Wednesday 12 July 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Figma Link Twilight Princess Ver. DX Edition

Release Date: May 2017
RRP: 5093 yen (Standard Edition), 6000 yen (DX Edition)

Between the two Figma and two Nendoroid figures released over past five years, it’s fair to say that Good Smile Company know that a Legend of Zelda Link figure will usually go down pretty well. So it’s no surprise to see that 2017 will see a new variant in both lines, with Figma opting for a Twilight Princess version spurred on by the game’s HD remake last year. Much like the A Link Between Worlds version this Link also comes in standard and DX editions, however unlike before this DX Edition isn’t limited to just the GSC and partner stores. On top of that it also released the same month as the long-awaited Figma Princess Zelda, making May 2017 a particularly special month for Zelda fans.

With Figma boxes still taking the most basic design route possible there isn’t a whole lot to say about Link’s packaging, although it is nice to see this box get a little added flare from the gold Hylian symbols printed around the front window. Interestingly this DX Edition also has its own mainline numbering separate from the standard edition instead of the “EX” numbering you often see with Figma special editions. As well as the wider packaging to fit everything in all of the accessories, inside the parts are spread across two plastic trays.

While most modern Legend of Zelda games have conformed to a similar adult Link template since Ocarina of Time, thanks to the Twilight Princess version’s use in the last two Super Smash Bros games this could arguably be considered the generic Link design adopted by Nintendo as the general face of the franchise (for now anyway). It isn’t without its own unique traits though – Twilight Princess Link features a more elvish, effeminate face on top of darker, more detailed clothes and a longer hat. All of this has been faithfully recreated on the Figma and looks particularly impressive – especially next to the far more basic (though great for its time) Skyward Sword version. Little details such as the sharper faceplate paintwork and chainmail detailing make all the difference.

A quick comparison with the previously released Figma Links shows just how much the line has improved when it comes to this character. Admittedly yes they’re all different versions so each has their own merits, but Skyward Sword Link’s proportions, engineering and sculpting just doesn’t compare to how refined the Twilight Princess version is. The A Link Between Worlds version is just as good, but a very different kind of Link and again nowhere near as detailed – although this time it’s by nature of design more than anything. With so many different versions from so many different games fans should always pick their favourites (and I’d bet good money it won’t be long before we see a Breath of the Wild version), but if you’re looking for just one “definitive” Link figure for your collection then this definitely feels like the one.

Link sports two designated stand ports – one on his back in the usual spot and another drilled into one of his belt pouches. While either can be used for posing, the back hole is also meant for his scabbard. This is a fully-functioning scabbard so the sword can be stored properly inside it, and in addition to that the Hylian Shield can also be fastened to it and worn on Link’s back like in the game itself. It’s also important to note that while the original release of Skyward Sword Link had all sorts of problems when it came to getting the figure to hold the sword without breaking it, Max Factory have learnt a lot since then. Each accessory’s handle/grip can be removed and broken down into smaller pieces, allowing them to easily slot into the hands without any fear of damage.

As well as a perfect sculpt this Link also has excellent articulation, with the only real hindrance coming from the soft plastic tunic that limits the hips’ full range of movement (the tunic has some leeway but not a whole lot). However this is more than made up for by the great range of movement the ball-jointed shoulders and waist provide, as well as the usual smooth Figma joints in the neck, elbows, knees and feet. Rounding things off Link also has an articulated hat, ball-jointed wrists and hinged toe-caps to provide even more dynamic poses.

Now if you bought the standard edition of this figure it would only come packaged with two additional faces (concentrating and shouting), four additional hands, Master Sword, scabbard and the Hylian Shield. Not a bad a selection, but like the Skyward Sword figure not very representative of the sheer amount of weapons Link has at his disposal. However if you bought the DX Edition, you also have all of this to enjoy…

Among the DX Edition-exclusive accessories are the Ordon Sword with accompanying scabbard, Hero’s Bow, arrow and alternate Hawkeye mask faceplate (as well as a pair of additional hands to hold the bow and arrow correctly). While an additional sword might not be the most exciting inclusion ever, it’s always nice see swords other than the Master Sword get some love in figure form. However the Hero’s Bow is a perfect accessory, and the Hawkeye faceplate is just the icing on the cake to give this Link even more of a unique identity.

On top of that there’s also the hookshot as well as the ball and chain, each of which use an actual metal chain (albeit the same one so sadly there’s possibility of dual wielding here). The hookshot comes with both inactive and deployed parts, which like the other weapons swap out via some simple plugs. Once the chain has been removed from the hookshot, it can then be plugged directly plugged into the ball and attached to the handle at the other end. In order to display these weapons properly a second Figma stand has also been included with an additional claw piece adapter to hold them in place. Unfortunately that doesn’t make posing them any less fiddly, and the chain has a tendency to sag unless a decent amount of tension is place between them. Nevertheless, these are absolutely fantastic additions to Link’s arsenal – the hookshot is an essential piece of gear while the ball and chain is the game-specific weapon every Link figure should ideally have. All in all this is a truly superb array of accessories, and with so little price difference between the two versions it’s surprising that Max Factory even considered making a standard edition.

It’s taken them a few tries to get there but in the Figma Link Twilight Princess Ver DX Edition Max Factory have finally produced the perfect Link figure. It isn’t just the brilliant sculpting, gorgeous colours/details and modern engineering that make this a cut above the Skyward Sword version, it’s all those extra accessories loaded with this DX Edition. And unlike the A Link Between Worlds version, this was actually made available at retail. So if you aren’t one for variants and just want the perfect Link to stand alongside your other Nintendo figures, make it this one.


Lolingstar said...

To anyone coming in to complain about inaccuracy, the figma looks to be based on the concept art rather than the game model.

Realjudgejudy said...

What's different between this and the in game model?