Resident Evil 10th Anniversary series 2


"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."

Jerry Reed is back with another terrific guest review just in time for Halloween.  Take it away, Jerry! 

Hey all! Jerry Reed, (aka Barbecue17) here again with a review that will surely chill your spine! 

Capcomís survival horror video game Resident Evil, (also known as Biohazard in Japan) has already been around for over 10 years! To help celebrate, Neca has released a second wave of Resident Evil figures in their 10th Anniversary series. This is the fourth set of Resident Evil figures that Neca has released: The first two sets were based solely on Resident Evil 4 and the second 2 sets have been based around both the Resident Evil remake for the Nintendo Gamecube and Resident Evil 2. Last Christmas, we got series 1 of the 10th anniversary figures, which included Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, the Umbrella agent Hunk, and a Zombie with a zombie dog. This series compliments the first series by offering buyers plenty of monsters for your human figures to fight, and includes a Crimson Head Zombie with a new zombie dog, a Hunter, a Licker, and the Tyrant, who comes in at 10 inches! There is also an exclusive Labcoat Zombie with a crow that is only available at FYE stores in the United States, but available everywhere in all other countries. I had to order my Labcoat Zombie from another source, so he is not included in this review.

Over the past 10 years, a number of companies have released action figures based upon Resident Evil, all in varying scales. These have included Toy Biz, Palisades, Moby Dick, Hot Toys, and NECA. Tracking down many of these older figures can be quite difficult and take a hit out of your wallet, but if you are a hardcore Resident Evil fan like myself, than youíll probably be up to the challenge, or you picked up most of these when they were originally released. Thankfully, these new figures will only run you about $12-15, depending on where you pick them up, so these can be a great beginning to a Resident Evil collection. Now, on to the review of these awesome figures!

Packaging - ***
As Iíve mentioned in my other reviews, my figures rarely make it through the door with packaging intact, as I open them up the first chance I get. My main concern with packaging is that it keeps the figure safe, and the packaging here succeeds. These figures are packaged in hard plastic clamshells like most other NECA lines, but here the same thin styled clamshell is used as was with the Video Game Superstars figures and the Resident Evil 4 figures. This type of clamshell features only the bubble, and no extra space on the side of the package for the inclusion of a movie poster, like the Cult Classics have. There is no wasted space in the package, the package features a decent backdrop depicting a hall from the mansion in the first Resident Evil video game, and there is some character specific text on the back of the insert. These would be easy for a mint on card collector to store safely with minimal space being used.

Sculpting - Licker ****, Crimson Head Zombie, Hunter ***1/2, Tyrant ***
These figures are getting high marks all around for the sculpting, as they just look fantastic. It doesnít matter whether or not you are a fan of the video game, as you can still appreciate these monsters just for how cool they look. They manage to nicely balance the fine line between being effective monster figures and being just downright repulsive and sick. They certainly are frightening, but they are not going to disturb anyone or make you queasy to your stomach, as with many of the McFarlane horror figures.

Owners of the previous wave will probably automatically notice that the Crimson Head Zombie is redone version of the Zombie from the first wave, and really that makes good sense. You see, in the video game, some zombies who are not decapitated or burned can come back as Crimson Heads. Their skin becomes a bloody red, they grow claws on their hands, and they increase in speed and agility. If the regular zombie is the zombie you see in a George Romero film, the Crimson Head Zombie is the type of Zombie you see in Danny Boyleís 28 Days Later. The older figure isnít entirely reused, however, just the body and the legs, which were perfect on the original, and are perfect here as well. The Crimson Head has some new arms and a new head, which help to effectively turn this figure into an entirely new character! The body sculpt just screams traditional zombie, and that is what I want to see here: a zombie that is detailed, but generic enough that you could purchase a few of them for army building and diorama making. The legs are not articulated, but terrifically sculpted in a great way that just evokes the typical shuffling way that zombies walk in films. The bare feet of the zombie are also posed in such a way that might make you cringe, and the skin texture on them just looks grotesque. In fact, the skin texture all over this guy is great. This isnít a fresh zombie, but one that has been sitting around rotting for a few weeks, just waiting for a meal. The body also works for a standard zombie, smartly dressed in an old brown suit with a bloodstained white dress shirt, and some ripped up sleeves. The last thing to mention about this Crimson Head Zombie is his head sculpt. It is a new head sculpt, and although very subtly different from the first original, still manages to evoke a different appearance. This is not a docile zombie, but an enraged Crimson Head. There is a big difference between the two creatures, and the facial expression really helps to get that point across.

The Hunter is the second figure in the wave, and perhaps features the most well sculpted body. The reptilian scales on this guy are amazing! When I can pick up a figure and feel the detail, consider me impressed. Just rub your hand over this guy, and youíll know what Iím talking about. Every inch of this guy is covered in scales, and they are all different. The scales on his back are completely different from those on his legs, and so on. NECA did a superb job with this guy. He is a hefty, armored, machine of death. But there is one thing I do not like about him. The head sculpt. Maybe it is due to his opening mouth, which is excellently detailed inside and loaded with sharp teeth, but something about it almost makes him appear comical or friendly. The eyes just arenít menacing enough, and the position of the mouth just makes him look too happy. Definitely the only strike against an otherwise perfectly sculpted figure.

The Licker, while definitely the smallest figure here, features some fine detailing. Unlike the Hunter, with his scales, the Licker is composed of all muscle and sinew, giving him a really creepy, organic look. Now, I feel that the paint on the Lickerís body is a little too light, but that doesnít hurt the sculpt in any way. From the veins and individual muscle fibers to the spine and shoulder blades that are sticking out of his back, this is an effectively sculpted figure. And the head? Iíll just say it: masterpiece. This is a terrific head sculpt for this creature, and definitely the best head sculpt in this wave. The brain is super detailed, and that mouth is just a terrifying work of art! Also, make sure to check out the Lickerís claws. The sculpt appears to display the claws as protruding through the skin, and to portray that, a clear, almost flesh like plastic, is used on the hands above the claws, giving the skin a very putrid, flabby appearance. The right hand looks better than the left hand, but this is still a cool effect.

The last figure in this wave is the Tyrant, and this is perhaps the figure I feel most conflicted about. The size of this guy is awesome, fitting in well with the other figures at around 10 inches. (In fact, the Tyrant comes packaged with the legs removed so that he will fit in the package.) The upper body, head, and left arm sculpts on the Tyrant are really great. The textures, gashes, and claws on this monstrosity are expertly rendered here, making this figure more akin to the level of detail you would see on a sculptured piece rather than an action figure. The head sculpt is the second best in this wave, only exceeded by the Lickerís. The mouth looks good, filled with gruesome teeth in a ghastly grin, and the eyes, while lacking pupils, still look menacing. My only complaint with the upper body is the heart on the Tyrantís chest. It is molded in a clear pinkish plastic that makes it look a little too much like a gummy candy piece rather than an organ. Also done poorly are the lower body and the right arm. Perhaps the paint is to blame here, but the lower body sculpt just seems bland compared to the upper body. The feet look good, as well as the tumors and skin growths on the right leg, but the veins all over the lower body just donít fit in well with the level of detail elsewhere on the figure. Perhaps that is due to this guy being so large, but it still deserves to be mentioned. Also, while this guy isnít anatomically correct (and Iím not saying that I wish he were!) he sure does have a package on him. First NECAís David Bowie from Labyrinth figure, and now this; it appears to be a disturbing trend with NECA!

Paint - Hunter ****, Licker *** Ĺ, Zombie ***, Tyrant ** 1/2
All around, the paint work on these figures is quite solid. The Crimson Head Zombie looks nicely weathered, the skin features a variety of painted detail, and there are some effective dried blood splotches on the outfit. The Zombie is very effective in capturing the look of a decaying zombie without going overboard, and for that I give it high marks. Nothing jumps out particularly, but there is nothing that detracts, either.

The Hunter has a superb paint job. The scales are nicely worked on in a few shades of green, giving him an extremely realistic appearance. The blood, which is smeared on his arms, in his mouth, and splattered on his chest, also looks good for a line based on a video game. The blood nicely matches the feel of the game and is effective without looking so gruesome or realistic that you want to vomit. Definitely one of the best paint jobs I have seen on a figure this year.
The Licker has a solid paint job technically, especially on the head, but I wish the skin tone of the body was a shade darker. The pinkish color looks a little too plain to me, and I would prefer some bolder reds and blacks throughout. The blood on the claws looks great, though, and is very well done.

The Tyrant once again suffers from unevenness. Once again, the upper body, head, and left arm all look fabulous, but the left arm and lower body all feel a bit plain. The weaker areas are covered in veins, and the paint work on them just doesnít look good, certainly not when compared to other paint work on the figure. The heart, molded in that clear pink plastic that looks like those gummy candy organs they make for Halloween, could stand to use some more paint as well. A little darker paint on that heart, coupled with the clear effect of the plastic, probably would have made the heart look awesome. As it stands, the Tyrant has the poorest paint job of the figures in some areas of his body, but one of the strongest in other areas.

Articulation - Hunter **1/2, Crimson Head Zombie, Tyrant **, Licker *1/2
Most of you arenít going to be surprised that these figures are not super articulated. Theyíre designed to be displayed rather than played with, but still, I was surprised that the arms on most of these are nicely articulated so that they can be positioned in a couple of different and cool poses.

The Crimson Head Zombie has a cut waist, but due to his coat, you canít do much with it at all. The arms both feature ball joints at the shoulders and a cut wrist on the right hand, giving you the ability to pose this guy in a few different human attacking ways. His neck also has a ball joint, which offers some decent movement, and is easily removable. This doesnít appear to be an intended feature of the figure, but still might appeal to those of you who prefer to pose your figures headless. Sickos.

The Hunter has the most useful articulation of any of the figures in this wave. His thighs are cut joints and his ankles have ball joints, allowing some flexibility in standing the Hunter in the best position. A mid torso joint is included, and it doesnít call too much attention to itself. Instead, it allows for some good horizontal movement, but the vertical movement is minimal. Most importantly, the arms each feature a ball joint at the elbows and the shoulders, giving the Hunter a great range of clawing motion, so other figures had best look out! Seriously, if youíve played the video game, than you know just how vicious these guys can be! The three fingers on each hand are also rotatable, which can help to get a better hand pose, but really, theyíre not to useful. The last point of articulation on the Hunter is really creative and a nice addition to the figure: a hinged mouth. The Hunterís mouth can open and close, which is a fun feature, as the interior of the mouth is filled with sharp teeth, but I canít quite figure if the opening mouth helps add to the ďfriendlyĒ look of the Hunterís face that I mentioned in an earlier section. Maybe if this point of articulation werenít included, the Hunter would look better? Who knows?

The Licker is really designed to work in one pose only, so his cut hips and elbows are pretty pointless. The mid torso joint is very well hidden, and you can twist the Licker a bit, but it isnít anything deal breaking. Lastly, it appears to me that the Lickerís tongue is designed to be bendable. I have played with it a bit, and it seems to work, but Iím a little worried that the tongue could snap, so Iím going to leave it alone from now on.

The Tyrant comes disassembled in the package (you have to attach his lower legs) so what appear to be cut joints on his lower legs are really just wear the lower legs were attached. Yes, you can twist them, but only if you want your Tyrant to have the appearance of a twisted knee. Both of the arms are ball jointed, as well as the neck. These joints all work well and look good. The claws on the left hand have the same weird rotatable fingers that the Hunter figure has, which are a little more useful here. Lastly, the Tyrant has a mid torso joint that allows for horizontal movement, but very little vertical movement.

Accessories - Crimson Head Zombie ***1/2, Hunter, Licker, and Tyrant *
I was a little disappointed to find that other than the Crimson Head Zombie, none of the other figures came with any accessories besides their included display stands. Sure, they are monsters, so what are they going to come with? Well, when Palisades Toys released their Resident Evil action figures, the Tyrant came with a sample of the T-Virus, (the virus responsible for all of the zombies) the Licker was an included accessory with the zombie cop, and the Hunter was an included accessory with the Albert Wesker. Sure, these figures are much larger and more detailed than the Palisades figures, but I still hoped NECA would include some creative accessory with each figure. Perhaps a typewriter or some other item used in the video game. 
The display stands which are included here are just simple black ovals with appropriate pegs for the included figure. I appreciate when stands are included with my figures, so they at least get some credit here. The only figure to come with an accessory is the zombie dog included with the Crimson Head Zombie. I was happy to see that this is not the same zombie dog included with the zombie in wave 1, but is an all new figure, complete with a great ball jointed neck and a hinged mouth. A superb accessory, which is technically another figure! 

Fun Factor - ***1/2
Well, I think these toys are quite fun. Yes, I realize they are not fun in the sense that they have loads of articulation and play features, but they certainly are more fun than regular human action figures. I mean, these are some crazy monsters, and some people and kids just enjoy playing with crazy monsters. Hereís where parental authority come in, though: If youíre looking to give these to a kid, you have to decide what age range they are appropriate for: the package says 17 and up, but Iíve been a fan of the Resident Evil games ever since I was 13 or 14, over 10 years ago. Yes, they may be too gruesome and scary for some kids, but I tend to think most boys would enjoy having the Hunter fight with their other figures. These guys are creepy monsters, but theyíre certainly not twisted or tortured beings like some of the creatures from other toy lines. As a big kid myself, I enjoy having these monsters battle one another, and Iím sure there are others like me out there! 

Something else nice about them is that they can work in a variety of scales. Other than the zombie, I could see these fitting in well with a variety of toy lines, from 3 ĺ Joes to 7 and 8 inch toy lines. Monsters are more versatile in scale since it doesnít really matter how large they are compared to human figures.

Value - ***
These figures are really solid, and do not feel as if they are going to break anytime soon. Theyíre also loads of fun, despite some of the issues I mentioned earlier. They come in around 15-16 dollars a piece if you buy them individually at places like Spencerís or Hot Topic, but if you pick them up online, like I did, you can probably get the who set for around 50 dollars, which to me is a fair price. The lack of accessories hurts the value a bit, and some may question the value on the Licker, which is a smaller figure. Just look at the Tyrant and the Hunter, however: those are some huge figures, and really make up for the smaller size of the Licker.

Things to Watch Out For -
Just be careful with the Lickerís tongue, because I get the feeling that if you bend it too much, it could snap off.

Overall - ***1/2
These guys are all just too cool and loads of fun for fans of crazy monsters and Resident Evil fans. They just jump off the shelf and certainly look better than a lot of stuff out there. Besides, thereís always room for zombies!

Score Recap:
Packaging: ***
Sculpt: Licker ****, Crimson Head Zombie, Hunter ***1/2, Tyrant ***
Paint: Hunter ****, Licker *** Ĺ, Zombie ***, Tyrant ** 1/2
Articulation: Hunter **1/2, Crimson Head Zombie, Tyrant **, Licker *1/2
Accessories: Crimson Head Zombie ***1/2, Hunter, Licker, and Tyrant *
Fun Factor: ***1/2
Value: ***
Overall: ***1/2

Where to Buy - 
On line options include:

- CornerStoreComics has the singles for $12, or the set of four for $45, in stock right now.

- Amazing Toyz has the set of four for $45, but are sold out already on a lot of the singles!

Figure from the collection of Jerry Reed.

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