“Hanzo Hishashi, now known as SCORPION, is a resurrected ninja hell-spawned spectre, inexorably seeking vengeance against those responsible for the destruction of his klan and the death of his own family.”
Scorpion’s been a favorite character of mine ever since I encountered my first Mortal Kombat machine in what had to be the summer of ’92. Vengeful, undead heroes were all the rage back in the early to mid 90’s, what with Spawn and The Crow burning up both comic shops and movie theatres, so it’s no wonder that Ed Boon and his rag tag team of programmers at Midway decided to put what was essentially a ninja version of Ghost Rider into their game. After years of being mired in Jazwares’ mediocrity, the mighty Mezco, riding high on the success of their 1:12 Collective Dark Knight Batman, steps up to the plate with a Specialty Market aimed line of iconic fighters representing the recently released (and seriously addictive) Mortal Kombat X. The first wave, which also consists of Rayden and Sub Zero, has hit shelves in the last week or so, and when I came across my boy Scorpion, I couldn’t help but pick him up.
The Shirai Ryu Master comes to us on a stark black and white card mimicking the beautifully minimalistic box art and overall presentation of the game. Personalized details grace the card back (including the short bio repeated above) in a nice touch that several companies fail to include these days. Hell, the packaging of some Marvel Legends doesn’t even bother to state the specific character housed inside. Scorp is nicely accessorized with a pair of swords and spears. At first I thought the second spear was redundant but then I remembered that he does actually dual wield the deadly weapons when performing the enhanced version of the move. Good work, Mezco. An extra pair of open hands are also included and in a surprisingly awesome move, his mask is removable, offering a perfect recreation of Hanzo’s face as seen in the game, though that is only, to my recollection, when someone slices it off.
Sculpting is spot on, a dead (heh) ringer for the in-game model. Articulation is everything you need though some might complain about the lack of double joints in the elbows and knees. Not me though, the balljoints are so seamless and work so well that adding more traditional hinges would probably only destroy the fluency of the sculpt. The extra hands swap easily and the mask stays on tight using just friction but is easily removable when necessary. In a cool detail the spear accessories have loops on the end that attach to the wrist pegs, so you can make it look like the chains are just magically emerging from beneath the cuffs of Hishashi’s gauntlets, as they always have in the games. Another innovation I really appreciated was how his swords attach to his back, the leather straps on the backs of his shoulders being sculpted in slightly higher than the front to allow for the blades to be slotted in. In the games they just seem to magically “hang” there, but this is an elegant and brilliant solution that I honestly wasn’t expecting, much better than having a giant peg or hole in his back, especially for collectors wanting to emulate one of the character’s sword-less variations. The posing options are seriously endless for this guy. I seriously haven’t been able to put him down since I cracked him open yesterday.
Paint is similarly excellent, most of the disparate pieces are seemingly cast in color and then given a nice, subtle, dark, even wash to realistically bring out the detail. The detail work is near flawless, with all the buckles and straps of the uniform picked out cleanly and competently, with very little slop to be seen. The eyes in particular are highly effective, with the slightest hint of a black outline around them. This is high end work. The price point on these is 19.99 and that’s a serious bargain for what you’re getting. The sculpting, paint, articulation and accessories are all top of the line. When these first got announced, I knew they’d be cool and I’d probably pick up a couple, but I wasn’t expecting this level of flawless craft, and now I find myself wanting to own the whole line, staging bloody tournaments on my desk everyday for the fate of the realm. Finish Him!