NECA Bioshock Infinite Elizabeth Figure Review
To date, 2013’s first quarter has produced a fantastic selection. From Lego’s superb ninth installment of their blindbag minifigures to NECA’s take on the 25th Anniversary of ’87’s Predator, collectors are truly given a spectacular variety. Among all this, one figure stands out, and has since its announcement at Toy Fair 2012. While she doesn’t seem to fit the excitement of the rest, the NECA Bioshock Infinite Elizabeth Figure certainly should be on your list. She may not pack the action of Predator’s Dutch, or the comedy of Claptrap from Borderlands, but she is absolutely captivating and goes toe to toe with the best.
Irrational Games once again teamed up with NECA toys to bring us figures from their Bioshock universe. Opening the Infinite line is the mysterious Lamb of Columbia, the sun of the game’s galaxy, Elizabeth. As a core character, she is a fantastic choice to start with. There are a number of descriptions that typically follow when purchasing a good figure: fantastic, impressive, and great addition are just a few. Never have I purchased a figure where the first way to describe it was beautiful. This is a remarkably good looking figure.
I apologize for not having a studio in package shot; I opened her before I planned to do a review. However I can provide a car shot I used for Twitter. She features the tried-and true, slim NECA clamshell, which in itself is a double edged sword. If you know NECA (or McFarlane), you are familiar with this item. If you aren’t, I suggest you start collecting NECA. It is not mint-on-card collector friendly, but if you do like to keep your figures sealed, the packaging is very elegant through its minimalism, bringing attention to the figure itself rather than gaudy box art. Upon freeing her from her plastic cage, you will find Elizabeth with a single twisty-tie around her waist, the usual high-quality print used for the background, and its matching wraparound. She comes with no accessories, which is a bit of a disappointment, but I assume this is because of the costs of a mixed media outfit. You can equip her with books from Hobby Lobby’s Mayberry Street Miniatures line, as seen in many of the pictures here. A pack of three featuring two books with real pages and one made of wood are $2.47 and look excellent with her.
- Note: I would be delicate of removal, as her limbs extend through the inner tray at her forearms.
In a market of male dominated characters, it is absolutely a breath of fresh air to add a female to the masses. Elizabeth holds her own as an entirely unique entity for numerous reasons, beginning with gender, but more importantly, it’s her exceptional design and quality that sets her apart.
Elizabeth is roughly 6.5” tall, scaling in with all NECA, most classic McFarlane products, and of course, your original Bioshock and Bioshock 2 figures.
Her portrait is beautiful. It is very well done, capturing the semi-stylized nature of the Bioshock franchise exquisitely. She certainly won’t look of the same “realistic” universe as say, Ezio Auditore or Gordon Freeman.
Her head is slightly enlarged (not as if she’s suffering from a case of cephalomegaly or anything) but just enough to capture Irrational’s art style. Her eyes share this feature, but those are saved for the paint breakdown. Elizabeth is slender, with a narrow waist due to the corset, which is perfectly period appropriate.
She is garbed in a muted, cobalt blue, chest length jacket featuring a popped lapel and white cuffs. Beneath the coat lies a pearlescent white corset with nice horizontal rippling, interrupted by vertical streaks and a minimally ruffled edge along the bust. A matching blue, floor length dress with white trim (presumably representing a period appropriate underdress) and (surprisingly, fully sculpted and detailed) drawers are also worn beneath. Her feet are sealed in heeled shoes, tied with decorative loopy laces. Concluding the look is a ribbon adorned by a small (yet printed) decorative image about her neck. Across all garments are appropriate accents, such as buttons along her corset and cuffs.
With vibrant color and unique design, Elizabeth truly stands out in a collection. While the jacket, corset, drawers, necklace, and shoes are all sculpted, the dress is a soft, velvet fabric with a lace-like trim affixed to the bottom. It is to be applauded that the color of the fabric is very close, not exact, but incredibly similar to the paint and thus is certainly acceptable. I doubt anyone would complain about it.
Usually, I dislike mixed media on a figure in this scale. I have always had a gripe with it; fabric leads to oversized, unbalanced looks when done wrong (in my opinion). It tends to looks too far removed from the plastic garments in the sculpt to be “natural.” This conundrum is not the case here, not in the slightest. The proportion, thickness, and appearance are executed with extreme accuracy, yielding a dress that does not restrict the solid articulation nor aesthetically deter from the overall presentation.
I’d like to bring a bit of attention to her hands; there are two things I found that I felt should be addressed.
Right Hand – On this hand her pinky is abnormally short. When I first opened mine I took no notice; it was only until later I realized this abnormality. To clarify, they are all like this. It is game accurate.
Left Hand – Unfortunately the mold lines are a bit prevalent here. Not overly so, but they are present. I assume your mileage will vary here. Perhaps this represents scarring and accurate to the game, I am unsure.
Unfortunately Elizabeth has one problem. Making her stand is difficult, most likely attributed to the shape of the boots. The upside to this is that her feet are pegged for a stand; the downside is that she does not come with one. The good news is that NECA is attempting to make stands available for purchase this year. I would not let this deter you from picking her up by any means.
Speaking of articulation, Elizabeth is certainly flexible. While she may not be a ToyBiz super articulated Spider-Man, she is nowhere near a McFarlane Sarah Connor.
Comprised of well hidden joints, Elizabeth from head to toe features 17 points:
Ball jointed neck –The tried and true method that is aesthetically pleasing, works well here. She has a near full range of motion that is hindered only when looking up, reaching approximately 20o, a bit more in other directions.
Swivel-hinged shoulders – She can reach a full 360o rotation as well as bring her arms to a near 180o line.
Swivel-hinged elbows – A full 360 o rotation is achievable, as well as flexion of her forearm to nearly 90o. She cannot hyperextend the joint backwards due to sculpt.
Ball jointed wrists – A generic ball joint provides 360o rotation, yet not much extension, flexion, abduction, or adduction due to the cuffs of the jacket.
Ball-jointed abdomen – A surprise hidden joint allows for minimal rotation around the abdomen. The corset restricts this greatly.
Swivel-hinged hips – Akin to NECA’s Rocky line, or Marvel Legends, this provides a good range of motion, right under a 180o line and full 360o rotation.
Swivel thigh – The Ball jointed hips are connected to the…thigh joint! The basic swivel provides a 360o rotation directly below the hips.
Swivel-hinged knees – A full 360 o rotation is achievable as well as flexing her knee to nearly 90o. The sculpt doesn’t hinder forward movement allows for extension and flexion to the aforementioned near 90o in both directions.
Ball-jointed ankles – A generic ball joint provides 360o rotation, yet little extension, flexion, abduction, or adduction due to the cuffs of the shoes. However there is enough to balance out natural poses.
- Note: All points of articulation below waistline are under the constraint that the skirt is not down, as it will restrict in extreme poses.
The paint really shines on this figure, and certainly exceeds the expectation of a store-shelf figure. In fact, I would say Elizabeth is on par with higher end paint applications, such as a Revoltech Jack Sparrow or Play Arts Kai Adam Jenson. The slop is incredibly minimal, impressively low if at all present.
Skin – The skin very well done; it is exceptionally even and does not look over-applied.
- Note: I do believe it is subject to being marred easily. I saw a few that had what looked like black scratches. Pick accordingly and be delicate. I actually waited for Toys R Us to stock these instead of buying from my local Hastings a week before due to this.
Eyes – Earlier I mentioned their size, and because of this attribute, NECA was able to capture something that normally couldn’t be done. My goodness, these eyes are absolutely fantastic. I am not aware if these are actually painted or simply decos but, wow. They really pop and make the figure stand out. They feature a pitch black pupil surrounded by a jade-green iris that fades to sky-blue, complete with snow white glare detail.
- Note: I HIGHLY suggest you seek this figure out in store. The eyes are very intricate and consequently can be hit and miss. It would take far more talent to rectify the issue at home; removing the existing details and replacing it accurately would prove to be rather difficult. While the bodies and hair seemed to be fairly universal, the eyes varied throughout the case. I’d like to think the one I picked is near perfect, and since my purchase I’ve seen only one that is marginally, yet for the most part unremarkably, better. I’m providing a picture of an extreme example found on the hunt.
Freckles – Impressively, Elizabeth has patches of faint freckles below her eyes passing across arches of her checks. They are so minimal that you might miss them if you don’t look, but they are there.
Hair – To my assumption, her hair has three colors in it, a base of dark brown and a wash of black and reddish-brown highlights. What’s significant here is that none of this appears streaky; it blends very well and looks quite natural.
- Note: My figure featured a small, reddish-brown speck on the front bundle of hair going across her forehead. While I opted for the figure with the better eyes, assuming I’d have to touch up the strand, it turned out to be a bit of fuzz covered paint. A toothpick popped it right off.
Facial Details – All are done cleanly, and contrast the skin well.
Necktie – The necktie is in the sculpt. Historically thing details such as this can pose a threat to the skin’s paint application. I can say with relief that the work here is solid. The actual image in the circular gold frame/adornment is a tampo with a black background. The neck tie is blue with white detailing.
- Note: While fairly unnoticeable, the blue ribbon does not reach the skin all the way. Nevertheless it is solid work that I presume is intended to be, so that it does not mar the skin’s paint.
Drawers – While they are completely out of sight, the drawers are detailed and painted just like the rest of the figure; this is an unnecessary, yet nice addition.
Boots –The boots feature painted grey laces as well as the aforementioned dry brushing.
Outfit – The cobalt blue portions of her jacket feature a dark blue/black wash to provide depth, while her corset features a light grey wash to tone down and balance the bright color. Her cuffs are straight white, drawing distinction between the corset and them. In addition; the boots have a nice grey dry brushing. As stated before, all buttons and things of such nature are cleanly done with minimal slop.
So conclusively, where does that leave us?
- Very unique in a collection
- Elizabeth features a very solid paint application, one that rivals higher end midrange figures.
- A nice collection of well hidden articulation provides for a wide variety of expectedly game accurate poses.
- The mixed media outfit is exceptionally well done, doesn’t look big, and blends together perfectly.
- Your mileage may very on the paint application of the eyes, resulting in a gamble if you like to order your items
- Mold lines may be prevalent on the hands
- Difficult to stand independently
- Lacks accessories, notably a stand
A Must Buy
From the source material to the conception of the figure, Elizabeth is an entirely unique character. She isn’t a sex icon, a scantily clad Witchblade, or overly exaggerated Power Girl; she is, in the best way, normal, and normal is nice. It’s something hard to come by in the collecting world these days and it’s quite appreciated. She shows realistic beauty and offsets a predominantly male product market. Get hunting folks!
Where To Buy
Weston is an avid collector, student, and diorama creator. Video games and cinema are the theme of his collection, and when studies or collecting yield extra time, you can find him in a sketchbook. Check out his website!