Historically, Metroid merchandise has been hard to come by. When it has been released, it’s very rarely been mass-produced, like JoyRide Studios’ Samus figure, or sold outside of Japan, like the Figma line. I’ve been a Metroid fan for over a decade at this point. Now, ThinkGeek has come up with the Metroid toy of my dreams: a life-size, wearable replica of Samus Aran’s Arm Cannon. In this feature, I’ll review the cannon and offer my honest thoughts on its quality, price and worth as an item in your Metroid collection.
The cannon’s made of a durable plastic. It’s heavy, but not so much that you can’t lift it the way Samus would. Seeing it in my peripheral vision, I almost feel like I am Samus. All I need is a helmet that displays HUD information (or, in a low budget setting, has it painted on) and I’m instantly exploring a world in the Metroid Prime universe… okay it’s my basement. Let me have my imagination.
In terms of the price, it is a little steep for my liking at $59.99 USD. Fortunately for me, I work in a job where, while I’m not making millions a year, I am generating an income good enough to live comfortably, so I could afford this Arm Cannon. If it came out when I was still in high school, or unemployed, I probably couldn’t be writing this review. Regardless, I feel that the cost could be reduced a bit. I will point out that it has gone on sale and it may again, so keep checking back if you want it.
You get the cannon in a long cardboard box that shows it from all angles, on a gorgeous space background with a render of Samus from Metroid Prime 2, and the orange classic-style Metroid logo that debuted with Samus Returns. Inside, the cannon is covered in bubble wrap – popping of which kept me occupied for much of the day I got it – as is a flat, angled glass base for the cannon to be displayed on its side. Both items come with an instruction manual sheet explaining how to activate the cannon.
The cannon runs on three AAA batteries, with the battery port being hidden underneath the control panel on the left side. You may remember that in one of Samus’s idle animations from the first Metroid Prime, she flips the control panel open and interfaces with it; and four colored buttons representing each of the four beams (Power, Wave, Ice and Plasma) can be seen. Unfortunately, the real life cannon doesn’t have this. Instead, the panel comes off to reveal a battery hatch. You’ll need a Phillips plus screwdriver to open it and add your batteries. I found that it was difficult to take the control panel off and had to pry it off with a dinner knife, but it clicks back in much easier.
ThinkGeek really put a lot of effort into the cannon, the details of which are impeccable and look identical to its incarnation in the trilogy, from the lights going down the cannon to the sound effects. The on switch is on the inside, and it can be a little bit hard to see. It’s a small black knob that clicks right (on) and left (off).
When you turn the cannon on, one of the sounds from Prime (I believe it’s heard when you close a HUD message) is played; when you turn it off, another sound that I don’t recognize plays, clearly indicating it’s been shut down. The sound comes out of a small speaker near the top of the cannon. Inside the cannon is a grip and trigger.
Clicking the trigger, naturally, causes the cannon to “fire”, with its sound ripped straight from the Power Beam in the trilogy. Each shot makes the lights of the cannon, and the chamber flash. It’s even possible to charge the shot and hold it. I found holding the charge to be finicky. Sometimes it would charge until I let go of the trigger, sometimes it would automatically release after seven or so seconds, and other times it would fire a regular shot before I completed charging.
Overall, I think this Arm Cannon replica is a great addition to any Metroid fan’s collection. My complaints are that opening and closing the battery hatch is difficult, the cannon doesn’t hold a charge sometimes, it’s a little loud, and I wish there were more features like the colorful control panel. Maybe they can release some additional beam configurations. Imagine having a replica Phazon Beam Arm Cannon! Now that’s something to get excited about.
Product and review provided by RoyboyX