Saturday, January 02, 2010

J.Norad Reviews Yamato Solid Snake (2002)

Today, I present the Solid Snake doll from Yamato's line of Metal Gear Solid Konami Doll Collection from 2002. No idea what the MSRP was back then, but I picked this up from a comic store in Kentucky for $70, new. I've seen Meryl sell for about $50, so I'd guess that the MSRP was around $30 to $40 in 2002.

EDIT: Seems like they retailed for $50-70 back then.

Snake isn't actually 12", but 11.5" tall. The Team Fortress 2 Soldier is a full 12", for comparison.

Snake's height makes doing some things a bit awkward. He's like the Michael J Fox or Sylvester Stallone of my figure collection: cool, but a very short guy once you meet him in person.

First thing you'll notice is the rubber sneaking suit. The chest guard is removable and held by six molded clasps. They don't connect too well. This is perhaps the part of the figure that forces it to be a limited display piece over anything. The rubber is fairly stiff and obtrusive that it limits Solid Snake's range of motion for his arms. You would think the shoulder pads would also contribute to the range limitations, but they're fairly cosmetic and do not inhibit movement as much as the rubber chest guard.

These are the extents of which he can move his arms with the suit on. His elbows are done properly, but he can't really put his hands together due to the restrictive suit stopping his shoulder movement. His shoulders however have ratcheting motion that let it stay in place. Great, since you'll need it to help keep the arms somewhat where you want them to be.

Solid Snake comes with a 1:6 scale HK MK23 with removable LAM and silencer. These can be stored individually in his side holster. However, they take a bit of effort to fit into his rather stiff hand. You can't slip them in, but need to position them in the right angle, then do a turn to fit them into his hand in order to minimize stressing his fingers.

The green regions in the image above show where the plastic will tend to start to whiten due to repeated fittings of any weapon into his hand. I would expect well worn dolls to show some whitening near the green lines. So far, they're slightly noticeable when you flex the fingers out to fit something. I'm not sure if this is common on other 1:6 scale figures, but it's a problem for me with this one.

Assuming you have some other 1:6 scale items handy, you can attempt to equip them on Snake. He won't like them, nor will he be able to properly hold them. He's unable to look down the sights of the XM-177 with his suit on. He can somewhat hold a ZACCA FIM-92 properly, if you happen to have one of those as well.

If you're buying this figure, the most you're going to do is either leave him in the box, which serves as a nice display piece in its own right, or put him in a very unexciting pose. He can't really do a whole lot with the suit on, but he looks great with all the details he has.

Overall, I found this figure to be pretty mediocre. Other issues I've had include joint stiffness. I wasn't going to try removing his cloth suit to check out his hip and knees. His left knee is a bit loose, along with his left hip. This makes him tend to lean to the left as his leg starts to sag down. Those were more of manufacturing quality problems.

However, his boots are stiff enough to allow him to stand without any assistance. There's little neck movement, and his bandanna needs a longer stub to help it stay in place. It'll fall off if you brush it gently on anything.

If you can pick this doll up for $70, it's not a bad display piece. I wouldn't consider taking it out of the box if you bought it for $150. It's too limited in what it can do to be thoroughly enjoyed without fear of wearing out something. You'd have to remove the chest guard to enjoy doing anything, but then Solid Snake looks less iconic without his MGS1 suit.

Well, anyways, you can still try to have fun with Snake if you decide to buy one. You'll just have to be creative in how you tackle problems.


Sabine said...

Hey, I discovered your blog just over the Christmas period, and I have to say I'm thoroughly impressed by your paper creations, especially Hotaru.

Happy new years, and keep it up :)

Anonymous said...

Snake is a SPY!

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Joan Stepsen
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