K’NEX has become an odd company. Originally making a cross between Tinker Toys and Construx, they’ve now crossed into the LEGO world of blocks. While their sets haven’t wowed me, they have the Mario Kart license which means they get to make some excellent minifigures. The first wave included Mario, Luigi, Yoshi and Bowser but the second wave repeats those four and adds three new ones to the mix – at a cost.
Now the figures are blind bagged, but thankfully there is a code that allows them to be uncovered. People used to LEGO Collectible minifigures are in for a struggle since each figure is wrapped in tissue paper – making them much harder to feel out.
Donkey Kong was Mario’s first nemesis. Thanks to a horrible mistranslation originally, the creators wanted to convey stubbornness so they picked the word “Donkey” and Kong after another famous gorilla. He’s since retired from kidnapping women, throwing barrels at plumbers and other nefarious actions. Then again, that was Cranky Kong.
DK has a similar design to Yoshi with the wider three-brick stance. He’s bigger than your average LEGO figure too which is great since he’s a giant ape. The head is sculpted to look like the character which is good, but gives an odd contrast with the body. It still works well enough. The body is very blocky.
Paint is well done but the red necktie is painted on, not a separate piece. The only other paint is his chest, feet, eyes and head. Most of his color comes from plastic, but it works really well. Articulation is standard with cut joints at the shoulders, wrists, waist, hips and neck. The neck and legs barely move though.
Sadly, Donkey Kong doesn’t come with any accessories like a barrel or banana peel but at $3 he’s well within the expected price range – especially for a licensed figure. I really love how many companies are making characters that are LEGO compatible and Donkey Kong doesn’t disappoint.