On the precipice of an all new, excellent looking console Zelda adventure (and a somewhat questionable looking new Nintendo console), Japanese toy maker Max Factory have released fresh Link in their Figma line, from his last starring role in the retro minded 3DS RPG “The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds”.
Though I’ve sadly yet to experience that critically acclaimed title (despite it being a direct sequel to my favorite Zelda game, the SNES masterpiece “A Link to the Past”), I was in the market for a 12th scale-ish Link to fit in with my burgeoning Figma/Figuarts/4 Inch Nel/Nendroid collection (if you follow us on Twitter you’ve seen my “Smash Bros” diorama, and if you don’t then you should), and with the previous, more adult looking Figma Link (from “Skyward Sword”) being bootlegged all to hell (making scoring a legitimate version online nearly impossible) and this Link being a dead ringer for the early artwork in the NES and SNES era, I was happy to scoop him up as soon as he reached our shores in late December.
Our diminutive adventurer comes in the standard Figma window box, housing the figure, a set of open palms, gripping hands and fists, sword, shield, and trademark Figma accessory baggie and stand. There’s also a deluxe version available that includes extra goodies like a pot, a bomb, the iconic hookshot and some rupees, but that release is more expensive and also not as widely available, and being as cheap as I am impatient, I obviously sprung for the basic model.
Link comes sporting a vaguely Egyptian looking bracelet, tying into his hieroglyphic-y powers in ALBW, and also a representation of the flat, wall hugging Link that the bracelet allows him to transform into, but since I’m going for more of a multipurpose Young Link and less a specific one from that game, in the box they go.
Link’s articulation is up to the high end Japanese 12th scale standard, with joints pretty much everywhere you would want or need them (even in his hat!). He can’t quite double grip the sword or get his knees up high enough for the downward sword thrust from Zelda 2 (and that my scrubby ass infinitely spams in “Smash”) but that’s more the fault of his long tunic wearing character design than any wrongdoing on Max Factory’s part.
Link also includes both smiling and determined faces, and while the face pieces themselves swap perfectly (as do the various hands), the hair part that needs to be removed so that they can be alternated tends to fall off a little too easily. The sword and shield are awesome though, with multi part removable hilts and handles to ease being slipped into Link’s grip without any risk whatsoever of paint rub or breakage.
As you can see from the pictures, said paint is just as colorful as the graphics in any of Nintendo’s polished to death, triple A first party releases, and applied absolutely flawlessly by the artisans at Max Factory. Sculpting follows suit, evoking the concept, box and instruction manual art of the “Young Link” from the original Japanese Famicom Disk System release all the way to underappreciated N64 outlier “Majora’s Mask”. Of particular note are the details etched into Link’s arsenal, and the wrinkles in his tunic and gloves. It’s beautiful work.
If you’re in the market for an older, wiser Hero of Time, Max Factory are releasing both a Link and Zelda from “Twilight Princess” later this year that look absolutely gorgeous, but given Link’s propensity for time travel and Nintendo’s relaxed approach to cameo appearances (Link in Mario Kart, for example), the young and old Link are gonna look just fine together on my desk beating down Mega Man or getting screw attacked all to shit by Samus, so I’m actually looking forward to the double dip. Highly recommended.