Where Are My Figures of HALF-LIFE?

Time to break on through to the other side and make Half-Life toys...

Sometimes, a video game, comic, movie or TV show just cries "action figures." Unfortunately, just as often, these cries aren't heard - or even worse, they're ignored - by the toy manufacturers and retailers.

Thus, we've taken it upon ourselves to announce to the world - as well as any toy manufacturer or retailer out there - which video games, comics, movies, and TV shows we'd like to see permanently captured in perfect plastic form.

So where's my action figures of Half-Life?

Way back in 1998, a PC game called Half-Life thrilled me like no other. Where titles such as Quake and Doom muscled into my life with nonstop, over-the-top action, Half-Life amazed with not only muscle, but also a brain. Cast as Gordon Freeman, an average spectacle-wearing scientist, one was thrust into a world turned upside down by the accidental opening of a dimensional portal. With only a crowbar and a Hazardous Environment (HEV) suit for protection, Gordon set out to save humanity from the invading alien infestation, unexpectedly becoming a hero in the process.

This year brought me back to Half-Life with my purchase of the Orange Box. Packing not only Half-Life 2, the bundle also included two of three planned episodes that continue Gordon’s amazing adventures. The story and landscape in Half-Life 2 is light-years beyond the original. Decades after the events of Half-Life, Gordon returns to a dystopian Earth ruled by the alien Combine. Taking sides with the human resistance, Gordon is launched on an epic journey to save humanity... again. This is interactive entertainment at its best; with story and visuals as engaging as any Hollywood film, mixed with heart-pounding combat, nail-biting suspense and cerebral challenges.

So where's my action figures of Half-Life?

Fans have been clamoring for Half-Life collectibles for years. While Valve has teased us with cute plush items like their Headcrab hat and huggable Hunter, toy enthusiasts demand the real deal: action figures. Talented customizers Jin Saotome, BloodySloth, and Alterschwäde have shown the industry how it can be done, now it's time to see them in stores.

To tie-in with the inevitable release of Episode 3, my proposed toy line would focus on the rich and diverse characters seen in the Half-Life 2 series. Jin Saotome's Gordon Freeman figure custom has a nice stylized vibe to it and Alterschwäde's LEGO-like Half-Life creations are adorable and twisted beyond words. However, BloodySloth's Headcrab Zombie is what I envision for my full-blown Half-Life toy line: hyper-realistic, articulated action figures in 7-8 inch scale. Here's who needs to make the cut in the first three waves:


* SERIES 1: Gordon Freeman - The star of the series would come decked out in his HEV suit. Equipment would consist of his trademark crowbar, .357 Magnum and the Organic Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator (Grav Gun). Gordon, like the entire Half-Life 2 figure line, would retail for a SRP of $15.

* SERIES 2: Alyx Vance - Gordon's helpful (and attractive) companion would come equipped with her electronic hacking device, automatic pistol, shotgun and a reprogrammed Roller Mine.

* SERIES 3: Vortigaunt - Once an enslaved race by the Combine, the Vortigaunts, or Vorts are now a useful ally to the human resistance. Using biological electrical surges instead of hand-weapons, the Vort would come with a large accessory in the form of a reprogrammed Sentry Turret.


* SERIES 1: Headcrab Zombie - The bane of Half-Life, these unfortunate human hosts shamble about in screaming agony. The Headcrab Zombie would include a removeable Headcrab revealing his flayed face, bonus Headcrab for more dynamic display options, and a wooden crate with removeable lid and Med-Kit inside.

* SERIES 2: Zombine - What's worse than a Headcrab-infected human? A Headcrab-infected Combine Soldier! Like the Headcrab Zombie, the Zombine would feature removeable Headcrab, bonus Headcrab, HE Grenade and a wooden crate with removeable lid and HEV suit charge inside.

* SERIES 3: Fast Zombie - Stripped of skin, these skeletal abominations are fast and lethal. It would feature removeable Headcrab, bonus Poison Headcrab (nasty black variety of the regular Headcrab), and a RPG Launcher with 3 rockets.


* SERIES 1: Civil Protection (Metro Cop) - Your first encounter with the Combine forces is with these intimidating enforcers. The Metro Cop would come equipped with a stun stick, USP Match pistol, and two Combine Eradication Robots, the saw-bladed Manhacks.

* SERIES 2: Combine Soldier - More heavily armed than the Metro Cops, the Combine Soldier makes up the backbone of the alien invasion. It would come armed with a MP-7 submachine gun, HE Grenade, and a Combine Surveillance Robot - Scanner (Type 1).

* SERIES 3: Combine Elite - These wicked looking one-eyed warriors are what their name implies, the very best of the Combine military. It would come armed with an Overwatch Standard Issue Pulse Rifle, HE Grenade, and a Hopper Mine.


* SERIES 1: Hunter - First fought in Episode 2, these bio-mechanical "synths" are speedy death on three legs. Like all deluxe Half-Life 2 figures, the Hunter would be around 12 inches in scale, include no accessories (to keep down costs), star minimal articulation, possible roto-cast construction, and would retail for a SRP of $20-25.

* SERIES 2: Dog - Alyx's trusty cyber "canine" would make a "fetching" figure. Pun intended.

* SERIES 3: Combine Advisor - Like the Brain Bugs in Starship Troopers, these floating grub-like creatures would make for one nightmarish figure.

That's my Half-Line 2 toy line in a nutshell. Three proposed waves, each starring three unique standard figures and three deluxe figures. Seeing that retailers and casual fans alike are attracted to a game's main hero, Gordon Freeman would be re-released for each series, possibly with slight variations (battle-damaged) or accessories (crossbow instead of Magnum, etc). Exclusive 2-Packs would be another way to keep the core characters in circulation, in addition to introducing more minor roles. 2-Pack ideas include Gordon with G-Man, Alyx with her father Dr. Eli Vance, a Combine Sniper set, and Vortigaunt vs. Antlion.

Capping the Half-Life 2 toy line would be the Ultimate Electronic Strider. This towering beast would feature full articulation, light-up pulse canons and multiple growling/firing sound effects from the game. Being that it stars such a slender design, it could be made size accurate (40+ inches?), with some assembly (and three AA batteries) required. SRP of $40-50.

So where's my action figures of Half-Life? My ideas listed are only the tip of the iceberg for this sure-fire toy line. Poison Zombies, Stalkers, deluxe Antlion Guard, electronic Hunter-Chopper vehicle, army-building human resistance fighters... the sky is the limit. Ranked as one of the best-selling PC games of all time, making Half-Life action figures is a no-brainer... even for a Headcrab Zombie.

- Jeff Saylor

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Jeff Saylor (Editor)
on 11/11/2008
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