I had counted myself out of the Figma game a while ago – I sold off nearly every single one I used to own, and told myself that it would be more worthwhile focusing on other collections in the meantime. But then Max Factory pulled a fast one by announcing multiple new Nintendo Figmas, most notably showing off that they had acquired Twilight Princess and Metroid Prime licenses, which was a big deal. I can’t stay away when they’re bringing to life some of my favorite games from the Wii’s bygone era.
I was 100% hell-bent on getting the Twilight Princess Link the moment I saw the prototype images, but for a while I hadn’t really kept up with production and realized that it had come out completely under my nose at Anime Expo 2017.
So I ended up picking it up at the convention for a fair price, but I hadn’t realized until then and there that Max Factory released two versions: the regular and a larger, extremely accessory-heavy DX version. The vendor I bought mine from had the DX version discounted so it was even cheaper than some of the regular editions at other stalls, so I really didn’t have a reason to turn down the larger catch.
But before we get to all those special bits that make this the DX Edition, we’ll start with bare-bones Link, classic Master Sword/Hylian Shield and all.
Unfortunately I no longer have my Skyward Sword Link Figma, so I can’t do a side-by-side comparison to show the differences in design language and sculpt, but even though this isn’t the first Link Figma to hit the world, I find myself liking it much more than Max Factory’s first attempt.
The sculpt is clean, details like the fabric creases are all there, the paint is proper – Max Factory at its best.
The only thing I’m a little iffy about unfortunately, is the regular face. The standard expression just seems too serious, too grim.
Beyond that, it’s also stylized (I think) significantly differently than how it was in-game. Admittedly, I actually thought it was fine until I got in the mood recently to replay Twilight Princess – which is when I noticed that the Figma’s faces are actually much more anime-esque with sharper lines and pointier everything.
I would’ve preferred a gentler expression as the standard face versus the permanent scowl, since the other two swappable faces are also tense as all hell get out. Twilight Princess certainly was a darker game than most Zeldas, but contrary to popular belief, Link wasn’t scowling while saving the kingdom and angry the whole time.
The second optional expression is of course, the open mouth yelling. Mandatory for jump attacks and spin attacks.
And the last expression is a slightly teeth gritted tense look. I actually think this one is the most natural out of the three faces given – the others look ever so slightly off in their sculpt, as though something small is out of place, but I think this one flows.
Link also gets an impressive range of movement out of his shoulders and arms, thanks to some impressive double jointing. They even went out of their way to add the chainmail detail inside the socket – major props.
Skyward Sttrrriikkk – wait a minute…
A minor complaint with the shield and sword storage system is that the scabbard’s peg isn’t long enough to clear the thick shield handle, so it just always pops off when you try to equip the shield on Link’s back. Thankfully this can be mostly remedied by just sliding the shield on higher where Link’s back curves forward, allowing for more clearance room, even though this isn’t how the manual says to do it.
So, with the standard stuff out of the way, we can move onto the insane amount of DX-exclusive accessories. I’m only somewhat certain that the regular edition only comes with the Master Sword and Hylian Shield; it may have included the bow and arrow, but I know for a fact everything else is DX-exclusive.
I was super surprised to see that the Ordon Sword got any love. You basically go through half the game with this trusty blade, so it’s rightfully deserving. Too bad no Ordon Shield to accompany it too.
I’m really liking Max Factory’s system of making the sword hilts detachable so we can slip the hands on easily, rather than fighting to open the delicate fingers and attempt to squeeze it through a thick pommel, as the original Skyward Sword Link had us do. Apparently the rerelease run of that original Figma had a detachable pommel to fix that issue, but the first run that I had gotten so long ago required some scary finger bending.
Having the Ordon Sword is a really nice break from the countless Master Swords we’ve gotten with Link figures – rarely does he ever wield any other blade.
Hero’s Bow – with the same peg system that the swords used so we can take it apart and slip a hand on the grip. One arrow and no quiver – so it all comes down to one shot.
I was actually rather surprised that the bow didn’t include a string – I could’ve sworn it came with one but I suppose that’s a different level of detail that we’re not quite at yet.
I’m actually really shocked Max Factory went out of their way to do this – we never even see the Hawkeye on Link’s face in the game because when we put it on it always goes straight to a first-person scope. I mean it’s a neat detail and all, but I’m sure no one would’ve missed it if it wasn’t included. Even more impressively, it’s molded so well that it actually covers Link’s upper face, rather than just being a complete portrait replacement as I expected it to be.
This is also another accessory from straight out of left field. I would’ve sooner expected the Spinner before we got the actual Ball and Chain.
It’s so fantastically ridiculous. You don’t think of giant metal spiked ball at the end of a chain when you think Link, do you?
The chain is real metal, and it’s freakin’ long. I almost wished they made it shorter so you could actually pose more practically with it, but then it wouldn’t be as game-accurate.
Plus, I can confirm: you can actually wave this around and spin it the way Link actually does in Twilight Princess when he’s winding up for a throw. In that sense we actually got a functional Ball and Chain with this figure.
There is a little hole in the ball to plug into a Figma stand – of which this DX Package actually gives you two – dedicated just so you can pose Link hurling balls and smashing faces.
So ridiculously awesome.
Next, we get something that isn’t totally unexpected – a classic Zelda gadget, one that we finally get to have in figure form – Link’s trusty Clawshot
I’ve always wished for this to happen, and now it finally has. It’s surprising to me that such a classic tool has been passed over multiple times, especially with the Real Action Heroes Link.
I’m not a huge fan of how it splits into so many pieces, since I think it could be a bit more stable if the gold guard was just molded with the main clawshot body as one piece, but overall it still holds together.
The open and closed heads can both be attached to the main clawshot body, and the included chain can also be pegged in any way.
I kind of wish we got two of these so we could get some sick Double Clawshot action going, but I suppose that’s still a possible dream as long as you buy two DX Edition Links.
But the coolest part isn’t that we just got a Clawshot, it’s that it’s actually functional…!!
I don’t think it was ever intended to be, but I had some spare drain mesh lying around and decided to try and see if the claws would take…and they certainly did.
It needs a little forceful pushing, but once you adjust the claws with a little play and make sure they grab the grille holes tight, you’re set.
It’s actually really hard to pose Link in the air hanging from the thing though. In-game he doesn’t do anything interesting other than hang around anyway.
Kind of ridiculous, but still freakin’ amazing. Who knew we’d be getting fully functioning accessories with this release?
There’s really no question that this Twilight Princess release of Link is the Link Figma. The improvement in figure design, detail, and articulation are all apparent and superior to the previous Link, which hurts me to say because I enjoyed Skyward Sword just a tad more than Twilight Princess. The DX Edition is absolutely bonkers for how many ridiculous accessories you get over the normal release, but as far as I understand you can still get the DX Edition for fairly cheap, so I’d spend the little extra money and go for the tripled play value.