Next up for review from Toynami’s Series 1 of Naruto Shippuuden 4″ action figures is the main character himself, Uzumaki Naruto! Mattel released a pretty godforsaken series of Naruto figures a few years ago including a bunch of versions of Naruto himself with a laughable 9 points of articulation, but this is the first fully-articulated Uzumaki Naruto figure ever released in America! He’s available online and in various niche stores like FYE right now. I previously reviewed the terrific Uchiha Itachi figure from this same series, but does the crucial action figure of Naruto himself hold up as well as one of his mortal enemies? Read on…
As mentioned in the introduction, this is the first fully-articulated Uzumaki Naruto figure ever sold in America! And man, is he ever fully-articulated! Almost every joint is a ball-joint and/or a swivel joint with an outstanding field of rotation. Joints include Neck, Shoulders, Biceps, Elbows, Hands, Wrists, Legs, Thighs, Ankles, Knees, and Torso. Naruto is a ninja and you should be able to pose him in any dynamic pose you can imagine–and thanks to Toynami, now you finally can!
The packaging art is bright and colorful, and surprisingly is unique to each figure in the line! Naruto has a blue background behind him, indicating he’s a hero, whereas the Uchiha Itachi figure had a red background.
Naruto comes with three sets of interchangeable hands: seal-forming jutsu hands, kunai hands, and fists. This allows Naruto to pose for pretty much any standard move, including the ever-popular Kage Bunshin Shadow Clone technique. The hands themselves fit snugly and have tight joints, working beautifully.
The paintwork on this figure is pretty phenomenal. All of the lines are clean and smooth, there’s no slop, and the colors are vibrant and perfectly match the anime models. There’s simply nothing here to complain about. It amazes me that a small company like Toynami can produce figures with better paint than huge companies like Mattel, but the quality here is much-appreciated and to be commended.
Like Itachi, this figure itself is near-flawless. The only area where this figure is really lacking is accessories. The facial sculpt they picked for Naruto is a great representation of his smiling, goofy self, but at the same time it’s not consistent with his fists and kunai-wielding hands. Since Naruto’s accessories are battle-ready hands, it would have been nice to get a more fierce head to equip him for battles. A head with a pair of red Kyuubi-possessed eyes would have been another great addition. Kakashi is a larger figure using more plastic and he got a second head, so it would’ve been great to see a similar inclusion here. I even would’ve happily purchased the figure over again to get a variant with a different head, but it was not to be.
The really distressing part about the lack of alternate heads is that Toynami is NOT a company known for making variants of characters. In their Bleach line, only one version of the main character, Ichigo, was ever released (not counting Hollowed Ichigo, who I consider a different character). The Sage Mode Naruto was a super-limited San Diego Comic Con 2010 exclusive that very few collectors were able to obtain, and we absolutely need more versions of Naruto himself, including attachments for Rasengan and Rasen-Shuriken accessories. Given that Naruto is probably the best choice in all of character-dom to do a ton of variants of because he’s literally a one-man army, I hope that Toynami realizes this and gives us a multitude of Naruto figures with different battle damage and/or head sculpts and/or accessories in order to army-build a Shadow Clone army of Uzumaki Narutos!
“Where Can I Buy It?!”
The Toynami 4″ Uzumaki Naruto figure is extremely difficult to find at retail–in fact, I’ve never seen it except at online stores. BigBadToyStore is the best and most dependable action figure store on the internet, and currently has Naruto available for just $11.99 as well as the complete set of 3 with Kakashi, Itachi, and Naruto for just $31.99. BigBadToyStore is always my first choice to buy from, as their prices and service are unmatched.
Amazon also regularly stocks the 4″ Naruto figure, but their prices for his individual figure tend to be on the high side. In addition, you can also purchase the complete series 1 set (including Uchiha Itachi, Hatake Kakashi, and Uzumaki Naruto from Amazon for just $35.99.
Overall: To be totally honest, this is certainly the best action figure ever released of Uzumaki Naruto himself by any company, and is unlikely to be surpassed any time soon. Fantastic paintwork and articulation, great sculpt, sturdy joints, and useful change-o-hands make this an all-around terrific figure. I’d like to see more accessories and more variations of Naruto himself in this line, but I can’t grade this specific figure as being anything other than excellent.
As far as where you can buy Itachi, I haven’t seen this figure in any retail store yet, and at this point I don’t really expect to. BigBadToyStore is the best and most dependable action figure store on the internet, and currently has Itachi available for just $10.79 as well as the complete set of 3 with Kakashi, Itachi, and Naruto for just $31.99. BigBadToyStore is always my first choice to buy from, as their prices and service are unmatched.
There are also a bunch of sellers on Amazon selling it for $14 with FREE SHIPPING, which I was happy to pay to avoid having to drive around with no idea where (if anywhere) this line is being sold at retail. In addition, you can also purchase the complete series 1 set (including Uchiha Itachi, Hatake Kakashi, and Uzumaki Naruto from Amazon for just $35.99.