One aspect of the video game industry that we've seen taken to new heights this generation is the swift increase in the amount of limited special collector editions of big blockbusters games that will sell millions right away and smaller titles with a niche appeal aimed at devoted fans. These special editions usually cost around $40 more than the standard edition and often include a figurine or other displayable item, an art book, a sound track, a downloadable content voucher, some other related knick-knack, or a combination of the above. When done right, these collector editions are downright fantastic. When done on the cheap or lazily, they're quite the embarassment. Over at Treasure Bin, each of the usual standards for collector edition inclusion is examined and critiques are offered that explain how to make the pack-in extras more interesting and increasingly worthwhile. For instance, here are some thoughts on figurines:
This bugger appears in a lot of Collector's Editions. Usually, these are the main character, a boss, or something along those lines. Sure, they look cool and all, but if you're one of the folks that buys a lot of collector's editions, those little hunks of plastic/resin/pewter start to take up space. You can't just throw it away, either. You paid good money for that collector's edition, dang it! You're not gonna just discard the most important part of your purchase! So then you buy a display case. But these figurines pale in comparison to the more collectible model kits out there. It's kind of pointless.
Two examples of this treachery are the Chris Redfield figurine that came with the Resident Evil 5 CE and the bust of the Duke that came with the Duke Nukem Forever Balls of Steel Edition. Chris Redfield's base was nonexistent. The slightest nudge of your table would send him toppling over. Not only that, but the overall quality of the figurine was very poor. It reminded me more of a gachapon or one of those capsule toys that you pay 75 cents for at the grocery store and leaves you wanting much more than you actually get out of it. The Duke is not much better. This bust statue, which you see in the casino during the game, is barely 5" tall, if that. It's made of resin, which is a start, but it's so small, that it barely seems worth shelling out the $20 extra to buy.
I love a good character figurine provided that the character means something to me on a personal level. I need franchise appeal and I need the franchise in question to be important to my own background. For instance, considering how much I enjoy Ghostbusters, it shouldn't be a surprise that my favorite part of the Ghostbusters: The Video Game special edition extras is the limited edition Slimer statue. I still have it on display in my home. Slimer is, as the Internet would say, relevant to my interests. However, I feel nothing for figurines based on new characters. I'm not drawn to Cole McGrath or Nathan Drake enough to pay extra, so I can't say that I feel the need to have them standing guard around the house. Link from The Legend of Zelda has a place of honor in the bedroom and Ryu of Street Fighter fame guards my computer area, but the ModNation Racers guy is stashed in a closet. I have a model DeLorean from Back to the Future II parked in a display case downstairs next to my Club Nintendo Super Mario and friends figurine, but I can't say that I need Ezio Auditore lurking around. Basically, I am a pushover when it comes to being sold on figurines and statues, but I need a connection to the character on display. To that end, I'd like to point out to Capcom that I am still in the market for very detailed recreations of any of the classic-era Mega Man Robot Masters.