Samurai Jack Aku

Earlier this month, I had a wonderful guest review by Derek Murrell on the Samurai Jack figures, based on the new and already extremely popular cartoon.  Since then, Cartoon Network has begun shipping the only villain in the line, Aku, or Spin Attack Aku to be specifc.

He costs the same as the other figures - about eight bucks plus shipping - and is only available through the site.  Don't fall for scalper hype!  These aren't 'rare', or 'limited', but since they weren't shipping when the first figures were, lots of rumors started floating around.

Packaging - **1/2
The packaging is fairly plain, although the text is decent and the graphics on the back of the package show the other figures in the line.

I can't complain too much about the style though, because it fits the style of the cartoon - minimalist.  But the cardbacks are small compared to the bubbles, and that usually means that finding them in decent shape is unlikely.  The tops often curl, and the bubbles tend to pull away from the weight of the figures.

But if you're an opener, don't sweat it! 

Accessories - Bupkis
Huge points off in this category.  The cartoon doesn't really have enough episodes under it's belt to suggest what the perfect accessory would have been, but SOMETHING would have been nice, particularly at this price.  When you open it up, the simplistic design and lack of any accessories tends to cause feelings of remorse.

Sculpting - ***1/2
As usual, most cartoon figures don't require the same skill in sculpting that human characters do.  That's not to say they are easy, but it is a different art.

The sculpting here is very good, and I really like how well they've captured the smooth, clean lines that the show uses in it's animation.

For those looking for scale, this sucker is big.  He stands a full 13", so he can fit in with the slightly smaller figures, or even with the 12" figure of Samurai Jack.

Paint - ***1/2
There's not a lot - the only paint ops are on the few face pieces.  Since the majority of the figure is cast in a black plastic, there aren't too many chances to mess up on paint ops.

But those that are here are clean, and the color choices are good.

Articulation - ***
Nothing super surprising here, but it's decent.  There's head, shoulders, biceps and elbows.  With those seven points, you can pose the arms in quite a few ways.  Without legs, he certainly doesn't need leg articulation.

Action Feature - ***
I'm torn on this particular action feature.  It's actually a great idea, and I'm sure it wasn't cheap to do.  You wind up a knob on the base (or simply turn Aku a few times), and when you let him go he spins.  The mechanism seems to be high quality and it looks like it would last under play conditions.

The problem here is that he spins sooooo slow.  I'm sure it's a safety issue, but I wish he moved just a little faster.  Is it just mine or is everyone's like that?

Value - *1/2
Here's another category that this guy takes a hit.  Let's face it - he's a nice looking figure, but for eight bucks plus shipping, I expect something more.

Overall - **1/2
If you're a fan of the show, you'll want to pick up Aku.  He's the main villain, and without him Jack won't have, well, jack to battle.

But the casual collector might want to think twice, and perhaps catch the show a few times first to make sure the line is something they'll be interested in.

Where to Buy
Cartoon Networks web site is the only place right now - don't resort to ebay, since these will be available direct for quite some time.

Figure from the collection of Derek Murrell

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