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Django
I was torn on the title of this article, but I figured this one would be the most eye catching. Other potential titles included, “Toys that would be on clearance in 2 months, now worth $1,000s of dollars”, “The most valuable ReMego toys to date” and my favorite, “Django UnBayed”. The story, if you haven’t been keeping up, is that NECA’s Django Unchained Mego-like figures have stirred up quite a controversy. It’s certainly not the first time a toy has been controversial and it’s hardly the first time in the last few years that protesters have convinced someone that an “adult collectible” is being sold to children in a toy store.

Of course, times change. Matchbox got into quite the controversy in the 80′s when they made Freddy Krueger figures that WERE marketed to kids. But nobody bats an eye at Krueger figures lining the shelves of Toys R Us anymore. We have action figures of everything from fictional murderers to real life serial killers. You’d think we’d be past the days of a plastic toy getting people up in arms, but we’re not.

So what makes this controversy different? Slavery, I suppose. You see, at the heart of the issue is the concept that kids will buy these toys and play “slavery” with the dolls. As someone who played with toys far longer than he had any right to, I’m sure certain aspects of slavery already creeped into my toy playing. Weren’t Rocksteady and Bebop basically slaves to Shredder? But I digress… Even though these toys are aimed at adult collectors, it was first that we had to “think of the kids” and how they might be exposed to such horrors.

Even though none of these figures had made their way to Toys R Us yet (one assumes they would have eventually), they were pulled from the virtual shelves. Now we couldn’t just protect the children, we all needed to be protected. You see, we live in a strange world. You can own an AK-46 assault rifle, but you can’t own a toy from a movie where someone was a slave in it. In America, as long as it’s not hurting anyone, you can complain and get rid of it. Just try and find a t-shirt with the Kentucky Wildcat penis tongue on it anymore. But guns, those are okay. You can buy a rebel flag, dynamite, beer and a katana at the local flea market on Sunday, but not toys about a slave hero from a movie.

Perhaps what makes this so interesting is that the brouhaha went national. It garnered the attention of the Weinstein Company, producers of the film, who then forced NECA to stop making the figures. They even made NECA go so far as to call for the toys sold to retailers to be returned. Since the toys had just barely hit and not yet made it to larger retail chains, it’s pretty easy to stop these toys cold.

Django Dude
The figures are so rare that protesters can only carry pictures of the figures to complain about.
That more or less negates the need for a protest, no?

Apparently, the National Action Network and Project Islamic Hope, two civil rights groups at the center of the storm, felt the figures were commercializing the slave experience. Of course, one could easily argue that the movie itself does the same thing. And we know there will be other Django merchandise, t-shirts, hats, Slurpee cups. It’ll happen and that’s just as much commercialization as anything else. So why are toys persecuted? Because nobody stands up for toys. Toys are still considered “children’s playthings” in the minds of the masses.

Yet, despite all that, the figures have been selling for hundreds and thousands of dollars on Ebay. The highest auction I could find was over $5,000 for a set of figures. At least until today, as Ebay wants nothing more to do with Django. Ebay has removed all of the auctions, at the behest of complaints, because it violates their “racially or ethnically offensive” policy. Even though Ebay pulled the items down, several have popped back up, all at inflated prices. Ebay’s jump into this mix will likely briefly increase the figure’s worth but I suspect over time, if Ebay continues to pull auctions, the price will plummet. Nobody really wants these figures, they only want them because they’re rare and controversial.

Continue reading


Just in time for the DVD release, it’s NECA’s Hunger Games Katniss!


It’s time once again to shine a spotlight on some of the customs out there and this time we’re looking at something a bit different. Jeff sent along this great piece featuring his NECA Ninja Turtles. He created this custom display using the vintage Eastman/Laird art.


I started out with a ‘crystal clear’ display case from the local Hobby Lobby that would house all four turtles, measuring 7″ x 6″ turned vertically. To give two of the turtles height (to appear leaping in midair) I found some bendable metal wire in the train aisle and drilled holes into some wooden circular discs large enough to support the balancing figure. I painted the disc gray and glued a NYC man hole cover on top.


Next, I scanned in a page from my old Mirage TMNT book 1- the vertical panel that shows the turtles escape after defeating the purple dragon gang. I scaled the image in photoshop, printed it and attached it to the back of the display along with a similar graphic for them to stand on. I’m very happy with how this display turned out and have started working on a similar display for the Classics line (using art from the arcade game) and the new Nick toon. Let me know if you are interested in making your own display or sharing it with others on your site. I’ll gladly provide the files for fellow turtle fans.


Awesome work Jeff! I am loving this display. I imagine a lot of folks will take some inspiration from this. Very well done!

That’s it for this edition of Custom Creations Corner, but if you have a cool custom you want spotlighted, drop us a line and maybe you could be featured right here!

NECA Vector review at Infinite Hollywood
Player Select: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Vector
7-inch scale
By: NECA
$15-$20 retail

NECA’s Player Select line offers action figures that, just a few short years ago, nobody thought would ever be made. Now we’ve got Ryu Hayabusa slaying demons alongside Alucard, Raziel lighting the way for Isaac Clarke, and Altair (suck it, Ezio) sneaking around with Sam Fisher. It’s no embellishment to say that Player Select is my favorite action figure line today, with its focus on detailed sculpting, incredible articulation, and an affordable price tag.

That being said, not every figure is a home run. From time to time we get a Lara Croft, Alex Mercer, or Army of Two: figures that often look nice but stray a bit to far from the formula to please their respective fans. When I first saw Vector’s earliest shots, I suspected the worst. From the ground up, he appeared to be a solid lump of plastic like the MGS toys from a few years back that TRU couldn’t sell if they were bundled with a squeeze on Scarlett Johansson’s boobs.

Finally, after a long wait (and much fantasizing about future TRU exclusive bundles), I have the toy in hand. Think I changed my mind?

Packaging:
Oh look! A clamshell! Who knew?


Once again, NECA provides the traditional plastic prison they always do. Honestly, it does a great job of protecting the figure, can stand up on its own, and isn’t easily damaged like a standard card. I suppose it’s good for MIB and MOC fans, too, for the consistency. To me, it’s just the cruel invisible wall between my and my beloved, and it shall be smited. Or is it smote? Or smitten? It shall be smotened.


And as usual, NECA’s kind enough to let you know who did all the work on your new toy. Still a big fan of this. An artist deserves his or her credit no matter how small a job.

Aesthetics:


Vector’s bio says he specializes in infiltration, and I think his look captures that nicely. His suit is mostly a very deep charcoal, with very few noticeable details. You may even find in some of the pictures that he’s difficult to see. The plastic is a little shiny, and comes off as black in most cases. It wasn’t until I got a lot of light on it that I began to think it was less of a pure black and more of a darker gray. I could be wrong on that, as both my mom and wife say I’m colorblind.


Vector’s mask is of a particularly cool design, though I’m not sure it’s 100% accurate to the game. It could just be that the hood is throwing it off a bit. I think the hood should be a little more free-flowing (a little more Jedi, if you will) to capture the look from the promo art. It makes the mask seem a little fat at the bottom, like the proportions are off. The eyes are painted with a lighter blue moving outward to a darker one, giving off a cool glow effect that really makes them pop out from every angle. The suit is covered with small hexagonal panels, which I assume are supposed to be sensors that operate similarly to our current stealth technology.


His back features the most prominent variation in color on the figure, with a huge swatch of silvery armor. An ideal place to be armored, I’d think. That, and the dingus. He appears to have some sort of radio device mounted on his shoulder like you sometimes see on SWAT officers. The legs feature buckles that don’t seem to serve a purpose and metal kneepads which I’d have to guess make a lot more noise than this guy usually hopes to give off. Then again, when your eyes glow bright blue in the shadows, you’re kind of inviting criticism of your work anyway. The boots are detailed with airholes and more metal, which, despite practicality rendering them a little stupid, still look pretty badass.


The only other thing I want to mention about the figure’s sculpt is that the shoulders appear to be slightly slumped as a result of the looseness of the costume. I get what Zammit and Gwyn were going for and I think they did a pretty decent job capturing it. I think the problem only exists because the mask is so large and the vest is so bulky, but just so you know, you may have to fiddle with him for a while until you really capture a vanilla stance you’re comfortable with.



Vector comes with three accessories. The pistol and knife are both very well detailed, with contoured grips and even some bloody paint apps on the knife. The knife’s blade is similar to that of a Khukri and even features a tiny lanyard hole like you see on many tactical knives today. Cool! The pistol has a laser fixed to the rail and is listed on the box as “UCBS pistol,” but that’s just the name of his unit. To me, it looks a bit like a Sig, but I’m not really versed enough to place it exactly. Any thoughts?

Both the pistol and the knife can be stored on Vector. The pistol has a right-handed crossdraw holster on the left side of his vest, while the knife can slide in between his radio straps on his back. I don’t know if it’s meant to go there, but it fits and I like storage so whoo-hoo!


Vector’s last accessory is an SMG of some type. It seems to definitely be of Heckler & Koch make, but I’m not sure on the exact model. The grip is very much like an MP5 or a G3, but the forward grip and buttcap are much more similar to a G36. The magazine is slanted too far forward to be a modified MP5 and the receiver is flat across the top. No HK bitchslap for you! The stock is very modern and reminds me of the kind you see on sniper rifles or any of the billions of M4-based monstrosities Airsoft players build. Is this an actual weapon anybody? There’s got to be a military nut out there who can identify this or at least weigh in on the design.


The paintjob isn’t awful on the gun, but it’s not great, either. The weathering looks just fine, it’s just that a lot of this weapon should be made of polymer and wouldn’t scuff up like metal does. I let details like that go on pistols, but on larger weapons it’s something to be aware of. The weapon also features an ACOG on the sight rail, which is sort of the default scope in video games and movies right now. Despite the weird design and paint choices, the gun looks nice in hand. It can take a bit of work to get it into both hands, but thankfully all the weapons fit into their respective hands easily and securely, and give you a lot of options for army-building cool spec ops soldiers or cyber ninjas.

Articulation:

This is the part I was most worried about. Luckily, I needn’t have been…mostly.


Vector’s got a ton of articulation. He sports a ball and socket neck, swivel hinge shoulders and elbows, ball wrists, ab crunch torso (under the vest), swivel waist, swivel hinge hips (set into the abdomen), swivel thighs, double hinged knees, swivel boot tops, hinged and rocker ankles, and hinged toes.


Now on the surface he’s ready to go toe-to-toe with your Marvel Legends, taking pot shots at Longshot because, let’s face it, he’s got a mullet and he deserves it. However, not all the joints are perfectly implemented. The neck is very restricted by where the mask meets the collar, meaning he has a tendency to look up. The elbrows aren’t bad, but could definitely stand a little more clearance to reach 90 degrees. Both the elbows and knees have pads secured by glue and feature free-floating straps over the joints. I’m surprised to say this isn’t much of a hindrance when posing.

But man, I hate those hips. The angled hips that shoot up at 45 degrees into the torso almost always kill the fun for me. And in the case of my first Vector figure, they really did the job. The swivels in the thigh are incredibly tight. So tight, in fact, that I broke my first Vector’s left hip right out of the box. Upon dismantling my second figure using the boil and pop method, I can see that the peg going into the figure is a very small peg, while the one going into the thigh is very large. The one going to the thigh ain’t gonna break; it’s as solid as the biceps peg on the Gears 3 figures. I’ve been VERY tough on my new figure’s thigh joints to test whether or not my figure was an isolated incident and have had no further issues. It may have just been a fluke, but be careful with the upper hip joint just in case.


Now, I wouldn’t call the ankle rockers useless, but they certainly don’t have the range of the aforementioned Marvel legends or even MOTUC figures. The toe hinges, on the other hand, are surprisingly tight. Normally I don’t care for toes hinges as it’s just one more joint that might give under the weight of a figure, but as you can see, Vector can balance on his quite nicely. In this respect he actually reminds me of NECA’s Ryu Hayabusa from a few years back.


I can’t tell if his ab crunch is hindered much by the tac vest, but it works much better than I’d hoped. I really like the articulation setup on this guy. He works great in action poses as well as simple repose, and very few of his joints are obvious. If he had a little better clearance on just a few of his joints (and dropped those awful hips), he’d be a perfect 10. As is, he’s definitely more than serviceable, but some poor design decisions keep him from being a true contender for toy of the year.

Value:
I personally paid 21 bucks to get this guy a little early from Amazon. That’s a bit steep, but not beyond what I would ever expect to pay for a high quality figure from a company I trust. Bet on these being closer to 15.99 at your local TRU when he sees wide release. That’s right about on track with what Hasbro and Mattel are marketing with their 6” lines. So for the same price, NECA gives you an extra inch! No charge! Toss in the three unique accessories and I’d say he’s just perfectly priced (so long as he maintains the current TRU price plan).


The figure is far from perfect, but there’s something (Snake Eyes) about a military (Snake Eyes) ninja figure (muthafuckin Snake Eyes) that just kinda draws me in. Not sure what it is, really. I do know that despite his flaws, this guy really is a lot of fun to mess around with. I had more fun taking photos of him than I have in quite a while.


I’d consider bumping him up to a full 10 if NECA had the foresight to make the tac vest removable. He appears to be full sculpted under there, but it’s glued at the side. Come on, man, gimme some options!

Score Recap:
Aesthetics: 8
Articulation: 7
Value: 9
Overall: 8

I don’t know how successful Operation Raccoon City was at launch, but I know I wasn’t that attracted to the project from a gameplay perspective. That initially made me worry a bit as to the odds this figure will be a peg-warmer. After really playing around with him, I think he’s going to appeal to a decent range of toy collectors. For RE fans, he appears pretty faithful to the game art and for the rest of us he makes a great spec ops army builder with so many different weapons. I suspect a lot of people will be picking this guy up to tear off that tac vest, skirt, and hood and see what they can work with to make some unique soldiers. Hell, I’m tempted to do it myself.

Vector may not have full hit his potential, but he stands up on his own as a very cool action figure and is certainly worth your 16 bucks. Recommended to fans of toys, Resident Evil, science fiction, and military figures in the 7” scale.


Thanks for reading and as always, it’s just a toy. Open the darned thing.

If you like military science fiction, make sure you check out Newt’s review of the GI Joe Cobra SNAKE battle armor.

If you’re into other horror properties, but not so much video games, go take a look at Newt’s review of Full Moon Toys’ Totem figure from their Puppet Master line.

E.T. at Infinite Hollywood
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
Galactic Friend E.T.
4 Inch Scale
By: NECA
$13

E.T. is one of those films that made a special connection to a generation of kids, but has since become sort of forgotten and passed over. In the early part of the 80′s though, E.T. mania was sweeping the nation. So much so that E.T. had t-shirts, books and of course, toys. There were quite a few E.T. figures made in the era of varying quality. Some that were no better than erasers and others that were pretty decent for their time.

E.T.

One of the things that the 80′s brought us was lots of toys from different manufacturers. Today when a popular movie comes out, you can pretty much count on your hand which toy companies will bid on the license. In the 80′s though, it seemed like everyone could get a piece of the pie. Sometimes that was good and other times, it didn’t work out so well.

Galactic Friend E.T. Review

Such is the case with E.T., because although there was a lot of product there wasn’t ever one defining toy. NECA has been coming to the rescue in the past few years releasing incredible toys from movie licenses that are considered by some as “outdated”. Instead of chasing down the popular new movie licenses, NECA has decided to give us definitive versions of classic movies, like Predator, Gremlins and Rocky.

E.T. Review at Infinite Hollywood

Does this hold true for E.T. as well? Read on to find out my thoughts on this figure which seems to encapsulate the spirit of the E.T. character in surprising ways.

Packaging:
NECA loves their clamshells and this package is pretty standard fare for NECA. It’s not part of their Cult Classics line, but rather is it’s own thing.


Probably the most clever part of this package is the sticker, which says it “features an interchangeable neck”. It’s not the sticker itself that’s sly, but rather the placement. It’s conveniently placed over the extra neck in the package, so no parents or psycho religious groups mistake E.T.’s neck for something more dubious.

Sculpt/Paint:
NECA has some of the best sculptors in the business working for them. It’s rare you find a NECA figure with a weak sculpt and E.T. certainly isn’t one. He’s immediately recognizable.


The likeness is spot on. E.T. is just covered in wrinkles, ridges and various other details that display the fine craftsmanship on the sculpting.


Originally NECA showed a full wave of E.T. figures with a potential second wave, but somewhere along the way it seemed that they decided to cut the E.T. license down to two figures. According to NECA, the second wave of 2 figures is still planned. This version which is for all intents and purposes the “regular” E.T. and the other E.T. is where he was dressed up as a lady after spending a little time with young Gertie (Drew Barrymore).


The original version of this figure didn’t come with the blanket, but another version came with a slightly different blanket. In the end, they split the difference and gave this E.T. a blanket which can be wrapped around his shoulders. I imagine most folks will toss it aside, although it’s a decent little sculpt.


“E.T. 2 – This Time It’s Personal!”

The body doesn’t have a ton of paint work, but the eyes are really well done with a lot of charm and emotion in them.


The rest of the body has a nice little wash on it, to help bring out the details of the sculpt. It’s not overdone, it’s just right.


The index finger of E.T. is painted red, to replicate his healing powers. Part of me thought they should have used a translucent plastic here and then painted around it, but honestly the paint job on the red is so good that I think they may have gone the right route.


He seems to be a pretty good scale, though he probably fits in with 1/6th figures the best.


Everything is recreated here in small scale and it’s wonderfully done. It’s all there, well except the heart light. Then again, there’s John Cena figures on the shelves right now filling that void.


The sculpt on the bonus neck is just as good as the regular. I do think it could have been a tad bit longer, but both necks are well done.


Articulation:
Part of the reason that none of the 80′s E.T. figures were any good is the lack of articulation. For a little stubby alien, E.T. still needs to be able to pose. Thankfully NECA has knocked this one out of the park in that department.


E.T. has a ball jointed neck, which is a double ball joint. Meaning that the joint is like a barbell and each end has a ball allowing you to get a ton of movement out of it. This is true of both the neck and the head, which are separate joints. This allows E.T.’s neck to have a ton of mobility.


That’s really important, given that E.T. expressed most of his emotion through his head and neck.


Surprisingly the arms are swivel-hinge ball joints at the shoulders and Hasbro-style swivel hinges at the elbows. He also has wrists which appear to be swivels, though they might be tiny balls with little to no side to side movement. I didn’t pop them off to be sure one way or the other because they just act like swivels.


One nice element is that the elbows are made of a really soft plastic and almost have a little “sheath” action going on around them. This allows the joint to be hidden in a way, but still really pliable for posing.


E.T. even has leg articulation, in the form of swivel-hinge ball joints.


You can’t get a ton of movement out of the legs, but it’s more than enough given the sculpt and design of the creature.

Accessories:
This E.T. comes with all the core items you’d want. The only item that’s missing is the little potted plant that E.T. carried around in the movie.


First you get the aforementioned blanket. This doesn’t look as good as the sculpt that would have fit over his head, but it works well enough. It’s made of a semi-soft plastic, but it’s thick, so there’s not going to be a ton of posing with it on.


Most importantly you get the Reese’s Pieces. Unfortunately they’re not labeled, as I assume NECA couldn’t work out a deal with Reese’s. Too bad, but the bag is the right color and the pieces are colored appropriately. Nobody would mistake these for anything else.


Finally you get the extra neck. It’s a bit of a hassle to swap necks, but not a huge deal.


Popping them out of the base body isn’t that hard, but popping the head in can be an issue. I recommend doing a boil and pop if it gives you any trouble.


It’s quite a bit for a figure in this price range.

Value:
If you like E.T., this guy is worth every bit of the $13-$15 range that you’ll likely pay for him. There’s a handful of minor things such as the potted plant or the heart light, that might could have made this figure even better… But he’s not missing anything by not having them. This is an incredible sculpt, grade A articulation and a handful of accessories at a price that can’t be beat.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 10
Paint – 10
Articulation – 9
Accessories – Candy, Towel, Extra Neck
Value – 10
Overall – 10 out of 10


What’s that? A perfect 10 score? Yes, I believe that overall this is about as perfect of an E.T. as we’ll ever get. Unless Hot Toys does some sort of E.T., this is as good as it gets. Plus there’s no way anyone’s going to release an E.T. that’s even half this good at this kind of a price point.


When NECA tries, they can put out the best toys on the market. Unfortunately not every NECA figure gets this sort of treatment, but I’m damn glad that E.T. did!


I’ve only given out a handful of 10 out of 10s in the 6 years that Infinite Hollywood has been running. Galactic Friend E.T. has managed to become one of the chosen few. Now that’s something worth phoning home about!


If you overlooked this guy on the shelf, give him a second chance. This is a little slice of brilliance from NECA. Now I just need to find some guys with guns walkie-talkies to harass him!

NECA Left 4 Dead Boomer Review at InfiniteHollywood.com
Player Select: Left 4 Dead
Boomer
7-inch scale
By: NECA
$22.99 Retail

If you’ve ever watched a horror movie and thought, “Don’t open that door!” or “Watch your back!” or even “Check your corners,” then it may have been the Boomer you feared. Making his debut in the original Left 4 Dead game in 2008, he also marks the first of NECA’s action figures as a result of their partnership with Valve. This guy can spew pheromone-laden vomit at you that calls the zombie horde, and works as a double-whammy in that if you shoot him while he’s near you, he will explode and cause the same reaction. The key is to shoot him from as far away as you can.

Therein lies the rub, as this guy (at least in my experience) loves to hang out in small rooms, around corners, and generally any place that makes him difficult to see from afar. He’s a pus-filled landmine in a game full of nasty customers and I am just honored to have something so disgusting on my shelf.

Let’s take a look.

Packaging:


The package is the same clamshell we’ve come to expect from this level of collectible, especially from NECA. I like the art, but I think the text steals the show. Instead of just saying who or what the Boomer is, they also give you tips on how to dispatch one. Awww thanks, Randy!


I always appreciate when NECA takes the time to include the credits on the packaging. It always makes me feel like they give a crap about the art of their collectibles and give credit where credit’s due.

Aesthetics:

Oh, gross. Just…gross.


This guy is just a mess; from head to toe he is disgusting. His design, however, is not only well-executed, but also well-sculpted and painted. The shoe-less feet coupled with the sweatpants and the lack of torn clothing a la the Incredible Hulk tells you this guy was already begging for a cameo in Se7en long before his appearance in the game. The designers didn’t even bother to bloody up his feet at all, meaning he probably didn’t have the energy to run when the shit hit the fan. He didn’t even try to fight, poor guy.


The various boils and pustules are absolutely sickening, with gradient pinks and red irritation leading up to the wounds as well as a nice gloss over the most distended part of his pus-filled belly. Yuck. The paint work looks great. There’s slop where there should be and straight lines that don’t bleed. On the whole, I’m very satisfied with the paint quality.


Jason Frailey’s sculpting on this figure is fantastic, but as always I have a favorite part. Well, in this case I have two. Firstly, the socked feet are just stunning. The ridges in the material of the socks allow just enough depth for the paint wash to really grab hold, but the entire shape of the foot underneath this detail is just lovely, with some curve to the ankle to show the weight of the character.

The hands are also fantastic, combining superb sculpting with paint designers Wardell and Trapp’s gradual deep browns to create a truly grotesque representation of a chubby, grimy zombie hand. The fingernails add to the monstrous nature, being elongated and even a little sharp, almost beastly.


The body also includes a second torso that allows you to display the Boomer as he would be post-mortem. Well, post-post-mortem. Post-zombie. Whatever.


To swap the pieces, you just need to give a slight tug on the torso of the figure and he separates at the waste. There doesn’t appear to be a lip to the peg or anything, it’s just held on by friction. Once exchanged, you get a nice look at what’s left of his intestines, swimming amidst the gore and what I assume is Boomer Bile remaining in his tummy. It’s a great addition to a piece that might not otherwise have any accessories.

Articulation:


The Boomer is a chunky munky, to be sure, but he actually isn’t as bad off in the articulation department as I thought he’d be. For instance, how many toys in this range do you have that can stand flat-footed and touch the ground? I can barely do that and I’m a friggin human being!


The Boomer features a ball and socket neck (at the base), hinged jaw, swivel-hinged shoulders, swivel-hinged elbows, ball and socket wrists, ball torso, swivel waist, ball and socket hips, swivel-hinged knees, and ball and socket ankles. From the feel of movement between the upper and lower torso, I would say it’s probably a double-barbell ball and socket joint, but I can’t be sure without disassembling him.


The biggest hampering on the figure is in the hips. They actually have a decent spread, but I had a little trouble getting them forward and back. To be honest, it doesn’t bother me much because the guy’s not supposed to be moving like a Jockey or Spider-Man anyway, but it might bother some. I find that rotating the hips and working with the knees will help achieve some poses and since the legs are pretty cylindrical anyway, it’s not easily noticeable if you fudge it a bit.


The arms have a nice spread and the feet are those wonderful ball and socket joints that NECA just knocks out of the park, able to keep your Boomer flat-footed in most poses.


I’m not sure if it’s intended, but if you so choose, you can remove the jaw at its hinge since it’s just a friction joint. Inside, you can see the details of his mouth, complete with a dried-up, withered tongue. The pegs that hold the jaw in place actually look similar to the boils on the rest of him, so it’s a good way to add some variety to your shelf if you wanna army-build. A little clear red Tamiya on the chin(s) would go a long way to make this guy look even viler. The hinge adds a lot of personality to your posing, but be aware that the further down the head is posed, the more difficult the hinge is to use.

Value:
This is where it gets difficult. While you can purchase him online for roughly $21.99, Boomer here cost me 22.99 at TRU. I was thinking that maybe it was their crazy price-hiking shenanigans that NECA is typically immune from, but he really is just that expensive.


As you can see, he’s right in line height-wise with NECA’s Ash figure, so he’s not that big…vertically. However, comparing these two figures in terms of width, you can see where that extra money goes. I’ll give you the belly, which is hollow. Past that, the legs, arms, and head, all appear to be solid pieces of plastic. There’s no getting around that this guy is a chunky bit of toy.


NECA usually charges 12 to 18 dollars a figure on a sliding scale apparently based on size. Personally, when NECA was chastised for hunching the Gears of War Boomer to the point he looked much smaller, I was on the side of “I’ll pay more for a larger figure if it’s worth it.” Now that we’re facing the reality of that decision, I have to say I stick by it. I still can’t believe NECA toys aren’t 20 dollars a pop for standard-sized figures. I’ll admit I was taken aback by the price when I saw it, but having this guy in hand, I really do feel like he’s worth the 23 bucks. True, he’s only got the one accessory, but it’s very large and appropriate to the character. I’d have loved a bottle of Boomer Bile, but since there are no human figures on the horizon, I don’t suppose it’d serve much good.


For those of you waiting for Deadites, this guy works as a nice foil for Ash until Henrietta arrives. Alternatively, he’s just a nice, big, nasty-ass zombie for your shelf. It’s not competitively priced, but in my (total NECA fanboy) opinion, the quality is worth the extra cheddar. The only thing I’d say to watch out for is paint. The quality seemed pretty consistent across the board, but there were different levels of gloss and paint variations so no two figures looked exactly alike. So in the batch I saw, the paint was good, you just have to pick the version you like best. Easy-peasy.


Score Recap:
Aesthetics: 10
Articulation: 8
Value: 9
Overall: 9

NECA’s latest releases are really pushing the boundaries of what I expect from the company. This guy could easily have been solid from the neck down and most people wouldn’t have batted an eye. Instead, they gave us a well-articulated monster with an action feature that really shows what the company can do when they’re given license to run wild.

This is one of those times where NECA’s dedication to their product creates an action figure that looks FAR better than its source material. The character model looks excellent, especially in motion, but the folks over at NECA have crafted a toy that is truly disgusting and bizarrely fascinating. Your friends will love it, your wife will hate it, your cat will try to befriend it and take over the world.

The Boomer is a great addition to any Left 4 Dead, horror, or action figure fan’s shelf. If you can swallow the price, I highly recommend this collectible. He’s just damned cool.


Thanks for reading and as always, it’s just a toy. Open the darned thing.

If you like zombie action figures, make sure you check out Newt’s review of Mezco’s Attack of the Living Dead Jake.

If you just like video games in general, go take a look at Newt’s awesome Custom Karnov action figure.