Betrayer … in truth, it was I who was betrayed. Still, I am hunted. Still, I am hated. Now, my blind eyes see what others cannot. That sometimes the hand of fate must be forced!
The first half of the first wave of NECA’s Heroes of the Storm action figure line is upon us! I believe the original plan was to have four figures in the first wave along with a deluxe. The lineup was Arthas, Tyrael, Nova, Illidan, and a deluxe Stitches. I’d imagine because of the heavy sculpting that goes into making these characters they spaced them out a bit more, so Arthas and Tyrael got pushed into a “second wave.” I put that in quotes only because at SDCC all four of these figures were standing in front of a poster showing the roster of the what they were claiming was the second series.
Regardless of numbering system Nova and Illidan are out right now. This is pretty obvious since I’m doing the review. Arthas, Tyrael, and Stitches will see release a little later into the year.
I’ve been waiting a long time for an Illidan action figure. Yes, I’m aware that DC Unlimited did one in their World of Warcraft line many years back, but that thing is essentially a statue. I wanted something I could pose and mess around with. Maybe give the Warglaives of Azzinoth to other action figures in my collection? Well, thank you NECA I’m finally able to do that.
As soon as I was able to tear open the shipping box and take a look at the carded product I was impressed. The paint work was clean and crisp. Illidan’s tattoos are all cleanly applied, and stand out gorgeously against his purple night elf skin. I’d seen the two-up sculpt at Toy Fair earlier this year, and the translation to the smaller size is fantastic. He has an amazingly detailed and articulated sculpt.
An awesome sculpt is fine and all, but let’s be honest the DC Unlimited sculpt was pretty damn nice too. Where this one sets itself apart is definitely on the articulation. I can’t give enough praise to how well the ball joints in Illidan’s ankles are constructed. The have an unbelievable amount of range! It really opens up my ability to put him in action poses since I know I can position the feet flat at almost any angle. The rest of his articulation scheme is pretty typical for a 7″ NECA release, but one thing they did add that I don’t always see is a bicep swivel. That was another smart consideration because it really opens up the possibilities for posing him with his glaives.
Those that may be more versed in the Warcraft 3 or World of Warcraft version of Illidan may not recognize the slightly more animated look of the Heroes of the Storm version. It isn’t a huge change, but there are some differences in their aesthetics. Heroes of the Storm goes for a unified look for the entire Blizzard universe, mostly by slightly exaggerating some of the characters’ features. Making them just a little more “cartoon” than a non-HOTS player may be used to. NECA’s first foray with their Blizzard license got us Diablo. However, I’m happy that they settled into working on Heroes of the Storm because if it is successful they can cover a larger part of the Blizzard universe with a relevant game.
Hedging on this line actually being successful, I do hope maybe at some point they can partner with Blizzard to get digital item codes with the figures. NECA’s done it before with their Team Fortress 2 action figures (RIP), and Blizzard has sold plushies and other merchandise with codes attached. This can totally happen guys! There is totally a demon form Illidan variant in our future … at least I hope there is!
Illidan is exactly what I wanted and expected from this line. He’s a fantastically well thought out and produced figure, and I’d go as far as to say he’s one of my favorite NECA figures of the year. Ripley is damn good too, but I like my video game characters … especially ones from a game I have easily invested ten years of my life into. Now I’m depressed thinking about how much time I actually spent in World of Warcraft.
Ok, Illidan makes me happy again! Seriously, NECA made a great figure here. I know video game action figure lines never last long, but I REALLY hope this time it will. I’m still stinging over the Valve shenanigans and them putting a halt to the Team Fortress 2 line with only three figures to go. At the very least I’ll get Illidan and Arthas, and the high school version of me will be very very happy about that.
Illidan and his wave-mate Nova are starting to hit stores now! I grabbed mine off of Amazon and you can too! I’m really not too positive if Toys ‘R’ Us will be getting these in. I’d have to assume they would, but they never took preorders online for them when they have listings for just about everything else NECA is shipping this year.