As more of a Capcom fighter guy, I was surprised when the fine folks behind Shao Kahn sent him along. Fans of action figures have come to know which figure companies bring high-quality stuff and which ones... may be in need of improvement. Jazwares was known to many for its Sonic line (not bad) and its Mega Man figures (rotten), so depending on who your buddies are you might expect that this Mortal Kombat figure may be less-than-savory. Turns out it's actually pretty good, as Jazwares has been paying closer attention to the other figure lines on the market. Shao Kahn in particular feels like a variation on Mattel's Masters of the Universe Classics range in size and build, with a few notable exceptions. The 7-inch figure has ball-jointed wrists, elbows, and knees which give him a slight edge over his similarly-sized Eternian peers, which, really, is what you want in a fighting game action figure.
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Sculpted detail and deco are good, but feel more mass market-y. In 2012, the bar has been raised so high for an action figure that anything that doesn't knock your socks off may be considered inadequate, the overall figure is pretty decent. I'm having a hard time getting beyond the black nipples, but I do appreciate other details like the sculpted-on harness not being a bulky, separate piece. The figure's outfit doesn't really have any removable components other than the loincloth, which can be removed if you pop the figure apart. (It's quite easy to do, customizers.)
Going back to the deco, the paint job is good. It's not sloppy, but it's not the hyper-detailed stuff you see on a $50 Japanese import either. Given the price and availability of this item, it's one of the better Shao Kahn figures I've ever seen and it's not like they did a bad job. I suppose the face mask could be a little more interesting, but everything else is pretty much right on the money.
Featuring 17 points of articulation, this figure is one where I'd say you'll probably get your money's worth. My sample had slightly looser-than-desirable (but by no means loose or floppy) hip joints, so be careful when posing or displaying this one. I got him standing for long periods of time with minimal fuss, but they're not as stiff in the hips (hah) as other action figures these days.
If you need other guys to hang out with your Masters of the Universe Classics or just want a decent, sizable version of this big boss man, you could do a lot worse. It's rare that I get a figure that makes me rethink my opinion on a company, but this figure shows that Jazwares is looking to try new things and improve its product offering. Considering that they have some other slam-dunk animation licenses like Hanna-Barbera and Nicktoons, it's good to see them put extra time and money into making a better figure. I don't know if these are licenses that are going to set the world on fire, but they're doing a pretty fantastic job on making sure the figures are good enough (or better) than what fans will expect for these licenses. I mean, who would assume any company would make quality Tom & Jerry figures in 2012? Certainly not me, but here we are. Anyway, yeah, Shao Kahn's worth a look. Let's see what else you got, Jazwares, we need more people to make figures like this one.
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