Player Select: Crysis 2
Hello again! Wesitron back again for another cool toy review! Today it’s NECA’s Player Select Crysis 2 series Alcatraz. NECA’s been a bit hit-or-miss lately with their Player Select line, which highlights video game stars and usually sports a decent amount of detail and articulation. So where’s Alcatraz stand? Read on!
I know almost nothing about the original Crysis game, save that it was a first-person shooter for the PC and that it, in its day, was the game by which all graphic cards were judged. Apparently running Crysis wide-open with all the effects turned up would blow your head off like Scanners III: The Takeover. The new game, a demo of which is currently available on XBOX Live Marketplace, appears to be similar to the Call of Duty series with perks and kill-streaks and all that jazz, but with the added element of aliens or monsters or something and the especially awesome armored suits the hero, Alcatraz, wears. The suit gives him special abilities and looks frakkin’ rad, so let’s just jump into this pic dump before I lose my cool, DMX-style. Opening paragraph irrelevant rapper and crap B-movie Z-lister references? Check and check. Lawd, I’m good.
If you’ve opened a NECA toy in the last, oh, ten years or so, then you know exactly what to expect from Alcatraz’ packaging. It’s clamshell-style and has paper inserts with pretty graphics of the toy re-creating some of the key poses of the adverts.
The back has a little explanation of the suit and some more pretty pictures and that’s pretty much it.
If you’re an opener, good for you; because the only way into this plastic fortress is a razor knife and some patience. Please be careful with the former and frivolous with the latter, as I have damaged both my fingers and my psyche trying to get into NECA’s toys in the past.
“I’m on the Brute Squad.”
“You ARE the Brute Squad.” – The Princess Bride
From the adverts, you can clearly see that Alcatraz is an incredibly large and muscular humanoid, with almost a hulking presence. Luckily, the figure does not disappoint.
From the large bulging muscles to the small plated armor on his face and hands, Alcatraz is sculpted beautifully compared to the game model. His nanosuit appears to be something of a skin-tight outfit that adheres to the muscles of the wearer and cups the goods and skeletal structure equally.
I guess the word to best describe the overall look and feel of the sculpt is to say it’s massive. When compared to other figures in the same scale, the guy just feels huge. And it’s not just an illusion. He’s got a nice weight that makes him feel very sturdy in your hand. I’m not one to complain about peg holes as long as they’re functional and not absurdly huge, but it’s worth noting that he does have evident peg holes in most of his articulation points.
His weapon is called the SCAR 2 Assault Rifle, which appears to be something of a cross between the current SCAR-H and an XM8. It doesn’t appear to have a real-steel counterpart at this time, but combining the aesthetics of 2 of the less traditional looking weapons currently available gives it a very sci-fi, yet credible, appearance.
His hands are soft enough that they wrap around the weapon easily, and the gun itself is made from a very hard plastic that will be much more resistant to in-package warpage than the Gears of War series.
Paint, as usual with NECA, is good unless you get wrapped up in the details. Alcatraz’ design is much “cleaner” than most of the work NECA does, so you should expect some small amounts of bleed or overspray or an occasional stray mark. I have to say, mine ended up pretty great with only one noticeable mark on his right arm. Just remember, most of the photos you see are taken pretty close to the figure, and on a shelf or desk these problems are far less noticeable.
With lots of small sculpted bits and bobs in the armor, I expected the paint to be only so-so, especially buying blind from a website. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Alcatraz’ overall quality. As always with NECA, pick through the pegs if you can, but for the most part they’ll probably look pretty similar.
“Some guys have all the luck.” – Rod Stewart
As mentioned above, NECA has been hit and miss with its Player Select line lately, with some characters getting odd or very little articulation *COUGH* Army of Two *COUGH* Damn allergies.
But, as you can see, Alcatraz strikes another blow for NECA, proving that great sculpts don’t have to sacrifice great articulation.
Alcatraz can strike up very casual poses as well as extreme action poses thanks to his very well-designed joints.
Near as I can tell, he’s got double-ball neck, torso, and wrists; swivel hinged shoulders and hips; peg elbows, double knees, ankles, and toes; and swivel bicep, thigh, and mid-foot joints. The feet are cut similarly to the old SOTA Street Fighter toys, where the ball of the foot is stationary and the toes are dynamic to help with balancing and giving the impression of flat-footedness in extreme poses.
At first inspection, you might think the hips were Mattel- or H-styled, but they’re actually a bit more of a Mattel-NECA hybrid. The hips swivel out and move forward and back similarly, but they’re set at a slight angle like a v-crotch. Why does this matter? It means you can tilt his legs so that his thighs move naturally above his crotch, so that sitting splits and crouches can be achieved pretty realistically.
He also features torso pivots such that he can lean his shoulders inwards. This is great for slight anatomical tweaking of your poses as well as realistic gun poses.
Pistol not included with figure, but Rios’ statuesque ass didn’t need it.
Overall the articulation his excellent and really shows how a couple of tweaks to the formula of the American action figure can really bring out the character of a toy.
I got this guy for 13.99 at Cornerstorecomics. If he ends up being that price at TRU when he drops, I would say he is an absolute MUST-buy. His articulation is phenomenal, paint is adequate, and looks like nothing else on the market right now.
His sculpt is unique enough to be a main character, but in bulk could easily work as a henchman army-builder. I’m really thinking about picking up another when he hits TRU just because I love him so much.
Think about it this way: 13.99 for a new sculpt with amazing articulation, an accessory, and the ability to stand flatfooted, or 14.99 for one of Mattel’s old bucks with no accessories save a c&c piece that requires you to buy every other figure in the wave to be useful in the slightest?
My money is on this guy:
Overall: 8.8 / 9
Alcatraz from NECA’s Player Select Crysis 2 line is dynamic and unique from design to function. If you like 7” scale figures, he really is a figure you should own. Whether you want a Sci-Fi military figure or just a goon for your Brute Squad, Alcatraz delivers an engaging design and fantastic articulation.
Thanks for reading and as always, it’s just a toy. Open the darned thing.