Toy Fair 2014: NECA Writes the Book(er) on Gaming Figures
When it comes to action figures, few companies are as consistent and reliable when it comes to both quality of the figure and the quality of the license. NECA has been steadily maintaining one of the most impressive streaks in both categories for years, and this year’s offerings at Toy Fair were no exception.
Fans have been eagerly awaiting updates on NECA’s Valve line and the BioShock Infinite line, and both were out in full force this week. Team Fortress 2 will finally see the Spy added into the mix, and the Engineer will be coming down the road as well. NECA’s committed to finishing out the complete roster, and it shouldn’t be long until we see the Scout and Sniper rotated in, too. For a little over a year, we’ve been waiting for Atlas and P-Body from Portal 2 to release, but now it appears their arrival is imminent. The fully poseable co-op robots are on track for a spring release.
While BioShock Infinite is now a year old, and Irrational Games is on the verge of closing for good, NECA’s Booker DeWitt is still on the dockett to arrive at some point this year… provided there’s enough interest at retail. There’s no release date firmed up, but the closing of the studio won’t affect Booker’s availability. The only thing that might is a lack of support from merchants. Fortunately, the success of the George Washington Motorized Patriot bodes well for Booker’s future. The Patriot was so successful, NECA’s even planning on releasing a Ben Franklin version, too. Again though, the actual release is all tied to whether or not enough interest is drummed up.
NECA’s most surprising line, its wave of 8-bit inspired figures, will continue this year beyond the horror theme. What started as a SDCC exclusive figure with an NES-inspired Friday the 13th Jason and Nightmare on Elm Street Freddy will continue with a Predator in a few months. The 8-bit Robocop released just last month, and NECA has at least one or two more on track for possible arrivals this year. The line will feature more video game-inspired paint applications, but will be limited in its offerings year-to-year. The packaging mock-up fits right in line with previous figures, and the window box displays should make collectors of all types happy.
There are also some bigger figures in the works from NECA’s quarter-scale line. Batman: Arkham Origins Batman is due to arrive in the first half of 2014, and looks spot on with his video game likeness. This will be NECA’s first quarter-scale video game figure, but won’t be its last as a Halo 4 Master Chief is also coming this summer. Only shown off in prototype form, Chief was incredibly detailed, and his armor and weapons looked amazing in their 18-inch glory. No pricing was available as of yet, but NECA’s been keeping the larger figures around $100 at retail. The other planned accessories from Halo, like the motorcycle helmet, weren’t at the show, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on NECA’s plans for Halo.