I've got a real soft spot for Real Action Heroes Link. Not only because, like many people, I dearly love The Legend of Zelda, but because he was one of the first major pieces of news I covered after I joined the site. As such, I've eagerly awaited his arrival, which has taken more than a year thanks to pesky delays.
I wasn't the only one though, as our Reviews Editor, Rio McCarthy, has also been hyped to see Link arrive on her doorstep. So now that he's here in all his really expensive glory, we figured we would sit down and talk about everything we liked and disliked about the Hero of the Sky.
Figure Name: Real Action Heroes Link
Figure Maker: Medicom Toy
Retail Price: ¥19,800
Available at: HobbyLink Japan | CDJapan | Amiami | Big in Japan | Hobby Search | Nippon-Yasan
Martin: OK, let's kick this thing off!
I've gotta say, the first thing I was really impressed with was the packaging here. All the official game logos, super classy white box, opening window and minimalist design - very cool and befitting a high ticket item like this
Rio: Agreed! It was great to see it all officially labelled so you didn't feel like you were getting some rip off with a license after paying so much for it.
Martin: Well...we'll get to that. What was your first impression when you opened that box window? For me it was definitely that tunic, which has kicked up considerable fuss around the 'net as people have been getting their figures in.
Rio: Yeah... about that tunic. Well, it looks like a tunic... I guess. I'm sorry, but when I'm used to paying this amount for a Hot Toys figure, what the hell is with that cheap shoddy fabric? I use better fabric than that on hats I make!
Martin: It was a real body blow (no pun intended). And you bring up a really good point there. I paid almost $200 shipped for mine, and at this price level you're playing with the really big boys. Apparently Medicom have claimed the change was mandated by Nintendo, but it's still really crappy of them to make a major change like this without notifying customers at all.
Rio: Yeah, that was the price I paid as well. I think that's B.S. Why Nintendo would regulate you to use a crappy material is beyond me, especially when it's at no cost to them. If they were going to make this change, they should have charged at the VERY least $10-$20 less. Not that the fabric costs that much less, but it definitely brings down the aesthetic value.
Martin: One thing I will say that did impress me is the scale. Link is BIG, he really does feel super-sized in your hands.
Rio: Yeah! That really shocked me! Funny enough I got the Figuarts Zero Sailor Moon at the same time in the mail, and I was like, "Man, she's small..." Then I opened up the box for RAH Link and I'm like, "DAMN! He's huge!"
Martin: How was poseability in your eyes? As someone who is TERRIFIED by dolls, I've never owned anything that had actual cloth clothes before. I was simultaneously thrilled by how good stuff like his trousers looked, and super annoyed that they restricted his movement somewhat on his arms and legs.
Rio: I'm terrified by Dollfies, so there's still that! Well, as someone who has several Hot Toys figures (and I hate to keep referring back to that), I was a bit underwhelmed. Speaking of being terrified.. I was extremely scared when informed by Andres that I would need to be very careful when posing him, and that these figures are much more prone to breaking. WHAT?! Oh man, that scared me to death. It's alright once you figured out the best way to move him, but I'm still torn on how 'great' I think it is.
Martin: I don't think it's wrong at all to keep referring to Hot Toys stuff. That's the kind of marketplace we're playing in here, and you've got to match your competition. I generally don't think poseability is terrible but mine had pretty loose ankles and wrists, and posing the feet is an utter pain since for some inexplicable reason they chose not to use ball joints.
Rio: Yeah, being able to pose the feet was where I had the most problems. Mind you, with said competition that's never been an issue.
Martin: Let's move on then. One thing I really did dig was that Master Sword and Shield combo. Big, beautifully painted and simply gorgeous.
Rio: Oh yes, the accessories look great. I love both the sword and shield, but I adore how the bow and arrow looks as well! It's almost as if the effort was put more into the accessories than the figure itself, but I definitely can't complain on them.
Martin: I'd agree but I've got major beef with the bow. I don't know if this is a case-by-case problem, but the 'bow gripping' hand on my example was so tight that it was nearly impossible to fit the bow in. I had to use so much force the I was scared the hand would snap, and the net result was a bunch of absolutely horrible paint cracks on the hand (pictured below), meaning I'll need to sit down and repaint that at some point. It's insane to me they didn't make the bow break apart in the middle, which would have made the whole process infinitely easier.
Rio: Wow.. You know, I'll admit I didn't get that far to try that, but that does scare me to try.
Martin: It's a bummer alright. It might seem like a small thing, but it's another example of cutting corners which actually have a pretty big impact on the finished product. You've spent all this money on this beautiful bow, why not go that extra mile and make it disassemble?
Rio: Yeah, I agree. There's no reason why it shouldn't be made to be taken apart. Did you have any other issues like that with yours? Since I'm a total worry wart, I was too afraid to try much with it, so I'm a big baby and didn't see much of that.
Martin: Mine's left wrist was a little loose and the paint could have been sharper, but otherwise no outstanding quality issues. Everything feels very solid and weighty and I will say I was overall impressed with the body itself.
Rio: Yeah the body was definitely done much better than the other things we've brought up so far. Still you know, I'm partial to my Hot Toys figures, but they definitely get high marks on the body than they do for the other parts. How did you feel about his face? The face is almost always a big factor in figures, so do you think they did a good job? I think I'm a pretty solid fan of the work they did on it.
Martin: I'm very high on the face. It's super sharp and really does look a lot like the Skyward Sword version of Link it's meant to be based on. The swappable eyes are cool too, and make side on poses much more realistic. My biggest issue is that we've only got two expressions. I know Link doesn't smile that much, but this generation of Link is way more expressive than his prior incarnations and it would have been nice to have a gentle smile or something like that.
Rio: Agreed. I would have loved a smile of some sort, though I do like the expressions that were included. A smile never hurts though! What pose do you think you'll keep your figure in, and with what expression?
Martin: As you can see in the photo above (which is also handy for scale), I'm keeping him with his neutral expression, standing upright in a very classic sword and shield pose. I did consider having him with the bow though, just so I could strap the sword and shield to his back, which is one of my favourite features.
Rio: Those are the EXACT two I'm torn between! I really wanted to do the bow, so if I get brave enough I'll do that.
Martin: How are you on the beetle? I love that it's included but the fact that there's no way to properly attach it to his arm is kind of a joke. It barely feels like it belongs with the character.
Rio: Yeah I'm in the same boat. It's awesome that it's there, but.. what was the point if you weren't going to do anything with it, Medicom?
Martin: It seems a recurring theme through this review is 'great ideas, shoddy execution'. Would you agree on that?
Rio: Yeah, and it seems we agree on pretty much every aspect of where that shoddy execution is. I really hope this same type of thing doesn't happen when I get my RAH Ryuko Matoi...
Martin: I think we're approaching the end of this review, so let's ask the key question that every review is ultimately all about - do you feel you got you money's worth? Because I'm afraid to say I don't. RAH Link is a decent enough figure, but he's a decent enough figure who should probably cost about half what he actually does. I'm loving the detail and heft the larger scale affords, but in the back of my mind there's a nasty little voice telling me that actually, figma Link might be a better all round toy.
Rio: Yeah, I definitely didn't get my money's worth. I would gladly shove my $200 to Hot Toys as opposed to Medicom if their quality stays like this. After seeing this in person, I'm more excited to get my Nendoroid Link than I was this now. It's 'okay', but as you said.. 'okay' should cost about half of what this did.
Martin: Agreed. I'll happily keep Link, and put him on display in my cabinet, but when all is said and done this was a terrible missed opportunity, and I suspect it'll be damaging long term for Medicom. I'll certainly think twice before purchasing from them again. Any final words before we wrap up?
Rio: That pretty much sums it up. I love Medicom as a company, and have liked other pieces they've done, but I sure hope they work on their Real Action Heroes line a bit more before other big releases come out.
Martin: Thanks Rio. Let's hope if we do this again, it's for something a little bit more praiseworthy.
So hey guys, obviously this is a new format for us, and we'd appreciate it if you'd let us know what you think. Would you like to see more reviews like this, or do you prefer the old one person format? Sound off in the comments and if you want to know anything more about Link, Rio and I will be happy to answer questions.