Friday, April 27, 2012

Review: Mass Effect 3 Action Figures Wave 1 and 2.

You know what I love? Bioware’s epic space trilogy Mass Effect and collecting things that I don’t really need. So when I saw that Big Fish Toys were releasing their second wave of action figures - this time based on Mass Effect 3 - I faced the inevitable realisation that I would have to have them all. For some reason. Then I could lie on the living room floor and use them to re-enact all my favourite Mass Effect moments and awkward, inter-species sexual relations.
Well last week the first eight figures arrived. What do they look like? Are they any good? Which characters are present and who is still missing? Find out all this and maybe some more... after the (mass effect relay) jump!

Let’s kick off with a look at the older first series which appear to have been re-released to coincide with series two. I’m going to start with my least favourite characters and then steadily build to the glorious climax of my most prized!

Each figure also comes packaged with a unique DLC code that unlocks random weapons, perks and characters for the multiplayer component of Mass Effect 3. Nothing too unmissable, although I did get a gun that helped me finally become a contender and made up for my less than auspicious multiplayer start.

“What!?” you holler! “Commander Shepherd is your LEAST favourite?! WHAAAA?” No, you big silly. MALE Commander Shepherd is my least favourite character. I am a proud FemShep player all the way so this male knucklehead is almost a complete stranger to me. I’m just relieved that he has a helmet so I can cover up most of his unfamiliar mug.

That said, it’s a pretty decent sculpt of the iconic N7 suit and not a terrible thing to have in the collection. In fact the sculpts are all generally pretty great, but due to the chunky nature of most of the figures - coupled with the fact that they are made out of a heavy, rubbery plastic - the articulation is a bit stiff and they have difficulty holding their rifles in both hands. A more supple Shepherd would have been a bit more fun. I also wish they’d been a bit more ambitious with the details. I was disappointed to discover that the gun can’t be stored on his back like it is in the game. Unless I’m doing it wrong. If I am, you should tell me.

So he’s okay, but I really, really, really hope we get a FemShep in a later wave. And while I’m wishing for things, they should also make her look exactly like the FemShep that I customized in my game. Everyone relax - I made the best FemShep and I’m sure you’ll love it.

Is Thane popular? I’m guessing he is. As an emo alien assassin he feels like he should be a fan favourite. But for me he’s never really gelled. He’s terminally ill too so don’t get too attached to him. My Thane on my team was killed in the battle at the end of Mass Effect 2 so I guess I did him a favour.

The pre-posing on this one kind of kills it for me. His head is permanently looking down and his huge shoulders are pushed freakishly forward so that he can aim his pistol out in front of him. 

He looks pretty cool in this pose but it’s pretty much all he can feasibly do. If super articulation isn’t an option then I think I far prefer the more neutral poses.

Now we’re getting to the good stuff. Krogan warrior Grunt is a gigantic, heavy piece of solid plastic that would kill a small child if it fell on him. Grunt has already taken a dive off the top of our shelving unit causing the entire house to shake and leaving a two inch crater. 

This is deservedly one of my favourite figures of the wave but he still can’t hold his damn gun in two hands. I guess he can lift it with one hand though because he’s totally badass. It also means that I have to keep fishing his gun out from under the couch.

I love Tali. But whoooa - not in that way. I haven’t romanced my gassy faced gal pal, but I do like having her around. Until... can we spoil Mass Effect 3 yet? Let’s just say she made a speedy exit out of my game. A downward exit. 

I like this figure a lot although it really makes me aware of some of her more outlandish alien features that I didn’t notice so much in the game. I think she’d be extra awkward to romance with those creepy three-fingered claws and it hadn’t really occurred to me that she has the hind legs of a dog. 

I really dig her translucent omni-tool accessory though. It’s a great touch.

So let’s move on to the four figures of series two which were only just released last week. For me it’s a far better selection overall and contains many of my favourites.

Legion is the geth intelligence who... ummm... okay, I probably need to pay more attention during those story parts. I could tell you everything you ever need to know about Miranda’s arse but I don’t know a lot about Legion. Apart from the fact that he looks super cool, and this figure manages to capture that perfectly.

He’s pretty amazing, but he really can’t hold his rifle in both hands. It’s made worse by the fact that he’s attached by restrictive hoses. I also vote him most likely to shelf dive. The figures do come with stands which was a very smart move, but some of them are just a little to heavy. He’s a winner though.

He also comes packed with an additional part - along black something or other than plugs into somewhere or other. There’s no instructions so I spent a lot of time rotating him and his weapon around hoping to find a willing hole to plug it into (not a euphemism). Turns out it goes in his shoulder which I guess I’d also already know if I’d been paying attention to his part of the story.

It’s everybody’s favourite crusty, catman sniper Garrus! I really like his easy-going nature in the game, although I would never romance him (if you must know I had a lesbian fling with Samantha Trainer, my assistant, after breaking up with Liara). My girlfriend romanced Garrus in her game and I imagine that involved a lot of chafing. He doesn’t even have lips as far as I can fathom.

The Garrus figure is great and although he’s in a fairly relaxed pose I think he cuts a fine silhouette. He is also one of the few figures that can hold his gun in a pleasing way. Garrus is one of the best, and if you were only looking at picking up one or two then I’d give him a look.

Another beloved character is the constantly babbling/occasionally singing Mordin .(May he rest in peace). (Damn you, Mass Effect 3!). 

Now he’s not so much of an action guy so his casual pose suits him and they’ve captured the essence of his character beautifully. This may very well be one of the best sculpts. He also has a smaller gun which he can hold just fine. 

I think we’re seeing solid improvements in this series and that looks good for future series if we get that far.

And finally...

The perfectly engineered woman whose aforementioned posterior has its own twitter account. Have you ever noticed that, while playing the game, if something is close up in the foreground and someone is talking in the background, then the foremost thing will be out of focus? This holds true UNLESS it’s Miranda’s arse, and then it is always large, proud, and crystal clear. The sculptors haven’t skimped on it here and have paid extra special attention to her legendary cheeks.

The rest of the sculpt is good too. The proportions might be a little weird and her likeness varies depending on the angle. Her profile is particularly strong, really capturing the character. 

The bottom line (snigger) is that I love Miranda far too much to not love this figure and it was her inclusion that helped seal the deal of purchasing them all.

I’m reading reports that the plan was to release four waves of figures for a total of 16 figures. I hope that is still the case and I would hate for bad blood about the controversial Mass Effect 3 ending to have stalled these plans. There are plenty of great characters that we are yet to see immortalised in figure form and I hope they make a cut.

My only fear is that the four characters I’d like to see the most are female (FemShep, Liara, Jack and EDI) and I don’t know if they’ll pack that many women into the final waves. I imagine that instead we’ll get Jacob, James, maybe Zaeed and hopefully the Prothean. Maybe the Illusive Man. A crippled Seth Green? Time will tell.

I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on how these develop.


  1. I'd like to think that in a series of games with so many strong female characters that you get to intimately and intellectually know that they would buck tradition like I did with Tali, but you never know.

  2. there was indeed chafing.

    I'm going to call it and say James is going to be in the next. and Liara. new blood and old school.

  3. My paragon fem shep went for Thane because he's so dreamy with his Lynch style flashbacks, his assassin charms and the fact that he was dying and paragon fem shep is all about saving everyone.

    Renegade Saul Thigh Sheppard went for Tali. Mostly because it bugged him not knowing what was under the mask and he liked the idea that she would get sick for him. He's the worst kind of person. Also I found that if you make Male shep look older he suits the character more probably why I don't dig the male shep toy, that and how he has 2 conflicting expressions in his face. My eyebrows may be Renegade but my smile is Paragon

    I wish I could age that head C-Sec guy. This is the future of games. Where you read the character synopsis and go into casting before you play.

    A Zaeed and an Illusive man are definitely characters I want. I wish Grunt, Thane and Garrus looked better but Mordin and Legion are spot on