Real Action Heroes Link…I’m just going to go ahead and put this thing right now on its pedestal of most anticipated Zelda figure/collectable in the last few years. Medicom’s first prototype images of a 1/6 scale Link based on his Skyward Sword incarnation was nothing to be scoffed at; it looked gorgeous. I placed my preorder no later than a week after it was announced, even resolving to sell my Figma if it was really that amazing in person.
Unfortunately, Medicom pulled the rug out from under us when the actual product came in…and it was nothing like the gorgeous prototype. The moment I opened the packaging and caught wind of how the actual product was like online, I could hear the crackling as the hefty sum of money I threw down on this thing burned in a blaze of Din’s Fire.
So, long story short, here’s Real Action Heroes Link. You wouldn’t think it looked that bad if you didn’t know any better right? Unfortunately Medicom made sure its customers knew better.
This would be the official prototype image that Medicom’s been flaunting around from the figure’s first announcement all the way up to its release date.
Like, seriously? What bothers me is less about the actual changes and more about the company that decided against warning its customers at all about such a drastic change to the product. Most of us didn’t receive any notice about the tunic change and re-done face sculpt, the only clue being a production figure being displayed at a Hong Kong toy show right before release.
As one can imagine, many angry collectors took to contacting Medicom requesting an explanation and/or compensation, myself included. I had purchased my figure from AmiAmi, and upon contacting them about the flaws of the figure, they explained that the changes were made at Nintendo’s behest, and went on with the usual, “the images were of a prototype, you were aware of that.”
Yeah, I was aware, but I wasn’t aware you guys and Medicom would be shady enough not to update the listing with a final product picture before shipping out. Besides, Nintendo really? They wanted the crappy tunic change? I don’t understand. It all seems like a shady way for Medicom to avoid losing business, because I know I wouldn’t have been the only one to cancel my order if I’d seen the final product before it arrived at my doorstep.
What’s worse is that in my complaint e-mail I also recommended that AmiAmi update their listing pictures so as not to fool any more customers. But nope, nothing’s changed. That little, “*Photos are of a prototype and the actual product may differ.” does not excuse you guys when there are photos of the actual product available already. It’s little wonder why they’re still in stock even with the 50% off markdown. All the shot expectations means this figure’s fallen considerably in market price, meaning those who pre-ordered it at MSRP got the short end of the stick.
I’m even more embittered when something like this happened again recently – only this time the company in question actually did their part. I had placed a pre-order for a sexy and massive Striker Eureka statue from Sideshow Collectables a while back, and recently they had come out with an e-mail notice regarding a change in production resulting in the statue no longer featuring its original light-up capabilities. They had sent out an e-mail to each customer who placed a pre-order and even offered a refund on our deposits for the change in the figure. Medicom, take notes.
I actually still saw a RAH Link at Anime Expo this past year with the vendor marking it at $300.00. I laughed despite myself when I saw it, not surprised in the least when it was still left in the Exhibit Hall on the fourth and final day. This whole fiasco was a cruel joke.
Alright, enough about that. Despite what I just said, I’ve actually grown used to this figure, and don’t find the tunic much of an eyesore anymore. Of course, I like to keep the prototype out of my head when I’m looking at it, but on its own it’s honestly not too bad.
The biggest changes made were a completely new material used for the tunic, and a redone face sculpt. I can’t really tell if much of anything else was changed from the prototype, but the tunic is obviously the biggest siren.
Other than being made from a thick, bright green felt, the tunic is generally also longer and larger. I dislike how it no longer shows bits of the chainmail around the crotch area, but what can you do.
I’m digging Link’s overall look though; there’s no doubt this is a pretty high-quality rendition of our favorite Hero of the Sky.
A very nice feature is Link’s swappable eyes. Unfortunately they aren’t the free-range rolling variety that Hot Toys employs, but they still get the job done. There are four sets available, shown above with Link’s regular face…
…and with his trademark angry yelling face, for a total of 8 different expressions.
The eyes can be a bit tough to remove from the faces at first, but eventually they loosen up a bit for easy removal with your fingers.
Changing poses is just a bit more of a hassle now that we have the option to move the eyes along, but it sure as heck is well worth the effect.
A closer look at the chainmail underneath the tunic and some of the other details like the Adventure Pouch. The left side of the tunic near the waist has a little velcro patch that allows it to extend and open a bit more for wider poses with the legs and such. Unfortunately the tunic feels a bit oversized at times, pushing up against Link’s chin and making it look like he has no neck. Note the conspicuously painful felt texture.
I also have to give props for the Master Sword scabbard. Damn that thing looks nice. The gold doesn’t look conspicuously cheap as it did on the Figma, and it even has some interesting shading going around the top.
One of the coolest aspects about this figure is that we’re getting a great-looking Link figure with seamless articulation! Essentially, this is a Link doll. The joints on the body are all hidden under the realistic fabric clothing, allowing for a great deal of movement while looking realistic. Always loved stuff like this, though it always comes at a hefty price.
While the overall articulation is good, some bits are still fairly constrained due to the clothing. The arms can only rotate so much, lest you rip the tunic. There is a waist/stomach joint in the torso though, allowing for a variety of bends.
I’m not really sure what went wrong with the ankles. They’re unnecessarily restricted by the upper boots. They can only bend inwards and don’t really have much forwards/backwards movement for the feet. I feel like this could’ve been easily remedied with some ball joints instead of that funky hinge joint, but what can you do.
I’m also kind of disappointed they didn’t work in some sort of toe movement as Max Factory did with the Figma, but thankfully Link can still kneel naturally.
A fair amount of manipulators were included, four pairs in total. They include open relaxed palms, closed fists, shield/sword holding hands, and a pair dedicated to wielding the bow and arrow.
Unfortunately, the peg sizes for the shield and sword hands are different, meaning Link is defaulted to being a righty as he is in Skyward Sword, instead of the traditional lefty he has been.
Moving onto accessories, where this figure seriously shines. It feels like Medicom put more effort into Link’s accessories than Link himself.
Shown above is roughly what the sword and shield break down to for wielding. Thank god they learned from Max Factory’s mistake of having us go through shoving a square peg in a round hole with Figma Link‘s sword-hand issue. The pommel is actually removable this time, making sliding the sword into the hand and reattaching the end a piece of cake.
The shield is also done the same way, with the handle coming apart and the shield strap pegging around the forearm when attached. That extra metal-looking U-rod is for attaching the shield to the scabbard when not in use.
Easy to swing around. There’s some minor weight issues with the sword as the wrist sags and rotates a bit when not held up properly, but I’m attributing this to play wear more than anything else.
The Master Sword itself is one beautifully elegant blade. It’s totally faithful to the in-game item, from the precision-painted teal grip to the sharp point of the blade.
Something that I’m iffy about is the metallic blue for the fuller of the blade though. This was also a thing with Figma Link, and I’ve long since realized that it’s just how the blade appeared in-game, though I always thought it was all silver as usual.
I personally think an all-silver blade would look better, and have debated painting this one, but ultimately decided against it for the fact that it is such an expensive figure. Unlike the Figma though, which had a very sloppy application for the blue, the painting here is very precise, even leaving the triforce near the guard in silver with blue around it.
No question that the shield is also spot-on. It’s so perfect it almost looks unreal, what with the darker shadings around the edges and such.
Ah, the Beetle…just why, Medicom? Why the Beetle? I mean I won’t argue that it’s an original and innovative weapon in Skyward Sword, but there are so many more items I would’ve preferred on a figure.
The clawshots would’ve been amazing, even better if they included a length of chain. Hell, I would’ve even taken a flexible whip. But the Beetle? It can’t even fly or bring things to me from around my room, minus major points Medicom.
In all seriousness, this doesn’t look that great to me…made worse by the fact that the Beetle isn’t really even secured on Link’s arm. The little arm guard that replaces one of Link’s original guards doesn’t actually allow for the Beetle to firmly clip to it, meaning it can easily slip and slide around.
The Beetle itself is also a stationary piece, nothing moves on it. I will give it points for being well-painted and neatly sculpted though.
One of the most awesome pieces that come with this figure, and the part that I was most excited about – the Sacred Bow!
I was taken aback by this thing’s inclusion when I first saw the preorder for Link. I couldn’t believe we were finally getting such an awesome weapon on a figure like this, it almost seemed a bit ambitious of Medicom. Pretty much the biggest factor that sold me on this thing.
I’m amazed at how detailed the bow and single arrow are. The arrow even has a little groove on the end to clip the flexible string. Yes, the string is real string. I’m not even sure what material it’s made out of, since it’s able to stretch out quite far, but returns to its normal taut length all the time.
Something I’m not fond of though…Medicom went and gouf’d the same way Max Factory did as I mentioned earlier. They got the Master Sword right by making the pommel removable, but with the bow we’re put into the same situation as we were with Figma Link’s Master Sword.
Once again, there’s no way to slide the bow easily into the given pointer finger hand; we must stretch and bend the hand in so many unhealthy ways to make it grip the dang thing. Would it have been too much to ask for the bow to simply be separable at the handle Medicom?
The constant bending of the specialized hand to get everything to fit also results in some paint cracking and breakage, making for some unsightly flesh. Tsk tsk, Medicom. I had so much praise for the bow too.
Posing with the bow is actually quite difficult…I never imagined it would be, but I found myself stumped when I couldn’t find a natural angle to capture Link with like this.
There’s really only one way to pose him with it, given the lack of optional hands doesn’t allow for much. It can take a while to set this all up, but it looks pretty great in the end, something we haven’t seen before with Link figures.
YOUR ASS IS NEXT, GANON!
I mean, I guess the arrow hands have some secondary appliances…
Other than the accessories I’ve already pointed out, Link also includes a scaled-up Tamashii action base.
I gotta say, I love this thing. The base and stand are simple and efficient; I’m particularly pleased with how tight all the joints on it are, and as a result how sturdy the whole thing is. It’s able to hold Link all the way up in the air and balance perfectly. I also have to applaud Medicom for including adjustable waist clamps this time, unlike some of their other stuff where they saw the need to include over ten differently sized clamps for their display bases…
Link can’t exactly fly, but I’ll go ahead and emphasize the Skyward in Skyward Sword here.
I’m pretty sure Medicom designed the clamp to go around Link’s lower back, but the scabbard kind of gets in the way sometimes. As a result, it isn’t terribly difficult balancing Link on his crotch on the thing.
Kind of obligatory.
I should note now that Link’s scabbard strap is actually kind of removable.
Ever since this figure came out there have been a lot of talks about removing the stock tunic and having custom ones made. I even considered the notion myself, but so far there haven’t been any that are particularly remarkable. Here’s to hoping by some god-given chance Medicom will release a compensation package with new robes for this figure.
I say kind of on the strap because you actually need to pry a part of it apart, though it all does connect with soft clippings. The same can be said for the belt, though after removing the strap in experimentation I had to glue it back together. No seams or anything gnarly, but not worth removing if I’m not actually replacing the clothing.
The hat also apparently comes off with some soft prying, but I’m not about to try that myself.
Pretty gorgeous. While not pictured, I also have to give props to the box design. Pretty much a giant over-glorified Wii disk box that mirrored the game boxart…with the actual figure performing the Skyward Strike pose in the middle.
There are those who complain about this figure and recommend the Figma over it, and that’s certainly a valid suggestion thanks to this behemoth’s price point, but c’mon. Just look at that. The RAH literally makes the Figma look like a toy action figure…which I suppose, it really is, but moreso than if I had seen the latter without the former.
So at the end of the day, what can I say? This is without a doubt a very controversial Real Action Heroes figure, one that may have turned a lot of collectors off from Medicom forever. I’ve only had experience with one other Real Action Hero figure from them, so I can’t say much about the company’s overall cumulative performance, but I think Link is categorized more as a miss than a hit.
Despite the issue with the prototype and all though, I think Link still holds up well on his own; eventually you get used to the unsightly felt, and the texture isn’t too noticeable if you don’t look carefully…yeah, it sounds like I’m trying to reassure myself, but it’s true. I’m actually not going to sell this one, since it makes a pretty great display with my relatively in-scale First 4 Figures Samus statue, but I’d warn against buying it at full price. Even though you get a good bang for your buck with this guy, most sellers should have it at a pretty steep discount, so shop around and compare rates first if your heart is set.