I was never a hardcore Mortal Kombat player. The gimmicky nature of the game’s graphic presentation and the rather cumbersome gameplay were simply no match against Street Fighter II in the struggle for my arcade tokens.
However, the franchise prospered and spawned over the years a few more iterations of the game for release in home consoles and arcade systems, with cleaner graphics, streamlined gameplay and what’s more relevant for this review, improved character designs that now serve as inspiration for Jazwares to produce action figures.
One of the characters selected by Jazwares for their 4 inch, figure line is undead ninja Scorpion. On the back of the card it is stated that Scorpion and his ninja clan were wiped out by Sub-Zero and his cohorts, but was brought back to un-life to fight in the Mortal Kombat tournament and seek revenge. Hardly a heroic character, but then again, very few of the Kontestants entered the tournament for selfless ideals.
The figure displays a nice amount of sculpted detail, as almost every surface has some form of texturing. The body proportions are fairly realistic, which allows Scorpion to blend among similarly sized figure lines reasonably well. Scorpion is attired in loose pants, a tabard, and ninja mask. He also wears a few pieces of ornately carved armor at the shins, forearms and shoulders and has a pair of a non-removable crossed swords glued onto his back.
• Ball jointed neck.
• Hinged peg shoulders.
• Hinged peg elbows.
• Swivel wrists.
• Floating torso.
• Hinged peg hips.
• Hinged peg knees.
• Hinged peg ankles.
All of these joints work well although as usual, the character design sometimes gets in the way a little bit, especially at the hips and knees, where the bulk of the pieces or the rubber tabard piece do limit somewhat the angles at which the legs can bend.
Oddly, only the hinged pegs at shoulders, hips and ankles are injection-molded joints, while the elbow and knee joints are of the kind that are assembled separately, hence the visible pins at the sides of those limbs. Both designs are functionally the same, but the injection-molded joints feel noticeably tighter than the assembled ones, although my figure still has very good stability and can stand unassisted even in one-legged stances.
The paint applications on Scorpion are very clean and even though they are limited mostly to solid blocks of color, the geometric patterns on the tabard and costume are well applied, with the additional advantage of not having to paint pupils on Scorpion’s eyes. The exposed skin areas are painted over black plastic, thus requiring a fairly thick coat of paint that kind of obscures the sculpted details on the arms. The sculpted armor pieces were all painted black and highlighted with silver to attain a tarnished metal look.
Scorpion comes with two accessories, one is a throwing blade known as a shuriken, which in the game he uses (in combination with a length of cord) to bring his opponents close in for the kill, and a rubber sword that is similar in shape to the ones glued to his back. Both accessories are made of rubber and painted in silver with black accents.
Even though Jazwares does not include a piece of cord for the shuriken nor instructions to that effect, fashioning one of your own is extremely easy either using real cord or any discarded twist-tie you may have lying around.
On the whole, I was pleasantly surprised by how well the 4-inch Scorpion action figure turned out. The level of detail is certainly nice for this scale and even the decoration was very consistent, reminding me a bit of the style used by Mezco and McFarlane Toys for their 1:18 scale offerings from a few years ago.