One thing that you learn as you collect figures and learn about the business side of things is that the companies who make action figures have some strategies to make money and ensure their product line is successful. Repaints as they are called by collectors are where a figure that has already been designed is repainted to a different design so that it can be produced cheaply and make money for the company. An alternative to this is a figure that has 75% or more of the figure is a recycled design and is presented in a new way. Companies use this tactic to help pay for other figures that come out which have lots of new features or are expensive to design.
In the latest wave for World of Nintendo, Raccoon Mario uses a lot of recycled parts from other figures to help Jakks Pacific produce the new Iggy and Hammer Bro. figures. Just because a figure was cheap to make does not mean it isn’t worth owning however. Let’s take a closer look at Raccoon Mario and see how good this figure is!
Box – The standard Mario packaging reappears! While I certainly commend Jakks Pacific on getting their mileage out of it, perhaps it is time to consider a redesign or some kind of variation? As I noted in my review of Metal Mario, thus far, we have only seen the Raccoon Mario and Metal Mario figures on store shelves in the US. Hopefully the other two figures get released soon!
Paint and Details – One advantage of reusing old designs and parts is that a company should be able to make them really well and eliminate mistakes from the first time a figure was created from them. That seems to be the case here as there is only a smudge on the back of Mario’s hat. Other than that, the paint is cleanly applied on Mario and looks really great. If you have the “Open Hands” Mario or Tanooki Mario then you’ll recognize the combination of paint colors and designs on this figure. Between the two figures, there is nothing on this figure you haven’t seen before. That means the paint is well done but not especially interesting or new.
Articulation – One of the nice things about Raccoon Mario is that it is an Open Hands version (unlike many Mario figures which has fisted hands). I think it is easier to get a good pose with this version of Mario and the hands are just more expressive as well. So that is definitely an advantage when you compare this to older Mario figures. The one drawback that I didn’t expect is that by Mario having a tail, he is much harder to balance and stand up. The weight in the back really makes it easy for Raccoon Mario to fall over. So some of the extra articulation is challenging to make use of. When you consider both of these factors, it is a bit of a wash and this is not one of the best Mario figures for coming up with cool display poses. That isn’t too say you can’t get some good poses, Raccoon Mario just isn’t among the very best for doing so.
Accessory – While Mario can easily hold accessories as you can see in the picture above, the accessory that comes with this figure is a bit uninspiring. Jakks Pacific has done a leaf before and this one looks nice but is hard to do much with and it won’t stand up on its own without propping it against something. So there are some display possibilities but this is not a terribly exciting accessory at the same time.
Closing Thoughts – The picture above illustrates the dilemma with this figure. If you don’t have a lot of Mario figures already, then you might enjoy this one quite a bit. Otherwise, this Mario might be quickly forgotten about in your collection since it offers little that is new. Raccoon Mario feels a bit lost in my collection but if you’re new to World of Nintendo or don’t have many Mario’s, then this one is worth getting. I hope Jakks Pacific doesn’t make too many of these figures or I fear they could be a peg warmer as collectors pass them up in favor of other more interesting options.