In addition to the color-swapped duo of Scorpion and Sub-Zero, the original Mortal Kombat had one more mystical ninja waiting to be found - but only if you knew how to look. If you met a very specific set of circumstances, you were introduced to a new foe, the mysterious Reptile.
Reptile has served many lords over the years. Unlike many henchmen, he has no desire to sieze power for himself. Rather, he has a delusional obsession with finding the last remaining member of his race and with freeing his homeworld from Outworld. He is incredibly long-lived, possibly thousands or millions of years old. Showing incredible loyalty, he cares for little save serving his current master. Reptile, like all members of his race, has an incredible talent for stealth.
At random points before matches in the original Mortal Kombat, a green ninja would appear in a victory pose and make one cryptic statement or another. If you deciphered his clues and followed his instructions
(or just blundered into it blindly, like most of us did) you got to face this bonus opponent.
As one of several hidden characters in the game, Reptile was originally just another palette swap. The same body as the other ninjas, just in a new color. They've all diversified since then, while still managing to maintain that similar vibe. While the Scorpion and Sub-Zero toys shared the same basic body, Reptile is entirely new - for obvious reasons.
Of the three, Reptile is showing the most skin -
probably because his skin is the most interesting. It's green and scaly, just as you'd imagine. This figure is based on the Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks game, so the costume is similar to the original - Shaolin Monks was a bridge between MKI and MKII. The outfit is green, with a split sash tabard over a dark undersuit, held in place by a wide belt. He has large, flat shoulderpads, and wraps around his head, hands and forearms. His clawed feet poke out from his brown shinguards, and his kneepads have the same silver and gold scaled pattern
as the ones on his shoulers. His green coverlet has golden trim and a criss-crossed diamond pattern that carries over the scaled appearance of its owner.
The accessories with Jazwares' MK figures have been something of a mixed bag - there are basic and deluxe versions of each figure, and a lot of the basic figures come with accessories they can't use.
Like Reptile's giant kirehashi sword. His hands aren't molded to hold it, and it's generally goofy. He also has an alternate, open-mouthed head and a long pink tongue that plugs into it. It seems this is supposed to represent his acid-spit attack or the head-chomp Fatality, which is nice. See, this is the kind of pack-in these figures need, not silly weapons. The heads pop off easily enough, but getting the tongue in place can be a real chore the first time.
There was some talk that Jazwares' new figures showed an improvement over their earlier efforts, and that's true, to a degree. Reptile is better than the two ninjas that preceded him,
but not by much. If they were fours, he's a five. Out of 10. The figure has hinged ankles, double knees, thigh swivels, balljointed hips, a waist, peg wrists, hinged elbows, bicep swivels, balljointed shoulders and a balljointed head.
That sounds like a good amount, but the quality control on these joints are worse than even a Fwooshnet fanboy imagines ToyBiz's work to be. Only one of the thigh joints turns, and even that is with difficulty. One of the hips was so badly misassembled that I had to pull the whole thing apart and carve a chunk of plastic out of the leg to put it back together properly. Oh, it looked fine in the package - looked fine out of the package, too. It wasn't until I started moving him around that the snafu came to light.
The paint on Reptile
is just as sloppy as it was on Skull Head Scorpion. His belt buckle is an utter mess, and the wash that's supposed to bring out the details and darken his skin is blotchy and uneven. The eyes are well done, at least - it's easier to accept spotty paint apps on a figure's body than on a face, and at least Reptile will be looking straight ahead, even if his limbs are crummy.
If you're going to get any of the Mortal Kombat figures, save your money and get the basic versions: Jazwares is only delivering about $5 worth of toy, and a few more accessories isn't going to change that. Check Reptile's paint carefully before you buy him, and be ready to perform some complex plastic surgery once you get him open.