METAL GEAR SOLID (MCFARLANE)
In my family, I’m the action figure guy and my brother Christian is the video game guy. The cool thing about those two hobbies is that they have a tendency to overlap, with lots of games getting action figures. I’ve been known to dabble in such figures, but I generally stick to ones from games I’ve actually played. Not so with today’s figure, who comes from Metal Gear Solid, a game from a series of games I’ve never once played. I did watch the “movie” version of the first MGS, though, for what that’s worth. Anyway, despite not playing the game, I like a few of the designs, especially today’s figure, the Cyborg Ninja, better known as Grey Fox!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Cyborg Ninja was released by McFarlane Toys in 1999, as part of their Metal Gear Solid line. This figure is actually the camouflaged variant of the main figure. There were a number of similar variants in this particular line, but it’s actually pretty sensible for Grey Fox, who spends a good portion of the game cloaked. The figure stands 6 ½ inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation. His articulation is a bit better than a lot of McFarlane’s earlier stuff, but still he’s really only good for a basic standing pose. It’s a shame, since Fox is pretty agile in the game, and it would be cool to do a bit more with the figure. The real killer is those freaking v-hips. V-hips are consistently annoying, no matter the figure. Grey Fox’s sculpt is decent enough, especially since it’s based on the PS1-era graphics of the original game. He looks more or less like the character he’s supposed to be. He lacks the cool detail work that later versions got, but he was also a fraction of the price, so it’s acceptable. I will say that his arms seem a bit short and his legs a bit long, but that could just be a stylization thing. The paintwork on the figure is more detailed than you’d think, given the whole active-camo thing. Every detail of the suit has been outlined in black, so that you can still see what he’s supposed to look like. It’s a nice effect, and makes him feel like a whole figure, rather than just a cheap recolor. Grey Fox included a sword (done to match the rest of the figure), an extra head with the faceplate open, and an extra arm with a rail gun attachment. The extra arm is really cool, because it has an elbow joint, which the normal arm does not. Why they didn’t just put elbow joints on both arms is beyond me, though.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The Cyborg Ninja figure was actually my very first exposure to MGS. I saw a picture of the figure in ToyFare and thought he looked kind of cool. It was years before I had any clue who he was or what MGS was. In the last couple of years, Tim’s introduced me to the games, and I still quite like Grey Fox. For my birthday, I took a trip to 2nd Chance Toyz and Tim pointed this figure out to me. I would have preferred the regular version, I think, but this one’s not bad. He’s got the sorts of problems I’d expect from an old McFarlane figure (weird proportions, no movement, fragile, etc.), but he’s still a decent enough figure that I don’t regret getting him.