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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Monday, February 18, 2013

Review- Figma Samus Aran

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Well, it's been a while since I've done one of these, huh? But for a triumphant return to the review series, I've decided to do one of my holy grails- Figma Samus! You have to understand, we've never had good sculpts or action figures in general of Nintendo characters, but this release changed all of that. Made by Max Factory under the Figma line, which is known for fantastic sculpts and a unique articulation system, Samus is one of the first articulated versions of the character- ever. There was another figure released in 2003- but the articulation and sculpt has nothing on this beauty. So, let's take a look, shall we?

 Samus is a large figure, around six inches tall, beating out normal 1/144 Gundam figures. Not only does the figure have a height advantage, but there's a considerable amount of bulk, as well- the figure feels very solid and heavy in comparison with other Figma figures and action figures in general. The top half of the torso is by far the heaviest part of the figure, and I'm not sure why this is. But despite this, Samus' joints all fit together at points that allow her to stand well even with her heft.
Next to Figma Lelouche. While many Figma characters are sculpted with thin joints and anime proportions, Samus is designed to emulate her appearance from the controversial title Metroid: Other M. This is a more streamlined for on the Varia suit unlike Metroid Prime's iteration.The suit takes on many feminine qualities, unsurprising to those who have played the game, but is fairly traditional and an iconic, sleek look at the character we've come to know.
 Just a couple of aesthetics I wanted to point out- the sculpt is fantastic, with even lines running along the segmented armor, though everything still seems secure and compact. The points on the figure are actually sharp, but minimal pressure shouldn't cause any sort of injury. An interesting thing to not is that there's a sort of plating simulation on the upper halves of the arms, which reveals itself when the shoulder pads are moved, as seen in the right half of the picture. It's a neat little detail that emulates the character perfectly.
The back of the figure. I don't know why, but I've always liked those thrusters on the back of the torso. There's a hole for the stand to plug in to, and we can see some of the green highlights that show up all over the figure. The paint is very neat and well applied- the whole figure has a glossy sheen on it in every shade, though some colors are duller than others. The joints are masked fairly well, though the knees are quite noticeable in some poses because of the thinness of the joint. Samus is standing on her own here, despite how hulking that upper torso is.
Now, let's take a look at articulation. Though this picture might look a bit strange, I just wanted to attempt to convey every angle of how the character can move. We'll talk about the weird, but successful hip joints and more in a moment. Samus has approximately 27 points of articulation, and it's a bit hard to gauge because of the two sets of complex joints used in the shoulders and hips. The shoulders, as far as I'm aware, have a sort of "Y" formation joint in them. The main leg plugs into the torso, and the two branches plug into the shoulder pads and the upper arms. It allows the shoulders to slide forward and backwards and lets the arms also move independently.
The hips are another matter. There's a bit of soft plastic, perhaps rubber in the black areas in between the thigh and crotch areas, used to mask a set of joints that work strangely. It allows the hips to widen to the point seen in the picture above and also close together. It gives her a wide stance, but she can;t do splits- though I wouldn't expect someone in a battle suit to do so. What's more interesting, though, is the way it alters the knee stance.
The joints give an extreme range to the rotation of the hips- this is the halfway point of the rotation. While it does make the hip swing lower as you can see from the left side. This is totally awesome, but the crux is that the knees don't bend much further that what you see here. There's a couple of areas where the sculpt does get in the way of the articulation- the gun arm only bends ninety degrees, and the top half of the torso gets caught on the bottom half often.
Despite that, however, you can still get a wide variety of poses from the bounty hunter.  Most of what she can do, though, is primarily facilitated by the Figma stand. It's not a bad thing if you enjoy posing action figures, but there's not much she can do without it, because of the weight of the figure. Now, let's move on to accessories!
For a character so adaptable, Samus comes with a relatively small amount of accessories. Two different beam effects, four hands, a missile attachment for her gun, and a cute little Morph Ball. The beam effects are just awesome, though I prefer the single blast to the double one. The Morph Ball is neat and features a port for the Figma stand, and though the visor of Samus' helmet has a stunning effect based on the materials used, the same effect is used on the center of the Morph Ball and doesn't quite come off the same way.
A specific, weak hand is included to be used for this specific, gun-cradling pose. It's a very specific piece but it adds so much character to the overall package- what's even more impressive is the fact that you can put the arms close enough together to perform this pose.
Here is the missile attachment and another hand, used a bit exclusively for this type of pose. Here you can see the hip joint in a more extreme position- it can rotate up, but it does so on an angle, which cannot be altered. However, it does allow for some dynamic and unique poses.
Mission accomplished.
The figure itself seems less built for dynamic posing, and it's quite evident after playing around with some poses. Samus is an absolute joy to toy around with, and really a fantastic combination of sculpt and articulation.
Is Samus worth a purchase? Well, I'm not sure, since she was a limited release and is probably insanely expensive at this point. While a bit low on accessories, its forgivable because she really has only one hand. If you're looking for a definitive version of Samus, though, you won't find a better figure, from a number of aspects- the presentation, sculpt are fantastic and worthy of the base price she was released for. But at this point, supplies are limited and prices are high- if you can find a nice deal for one, it's a great investment- and if you want a good Samus figure, you won't find a better one. But if you're not a fan of the Other M design and/or not willing to throw down the money- well, you could always wait for a reissue. I guess.

I hope you've enjoyed the review! If you're interested, we've got a whole new, revamped review section ripe for display- enjoy to your heart's content! Next up: FIGMA LINK!

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