With Nintendo‘s North American release of the Ganondorf figure, the Legend of Zelda–branded set of the little buggers has finally completed itself. That’s not to say that more figures from the beloved adventure game won’t be released in the future, because I’m quite sure more will materialize, but for the foreseeable future, this little five-part Triforce (Quinforce?) will have to tide us all over.
It feels like a tiny bit of a cheat to “review” the amiibo figures when they don’t have any articulation or required assembly, but especially regarding the Legend of Zelda figures, they’re so carefully detailed and sculpted that it’s hard not to appreciate their quality. All in all, despite being represented by five separate figures, only three characters are technically represented. There are two versions of the perennial hero, Link — one fashioned after his appearance in Twilight Princess, and one after the cel-shaded “Toon Link” from The Wind Waker — and yes, they are technically representing two different Links, but a Link is a Link is a Link. The Zelda figure is mirrored by the Sheik figure. As we all know from Ocarina of Time, Sheik was the androgynous disguise that Zelda donned during Ganon’s occupation of Hyrule. By presenting as a male Sheikah tribesman, Zelda was of no interest to Ganondorf. The fifth of the figures is of course the terrible Ganondorf, the evil plaguing Hyrule that can’t be stopped by something as petty as time. Five figures: two representing the Triforce of Courage; two representing the Triforce of Wisdom; one representing the Triforce of Power.
Looking a little closer at the “adult” Link figure, it’s clear that the primary inspiration for the sculpt came from Twilight Princess, but his appearance in one of the most successful (and only) spinoffs of the Legend of Zelda series, Hyrule Warriors, can be spotted as well. The arm sheathes underneath Link’s gauntlets are painted blue, which on a figure this small could be simply a choice of coordination. It could also, however, be a nod to his blue trimmings in both Skyward Sword and Hyrule Warriors. He comes equipped with both the Hylian Shield and the Master Sword. The Master Sword’s sheath is intricately detailed as well.
Toon Link, as he’s been officially styled by Nintendo since his inclusion in Super Smash Bros., is very true to his cel-shaded design. His tunic, however, has been imprinted with a waffle-style woven pattern to add a bit of texture to the figure. This Link’s version of the Master Sword is a bit more stylized than the version on his more senior counterpart. In place of the Hylian Shield, Toon Link carries the Hero’s Shield. As the entire land of Hylia was engulfed in water by the time Toon Link’s story took place in the expansive timeline, very few of the traditional Hylian artifacts had made their way to the surface islands.
Princess Zelda, like the adult Link amiibo, is styled in the fashion that she was presented in Twilight Princess. The braid in the back of her hair is presented low, and falls in line with the Princess’s shoulder armor. In the front, the Princess’s hair is divided into two wrapped, but not braided, tresses. According to the Hyrule Historia, the earrings that were designed for Princess Zelda are actually more of an ear clasp. It’s a detail that makes no difference at the small scale at which they’re presented on the amiibo figure, but there are indeed tiny spots of silver denoting where the jewelry falls on her ears nonetheless. Interestingly, Zelda and Ganon are the only two of the five figures that do not present with weapons. They are both known for their magic in the many different iterations of the games, to be sure, but Zelda is most closely associated with her Bow, and in many games with the Arrows of Light that accompany it.
Sheik, though a disguise of Princess Zelda, has been painted with a much brighter blonde hair than is present on the Zelda figure. In terms of source material, the color is much closer to the Sheik of Ocarina of Time than that of either the Smash Bros. series or Hyrule Warriors. The Sheikah tribe banner has been pinned to the disguise with some ornate clasps that are evident even in the very small scale in which they’re presented. While the Princess does not have her Bow, Sheik has a traditional tantō knife affixed at the small of the figure’s back.
Finally, the recently released Ganondorf amiibo is molded with a menacing stance, befitting the character. As is the case with the adult Link amiibo, and the Princess Zelda figure, the inspiration is drawn from Twilight Princess. Sans his imposing sword, Ganondorf is instead only adorned with his battle armor and a cape molded as though it has been blown by a grim wind. If the Ganondorf of Ocarina of Time was a Gerudo upstart with plans of world domination, this Ganondorf is the five-star general who has the world in the palm of his clutched hand. By far, this figure has the most intricate molding of the five, and if you can get your hands on one, I highly recommend it. If for nothing else, just to marvel at the craftsmanship.
Toy News Roundup
Here are some of the best bits of collectible figure news from the past week!
- Hallmark is releasing a line of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens miniatures in varying styles, just in time to start the collecting hunt before they wind up on your Christmas Tree.
- Speaking of a galaxy far, far away… Funko is entering the subscription box business outright with a line of Star Wars-centric boxes.
- For the adult who eschews collectibles in favor of electronics, Apple just announced a couple of new pricey prosumer “toys”, including the iPad Pro and a brand new version of their AppleTV.