Resident Evil 5 Wesker and Redfield - S.T.A.R.S. versions

Hot Toys

Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys

   "The 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 guest author."

This review has been in my hopper for awhile now, but all good things come to those that wait...or something like that. Jeff is taking a look at a couple more of the Hot Toys Resident Evil figures - tell us all about them, Jeff!

A big thank you to Mr Crawford once again.

The Resi 5 hardcore fans seemed pretty pleased when these two figures were finally announced. Both are wearing the combat fatigues of the STARS (Special Tactics and Rescue Service) unit, it gives both characters a much more real world special ops feel. Wesker’s dark colour way to his uniform has that police dept SWAT team vibe, while Chris wouldn’t look out of place as an honorary member of Dutch’s squad in Predator.

This review will mostly be taken up with the descriptions of these two new outfits, as the head sculpts, paint apps and articulation are all the same as on the first version of Chris Redfield which I reviewed here and Albert Wesker who I covered along with Sheva here. So the big question is, if you’ve already invested in those first two, do you need these as well… but I guess only you can answer that, and it depends very much on how big a fan of the game you are, but lets see if I can help anyway.
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys

Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys

Packaging - ***1/2
Not much to say here as these follow the exact same form as the first three Resi 5 figure boxes. So it’s a sturdy full colour box with a magnetic side flap. The inside flap for Chris has a tray holding some of his accessories, while this time around Wesker has significantly less stuff, so his inside flap needs no extra tray and just has a big environment image pulled from the game. Opposite these flaps lie the fully constructed figures, well, I say fully constructed, there are a few pouches, holsters and so forth to attach here and there, but they’re virtually good to go!

Sculpting - Chris ***1/2, Albert ****
I shall refer you here to my previous reviews, as these both use the exact same sculpts. Both are natural looking portraits that won’t look at all out of place alongside your other Move Masterpiece figures. Wesker is still my favourite of the two, as I feel the observations and fine-tuning on his portrait are just that bit closer to the way the character looks in the game. 

Paint - ****
Again, it’s time to refer to those old reviews, but in a nutshell both have total kick ass paint apps with the usual wonderful work on the subtle skin tones and glossy wet eyes. I’m still really impressed with way Wesker’s eyes have been constructed. Like on the first figure they have a dark iris inserted from inside the head so they can light up brightly when the small switch at the back of the neck is flicked on. But the really cool thing is how seamless the eyes still look even when unlit, one of the most unobtrusive and effective action features I’ve seen.

Outfit - ****
Ultimately it’s all’ bout da threads dis time’ round!
As I’ve been over above, essentially the base figures, head sculpts and paint apps are all the same, so, these are for the hardcore Resi 5 fans (or those that skipped the first releases holding out for some ‘special edition’ love). Well, those that held out I salute your resolve… but did you make the right choice?

I have to admit it’s going to differ from person to person, but as cool as these two new looks are, I still prefer the first releases, especially for Wesker.

Sure, he looks more ‘real world’ bad ass here in his rapid response unit, armed to the teeth, ‘don’t even think of getting in my way’ outfit, but his old ‘camp disco villain’ wardrobe was so visually striking it just had the edge for me.

While the changes Chris sports aren’t quite as extreme in their departure from his original outfit, they still manage to make him look slightly more ‘random military dude’ rather than ‘Chris Redfield… zombie killing machine’.

Some of the elements of their uniforms are similar, for example, apart from the colour scheme, the flak vests are almost identical bar the puffy collar on Chris’ and the zip on Wesker's, the short sleeved shirts are also similar but for differing collars, and Wesker wears a white T-shirt under his.

Both also wear combat/cargo pants of slightly different designs, but the changes are so subtle in the tailoring that only the trained prying eye will pick up on them, small tweaks on pocket details and seams and that’s about it. Chris also has a pair of kneepads that are this time held on by Velcro instead of those tiny clips.

Lastly the boots, these are also very similar, but markedly different in their own ‘unique’ ways, obviously the colours are different like the rest of the wardrobe, but take a closer look and you’ll also see that the sculpting of the fabrication is different as well, with differing cuts to the panels, heights and the tread on the soles.

So, to sum up, these are two cracking outfits, well tailored to the requirements of their own particular antimonies. Neither give much restriction to the base bodies, so in that respect they are without a doubt both full score outfits, however, for me the first two figures are still the most iconic in terms of impact on the shelf.

I guess I also ought to mention the extra Safari shirt for Chris here as well, although it’s packed as an accessory with S.T.A.R.S Chris, it’s actually meant to be worn by B.S.A.A Chris unbuttoned over his t-shirt. Its well tailored, nicely finished and fits snugly over his ‘roid’ pumped frame, giving him that slightly ‘fey’ look that you can only achieve by wearing a safari suit. Hell, when Roger Moore wore one as Bond, it made him look like he’d rather have a Bond boy than a Bond girl, such is the perfidy this particular garment can achieve on the male frame. So it’s basic problem is that it’s only of use if you have BSAA Chris, which luckily I have, but I guess you could always flog it on eBay if you don’t want it!

Articulation - Chris ***1/3, Albert ****
Sorry, once again I’m going to point you in the direction of the reviews linked to above, as both utilize the same bodies as they did for the first release.

They are two solid base bodies, with Wesker pulling ahead by a Cyrano de Bergerac of a nose. As for all the cool aesthetic of that muscle body that Chris is given, it can’t compete with Wesker in terms of articulation and silhouette. And lets face it a fit ‘sporty’ guy of average build always ends up looking smarter than some pumped quarter back ‘steroid’ munchin meat head… which Chris does kind of look like. The one thing I will say in Chris’ favour this time around is that his trousers are slightly less restrictive, they weren’t too bad last time, but the fabric seems thinner here and the tailoring slightly looser making his poses from the waist down just that bit easier to achieve.

Accessories - Chris ***3/4, Albert ***1/4
I guess Wesker couldn’t have this whole review go his way!
But to be fair we have been so spoilt with the bounteous bags of goodies that we got with the Videogame Masterpieces (VGM) from Hot Toys in the past, that even Chris with his Gatling-gun and extra safari shirt seems slightly on the light side.

The official accessory listing from Hot Toys goes thus-

Albert comes with-
- Handgun / Samurai Edge (one of his signature weapons)
- Shotgun / Hydra (as is this)
- Magnum / L. Hawk (and this)
- Incendiary Grenades (2 pieces)
- Knife
- Sunglasses (what would he be without his shades)
- Headset (best one so far)
- Radio with pouch
- Harness with pouches
- Holster
- Flashlight
- Knife Sheath
- Three Interchangeable posing hands
- Figure stand with game logo and nameplate

While Chris has-
Handgun / M9
Machine Gun /MP-5 (Midnight Wesker had this last time)
- Magnum / S&W M500 (Wesker had this as well)
- Gatling Gun (Whooooa baby, mind where you point that thing!)
- Incendiary Grenade
- Flash Grenade
- Knife
- Ammo Pack / Machine Gun
- Magazine pouches
- Knife Sheath
- Belt
- Holster
- Headset
- Radio with pouch
- 3 Interchangeable posing hands with gloves
- Figure stand with game logo and nameplate
- Bonus costume - military jacket for Chris’ B.S.A.A version.

All the weapons have articulated elements, cocking mechanisms and removable magazines or shells (in the case of Hydra). All of Weskers accessories can be fitted to, and/or carried on his body where as with Chris you will need to make the choice of the MP5 or the Gatling gun… HA!
Like it’s even a choice!

Of course you’ll go for the Gatling, this is one mean looking and quite frankly ‘huge’ piece of kit, ideal for slaughtering infected zombie scum by the thousand. The six barrelled fore section can rotate and the belt leads from it’s underside to the huge drum of ammo that is secured to his back, this has adjustable straps and small plastic clips for ease of fitting. The extra tight grip right hand holds the trigger handle well, but he could do with a tighter grip left hand to hold the front handle more securely. With a bit of futzing he can hold it OK, but an alternate hand with a more closed, almost fist like position would have looked even better.

Both also come with ear pieces for their radios, Chris has the same one he had before but Wesker has his own specific design and I have to say I like it, not only does it look cooler it fits and stays on better as well (thanks to a small magnet), pretty much all the other goodies are reused from earlier versions.

By any other standard, both these figures have an outstanding selection of firearms, but when comparing to what VGM figures have had before… then they don’t quite measure up as well, however, this is just because we have been spoilt in the past!

Value - ***1/2
If buying from Sideshow, the official importer of these figures you ‘could have’ expected to pay $149.99, I say ‘could have’ as both proved very, very popular amongst gamers and sold out pretty fast. And it has to be said that the more popular VGM’s seem to demand huge prices on the secondary markets (which I think prompts scalpers to chance their arm on picking up a few multiples) just look at the prices that the Leon S Kennedy RPD goes for now, here and here.

So value, how long is a piece of string, and what colour string is best?

In some ways these will be considered by many people to be full score figures without a doubt, but the re-use of those head sculpts coupled with the lighter haul of accessories mean that for me they are just short of game fan heaven… but only just.

Fun Factor - Chris ***1/2, Wesker ****
We already know that $150 figures are NOT toys!
They may look a bit like toys… OK, OK they ARE toys, but they are NOT play things.

Well, you might get a bit of a kick out of poising them, perhaps switching Weskers ‘light up’ eyes on and hissing “time to die… Chrissssss” or “I’m not destroying this world… I’m saving it!”

OK, OK they are playthings.

BUT, they are not the playthings of a child, oh no, they are the playthings of an adult (that came out kind of weird sounding, but you know what I mean). So as far as fun goes they’re pretty hard to beat, with Wesker still just taking the top spot for me because of his more versatile articulation and the light up eyes.

Overall - Chris ***1/2, Wesker ***3/4
Of the two, Wesker is very much my favourite, he looks cooler, he poses better and he has those eyes that look so freaky when glowing through his shades. 

However, when all’s said and done Chris does have an absolutely massive gun… and that counts for a lot in any language!

So. I’ve based my final score on the RRP of $150, if you were lucky enough to get them for nearer the $130 mark then I’d have no problem giving these a full score, another very solid and strong release from Hot Toys, as we have come to expect, not much to be negative about at all.

Where to Buy -
Sideshow have now sold out, but Chris was available for $149 - and Wesker was the same. 

Big Bad Toy Store have also sold out where they were $140.

So it looks like your best avenue might be eBay where prices seem to be between $140 to $165, with Wesker fetching the higher prices.
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys
Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys

Resident Evil sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys

This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Jeff Parker.

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