A very old collectible piece that I acquired many a year ago when it first came out, this resin-cast statue of Samus Aran of Metroid fame was once the holy grail of my geeky collection.
Unfortunately, since suffered some slight breakage, it was relegated to a forgotten corner of the display shelves, left to rot and collect dust for what would seem to be all of eternity.
At its release, I managed to nab this beauty for roughly $300, though I’ve since put it up for auction online and sold it for over $1,000. Given that these are limited to 1500 pieces worldwide, you can expect the values to increase quickly. Such is the usual case with most of First 4 Figure’s works.
For those who are unfamiliar with First 4 Figures and their works, they are a UK company officially under the name Puzzle Productions. Their usual products include high-quality licensed statues from various franchises, including prominent Nintendo ones such as Metroid and Legend of Zelda.
I’ll admit to originally coveting the Varia statue more, but at that time, those were all sold out and being re-sold at ridiculously inflated prices. (Even though ironically, after selling my Phazon suit, I picked up the now-$500 Varia suit in exchange). Therefore at the time I went for the next best thing, the light-up Phazon Suit.
I liked this suit in-game, but of the four possible (five, if you want to be technical and count the unlockable Fusion Suit) armors, I ranked this one right before the Power Suit. Still preferred the classic Varia and classy purple Gravity suits more, but for what its worth, only the Phazon statue lights up.
As they’ve come to be known for, First 4 Figures did a superb job sculpting the suit and capturing its essence. While a mere repaint and lit version of the original Varia statue, it holds its own unique ground with a special mirror base.
The entire statue is made out of clear resin, from what it says on the box. It was then painted over with a nice glossy black and a very sexy smooth silver.
The light-up feature is integrated throughout the entire statue, with a nice blue light in the barrel of the arm cannon (which, when powered with a full battery, can be used as a makeshift flashlight) and red lights throughout Samus.
A noteworthy feature about the LEDs is that the statue apparently has an “IC Chip” (Integrated Circuits, apparently) planted somewhere throughout, which allows the lights to fade out slowly when the button on the back of the base is pressed to turn it off. This actually looks pretty cool in person; First 4 Figures really went the extra mile to do this instead of just having the lights shut off abruptly like a light bulb.
To add to the tech-savvy goodness, not all the lights on the statue fade out at once – the blue on the Arm Cannon fades out first, followed by the rest of the red lights on the body. Talk about fancy.
The power source (three AA batteries) is actually located in the (very) heavy mirrored base. Samus draws power from them via the plugs at the bottom of her left boot, which also serve to anchor her to the base itself.
Speaking of the base, this is one heavy black block. I’m fairly certain it’s made of resin just like the statue (which is also pretty heavy in its own right) but man I swear there are iron weights in there to hold it down.
As I mentioned above, the base is integrated with a smooth dark mirror, a stark contrast to the usual platform-looking bases previous statues in this line have enjoyed. Samus plugs into the outlets on the base surface solidly with no problems.
You get the battery cap at the bottom of the base and some official documentation on how this is the real deal, with the Official Nintendo Seal and all. My particular statue was #0947/1500.
In addition to the stuff on the bottom of the base, you get a nice little credit-card like Authenticity Card, with the statue’s product number code on it. These are used on First 4 Figure’s official site, where you can register your product number and attempt to acquire the same numbered statue in the next release. (i.e. if I have Phazon Suit #0947, by registering my statue, I could theoretically get the next Metroid statue that’s #0947).
A look at the statue powered down. The areas where the red lights shine are still red, but you can barely make them out against the stark black of the rest of the suit. The visor in particular looks somewhat odd, with a white stripe in the middle instead of being a solid red. It does light up solid red though, so all is forgiven.
The paint job and attention to detail on this piece is gorgeous. I should actually say that about all of First 4 Figures’ work though; they do not disappoint.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, I did run into a tragic mishap with this statue – as a young careless lad, I one day ended up chipping a piece off the old block.
If it wasn’t obvious in the photos yet (which, in my own defense, it isn’t that apparent), the sharp tip of the left knee is chipped and gone. This happened several years ago a little after I had first gotten the statue. I was transporting it from my desk to my display cases when suddenly I noticed that the knee was chipped. I don’t actually know how it happened or where I bumped into, but my first thought was, “h-haha, no big deal. As long as I find that chipped knee piece can glue it back on seamlessly!”
No, I never did end up finding that piece.
I searched high – and I searched low. I could not find it after turning my entire house upside down. It was a small black speck roughly pointy…you’d think I could find it in the relative vicinity of my room, but nope. It was gone forever, lost to the ever-consuming abyss of my old apartments.
As such, I hastily attempted a number of remedies – even using my feeble abilities at polymer clay to try and craft a replacement piece to put on there.
No such luck or success with that. I did attempt to do it several times, but each time they just looked so off and ugly I couldn’t handle it.
So, I ended up just keeping the knee broken; added some black paint to the broken stub to cover up the clear resin blemish, but that was about all I could do. At this point I just stuck Samus in the glass case and attempted to forget about the horrors of this experience.
Beyond those painful times, I wasn’t completely satisfied with what First 4 Figures did for the Phazon suit because they didn’t bother remolding the Arm Cannon in the Phazon Beam configuration. The official artwork they have printed on the product card and on the box show Samus’s Arm Cannon expanded (and in a different pose) but I suppose it was more cost-efficient to do a simple repaint.
At the end of the day though, it’s still an incredibly beautiful statuette. Nowadays, it’s pretty much impossible to get, lest the odd eBayer like myself lists one at outrageously inflated price. What you’d expect, given it’s such a rare light-up piece.
Thus far, First 4 Figures has more or less fallen dead on their Metroid suits; I remember somewhere in there we were promised some Dark and Light Suits, from Prime 2 Echoes. Given that they don’t seem to be anywhere near production, fans of the series will only have the Prime suits to choose from, all of which at this point, are hiked up to the max in current value. While the Phazon Suit is by no means a bad piece, throwing $1000.00 down on it is difficult to justify, unless you’re facing a life-or-death situation that only some nice light-up Phazon corrupted goodness can save you from.