It has now been three years since First 4 Figures acquired the rights to create statues based on the Zelda series. It appears that the licence - which was supposed to have run out this year - seems to have been renewed, as they show signs of producing figures into the next year at least. This is good news for collectors as when compared with F4F's original announcements, their releases have been coming out slowly.
Out of the eight statues they had initially said to have been working on, only three have been released so far, along with a fourth not initially mentioned.
Fierce Deity Link
The first statue to be released by F4F didn't arrive until the first half of 2007, a year after the original announcement of the series. Despite the large timeframe between the announcement and this first release, there seemed to be some concern over the statue's quality, namely how fragile it was. Some early buyers claimed that their statues either had broken heads, fragile swords that cracked as they put the statue together (the hands were separate from the body), and some scratches on the base.
However, in the worst cases, it seemed that F4F were able to replace the defective body parts. Despite these problems, this statue appeared to be a solid start to the series.
The second statue in the series was released in early 2008, continuing with the Majora's Mask theme. Thankfully, it appeared the problem of broken parts that plagued the early FDL statues did not recur (and has not returned since), and many collectors believe that the overall quality and detail of Skull Kid was of a higher standard than FDL.
This statue, in fact, is the personal favourite of James West, the artist who designed the bases for these early statues. His use of the tree stump as a base to give the statue its forest theme shows his strong interest in making sure his designs fit the characters and scenarios being depicted in the best possible way (the stump was originally supposed to feature Skull Kid's wood carving from Majora's Mask, but was removed during production at Nintendo's request).
Alongside Fierce Deity Link, Sheik was one of the earliest characters shown as far as early models were concerned, but this one wasn't released until the second half of 2008. Although it may not have received as much fanfare as the previous statues (some fans were initially turned off by the simplistic pose and design), dedicated collectors snapped it up nevertheless.
The odd shape of its base stems from the fact that this was supposed to be part one of a two-part scene. A second statue depicting Link playing the ocarina would have interlocked with this one, forming a scene of the pair stood back-to-back, playing music together in the Ice Cavern. Unfortunately, it is not known whether or not the second statue is still in the works at this time.
Ocarina of Time Link
Described by F4F as 'the one that the fans have all been waiting for', this statue was released in mid-2009 to great acclaim. Like the Skull Kid statue, there is a forest motif to this one, this time based on OOT's Forest Temple (which extends even to the map showing the ground floor plan to the temple on the tree stump).
While fans are very happy with this statue, F4F have released images of two variations of this one - the Goron and Zora tunic versions - that they say are due to be released later this year. This has annoyed many collectors, especially since the sculpt is exactly the same as the original; only the colour of Link's tunic has been changed (base artist James West has stated that he created separate designs for these variations based on the Fire Temple and Water Temple, but they were never approved).
So far, these statues have all been based on characters from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. It wasn't until September 2009 that F4F announced the first in their range of 1/4 scale Twilight Princess statues. These statues are to be even more limited than the OOT/MM range but are, naturally, to be much more expensive as well. The first of these revealed is Zant, which is said to be released sometime next year. Two versions of this statue have been shown: the 'normal' statue and a F4F-exclusive version featuring interchangeable heads. F4F have also said that they are working on Ganondorf and Wolf Link and Midna statues for this series, but there are no images of these at this moment in time.
Judging by this news, it seems F4F will continue making these statues for quite some time, so there may still be a chance of some of the statues they announced upon first receiving the licence being made.
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