I remember back in the good old days of the late 90s and early 2000s where an 8-year-old version of myself yearned for Spyro the Dragon action figures. Unfortunately, however, to my young self’s dismay, no such thing existed. Instead, I was forced to settle for some spindly looking demonic thing passing as a dragon put out by McFarlane Toys. It was purple-ish in color, so it was close enough to Spyro I suppose.
This was an era where Joy Ride had a stranglehold on the video game toy market, producing cheaply made Sonic the Hedgehog figures and bastardizing the iconic Master Chief through their sub par sculpts and paint jobs.
It was a time where an 11 year me would drool at the advertisements for Yuna and Tidus action figures advertised at the back of the Final Fantasy X instruction booklet, only to be disappointed by the blotchy, orange spray tan-like paint covering Tidus’ face and Yuna’s slightly off-center left eye when they finally arrived in the mail weeks later.
I needed more. More detail, more accuracy to the characters these figures were meant to portray. Video games deserved better than this, and now, in 2019, I’m happy to say that collectors can finally throw out their happy meal Marios for First4Figures Bowsers.
Gaming Heads, Prime 1 Studios, Blizzard Collectibles, and yes, even some of those collectors’ editions statues, here are my favorite pieces, in no particular order as my favorites change on a daily basis, of merch based upon beloved video game titles.
First4Figures’ Katamari Damacy Statue
Although simple in its design, this statue perfectly conveys the Prince and his Katamari. The scale of this piece isn’t done justice in its photos, as when I ordered it, I wasn’t expecting all that much in regard to being totally wowed by it. However, once I cracked open the box and took it out of the inner packaging, the sheer size of the Katamari ball alone was impressive to say the least.
The base is nicely designed with a wood paneling effect that gives the impression of a living room’s floor. It’s minimalist, but it effectively brings to mind the image of the Prince rolling his Katamari around your house, wreaking adorable havoc on your pets and belongings as they’re collected in a chaotic mass.
This statue is a great example of less is more and one that subverted my expectations by impressing me with its scale and perfect representation of the source material.
Halo 5 Collectors’ Edition
As a massive Halo fan, and like many other Halo fans, I was severely disappointed in Halo 5. The lackluster campaign, the confused story, Spartan Locke. I could write a 5-6 page academic paper on why Halo 5 was a letdown. But I think everything that could be said about the game already has been, so I’ll get back on track…
As disappointing as Halo 5 was, there is one aspect of the game that was done phenomenally well, and that was the collectors’ edition. By far, the statue of Master Chief and Spartan Locke trudging though some ancient looking ruins is my favorite collectors’ edition. Video game collectors’ edition statues are generally hit or miss, ranging from decent to outright eyesores. However, the Halo 5 collector’s edition statue manages to go above and beyond what can be expected from video game tat. The poses are simple but dynamic enough, the paint job is great, the details on the Spartans’ armor are dead on, all coming together to present a collectors’ edition statue done right.
Also, the Master Chief and Spartan Locke pieces separate, so you know, the lesser of the two Spartans can be disregarded entirely if you wish to partially rid the bad taste of Halo 5 from your shelf.
First4Figures’ Taki Statue
The Taki Statue from First4Figures perfectly captures Taki not just through her likeness, but through her fierce pose. Dynamic is a word I will be using quite a bit throughout this article, but you can’t look at this statue and not be impressed by the dynamic stance First4Figures has put her in. Taki is a fierce character in the Soul Calibur series, and this statue communicates that flawlessly through both expression and movement.
Now, unfortunately for me, if you can even consider owning this statue in any form as unfortunate, I do not personally own the exclusive edition. The standard edition is still something to behold, however, its base is a plain, black circle, while the exclusive edition has a jaw dropping base that forms a lotus-like shape and elevates Taki a few good inches further off the ground. The base to the exclusive edition of this statue takes an already impressive piece and makes it much, much better.
Gaming Heads’ Lara Croft: Temple of Osiris Statue
There’s that word again: dynamic. But there’s no better word to use for this statue, as it captures Lara mid-leap into the air while she fires off her dual pistols at some unfortunate endangered animal. I was originally going to put Gaming Heads’ Tomb Raider: Survivor statue in this spot, however, Gaming Heads went and upped the bar for Tomb Raider statues with Temple of Osiris. As it stands, until a statue featured later on this list is actually released for shipping, the Lara Croft: Temple of Osiris statue is the quintessential collectible for the Tomb Raider franchise currently available.
The craft and engineering that went into this piece is amazing, from the already mentioned mid-air pose, the determined scowl on Lara’s face. This statue not only captures Lara’s action-packed nature through its implied movement, but includes details right down the ridged fabric of her shirt.
Lara Croft is an icon, and she deserves nothing less than a statue that portrays why she became that icon in the first place.
Gaming Heads’ Gordon Freeman Statue
This statue’s inclusion may come from a place of slight bias due to my love for everything Half-Life 2, but this piece’s impressiveness still can’t be argued. What Gaming Heads’ Gordon Freeman statue lacks in dynamic movement, it makes up for with game accurate detail that perfectly mimics that classic Gordon Freeman image where he is gripping the antlion pheromone ball. Not a single detail on this piece was over looked, as the HEV suit is translated flawlessly to a 1/4th scale. The removable glasses even have lenses in them!
This statue is a museum piece and one that gives Half-Life fans something to showcase their love for the series, because we all know Valve isn’t going to do that. *Insert Half-Life 3 quip here*
Sony Collectible’s Uncharted 4 Statue
Admittedly, Sony Collectibles does not provide the best statues on the market. Their detail and paint application can be lacking, this being the main reason why I am not featuring their Kratos and Atreus statue on this list. However, for the most part, the Uncharted 4 statue has enough going for it to make up for a few shortcomings. A large part of this is due to, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the dynamic presentation of the piece. The statue features Nathan Drake leaping in mid-air, fist raised just as he’s about to take out an unfortunate Shoreline mercenary. Nathan himself looks great. The face, the iconic hair, the sweat and grime on his clothes, it’s all outstanding right down to the minute details on the mercenary’s armor and weapons. The only problem with this statue, which is thankfully rather unnoticeable from the statue’s intended viewing angle, is the paint job on the mercenary’s eyes. The detail was clearly focused on the base, Nathan, and the merc’s getup, which is understandable since that is what you’re going to be looking at when it is displayed.
What sells this piece is the amazing scene it sets up. It looks as if it is torn straight from a moment out of the game and it sits brilliantly on any Uncharted fan’s shelf.
Blizzard’s Overwatch Statue Line
Out of all the statues that Blizzard has released for their Overwatch line, it is hard to choose the best one. *CoughD.VAcough* They all deserve a spot on this list, so I thought it best to clump them all together in one spot, as each statue perfectly captures the attitude and look of the Overwatch lineup. As it stands, Blizzard have released a statue for Tracer, Reaper, Widowmaker, Mercy, D.VA, Hanzo, Genji, and Doomfist is on the way. Each one is sculpted in a way that perfectly captures the characters’ stylized proportions, from Tracer’s and Widowmaker’s long legs, to Doomfist’s monstrous build, these statues didn’t miss a beat when it came to bringing Overwatch’s unique art style to life.
The D.VA statue alone is enough to make any Overwatch fan’s jaw drop. Standing at an impressive 18” tall, the mech and D.VA herself are in scale with the rest of the set. Not one detail is compromised, bringing D.VA’s beloved Mecha into the real world with beautiful realization of the source material.
Weta’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider Statue
This statue does not release until later this year, but my hype for its shipment date is already through the proverbial roof. The moment I caught wind of this piece’s existence, I had to preorder it, as I feel this has the chance to become the apex of all Tomb Raider collectibles. The statue is absolutely stunning, from its size, to what it features. Lara creeps cautiously around the trunk of tree to a jungle backdrop, as a leopard stalks her from a tree limb above. It’s hard to say if the production pieces will live up to what the promotional images show us, but if they do, Tomb Raider fans are in for something truly breathtaking.
Prime 1 Studios’ Kat and Raven Statues
Prime 1 Studios tend to produce some of the most impressive statues based on film and video games alike. Their eye for detail and lifelike paint application can be regarded as some of the best work in the business and what they’ve done for Gravity Rush’s Kat and Raven is no exception. The theme here seems to be the more dynamic a statue the better, and these two do not disappoint in that department, in fact they take it to a whole new level. Each statue features their respective character bending gravity to their whim as they fly through the air with a chaotic, but beautiful mass of rubble and elaborately decorated architecture behind them.
Both the unique art style of the Gravity Rush games, as well as the games’ mechanics are on full display here, going above and beyond what many statues even attempt to showcase.
First4Figures’ Bowser Statue
The size of this piece is astounding, not only in height, but in sheer girth. From his hulking mass, his snarl, and his hunched over stance, this statue brings the king of Koopas to life in a way that could potentially collapse even the most reinforced of shelves. First4Figures didn’t skimp out on the textures and details of this piece either. The world of Mario is rather simplistic in design, so not much detail would need to go into making Bowser appear accurate, however, every scale and ridge of his shell has been carved to make this the most premium Bowser collectible out there.
Also, what sets this statue over the top is the exclusive version that comes with a light up ball of flame. Want your Bowser to spit fireballs at the family cat? Who wouldn’t? Just attach the resin flame into his mouth, switch it on, and gaze in awe as it flickers like a raging blaze straight from the mouth of Mario’s arch nemesis.
Prime 1 Studios’ The Witcher 3 Statues
Each of Prime 1 Studios’ The Witcher statues, like all of their work, are something to behold. Geralt, Triss, Citri, and Yennefer, are presented in statue form right down to the last piece of chain mail on Geralt’s armor and wrinkle in Citri’s shirt. Prime 1 studios excels in creating realistic human characters, and the line they have produced for The Witcher is no exception.
The bases themselves for each of these pieces are enough to be considered works of art, as they feature the twisted limbs of dead trees and the severed heads of defeated monsters. These statues tell a story and illustrate perfectly the violently dark world of The Witcher franchise.
Prime 1 Studios’ Bloodborne Statues
I myself am not familiar with either the Souls series or Bloodborne, but that doesn’t stop me from being wowed by what Prime 1 studios has produced for the latter title. Both The Hunter Statue and the Lady Maria Statue are jaw dropping to behold. These statues make me wish that I had the patience and skill to play Bloodborne, just so I could call myself a fan and have an excuse to own one of these pieces. Heck, I think anyone who just simply collects art and has no knowledge of video games in general should consider owning these pieces. They are like paintings brought to life and trying to put their brilliance in words is a futile effort. Just look at the pictures to see for yourself.
First4Figures’ Spyro the Dragon Statue
If this statue existed back in 1998 to 2000, I would have begged, cried, kicked, and screamed for my parents to buy it for me. My spindly McFarlane dragonesque thing would have been thrown straight in to the toy box to never be seen or heard from again in favor of this. I can only imagine the heart palpitations of my younger self if they had been graced with a photo of this statue. Even now, 20 years later, I am still thoroughly impressed, it’s just I’m able to control my emotions a little better—for the most part.
This statue perfectly recreates the box art to the original Spryo the Dragon game, with a vibrant use of colors on both Spyro and the base he’s standing on. The green of the grass is lush, and the orange and yellows of the surrounding fire sculpt gives it that extra bit of personality. Not to mention, the exclusive version has a light up feature that brings the flames around the base to life.
It only took 20 years for something like this to come to fruition, but it was worth the wait.
First4Figures’ Solid Snake Statue
First4Figures have appeared quite a few times on this list now, and that is for good reason. Like their other video game licensed pieces, their Solid Snake is yet again another remarkable statue. As if it were pulled straight from an intense moment in the game, the statue features Snake peering around cover, ready to either sneak his way by, or fire off a shot from his silenced gun.
While most statues have a light up feature built-in, this statue goes one step further and includes a rotating ammunition box, just like the item pickups you would find in Metal Gear Solid. All this piece is missing is a guard with a giant exclamation mark over their head.
The pieces featured in this list are works of art and should be appreciated as such. Talented sculptors and painters took what we as gamers love and turned them into beautiful show pieces that would make my 11 year-old-self, as well as my current self, pass out with absolute excitement. I often think back on when I was a kid and how collectibles and statues such as these were a rarity, as video game culture had still yet to become as mainstream as it is today. So, as I said earlier, I am pleased to now be an adult with a checking account of my own in world ripe with choices for video game collectibles. I just only hope my obsession doesn’t get the better of me and force me into bankruptcy.