|Character Design||Yoji Shinkawa|
|Toy Design||Matsumura Engineering|
Review by VF5SS
While the original Metal Gear Solid was a true milestone in video games, it was released in the awkward early days of collector oriented toys. As I mentioned in my review of the McFarlane Toys Solid Snake, those primordial times were not kind to the legendary soldier. Over a decade later, there still is no decent 1/12 scale figure of Snake as he appeared in the classic Playstation game. Goodsmile is sorta inching their way towards that with an upcoming figma of the character, based on his outfit in the sequel, but in the interim a fully articulated action figure of the man who killed Big Boss has been released.
And it is absolutely adorable.
The Nendoroid Solid Snake is a welcome release in Goodsmile's flagship toyline,and it does an amazing job of taking the battle hardened stealth operative and making him just the cutest lil' snake in the grass. Snake stands a little under four inches tall and like many action oriented Nendoroids, features a fully articulated body.
While he is obviously quite top heavy, Snake's stance is solid enough that he can remain upright even on the battlefield.
The body of the figure is gorgeously detailed with all the little straps and pouches replicated in the typical Nendoroid style.
Of course his stubby proportions mean that he might wiggle his butt when walking.
Here is Snake with the aforementioned McFarlane forebear. In addition to a previously released Revo-Mini, the Nendoroid joins the small group of merchandise based exclusively on Solid Snake's appearance in MGS1.
Thanks to his articulation, Snake is able to forgo needing a bunch of alternate limbs just for posing so his accessories are mostly geared towards infiltration and threat elimination. You get
- A Nendoroid stand
- An alternate polygonal head
- An extra Nendoroid joint (flesh colored)
- A SOCOM pistol
- A FAMAS assault rifle
- Five extra hands
- A clear support piece
- A fixed pose leg for kneeling
Also hidden neatly within the package is the most powerful tool in all of Metal Gear: the cardboard box! This is a terrific extra that comes pre-cut and ready to be assembled for adding to Snake's inventory. We'll get back to the box in a bit.
While most Nendoroids comes with multiple faces, Solid Snake just has one and boy it is a real looker. This is probably the most grizzled, battle hardened Nendoroid of the whole lot. These are the strained eyes of a trained killer.
For extra stoic emoting, Snake's long bandanna can move about on a ball-joint. This comes separate from the figure out of the box and I found the connection to be a bit tight at first. However, a little warm water got everything sorted out.
All of Snake's interchangeable hands plug in with a simple peg, which gives the Nendoroid working wrist joints. The two-fingered salute lets Solid Snake listen in on Codec calls. Both of his arms have a universal shoulder joint and a hinged elbow so this soldier can still move quite well even in this diminutive state. Snake also has a waist swivel but it tends to get hung up on his belt pouches.
"Colonel! What's going on here? Everything is SD!"
"Snake! This is all just part of your VR training."
To crouch down, Snake needs to swap his left leg with the fixed-posed version. I tried doing this with both default limbs but it didn't seem to work too well. His legs feature ball-jointed hips, hinged knees, and even ball-jointed ankles. Be careful with his feet, though, as his tiny boots can pop off when posed too far. Note that the fixed-pose leg still has a working ankle joint so you can get his stance just right.
While all the advertising for this toy boasts that it can in fact get into a stealthy prone position, doing this is a touchy affair. Snake's big ol' noggin makes him like to topple forward unless his arms are propping him up. Honestly, I think he looks a bit too much like a baby when crawling so I'm not really keen on this pose.
Les Enfants Terribles indeed.
"Snake, what's wrong?"
Snake actually has an titling torso joint that helps with the crawling pose. Unfortunately, it does make him prone to popping apart. Just be careful when bending his upper body. Everything snaps back together with a soft "click" so there is nothing a little ration can't fix.
Another way Goodsmile tried to help Snake with the prone position is this curious optic camouflaged support piece.
The piece is molded to fit into Snake's body armored abs and is supposed to work like a wedge that keeps his huge head up while crawling the ground. I wasn't really able to get it to work, though, that may just be because my photo backdrop is a smooth piece of vinyl that doesn't provide enough friction. Now, I do not recall this piece being mentioned in the advertising, so I wonder if it was added at the last minute as a stopgap solution.
Snake's trusty SOCOM sidearm fits into its own specially designed hand. Thanks to his articulation, Snake is able to brandish his weapons with surprising menace given how he's just a lil' sweetie pie.
Popping him up on the stand allows Snake to do some dynamic leaps like this is Twin Snakes or something.
Snake's other firearm is a FAMAS assault rifle. It uses the hand that fits around the smaller handle and is a reasonably accurate depiction of the gun given its Super Deformed styling.
With careful positioning you can even wrangle Snake into a kneeling two-handed firing pose.
Here is Snake with the fully assembled cardboard box. It is easily big enough to hold both him and all of his accessories.
Interestingly enough, the box is marked like an actual shipping case of Nendoroid Solid Snakes.
Remember to handle your SD stealth operatives with care.
The box does what it needs to and hides Snake from the prying eyes of Genome soldiers.
Or sit in it like an anime kitty.
Won't you take him home?
Quite possible the best accessory the Nendoroid comes with is this alternate head that perfectly replicates the way Snake looked with cutting-edge PS1 graphics. Not only can you literally count the polygons, each pixel that makes up Snake's squinty eyed scowl is faithfully represented. They even got the half dozen blocks that make up the tiny bit of hair that hangs over his headband.
This head is lighter than the regular one so it makes posing Snake even easier.
And despite having a very different style than the body, this head still looks quite natural with the rest of the figure. It almost makes it feel like two toys in one!
Snake's final bit of gear is a hand holding a cigarette. This allows him to look cool and sometimes see laser tripwires. Just remember, if the FOXDIE doesn't kill you, the lung cancer certainly will.
As a Nendoroid, Snake's head can be taken apart so you can swap his face with those from other figures in the line. He uses the current style of head where there is a separate neck piece that detaches from the face part. I've found his own face's compatibility with older type Nendoroids to be a little rough, but he uses expressions from others easily enough.
It's this level of adaptability that lets Snake get just a little more kawaii.
"I must train for Tactical ＩＤＯＬ Action!"
You can also just swap whole heads onto Snake's body.
"The BETA war has made soldiers of us all..."
Using Snake's face with other Nendoroids can give them an air of appropriate weariness.
Sadly, I had to cheat a bit to get this face to work with Yui Takamura, as the separate neck piece wouldn't fit into her rear head part. What you see here is me just laying the head on the neck joint without a way to properly attach it. Oh, the things I do for a cheap laugh...
"You know, when I think about it all..."
"War is the most messed up thing ever."
The Nendoroid Solid Snake is a really enjoyable take on the famous video game hero. It is a perfect blend of power and stealth in a compact package. Really, my only complaint is how some of his parts can pop off while posing, and that is easy enough to fix. Otherwise, Snake is a real treat for any Metal Gear fan, and is definitely a charmer with his cute but hardened looks. I think people who don't normally collect Nendoroids will like him too, as his fully articulated body means Snake is a playable self-contained action figure.
If one thing is for sure, it's that with Solid Snake on the scene it appears that Nendoroids... have changed...
|Posted 6 February, 2015 - 22:45 by VF5SS|