Last week, I started looking at NECA’s new Heroes of the Storm line with Nova Terra, a great looking figure that unfortunately suffered from fragile hip syndrome. Today, I’m opening up my second figure in the series and hoping he’s made of tougher stuff. Let’s check out Illidan Stormrage, aka. The Betrayer!
Here he is in package, which gives you a great look at the figure you’re getting. Heroes of the Storm eschews collector friendliness and goes for a sealed clam shell. I’m not going to complain because it gives me a perfectly good excuse to not keep the packaging. Also… plastic fumes. Gotta love the plastic fumes when you cut into one of these babies. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been hoping to get proper Warcraft action figures. So much so, that I nearly went for some of those DC Direct statues back when they were out. Needless to say, I’m damn excited to get this guy out…
And he does not disappoint! Illidan dons his blindfold to cover the vacancy left behind by having his eyes seared out. Or, if you prefer, it’s because he’s a Demon Hunter and they cover their eyes because the eyes cannot be trusted when hunting disguised demons and instead they hunt auras. Ooooor, if you prefer, it’s so they aren’t tempted by the evil they hunt. Maybe it can be all of those things. Or none of them. Warcraft lore is deep and complex. And to think I spent most of my 10,000 hours of playtime just trying to not get ganked. Where was I? Oh yeah… he wears a blindfold and it makes him look like a badass. And just to please the lady Blood Elves, he doesn’t wear much of anything else. Just a pair of brown fur-lined pants and a loin piece that screams out the familiar aesthetic of the World of Warcraft universe.
NECA invested just enough detail on this guy to keep the ‘toony look of the game while still delivering on their rep for quality sculpts. The fringe on the pants looks great, as does the stitching up the sides. I really dig the shade of purple plastic used for his skin and the sculpted muscles are a little on the chunky side to further mimic that great WoW style. The green tats on his upper body are sharp and crisp and look great and they are not only painted on, but also part of the figure’s sculpt.
The portrait here is damn solid. I’ve already mentioned his blindfold. He sports a crazy mane of sculpted hair, a massive pony tail that has to be pegged into the back of his head, and a glorious scowl on his pus. If I had to nitpick something, I’d say the teeth could have been a bit better realized, but I’d have to be really looking for something to complain about.
I might have started this Feature off with articulation, since it’s the first thing I checked when I got the figure out. Thankfully I found no stuck joints and no breakages. I can tell the hips are the same design as on Nova because when I move one leg, the other moves a little with it. It’s that same pin design and seeing as it’s perfectly fine on this figure, that gives me hope for trying my luck on another Nova. Anyway, Illidan’s arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and hinges in the elbows. The hips and ankles are rotating hinges and the knees are double hinged. There’s a ball joint in the torso and another in the neck. All in all, he’s a fun figure to mess around with.
In addition to his plug-in ponytail, Illidan comes with the Twin Blades of Azzinoth. AND OH, MY HELL YES!!! These are beautiful, big, and chunky weapons that come sealed in individual baggies to protect the paint. And what fabulous paint it is! The blades feature a sumptuous metallic green with black lines etched into the blades. The hilts are gold and red and have sculpted wrapped handles inside the guards. Once again, NECA has just done a beautiful job of translating that familiar WoW aesthetic to plastic form. These blades look magnifcent in Illidan’s hands.
Every now and then a figure comes along that doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a stand out piece, but it winds up just hitting that sweet spot. Illidan here is exactly that kind of figure for me. If Nova didn’t already capture my heart for Heroes of the Storm, well Illidan certainly would have done the job. Everything about this guy from the sculpt to the quality and colors of the paint, right down to the fun articulation makes him a treat. And, of course the fact that he didn’t come with any joint issues is a huge win too. Illidan The Betrayer indeed… Betrayer of my wallet! I’ve already got orders in for the next three figures available in this line, including the beefy Deluxe figure Stitches, which constitute a couple more Warcraft figures and my first from Diablo. And thankfully, NECA teased the roster for more Heroes of the Storm figures releasing later this year and you can bet that I’m on board.