Resident Evil Sheva and
following is a guest review. The review
and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford
or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the
|Jeff Parker is back tonight
with a Hot Toys double header. Up first is two of their latest Resident
Evil characters - tell us all about them, Jeff!
A big thank you as always to Michael, and bearing in mind the holiday
season is nearly upon us, by the time you read this I should probably
be wishing you a happy 2010. EDITOR'S NOTE: And now a happy Valentine's
Anyway, here I am back in the world of Resident Evil 5. I’ve already
covered Chris Redfield, but now it’s the turn of his long term arch
nemesis Albert Wesker, and also Sheva
Alomar, the new partner Chris is assigned to guide him around
the African territories, the scene of the latest bio-organic weapon
(Uroboros virus) outbreak,
once again set in motion by the dastardly Mr Wesker.
Albert Wesker is pretty ‘oldskool’, he’s been around in the Resident
Evil/Biohazard series since the off set, in fact he’s been affiliated
with just about every organisation within the game, from RPD and
S.T.A.R.S through to ‘The Organisation’ and the Umbrella Corp. He’s so
slippery you can never be truly sure where his allegiances lie… in
fact, it’s better just to think of him as a free agent, with delusions
of a deity complex!
Sheva on the other hand is an all-new character for part 5 in the
ongoing franchise, and she certainly ticks all the boxes when it comes
to desirable game play… if you know what I mean. She’s a lean mean,
close quarters combat expert with a nice line in weapons training,
she’s smart, well informed and of course it never hurts that she’s
mighty easy on the eye.
So with the ranks of character figures filling out nicely for this
game, will these two prove indispensable?
These two boxes follow the same basic layout as Chris Redfield's so we
get a predominantly dark box with an image of the character taken from
the game on the front alongside the logo and character name whilst the
back has photos of the figure with a brief bio. They have a magnetic
panel holding them shut along the right edge, this lifts to show the
figure through a window in the main box, whilst the flap opposite has a
tray holding their many accessories. These inside flaps have differing
images for each character, Wesker's shows what looks like a
hanger/military instillation, Sheva has a ruined village, showing the
after effects of a violent skirmish and Chris’ box had a deserted dusty
dirt track at sunset. So, another nice pair of boxes that deserve the
same scores as Chris easily.
Wesker ****; Sheve ***
I love Wesker's head sculpt, it’s based closely on the characters
features in the game, and after Googling some
pics it became obvious that this is (in my opinion) the
closest sculpt out of the three to the subject matter. But I’m also
seeing quite a bit of a young Bill Nighy coming through as well, now
this reference photo
here isn’t a ‘young’ pic of the actor, but you get what I
mean. I don’t know if the characters facial features were based on him
at all, but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility!
This head was sculpted by Kim Jung Mi, and he’s captured Wesker with a
very intense expression, staring straight ahead with a determined
steely gaze, showing slightly down turned corners to his mouth. His
features are lean, almost edging towards gaunt, bringing to mind Bowie
as The Thin White Duke as
well, I mean, just look at that hairstyle, it’s him!
Everything is wonderfully executed, especially the fine details on that
brushed back hair, you will also notice there is a disguised zigzag
seam running over the back of his head, it looks similar to the one on
the DX Joker, but
where as that one was detachable to access the PERS feature, this one
is glued in place. It’s actually a clue to one of the stages in this
figures construction; as with the flick of a small switch on the side
of his neck, his eye’s light up brightly. When this figure was first
unveiled as a prototype it was shown as having red glowing ‘Terminator’
eyes. But between those initial photos being taken
and the production figure landing in our hands he underwent something
of an ocular upgrade. What we have are a pair of eyes that actually
manage to look pretty natural even when unlit, as the light up plastic
lenses inserted into the head are very dark and glossy when not
switched on. However, when illuminated the iris has an intense red
outer edge graduating to a bright yellow with a black cat like slit
middle. I really hope my photos can do this feature some kind
of justice, as in the flesh it’s pretty spectacular.
Now Sheva is the classic combination… well at least it’s a classic
combination in video game lore, i.e. she looks like butter wouldn’t
melt in her mouth, like a rare and beautiful, delicate flower… whilst
also being extremely hot… and dangerous!
This means that when called upon, when needs must, when evil rears its
ugly head, she is ready and willing to bear arms and kick zombie ass
into the middle of the next millennium with extreme prejudice.
This sculpt is another by Hiroki Hayashi, who seems to be fast
cementing himself as the resident artist for female head-sculpts at Hot
Toys, and it’s on the whole another winner from him. There is a lot to
like here, but I do think she has lost just a little of her look in his
translation to 3D reality. The figure seems to embody more of the girl
next door with an impassive, innocent expression, where as the
character of Sheva
comes across as a much more dynamic, passionate and down right sexy
When comparing pictures of her I think it’s the same problem as with
Chris, the face is just a tad
too long again. The observations on her mouth, nose and
hairstyle are mostly faultless, her eyes are almost the right shape but
a few percent too small, however the thing throwing it off slightly is
the over all proportions. If the eyes sat lower in the face, were a tad
larger and if a little of her pouty, streetwise
attitude could have been captured, then I’d have been a lot
happier. One area I have absolutely no problem with is the execution of
her hair; it’s worn in a tied back style with a short tousled ponytail
at the back and a couple of loose panels at the front hanging over her
forehead, this shows some nicely interpreted detail work on individual
strands and the relaxed way in which it all falls. She also has a tiny
pair of real metal earrings; these are shiny gold in colour and dangle
from small piercings made into the actual ear.
So, whilst I don’t think they have nailed the face, I’m still very
pleased with her and she’s a very attractive figure, I’d even go so far
as to say that you’d have to scrutinize her pretty closely (but hey,
it’s my job) to make the kind of observations I did above. '
However, if you are a more casual fan of the game, and more
particularly of this character, then I still feel confident about
recommending her for your shelf… just not quite as confident as I do
Like Chris, these are a great representation of how these characters
look in the game, and once again this is an aspect of the figures I
can’t find any real fault with.
Wesker has that typical Nordic, Aryan’ colouring, paleish pink flesh,
the kind that goes ‘lobster’ in the sun and dirty blonde locks that are
slightly darker at it’s tips. This means the layers at the back of his
head have a slight airbrushed tiger stripe. The rest of the skin tones
are all good solid work with nice variations around the mouth and eyes.
As I said above, considering this figure has the ‘light-up’ action
feature, the eyes look almost as good unlit. They look to have been pre
painted then inserted from within the head, meaning that when you flick
the small switch at the base of the neck, the ball at the top of the
head-post (like the Iron-Man figure) is illuminated, making both the
eyes light up good and bright in their ‘mutated’ colour fashion. He
also comes with a fantastically built pair of tiny sunglasses,
which replicate his game worn ones perfectly, they really help add to
his sinister vibe when those mutant eyes shine through the lenses. I
did find that his head needed the occasional firm push down, this is
not because it comes loose but after a bit of posing with the light
feature turned on I did find you could get some stray light escaping
around his neck-line, but a good nudge down on the post and it soon
Sheva is an action woman, more concerned with her day-to-day survival
than with spending hours in the salon, but that don’t mean she can’t
still look drop dead gorgeous. I’ve already said that I feel this
sculpt is slightly off, but the paintwork is still beautifully applied
giving her an even and warm complexion. There’s lots of smooth
graduation work in her flesh tones and the finer detail work on her
mouth and eyes is crisp and accurate showing a well balanced use of
tones and a nice glossy finish on those baby browns, they even gave us
a nice representation of the tattoo she wears on her upper
left arm. Like I keep saying, I can only really find positive
things to say about the paint, virtually faultless as always.
Both figures also have some paintwork on their extra hands and many of
their accessories, and without exception all are well carried out.
- Wesker ****; Sheva **1/2
This is another area where Wesker truly shines, but sadly poor old
Sheva doesn’t come off quite so well. You see Wesker uses the classic True-Type body (which I
just found out is undergoing something of a revamp itself). The only
real departure from its classic form is that this version has newly
sculpted forearms to aid in his overall aesthetic, because of his short
sleeves. They show a little more texture and vein detail, but apart
from that not much has changed, and because of the relatively
unrestrictive nature of his outfit he can achieve pretty much any pose
you could hope for… but as for Sheva, oh poor Sheva!
I don’t mind admitting I felt more than a little let down by her
articulation, you see, she is just the sort of figure that is crying
out to be posed in some John Woo type ‘bullet time’ mid action sequence
shoot ’em up
poses, but a combination of body design and tight clothing
render this all but impossible…sigh!
Firstly her tight pants and belts that are tethered to her holster make
her unable to achieve any deep stances, even a shallow kneeling pose is
quite a struggle. But the other sad fact is her arms, which were
specially designed for this character, and it has to be said they do
look fantastic, just can’t quite do the business.
Their construction is in effect a solid inner armature with a metal
hinge at the elbow, over which a nicely shaped rubber sheath fits to
form the arm shape. The problem is they just do not have the range to
hold her guns in a convincing manner. They bend at the elbow to about
90 degrees, and there is a reasonable degree of movement at the
shoulder, but the upper arm has no ability to turn in either direction.
I could get her to just about hold her rifles in a style that crossed
over her body, and to hold her pistols with a double-handed grip, but
if you fancied a decent sniper pose or even a relaxed sideways
shotgun/assault rifle pose, sorry, no can do.
A fellow collector, Penn over at Sideshow Freaks managed some nice
positions that are worth a look here.
So obviously all is not lost, you can either find a pose that isn’t
restricted by her ‘limitations’, and although they won’t be that
dynamic, there are still plenty to be had. I think the problem was
slightly compounded for me by how easily I managed to get the Chacha
figure from Goemon to hold Sheva’s guns… but of course she doesn’t need
to, oh the irony!
So, in summing up, Wesker’s articulation is all you would hope it could
be, and whilst Sheva’s is far from terrible, it still feels very
restrictive for a character of her nature.
As is always the case with VG characters they tend to pick up quite an
arsenal on their journey through the game. Some guns are for specific
tasks while others become their signature weapons, but what ever your
favourite is, these two certainly come well equipped. Wesker comes
- Handgun / ‘Samurai Edge’
- Machine-Gun / H&K MP5
- Shotgun / ‘Hydra’
- Magnum / ‘L. Hawk’
- Magnum / S&W M500
- Laser / Laser Targeting Device 'Shango'
- Shoulder Holster
- Smart Phone
- Two Sets of Interchangeable Hands with spare wrist pegs
-12 inch figure stand
While Sheva comes with
-Knife (Gurkha style)
- Handgun / M92F
- Machine-Gun / VZ61
- Machine-Gun / AK-74 (same as with Chris)
-Shotgun / Ithaca M37 (same as with Chris)
- Shotgun / M3
- Riffle / H&K PSG-1
- Magnum / S&W M29
- Hand Grenade
- Ammo Pack / Handgun
- Ammo Pack / Machine-Gun
- Five interchangeable posing hands with gloves + spare wrist pegs
- 12-inch figure stand
Apart from the Ithica shotgun, all the weapons have articulated
elements like sliding stocks, opening barrels, removable magazines etc,
so you can expect the usual high standard from all these accessories.
The only things I’ll point out as being worthy of particular note is
that the earpiece on Sheva’s headset can prove tricky to keep in place,
so again like with Chris another miniscule blob of Blu-Tack can go a
long way. Also when you open Wesker’s triple barrelled shot gun ‘Hydra’
there are three small cartridges, just be aware, so you don’t lose
them. As I mentioned above Wesker also comes with some perfectly scaled
sunglasses, these don’t have folding arms but do have tinted
transparent lenses, they sit well on the bridge of his nose and tuck in
well behind his ears, but they do feel potentially fragile, so take
care when handling them.
I also had a bit of difficulty getting Wesker’s Laser targeting weapon
(which reminds me of the laser weapon from Akira) to fit snugly in his
hand, meaning I got better poses pointing it to the side like a rifle
rather than over the shoulder like an RPG.
Both figures also come with a good selection of hands, Wesker’s extra
ones are a pair of fists, I made the mistake when I reviewed Chris (for
which I apologize) of thinking his extras were just fists as well but
his left hand can also open up to hold his knife tightly.
Sheva is actually a south-paw in the game so she comes with two gun
grip hands, two relaxed/general grip and lastly a tight fist/knife grip
hand, you’ll find through a process of trial and error that these hands
all interact in different ways with her various accessories, but they
all hold the objects well.
Lastly there are the obligatory black figure stands, both have the game
logo and character name, so if stands are your thang they’ll both fit
in just hunky dory with your other figures, but I managed to get both
standing just fine without them.
What is it about bad guys and black, I mean it’s beyond a stereotype?
What goes through the mind of every single one of them, from Lord Vader
and Voldemort through to the Nazgūl and Dracula himself?
Do they stand in front of their closet every morning thinking, “Hmmm,
what to wear today, the plaid jacket with the sage slacks, or the tan
leather bomber jacket and jeans? But there again I do kind of plan on
being evil again after lunch… I know, I’ll wear the tight black pants
and jacket with the flowing black cape/coat… again!”
Anyway the outfits on all three of these new Resi 5 figures are just
outstanding at replicating what we see in the game, and Wesker's
slightly camp ‘disco
villain’ outfit is beautifully rendered. It’s described as
his ‘Midnight’ costume,
and has elements of Neo’s outfits in the Matrix, both for the seminal
and his techno ninja
priest look, but with a sinister ‘shiny’ twist.
So what we get is a long coat and trousers made of the same material,
it’s quite thin and flexible and is blind laminated with a small
chessboard ‘chequered’ effect running over the whole thing, the coat is
fully lined and has a high collar that is doubled over and stitched in
place so the lapels lay right, but you’ll still find yourself futzing a
bit. It has a fine wire running through the hems which helps for both
action poses and small folds and flourishes for general posing. The
trousers have working pockets and belt loops, through which run his
clip-buckled belt, the pants then tuck into his high boots a couple of
centimetres below the knee. His boots are made from soft rubber,
offering a good degree of flexibility, not quite up there with the
ninja boots we got with the two male Goemon characters, but still far
better than the old style rigid plastic. He also wears a high-necked,
tight, zip up shirt with a belt around the collar. This is a similar
design to the material used on his other garments but instead of just
being printed it had a raised, embossed effect for the chequered weave.
I have to admit I like this effect, and it would have been cool if all
of the outfit could have utilized it, but I’m pretty sure it would have
hampered some pose-ability because of it’s thicker nature. It fits
snugly to the body and has elbow length sleeves meaning the
articulation isn’t affected too much at all. He also has a shoulder
holster constructed of moulded vinyl, I guess this straddle the
accessory camp as well, but simply slides over his shoulders and can
hold both of his spare magazines on one side (you may want to add a
little padding or Blu-Tack for these as they are a loose fit) and
either of his automatic pistols can slide in on the other side.
is less theatrical and far more utility consisting of a snug fitting,
patterned vest top,
this has some great detail, both in replicating the woven blue pattern
and on the delicate leather straps running over its back. On top of
this she wears a leather shoulder rig, which like Wesker’s is made of
flexible vinyl, this helps to add to that ‘action girl’ look and also
to strap her shotgun to. I have to say getting the strap on the back to
close tightly over her shotgun took me quite a while, I’ll give you a
tip… two toothpicks and a lot of patience! She also wears two belts
festooned with a Gurkha knife in its scabbard,
pockets, pouches, holsters and trinkets that all sit over her cotton,
cargo style trousers,
which feature working pockets throughout. To help ‘fill out’ these
trousers, underneath them she wears a pair of padded stockings that end
at the hip, these do a good job in helping her silhouette look even
more natural, but sadly compound some of her articulation problems… but
more on that later.
She also wears a pair of real ’pleather’ boots, these are fully
constructed of soft leather like fabric on the uppers and are welted to
a rigid sole, they bear a striking similarity (though not identical) to
the ones that Silken Floss
came in, with the most obvious difference being that these are brown.
Next up are her leather gauntlets, these are constructed of a soft
leather like material as well and have two straps each to bind them
tightly to her forearms. Lastly comes her traditional African
jewellery, consisting of bands on her arms and an ornate necklace with
another band around her neck (this works well in disguising where the
head pushes onto the neck post).
All of the garments are without exception well tailored to the body,
and mine show no loose threads or bad seams, the only real problem was
that when I tried to get any deep poses that meant bending the legs
acutely at the upper thigh/groin area, then the Velcro that held the
flies shut did tend to pull open. But this seems to be a problem with
her over all mobility, leading us nicely onto…
Value - Wesker ****;
Sideshow had both of these for the RRP of $149.99, but all of their
allocated stock have been sold out for some time, however with a little
detective work (well, actually just link to Michaels sponsors) you’ll
find both for a little cheaper, in fact as cheap as $135.
So basing my score on this I have no problem whatsoever in giving Mr
Wesker a top score. But Sheva just can’t quite achieve this, it’s a
combination of her face not looking 100% right (well to me anyway) and
the fact that she can’t get into any easy poses with her rifles,
however some may find she fairs better for them, especially if you
planned a more general standing pose anyway.
So weighing things up, even with her few faults, I found those arms are
so well constructed and finished that even with their limited mobility
they do end up looking very life like, and coupled with her fantastic
arsenal, then it’s hard being too tough on her!
Factor - Wesker****; Sheva **1/2
Just like the other categories Wesker comes out smelling of roses
again. He’s just so easy to pose, has a great array of accessories, a
well constructed outfit and to top it off he has that cool light up
eyes feature. In short he’s about as much fun as a figure can get in
terms of ‘play value’!
Sheva has her problems, as I said above, but is still a fun figure in
terms of looking good on your shelf, but if your plans were for some
more action orientated poses or you planned a lot of ‘extreme’
photography, then you might have to either re-think, or get ready to do
- Wesker ****; Sheva ***
Well Wesker ends the review with almost a clean sweep, and he fully
deserves it, for me he is definitely the stand out figure from the
line, and he has me looking forward to the S.T.A.R.S version
that should follow soon. I love the light up eyes feature, the head
sculpt is solid and the paint works well with that sculpt. He has a
great selection of weapons and extras so basing my score on a price of
$135 he gets a full score as a no brainer, he’s fantastic.
Sheva however does have a couple of problems that I’ve already gone
over in depth above, but she is still a great figure with many
outstanding features. So if you’re a 1/6th collector, a dedicated
gamer, a fan of the Resident Evil series or you just feel the need for
a good representation of this particular lady for your display, then
this is still a very cool addition for any collection!
to Buy -
Try hooking up with some of Michaels sponsors, where you’ll find these
two figures listed below-
Alter Ego Comics
Big Bad Toy Store
Planet - £129.99
This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.