Friday, December 21, 2012
HEAT UP LINK'S HAND WITH A HAIR DRYER TO SOFTEN THE PLASTIC BEFORE PUTTING THE SWORD IN HIS HAND.
I just want to get that out of the way before anything else. Apparently a lot of people are breaking their swords and figures trying to force the handle in to Link's cold plastic digits. You must heat the hand up so the fingers become flexible to put the sword in. Don't listen to 4chan's /toy/ board about 'dipping the hand in acetone' or 'putting it into the microwave'. They're just a board full of trolls looking for a laugh as you destroy your figure. Now, on to the review!
The Legend of Zelda series is one of the longest running video game series by Nintendo and there's scarcely a figure to be found of the main character Link...until now. Max Factory has created the hero in fully articulated form under their Figma series. It's an import figure so you'll need to track it down. But is it worth the effort? Let's find out!
Link's articulation is pretty nice. He doesn't quite have the range of a Marvel legends as only single inner joints are used but you can get him in to some pretty amazing poses. There's no bicep swivel but the elbow swivel combined with the ball jointed shoulder give you enough range. A great neck joint, toe joints, and hat-joint let you recreate most any pose you'd need.
Paint applications for Link are clean but lacking. Everything is done in a matte paint with the joints and skin tone molded in color. But without shading or line detail to separate the colors everything looks a little one dimensional. A skilled customizer could fix this with a very thin brush and some acrylic paint however. Paint work on the weapons is excellent with the Master Sword getting a dual-metallic tone and every bit of the shield painted including the handle and strap.
The accessories that come with Link include two faces and hairstyles, tho the other hair is barely different being ruffled a bit. I would have liked to see another accessory like a pot or rupee instead of the hair. There are four pairs of hands to choose from and a great looking sword-slash effect that slips over the sword. The Master Sword fits into a scabbard which plugs on to Link's back and a clear plastic stand is included for intricate poses. The shield's handle and strap unplug so you can fit them into his hands.
As I mentioned before you will need to heat his hands up to get the fingers flexible enough to slip the sword in. The pommel is glued on and while some may be removable you could easily loose the small nub if you try to remove it. Additonal accessories such as rupees, bombs, and heart pieces can be found with the Phantom Hourglass gashapon or the Windwalker pvc figures. These are pretty much to scale with Link and look neat.
What's the verdict? If you're a Legend of Zelda fan then this is the best Link available. It's the 'available' part that's a pain however. He was pre-orderable at Ami-Ami and Hobby Link Japan but is out of stock. You can get him on Ebay and on Amazon at a premium. He's pretty scaled to your normal 6" action figures and can help fill out your video game figure collection.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
NECA is known for its single-character lines and the one character people have been waiting a good 14 years for has finally arrived, Gordon Freeman. Hero of the Half Life video game series his horn rimmed glasses and beard have almost become a cult trademark. Here NECA brings him to you in their 7" Player Select scale. But is it the figure that's been sought after for more than a decade? Let's find out.
The packaging is classic NECA, a rectangular clamshell with nice graphics and a quick bio on the back. Once you get the figure free of the single twisty tie (yes only one) the sculpt really stands out as downright amazing. Each fiber of the mesh undersuit is clearly defined. The pockmarked HEV suit armor sections look realistically weathered. Gordon Freeman's headsculpt is quite realistic, but not as young as the game's source material. The Lambda Complex symbol is sharp looking and even his gloves have tiny seams sculpted on the finger edges.
The equally impressive paint applications help accentuate the detail put into Freeman. Different washes for grime, blood stains (or perhaps a very red rust), and highlighted weathering make for a very realistic look. Gordon's glasses are painted cleanly which is a real task these days. His hair and beard are cleanly applied and the overall application of paint is something to behold making this figure look like a tiny high-end statue.
Articulation for Gordon is astoundingly good. While the shoulders and knees may not get past the 90 deg angle this is the HEV suit design, a protective suit not meant for leaping and crouching. Gordon's neck, wrists, torso, and ankles are all ball jointed allowing for great poses. His hips are a modified V-crotch but with DCU hinge-style/swivel hips which work perfectly for sitting positions. Basically anything he'd be doing in the game can be mirrored here.
The accessory department is where you truly get your money's worth. Freeman comes with his crowbar, an extra set of different gripping hands, bug bomb, gravity gun, and yes, the all important Headcrab! The gravity gun, bug bomb, and crowbar are all nicely sculpted and painted with the same attention to detail Freeman is. The Headcrab excels beyond normal accessory status with both front pincers articulated and a sculpted inner mouth. The inner mouth is removable revealing a larger chamber so the Headcrab can fit on another figure's head.
So what's the verdict? I'm not one to gush over action figures given my picky nature but here I feel like I've just ripped off NECA paying under $20 for this figure. And that's how you should ALWAYS want to feel when you purchase a figure, like you received MORE than your money's worth. You get an amazingly sculpted/painted/articulated action figure, a bunch of accessories, and one accessory that can be combined with another figure. Gordon Freeman is still available at our sponsor Big Bad Toy Store and is currently selling out at all the Toys R Us store.