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True 3D: Volume 6
A photo review of the Zero Suit Samus Figma by Good Smile/Max Factory!
Text and Photos by Infinity's End
Manufacturer: Max Factory
Distributor: Good Smile Company
Height: approx. 5.5in/14cm
Cost: Currently ~$55.00-65.00
Wassup folks? This is our 6th entry to our “True 3D” series, where we review Metroid merchandise; specifically action figures of Samus Aran. The newest Zero Suit Samus Figma was released earlier this year, which makes it almost five years since the original Varia Suit Samus Figma came out. Alternatively, it is almost seven years after Other M was released. (Let's set aside the fact that it will be a decade since Corruption was released when it comes to the future release of the Metroid Prime Samus Figma.)
Samus's design is lifted straight from her Other M model. For those who don't like how she looks in that game, or are riding high on a false, immature notion that it sexualized Samus and ruined her forever, or have a burning, fist-shaking hatred for everything Other M, then this Figma is clearly not for you. For everyone else who doesn't hold psycho fanboy prejudices against her mole and high heels, a true Zero Suit Samus action figure is finally available and it is fantastic.
What comes in the box
- Figure with 17 points of articulation and a moveable ponytail
- “Cadet” Samus's alternate short hair with mic
- 2 faces (serious/relaxed)
- 9 different hands (4 left, 5 right)
- Adam's helmet
- Paralyzer grip for the holster
- Posing stand, stand extension pin and a body part joint
- Instructions (Japanese/English)
This is the first fully poseable Zero Suit Samus action figure, and if you've ever wanted a Zero Suit Samus figure in your life at a reasonable price, this is the one to get. Samus is simply a joy to pose and move. However, she comes with a few caveats. Once you unbox her, it will be immediately obvious that her lower torso doesn't have articulated hips. Fortunately Max Factory has compensated this restriction with a point of articulation that allows you to move her leg joints up and down for added mobility. It works well, and gives Samus extra poseability without sacrificing her form. Furthermore, her shoulder joints can also be extended which, like the additional pelvic ball-and-socket joints for the legs, it adds an extra layer of mobility to her arms. The figure is articulated in a way that allows a poser to create both subtle gestures (like shrugging) as well as big action poses.
The paint job is spot on, with all her details and insignias in all the right places, her oh-so-tiny, it's-canon-deal-with-it mole, and even her red hairband have been carefully added. Her suit has been painted with the metallic blue paint that's nearly identical to the ⅛ figure we reviewed in True 3D Volume 5. I'm glad Max Factory takes their time when it comes to painting these figures because if it was anyone else (*cough*Jakks Pacific*cough*) I'm sure it would have been given the “that's good enough” treatment.
If you have Varia Suit Samus, it probably won't take you long to notice that Zero Suit Samus is made of considerably less plastic. There is a big weight difference between the two figures - Varia Samus is ~3.3oz and ZSS is ~1.0oz. This will force posers to take a completely different approach when playing with the figures. When trying to pose the Varia figure, you must constantly balance her with the Figma stand so she won't topple over due to her weight. With this one, the Figma stand is still usually necessary, but she's light enough that the stand has enough counterbalance and she won't be constantly falling over. Due to this, I found it much more manageable to put her into poses.
For extra fun, you can remove her head and place it into her Varia counterpart. The pins are all the same size so it fits in there rather well. However, the Varia suit is much larger than Zero Suit Samus so her head looks a bit disproportional as you can see in the photos. Overall it's a beautiful figure, and just like the Varia Suit Figma, no Metroid fan should be without it.
As I stated, her lower torso is one entire piece so you can't make Samus do any advanced yoga poses or large broad poses which would require additional hip movement or it will look awkward. On the other hand, an extra hip joint would have forced Max Factory to cut her waist in half, giving her a kind of “underwear” look to her pelvic area. You can get a good idea of how this would have turned out by looking at the more generic Female Archetype Figmas. It's also possible the manufacturer or Nintendo didn't want to ruin her already fragile silhouette. It could also simply be a manufacturing cost decision. Another thing I take issue with is there is no ability to move her neck. If you're not careful with the pose, this can make Samus look like she has bad posture or hunch, since her neck is always angled slightly forward. You have to compensate for this by tilting her chest back and pointing her chin downward.
Much like the Varia Samus, the accessories this figure comes with seem more like an afterthought. There was some definite missed opportunity here to include either more faces, a laser shot for her gun, or maybe a baby metroid (the photos are using the metroid that came with the ⅛ statue). I would've much rather had a baby metroid than Adam's helmet, that's for sure. A DX version of this figure would have been a great gesture to the fans.
Speaking of accessories, I should mention it was quite a task to place her Paralyzer into her “gun holding” hand. I have large, meaty American male thumbs and I was scared I was going to break her fingers off. Unlike Link's sword and shield, the Paralyzer cannot be disassembled at the grip, so you literally have to shove it into her tiny hand to make her hold it. Fortunately, the plastic that she's made of stretches and though it will take some time, it can eventually be forced into position. Just take some care with it and you'll be fine.
Warning: Skip this section if you don't want to read me rant.
I considered not expressing my displeasure about this at first but if I don't say it here, I don't think anyone will: the timing of the release of this figure WAS. FUCKING. RIDICULOUS. Nintendo: it seriously took you SEVEN YEARS to realize that Metroid fans still exist? That there's a legitimate demand for a Zero Suit Samus action figure? Why wasn't this Figma released ALONGSIDE the Varia Suit Samus and why weren't those released ALONGSIDE Other M? It's a terrible case of “too little too late” with this and it's not the first time they've done it either, which really saddens and frustrates me as a Metroid fan. You continuously drop the ball when it comes to Metroid merch. There will be *NO* marketing for this figure, but you can be damn sure there will be tons when it comes to Link and Zelda merch. Is it too much to ask you do just a little bit more focus in the future? Good Smile was certainly around in 2010, where the hell were you?
(Nintendo's finally waking up to the market though, as you can see with their same-year-as-launch release of the Breath of the Wild Link Nendoroid. I don't expect them to ever miss another one.)
Go get it!
In closing, you can now pick up Zero Suit Samus from Amazon or elsewhere instead of having to go through importers for nearly the same price. That's a very good thing for action figure collectors as well as Metroid fans, and it proves that the demand is there and that the market is continually growing. So where the hell's my Ridley Figma, Good Smile/Max Factory/Nintendo? Or is he “too big” for you to handle?
SEE YOU NEXT MISSION!