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Review of Planet of the Apes Classics Series 2
Dr. Zaius v2, General Ursus, Zira

NECA
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 4 out of 4

Planet of the Apes Zaius, Zira, Ursus action figures by NECA

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Introduction

The second film in the new Apes franchise, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, released to blu-ray and dvd last week. Not quite as good as the first, but a solid follow up to the overall story, this film has a second wave of action figures hitting the pegs right now. Have no fear - I'll be covering those very soon.

NECA was kind enough to not just focus on the new films, but cast their talents on the classics as well. Their second series of action figures based on the 60's/70's films is also hitting pegs, and includes Zira, General Ursus, and a second version of Doctor Zaius.

You can pick these up at various brick and mortar or online retailers for around $20 each.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Planet of the Apes Zaius, Zira, Ursus action figures by NECA

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Packaging - ***1/2
These boxes are very popular with collector based lines right now, most likely because they can be collector friendly, requiring no damage to remove the figure. Cardback/bubble packs for action figures can't (usually) say the same.

These work great, with one exception - they've stuck with an annoying twisty to hold them in place. Considering how well designed the interior tray is, and how both the feet and hands are tightly held in place, the twisty is totally unnecessary and annoying.

Planet of the Apes Zaius, Zira, Ursus action figures by NECA

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Sculpting - ****
I waffled around on this one just a bit - is Zira really a 4 star sculpt? What about Zaius? I gave him ***1/2 last time around, so is he really better?

That would be a big 'yes'. Zaius isn't just a new outfit (it is), it's also a new head sculpt. The hair transition is cleaner, sharper, and less like a hat. The details are sharper as well, and the improved paint job (more on that in a minute) allows the superior sculpt to shine through.

His hands are new too, lacking the gloves from the first release, and they look terrific.

Zira is worth it as well, although I do have a nit or two. The head does seem a smidge big, and I'm not sure I'm thrilled with the slightly mean expression. But the details work, and there's no doubt it's her.

They've also used some soft goods for her underlying robes, the layer directly under the outer cloak. This cloth piece adds some realism, and allows the legs a bit more mobility than they otherwise would have had.

Ursus has the helmeted head, rather than the bare version we got with the first Gorilla Soldier.  The detailing on the fur and face is outstanding again, and the clean lines on the armor and clothing is impressive.

These are done in a 7" scale, with Ursus coming in at just about 7 1/4", Zaius just under that at 7", and Zira at 6 3/4".  All three stand great on their own, and they have hands sculpted to work well with the accessories.

Planet of the Apes Zaius, Zira, Ursus action figures by NECA

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Paint - ****
All three have very clean paint ops, with sharp hair lines, even eyes, and consistent skin tones. That last one is particularly welcomed with Zaius, whose version 1 face had a bit of a two tone appearance.

The leather armor on Ursus is particularly nice, with a good wear pattern that's not easy to do. There's not a ton of small details, but what is here is extremely clean and sharp.

Planet of the Apes Zaius, Zira, Ursus action figures by NECA

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Articulation - ***1/2
The general design of the characters is such that it would be easy for NECA to throw up their hands and say "No need for articulation - it wouldn't work anyway!". Instead, they got creative, and found ways to give us joints that work even in the restricted space.

There's a very good ball jointed neck that works well on all three characters, even Ursus. There's various ball joints at the shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, wrists and elbows, all with a reasonable range of movement. There isn't much mobility in the waist or chest, but it's a minor price to pay for the overall aesthetic.

Planet of the Apes Zaius, Zira, Ursus action figures by NECA

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Accessories - Ursus, Zira ***1/2; Zaius **1/2
Zaius only has one accessory, which was a surprise to me. The ads talked about the scroll coming with him again, the same scroll I assume as the first version. There's no spot for it in the package though, and he only has the long cane.

The cane is nice, don't get me wrong...it's just not a whole lot.  I'm not sure why we didn't get the second accessory again, since you can always use more scrolls.

Zira was also a surprise, but in the good way. She has the small card with the words "My name is Taylor" printed on it, as well as the paper airplane that Taylor made to prove flight was possible.  Finally, she has a family photo with Cornelius and the baby, the perfect home touch.

Ursus also has three extras, including two guns. There's the rifle, as well as the small handgun. The pistol fits neatly in his holster permanently attached to his hip.

His third extra is a swappable right hand, specifically designed for that pistol. Swapping hands isn't easy - they are made from some very hard plastic - but they do work well with the guns.

Planet of the Apes Zaius, Zira, Ursus action figures by NECA

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Planet of the Apes Zaius, Zira, Ursus action figures by NECA

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Fun Factor - ****
While these films might be vintage, these figures are not. With excellent articulation, sculpts and paint, plus a decent number of key accessories, they make for excellent toys. If your kids are enjoying the new movies, introduce them to the old as well - they'll love the classics!

Planet of the Apes Zaius, Zira, Ursus action figures by NECA

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Value - **1/2
At $20 each, these are coming in at the going rate for 6" licensed action figures for the so called 'collectors' market.  Don't get too hung up on that title - kids would love them too. That price point makes these an average value.

Planet of the Apes Zaius, Zira, Ursus action figures by NECA

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Planet of the Apes Zaius, Zira, Ursus action figures by NECA

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Overall - ****
I really liked the first series of figures - I love the second. Seeing improvements in quality as a line moves forward is a big plus, especially when you have something like Zaius as an immediate comparison.

With this sort of quality, I can't wait for wave 3 to hit, and this is now one of my favorite lines in this scale. Fans of the classic movies should rejoice!

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - Ursus, Zira ***1/2; Zaius **1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **1/2
Overall - ****

Planet of the Apes Zaius, Zira, Ursus action figures by NECA

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has them for $19 each.

- Entertainment Earth has the set of three for $53.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
This is the second wave of classic apes, and I already checked out wave 1. Other ape-y goodness includes their figures for the new films, with a second series hitting stores any day. And the new film hit the streets on blu-ray last week, coming in this cool bust from NECA.

A couple years ago, Hiya Toys did their version of Caesar and Koba from Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Other Ape related reviews include:

- Hot Toys did a few excellent apes based on the original films.

- Sideshow did a Premium Format figure of Dr. Zauis.

- I reviewed Sideshow's Ape Marauder and Enforcer, Zira and Cornelius, and both the regular and exclusive versions of Dr. Zauis.

- I also looked at a couple of the smaller figures for the bad remake.

- here's a guest review of Sideshow's General Ursus, Caesar, prisoner Taylor, Astronaut Brent, slave Brent,

- and the first guest review ever done at my site, way back over 13 years ago, was on the Medicom POTA figures.

Discussion:
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Planet of the Apes Zaius, Zira, Ursus action figures by NECA

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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