Well hi there, figure fans! I return with another set of Metroid custom figures for your approval. This is going to be the LAST set of "odds'n'ends" figures I post (for now, anyway). The next time I put up a figure, it's going to be from my second wave, Metroid Series 2! So, let's get these two out of the way, and we can move on to bigger and better, right? First on the block: Metroid Critters!
Metroid is not a game series particularly known for its diverse characters. In fact, until Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, nary a secondary character was ever seen in the games, save for the occasional scientist in the intro cutscenes. For the most part, only Samus, Ridley, Kraid, Mother Brain, and the Metroids themselves made repeat appearances or demonstrated any character development. According to the game designers, this was an artistic choice, made because they wanted to drive home the point that the player was really, totally alone, with no one to rely on or call a friend. It added to the solitary atmosphere of the game.
The games made up for this rather limited character scope by populating the Metroid universe with a multitude of strange alien flora and fauna. From colonies of bugs to fire breathing dragons to projectile plants, the standard enemies of Metroid are as recognizable as the bosses or the heroine herself.
One of my favorite toy series as a kid was Ghostbusters. Not only were there several characters, cool action features, and excellent vehicles and playsets, but every figure came packaged with their own little ghost enemy to hunt and trap! Even if you couldn't afford the larger, humanoid ghosts, you had some bad guys to battle thanks to these little, transparent pack-ins. I wanted to do something similar with my Metroid series, so I built some common stage enemies, each small enough to serve as a pack-in with one of the series 1 figures.
When I cannibalized the Marvel Legends Annihilus BAF to make my Ridley Build-A-Boss figure, there was very little in the way of leftovers. A head, a pair of shoulder plates, and a strange collar-like shield from his neck. However, after careful examination, I realized these four pieces would be perfect fodder for the minor Metroid Critters. Like a Native American hunting a buffalo, I used every part of the figure. One shoulder pad became the shell for the orange, flying Ripper. The neck plate became the wings for the dive-bombing Skree bat. The head was resculpted into a jet-powered Holtz. And the second shoulder was painted red and converted into the spiky little Geemer. I'm particularly pleased with the Holtz. I cut up a transparent suction cup dart and made the tiny flame jets it uses to propel itself around Ridley's hideout, deep beneath the depths of Norfair.
A lot of the time, I find my figure creations come, not from planning, but from whatever fodder I inadvertently discover I've got lying around. These little guys, and particularly the next figure I post, were all the result of random chance, of me looking down and saying, "you know, this is mostly junk, but it KINDA looks like . . . ," and then going with it. I didn't plan to make these enemies yet, but I'm glad I did. They add a little odd variety to my mostly humanoid Metroid figure collection.
See you next mission!