It was a very busy week for us last week. We’ve worked hard in our house for four days straight (we are remodelling) and went to Gamescom for three days after that. Why? Well, we offered to help out at the First 4 Figures stand. And man, am I knackered…
Edit: video added.
We were asked to help out on Friday and Saturday but decided to go on Thursday. Not only to walk around ourselves but also so we wouldn’t have to drive the three hours before starting out to help. Less tiring and stressful that way. And I’m so glad that we did otherwise we would have never gotten the nice loot we have now!
So, what did we get?
- Big Daddy plush (Bioshock)
- Infinity scarf (Bioshock Infinite)
- Fusion Flea replica car (Fallout)
- Stone plaque advertisement (Fallout)
- Kratos Sparta Wing lithograph, numbered (God of War)
- Assassin’s Creed earrings
- Waddle Dee soft plush (Kirby)
- The Traveler plush, exclusive for the con I believe (Journey)
While not that much, I don’t think it’s that bad for a con that doesn’t even have that many (nice) merchandise for sale. I did regret not getting the Ori and the Blind Forest Plush depicting Naru holding a sleeping Ori. But I remedied that a day later during my break…
So, how was Gamescom itself? Very, very crowded. Too crowded for me to be honest. While I also love (playing) games, waiting for hours in line to play for maybe 10-15 minutes is too crazy. Even for me. Even when helping at the booth, I sometimes got overrun and almost trampled by the mass that moved through the hallways and stand.
Also, like I said before, it’s quite obvious that merchandise isn’t that big yet at GC. Mostly anime PVCs, fishy (official or not?) T-shirts and also fishy plushies. I don’t think it’s as bad as FACTS for instance in terms of bootlegs but still. This of course meant that the presence of First 4 Figures among those cheaper collectibles was like a lighthouse for moths. The booth was bright, open and full of high end resin statues that were recognisable even from a distance. People flocked to the booth. Of course, most people, as they aren’t collectors, saw the price tag, scoffed and turned around. I can’t even count how many times I had to explain why these resin pieces are so expensive in comparison to PVC for instance. At least I now know how to say hand-made, limited collectible and heavy in German… Handgemacht, limit Sammlerstück und schwer.
In rare cases, I talked to people who came to understand and appreciate these master pieces. And in one case, I actually talked to someone who only has some Amiibos but understood it at first glance. He was enamoured by them. It was wonderful to see the enthusiasm and love I have for these collectibles reflected in someone who just discovered them. It still fills me with warm fuzzies.
So, how about a tour of the booth?
First up, we have one of the most iconic bad guys; Bowser from the Super Mario series. This big boy was so expensive at the time (by F4F standards) that Alex David decided to do a blind pre-order. This way, people could get a far larger payment plan so it would be more easily affordable.
The one on display was the exclusive version which included the light up flame effect. I love that they changed the position of the flame since the reveal. It used to be higher which obstructed the view on his face. It’s so much better now. It’s also insane to see all the different paints which makes the normal flat paint scheme of the Koopa King a lot more intriguing. He definitely doesn’t disappoint.
Bowser is currently in production and I hope to have this beast at home soon. Although I don’t have a clue where to put the boxes… Yes, plural. He’ll come in two boxes instead of one.
Next, we have one that is very special to me; Spyro the Dragon. I’ll always remember the launch day of this one as I was in the hospital giving birth to my daughter during the stream. I tried to watch the stream for as long as I could but wasn’t able to continue nor to place my order. Luckily, the great team at F4F understood and I was able to place a Day One order for this great exclusive statue. While some initial pictures may have him looking weird in some angles, I can say that this is not the case when looking at him in person. I also love the gems that are included with the exclusive but find it a shame that they didn’t bring the backdrop as well.
Then, there was the Crystal Dragon from the same series. The first day we were at GC (when we just visited the booth), they only had the exclusive on display and I was blown away by it. Even though it’s a simple design, the paint job really lifts it to another level. It is absolutely beautiful.
But when we went to help out, they put the Crystallised edition in my hands to put on the table. They should not have done that. While I love the exclusive version with its beautiful paint application, the crystallised edition is in another league of its own. It’s absolutely breathtaking with its frosted effect and translucent look. Here’s hoping I can still get that version instead of the regular exclusive…
Unfortunately, they didn’t have the miniature golden dragon with them.
Another favourite of mine is next. And included was a little surprise that Alex springed on us collectors. Classic Crash Bandicoot but with two mini-Aku Aku statues! And with mini, I mean in perfect scale with the classic Crash statue. One is the regular paint job and the other is a golden version. Both come with light up and look absolutely awesome next to Crash. Next to them are the two Aku Aku masks in the same colour schemes but life-size. I have those two on order but we’re seriously doubting to cancel them and order the smaller ones (duo pack). I love Crash but those two mini’s are better footprint wise then those life-size ones. Although, the life-size ones do go Uuga Buuga when someone walks past which is awesome. So many people, including me sometimes, got startled by it. I don’t know what we’re going to do yet…
The Banjo-Kazooie statue that went up for pre-order not too long ago was there as well. I loved the golden music note and puzzle piece, they were really heavy. The base is also very pretty and shiny. He looks just like the promotional pictures so I’m not under- nor overwhelmed by seeing him in person. I do have to note, that while a lot of people didn’t like the swoosh he’s on, it really doesn’t annoy me in person. It doesn’t look weird and doesn’t distract from the figure itself at all and I like it.
The next one is a bit of an odd duck between these colourful characters as it is the Twilight Edition Alucard from Castlevania. Just like Banjo, I was neither under- nor overwhelmed by him as he looked just like I thought he would. I did however notice that he has two very floppy swords as I was the one that put them out on display. Luckily, they told me that these were just prototypes and the final product will have die-cast ones. Because, as Alex said; Alucard with floppy swords just won’t do. And I agree wholeheartedly.
And then we have another colourful character; Warpstar Kirby who became available for preorder only a short while ago. Because of life, I haven’t been able to make a proper preview of him. And apparently sales haven’t been that great for him, so every bit count. Seeing him in person, I just don’t get why the heck he’s not selling better. Granted, this is the third Kirby in the Kirby line but still. He’s awesome. Also, they’re still tweaking him. For instance, the stars will light up better on the eventual product and will also have a flicker sequence. He didn’t need to convince me. I ordered the little pink fluffball already. While it is the least nice one of the series in my opinion, he just looks awesome in the lineup. I wonder if I would have ordered him if we didn’t have the others of the series… Who am I kidding! Of course I would!
One of the statues I wanted to order but wasn’t allowed to by my husband, was Shovel Knight. After he went on pre-order on Reservation Friday, I tried the game. I really liked it and tried to have him play it as well. Unfortunately, he didn’t and it still was a no. Even after he’d seen it in person here at the booth. So sad…
The latest anime statue was right next to the Indie-knight; Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop. While I did convince my husband to watch the series with me, it still was a no-go on the statue. True, we don’t do anime but still. He looks really nice. I also love the plain base, it really complements the statue.
Next is one we both are constantly getting back and forward on; Snake from Metal Gear Solid. I really liked the super exclusive transparent one that had the same colour as a Coke bottle but we didn’t order him. After seeing the regular exclusive here at GC, and seeing that he’s looking mighty fine, we’re in doubt again. I love all the details like the snow patches, the wall, the goggles, … I kinda like everything to be honest. But, you can’t have all I guess (although we do try).
The latest pre-order was the next one; Psycho Mantis. I’ll never forget how I was watching while my brother played the game and we encountered this boss. This was well before the age of the internet and strategy guides. We were at a loss on how to beat him until I suggested switching ports. My brother thought me mental but eventually tried it. Heh.
I almost ordered this one because I really, really like the look of it. He looks exactly as I remember him even though you could count the polygons back then. I also love his mask and that you can see his eyes behind them. I also like the swirly text on the books which are floating, which give off the illusion of his telekinetic powers.
There’s one line we don’t do from First 4 Figures that I always kind of regretted and that’s the Dark Souls line. I just really don’t like the games and mostly because of this, we decided we wouldn’t pursue these statues. With the first release of Artorias the Abysswalker, I really had to push myself to not order it. He looked so fine. And so did Sif and Solaire. But those were nothing compared to the next two in line!
First up, we have Ornstein, one of the bosses from the first game. And man, does he look awesome! Not only is he huge and massive, he’s also very well sculpted. This is one sculptor First 4 Figures must keep as he lifts it to a whole new level.
Secondly is my favourite of the booth; Mimic. He’s so darn ugly, it’s just beautiful. This was the one statue I used to explain people just why these are hand-made and therefor expensive. If you look closely at his limbs, you can see he’s fuzzy. Yes indeed, the actually put hairs on him! So insane. And that’s not all. Just look at the saliva on his tongue. Crazy! This is one I would purchase just for the details and awesomeness itself regardless of what game he’s from. It’s just so good! If you’re a Dark Souls fan, you’re going to love this one!
Another one that really drew attention from visitors, was the Ōkami Amaterasu life-size bust. While we generally don’t do bust, I have to say that I really love this one. She’s looking so regal. While the little Issun looked a bit weird in the official pictures, it works in real life. It’s a shame we didn’t have the turntable that is included with the exclusive edition because that would have been awesome to see. So many details that you don’t see if it’s stationary.
After they stopped drooling over the bust, their eyes always went down to the 1/4th scale Shiranui next to it. This one was also available for pre-order a short while ago and I loved seeing her in person. While I love Ōkami, I was rather conflicted on ordering this one as I already have Amaterasu and I didn’t know this one. But now I’m glad I did. She’s amazing! The light-up is subtle and really enhances her presence. Alex just asked my fellow collectors in the First 4 Figures Official Collector’s Club on Facebook if they wanted to change the patterns but for me, she looks perfect as she is. I’m happy as a clam already.
This is one we’ve been waiting quite a long time on as she was pushed back and again because of changes and therefor, more approvals. The 1/4th scale Varia Suit is the second one in the line, Light Suit being the first. It went on order on May 10th, 2016 and I believe it’s the longest running pre-order in F4F history. They even did a second chance weekend back on December 29, 2017 till January 2, 2018 because of the changes. One of those changes was adding extra lights in her suit; now we have them on her chest, shoulders, thrusters and more in general. The only thing I still don’t really like completely, is her visor. It would have been so neat if they would be more translucent, kind of like Psycho Mantis, and we could she the outline of her face behind it. But it does light up, so that’s at least something right?
And the last resin piece they brought was True Form Midna, the Definitive Edition. And while we didn’t buy that edition but the regular exclusive, I can appreciate just how lovely the case and turning base is. It’s a wonderful centre piece for any collection but not as part of a line up. No, I’m happy with just the exclusive version because the statue itself is wonderful; regal and just beautiful. The light-up, while not my favourite for any statue, is wonderfully and tastefully done. Yeah, I can’t wait for this one either.
People already familiar with First 4 Figures and their Official Fan Club have seen this tag being posted by the company owner a few times now. This is because, First 4 Figures is now seriously branching out into the PVC world. It started (not counting the old Sonic PVC figures they did years back) with Breath of the Wild Link which seems to be really popular. Popular enough for them to continue making PVC figures with Crash Bandicoot based on the Nsane Trilogy version and their first SD DS (Super Deformed, Dark Souls) one; Artorias. The next ones released will be the SD Solaire, SD Ornstein, SD Snake from Metal Gear Solid, TF (True Form) Spyro the Dragon based on the Reignited version and the TF Amaterasu. All of these have exclusive version and regular ones. Like always, the exclusive versions are/will be only available on the First 4 Figures website. Most of the exclusives feature light-ups but for Crash it was only a deluxe packaging and for Spyro it will be Sparx. Solaire also has a golden translucent version and Snake will have both a Neon Green as a Coke bottle coloured translucent variant.
The next branch out they will do is plush. And man, I’m I going to be broke if they do! I absolutely adore plush stuff and can’t get enough of it. I might even buy the Dark Souls ones like the Onion Knight they have prototyped. I’m also pretty sure that these will sell like hot cakes should they decide to bring (and sell) them at their next cons.
Lastly, First 4 Figures is also branching out in partnerships. TorchTorch was the first which makes their Dark Souls jewellery readily available for us outside of Asia. Their new partnership is with GNF Toyz which brings us the Boom8 series from Sonic. They had some prototypes on display for the next series in the line and also a nice, but too expensive for my taste, resin statue.
And here we have a video tour of the booth. Unfortunately, not a very good nor complete one. I’ll do better next year.
And this concludes my booth tour of the First 4 Figures Gamescom 2018 booth. Seen anything that tickles your fancy? I certainly did but had already pre-ordered most of it. Seeing the things I didn’t buy but wanted was kind of hard, but you can’t have everything right? Right? Right…