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NECA Player’s Select Line

by Christopher Troy

Up to now, most of the video game related figures we’ve looked at have been created by Square Enix, as most of them have been based on Japanese properties. However, Square’s expansion to non-Final Fantasy/ Kingdom Hearts properties is still fairly new, and they wouldn’t be the first company to handle both eastern and western video game properties this decade (Technically Toy Biz is, but those toys are super dated). Ever since 2004, NECA has been working with a number of publishers to create figures based on best selling games and franchises. Today’s article will highlight some of the products they’ve churned out these last couple of years, both the good and the bad.

In the beginning…..

The first line of video game related toys that introduced me to NECA was the Resident Evil 4 line. This wasn’t the first time a American company had attempted to create toys based on the best selling Survivor-Horror Games (again Toy Biz covered Resident Evil 1-3 with figures in the  late 90s),  and NECA launched with a line that was well sculpted (for 2004) and came with a decent amount of accessories per figure. Pictured is RE4 lead Leon S Kennedy, who aside from a handgun, came with a knife, rocket launcher and a few grenades. The major flaw with these figures were that articulation on them were severely limited, and were sculpted in odd positions, attempting to be like McFarlane Toys. NECA released 2 lines for RE4, and then figures based on the Resident Evil 1 remakes, but would not touch the line again until 2009. We’ll get back to that later.

NECA’s sculpts got better with time, as they moved on to work on figures based on popular Eidos properties like Tomb Raider and Hitman, but the first line of video game toys that really caught my attention were based on Konami’s Castlevania series. The first (and sadly only) line in the set focused on the original Castlevania, as well as Symphony on the Night, arguably the most popular entry in the series to date. NECA finally managed to combined good sculpts with better articulation, as seen with Alucard and the Succubus. These improved sculpts didn’t mean that NECA would cut back on accessories though, as both figures came with weapons from the game, and in the Succubus’ case, a tiny demonic sidekick. These figures have proven to be very popular, and the line was re-released several times, to the point the FPNYC still has them in stock. Continue reading

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