Resident Evil 4
changed everything for Resident Evil. The
gameplay, puzzles, nature of the "zombies" encountered, and even the fan
base were all altered by Resident Evil 4,
which saw the return
of fan favorite Leon S. Kennedy (the S. stands for 'Scott') and the
transition to a more action-based game play through more open areas.
Since companies like Toy Biz, Palisades, and Moby Dick have all taken
swings at the earlier games in the Resident Evil series, NECA decided it
was their turn and began releasing action figures based on Resident Evil 4.
two series of figures and two different versions of Leon, NECA decided
to release a special SDCC 2006 version of Leon as he appears in one of
his unlockable outfits from the game: his R.P.D. outfit from Resident Evil 2.
Ready to take a look at an interesting and fun exclusive? Then join me after the break....
Leon stands a little over 7 inches tall, though he is
crouching a bit. He's in scale with most of NECA's other Resident Evil
figures, naturally. You can look at my pictures of him next to the
Palisades figures to decide if the difference in scale there is too much
for your tastes. NECA really tried to match him to the source material
of Resident Evil 4
, so he's a decent likeness but wouldn't look
out of place amongst any of their film-based figures, either. As a SDCC
exclusive, he does reuse some parts: the head, lower body, and hands
from both earlier versions of Leon.
Not only are we looking at some Resident Evil history today, but we're
also looking at a bit of NECA history. While most of NECA's modern
figures have plentiful articulation (Dutch, the Predators, and Rocky all
come to mind) it was only a few years ago that many NECA figures were
much more like miniature statues. Leon falls into that camp. He's got
some great articulation on his upper torso, but his lower body is mostly
static Leon features: swivel ankles, a swivel waist, ball jointed
shoulders, swivel biceps, true ball jointed elbows, swivel wrists, and a
ball jointed head. Since the figure is already preposed in an action
stance, the sole purpose of the articulation is to help him get into
different poses while holding the various weapons. That can be various
double-handed shotgun stances, aiming the pistol, wielding the knife, or
prepping to toss a grenade. I've had this figure probably since 2007,
but during this review I noticed that the shoulder joint in his right
arm was broken. It will still attach and stay on in most
poses, but it definitely is broken. Since I've had him for 6 years and
have posed him and moved him quite a few times during that period, I'm
not going to judge him too harshly, but I'll definitely warn you before
you drop money on him: look out.
The lower part of Leon's body is shared with the other two Leon
figures that NECA released. His pants are well detailed with folds,
seams, and cargo pockets. The belt piece is really detailed and
features plenty of gear and storage space. I particularly like the well
designed holster, the various storage pouches and clip sleeves, and the
tracking device hanging from his belt. The head is also the same as the
other Leon figures. It's a pretty good head sculpt and if the face
doesn't automatically scream "Leon!", the hair certainly will. He has a
pretty steely expression. NECA did an excellent job of capturing the
R.P.D. police uniform Leon wore in Resident Evil 2
modifying it just a bit to look more updated. The armored plates on the
chest and shoulders are still there, but don't stand out quite as much
as they did. They actually look better, though. You can see the texture
of the material and the way the plates of armor are riveted to it if
you look closely enough. He's also sporting some pretty nice tactical
elbow pads, which double great for rollerblading if he desires to take
up the sport. NECA delivered enough new stuff on this figure to make it
feel pretty new, despite reusing quite a bit of some previous figures.
Most of the figure is molded in dark blue plastic and left unpainted to
replicate Leon's outfit. It works pretty well. The "R.P.D." lettering
on the front and the back is clean and the face is well painted. Leon
looks like he might have a bit of eye liner on, but that's just how he
rolls. The gear on his belt is all molded in black plastic and there
are some nice extra details, like the intricate stitches on his knife
sheathe, the R.P.D. badges on his shoulders, and the rivets on his
Leon, like many of NECA's Resident Evil figures, is loaded with
accessories. While quite a few of Leon's accessories are reused from
the jacket-less Leon figure, the shotgun is brand new for this
particular figure. Besides the shotgun, Leon also comes with three
grenades, a first aid spray, a knife, a pistol, and a sub-machine gun.
The shotgun is called the riot gun in-game. It's well sculpted and very
solid; Leon looks great holding it with both hands. The sub-machine gun
is the TMP and the pistol is known in-game simply as "Leon's handgun".
Both can fit in his right hand easily and are well designed weapons.
The grenades come in two flavors: the green hand grenades and the red
incendiary grenades. You get two greens and a red. Not only do the
grenades have a sticker on them that has actual printed text, but the
pins are removable. The knife can be sheathed on Leon's shoulder and
held in either hand. Lastly, the little bottle of first aid spray is a
small cylinder that nicely replicated the in-game accessory and can cure
any wounds you might run across. There's a ton of stuff here, so be
careful not to lose it.
Leon was definitely a cool con exclusive when he came out, and if you're looking for the best Leon in his Resident Evil 2
police uniform for display, this is probably it. Just be careful, as
he does seem to be a bit fragile. I'd consider that most folks buying
him now would certainly just be standing him around, so I'll give him a
good. He does look very nice on display- it's really a shame NECA has
never released a Claire to go along with him. NECA's really seemed to
sit on the Resident Evil license- they've had it for awhile and, other
than the Resident Evil 4
figures, they've been pretty sparing. It
amazes me that Hot Toys can sell $200 versions of Resident Evil
characters like Wesker and Jill, and yet NECA has seemed to feel there's
no market for those figures. Baffling, huh?
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