Raziel from Soul Reaver (NECA)

Originally posted at on slangards.multiply.com Oct 16, 2008

NECA is one of my favorite toy manufacturers right now. They may have started with those boring statues and their famous "NECA-joint", but they showed a lot or promise with toys like Kratos from God of War.

As soon as I saw the Raziel figure in Toy Kingdom, I said f*ck it, I'll eat crackers for the rest of the month and picked up both versions. Being a fan of the video game (which at the time was about the most I could run on my system), I really couldn't help myself. He was my second favorite character after Garrett from the Thief series.

In my opinion, the package is pretty straight-forward. It's a relatively sturdy clam shell that has very little wasted space and graphic inserts with some nice product shots. If you were an MOC'er and wanted to keep him in the box, then it'd last you a long while.

Me, I can't stand having toys locked in plastic cages. I broke mine out as soon as I got to the office (I usually shop before shift due to my hours). You might want to be careful when taking yours out (get your mind out of the gutter); I lost some paint off the hair on mine because it had gotten stuck to the plastic of the clam shell. From the smell, I think he wasn't dried properly when they locked him in. A minor detail for me since all my toys eventually get serious play wear.

The thing that strikes you about this toy is the accuracy apparent in the sculpt. I've heard that the Four Horsemen had a hand in this one as well, and I'd believe it. Aside from his great proportions, this Raziel just looks... desolate. If you take of his shroud (more on that later), you'll see that he's missing his lower jaw just like the game, His torso is also emaciated, just like the game. He has the ruined wings that allowed him to glide through the skies of Nosgoth, just like the game.

Though his shroud and wrappings are just plastic, you'd think they were cloth. The level of detail is that good. There are cracks in his claws, joins and rivets in his boots, sinew in his muscles, and individual threads in his arm wrappings. Even his hair was sculpted as a separate piece and looks great.

Paint apps are just as great. Each of those sinews in his leg has a wash that adds a realistic depth to the figure. You'll also see great cut lines with no slop at all. A closer look at his face will really impress any nitpicker who is always looking for that perfect Marvel Legend on the shelf.

But sculpt and paint aren't why I love this figure. It's the sheer poseability of the toy. NECA put's his count at 20 points of articulation, though a few (like his ankles) have limited movement due to his sculpt. Here's the list:
  • Ball-Jointed Neck
  • Ball-Jointed Shoulders
  • Ball-Jointed Torso
  • Ball-Jointed Hips
  • Ball-Jointed Wrists
  • Ball-Jointed Ankles
  • Ball-Jointed Wings
  • Swivel Biceps
  • Swivel Thighs
  • Hinged Elbows
  • Hinged Knees

He's even got an extra pair of hands with moveable claws that add 4 more points. What that means in non-geekese is a lot of dynamic poses that photograph great!

Speaking of extra hands, Raziel has got a some great stuff to play with. His shroud is removable, and you can exchange it with the Spectral plane version's. The Soul Reaver sword of course is there, with an extra piece that wraps around his arm. Again, game accurate since once he was injured, the sword would become a swirl of energy. There is also a great torch that is made from translucent material that looks great with a light source behind it.

And don't forget that there are two figures; the Material Plane and the Spectral Plane. The Spectral Plane Raziel is the same great sculpt, but cast in translucent plastic. Put him in front of a light source and prepare to be wowed. He comes with the same accessories, only cast in the same sort of clear plastic. The paint apps, too are great, though see-through.

The only problem with the pair is that they each only have one shroud. If you want to have the open shroud, you need to get Spectral Raziel. And if you get only him, you're generally stuck with the one pose. A great pose... but singular.

Still, I'd recommend buying them. The quality is just too good to pass up, especially if you missed out on the BBI editions. Here's hoping that NECA brings out more of these poseable Soul Reaver toys. I'd love to see Raziel's brothers in super-poseable editions, as well as a new Kain figure that you can match against him.

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