Or: A Post On My Decent Further Into Geekdom
A catalogue from Forbidden Planet dropped through the door the other day and amongst the myriad of Star Wars memorabilia, Doctor Who tchochkes and slightly disturbing animé statuettes were the new Gears of War action figures designed by Neca. They stood out from the rest of the catalogue through sheer detail alone and ignoring the part of my brain that asks why I need such things I bought two.
One thing that concerns me when buying figures like these is that the product shots you see are often of high detail reference models and what you end up with is of a much reduced quality. For this reason what follows is a series of photos and my opinions on these models.
When viewing these pictures, click on them for a much large view and compare them with the official photos on the Neca website: http://www.necaonline.com/features/gears1/
My fascination with Gears of War stems from the fact that it was the first ‘triple A’ game I played on the Xbox 360 and ended up sucking up a lot of my time. Though the hyper-macho Gears themselves with their enormous boots, biceps and necks are staples of Epic games and not exactly original (see just about any Unreal Tournament game from the last ten years), I thought they would make good figures to sit on my shelf. For that reason I ended up getting Marcus Fenix – the protagonist of the game – and a Locust Drone:
I ended up buying the figures from Play.com as they were a shade cheaper at £9.99 each, my first thought would be that they were not packed very well. The figures are stored in cheap plastic ‘blister-pack’ boxes. This has two problems: firstly as Play only sent them in a jiffy bag the boxes had taken quite a beating on the way to me and secondly you will need to get out some sharp scissors and a box of plasters, the former to break into the packaging and the later to put on the wounds you’ll get from cutting into the plastic. This of course means that unless you are careful you can pretty much forget keeping the packaging.
Packaging aside the figures are impressive to see first-hand. They are quite hefty for their size- a side effect of the characters’ armour. They stand up freely without needing to be propped up (they come with no bases or dioramas). This fundamental design of the characters means that the models have an annoying limitation- although the figures boast several points of articulation they are severely limited in movement. The static pose you see in these photos is pretty much what you have to work with.
Marcus comes with a Lancer assault rifle (famous for the chainsaw bayonet) and a snub pistol. He has no holster for the latter weapon though you may spot in one photo I blu-tacked it to his leg. The rifle is a slight disappointment in relation to the rest of the package, mine was quite bent out of the box as it is flimsy and the blood you see in the official photos could easily be mistaken for rust in mine. Also Marcus’ hands are too big for the gun which means it balances in his hands rather than it being held in place. Still, we are talking about a gun with a chainsaw on the end of it, so it all balances out! The paintwork and detail on the figure is impressive, the armour does look distressed and used (as you would imagine it would) compared to the slightly more polished look in the official photos.
The Locust Drone comes with a Hammerburst rifle and a revolver. This figure does have a holster for the revolver. Again the level of detail on the figure is high, the head in particular is fantastic. Neca have perfectly captured the hideous Locust in this figure, it is an imposing figure on the shelf.
I am personally quite pleased with these figures. I was surprised to get such good quality figures that almost mirror the official pictures for only ten pounds each. I would recommend them for fans of the game who would appreciate the detail and complexity of the figures and want something interesting and different on their shelves.
Many thanks go out to my brother for the loan of his camera and a crash course in taking non-shaky-cam pictures. I have a lot to learn about photography and may put up more pictures when skills allow!