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Sub-Zero and Scorpion from Mortal Kombat 11 are now shipping out from McFarlane Toys and today, I took a look at Sub-Zero! This 7 inch figure has some great detail, lots of articulation and some great accessories. Those positives are tempered by the drawbacks I’ll discuss below.
Sub-Zero and Scorpion are still available from these fine e-tailers as of the time of this article:
Sub-Zero comes packaged in a nice big, open window box. The entire contents is visible. There are two adhesive stickers keeping the top flap closed, then once you’re in there is a rubber tie-down keeping the figure in place and tape covering his two axes. This packaging isn’t as collector friendly as some other companies make their figures, but it’s pretty good. cut the tie-down and pull off the tape covering the axes, and it’s otherwise just a plastic tray that slides in and out of the box. Sub-Zero’s stand, however, is a different story. Like most McFarlane 7inch releases (I’m thinking Fortnite figures, etc.), this stand is blister-packed to the back of the cardboard background tray. If you want to use this stand (and you might NEED to), you’ll need to tear it off.
For the most part, there are some great, fine details on this figure. There are buckles and straps and different fabric textures throughout the body. With what little detail is permitted by the mask, McFarlane does a great job sculpting the small grooves and folds. Some of the things I noticed and appreciated were the textured fabric designs on the plastic tunic hanging from Sub’s waist, the musculature in his arms, and the texturing in the pants.
Some of the negatives would probably be the simplistic hands, the soft-looking small blades throughout Sub’s outfit, and actually how hard the plastic that Sub’s hands are made out of is.
If I could switch two materials on this figure, it would be the soft plastic of the small blades throughout the costume and the hard plastic of the hands. One makes the ornamental weapons look almost comically fake and the other makes it pretty foreseeable that you’re going to snap an axe handle trying to get it into his hands.
Then, par for the McFarlane course, the knee and elbow joints aren’t necessarily fine works of art. You can tell the joints are less aesthetically engineered than some other brands, and are there purely as practical mechanisms to get the articulation job done. You can see giant peg holes and exposed joints on each of the appendages. It’s a bit gnarly in some poses.
This is where I have to take major points off. Or, I would if I ever gave a point score. While the paint is fine for the most part, it’s all a bit bright and monotone. When I think of Sub-Zero, I think of a dark ninja who has was orphaned and put through hell. I also expect at least a wash of shading from McFarlane usually, but here it seems like each piece assigned a color was simply plastered with that single tone.
And then there are the splatters. Notice on the black hood of my figure’s head and the right hand there is a blue paint splatter and a skin-tone paint splatter, respectively. This is at least a quality control issue. Beyond that, the small knives and blades throughout the outfit seem more gray than metallic silver or steel.
There are some nice fine details like Sub-Zero’s clan symbol below and his eyes. These are well-applied, but they don’t quite make up for the poor quality control otherwise.
The two ice axes and frozen spinal column are pretty awesome set pieces. They’re well cast from translucent blue plastic and the sculpt on each is complex and finely detailed. But, I still have some gripes. First, the plastic these are made from are as hard as the hands. If the hands were sculpted from a softer plastic, that wouldn’t be too much of a big deal. However, it is a chore getting the handles of those axes into those hands. The whole time you think something’s going to snap. Additionally, I wish the skull was removable from the spine and you could pop that onto Scorpion’s neck post. How cool would that have been?
I also think that McFarlane have set the accessories bar pretty high with their Fortnite line and that’s kind of what people are starting to expect. Granted, those are a couple more dollars per figure, but I think people would shell that out for more accessories. The blades that are purely ornamental throughout the outfit here seems like a missed opportunity.
Sub-Zero’s head is attached to a neck post with a ball joint on both ends. This gives him an impressive of tilt, swivel, and range of motion for the head. The shoulders are a ball and swivel joint. I don’t know if my individual figure was just a dud, but the right shoulder wouldn’t life beyond what you see in the pictures above. That was one stiff joint! There’s a bi-sected bicep that swivels 360 degrees, a double swivel elbow, and a hinged wrist that rotates in the socket.
The waist rotates 360 degrees because the tunic isn’t actually attached through the waist, the hips are a rotating swivel that provides all the range of motion you really need, the knee is a double swivel joint, the ankle is a ball and swivel joint and there’s a toe joint which is always appreciated.
Apart from the quality control on the right shoulder of my figure, you can get a ton of ninja moves out of Sub. The only thing is that I found the joints either too stiff or too loose. His feet are pretty small as well, leading to balance issues. Like I said, you’ll need that stand blistered to the packaging.
This figure is retailing around the $20 mark and it’s a decent value for that price. Most of the issues I had with mine were quality control issues. I wish McFarlane would have priced them $4 to $5 more and added some more accessories, but this is what we have. This is a fun figure to pose and I’ll look forward to his showdown with Scorpion next week. If you’re interested in the figure, check out these affiliate links again to grab your own. Let me know what you think if you pick this guy up yourself.