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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Friday, August 2, 2013

Review- Figma Link

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I've had this figure for a while now, and I took the pictures for this review quite a long time ago. So, let me start by apologizing for the lack of dynamic poses coming from Link throughout this review- he was an odd figure to adjust to, especially after Samus had been so straightforward. But after having Link for a while, I think I can safely review his strengths and weaknesses for you! So let's get started, shall we?

An interesting thing to note about Link, especially in comparison to Samus, is that the two are not in proportion with each other at all- this is perhaps because of the difference in art style. Link is a more plump and human looking character, and his Figma is no different. The figure itself is based on Link's apperance in Skyward Sword, notable because of its simplistic design and baggy pants, something not seen in most iterations of that character. While Samus' large feet enabled her to stand alone at times, Link is quite frustrating because of his smaller shoes. A stand is recommended.
A back view of the figure. He sports two different port areas- one for his stand, which is positioned very low on the lower torso. The stand peg that comes with the figure allows you to maneuver this difficult port somewhat, but as long as the Master Sword and Hylian Shield are strapped to Link's back, posing is a difficult process. One could always plug into the higher port, which is the same diameter, but that's only a possibility when both weapon and shield are equipped.

An articulation check. Link has a limited ball joint for his head/neck, a ball waist, so ball and swivel shoulders, Figma joints in his elbows, a complex waist set featuring three ball joints and two swivels by the hips, and Figma joints in his knees and ankles. He also has some toe joints and wrist articulation, standard with most Figma releases. It's a decent range, but it has it's fair share of issues because of the costume, mostly. There's some clever layering here, with a joint hidden right under a sword strap, hidden in the folds of clothing, and other sculpting treats.
While Samus was packaged with a pretty small amount of accessories, Link has some more substantial fare. Packaged with his trademark Master Sword and Hylian Shield, he also comes with a sword effect piece, a shield strap, an extra hair piece, an extra expression, and four extra pairs of hands. It's nothing over the top like extra gadgets, and overall, it comprises most of what you'd expect from a standard figure. But it's very nice, and they give you the materials needed to have your Link wield sword and shield in either hand.
The Master Sword and Hylian Shield have a neat little storage gimmick that allows you to put them together for Link to carry on his back- but while it is neat, the plug on the Master Sword's sheathe seems a bit too short, and rests delicately in the hole. The only thing that prevents the Hylian Shield from slipping down the sheathe when stored is a small hook, which is often unreliable. If pressed closely enough, the pair will hold to Link's back well, but I've often worried about paint rubbing in this case.
Link's extra hands are perfect for pulling off Skyward Sword poses like this, or classic Zelda imagery like obtaining items for the first time. Another feature is Link's cap, which is on a swivel that you can turn to simulate the effect of wind on the character. It's a nice easy gimmick but it adds a lot of atmosphere to any pose you pull with the character. The sculpt of the figure is really beautiful, with tons of fabric lines and tiny details that make the character feel more alive.
The paint on the figure is exceptional, balancing flat colored pieces with painted portions that blend for a simplistic, but very effective color scheme. Some complain about Link's lips, saying they're a bit too pronounced for a masculine figure- I barely notice the paint in person, myself, and I don't think it's a detail that would break the figure. Link comes with two pairs of "holding" hands, one for pointing the sword and another, more neutral grip. It can be a bit difficult to wrap the hands' fingers around the Master Sword's hilt, mostly because the hilt feels unbelievably thin and brittle. In all the times I have removed and placed the hilt in his hands, I've had not breaks, but I cautiously recommend taking the process slowly. Still, once these hands are in, you can perform even cooler poses.
The way to equip the Hylian Shield is solidly reinforced and the whole setup stays stable in Link's hand. Here we can see some of the articulation hindrances- as classic as the skirt is, it does have a habit of limiting forward and backwards movement- while the side movement is drastically better, it is still limited, and not even the clever idea to expand room hidden in the back of the skirt helps much. Likewise, the upper torso doesn't have much movement range, but it's a non-issue since Link isn't all that flexible anyway. Here's a glimpse at his more tousled hair and intense alternate face.
 The sword effect slides in very nicely, but it's a heavy piece, and unless it's positioned just right, it can flop over. However, the total appearance is indeed awesome, and I'd love to experiment with it more. Link's joints are really not as tight or heavy as Samus, so any pose such as this one has a dangerous potential to go completely lopsided.
Is Link a good figure? Oh yeah. He's amazing. He's another perfect blend of a great sculpt and paint, with added articulation that, while not perfect, represents the character well. If there's anything I can say about these two Figma releases, it's that the sculpt is absolutely spot-on. These characters look fantastic. Both are best posed with stands, of course, though you may find a few great poses without them. While Samus was all about gloss and unique joints to blend articulation and armor, Link is a beautiful, vibrant palette of colors that blend really well together draped over a fairly traditional set of Figma joints that offers standard articulation. Of course, if you're reading this review, you're probably already sold on the figure, but I seek to point out the flaws and strengths as I see fit. Link is a must-have for any Zelda fan, and an iconic-looking figure with plenty of love put into his sculpt.
This can't be the end, though! A video game blog must review all video game action figures, and Max Factory just so happened to bless us with another heavenly warrior. Link seems to have caught a glimpse of him catching the uprising, but that will have to wait! Join us next time for FIGMA PIT!

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