Astro Toy Figma Link
by David Cabrera, Nov 24th 2013
Series: Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (game)
Maker: Max Factory/Good Smile
And Nintendo Month concludes with a reprint of a release from about a year ago. To give you an idea of how fast the Figma line moves, I have figma #200 sitting in the to-review pile. This figure, from a year ago, is #153. Give or take a few months, they'll hit (or have hit) the 50-figures mark in 2013 alone. The line started in 2008 with Yuki Nagato, five years ago. So what's that, about 40 figure releases a year?
But enough math, let's talk about computer games. As you may have already guessed from previous hints, the character is Link, as he appeared in the recent Wii game Skyward Sword. When released a year ago, Link sold out instantly to one of the hungriest fanbases there is. Gamers don't necessarily know about Figma-- or how little time one has to buy one when it's new-- and GSC's print runs are so small that the figure started to fetch a fortune in second-hand sales. Hence the reprint, and since we missed it in its original release (despite three straight videogame Astro Toys, we do try to avoid them) here we are.
The sculpt is clearly better than average for figma: I was struck by how nice it is when I took it out of the box. Due to the sheer number of figures that come out, buying a figma can often be a crapshoot quality-wise: either somebody really cared or they put out the bare minimum. This is clearly one of the former figures. (I really think that for whatever reason, GSC does better figures when the subjects aren't mainstream anime... I mean, look at figma Robocop.)
Well, excuse me, Princess.
Articulation is well-hidden due to some fortunate details in the character design: shoulder joints are hidden by the tunic, the separation at the chest is hidden by Link's belts, and the knee joint is completely obscured by the boots. Articulation is standard figma, though I should note that this pose started from trying to make Link do the “just opened a treasure box” pose from the game. Theoretically possible, but without the right facial expression...
That's right, we've even got hat articulation. I don't even know how that thing stays on his head in the first place!
Extras on this release are minimal, but let's run them down. The True Master Sword (yeah, I looked that up) comes with the scabbard, which can be attached to the back by way of a peg. The sword and shield are gorgeous and perhaps the most impressive parts of the set: note the sheer amount of game-accurate detail.
An effect part gives the impression of slashing. It slips over the sword. In addition I've used the one extra facial expression, an angry yell that comes with a separate hair piece that's supposed to accompany Link's rage.
The Hylian Shield is included and can either be held in the hand or be attached to the scabbard, which then clips onto the back. Both of these procedures are a pain in the ass for the sake of game accuracy. When you put it on Link's arm, you fiddle with a bunch of small parts that hate each other, and the strap that's supposed to go there doesn't fit. When you put it on his back with the scabbard, it's held very loosely and you have to be extremely careful with it. The stand technically can get around to fit him, but I wouldn't recommend it. The shield is the only low point in the set: just a properly molded hand for it, or a more secure connection to the scabbard, would have saved it.
And that's all you get, just the absolute basics that Zelda fans would agree must be included with a figure of this character. I think it's strange that there aren't more accessories with a character like Link: I didn't play Skyward Sword at any length, but Zelda is fundamentally about exploring a place while amassing a bag of tricks. Though they're very thoroughly covered, to just include sword and shield is a little boring. Gimme a bomb or a boomerang, or the hook shot, even! Just one more little piece of plastic!
But I digress. This is a pretty nice Figma. Not quite a deluxe, but very good. Link fans don't need to worry about whether or not they should buy this; though I kind of doubt they were waiting on me to say anything about it.
Thing is-- and this is why I did this review even though I've got #200 sitting here-- just like it went last year, Link is moving fast. Right now HLJ, where we got ours, ran out moments after I wrote this article. BBTS has the figure on preorder for late this year, and after that you're headed to Ebay. A third print doesn't happen often with Figma, so as usual if you want this, then get on it now.
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