I’ve got no strings to hold me down, to make me fret, or make me frown. I had strings but now I’m free, there are no strings on me!
Ah, Pinocchio. While the 1980s are known for Disney’s “scary” period, the first movie that scared the ever-living $%&! out of me was most certainly Pinocchio. I get it, that is kind of the point of the tale, and don’t get me wrong, I love the movie, but boy oh boy, I still have scars from that initial viewing, and that speaks to quality of this enduring classic. An enchanting story, but also a cautionary tale, Pinocchio features some of the most well-known and memorable characters, as well as some of the most beautiful animation Disney has ever presented. So, getting this little wooden head in the first series of Disney ULTIMATES! is welcome, but also deserving for such a seminal film.
We are only one series in at this point, but the Disney line in the overall ULTIMATES! impression is already shaping up to one of my favorites. I am really enjoying the character selection thus far, and the overall world that is being built by starting in some of the under appreciated spaces is a fun footprint to follow. Don’t get me wrong, I want iconic versions of the main stars, and even some of the Princesses as much as anyone, but having a line that features Pinocchio, the Mad Hatter, Prince John, and the Big Bad Wolf in the first three series is kinda awfully a lot of fun. I have a wishlist as deep as the day is long at this point, but getting Pinocchio in hand has made the need for Honest John, Lampwick, Stromboli, Geppetto, and some of the rest even more apparent.
This first series really does run the gamut in terms of form and stature for these figures. Until now, most of the U! lines have featured character all within the same relative height (but still accurate from one to the next), but Disney really shows it has a vast variety for their characters. Prince John kind of established that “standard” sized figure, but Pinocchio (as well as Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey) show that relative scale will a focus here. Hopefully we will see a figure like Little John before too long to go the oversized path, but right now, the difference between PJ and Pinocchio is striking, but faithfully rendered.
Pinocchio is one of the smallest Super7 figures I own, and that includes ReAction figures. He is a marionette after all, and if you are thinking about how someone like Geppetto would scale in this (roughly) 1:10 line relatively to a little puppet boy, I think they nailed the size here. Now, that is not to say that Pinocchio lacks the design, engineering, and details of other ULTIMATES! figures due to his small stature, because he does NOT. However, getting a feel for the overall variety of size and shapes in the larger Disney umbrella is pretty impactful right out of the gate. When the original renders of these figures were shown, it was tough to get an idea how this would go, but I am happy to say that it is right in line with relative screen accuracy. That is to say, these will all not be the same size just because they are in the same line.
He clocks in at right about 3.5 inches tall to the top of his hat and feature a ball joint neck, partial ball shoulders, swivel biceps, hinge elbow, hinge and swivel wrists, ball hips, hinge knees, and forward rocker ankles for his articulation configuration. So, there is actually a lot going on with this small frame. The range of movement is good on all save for the elbows where I wish we could get a little bit more of a bend as they cannot quite get to 90 degrees. I know the sleeve is main obstruction here, but a bit more engineering to increase that range would add a lot to action posing. It’s certainly not bad, and for Pinocchio, you get most of what you need, but if I had a spot to nitpick with the joints, this is it.
Pinocchio, like his series mates, features a soft goods portion of his outfit in the form of his black vest. This is perfectly fine, and it looks good (it is quite small, of course), but I am not sure the material change from plastic is advantageous to the figure in this instance. Having cloth on Prince John and Mickey absolutely makes sense from functionality aspect, but I don’t think Pinocchio is gaining any range of movement by having it here. I cannot see that the shoulders or hips would be more limited by plastic, and as he does not feature any further torso articulation, this really is an aesthetic design choice. It is perfectly fine, and this is certainly not a complaint, just that the cloth doesn’t bring anything more here as it does with the other two.
Pinocchio also features three separate portraits with this release, and would label these as scene specific. I mean, lying is one of the moral stories in this tale, and two of the three heads recreate the nose-growing gag quite well. You get a head with a nose that has started to grow, as well as one with the bird nest. I am going bet that the former is going to be the most popular head included with this release due to the iconic form it creates, but the they are both very well done. The standard head is good for a “regular” Pinocchio, and probably the one I prefer. I understand the scene recreation here, but boy, I with a donkey ear head was included as well. Yes, that whole sequence terrified me as a child, but it is so important to the movie, being able to recreate that here would have been cool. Again, it might be a possibility for down the road.
In addition to the heads, you also get swappable open and grip hands, an apple, the axe, and his school book for accessories. Three friends are also included: Figaro the cat (with articulated neck), Cleo the fish in her bowl, and of course, Jiminy Cricket. Pinocchio’s “conscience” might be even more recognized than the titular character at this point, so OF COURSE he needed to be included. He is very small (but to scale) and is a non-articulated slug figure. For as tiny as he is, he is painted quite well, so I appreciate the care given to such an important and iconic character. Figaro can, of course, find his way into lots of spots in your Disney collection, and his expression is pretty darned adorable.
Overall, this is a very charming little figure of Pinocchio, and I already want more of the movie’s cast in ULTIMATES! Honest John, and even Geppetto seems like requirements, but even though he scared me to death as a kid, I want Stromboli as well (with half-eaten onion). I am not sure if I want the Coachman in my house, though, he still causes nightmares. One series down and the Disney ULTIMATES! are already turning into quite the line, so maybe we need some movie-specific sub-lines as well. Just GIMME! If you have not gotten a pre-order in for Pinocchio, cut those strings and head to BBTS. You can also order the latest series directly from Super7.
*Thanks again to Super7 for sending this figure along for an early feature.