NECA seems to intent on getting all of Valve’s first person shooter characters out in plastic form. In the year they have been working on the license they have done an admiral job of it. Now that the iconic Gordon Freeman is complete and the casts of both Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead have been started we now have time for the Portal franchise to shine! NECA decided to start us off with Chell, the female protagonist of the series that the player barely ever sees (unless they place their portals at the right angles). Chell will be followed by the second game’s P-Body and Atlas, testing robots used for the game’s cooperative campaign.
Editor’s note: If you get the chance to play Portal 2 with a friend, do it. It is one of the most satisfying cooperative gaming adventures you can have. Anyway back to the star of our show today, Chell.
Chell comes decked out in her Portal 2 look. What’s the difference between her first and second game looks? The only real difference is that in the first game her orange jumpsuit was zipped all the way up. In the second game she decided to lose the top and tie it around her wait exposing her fancy “Aperture Laboratories” tank top. Some would say it was Valve sexualizing the character a bit more (OMG EXPOSED ARMS, SO HOT!) but I’d imagine testing in those mechanical environments can get quite hot. I also sympathize with Chell because I’ll roll up a long sleeve shirt no matter how cold it is, it just feels more comfortable.
NECA packed Chell with a portal gun that lights up and a display stand. Chell is one of those figures that you need the display stand and there is really no way around it. The way her “Longfall Boots” are designed leaves very little mass to balance her upright and the metal backings make that balancing job even harder. So you will have to resign yourself to using her stand, or some type of stand if the black stand included does not work for you. Once you do get her on the stand though you can get some nice poses. NECA gave her a pretty good articulation scheme that will get her into her game poses such as the gun firing stance, but also leaves a little room for improvisation.
You can get her to run!
Or dance like a lovely ballerina.
The other accessory is where the real money is at: the portal gun. Not only do I now have a portal gun that is in scale with 90% of my collection, but the damn thing lights up as well. The gun is battery operated and has a little switch on the base of the gun. You can push in the switch and the gun will stay on, so it isn’t one of those push-buttons you are required to keep your finger on. It fits onto Chell’s little hands very well but I wouldn’t mind if her grip was a little tighter to make one-handed poses slightly easier. As it stands the gun hangs a little loose if held with one hand. The traditional two-hand pose is great, however.
I did attempt to put the gun in some other figure’s hands and it is a bit harder due to the gun being designed for Chell’s little hands. Gordon Freeman can kind of hold it in his gripping hand but it still looks a little awkward. A lot of figures have hands that are just too large to fit into the handle chamber of the gun. I’m sure you could fit it into some female Marvel Legends figures but I didn’t have any on hand to test that theory. I am interested to see if the Atlas and P-Body guns will have a similar handle, or if they will accommodate any differences in the robot’s hands.
I’ve talked about what she comes with, but what about Chell herself? I think she turned out great. She certainly isn’t exactly the digital render from the game or the cover art. What they did was give her a little more humanization, similar to what they did Gordon Freeman’s face. I dig her because you can get a few fun looks out of different angles of her face. My personal favorite is the disgusted look, and it works well when my Dutch from the Predator wave stops by to say “hi.” She has a very smooth sculpt and her layered clothing helps a lot to hide some of that torso articulation.
Do you like the Portal franchise? If the answer is “yes” then you must own this figure. I would also suggest you act fairly fast because she is limited to only 15,000 units, and once she is gone you will have to scour eBay, Craigslist, or some other seedy locales to track her down. If you want to, grab one off of Amazon right now while she is affordable. If for some reason you are able to find one at retail, she should be around $20 which is a great value for this type of figure.
If you need some figures to spice up your Portal action figure world I would suggest grabbing a few of the NECA/Wizkids blind-boxed Sentry Turrets. They are about 3″ tall and just about perfect scale for Chell and any of NECA’s Valve line. Time will tell if we get any weighted companion cubes in scale with Chell.
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