THE BOYS (NECA)
“Silent, stealthy, and enigmatic, Black Noir is The Seven’s superpowered ninja. His superstrength and heightened senses, such as his razor-sharp hearing, are matched only by his proficiency in the martial arts. Criminals run in terror at the mere mention of his name. Little is known about this lethal warrior, other than his having trained with a master sensei to become the death dealer that he is today. Whatever lies behind Black Noir’s mask is a complete mystery — which only makes him more terrifying.”
Last week, Amazon Prime’s The Boys adaptation returned for its third season. I’m writing this review before that, so, you know, I don’t know how it went. I’m sure it was just fun for the whole family, right? Just, like, a bunch of people all being super nice and friendly to each other. Good clean fun. Classic super hero stuff. Yeah, that’s definitely how it went down.
All kidding aside, The Boys is pretty much the epitome of “not for everyone,” but I’ve enjoyed the previous two seasons…I mean, in the way that anyone enjoys watching terrible people do terrible things to each other. Following the second season, they opened up the merchandising floodgates, so there’s all manner of stuff from the show. It’s a bit tricky for me to really say I like any of the characters enough to actually want any of them in toy form, but there’s one notable exception, and that’s Black Noir. He’s just a class act, start to finish. He’s great. Here’s a toy of him.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Okay, so, I’m going to get this out of the way first and foremost: the pictures for this review are of a modified Black Noir figure. Here are links for a few pics of the figure unmodified. I’ve decided not to run them as the main ones for reasons I’ll discuss in the review proper. So, let’s get to the review proper. Black Noir is a standalone release for NECA’s The Boys line, following up on the Series 1 release from last year, which featured Homelander and Starlight. Noir was initially part of Target’s Haultathon event, before being opened up to a wider specialty release the following month. The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation. The movement on Noir is fairly standard for NECA releases these days. It’s a decent assortment of joints, but it’s admittedly a little restricted, especially for a more agile character like Black Noir. He makes do with it, I suppose, and he’s at least not just a statue or anything. The integration into the sculpt is a little awkward in a few spots, but that’s also something that’s fairly typical of NECA. Black Noir’s sculpt is an all-new one, based on his appearance in the show. It’s mostly a good sculpt. The top half in particular is where things really work. The mask assembly is pretty solid, and the layout of all the armored plates and their respective texturing on the torso is actually really great. I’m not super keen on how high up the elbows are on the arms, but they’re otherwise okay. I’m also a fan of how well they’ve worked all of those knives into this look. Things fall apart for the sculpt below the waist. The boots are kind of goony looking, and the legs, especially the shins, seem far too skinny. But, by far the worst thing about the sculpt is the figure’s crotch. On the actual costume, Noir has an athletic cup, which is, you know, pretty sensible for someone in his line of work. Obviously, it’s a little bulky, but that ain’t what we ended up with on the figure. No, the figure has…well, it’s certainly one hell of a cod piece. Perhaps Noir is just very excited about his work? I’m not entirely sure what the line of logic was on this piece, but it honestly seems a bit baffling to me that no one at any point in the process looked at this figure and went “hey guys, should Black Noir’s penis be quite that obvious?” It’s honestly just distracting, really, and not exactly the sort of thing I want on the front page of my site, or even on my shelf, really. So, I did a little bit of awkward surgery, just to make him look a little bit less ridiculous. That’s what you’re seeing here. It’s still a little awkward, but a whole lot less so. Moving past the sculpt, Black Noir’s coloring uses, unsurprisingly, a lot of black. There are a variety of finishes to the black, which winds up working well for the design. Black Noir is billed as an “Ultimate” release, but that doesn’t quite seem to line up with his accessories. He gets three sets of hands and two knives. They’re all nice enough, but for an “Ultimate” figure, it might have been nice to have a few more weapons, or possibly some alternate battle damaged parts. Heck, an Almond Joy would have been pretty funny, too.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I like Black Noir a lot on the show, and I think he’s got one of the cooler designs, so as soon as figures were a thing, I was hoping he’d be out sooner than later. NECA confirming him was definitely cool, and I was looking forward to getting him in hand. The prototype shots had me worried with that crotch, but I was hoping it was a posing issue. It wasn’t, and that was definitely frustrating. I’m happy with the figure after the modification, but it’s not really something I want to have to do my figures, just to get them to a passable spot. Without the issue, this figure’s a lot of fun, but it’s a pretty big issue, and one that should have been corrected in the prototype stage. Ultimately, I’m happier to have him with a little work than to not have him at all.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.