If you haven’t already, be sure to stop by Part One to see all of the previous reviews!
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Volume 4- A Photo Review of the Samus Aran Figma by MaxFactory
Text and Photos by Infinity’s End (Originally posted 07.25.12)
- Manufacturer: MaxFactory
- Distributor: Good Smile Company
- Height: approx. 6 inches/15cm
- SRP: ¥2,820 (~$36.00), sells for $113.00 or more through resellers
Before even opening it, you will notice right off the bat that the figure is reasonably small. The packaging for the Samus figma is pretty standard to figures like this. Looking at the back, it seems like the marketing department really tried to choose the best poses which match Samus’s character the best. After all, this is a product marketed directly to Metroid fans. Once you open her up, there was a small plastic sheet laid underneath of Samus legs that you could tug on which pops Samus out of her packaging. I have been collecting American figures for years, and never have I ever experienced something so simple, yet so well thought out as this. It was a really nice gesture, and I assume that MaxFactory does this to all their figures. The packaging also comes with a small ziplock Figma bag to keep all of your extra accessories, and the figure too if you want. This is another really nice gesture, likely for Japanese collectors that perhaps have hundreds of these figures. There is also a cut-out “Di:Stage” skin (for those who own this optional accessory) which is rather plain and just contains the Other M logo. One more thing of note is a foil Nintendo sticker placed to the left of the “Figma” logo on the front, which lets you know that it is an officially-licensed Nintendo product.
The Figure: Accessories
Samus comes with the following accessories:
- Five (5) interchangeable hands: closed fist, gripping fist, thumbs up hand, relaxed hand, and spread fingers
- Morphing Ball
- Posing Stand with Base
- Cannon tip for beams, Cannon tip for Missiles
- Two Beam “Shots”: a single beam and a double beam
While these are all great, in hindsight, their selection is slightly disappointing. First off, the beam shots are a translucent pink color. While they no doubt look cool attached to the figure, Samus does not shoot anything even close to resembling what these shots look like in the game. Second, she comes with the extra Missile hatch tip, however there isn’t a “Missile shot” accessory. Instead of the “double-beam” one, they could have easily used the Missile here. It would have been really awesome to have Samus shooting a Missile or better yet, a Super Missile, but instead they chose to give her these rather weak looking beam shots. Third, the hand pose selections could have used a bit more thought. While she does come with five different ones, likely you’ll only be using two or three. The “gripping” fist one has absolutely no use, as she does not come with any other accessory which you could place in her left hand. There are many other hand gestures that could have been used in place of this one, but overall, these are very minor gripes. In regards to the posing stand, while it took a few moments to shove the peg into the hole in her back, I was eventually posing Samus around with ease. On the downside, the base of the stand is just made with a light plastic, and sometimes, depending on the pose, does not serve as enough weight to support Samus’s top-heavy body. Don’t think you can get her into some kind of gravity-defying, Space Jumping, Screw Attack pose, because it’s just not going to happen. The Morphing Ball is also nice to have, and looks exactly like it should, but honestly a miniature Metroid would have also been nice to have (Read all about that in True 3D Vol. 5.).
The Figure: Samus Aran
As you can see, Samus is fully-realized in her most recent design from Other M. She has many points of articulation, and her shoulderpads are moveable separately from her upper arms. These points allow for extremely expressive poses. The fact that you can’t see her face also makes you pay more attention to the pose she is in, which really enhances this figure’s strengths. The torso is made up of two parts connected with a ball joint, and can be completely rotated around 360° without any stopping points. You can really tell that they tried their hardest to make Samus’s painfully restrictive and disproportional suited body as nimble and flexible as it could possibly be. While posing with it, I found her legs pop out of their ball joints quite easily, but fortunately they also pop back in easily as well. Her hinged toes in the feet are also very welcomed for posing. Each interchangeable hand is on a hinge-pin as well for extra detail like when you want her hand to lay on top of her arm cannon. The figure is just a pleasure to pose and play with. Thank you, MaxFactory, for taking on such a challenging, stiff character such as Samus and giving this figure so much flexible movement. (Note: the Metroid in these images is the one that comes with the 1/8 Zero Suit Samus figure; covered in True 3D Vol. 5 coming soon!)
Looking past the missed accessory opportunities, this is, without a doubt, the Samus figure we have been waiting 25 years for. There is nothing better. The Samus Aran figma is the first truly poseable action figure ever given to the character and should already be a part of your collection if you consider yourself a hardcore fan of the series. The 2003 JoyRide figure is so pathetic in comparison that it shouldn’t even be remembered as the “first” Samus figure and comes off as nothing but a half-assed, almost insulting attempt at trying to realize Samus in toy form. When I first heard about the announcement of this figure, I can’t express to you my excitement, and it’s truly lived up to all those expectations. It has been so painful over the years to see how much love The Legend of Zelda series, Mario series, or Pokemon series receives in regards to good, high-quality merchadise, whereas Metroid usually gets shafted in this regard (the overpriced First4Figures statues nonwithstanding). It is just such an amazing figure and something that was begging to be made. It’s simply a brilliant piece of craftsmanship, made by what is likely one of the best action figure manufacturers in Japan. The attention to detail made on every inch of the figure shines through in its amazing metallic paint splendor. If there is ONE Samus figure that you should own in your collection, it is absolutely this one. Buy it now before it’s too late! —Infinity’s End
(NOTE: This image is my own personal mod of the Joyride Figure, to make up for its lack of everything.
Special thanks to Prescilla Currier for letting me borrow her camera!)
-Beautifully sculpted and painted
-Many points of articulation making her infinitely poseable
-Price point was very reasonable (During pre-order)
-A true Samus action figure like no other
-Accessories could have been better
-Posing stand base is too light
Volume 5- A photo review of the Zero Suit Samus PVC Figure by MaxFactory!
Text and Photos by Infinity’s End (Originally posted 08.13.12)
- Manufacturer: MaxFactory
- Distributor: Good Smile Company
- Height: approx. 8.75 inches/22cm
- SRP: ¥6,980 (~$89.00), sells for $169 or more through resellers
One look at this Zero Suit Samus figure and any Metroid fan should be in love. The figure is a 1/8 scale version of Samus, so doing the math (Japan uses metric system, Standard Man = 180cm x .125 = 22.5cm) the statue is 22cm, so this makes her (22cm ÷ .125 = 176cm) ~5’10”. Samus has some huge platform heels too, so if we take those into consideration and approximate those heels to be 5″, this Samus is approx. 5’5″. Now that we have that out of the way, as you can see by the images, this figure is packaged in a much larger box than the Figma. The packaging is nice; there’s nothing overly special or overly dull about it. It does the job. I did like how there’s a small “window” allowing you to look closely at Samus’s face. Also, like the Figma, there is a silver Nintendo sticker on it letting you know that it’s an officially licensed product.
The Figure: Accessories
The figure only comes with three accessories: a baby Metroid, a clear stand for the Metroid, and the figure base. The base is a circle with the Other M logo nicely etched into it. The baby Metroid stand gives the illusion that it is floating next to Samus. If you look at the Metroid in the right light at a distance, it truly does look like it’s floating in space. It’s a nice addition that they didn’t even have to add, but I’m very happy they did. The Metroid is molded extremely nicely, and you can see little red veins have been painted on the inside of its outer membrane. It also has a very slight greenish tint, which at first isn’t too noticeable when you look at it from the packaging. Once you remove it from the packaging to see, the green tint is beautifully visible and seeing light shine through it makes the Metroid look that much better. On the downside, the Metroid’s claws are just white with no gradation, which makes it resemble the Smash Bros. Brawl trophy. As nice as it is, I feel as though this Metroid would have been much more better suited to come with the Figma. Then they could have added something else to this ZSS figure instead, such as Adam’s helmet. (Maybe they did this purposefully, to give buyers an incentive to get both figures?) She has no movable joints, nor can you remove her Paralyzer gun from her hand and put it into its holster, which it looks like it perfectly fits into. Similar to the First 4 Figures statues, she is mainly just a display piece, and not for playing with, so accessories aren’t really too important for a figure like this.
The Figure: Zero Suit Samus
From pictures alone, one might be able to realize how pretty this figure looks, however, you really cannot appreciate its beauty until you see it with your own eyes. The blue metallic paint glimmering off a nearby light source has to be seen to be believed. It really brings the figure to a new level, and gives the suit a feeling of purpose, rather than just having regular light and dark blue paint. The decals of the insignias on the pack of her left hand, left breast and her back, all look crisp and clean. When I first saw the figure, I noticed Samus’s nose is a little long, making her look somewhat Caucasian rather than “animeized” which is what I usually expect from PVC figures like this. I actually quite enjoy this version of her face; it gives it more uniqueness, and feels much less generic than compared to the Samus faces of the past. There are no manufacturing errors or defects in the sculpt, and she is put together quite seamlessly. Her body is also not disproportional or overly busty, and is somewhat different than how we see her in Other M. This Samus seems to resemble the Other M concept art rather than the 3D model, but I think the way that the sculptor made her is perfect, and I would love to see a suitless Samus that looks this way in a new media like a manga or anime.
The Zero Suit Samus PVC figure is an extremely welcome addition to the (lack of) official Metroid merchandise that is currently out there. It shows us that Nintendo does care about its fans of one of its most oft-looked over franchises. It is far better than the First 4 Figures Zero Suit Samus, which now seems bland, uninspired, and poorly painted when compared to this one. It was also far less expensive when I bought it, but due to its rarity and import costs, I’m sure that price will steadily rise. I am satisfied with the figure and any Metroid fan would be extremely happy and proud to have it on display in their home or office. Now please, MaxFactory, bring on the Ridley figure! —Infinity’s End
-Beautifully sculpted and painted
-Body features aren’t disproportional
-Comes with a cool little baby Metroid
-Leaps and bounds better than the First 4 Figures statue
-No moveable joints, or ability to remove her Paralyzer gun
-Metroid fangs have no detail
Special thanks to Prescilla Currier for letting me borrow her camera!