Fallout 4: Nuka-Girl Statue by ThinkGeek

Have you heard? There’s a new Fallout game out and apparently it’s pretty controversial! It was an easy pass for me, because I have no interest in Online Fallout Lite, but to be fair, I haven’t played it, so I’ll let the reviews speak for themselves. I will, however, toss my hat in the ring as a pretty dedicated Fallout fan. I’ve been on board since the day I got a PC that would play the original and up until now, I’ve played them all. Yup, even that mediocre Brotherhood of Steel on the Xbox, and the annoyingly addictive mobile game. But I’m not here today to talk about the new game. I’m here today because ThinkGeek had a big sale on Cyber Monday Week and I bought a Fallout statue!

And what a great idea for a statue from the game! Sure, there have been Vault Dweller action figures and Power Armor statues, but to immortalize that kissable face of Ms. Nuka-Cola in a PVC Statue? That took inspiration. And I gotta be honest, while this was sold to via an Email advertising the sale, I probably would have picked it up at full price if I had known it existed. Anywho, the roughly 1/10 scale statue comes in a handsome box with an outer sleeve and some spiffy retro-vintage-style artwork. This is apparently #3 in ThinkGeek’s line of Modern Icons statues produced in partnership with Chronicle Collectibles. The first was the the T-60 Power Armor from Fallout 4 and the second was Aloy from Horizon: Zero Dawn. It’s my first experience with this line or Chronicle Collectibles for that matter, and I’ll admit when I first held the box in hand, I had my doubts because it felt like the box was empty. But there was indeed a statue inside, enclosed between two clear plastic trays, and all ready to go on my shelf. Let’s check her out!

And here she is, perched atop a giant bottlecap and looking dead sexy in her retro space suit. The figure itself measures right around the 6-inch mark with a few inches added by the rather pronounced base. The pose is great. It’s just the kind of pure cheesecake that I associate with vintage ads. Ms. Nuka stands with one leg drawn up at the knee, holds her space helmet against her left hip, and offers up a bottle of bubbly Nuka refreshment, while glancing back over her shoulder and offering a bright, beaming smile. My god, I’m so thirsty!

The detail here is fairly minimal, which is in keeping with the retro-styling. Her space suit consist of a pair of thigh-high black high-heeled boots, tight white leggings with red stripes on the sides and a wide black belt. The fact that her mid-riff is exposed is probably my favorite quality of this protective garment. The cropped-top features the same white with red striping as the bottoms, black gloves, a very low-cut top, and a collar to attach the helmet to. In terms of bringing the vintage Nuka-Cola art to life, I think the statue succeeds brilliantly, from the composition to the sculpt, I wouldn’t change a thing. The paintwork is also quite good. The gloves and belt are matte black, the top and bottom have a bit of a sheen to them, and the boots are high gloss. There are just a few flubs in the paint application, mostly on the red border on the end of her left gauntlet, but absolutely nothing that draws my eye away from appreciating it.

The portrait is in keeping with that retro look as well. From the style of her hair to her makeup, she looks like a pin-up from the 50’s. The facial features are painted quite sharply, the eyes are even, and while there aren’t individually sculpted teeth, the pearly whites are painted bright and clean.

And while the design is relatively simple, there are still some nice touches. Her red pop-gun rests snugly in its holster and looks like the old toy ray-guns that my Dad probably played with. The red oxygen tanks feature segmented hoses that feed into the base of the helmet’s collar and the same type of hose can be seen encircling the base of her helmet. And yes, the sculptor paid special attention to capturing all of Ms. Nuka’s very feminine form her copious cleavage right down to the curves of her tushie.

And of course the bottle of Nuka-Cola looks great!

The giant Nuka-Cola bottlecap is a perfect base for the figure and it too is wonderfully executed. It’s painted in a bright red with crisp white lettering, right down to the TM icon, which at first I thought was to drive home the illusion that this is a real brand, but then I’d imagine that Bethesda probably copyrighted the Nuka-Cola trademark for real. But as good as the base looks, it’s also completely hollow, and that’s the one thing this statue is missing… any sense of heft. I commented earlier how the box felt empty, and that just goes to show how light this thing is. Does that really matter if it looks good on the shelf? I guess not, but for whatever reason, I tend to associate quality with weight when it comes to statues, and in this case the lack of weight is a little off-putting. Maybe they should have just filled the base with sand.

The bottom of the base features some copyright information as well as the name of the statue and that it’s a Limited Edition. There’s no actual statement of limitation on the box or the statue, so it’s hard to say how limited this piece really is. I mean, I guess all collectibles are limited in some sense, right? I found two things here interesting: One, that the statue is licensed as Fallout 4 specifically, even though it’s not stated on the box, and that she’s called Nuka-Girl here, even though she’s called Nuka-Cola Girl on the box. Otherwise, there’s really nothing to see here.

These Modern Icons statues retail for $50 a pop and I guess that’s not too bad, but with some of the PVC statues that Diamond Select has turning out in the $40 range, Ms. Nuka-Cola may strike some as a bit on the pricier side. She’s definitely smaller than the Femme Fatales stuff, as well as Koto’s Bishoujo line. I picked this one up when ThinkGeek was offering for half-off and hey, for $25 I figured I couldn’t go wrong and I was right. I like this piece a lot, and it’s made me take a look at some of their other pieces. Although some of these seem to go up in price when they go out of circulation, so I may just focus on what’s coming as opposed to what I’ve already missed.

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Fallout (Legacy Collection): Power Armor by Funko

Yesterday I began a rage-fueled assault on Funko’s unfortunate foray into the Fallout series with their Legacy Collection Lone Wanderer. Today I’m checking out the rest of this initial assortment (yes, mercifully, it’s only two figures) with their Power Armor. I’m still kind of spent from yesterday, but I just took a hit of Jet and I think I’m cool to muddle through another day of this torture. Hopefully today will be a little better. I mean, it has to be… doesn’t it?

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Here’s the same in-package shot that I showed yesterday when I thought I would be able to fit both figures into the same Feature. In a nutshell, it loses all the class and collector-friendly perks of the old Legacy Collection window boxes, but at least you get a better look at the figure. Inexplicably, Funko is not ashamed to show you what’s inside, so unless you buy them online like me, you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself. Happily, this is one of those good news, bad news scenarios. The good news is, this figure isn’t nearly as bad as the Lone Wanderer. The bad news is, it’s still not very good.

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As with the Lone Wanderer, The Power Armor has many different appearances in the Fallout universe, so this one is kind of a generic design, and I’m fine with that. I’ll also note that while there is no way in hell I would have bought the Lone Wanderer had I seen him in person, I probably would have gone for this guy, because he doesn’t look nearly as bad, at least not in the package. A lot of that is probably due to the bulkier and more forgiving design. Straightaway, let me say that the biggest problem I have with this figure is that the upper legs look out of proportion with the torso. I don’t think it’s so much a problem with the legs as the torso should have been bulkier. Or maybe it’s because the exposed ball joints in the hips make the upper legs look weird. I can’t put my finger on it, but something just looks off. It’s not eggregiously so, but I can’t unsee it. Then again, it could just be me.

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With that being said, I think this is a competent, albeit not spectacular sculpt. The Power Armor has a somewhat primitive design that jibes with what we got here. The silver painted finish looks rough in some areas, but again that works for what it is, at least in place of any real attempts at weathering. The armor is all smooth, so there’s no sophisticated pitting or anything like that. Ironically the most detail on it is probably found on the copyright information stamped on the backs of his legs. You do get some sculpted rivets in the arm, but not a lot else. The backpack is passable, but again feels soft and devoid of any meaninful detail. There are also more of the bare plastic unpainted hoses that make this look rather like a prototype.

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The helmet has a fair amount of detail, but everything looks very soft and the bare plastic used for the hoses again looks rather unfinished. They didn’t even bother to paint the spotlight, which is rather inexcusable since apart from all the silver and the black visor, there are absolutely no paint operations on this figure at all. Unless you count the dribble of black on the front of his left leg. I suppose the bare plastic that’s exposed at the joints gives it a little depth.

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The articulation here is virtually identical to what we saw with the Lone Wanderer. It’s not as a big an issue for me here, since this is a dude in bulky armor. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The pauldrons look like they should be hinged, but I don’t think they are. Either way, the ones on mine don’t move. If this were a Marvel Legends figure, they would be hinged to allow for better shoulder movement. No such luck here. The legs feature the same restrictive ball joints in the hips, double hinged knees and rotating hinges in the ankles. There is what appears to be a ball joint in the waist, but my figure will only twist ever so slightly to the left or right. The neck is also ball jointed, but it’s so tight that I’m afraid to really move it in fear of twisting it off. In fact, there’s very little range of motions on any of the joints on this figure, so he’s not a lot of fun to play with.

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Once again, we get only one accessory. In this case it’s a laser rifle, which is at least more interesting than 101’s hunting rifle. It’s a decent sculpt of the rather iconic looking weapon from the game and it features some decent paint apps as well. It is, unfortunately very difficult to get the figure to hold it, but still better than what we saw last time.

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If you were looking forward to another hate fest, I’m sorry, but I don’t think it was warranted here. No, this Power Armor is not a very good figure, but it doesn’t elicit the absolute contempt that I felt for the Lone Wanderer. It just feels very phoned in. It looks passable standing on the shelf, and I can’t say I’m entirely sorry I bought it, but I am still very sorry that Funko got the license to do these figures. NECA would have been my first choice, but having bought several of Mezco’s Mortal Kombat X figures, I think they would have done a much better job with the Fallout license too. If this is the future of The Legacy Collection in Gentle Giant’s absence, I think Funko should just stick to their Pop! Vinyl empire. What a disappointment this has been. Thankfully, I was able to cancel my pre-orders for their Skyrim figures in time.

Fallout (Legacy Collection): Lone Wanderer by Funko

It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m posting this Feature because, a) I wanted to write it while I was still fired up, and b) I’ve got a lot of decent stuff to look at and I didn’t want to waste one of my normal weekday slots with this shit. I also wanted to preface this Feature by noting that I’ve looked at a fair amount of Funko’s Legacy Collection line here and on the whole I’ve been pretty positive about it (indeed, some have said more than it deserves), so do try to keep that in mind as you wade into the (entirely justified) vitriol that is about to follow…

Fallout. It’s a big deal to me. When I moved away from my family back in the late 90’s to a new city and didn’t know anyone, diving head first into the original Fallout kept me company and helped me muddle through some lonely times. Taking on the adventures of the Lone Wanderer in an unfriendly land was such an apt metaphor for where I was in my life. Now, here we are almost 20 years later, the franchise is stronger than ever and Funko announced they were going to produce figures from the Fallout universe in their Legacy Collection line. I was pretty excited. Yeah, Funko’s foray into the 6-inch figure market has had some rough patches, but I’ve purchased quite a few of them from Game of Thrones to Magic the Gathering to Firefly and overall I’ve been satisfied. At this point, I didn’t think we had much to worry about. These guys seemed to know what they were doing. Then I got these figures and holy hell!

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The first assortment (and God, I hope it’s the last) consists of a Vault 101 Lone Wanderer and a Brotherhood of Steel soldier in Power Armor. Gone are the handsome and collector-friendly window boxes we’ve seen with the past Legacy Collection figures. Now we get these narrow bubble on card things that feel like throwbacks. These remind me of the packages McFarlane uses for their Halo and Walking Dead figures. And believe me, if you make action figures and I compare you in any way to McFarlane these days, that shit isn’t a compliment. [I know, McFarlane’s like, what the hell did we do? Well, everyone’s getting a taste of the bitch pudding today!] Now, granted, I throw away like 90% of my action figure packaging because I got no room for it. So maybe I have no right to complain about it. But I’m making a point of it because the watered down presentation here reflects the overall lack of effort put into these figures. Compared to what we’ve seen before, these just scream, “Who gives a shit, just get them out.” You know what else is missing from the packages? Any mention of Gentle Giant. I will say this, the packaging does let you see exactly what you are getting. Unfortunately, I bought these online and sight unseen. Had I encountered them in a brick-and-mortar store, I would have passed. I was originally going to review both figures in one shot, but it would have run way too long, so let’s just start with the Lone Wanderer…

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In Fallout you play the Lone Wanderer (or Vault Dweller, if you prefer) and he or she is really going to be vastly different for each player, so identifying with this figure may be difficult if your character isn’t a clean-cut white dude. Even as far back as the original game, you had plenty of customization options. My character in Fallout 4, for example, is a hot redhead who has cast off her jumpsuit and now wears a rather unique ensemble of combat armor. But Funko needed a sort of template look for this figure and I’m not going to hold that against them. So yeah, it’s just generic guy in a Vault jumpsuit and that’s fine. From a design standpoint, I think they went with something that manages to be quite iconic for the series. It’s also worth pointing out that this guy is from Vault 101, which places him in the Washington D.C. area of Fallout 3 and not the most recent game. I just thought that was kind of weird.

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So, the basic design here is fine. You get the familiar blue jumpsuit with yellow piping and the designation “101” prominantly displayed on the collar and back of the figure. You also get some extra bits of scavenged kit worn over it, which is very appropriate for the series. Mr. 101 has one piece of large leather shoulder armor to the left and a smaller one to the right, an ammo bandoleer, a gun belt, and one piece of leather knee armor. In theory, this is a solid look for the character in the early game. Unfortunately, they put it on a figure that is a total piece of garbage. I don’t even know where to begin, so let’s go with the technical aspects of the sculpt. The suit looks passable and even the brown, dirty wash is fair. The big problem here is that there’s no credibility in a lot of the gear. The ammo bandolier is just a bunch of cylinders cast in the same brown plastic as the strap. There’s no detail, no paint. They might as well be his reserve supply of Tootsie Rolls. Take a look at NECA’s recent John Matrix figure and look at the individually painted shotgun shells on that figure and then look at this. These two figures are roughly the same price point. Funko’s Wanderer is amateur work at best. Maybe they blew the paint operations budget on those silver buckles. And then look at the holster! It’s just a flat piece of plastic. They couldn’t even be bothered to add any depth to it, or even sculpt a gun in there, let alone… oh, I don’t know… sculpt a working holster and give us a pistol to put in it like just about everyone else who is making 6-inch scale figures would have done in this day and age.

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The Pip Boy is passable, but it’s big ugly green screen shows little effort. And because there’s no swivel in the arm, he can’t even hold it up to look at it all that convincingly. You can’t angle it toward his face, just hold it so the screen is straight up and have him look awkwardly down at it. Oh, just wait. I’ll get to articulation in a bit. DON’T PASS OUT ON ME YET! The head sculpt is probably the best thing about the figure, and boy is that not saying much. He looks more like one of the mannequins in the game that I knock over when scavenging. There’s brown paint from the hair all over the side of his face and the paint on the hair is chipped. His eyes are all wonky too, but frankly that’s a common problem with action figures these days, so let’s not hold it against this guy.

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The articulation hurts this figure on two fronts. Primarily, the jointing just looks terrible and that’s my biggest issue. I can accept a trade off of limited articulation for a good looking sculpt, but just look at this mess! The arms look like weird insect legs all pinched in the middle and the ball joint on the left wrist looks so unnatural. The hips are easily the worst things of all with those awkward ball joints. What really pisses in my Nuka Cola is that the articulation isn’t even that good. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. You get those hideous ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, and rotating hinges in the ankles. Swivels? Nope, none in the arms or the legs. The neck is ball jointed, and there’s a ball joint in the torso, but that one is fused solid on my figure. So basically we get all the drawbacks of ugly jointing with none of the benefits of super articulation. Brilliant!

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Even the ball joints in the hips don’t work like proper ball joints. For all the awkward range of motion you get in those hips, they might as well have just put a T-crotch in there and made it look good. LOOK AT THIS SHIT!!!

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Accessories? You get one. It’s a rifle. It’s a decent enough little sculpt, but at this point, who gives a f’ck? With all the great unique weapon designs in this franchise, Funko, you give us a generic rifle. Thanks. Oh yeah, he can’t even hold it like he’s going to use it convincingly. His right hand is a freaking fist so I’m left having this dude aiming and firing a hunting rifle with one hand. Yeah, I could point out the obvious and say how cheap it is to just throw one accessory in with this figure. Can you imagine what NECA would have done with this figure in their Ultimate line? But no, we get nothing. No 10mm pistol. A Fatboy? Pfft… like that was ever going to happen! Not even a little box of Sugar Bombs. Ah, screw it. At this point it just feels like beating a dead mole rat. Besides, there’s so much else to talk about. Like this…

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Yes, the Lone Wanderer does have one cool little action feature. It’s inspired by the game’s VATS system and simulates a Super Mutant targeting your leg and blowing it off. Oh, wait, no, it’s just poor craftsmanship that makes my figures’ right leg fall out every time I try to pose him. AND I MEAN EVERY FREAKING TIME!!!

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“Gonna need a Stimpak over here!” 

This figure set me back $20 and it is an absolute disgrace. Seriously, Funko should be ashamed of themselves for putting this out and Bethesda for approving it. I am not in any way joking when I say that the Funko’s own Pop! Vinyl Lone Wanderer I have on my desk is a better piece of merch from the game than this piece of garbage. Funko has released at least a couple dozen 6-inch scale Legacy figures and yet this one feels like a first attempt by a company that has no freaking clue what they’re doing. And that’s being kind, because the alternative is they just don’t give a shit what they sell to their customers. It’s December. There are only a couple weeks left in the year. I’ve probably reviewed close to 300 figures and toys in 2015. This is the worst piece of shit I looked at all year. There is no competition. And you know what the worst part is? I still have another one to look at. I’ll do that tomorrow in Part 2.

Pop! Vinyls (Fallout): Male and Female Lone Wanderers by Funko

Yes, I am now officially part of the problem. I have shaken my head in disbelief over the truckloads of Pop! Vinyls that Funko releases on any given month. I have pondered how it was ever possible that these damn things have invaded every retail store from Target to Barnes & Noble. I have swore that never would one of these ridiculous pieces of tat ever soil my collection. And now I bought two of them. In my defense, they are Fallout Pop!s and up until a short while ago (before the Legacy Collection announcement), it didn’t look like we’d be getting any official Fallout action figures from anyone. I mean, I just bought a PS4 specifically so that I would be ready for Fallout 4’s release next month and considering that kind of commitment to the franchise, it should be no wonder that I dropped $20 on a couple more tokens of my affection to all things Fallout. Let’s check these stupid things out…

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If you’ve never seen Pop!s in their original packaging, you’re a liar. These are everywhere. I have seen pictures of people’s collection where an entire wall of their spare room was covered from floor to ceiling by boxed Pop!s. They come in colorful window boxes, that remind me of the kind of box a Christmas ornament would come in. The box decos seem pretty standard throughout the two billion different licenses that Funko makes Pop!s for, with the name of the license on top and the character name on the bottom. In this case, these “characters” are only known as The Lone Wanderer and I got one of each gender, because why not? I have played through nearly every Fallout game as a man and a woman, so I wasn’t about to commit to just one.

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I don’t pretend to understand the numbering system. These two figures are 47 and 48, which, by my reckoning of how many of these Funko turns out, seems to be missing about nine digits and a couple of commas. And yet they obviously haven’t made 48 Fallout Pop!s, so if anyone out there knows the madness behind the numbering, drop me a line. Let’s start with the dude.

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Well, aren’t you just f’cking adorable. Big head and tiny body, that’s what these Pop!s are all about. True to form, this guy is missing a mouth and stares at me from behind two soul-less dots he calls eyes, but that’s all part of the charm, I guess. The head is pretty generic with it’s brown hair, but that’s kind of the whole point behind this nameless RPG avatar. The real effort goes into the body and in this case, Funko did a nice job on it. He dons the trademark blue jumpsuit with his vault number, 101, lettered in yellow on the back. He features some belts, straps, and a piece of shoulder armor that would do any Wasteland Walker proud. He’s also wearing his Pipboy and wielding a weapon in his right hand. I’m making it out to be the default Colt 10mm pistol. The paint is bright and colorful, but there’s an unfortunate black slash across the last digit of his vault number and that’s rather disappointing. On the other hand, I’m rather impressed that they painted all the tiny silver fixtures on his belt and pouches. Moving on to the lady…

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This version of our hero, or heroine, has stylish blonde hair and some eye lashes added to her soulless peepers just so you know she’s a lady type. Her outfit is more or less the same, from the blue jumpsuit and down to the shoulder armor and 101 lettered on her back, only this time with immaculate paint all around. By way of body language, Ms Lone Wanderer has a lot more sass than her male counterpart, with one leg out and her weapon held up at the ready. Speaking of weapons, holy shit, she’s sporting the Railway Rifle from Fallout 3. I have to hand it to Funko, they did their research and sculpted the guns well enough to make them easily recognizable. They put a lot more care into these pieces of tat than I would have suspected before seeing them.

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These things are weird. And while I can respect the little touches that Funko put into this pair, at $10 a Pop! (see what I did there?), I’m not sure I see the broad appeal. But far be it from me to poke fun at anyone’s collecting habits. There are closets at my place that look like toy store stockrooms and I’m sure there’s stuff in there that would baffle plenty of people. So when I mock the Pop! Vinyl scene I’m doing it in jest, especially now that I own a couple. But now that I do, I’m not likely to be amassing hundreds and building an accent wall out of them, but I can easily see myself picking up some more of the Fallout releases, particularly the Power Armor and Vault Boy… and just maybe some of those Bioshock releases. So, yeah, the Pop!s will grace the pages of FFZ again at some point in the future.