Diablo is one of those franchises (much like other Blizzard franchises like Starcraft and Warcraft) that people will just pick up the game and play for decades. Up to the launch of the third game, almost twelve years after its predecessor, Diablo 2 still had one of the most active online communities in gaming. People like to click and they like their loot, it’s an incredibly addictive combination. Throw in some high fantasy and occult and it’s hard to go wrong!
The NECA Diablo was originally announced at San Diego Comic Convention 2013 with a release date of later that year. Delays took their toll, but finally the figure is hitting shelves now about six months after projected release date.
The Lord of Terror comes in a giant box, very akin to the deluxe sized Pacific Rim Kaiju that share a shelf with him. He (that new look has me calling him ‘she’ a lot … I have to catch myself) is priced at $24.99 which is looking to be somewhere around the new standard for their deluxe figures. It’s actually been a fairly productive video game release month for NECA with Diablo, the Portal 2 bots, and the Bioshock Infinite Ben Franklin all hitting the shelves. I did have my doubts about Diablo after returning my P-Body and Atlas for breakage, but the dark lord came through for me.
Firstly this figure is far more articulated than it has any business being. The box boasts that Diablo features over 25 points of articulation and they aren’t joking! Everything moves on him, and I mean just about everything down to the back spikes and tentacles. Even her shoulder “armor” is posable since it sits on a ball joint plugged into his shoulder. If he had a shoulder ball the range of the main arms would be just about perfect. There is some slightly limited movement with the arms; meaning it’s tough to get both arms directly in front of her body, and that’s where a shoulder ball would have benefitted him. Other than that, though, the articulation scheme is very satisfying. I also don’t feel like I’m walking on eggshells to pose Diable as the plastic feels much sturdier than the Alien Xenomorphs released last year.
Diablo comes packed in a NECA clamshell with the tail unattached and a figure stand. Once you get around to posing him it isn’t hard to find quite a few poses he doesn’t need a stand for, but regardless I appreciate the inclusion. Unlike NECA’s Godzilla that recently came out, the Diablo’s tail has no segmenting and is 100% bendy material. Maybe Mattel can take some notes when they work on Sssqueeze for next year’s Masters of the Universe Classics sub, as NECA has no issue making solid, good quality bendy items. Sorry, but I have to get a little jab in when the opportunity presents itself.
The sculpt has always been a strength of the figure, and that could be seen all the way back to its first reveal. Where Diablo really shines is the paint though. The production run was really kind to him. The paint work is stunning with the bright reds and yellows over the black plastic of the figure. There is very little slop, and the application are sharp on parts like the face where it matters most. I was always impressed with the DC Unlimited World of Warcraft paint jobs. Unfortunately those figures were basically statues. This Diablo easily matches the paintwork DC Unlimited was doing, and on top of that offers a fully articulated figure.
Diablo’s figure from NECA; conclusion from me is it’s a big hit. I suggest giving it a try, especially if you are a fan of the franchise. He theoretically could double as a DOTA Doombringer/Doom if you want to feed that non-existent DOTA action figure series (RIP Axe, sigh). However the model for Diablo 3 is quite different from the one that Blizzard used in Warcraft 3. And then Valve obviously had to stray even further from the model for their game.
So, now that Diablo is out will NECA be doing more with their Blizzard license? I was very excited about their Valve license the first year or so, but they certainly have slowed down on that one. I guess that begs the question do video game toys actually sell well? If Diablo is a big hit I assume they will probably move on to something from Starcraft; a Kerrigan or Jim Raynor at this scale would be incredible! I guess we’ll see if they announce anything at SDCC. Valve, Blizzard … love them both NECA, don’t give up on them!
If you are looking to grab Diablo she can be found at your local Toys “R” Us, specialty stores like FYE, or online at Amazon.