Zekrom is a legendary Dragon/Electric-type Pokémon who was featured as the box art mascot for the video game release of Pokémon White. Fans and collectors alike can now own vinyl figure edition from Tomy of this intimidating creature.
This is a striking figure. The dimensions are provocative: Standing six inches tall in a spatial cube of a six-inch wingspan and being six inches long as well. The glint of red eyes amid a body cast in two shades of dark gray has imposing, strong overtones. Standing next to a standard four-inch figure, this Zekrom is actually somewhat to scale, since the in-game character is supposed to be nine feet tall.
The vinyl material is both fun and functional. This healthy sense of dichotomy is intact throughout: Granting a sense of heft, while still being lightweight. Maintaining durability, but still holding noticeable flex. Giving the finish some texture, while still showing off a moderate sheen in the light. Whether for play on the living room floor or posing on the bookshelf, this is an eye-catching item with dramatic flair fully prepared for longevity.
The molding is great. Granted, Zekrom is a forgiving character to work with: The armor-like plate design serves to disguise any seam lines in the figure. But on its own merits, the shape is still great, from the ridges into the tail, the joining of the arms and wings, to the way the feet are put together.
The coloring is pretty good. Zekrom appears with slight differences depending on the medium: One way in the video games, another in the animé, and another in the manga. Additionally, Zekrom undergoes some dynamic effects during in-character attacks that would be rather difficult to replicate in a figure without option for a Special Electric-DX Batteries-Not-Included Edition.
Speaking of slight differences, the Zekrom being reviewed has a closed mouth. The figure on Tomy's own site, and listed at Toys R Us, does not: There, an open mouth with red lining and white teeth can be seen. Availability timing, manufacturer reasoning, and design differences aside, I actually prefer the stoic coldness of the closed-mouth version I have, and now feel like I truly have a really distinct item.
All that being said: Zekrom is recognizable, and looking good enough for any who call him favorite to be proud of, while other general Pokémon fans should be more than satisfied. The fine lines along the neck really bring this figure to center, along with some nifty hands hidden away from the spotlight.
Now, intriguingly, this Zekrom figure comes with two points of articulation: The legs rotate in a simple swivel joint. This allows Zekrom to fold his knees up to the chest and sit down, or roll all the way back over the tail into some yoga-like contortionist exercise. While this is a sorta-neat feature, and does not take away from the figure overall, one has to wonder how much it really adds.
Maybe for play, being able to take a running position or a flying-squirrel dive adds a fun element; but for appearance's sake, this is a somewhat large, attention-getting figure. If not to further articulate at the head, arms, wings, etc., would this Zekrom not function just as well as a still figure for presentation?
Again, having the legs rotate does not diminish the figure, but may make completionists yearn for more articulation overall. Then again, the tail does rotate as well, so there is that. Overall, one can hardly complain: This is a great piece, fun and fierce, a worthy swag pick-up for Pokémon fans and effective companion to play-ready figures anywhere. MSRP: $15.99.
Eric Bailey blogs at NintendoLegend.com, where he is reviewing every American-released NES video game. He also serves as Editor-In-Chief of retro gaming features site 1MoreCastle.com, and can be followed on Twitter @Nintendo_Legend.