Review: Tamashii Nations S.H. Figuarts Luigi

Mario’s scaredy cat brother Luigi joins Tamashii Nations’ S.H. Figuarts lineup as the second figure in its Super Mario Bros. line. Like Mario before him, Luigi is engineered with the signature S.H. Figuarts mix of aesthetics and articulation. However, unlike most S.H. Figuarts figures, the aesthetics overpower the articulation in Luigi’s case.

The S.H. Figuarts Luigi figure is a perfect match to the character model. From his bulbous nose and bushy moustache to the “L” labeled hat, the figure captures the character’s essence flawlessly. Not only does Luigi look the part, he’s also hyper-articulated. The figure’s head shoulders, elbows, wrists hips knees and ankles are all move without any sacrifice to the aesthetic. While Luigi is loaded with articulation, the articulation isn’t always without issue. For example, the figure’s head can rotate side-to-side, but the up and down movement is restricted. In fact, most of the figure’s articulation points suffer from some type of minor restrictions in order to preserve the aesthetic, which is uncommon in the S.H. Figuarts line. While this is a total hindrance, it’s a minor gripe at best because the figure can still achieve a high number of poses.

Luigi comes with a pair of open-palmed switch-out hands, a red turtle shell, a brick block and a stand with base. There are also a few minor pieces included to accentuate the figure’s displayability with the aforementioned accessories, including 4 clear rods and a switch-out back plate with plug that can secure the figure to the stand. We’ve seen the open-palmed hands and turtle shell in the S.H. Figuarts Diorama Playset B, though the turtle shell in that set was green. The included plastic rods plug into small holes both in the shell and in the open palms allowing Luigi to hold the shell facing forward or sideways, depending on the configuration you select. The rods are well hidden within the turtle shell, but you’re left with holes in the open palmed hands, which pretty much renders them useless for any type of pose that exposes the holes.

Wrapping up the accessories, Luigi also includes the brick block that was included in the S.H. Figuarts Diorama Playset A, but this time there’s no stand included so you’ll have to settle for displaying it on the ground. Finally, Luigi includes a green-based stand that is similar to Tamashii’s Act 4 Humanoid Stage, except the arm has four joints instead of the three found on the Act 4.

While my biggest gripes with Luigi are the limiting articulation points and the holes in the open palmed hands, these trivial complaints in no way influence my overall opinion of Luigi. I think Luigi is the best rendition of the character we’ve ever been offered in action figure form and I actually like Luigi more than the S.H. Figuarts Mario. Interestingly, when I received Mario I read some complaints that Mario lacked a neck, which I dismissed. I now see the validity of the complaints especially when standing Mario next to Luigi. I hope that Tamashii would consider include a next extension piece for Mario in the future, maybe as part of another diorama set, but in the meantime I’d highly recommend picking up the S.H. Figuarts Luigi. While he’s not flawless, he’s pretty darn near perfect.

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