Unsurprisingly, Prometheus was my favorite movie of 2012. It was what I referred to as my “most anticipated movie of the decade”. How could it not be? Ridley Scott, the master of science fiction movie direction, returning to the genre after a 20 year absence. And more importantly, returning to my favorite series of all time. I must have watched the trailers dozens of times before lining up to see the movie on day 1. I went with a friend who also happens to be an Alien super fan, and to put it simply, we weren’t disappointed. You know you’ve seen a good movie when you can spend the remainder of the night debating every subtle detail and nuance. As far as I’m concerned, the art direction, screenplay, atmosphere, and performances were near perfect. And as an Alien fan, I love the connections between Prometheus and the Alien series. Establishing the alien as a bioweapon was ingenious, because it allows for near infinite variations of the xenomorph and its life-cycle. Truly the epitome of infinite horror in space.
Engineer (Pressure Suit)
Release Date: September, 2012
Anyways, enough gushing about Prometheus; the purpose of this post is to give my impressions of NECA’s Engineer (Pressure Suit) figure. Before I begin, I’d like to stress that I am by no means an action figure connoisseur. I sometimes indulge in figures from my favorite movies or video games, but I am far from an expert on the finer details. That being said, I really want to see every form of media covered on this site, and I can’t pass up the chance to write my first action figure review. So let’s get this show on the road.
As I mentioned previously, Prometheus has gorgeous art design. The conceptual designers, led by Arthur Max, did an incredible job with the creation of the Engineers. The pressure suit they wear is a perfect blend between sleek, modern sci-fi design, and Giger’s original vision. Giger’s familiar ribbed shapes are present, and the chest is actually enveloped by an exoskeleton-like rib cage. As a quick piece of background information, the purpose of a pressure suit is to counteract the damaging effect of exposing the human body to a low pressure environment, like you might find in Earth’s upper atmosphere, or in space. When exposed to a low pressure environment, the human body expands, thus damaging sensitive muscles and tissues. Pressure suits counteract this expansion by mechanically contracting (exerting a counter pressure). There, you’ve now learned a science lesson from an action figure review; pat yourself on the back.
Released in September along with a chair suit engineer figure, the pressure suit figure is fairly tall, standing at 8.5″. I did a quick calculation, and if the engineers are approximately 7-foot tall, the scale on this figure is 1:10. Like the other NECA figures that I’m familiar with, the detail is superb. There are indentations in the neck that are a shorter than a millimeter apart. Similarly, there are tiny painted dots on the irises that are teeny tiny. Most importantly, the detail is on par with the models from the movie. Nearly every shape, curvature, and indent is represented. In this regard, NECA has done a great job. Taking the hands as an example, every fingernail, knuckle, and vein is perfectly sculpted.
My first minor gripe is with the body proportions. The abdomen seems to be slightly more elongated than it should be. The discrepancy is ever so slight, but the added height gives the impression of the engineer being skinnier than expected. My more major concern is something that seems to be somewhat universal among NECA’s figures. The toy is difficult to articulate, and as a result feels fragile. There are 14 points of articulation, but most of these points are fairly rigid. Although I doubt any of them would snap, some degree of caution is warranted. My engineer’s left hand, in particular, keeps falling off. Luckily it snaps back on easily enough… Essentially, this probably wouldn’t be a great toy for young kids, but then again it’s not exactly marketed towards kids.
The final element I’d like to emphasize is the paint job. In short, the paint job is quite good. Because the model only consists of two tones, it would be fairly difficult to have screwed this up. If I was forced at gunpoint to paint it myself, I’d be relieved, because the job could easily be done with a dark primer and several layers of simple drybrushing. Nevertheless, every detail is appropriately shaded, and as I pointed out earlier, the paint job on the eyes is particularly impressive. If I were to point out one flaw, it’s that the underlying dark tones aren’t as dark as they could be. Had they been darker, the details would pop out even more prominently.
In summary, this figure is highly recommended for any Prometheus or Alien fans. There are several flaws, but overall they’re quite minor, and shouldn’t negate a purchase. NECA makes figures that are great for my desk, but maybe not so great for kids. Either way, I’m satisfied. If you liked this review, please send me an email at email@example.com, or on the facebook page. I plan to do more figure reviews, so any suggestions are much appreciated. Until next time, keep it classy space cadets!
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