Mass Effect 3: Thane (Series 1) by Big Fish

Oh yeah, folks, it’s time for more Mass Effect 3 goodness and today we’re checking out… oh shit… it’s Thane. I’m taking an extra couple belts of Jameson to get through it, because today’s feature is like a double punch to my gonads. Not only do I hate this character, and don’t even get me started on his Loyalty Mission in ME2, but his figure turned out to be total crap too. Ok, let’s do this…

Thane features the same packaging we’ve seen for the other figures in Series 1. The only real difference here is how awkward and ridiculous Thane looks in the package thanks to the pre-posed nature of the figure. I know we’re talking about the packaging here, and I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but Thane is designed for one pose and one pose only: Firing his weapon. But like the other figures, he comes packaged without his weapon in his hands, and so right off the bat he looks like trash before you even open him up. Is he miming a tug of war?  Is there a fire hose for him to hold somewhere in the package?  Is he handing me an invisible baguette? Sure, you can see his pistol through the side panel, but I seriously thought there was another weapon that had either fallen down to the bottom of the bubble, or was left out entirely. I just couldn’t believe any company would package a figure like this.

So let’s get the big stuff out of the way first. Unlike Shep and Grunt, Thane is basically an articulated statue. His entire body is sculpted for a specific pose, and while I’ve tried to tweak him into something different, everything just looks awkward. His right shoulder is unnaturally hunched forward, so that his arm is literally attached to the front of his twisted torso, and his legs are permanently in a wide stance. His head is designed to look cocked to the side. Your other option is having him look straight down at the ground. Why DC Direct/Big Fish decided on such a departure from the rest of the line for this one character is completely beyond me. The other figures look like action figures, Thane looks like one of those old Star Wars Unleashed statues from Hasbro.

I guess the likeness to the character is pretty good, but maybe I’m the wrong person to ask, because to me Thane’s design looked like he was phoned in at the end of the day. “Hurray, it’s 5pm on Friday!” “Wait, we’re still short one character!” “Dude, just sketch out a fucking lizard man so we can go hit Applebee’s… I’m buying!” The sculpting for the portrait is certainly solid enough, but there’s something unnaturally bright and cartoony about the paint used for his face. I just think it looks odd next to the other figures. The sculptors did an adequate job on Thane’s suit, but the paintwork is another story. The uneven piping looks like it was hand painted by blind Krogans, while other parts look slathered on with a trowel. His back features smudges and splotches, which further suggest that nobody gave a shit about how this figure turned out.

So, Thane comes with the token disc display stand and his pistol. His display stand is kind of important since he’s hard to stand up without it, but when I tried to peg his foot into it, the peg literally shot through the other side of the stand. WTF? His gun is a nicely detailed little piece, but it should have just been sculpted into his hand because a) there’s really no point in ever taking it out, and b) he doesn’t hold it very well. While on the subject, Thane’s pose seems like it’s designed more for a rifle than a pistol. His hands appear to be sculpted to hold something bigger, and the pose seems unusual for a pistol.

Thane sports many points of articulation that sound useful on paper, but in reality are totally pointless. The head is ball jointed and yet the figure will always have his chin perpetually tucked into his chest. The arms feature ball jointed shoulders, hinged elbows and swivel wrists, none of which can be of any use. He has a standard “T” joint at the hips and his knees are hinged. The leg articulation is probably the most useful, and that’s just for adjusting him to stand properly.

There is a bright side at the end of this feature. If any figure had to be screwed up this badly than I’m glad it was a character I hated. I’m also very glad that I got such a great deal on these figures because if I had paid anywhere near $20 for Thane I would have gone ballistic. He’s a poorly conceived and poorly executed piece of garbage, especially when considered alongside Shepard and Grunt. Hopefully things will look up again tomorrow when we finish up Series 1 by checking out one of my favorite characters in the games… Tali.

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