Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mcfarlane Toys Ratonhnhake:Ton 2013

After a brief hiatus, we're back with another toy review, and this one is unlike any I've ever done before. This one is of the character Ratonhnhake:Ton from the game Assassin's Creed III. I don't have a lot of experience with the Assassin's Creed franchise - the first one was a bit off-putting and I never could figure out which Assassin's Creed II I was supposed to play.. apparently there were about fifteen of them. I did play Assassin's Creed III, however, and really enjoyed the experience. Because of that, when Amazon.com offered one of the figures for less than five bucks, I jumped at the chance to pick one up.

Figures for the first two Assassin's Creed games were made by the company NECA, and received a lot of praise for their detailed sculpt, even with limited poseability. The newest Assassin's Creed characters, however, are done by a company called McFarlane Toys, whom you might remember made such classics as No-Body and Crutch. A few years, McFarlane Toys reduced their licenses, limiting themselves to sports figures and the video game series Halo, but recently they've made figures from The Walking Dead and now Assassin's Creed games, so perhaps they are attempting a bit of a revival.

For a company known for their sculpting, this figure still knocks it out of the park. The underlying body of Ratonhnhake:Ton was released before under his Americanized name, Conner, but with the addition of the wolf pelt we get more than just a repaint. His face is dead on with the game model, as well as his build and proportions. There's simply nothing at all to complain about, The colors go together well and everything that should be painted is painted, letting the details really shine through.
The accessories are also absolutely top notch. These are the same accessories that were included with the regular figure, but since I don't own that one I have nothing to complain about. Also, all of these are accessories that absolutely should be included. After being trained in the ways of the assassin, Ratohnhake:Ton was typically absolutely loaded down with weapons. He has the secret blade, which can either be held in his hand or "plugged" into the back of his left arm, and it works very well. Once plugged into place, it stays put with no fear of the small blade getting lost. He also has the hatchet shaped like the iconic "A" from the series, and it suffered no warping from the packaging and has a nice, detailed paint job. Then, you have two pistols that fit perfectly into holsters that are sculpted on and also are easily held by him, and a bow with an elastic string which loops around his chest for easy storage. For those keeping track, that means he has five accessories, all of which he can wear at the same time, meaning they aren't likely to be lost. Excellent!
McFarlane's figures for this line have gotten a bit of a bad response due to the fact that they are about an inch smaller than NECA's previous figures, meaning they don't blend together on the shelf. It's a fair complaint, but I don't have any of the previous NECA figures since the games really had no appeal to me, so I can't say whether or not that bothered me. For me, the five inch scale is perfect for the figure, giving it an affordable price point, additional accessories, and no compromises on the sculpt. Your mileage may vary.
One area where McFarlane has been heavily criticized for a long time is their lack of articulation in their figures, and they certainly try to make up for it here. There are a number of joints, but unfortunately the engineering makes them less than ideal, particularly for the upper body. It's to be expected that the wolf pelt would hinder head articulation, and to me it's a fair trade for the fantastic appearance, but the shoulders are really the biggest blunders. For an archer, arm articulation is everything, and this one just doesn't quite have it. The shoulders rotate fully, but the hinge in the joint is extremely limited, make for very little horizontal and vertical motion. This is even more frustrating when you consider that the wrists are absolutely perfect for adopting a proper archery pose. It's not the end of the world, and it doesn't make me hate the figure, but it is something worth noting. I will say that the leg articulation is more than enough to allow for great leaping poses if you combine him with a flight stand.
There is an attention to detail with this figure that is simply staggering, and only a couple of dropped balls that could have made this one of my favorite action figures. As it is, I'm certainly intrigued enough to look into other figures of the line, and I hope that the minor blunders are able to be fixed in the future. If this is how McFarlane Toys plans on getting back into my wallet, I think they are on the right path! If you find this guy on the cheap, he's a must buy. At around fifteen to twenty dollars, it becomes something more worth considering before buying, but I think I'd still recommend him. He's a great addition to the shelf, especially with a flight stand added. He also comes with some kind of unlock through Ubisoft for Assassin's Creed IV, so if that's your cup of tea it's bound to be a nice, added bonus.


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