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True 3D: Volume 2
A photo review of the First 4 Figures Varia Suit Samus!
Text and Photos by Capcom
Well, it's taken about a year and a half, but the First 4 Figures Varia Suit has arrived! And let me say one thing: I'm very impressed with the work.
The first thing you'll notice when you get one of these in the mail is the packaging: it's incredibly impressive and is really some of the best I've ever seen. Not only is the figure shipped inside a custom brown box with an image of the figure on it, but the inner display packaging itself is well designed. The display box is protected by eight thick styrofoam dividers to keep it floating inside a protective cushion: my brown box took a noticeable dent in the corner, but the inner box was untouched. A+ here.
Two things you'll notice about the figure as soon as you pull it out of its complex packaging:
- The figure is much larger than expected
- It is also astonishingly beautiful
Samus has a nice sheen of metallic paint and the colors perfectly aligned with the Metroid Prime color scheme that gives it a nice reflection in the light. This figure is based on the definitive images of the Metroid Prime model and it looks straight out of a render or Andrew Jones development art - or a high-quality piece of fanart. The figure is hand-painted, and whoever did the job was no slouch - there's no errors whatsoever in the paint job that I could find. This certainly isn't something that was farmed out to a sweatshop or a machine-crafted bauble.
While the pose looks a bit odd (I don't think Samus has much flexibility or balance so it doesn't appear to be a very good fighting stance), it is certainly dynamic and gives you a really good look at the model, which makes you appreciate it a bit more.
Samus is modeled out of some kind of polycarbon stone so it's got some weight to it, but I feel like it could shatter if you accidentally dropped it (and that's also probably part of why it's so expensive). Oh yeah, there's also some "assembly" required: the Samus part of the statue contains a little pin you have to insert into the base but that's all that's needed to hold her up.
In terms of collectability, the figure's base and display box are hand-numbered, and you get a fancy registration card and a letter thanking you for giving F4F your moneys. You can go online and register the figure through your F4F account as well. I assume a lower number makes you even happier (I've got #22), or a special number like 255 (the max number of Samus's missiles) but this is out of a series of 2500 and it's something that really looks nice on display.
Now you'll hear some people on the Internets complaining about this figure (including this website), about how the shoulders are too big or the pose isn't in the games or that it's just too damn expensive. Well, older Metroid fans have always complained about Samus's Metroid Prime suit shoulders, but they actually don't look too bad on the figure. As I said, she looks great in person and is accurate to the Metroid Prime art, which I think is a good thing (but I'm still waiting for a Super Metroid model!).
In terms of cost, yeah, Samus is pretty expensive at $120 after shipping ($99.99 retail), but for me, it was worth it. In fact, I'm so impressed with the model that I'm tempted to renew my order for the Gravity Suit as well, though it doesn't appear I'll have the spare change any time soon. However, if you already have the Varia, you probably don't need the Gravity Suit for its display value that much anyway - it just serves as a collector's item to gather dust in the closet. Or I suppose you could pose them facing each other in an epic duel of Varia vs Gravity...
In the end, Samus ended up exceeding my expectations that had steadily dropped with each delay of the figure's release (and let me say, it was a LONG wait!). F4F's customer service was very helpful throughout and they'll try to answer just about any question you throw at them. Though there are a few other Metroid figures announced in the series, I can't say they've really caught my eye. I think the Zero Samus is kind of nice, and sure to be popular, but I was never a Trace fan. The Gunship looks like it would be pretty cool to have, but the $300 price tag is simply too extreme for me, and I've got doubts about the LED lifespan. I will say though if you're a Sonic fan, the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog figures certainly look impressive (though they'll likely be in the $100 range as well). (Actually a lot of the figures up there look very nicely crafted, though I'm not terribly impressed with how Link turned out).
But if you're looking for a nice Samus trophy to sit on your desk, the F4F Varia does the job quite nicely.