BORDERLANDS 2 (MCFARLANE TOYS)
“After taking over the Hyperion corporation, Handsome Jack declared himself dictator of Pandora, and takes full credit for finding The Vault. Nestled in his geostationary “H-shaped” moon base, Jack can send supplies and troops down to Pandora, and most importantly can keep an eye on Vault Hunters at all times.”
In preparation for today’s review, I went back and looked at all of the other reviews I’ve done on Valentine’s Day, just to see how I started them off. Did you know that in the four years I’ve been running this site, I’ve only once directly referenced the actual day in my review? Weird. Well, in our own odd way, Super Awesome Girlfriend and I are celebrating the holiday by sitting down and reviewing some action figures from a property we both love: Borderlands! Her review of Tiny Tina went up earlier today, and I’m following it up with a look at the other half of the set, Handsome Jack!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Handsome Jack is the second of the two figures in the first series of McFarlane’s Borderlands 2 line. These two were originally meant to be part of the overarching Color Tops line that McFarlane had running, where each figure was given a number, but it appears that whole idea was dropped in favor of just doing a bunch of dedicated lines. Borderlands already has two more series confirmed, so that seems to have worked out alright. Jack stands 7 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation. There was some concern when these figures were first shown that they would be little more than glorified statues (especially given the early offerings from Color Tops), and they were even solicited as only having 12 points of articulation. While Jack’s not going to be pulling off any crazy kung fu moves or anything, he’s actually quite posable, on par with McFarlane’s Halo and Walking Dead offerings. My only real complaint is how limited the hips are. They do alright for minor tweaks to his stance, but that’s about it. I suppose his elbows could also offer some more range, but I more fault the design of the character for that one. The actual sculpt is definitely a solid recreation of the in-game model for Jack. The clothing is all properly dynamic in how it lays on him, and his proportions match well with the character’s scrawny physique. Jack includes two different head sculpts. He’s packed wearing the better of the two sculpts, though curiously, it’s the non-standard one. It gives us a glimpse at Jack’s unmasked face, seen by the player only after defeating Jack in the final battle. There’s just a ton of character to it, with all of the scarring and the slight sneer to his expression. His standard head isn’t bad, but something feels ever so slightly off about his face. It doesn’t seem quite as sharp and angular as it should be, and his expression doesn’t look quite as intense as it should be. He looks more bemused than maniacally evil. On the plus side, both heads sport a perfect recreation of Jack’s wacky hair, which really sells who he’s supposed to be. The paint work on Jack is pretty strong all around. The base colors are nice and bright, as they should be, and they’ve done quite a nice job of capturing the signature comic-book-y-styled outlining of the series. There’s a little bit of slop, especially on the forearms as they change from sleeve to skin, but the general appearance is very strong. In addition to including an extra head, Jack is also packed with a Hyperion Inspiring Transmurdera SMG, the Vault Key, a display stand, and a code for 5 golden keys in-game. The SMG seems ever so slightly on the large side, but is otherwise pretty cool, as are the other two physical extras. The code is really only useful if you’re an active Borderlands 2 player, but fortunately I am.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Super Awesome Girlfriend’s the whole reason I even know what Borderlands is. Without her, I don’t believe I would have ever played the game myself (I’m at best a moderate gamer). When these figures were first announced, I knew Super Awesome Girlfriend was getting a Tiny Tina, since Tina’s one of her favorites. I wasn’t certain about Jack, but I thought I might pick him up, if nothing more than to support the line until they got to the characters I really wanted. In the mean time, I’ve done a play through of the Pre-Sequel, where I ended up playing Jack’s Doppleganger, and grew pretty attached to that character. Given the closeness of design, it’s certainly easier for me to appreciate this guy, especially since I tended to play my Doppleganger with the scarred head like the one included here. Jack’s a pretty great figure in his own right, and he gives me hope for the line as a whole. I’m definitely down for the figures they’ve announced so far, and holding out hope that we’ll see all of the main Vault Hunters. Honestly, I’d just settle for an Axton. That’s not too much to ask, right?