How Toybiz and Nintendo Pissed Me Off

        I was full of rage when I took a long look at the Toybiz Ocarina of Time toys back in 2002 (wow I'm old).  That was many many moons ago, when they'd first been released. I  have just unearthed their evil once again, having been buried in the bottom of the deepest, darkest box I had available to me for all of these years... and now I'm just pissed off.
        A little background for you: I'm an Ocarina of Time nut.  I used to write for web sites, I can still tell you my favorite Triforce rumors (particularly around the time of the Ariana scandal), it's a game that absolutely needs to be played at least every couple of years (if not more), and I can list off the most influential hackers still lurking in the community.  I also like articulated figures.  Hence the "action" part of "action figure".  After BD&A's Ocarina figures turned out so well, how could far more articulated figures of Link, Ganondorf, Zelda, and even their horses go wrong?
        Step into my hell.

        Okay, admittedly Phantom Ganon and his awesome nightmare steed aren't that bad.  At least, in the looks department.  The horse is all evil and awesome and has armor and spiffy yellow eyes and stuff.  And dude, Phantom Ganon's mask!  He looks all smirky here.  Which was my mistake, as the mask kept slipping up on his face, which it's not supposed to.  ...I think.  As you will see, it's really hard to tell with these figures.  Also, Phantom Ganon does actually have a staff.  The reason it's not pictured is because it's in a bit of a pretzel shape right now and requires some straightening.  Many years at the bottom of a box will do things to shitty toys.

        See, awesome horse!  And not too bad in terms of painted detail on either figure, really.  Hey, if I'd just stopped at Ganondorf/Phantom Ganon, I'd have been fine.  A little miffed that the joints were always loose as hell, but whatever!  Ganondorf!  And Phantom Ganon!  In one convenient, cost-effective package--and horse!  ...The goofy grin is kind of where you start to realize, though... this ain't gonna get better.  Get a drink, folks.  Get three.  Time to jump to the next circle of hell.  It's a looong way down.

        ...What the shit.  Impa!  Why are you riding an angry, diseased horse while that orange, choking child with remarkably pathetic "feet" is reaching for you?  Impa, what did you do?!?!
        Oh my dazzling fuck, what went wrong here?  The horse is the exact same model as Ganondorf's, but that... makes sense for Phantom Ganon's horse.  This one... could use more hair.  And less anger.  And I'm no stranger to lazy paint jobs but what happened to this abomination, this unholy freak of toys and nature and the nature of toys and even video games?  WHY?!

        Let me just say that I like Impa.  She's cool.  She's got soft, flexible ears (no, really).  She's a Sheikah, and I'm into that.  I'm still not into that horse.  What the shit x 2.
        But do take note of young Princess Zelda... I think.  She may be an Oompa Loompa, or perhaps just badly sunburned due to sitting outside all day spying on what's going on inside the castle--whatever the reason, this isn't right.  She has a little spot of "dirt" on her cheek that only highlights how not right her face is, making her look more evil than just totally and completely lost.  And this is young Zelda.  Keep this in mind.
        That drink you got?  Take a few solid gulps.  Wait until the world is a happy, fuzzy place.  You may not survive this, friend.  Good luck to you.

        WHAT THE SHIT X 1,000,000.  I can't... I just... it... what?  The moment I took him out of his package, I wished I hadn't.  Do you have any idea what kind of horror it takes to get me to wish a toy back in their package?!  Nintendo, what the shit?
        DOES THIS LOOK LIKE EPONA TO ANYONE?  Granted I appreciated the darker elements of the games, but... this Epona is clearly diseased with whatever Zelda's horse had and then some.  Getting this horse to stand up on its own was quite a trick.
        But oh, oh.  That is not the worst part, not by far.  Not is the fact that it's young Zelda and older Link.  Take another drink.  Finish the bottle... AND BEHOLD THE TERROR.

        WHAAAAAAAAAT THEEEEE SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT.  I call him Happy Little Elf Link.  He scares the hell out of me.  I'm someone who sleeps next to a life-sized blood-splattered Blade doll (Puppetmaster).  I find Bizarro Sephiroth "kind of disturbingly cute".  It took this Link to make me fearful of toys staring menacingly at me in the middle of the night.  Yes, these figures are away from the others.  Far away, where they can hurt no one.
        This close-up also demonstrates the overall complaint that I have with these toys: they're kind of really very bad and cheap and not thought out all that well.  It's like they thought up all of Phantom Ganon's features then forgot they were supposed to do anything else.  I mean sure, maybe I was asking too much of early 2000's toys.  But shortly before they were released, I was looking forward to ToySite's line of Ocarina toys.  Look at that!  Look at the sheer variety!  Sheik!  Older and younger Link!  GOLD SKULLTULA!
        ...But no, you know what?  I wasn't expecting too much, and I can prove it.

        On the left is BD&A's Link (the company also made Zelda and Ganondorf of the same lovely quality and detail) released in 1998, and on the right is our Happy Little Fucking Creepy Champion from Toybiz and a 2002 release.  There's barely any articulation in the BD&A figures, sure, but the overall quality is massively better.  I recall paying quite a bit less for that set, as well.  They didn't come with horses.  I guess that was mostly it.  But are there any redeeming features of Toybiz's epic fail?

        No.  --Okay, one.  Impa's knife and the Master Sword (sad as it is) could be sheathed.  I swear, I'm easily impressed.  ...But not enough.

        Link also has a Happy Little Gimmick: a switch on his back that makes his left arm... flail.  All hail the Hero of Nightmares!  I should have left the sheath on in this picture to show that you can't use the switch while the sheath is on his back.  Nor can you properly position the damn thing in the first place.  See, I must keep griping.  Complaining keeps the sanity meter in check, and it's safer than punching people.  That's what the doctor says, at least.

        The pins that keep asses in saddles.  They don't work.  I know, pins commonly don't work, but it was worth it to point out that everyone has two pins to be stuck on... except young Zelda.  She just gets that one back side pin.  No wonder she's reaching for Impa so desperately.  I mean, besides the fact that she obviously seems to want to devour Sheikah brains.  Those tan zombies, man.  Tricky little bitches.
        While the figures are articulated pretty well, the joints are horrible.  The horses can't turn their heads, despite looking as though they kinda should--and the evidence is visible glue.  The horse's legs have also warped inward over time (no, I never had anything resting on them or had them in extreme temperature conditions--despite being terrified of Happy Little Elf Link, I just put the damn things away, I never mistreated them, which is why I'm still sort of wondering how Phantom Ganon's staff came to be so misshapen), and in Epona's case it requires some bending just to get the horse-demon to stand.  At least the joints aren't so loose that they fall like rag dolls... yet.  I worry, having taken them out of their tomb.
        Obviously the material itself doesn't hold up well.  I'd understand all of the scuffing and marking if they'd been rigorously played with.  ...They haven't been.  Perhaps I should let bygones be bygones, embrace my terror and... look at them every once in a while.  I don't know if I'm that strong, though.  I don't know if anyone ever could be.
        It's come to my attention that there are plenty of Legend of Zelda statues to choose from, sure... but I'm an action figure person.  (Except for Fierce Deity Link.  Oh, so much horrible want and so little horrible income.)  I long for that one good Link action figure so I can put him in horrible poses... and will not be surprised at all to learn it'll be much, much more than I can ever afford.  Mmm, moving parts.