Metroid fans haven’t been too lucky when it comes to official merchandise for their favourite franchise. Upon hearing the news that Max Factory was going to be manufacturing not one, but two Metroid Other M products, the team at Shinesparkers were delighted! We were kindly sent both products from Good Smile Company, the distributor of the two products which we are going to review for you.
The first of these two products is the Samus Aran figma from Metroid: Other M, a posable figure sculptured by Masaki Asai. The figure stands at approximately 15cm in height and comes with numerous different accessories and attachments to customise the figure, allowing you to create some cool poses. These include five detachable hands, two beams, an alternative arm cannon piece and a morph ball. The figure also has a stand, which you can use to secure Samus in place and help create those more ambitious poses. I have never owned a figma before, so this is a fairly new type of product for me. I shall however, try my best to give the best review I can.
The Figma comes in a well protected box, so fans need not worry about receiving a damaged product.
My first impressions are incredibly positive, Samus is presented in a cardboard box with window so you can see the product clearly before opening, and contains pictures of various poses of the figure on the side and back. The box contains a plastic overlay which supports the front and back of the figure, holding it in place securely within the box. Both the figure and morph ball accessory were further wrapped in plastic to ensure a well protected and secure product upon arrival. The hands are held within a plastic ‘brick’ which holds four of the five hands (the fifth is attached to the figure) which comes sealed in a small plastic bag. The figure also comes with a sealable bag to store the accessories once opened. Needless to say, you can have confidence that your figma is well protected.
Ah, fancy meeting you here Princess!
Upon removing the figure from the sea of protective bags and packaging, I was amazed at how faithful Asai-san had been with the design, it is proportionate and nothing looks out of place. The suit, arm cannon and the visor all look just as good as they do in Metroid: Other M with lots of detail, the lines and indentation are all there, a lot of time, effort and care has been put into ensuring that Samus looks just as she should, and remained faithful in every possible regard. The plastic used is smooth and strong, while the articulations are fairly flexible, offering lots of movement. Even the head is detachable and posable to an extent.
I was quite impressed at some of the poses I could put Samus in, much more than I thought was going to be possible prior to opening. The stand offers further pose opportunities, which I shall get into a little later.
The Figma comes with a range of accessories. A beam attachment, hands, power beams and the iconic Morph Ball!
The use of power-ups has been authorised
Now I would like to go into further detail regarding the attachments and accessories of the product, starting with the hands. As explained above there are five hands with the figure that attach into the left wrist of Samus. An open hand with exposed palm, a hand shake pose, a partially clenched fist, fully clenched fist and “thumbs up” pose. Each of these fit inside the wrist with no issue, and just as flexible as any other part of the figure. Each hand has a good level of detail; you can see the individual fingers and groves. I was a little concerned by the thicknesses of the stems which holds these hands in place, and urge caution when removing then from the plastic brick that holds them or the figure as they seem very thin.
The beam weapons are translucent and pink in colour and come in two different designs, single and double shot. These look rather cool when attached to the figure and is fun to add to your poses, particularly the base of the blast against the arm cannon. I do feel that a different colour, one closer to Samus’ actual weapons in the game should have been used instead of pink. Given how much attention to detail this product has, there has to be a reason why pink was chosen instead.
Finally, we have the Morph Ball. Like the rest of the figure and accessories, the Morph Ball holds the same high quality detail with great paintwork and groves offering some depth to the design. It also has a hole so you can display it with the figure. Aside from that, there really isn’t a lot to say about it. It’s great!
Samus has many points of articulation, very posable. We had hours of fun placing her in many different positions!
The stand itself has plenty of joins which allow you to raise and lower the figure and morph ball to a height which is suitable. It has a frosted base, clear translucent stem and a peg that attaches to Samus through a hole in her back. The stand can also be used to hold the morph ball. When attaching the stand to Samus, I did have some trouble trying to fix the peg into her back, it was a little stiff. At first, I was a little concerned I was going to break the stand, but after using a little force, the peg went in. This could simply be because the product is new, but please take extra care when attaching Samus to and from the stand.
The Samus Aran figma by Max Factory is a high quality product. I am personally amazed at just how much flexibility it has. I had lots of fun recreating scenes and moments from Metroid games and putting Samus into some really cool positions. It is clear that a lot of effort went into this figure and I feel that it is good value for money. If you’re a Metroid fan and want some merchandise, this is probably the most affordable and best piece of merchandise you are likely to find at the moment. I truly hope that Max Factory decide to create more of these where there is demand.
Shinesparkers are giving the Figma the thumbs up. Go and buy it Metroid fans!
I personally love the product and urge you to buy one; it’s one of the best tributes to Metroid you are going to find.
© 2012 Darren
Special thanks to Naoki Meiri and Good Smile Company
This feature was originally published in August 2012. It has been edited slightly since its original publication.