Saturday 22 November 2014

Toybox REVIEW: Nendoroid Link (The Wind Waker Ver.)

Nendoroid Link (Wind Waker version)

Don't you find it a strange coincidence that all these Nintendo characters that feature in Super Smash Bros. are coming out around the same time as the new games, despite the figures themselves being from their original appearances and having little to do with Nintendo's giant fighting crossover? That aside, Good Smile Company continue the fantastic work they've done so far with the eagerly awaited Nendoroid Link from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. This just happens to be one of my favourite games of all time (I bought the Wii U version on release despite not owning the console just to get that limited edition Ganondorf statue), so finally getting a decent Toon Link was a dream come true for me. After suffering a few months of delays, this figure was first released in October 2014.

Box front

Box backInsert tray

Link comes in the usual white Nendoroid packaging, with an added splash of green because it would be wrong for a Link figure to be in any different colour (unless it was an alternate costume of course, but that's unlikely to ever happen here). The back and spines are plastered with the various poses Link is capable of (along with his included accessories), while the front's bottom corner features a nice big closeup of his smiling face. As you can see by the number Link is the 413th release in the line, however thanks to his delays came out around the same time as figures that were in approaching the 440s. The numbering system never fails to amuse me when combined with Good Smile's infamous delays.

Link with the wind waker

Figure frontFigure back

Sneaking aroundSome fun posing

With Toon Link already running around with Nendoroid-esque proportions, it looks as though Good Smile Company haven't taken any liberties with his design at all. The figure looks like it has jumped straight out of The Wind Waker HD (rounded features instead of cel-shading after all!). Admittedly there's nothing really complex about this version of Link's design, but that's the real charm of it - it's all in those giant expressive eyes and vibrant colours. I honestly don't think this figure could be done any better elsewhere, because giving him elbows and knees would just cut into the seamlessness of the sculpt. Plus the guy is just so damn stubby things like knee joints would just end up taking up most of the legs!

That isn't to say Link is completely static though, as Nendoroids do have a few joints here and there. The head and legs are all attached with ball joints, while the waist, arms and hands all plug together so can naturally rotate around 360 degrees. So while there's parts-swapping involved to get the most of out Toon Link's posing capabilities, the figure is certainly not just a statue.

Armed and ready

Pointy swordA better look at Link's shield

Sword slashing!

Nendoroids are a line that's very rarely known for skimping out on accessories, with Link having a great amount of extras that really help justify his price. The usual array of accessories include a basic clear Nendoroid stand, four swappable faces (standard, screaming, sneaking and smiling), two additional arms bent at the elbow, two extra legs bent at the knees and six swappable hands (plus a bonus one which I'll mention a bit later). In terms of weapons he sadly only comes with a sword and shield, so anyone expecting Link's usual utility belt arsenal is going to be disappointed. That's not to say that these weapons aren't great though!

The sword a pretty basic design with no real detail to it (just like in the games), which can be placed in the figure's hands by removing the pommel at the bottom of the hilt and then sliding it into your chosen hand. After all the debacle about whether or not Figma Link's sword could do this upon its initial release, its nice to see GSC making it a lot clearer how things work this time. The Hero's Shield is held in the same way, albeit without a pommel to take off at the end of the handle. The best thing about the shield is that the handle is actually on a ball joint, so the lack of articulation in the arm/wrist is actually offset somewhat. Pretty good thinking from GSC there.

And to make the sword a little more exciting, an enormous slashing effect part is also included with this release! This is attached by slotting the piece over the sword's blade, and is so big that it requires its own stand piece so that the figure can balance with it! This extra articulated arm doesn't seem to plug into the effect piece anyway, instead just being a way to help prop the figure up.

Link receives a heart container!

Looking for that heartJumping as best Nendoroids can

Against Ganondorf

Moving onto the non-weapon accessories, Link has an extra hand holding the Wind Waker conductor baton and a beautiful translucent red heart container (obviously the old simple styled ones seen in the Toon Link games, rather than the more elaborate golden ones in Twilight Princess and beyond). Like the sword slash effect part the heart container also has its own articulated stand piece, which can plug into both the Nendoroid base and the heart container itself. What's most interesting about the stand though is that the ends are ball joints rather than the usual plugs, so you can also get some degree of articulation out of them. 

The list of possible accessories for a Link figure is virtually endless and I'm sure there's people out there who will lament that the figure didn't come with "X" accessory (I think the lack of a bow or boomerang on any Link figure is a bit of an oversight myself, but whatever), but you can't really argue with the selection GSC have provided here. Basic weapons, a multitude of faces/hands, popular collectibles and the titular Wind Waker - they've certainly made sure to pack this little guy out.

Link and his game collection

Link with his Figma brotherA shifty look for the "new" Link

As I previously said in my Nendoroid Mako Mankanshoku review, some characters are just born to be Nendoroids. And there is absolutely no better example of this then Toon Link. The line's super deformed style hasn't changed his proportions at all, so what you really have is an extremely accurate semi-posable figure that comes with a ton of play value. Sure he doesn't have anywhere near as many joints as the Skyward Sword Figma, but I feel the lack of articulation preserves the look of the design while not hindering it anywhere near as much as you think. If you're as bigger fan of The Wind Waker as I am, or even have a soft spot for The Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks, The Minish Cap, Four Swords or Smash Bros., you owe it to yourself to get this figure. I don't think Toon Link could honestly get any better.

1 comment:

edward said...

A great figure with parts included to change Link's arms,face,etc.It will be going with my other Legend of Zelda collection and definitely not to be opened.i like it.