It is actually a little perplexing that there has not been an action figure of Gordon Freeman prior to now. Duke Nukem got an entire line from Resaurus back in the nineties. Lara Croft, Master Chief, the Hitman, and the cast of Quake have all had toys by various companies. Yet one man never saw plastic until well over a decade past his inception. Gordon Freeman was one of the biggest overall toy wants of mine since I first played Half-Life back in 1998. NECA psychically heard my screams of “Freeman, FREEMAN, FREEMAN!” and finally put this desire to rest.
There is a thing called “Valve Time,” it is the time it takes Valve to do something … in other words, they like to take their time! Yes, Valve does things at their own pace, and this is usually because they want the end product to be as perfect as possible. To us civilians it may seem like Valve is taking way too long, but that “Valve Time” has brought us games like the Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead, and Counterstrike series. I like to think many have pitched Valve on a toy series throughout the years, and the right fit was never found. This seems to lend credence to why NECA has been making such amazing figures, Valve finally got the right pitch!
Mind you I really know nothing about how this deal went down, I’m just glad it did. I’ve been very pleased with everything NECA has done with the Valve license thus far, and it really is just the cherry on top to get such a grail of a figure in your hands finally. So now Gordon is a reality and it is time to find out how he measures up to the years of expectation.
Gordon comes in the typical NECA clamshell packaging. The card is filled up nicely because you not only get Dr. Gordon Freeman, but also a gravity gun, two alternate hands, a grenade, crowbar, and a head crab. As far as accessories go NECA really hooked it up and nailed pretty much all of the iconic items. Each of the right hands come in sculpts that let him either hold the gun or the crowbar. His left hands are either a fist (for holding the gun’s other handle) or open hand for the grenade.
The pack-in that impressed me the most is the head crab. Besides being an awesome accessory, he also has a stunning amount of detail, especially in the paint department. He has a creepy, alien feeling textured body and on top of that they painted these blue veins that look like they are inside of its body. He also has a hole on his underside which will make it very easy to have him eat your other toy’s heads. He doesn’t have any articulation, and I am fine with this as he is a pack-in, although a super articulated head crab would probably drive me to a state of bliss.
Dr. Gordon Freeman is a man who is very well articulated. He has a ball neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles. He also has a very interesting take on the “v-crotch.” Normally a company would be crucified for using such an antiquated joint, but NECA doubles it up with an outward hinge. What this accomplishes is keeping the seamless suit aesthetic while giving him a good range of motion. He also has quite a few joints hidden under the orange armored parts of his suit. They did a really good job of making his armor look natural while giving him loads of articulation.
There is a little issue mine has with the Half-Life logo on his chest, the paint is a little bit off center of where the sculpt pops up so it makes an almost 3D effect if you look at it straight on. Otherwise I have no issues with the paint, all the detail looks great and there is little to no slop.
Gordon will run you about $20 at a specialty store like FYE (where I got mine) or a comic shop possibly. There is something strange going on with Toys “R” Us and they are charging $28 – $30 for him, so I would avoid looking there specifically for him. Most places you will pay about $20 so I wouldn’t let the TRU price get you down, you can even order him online for around that price but expect to pay shipping.
I hate to continue to fellate NECA with my words, but they have just been on a tear this year. Not only with their Valve stuff, which by itself is a dream come true for me, but also their Predator and Prometheus lines are incredible as well. They have given me so much to look forward to this and next year, and to think I started the year thinking I would only be collecting MOTUC figures. I’m glad NECA has stepped up their game this year because they are showing up the big companies out there that great stuff can still be made affordable without overdoing reuse and cutting accessories or paint applications.