Portal 2 Chell Figure Review
There are plenty of protagonists in video games that have no voice of their own. Despite this over abundance of mute heroes, few are actually remembered and revered the same way Portal and Portal 2's Chell is by fans. It's curious then that it's taken so long for her to get her own action figure.
Fortunately geeks and gamers of the world have NECA looking out for them. The company's licensing deal with Valve has yielded some impressive results thus far. There have been multiple Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device replicas, Left 4 Dead infected figures, Team Fortress 2 figures, and the ultimate hero, Gordon Freeman finally got his due in action figure form. Now it's Chell's turn, and NECA once again delivers when it comes to fan expectations.
We know what you're thinking. Yes, the mini ASHPD included with Chell does indeed light up. There's a little button on the bottom of the portal gun which turns on a blue light inside the tube. It's a nice touch that NECA didn't have to include, but they did, and it makes the overall package that much more impressive. That said, Chell doesn't come with any other accessories. The ASHPD is the most recognizable one, and is certainly worthwhile, but it would have been nice to maybe get a little GLaDOS potato, or even a little Wheatley to partner with Chell. Either of those options would of course drive the cost of the figure up though, and NECA's commitment to the ~$20 price point has been appreciated.
As to the sculpt, NECA does a nice job bringing the mysterious Chell to life. The advantage to working so closely with Valve means NECA has the ability to get up close and personal with Chell's in-game assets. Some fans are bound to nitpick the figure's accuracy in one area or another, but there's no denying this is Chell. She's got the familiar tank-top, the dangling orange test subject suit, and the long fall boots. Everything is tailored to perfection, and there are some nice touches on the jumpsuit to differentiate its fabric from the rest of the ensemble.
Unfortunately, Chell is not the most poseable figure NECA has produced. Chell has articulation in her knees, hips, waist, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and neck, which ordinarily would equate to a pretty agile figure. The long fall boots present a problem though, as Chell is incredibly tough to balance considering she's always standing on her toes. NECA has included a pegged base to alleviate any standing issues that might occur, but you're still limited to the amount of ways you can arrange Chell's body. That said, having her stand still merely holding the ASHPD is perfectly fine. If you were hoping to get some more action oriented poses though, it's a bit more of a chore.
There's definitely plenty to like about NECA's Chell figure. It's a wonderful representation of the iconic character, and a perfect example of how to do video game figures right. It's great to have her lined up with the rest of the available Valve figures NECA's produced, and with Atlus and P-Body figures on the way later this year, Portal fans are certainly in for a real treat. If you can still find one of these limited (15,000 were made) figures, we definitely recommend snapping one up before GLaDOS has them all terminated.
The NECA Portal 2 Chell figure is available now at specialty shops for ~$20.