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Friday, 8 June 2018

This Crazy Koopa Is All About Hammer Time

When it was first introduced in the Fall of 1985, Super Mario Bros. set Brooklyn's portly plumber against a varied battalion of baddies ranging from Goombas to Koopa Troopas. However, none was more frustrating to cross paths with than the tool tossin' turtle known as the Hammer Bro.

And now, for their latest assortment of World Of Nintendo figures, Jakks Pacific is finally unleashing the fiendish foe in plastic form for the very first time. And is he ever incredible!

Let's take a look at this long overdue fan-favorite...

The World Of Nintendo Hammer Bro. is a 3.75" action figure based off of the crazy Koopa's most recent appearances in games like New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

He's made up of a brand new sculpt that's more round and squat in comparison to what we've seen in the line before. 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.

Looking as though he's jumped right off the TV screen and into our collection, the Hammer Bro. is made up of some beautifully bright cartoony colors.

As with the last few World Of Nintendo figures that we've looked at over the last few weeks, the Hammer Bro. features a rather stellar paint job. Crisp lines and clean applications throughout give this tiny turtle a very pleasing appearance.

Add to that such additional details as his goofy face, bright green shoes, iconic helmet, and a beautifully sculpted shell featuring individually sculpted segments, and you've easily got one of the nicest additions to the World Of Nintendo line since it began all the way back in 2014.

After a through examination, we were pleased to discover that, like the previously reviewed Iggy Koopa and Raccoon Mario figures, the Hammer Bro. was free of any smudges runs and smears of any kind. In short, everything comes together nicely and makes for a very pleasing package.

The figure bolsters all the same points of articulation that we've seen before - including movement in the head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, thighs, legs, and knees. He also features a tiny little tail, but try as we might, it stayed firmly locked in place. This is by no means a point against the figure, but just something that we wanted to mention for the sake of our readers.

After all, we really don't want to hear of you guys popping the tail off your Hammer Bro. figure in a desperate attempt to maneuver into another position.

Everything is nice and tight out of the box, which is nice, and promises a long shelf life for collectors and fans who may be worried about joint deterioration over time. Each joint moves nice and smoothly into place, and we had absolutely no issues pulling off the desired look for the figure in each of the subsequent pictures used for this review.

One of the most impressive things about this figure has to do with its rather low centre of gravity. This, in turn, will allow you to successfully pose the Hammer Bro. standing on one leg - thus recreating his classic hammer heaving stance from the newest Nintendo games.

 The Hammer Bro. also includes an accessory- and it's exactly what you'd expect.

As his namesake suggests, the Hammer Bro. comes complete with a hammer accessory. It features a brown handle, black head to two interwoven pieces of brown plastic made to look like two pieces of rope connecting both pieces of the hammer together. It's a really fun little accessory that fits nicely into the figure's right hand. We wouldn't be surprised to see this accessory make a future appearance down the line - especially if Jakks Pacific decide to take another run at Super Mario Bros. 3 and give us a coveted Hammer Suit Super Mario figure - hint, hint!

So, in conclusion, not only has Jakks Pacific finally given us a long overdue addition to our Koopa army, but they've affectively given us one of the very best World Of Nintendo figures to date!

And it's one that, given a new application of paint and a few slight tweaks, could be made into everything from a Boomerang Bro. to a Fire Bro. - figures that we also feel the need to point out we so desperately need in the ranks of our Koopa army, Jakks Pacific.

The Hammer Bro. may have taken five long years to finally see inclusion within the World Of Nintendo line - and over three decades to get a fully articulated action figure, but he was certainly worth the wait! The sculpt is strong, the paint is beautiful and nicely applied, and he's filled with enough articulation that he's able to pull off poses that more expensive figures could only dream of. Again, this is how you do a cheaper action figure right - and Jakks Pacific has hit another one right out of the ballpark!

We walk away from having reviewed the Hammer Bro. figure more satisfied than ever before. There is so much to love here, and so much for both collectors and gamers to appreciate, that we honestly can't find anything to complain about whatsoever.

If we had to gripe about something however, it would be nothing about the figure. No, instead we will say that the World Of Nintendo line can be a difficult one to track down at retailers, so finding one of these spectacular figures may be a bit harder than one may like.

Still, all things said and done, the World Of Nintendo Hammer Bro. figure is a winner in every sense of the word, and we wouldn't be surprised to see this tiny plastic turtle returning in December as part of our Top 10 Toys Of 2018 list!

Again, there's really no such thing as a perfect action figure, but we'd wager that the World Of Nintendo Hammer Bro. comes pretty damn close, indeed!

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

- Difficult To Find At Retail

Overall: "The latest line of World Of Nintendo figures has bolstered some of the very best to date - and it's the Hammer Bro. that finds himself at the forefront of the assortment."

- 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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