Dark Horse recently sent Paste its new Link and Ganondorf figures from its gorgeous Deluxe Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess series, and all we have to say is that the ‘dorfman is looking coifed. For a videogame character who’s floated closer to the ManBearPig evolutionary scale and spent most of our collective childhoods looking like this, Dark Horse has given the bane of Hyrule a makeover modeled off his regal portrayal in The Twilight Princess.
This isn’t to say that Link doesn’t hold his own: he justifiably embodies every incarnation of gee-shucks “I’m going to clean the stables before saving the world” androgynous Peter Pan manchild. Subverting expectations as a lovable underdog while being relatable to indoor kids is totally Link’s (or whatever you name him at the beginning of his games) modus operandi. But when evaluating the constituency of ornamental shelf regalia, Ganondorf’s imposing 12” positively dwarfs Link’s 10”. Let’s take a closer look.
Look no further than Link’s face to see the intricate details poured into these statues. His irises are comprised of tiny Benday dots surrounded by his signature manga guyliner arch. Sewing textures hug the loose cap while disproportionately-long sideburns fall over two earrings. These statues aim for centimeter-by-centimeter accuracy, and its shows.
This attention to detail doesn’t just apply to the front of the figure, either: from the scabbard on his back to his majestic broadsword, Link accessorizes. The shield warrants special attention, with a the gunmetal tarnish and sharp paint job that capture the sprawling mythology behind the games. Ideally, these pieces would look great next to Dark Horse’s Zelda tome, Hyrule Historia. The only major question is what exactly is Link looking at as he gazes downward: is he contemplating The Twilight Princess or a potential future of wrecking endless hordes of foot soldiers with cobbled pillars? A more dynamic, powerful stance would project more energy, but there isn’t anything inherently with this portrayal. Ultimately, the statue nicely encapsulates the essence of a character who’s gone through more than a few artistic iterations throughout his 28 years (though a Wind Waker line wouldn’t be the worst thing).
Though we love Link, damn does Ganondorf look great. This statue doesn’t scale to First 4 Figure’s 23-inch statue, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Ganondorf’s foot-high stature feels like the perfect height, allowing for a comprehensive view of his ornate armor and deceptively-elaborate hair (more on that later). This is also Dark Horse’s second incarnation of a complete badass resting his forearms on a comically-large broadsword. (Or it’s the pose of a character destined to meet eternal doom/tragic beheading).
This statue shows how far along Ganondorf has come through multiple incarnations. From pixelated blue hog to Minotaur, this is by far the most regal version of Hyrule’s most famous Gerudo.
Ganondorf strikes a nice Mona Lisa Smile complemented by some impressive Chester A. Arthur sideburns (again with the sideburns). After years of bestial duality, did he just get sick burlap rags and hire a stylist? His headdress along probably takes (at least) ten minutes to assemble every morning and could pay the mortgage of a decent condo. Then again, evil sorcerers are entitled to their arrogance and gem-studded ensembles. Ganondorf’s wardrobe and flourishes draw the eye, but he still cuts an imposing air, a balancing act the design pulls off with grace.
Ganondorf’s pants are perforated into random right-angle patches tucked into golden shin guards. Neat.The hair here is mind-blowing, only because it probably took the sculptor as long to sculpt as it would hypothetically take Ganondorf to style. Since when do world conquerors wrap their locks into sequential rose clusters? Why aren’t more video game icons doing it? Why has pomade never been an in-game item when it’s fairly evident that the Zelda cast really, really cares about hair?
The curved armor plates show the most impressive craftsmanship on this figure, with dull gold highlights packing a visual punch. If it’s not evident, Ganondorf looks equally fabulous and great. The pricing is a tad steep (Ganondorf goes for a suggested $125 while Link is $80), but for the full assault of color, texture and finesse they bring, these statues are the best these characters have looked outside of Hyrule.