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Medicom Nintendo Series Legend of Zelda Link Ultra Detail Figure Medicom, 2015
Day #1,404: March 22, 2016
Medicom Nintendo Series Legend of Zelda Link Ultra Detail Figure Nintendo Series Legend of Zelda Link Ultra Detail Figure
The Hyrule Fantasy

Nintendo Series Ultra Detail Figure
Item No.:
UDF 177
Manufacturer: Medicom
Includes: Stand
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: Fall 2015
Other: From The Legend of Zelda

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Medicom Nintendo Series Legend of Zelda Link Ultra Detail FigureThe look of the cast of The Legend of Zelda changed significantly from game to game, and early on the character looked more or less like any typical anime hero from the time. Medicom celebrates the now 30-year-old game with the Legend of Zelda Link Ultra Detail Figure, which is a brand name that sounds better than "action figure" while it delivers more detail and less everything else. For all intents and purposes, this is a statue that's basically in scale with 3-4-inch action figures. He seems more or less at home next to Playmobil in terms of scale, but that's not why you want this figure.

Medicom Nintendo Series Legend of Zelda Link Ultra Detail Figure

At about 2 1/2-inches tall, Link looks a lot like the box art from the original game - specifically, the Japanese Famicom disc system box art. He's in the same pose, holding the Magical Sword and Magic Shield while crouching, complete with determined face and flesh-colored tights. From the front or the sides, this is a pretty gorgeous figure - the detail does not exceed what you should expect for the price, but it does have a look that seems like the best 1987 might have had to offer. If you look between his legs - and really, why wouldn't you? - you'll see orange/brown underpants that match the border of his oversized shield. Why? I have no idea - it adds character to the figure.

Medicom Nintendo Series Legend of Zelda Link Ultra Detail FigureThere is no articulation, but the sculpting is pretty good with paint that's also pretty good. It's a little thick in spots, but that seems to add to a sort of otherworldly charm - it feels like something you could have maybe found in an antique store. Link is based on the same models as those trophies they cleared out at Lionel PlayWorld 28 years ago from Hasbro, maintaining a similar look in terms of color and overall form. They de-mangafied it a great deal, so seeing Link in his original cover art glory is pretty impressive. It is, however, tiny. The sword is stiff and the figure is generally pretty sturdy - this seems like a great desk accessory, as it offers about as much fun and play features as a rock.

It's pretty remarkable to see what they decided to decorate - the back of the shield, the grip, the soles of the boots, and even a little jewel on the pommel of the sword are recreated in detail that I could best call "as good as you might expect." The general design was refined for the animated Wind Waker and Spirit Tracks character models, but seeing it here in its original form is a rare treat. The series also put out The Wind Waker and Skyward Sword versions of Link, so far eschewing the nifty Jughead-esque teenage Link from Zelda II (which is my favorite). There are also plenty of Mario game figures.

If you've been buying a lot of Japanese figures, you'll recognize the taped-on slide-off bubble packaging from numerous other toy lines. The bubble is nice, the cardback ain't bad, but for some reason they wrapped Link in a clear plastic bag that obfuscates much of the detail. If you want to see this figure, you pretty much have to buy one. The packaging does not succeed in its mission to highlight the figure and convince you to buy one - you're only going to buy this if you're already in love with the idea of owning the original Link.

I would love to see more of this kind of figure - it's not unlike an Amiibo in terms of scale and appearance, just without the electronics. I have no doubt Nintendo could do a finer release as a toys-to-life item, but odds are such a thing would never happen. Similarly, I'm not holding my breath for Metroid UDF toys, but if they did such things I'd pre-order without a second thought. There are lots of Link toys out there, but the number coming from the original The Legend of Zelda I could probably count on two hands - one if we're ignoring repaints. I don't think it's a bad figure for the price - especially being an import or distributed via Diamond - but I'd be lying if I said I think everybody will love this. If you're in your late 30s or mid 40s, this is a figure for you. If you played this game late at night in 1987, this is a figure for you. If you can play through most of the first quest in an hour without dying from memory, this is a figure for you. If you weren't, well, leave it for people like me. We'll give it a good home.

--Adam Pawlus

Additional Images

Medicom Nintendo Series Legend of Zelda Link Ultra Detail Figure Medicom Nintendo Series Legend of Zelda Link Ultra Detail Figure
Medicom Nintendo Series Legend of Zelda Link Ultra Detail Figure Medicom Nintendo Series Legend of Zelda Link Ultra Detail Figure
Medicom Nintendo Series Legend of Zelda Link Ultra Detail Figure

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