Beloved Video Game Hero Done Right...
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My love for Earthworm Jim is partially based on the gallons of blood, sweat and tears I spilled while playing the classic 1994 Sega Genesis video game. You see, back in those days games didn't have "check points" or the ability to save mid-game. You had to master by repetition and acquiring as many lives as possible in order to plow towards the epic conclusion. Oh, I reached the end of Earthworm Jim many times - maxing out on lives and whizzing past minions to free Princess What's-Her-Name from Queen Slug-for-a-Butt. But I died - over and over and over again - free-falling past perilous spikes on that last level.
Regardless of my frustration on having never "beat" the game, I still LOVE Earthworm Jim. It's all about the zany characters and the way they were animated. Classic stuff. Now, thanks to Mezco Toyz, fans of the original Earthworm Jim video game, it's numerous sequels and even the blink-and-you-missed-it animated TV series (I missed it) can enjoy an Earthworm Jim action figure worthy of the game's wormy muscle-bound hero.
Measuring 6 inches tall, Mezco's Earthworm Jim towers over the old Playmates version by a good inch. The new Jim also annihilates the vintage figure in the sculpting department; which is really no surprise seeing how many years span between the two toys. Playmates was good for the time (and I still love it, discoloring and all), but boy oh boy, Mezco's is dead-on accurate. Like the game, it's all about the expressions - Earthworm Jim capture here with his eyes squinting in steely seriousness, his teeth gnashed together in rage. What's extra neat about this head sculpt is the useful ball-joint neck Mezco included. Where the old Playmates' version had the gimmicky launching noggin, Mezco's added articulation allows for countless playful poses.
While Earthworm Jim's head is super poseable, Mezco went light with articulation on the rest of the figure. That may sound negative, but it's really not. In capturing Jim's fully animated self, Mezco sculpted his legs uber thin - just like in the game. To articulate something so skinny would spell disaster; Earthworm Jim's top-heaviness sure to capsize him. As it is, Earthworm Jim stands excellent, his wide stance and broad feet firmly planting him on the ground. What Earthworm Jim lacks in lower articulation, he makes up for in his arms. Like the head, each arm has a wide range of movement thanks to ball-joints at the shoulders, hinges at the elbows and swivel cuts at the upper forearms. You'll have a blast displaying Jim in a variety of cool poses. About the only point of articulation I wish Mezco did include was a swivel waist. It would have added a little variety, but it's not the end of the world.
Earthworm Jim is also rather light on accessories, but what is included is essential. Jim packs his trusty Plasma Blaster, the weapon firmly fitting into his right hand. Unlike the Playmates' version, Mezco accurately painted the gun red AND yellow (I added yellow to my old Playmates fig). Also included is a bendy, suit-less version of Jim. It's a really fun extra, the expression on the bonus figure priceless.
I was floored when I first saw the prototype of Mezco's Earthworm Jim figure last year, immediately thinking that a new game must be on the way. Curious, I asked a Mezco rep what the deal was. They told me Michael "Mez" Markowitz simply loved the character and wanted a figure made. Really? A figure made just out of love? That was all this die-hard Earthworm Jim fan needed to hear. If you're a fan of the character like Mez and myself, do yourself a favor and grab this figure. Mezco's Earthworm Jim came out amazing.
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