that the equation makes sense, but it certainly was enough for an entire generation of gamers.

All we cared about was that the coolest video game character in the known universe had just gotten a whole lot cooler! Now, Mario could fly amongst the clouds and take down a whole new slew of enemies courtesy of his new Raccoon Powers - and it was the stuff of dreams!

Fast forward more than thirty years later, and we finally have a dedicated line of collectible Nintendo action figures thanks to the fine folks over at Jakks Pacific. And, in 2018, they're finally going to make a lot of dreams come true by releasing a brand new Raccoon Mario action figure into their World Of Nintendo line! Sure, it's made up of parts that we've seen before, but just because it was cheap to produce doesn't mean it's not worth having!

Let's take a look at just how awesome the new Raccoon Mario action figure really is!

The World Of Nintendo Raccoon Mario is a 4" tall action figure that uses the same sculpt as the latest open-handed Super Mario figure released late last year. He comes to collectors on the same bright red World Of Nintendo blister card that we've seen time and again, which features the brand logo and a stock image of Super Mario dominating the upper right corner.

The figure is clearly displayed within a large plastic bubble that also allows collectors to see the accessory that Jakks Pacific have packaged alongside him. The days of the little cardboard question block containing a mystery accessory are done and gone, but while we thought it was a rather inventive bonus with the first few waves, we've got to admit that we like this new packaging layout much better.

Flipping things over to the reverse, you'll be greeted by a few stock images, and some basic information, surrounding the figure. The other figures in the wave are also displayed.

Moving on to the figure, Raccoon Mario comes to fans sporting his iconic red cap and shirt, which is complemented by the same classic blue coveralls, white gloves and brown shoes that have become a staple of the character since the original Super Mario Bros. arcade game. As he reuses the same sculpt from the last Mario figure we got, this new one features a smiling face and two open hands. Both of these features perfectly complement the whole aesthetic of the figure, as Mario has always been known for holding out his hands in flight.

Plus, the sheer joy displayed on the figure's face is oftentimes how we feel anyone would look flying high above the majesty of the Mushroom Kingdom!

The paint is cleanly applied on Mario and looks really great. It's bright and free of any smudges runs and smears of any kind. It's not the most interesting paint job, if only due to the fact that we've seen all these parts and colors already, still it all cones together rather nicely here and makes for a very pleasing package overall.

The figure bolsters all the same points of articulation that we've seen before - including movement in the head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, thighs, legs, knees and tail. Everything is nice and tight out of the box, which is nice given that one would expect some joint fatigue given the number of Mario figures that we've gotten from Jakks Pacific over the last five years. Fortunately, this is due largely in part to the fact that this figure was made using the newer Super Mario sculpt, so the mold has yet to suffer from the passage of time.

He's easy to pose, and we had absolutely no issues pulling off the desired look for the figure in each of the subsequent pictures used for this review.

Raccoon Mario also includes an accessory- and it's exactly what you'd expect. The super leaf included here is an updated take on the classic power-up and is the most appropriate pack-in that we could think of including with Raccoon Mario, even if we've already seen it before. While it won't stand on its own, we were able to get the figure holding it, and it also fits nicely simply lying flat in one of those open palms.

So, in conclusion, Raccoon Mario may be a simply kitbash of multiple figures that we've already gotten, but he takes all that was good about those previous figures and dials up the whole likeability factor to eleven! When the World Of Nintendo line was announced back in February of 2013, we were beyond excited by what the future held- and we wanted nothing more than for Jakks Pacific to embrace all things Super Mario Bros. 3 by giving us the Raccoon Mario action figure right out of the warp pipe.

But, that didn't happen.

No, instead Jakks Pacific made us wait a full five years before allowing Mario to take flight. But, you know what? He was totally worth the wait. If you're a Super Mario fan, you need this figure in your collection. If you're a gamer, you need this figure in your collection. And, if you just love fun toys at a really great price point, you need this figure in your collection!

Raccoon Mario is all kinds of win and, alongside the previously review Iggy Koopa, has helped reignite our excitement toward this fun little line. Now, here's hoping that with the likes of Fire Mario, Raccoon Mario and Tanooki Mario out of the way, Jakks Pacific will now turn their attention to giving us other versions of the gaming icon...

...Dr. Mario, Hammer Suit Mario, Frog Suit Mario, you get the idea.

What can I say? We grew up during the heyday of Super Mario games. He was the video game king throughout the 80's and 90's, and plenty of us grew to adore him.

Plus, video game toys were so few and far between back then that we'll welcome any version of our favorite plumber into our collection with open arms.

Thank you, Jakks Pacific for knocking this one out of the park...

...and making a thirty year wish finally come true!

+ Strong Sculpt
+ Vivid Colors
+ Perfect Paint Applications
+ Plenty Of Articulation
+ Strong Joints
+ Appropriate Accessories
+ Aesthetically Pleasing

- Kind Of Hard To Track Down At Retail.
- Raccoon Tail May Cause Balancing Issues

Overall: "We've been waiting for a figure like this for over thirty years - and Jakks Pacific has finally brought the dream to realization!"

- Special thanks to Kopper Overton over at Jakks Pacific for sending the sample used in this review! And to Katie Passfield for taking the pictures used in this review!

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Until next time, Infinite Earths fans!

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