I was both excited and terrified to hear that Super Smash Bros. Amiibo was a thing. Nintendo has been terrible about exploiting its characters and we've had four generations of this brawler series before getting Samus Aran and a series of small statues that can loosely be called "toys." I'll buy nearly any Metroid product if it's priced right, minus the Metroid Prime bobble head because that was horrible.
The 3 3/4-inch figure (including the base) is a decent size, too tall to be scale to things like Glyos or Playmobil, but too short to really fit in with the 3 3/4-inch scale stuff. (The base is quite tall.) The unarticulated figure is basically a statue, not unlike certain Happy Meal toys. This isn't to say it's a crappy throwaway - it's not. The deco is really spectacular, with metallic orange, yellow, red, and green plus some panel markings here and there. When you get right down to it, the figure itself is basically the best (also only) Samus Aran toy figure you can get in most parts of the world for a reasonable price. A Figma figure can be had for $50 or so, but this? This is a lot cheaper. I would argue that's the main appeal, with secondary appeal that it can unlock stuff in the Wii U that my statistics show you likely do not have.
Compared to my other GamePro Samus figure, you can see many differences in the sculpt. Rather than a sturdy, gender non-specific suit of armor we now have a curvier body. The pose isn't that of a space warrior so much as it is a little more sexualized. The red "chest" is much pointier and juts out, as does the back and bottom. This is a space pin-up, and her pose is similarly reduced in overall badassedness. Even her feet, in a walking pose that really isn't a big part of what makes Samus the great and popular character what she is, there are little silver struts to keep her feet sturdy and connected to the Smash Bros. logo base. It's well-made, but the designs are shifting away from what made Samus great. This was a hardcore, awesome, amazing lady space hero and now she comes off a little weird. Why doesn't she look like she's shooting something? Why isn't she in a combat pose appropriate to a bounty hunter, or even a boring, stationary pose that doesn't look like she's strolling down a catwalk or a red carpet? Samus deserves better sculpting.
In addition to being a collectible figure - which is the reason I bought the figure - it can also unlock stuff in games. It can be used as a powered-up attack in the Smash Bros. games, it can unlock a special outfit in Mario Kart 8, and it can do something in Hyrule Warriors. I assume it might do things in other games down the road, but what that is I don't yet know. I love the idea of a toy providing what amounts to DLC in an attractive package. Paying $12 for a level pack is kind of gross for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the loss of it the day your hard drive dies. However buying a series of figures for $12 each to get the same content, I have permanent access to the content via the figures and if anything breaks, I've still got figures. I would love it if Nintendo delivers more content in a toy format, particularly if the figures are not impossible to obtain. I found Samus on the first stop the first day of release, but it took me a couple of stops before I found the other figure I wanted - the Wii Fitness Trainer.
I like what I see, and as of my writing this I have not tried out the figure as an in-game item. It's kind of pricey for a figure of this size, but the level of deco is superior to pretty much anything I've bought at or near this price point. I don't collect high-end statues, but it feels like I'm getting a good statue paint job on a cheap toy figure and I don't have a problem with that at all. If you like Metroid you don't have a lot of options, so go ahead and get this figure. It's a good one. Also note the alternate Mario Amiibo on her (and every) cardback that, so far, does not exist. Interesting, no?
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