#2038: The Faun

THE FAUN

GUILLERMO DEL TORO SIGNATURE SERIES (NECA)

One of Guillermo del Toro’s most visually stunning films, Pan’s Labyrinth is a dark yet beautiful fantasy set five years after the Spanish Civil War.The insidious brutality of the real world continues to cast a long shadow, infiltrating even the fantasy world of eleven-year-old Ofelia, who begins a terrifying, reality-spanning journey after meeting a mysterious faun in a crumbling labyrinth.Her mystic quest crosses seamlessly from one world to the other, weaving a parable about the power and pain of innocence.”

After making a modest impact on American audiences in 2004 with his live-action adaptation of Hellboy, Guillermo del Toro found his first real critical acclaim in the States with 2006’s Pan’s Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno, in its original Spanish release), which firmly established del Toro’s signature dark fairy tale aesthetic to mainstream audiences, and helped to make him more or less a household name.  At the time of its release, these sorts of films weren’t getting a ton of toy coverage.  Like, just right at the time of its release.  They were all over the place before, and after, but it was in this sort of window of things taking a step back.  Whatever the case, it meant no toys.  Fortunately, NECA’s coming to the rescue with a whole line devoted to del Toro’s filmography, a sizable portion of which is devoted to Pan’s Labyrinth.  Today, I’m looking at Ofelia’s guide to the mystical side of her journey, the Faun!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Faun is figure 4 in the Guillermo del Toro Signature Series, and the third figure in the line to be based on Pan’s Labyrinth.  Also, the second Doug Jones character (the other being the Pale Man, also from Pan’s Labyrinth), for those playing at home.  He won’t be the last.  The figure stands 8 inches tall (8 1/2 with the legs fully extended, but then he can’t stand) and he has 29 points of articulation.  The Faun’s an all-new sculpt, patterned on his design as seen in the film.  It’s one of the most distinctive designs from the movie, and NECA’s done a pretty respectable job of capturing it in plastic form.  If you’re familiar with the structure of other NECA creature figures, then this one’s pretty much following their established formula.  He’s got a articulated body, with some rubber overlays in place to help keep the design from being too segmented and broken-up.  The detailing is up to the usual NECA standards.  His details are sharply defined, and he incorporates all of the Faun’s earth-y textures quite nicely.  The head is, admittedly, probably the weakest piece of the figure.  It’s the least defined and seems to be the most caricatured part of the figure.  The face of the Faun in the movie is obviously very stylized, but this rendition seems to stand-out from the body a little more so.  That said, it’s hardly a bad offering, and all of the important details are there to sell the design.  The paintwork is again pretty standard for a NECA release of this style.  There’s a lot of washes and accenting to bring out all of the small sculpted details, and to help bring him in line with how the character is lit on screen.  Again, the head is sort of the weak point, specifically the eyes, which just feel way too cartoony when compared to the movie.  They’re really the one part of the figure that sort of ruins the illusion for me, and they really don’t seem to fit with the rest of the figure.  The Faun is packed with a few character specific extras.  He’s got his satchel and a bone to carry in it, as well as the container he gives to Ofelia when she enters the Pale Man’s abode.  There aren’t any fairies to store in it (you’ll have to pick up Ofelia for those), but he does get the dagger that she retrieves for him, which he can hold or store in the container.  I wouldn’t have minded an extra head with a different expression, but it’s not a bad selection of extras at all.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, confession:  I bought this figure without having seen the movie.  In fact, I sat down and watched this movie for the first time immediately prior to sitting down to write this review.  The things I do to write an informed review for you guys… Okay, actually, I have to say, I don’t know why it took me so long to finally watch the movie, and I’m really glad I did.  Whatever the case, it was the Faun’s cool del Toro design that got me on-board with this figure, and it does make for a really cool toy, even with its few small flaws.  I think I may have to grab an Ofelia to go with him.

The Faun was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

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#2017: Scorpion Alien

SCORPION ALIEN

ALIENS (NECA)

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Avengers coverage for a look at another “A” franchise.  Yes, it’s April 26th, or 4-26, also known as Alien Day, or at least it has been for the last few years.  And this year, I did actual manage to flag something special to review for the occasion.  Last month, I took a look at the NECA’s Kenner-inspired take on Sgt. Apone.  Today, I’m following that up with my first look at one of NECA’s Kenner-style Aliens, namely the Scorpion Alien, the closest the original line got to a standard-issue Xenomorph variant.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Scorpion Alien is the second of the three figures in the Kenner-inspired Series 13 of NECA’s Aliens line.  As sort of the quintessential alien of the original line, it was a little bit of a surprise that the Scorpion Alien wasn’t in the first Kenner-inspired assortment, but my guess would be that NECA was looking to space him out a little bit from the other more standard Alien variants.  At this point in the line, a more standard Xeno is a little more appreciated.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 39 points of articulation.  The Scorpion Alien uses the general model of the recently released Ultimate Alien Warrior as a starting point, mostly cribbing the internal workings and articulation scheme of that figure.  Most of the exterior is new; I think the pelvis and maybe the lower legs are the only truly un-changed parts.  Everything else gets a new skin.  It’s not *terribly* different from the film design, just a lot spikier, really.  For the sake of mixing things up a bit, and making him a little more unique, NECA’s also changed up the musculature a little bit, making him ever so slightly bulkier in areas such as the shoulders and the thighs.  It matches better with the slightly stouter build of the old figure, making him a more true adaptation of that figure.  The paintwork on this figure also leans pretty heavily on accuracy to the original’s exact coloring, with a heavy bronze accenting.  It’s a good look, though, as always, I’m slightly partial to blue, so I wouldn’t be opposed to a re-paint.  Still, this is a good look for the figure, and I appreciate the heavy bronze to black ratio.  The Scorpion Alien doesn’t have any accessories, but he does include a reprint of the comic included with the original figure.  I was slightly saddened by the lack of a blast apart feature, but I can’t really blame NECA for leaving that one out.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I was already picking up Apone, the Scorpion Alien was a pretty easy sell for me.  Though not far removed from the original design, he’s always been my favorite Kenner Alien design, so I was happy to see him show up in this line-up.  If you have any of the other Xenos from this line, he may not feel like much new, but I dig the changes they made, and I think he makes for a fun variant.  Hope you didn’t mind the detour.  The Marvel stuff will be back tomorrow!

I picked up this guy from my friends at All Time Toys, who have (or had, at least) the whole series.   If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1989: Sgt. Apone

SGT. APONE

ALIENS (NECA)

“Tough and gritty, Apone keeps the Marines in line. Right arm now bio-mechanical.”

When NECA’s highly-popular Predator line started running out of actual movie-based Predators to release, they started reaching back to the ’90s line of Predator figures from Kenner, a fairly popular move.  Obviously, it’s not a huge shock that the Aliens line would follow suit.  We got the Kenner variant of Ripley back on the first Alien Day, with Vasquez following suit the next year.  There was an assortment of Kenner inspired Xenos released between the two in 2016, and we’ve finally gotten a follow-up assortment just this year.  We’ve also gotten our first main series release for a Kenner human, Sgt. Apone, a character whose movie version we have still yet to see, due to Al Matthews, Apone’s actor, being notoriously protective of his likeness.  But hey, at least we have *some* version of Apone.  And one that’s super ’90s-tastic at that!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sgt. Apone is one of the three figures in the Kenner-inspired Series 13 of Aliens from NECA.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  As I noted when I reviewed the original Kenner Apone, his design from Kenner was perhaps one of the most divergent from the source material.  Gone was his uniform and standard military gear, replaced by something I can only describe as “uber ’90s”.  He’s got a backwards baseball cap, fingerless gloves, a bright-colored t-shirt with the sleeves torn off, and even a pair of sneakers inspired by the ones Ripley has in the film (which her Kenner figure didn’t have; I can only imagine that Al stole them from her).  The look is unique to say the least.  For the part of this specific figure, he’s done a pretty amazing job of faithfully capturing the details of the original figure, while still updating him so that he won’t look *too* out of place with the rest of the movie-inspired figures.  There’s a lot of great small detail work going on, from the wrinkles of his pants, to all the little stitches and wear on his boots.  The facial likeness is a tricky area of course, since it’s not officially an Al Matthews likeness, same as the Kenner figure before it.  But, like the Kenner figure, it’s still got a more than passing resemblance to the guy, meaning he still looks like Apone.  For the more resourceful customizers out there, I can see this head leading to a pretty easy movie accurate version of the character.  If there’s one drawback to the sculpt, it’s the way the cybernetic arm impedes the articulation on his right elbow.  It’s not terrible, and you can still get some good poses, but it’s not as good as the left.  In NECA’s defense, the original Kenner figure threw the arm on with no intention to articulate it, so they’re just doing their best to remain faithful to that design.  In the end, it’s not that big an issue, but it did somewhat stick out at me.  Moving onto the paint, Apone’s got some solid work, and is appropriately garish in color scheme.  He’s got his signature “No Bugs” scrawled across his shirt, which definitely looks cool, and as a whole the figure just really pops.  What I like the most about it, however, is that NECA didn’t just do the basic colors, they’ve also gone behind and added some accenting work, especially on those boots, so even though he may be bright and painful, he still looks like a real person.  Apone includes two “grenades” and a shotgun, just like his old figure.  The gun is re-used from one of the Genisys Terminators, but it’s actually a surprisingly good match.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve definitely been wanting an Apone for my NECA Aliens collection, and while I still want a faithful movie version at some point, I really can’t complain about getting this one.  The super ’90s nature adds a lot of charm.  Here’s hoping for some more Kenner Marines to go with him!

I got this guy from my friends at All Time Toys, who have (or had, at least) the whole series.   If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1974: Leonardo

LEONARDO

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: THE MOVIE (NECA)

Okay, so at this point, you can’t really be surprised by the subject of today’s review.  I looked at the other three, obviously I was going to round out the full set of Turtles and look at brother number four, Leonardo, the leader of the team.  I don’t really have a ton to say about Leo as a character, but I will say that the order of this week’s reviews correspond with my rankings of the for Turtles, so make of that what you will.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Leonardo is the fourth of the GameStop-exclusive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie figures from NECA.  He too is based on his appearance in the first TMNT film.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has, you guessed it, 21 points of articulation.  Leo is once again a scaling down of the 1/4-scale release from last year, and just like that figure, he shares most of his parts with his three brothers.  Hey, if you’re gonna commit to it, commit to it, right?  He gets a new head, showcasing Leo’s more reserved and disciplined nature.  Perhaps it’s not the most exciting expression, but it’s certainly true to the character and versatile as well.  He also gets a new belt/shoulder-strap, which, like Donatello’s, sits a little higher than I’d like.  Of course, it’s not quite as high as Donnie’s, and it’s still film accurate, so I can’t complain too much.  I mean, I *can*; it’s my site and all; but I won’t.  The new straps have sheaths for Leo’s katanas, and it’s definitely the most easily utilized storage of the bunch.  Leo’s paintwork is pretty much the same song and dance as it was for his brothers, but obviously with blue for his mask, what with it being his main color and all.  Leo is packed with his twin katana, two sets of hands (gripping and relaxed), two styles of ties for his mask, and another slice of pizza.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If you’ve read the other three reviews, then you know that Leonardo, like the rest of the set, was gotten for me by my Super Awesome Fiancee, who put a lot of effort into securing me a complete set of these figures.  The larger scale figures weren’t my thing, but I always appreciated the work put into them.  These smaller releases are pretty great, and I hope they aren’t too hard to get in the long-run.

#1973: Michelangelo

MICHELANGELO

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: THE MOVIE (NECA)

Hey, did you dig yesterday’s one-armed review?  Okay, before you answer that, I’m gonna need you to clarify if you dig my two-armed reviews as well.  You know, for a more controlled study and what not.  So, what am I getting at here?  Well, I’m writing another one-armed review.  So, you know, there it is.  Please enjoy it to level you would a two-armed review.  For a controlled study and what not.

Today, I’m looking at the next piece of the Turtles puzzle, Michelangelo!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Michelangelo is the third turtle in NECA’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie figures, available exclusively at GameStop…until they inevitably unload the excess stock on some other retailer…because they’re GameStop.  Anyway, the figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 21 points of articulation.  Like Donnie and Raph, he’s a scaled-down version of the 1/4-scale figure from 2017.  As with that figure, this one uses the same body as his brothers, along with a new head sculpt.  Mikey’s expression is much lighter and more jovial than his brothers, with a wide-eyed expression and a light-hearted grin.  His expression is definitely my favorite of all the figures in this line-up, and is certainly a spot-on look for the character.  Mikey is also sporting his own unique belt, which, like Raph’s, is a simple across the waist affair.  It’s a nice enough piece, and while it doesn’t have specific storage for his nunchucks, there’s enough give that they can be wedged in there as they were in the film.  His paintwork matches the other two, aside, of course, from the color on his mask.  Mikey is packed with his nunchucks (which get my vote for least impressive weapons in the set.  It’s not really NECA’s fault, though; the nunchucks are always hard to adapt to toys), two sets of hands (gripping and thumbs up; I particularly love the thumbs up ones), two styles of mask ties, and a slice of pizza.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Mikey is once again a gift given to me by my Super Awesome Fiancee, just like the rest of the set.  Despite Donnie being my favorite Turtle, I think Mikey’s my favorite individual figure, because he just so clearly captures the look and spirit of the character in the movie.  And boom: two one-handed reviews.

#1972: Raphael

RAPHAEL

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: THE MOVIE (NECA)

C’mon, c’mon, I’ll review ya with one arm tied behind my back!  Or, tied to my front.  Restrained, is what I’m getting at here.  Confused?  Totally fair.  Allow me to sum up:  thanks to one of my shoulders taking on the properties of a chunk of rock, and thereby rendering me down a hand for this review.  Obviously, things had just gotten too easy for me, so I had to take things up a notch.  Because stress certainly isn’t an issue.  Why would you say that?  So, without further ado, here’s this Raphael figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Raphael is the second of the four GameStop-exclusive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie figures from NECA.  Like Donatello, he’s based on the first live action TMNT film (and, by extension, the second as well), and is a down-scaling of NECA’s 1/4-scale figure from back in 2017.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 21 points of articulation.  As with the larger figures, most of Raphael’s sculpt is shared with his brother Donatello.  Fortunately, it’s a really solid sculpt, so it works out really well.  Raph gets a new headsculpt.  He’s more intense than Donnie, with his Brow furrowed and his teeth bared.  It’s definitely appropriate for Raph as a character, and matches his depiction for most of the movies.  Also unique to this figure is the belt.  It’s just across the waist this time, and actually sits far more naturally.  Also, the storage for his weapons is way easier to use than on Donatello.  Raph’s paint is pretty much the same as Donatello’s, swapping out red for the purple on the bandana.  Raph is packed with his sai, two sets of hands (in gripping and relaxed poses), two styles of ties for his mask, and a slice of pizza (the same one included with Donnie).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with his brother, Raphael was given to me by my Super Awesome Fiancee, along with the rest of the set.  Raphael has all of the pluses of Donatello, without the one main drawback of ill-designed weapon storage, which is a definite plus in my book.  And look at that, I’ve written this whole review one-handed.  How about that?

#1971: Donatello

DONATELLO

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: THE MOVIE (NECA)

Despite being a licensed property, rather than an in-house brand, the main license for Ninja Turtles has been held by Playmates Toys since the franchise arrived on the scene in the ‘80s, meaning that other companies have had rather little chance to give the characters their own stab.  Perhaps the only exception to this rule would be NECA, who first got into the TMNT-thing with a set of comics-based figures back in 2007, while the franchise was between re-boots.  Since the brand was bought by Nickelodeon in 2011, Playmates has had more of a strangle-hold on the main figure scales, but NECA again got their foot in the door by offering up some 1/4-scale figures based on the 1990 film.  Those were a rousing success, and through some loop-holer-y, NECA was able to parlay that success into a line of more conventionally scaled figures.  I’ll be looking at my personal favorite Turtle, Donatello, today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Donatello is the first of the four GameStop-exclusive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie figures, which started arriving at stores in the late-January/early-February time frame.  Based on his appearance in the first (and second, since they were the same suits) TMNT movie from 1990, the figure stands 6 inches tall and has 21 points of articulation.  All of the figures in this set are scaled-down versions of the 1/4-scale figure.  This means that the sculpt on Donnie has a ton of detail work, since he was originally 12 inches taller.  It’s a very sharp sculpt, and quite nicely recreates the suit from the movie, albeit in a slightly idealized fashion (because, let’s be honest, nobody really wants a straight re-creation; it would look pretty darn terrible).  The majority of the body is shared with Donnie’s brothers, but he has a few parts to keep him unique.  Obviously, he’s got his own unique head sculpt, which follows the more reserved and calm take on the character that we usually see, and works nicely for a number of poses.  The other unique piece is his belt/shoulder strap.  I’m admittedly not a huge piece, for two reasons.  The first isn’t really NECA’s fault, but I just don’t like how high on his chest the belt sits.  This is accurate to the movie, but it’s a design element that’s always bugged me.  Still, it’s accurate, so that one I can’t hold against NECA.  The second issue’s more on them, though.  See, the design of the back of the strap, where the Bo is meant to be stowed, isn’t so great.  They’ve just used cloth straps, which are tied in place.  The trouble is that they came untied almost immediately after I took him out of the box, they aren’t very easy to re-tie, and even when you do re-tie them, they don’t hold for very long.  Getting them to stay in place for the photos was no small feat.  I don’t foresee myself leaving the Bo on his back much anyway, but it’s a little frustrating not really being able to use this facet of the figure.  Donatello’s paintwork is a pretty solid offering.  There’s a lot going on, with tons of small subtle detail work all throughout, again mimicking the suit from the film very well.  Donatello’s accessory complement isn’t quite as extensive as his larger counterpart, but he’s still pretty well-packed.  He has his Bo, plus two sets of hands (in gripping and open gesture poses, two styles of ties for his mask (relaxed and dynamic), and a slice of pizza.  Not a bad assortment.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

There have been some definite horror stories from collectors trying to track down a full set of these figures, stemming largely from the problems inherent to giving a highly demanded item as an exclusive item to a retail chain that’s not had a particularly great history with this sort of product.  Fortunately for me, I have someone on the inside: Super Awesome Fiancee.  She was able to be assertive enough with her co-workers to net me a complete set, meaning I had no real troubles!  Donatello has some slight flaws, but is generally a very strong figure, living up the standards NECA has set for themselves.

#1877: Ultimate Alien Warrior

ULTIMATE ALIEN WARRIOR — BLUE

ALIENS (NECA)

I have this running gag with my family where we all refer to Aliens as one of my favorite Christmas movies.  It all stems from me setting up some last minute decorations on the 23rd of December one year, and being a little Christmas movie-d out, I threw on Aliens, since it’s kind of my favorite movie.  The thing is, there’s kind of a solid rhythm to it, so it just kind of stuck, and now it feels weird to have a Christmas without it.  So, I guess this review is me starting to get into the holiday spirit?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Ultimate Alien Warrior is NECA’s latest entry in their ever-expanding Aliens line.  It’s a stand-alone, boxed release, just like all of the other “Ultimate” offerings they’ve been doing, shipping in cases split between the two color variants: brown and blue.  Both figures were shown off a ways back (like, more than a year ago), and seemed to be stricken with quite a few delays, but they’re here now, and that’s the important thing.  The figure reviewed here is the blue variant, because that’s my favorite version.  The Xeno stands 8 inches tall and has 39 points of articulation.  He uses the new and improved Aliens Warrior body, which we got a preview of with the Concept Xeno that was packed with the Burke figure last year.  As I noted in that figure’s review, the body is aesthetically very similar to the Series 1 Xeno body, but it’s far more posable, and just generally sturdier than the prior body was.  The details also look to be a little sharper, but this could just be improvements in the manufacturing process.  This figure, of course, trades in the domed head of the last one for a more Aliens-accurate ridged head.  I think it’s just the same one we saw on the earlier figures, which seems sensible enough.  This new Xeno’s paintwork is, of course, heavy on the blue accenting, as I mentioned above.  This replicates the lighting scheme of the movie a bit more accurately.  What’s quite impressive about this particular release is that it’s a lot more subtle than prior offerings, and it melds the blue with some varieties of brown, making it even more clear that the blue is more of a lighting thing.  Essentially, it matches the Warrior to NECA’s Alien Queen figure, which definitely works for me.  Prior Xenos have been sans-accessories, but as an Ultimate release, this one’s actually nicely accessorized.  There’s the egg and face hugger combo like we saw with the half-Bishop, as well as a newborn chestburster, previously seen in the creature pack.  It’s always nice to get some extras of these, and especially nice to see the Xeno actually get something for a change.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When NECA’s Aliens line launched, I was pretty firm on only getting six Xenos total (because that’s the number of Xeno suits used in the film; it’s a very geeky thing).  I long ago surpassed that.  But, back in the Series 2 days, when I had just gotten my first Blue Warrior, I thought I might actually be able to stick to it, because he was my favorite and I didn’t think he could be surpassed.  Then, while I was taking photos for my Queen review, I picked up the blue guy, and his leg didn’t come with him.  At this point, he was rather expensive to replace, so I just solemnly placed him at the back of my display.  Needless to say, when NECA announced the Ultimate offerings, I was thrilled, and now that I have this guy in hand, he’s undoubtedly my favorite Xeno figure.  I’m glad to have a blue leading the pack again!

This guy was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  As of this writing, the figure is still in-stock, so if you’re interested in this figure, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1863: Broken Tusk

BROKEN TUSK

PREDATORS (NECA)

“Mankind’s two ultimate nightmares come together in mortal combat, and whoever wins—we lose.  On the remote planet Ryushi, a small ranching community becomes an unwilling participant in a deadly ritual: extraterrestrial predators have seeded Ryushi with alien eggs in order to create the ultimate hunt.  But what the Predators don’t know is that an alien queen egg is amongst those they’ve sent as potential hunting stock, and when the Predators arrive, the hunters become the hunted amidst a monumental swarm of aliens, and they may need to turn to the very same humans they regard as little more than potential trophies to give them any hope of survival.”

Just over 1000 reviews ago, I had a brief discussion of the Alien vs. Predator movie.  From the moment Predator 2 revealed a Xenomorph skull amongst the collection on the Predator ship, the “Alien vs. Predator” concept has been out there, permeating just about every form of media.  While the movie was awful (although, it was sweet, sweet bliss when compared to its sequel), there have been a number of far more successful takes on the concept, including Dark Horse’s comics version, which actually served as a heavy inspiration for the movie, but is better in just about every facet.  NECA, always anxious for new venues for Predators to release, has slowly been adding various comics-based Predators to their ongoing line.  The latest is Broken Tusk, aka Dachande, the comic’s equivalent to the movie’s “Scar,” as a moderately heroic Predator that assists the humans in defeating the Xeno menace.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Broken Tusk is one of the three figures in Series 18 of the Predators line from NECA.  All three are based on the AvP comic, though somewhat adapted to the more realistic style of the rest of the line, which is sensible.  The figure is just shy of 9 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  He uses the larger and more posable style of body introduced with Series 14’s AvP movie Predators.  It gives them quite an imposing stature, and his articulation makes for a very playable figure.  The underlying sculpt is the same basic one seen on the others, with the armored parts being the major change-up.  Broken Tusk has a rather unique armor design.  In the story, he’s injured during the battle with the Xenos, so the humans have to help patch him up.  The end result is a blending of the classic Predator aesthetic (including a Jungle Hunter-inspired faceplate), with more utilitarian human tech worked in on the torso, and then a bit of found materials (including a very cool Xeno head).  As we’ve become accustomed to with this line, the gauntlets have extending blades on one side, and a fold-out panel on the other, which is always a fun feature.  As amazing as the sculpt is, what really sold me on this figure was the paint scheme.  In the comics, he’s colored in a more traditional Predator sort of sense, with lots of browns and greys, making him as a whole look quite similar to the standard Jungle Hunter.  Of course, that describes a lot of the NECA Predators so far, so this guy would have been just one fo the pack.  As cool as the sculpt may be, with those same colors, he might end up unfortunately forgettable.  So, instead, NECA’s played up the human-ally aspect of the character, and given him a color scheme modeled after the Colonial Marines from Aliens.  It’s pretty darn cool, and I love have they’ve even made the patterns on his skin look like the camo pattern from the Marine uniforms.  It’s definitely very clever.  Broken Tusk’s accessories further the melding of the styles, with his more Predator specific two-part staff, and a more human-inspired rifle as well.  Both weapons are very nicely sculpted and well fit to his hands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m a more moderate Predator fan, but I’m a huge Aliens fan, so anytime NECA melds those two lines, I’m on board.  As soon as this guy was shown off (TWO Toy Fairs ago), I knew I wanted one.  It’s been a long wait for him, long enough that I’d thought maybe he just wasn’t coming.  But then, Series 18 just sort of dropped in my lap, and boom, here he was.  Fun’s a word I used a few times in this review, and it’s an apt description for him.  I just really like him, in both concept and execution, and he’s a fantastic accent piece for my rather expansive collection of Colonial Marines.

I picked up Broken Tusk from my friends over at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1776: Motorized Patriot

MOTORIZED PATRIOT — BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

BIOSHOCK INFINITE (NECA)

“Originally constructed by Fink MFG. to serve as tour guides for the residents of Columbia, the Motorized Patriots now serve as a standing guard for the entire city.  Fearless and unrelenting, without a shred of self preservation, the Patriots will track down and eliminate any opposition without remorse.  Will you be able to find the right combination to defeat these automated monstrosities?”

You guys ready to play another game of Ethan reviews a figure from a video game he’s never played?  Oh yeah, let’s do this!  The game I’ve never played this time is Bioshock Infinite, the third game in the Bioshock series, a whole series of games I’ve never played.  But this one has cool old-timey motorized robot automaton things, which in turn make for cool action figures.  And that’s by far the most important thing for me.  So, without further ado, here’s the Motorized Patriot.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Benjamin Franklin Motorized Patriot is the second to last release in NECA’s Bioshock Infinite line.  He’s the second of the Motorized Patriot after the George Washington version from earlier in the line.  Unlike Washington, who was actually in the game, Franklin is just a concept figure.  The figure stands 9 1/4 inches tall and he has 19 points of articulation.  Ben shares most of his pieces with the first Motorized Patriot.  The movement on the joints is a little bit stiff, especially on the legs.  That right knee in particular doesn’t have much budge to it.  With that said, you can definitely get the basic standing poses the Patriots stand in in-game, and he’s pretty stable.  The body sculpt is up to NECA’s usual standards, with sharp, crisp detailing on the uniform, and some very nice dynamic work on the folds and wrinkles, which matches up pretty decently with the game stylings.  This figure removes the shoulder pauldrons from the Washington Patriot, which actually does quite a bit to change up the general shaping of the figure, and sell him as a more unique “character.”  Also helping sell him as a new character is the unique head, which captures the classical Ben Franklin image.  It does look perhaps slightly off on the thinner Washington body, but it’s a solid sculpt in its own right.  In contrast to Washington, Ben gets to keep both of his eyes, though one of his lids is broken, helping to keep up that sort of creepy appearance.  The paint work on Ben is pretty impressive.  He swaps out the blue of Washington’s military jacket for a deep purple, which works quite well for the design.  The application is all quite clean, and the accent work on his uniform does a lot of favors for the sculpt.  The Patriot’s primary accessory is his main weapon, the Peppermill gatling gun.  It features a spinning barrel and a rotating handle, and is just generally a pretty cool piece.  The only slight downside is that the handles are the slightest bit too big for the figure’s hands, which can easily cause breakage if you aren’t careful.  Fortunately, you can pretty easily mod the figure’s hands by cutting the connection between in thumb and forefinger, and that saves a lot of trouble.  The Patriot also includes a pair of Columbia flags, for mounting on the figure’s back, as well as an alternate head, sans the Franklin mask, which is also appropriately creepy.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Back when these figures were new, I totally meant to get one of these guys.  I was trying to pick between Washington and Franklin, and just ended up getting distracted by other things.  So, why end up with one now?  Well, as you may have noticed, the number for this review is 1776, so I wanted something appropriately festive, and I remembered these guys.  Fortunately, I was able to get some assistance from my friends at All Time Toys, who were able to secure me this guy for this review.  I think if I had the choice, I might have instead gone for Washington, but this one is still really, really solid.

If you want one of these for your very own, he’s still in stock with All Time, so check him out here.  Or, if your looking for something else, make sure to check out their web store and their eBay storefront.