REVIEW: NECA Player Select - Assassin's Creed: ALTAIR

Four daggers, two swords, and no ring finger...

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Amongst a mass of pre-release hype, the video game Assassin's Creed recently hit shelves. Based primarily during during the middle ages, players become Altair, a member of the assassin's guild and a warrior versed in the art of death.

Tasked with killing nine historical figures whose actions have promoted the Crusades, Altair must unveil their conspiracy by utilizing not only his cunningness and stealth, but brute force and blades as well. And though the game has received both positive and negative reviews from critics and fans alike, these same critics and fans have NECA to thank for bringing to life Altair in near-perfect action figure form...

PACKAGING: NECA remains consistent with their clamshell packaging, ensuring each of their Player Select figures come housed safely and attractively inside a well-designed plastic shell. The front features the figure in full view as well as artwork and a logo from the game while the back features numerous stylized photos of the figure as well as information about the game and character in general.

Like most of NECA's Player Select packages, this one packs away well for those who wish to store their figures or looks great displayed "mint on card" hanging on a wall.

SCULPTING: The remarkable sculpt of Altair by artists Craig Campbell and Jason Frailey captures the assassin's look from the game perfectly. From his layered robes and various sheathed blades to his detailed boots and hooded head (above), Altair comes to life in perfect plastic form to join any fan's figure collection.

The minute details such as the buckles and leather layers on the boots as well as the detailed stitching on Altair's leather waist sheath and gauntlets are all accurately captured. Likewise, the drapery of the character's robes gives the impression of tense stillness, as if the figure's ready to move, but doesn't.

The waistband features numerous small finely detailed items, including numerous pouches, sheaths, and weapons (above); again demonstrating the minor details the artists made when creating this work of art. Overall, Altair features an amazing sculpt that'll impress both gamers and non-gamers alike.

PAINT APPLICATION: Likewise, artists Jon Wardell and Geoffrey Trapp bring to life the sculpture, perfectly replicating the colors seen in the game. The eye-catching white robes, gray sleeves, brown gauntlets, belts and sheaths, gray pouches, red waist sash, and dark tan skin tones give the detailed sculpt a beautiful, game-accurate look.

Each color also features numerous washes, which ensure the subtle details become visible; the light brown wash over the dark brown belt, the light gray wash over the white robe...each brings even more details to light.

ARTICULATION: Featuring 14 points of articulation, this figure includes multiple hinge/rotational joints including the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles, which are each able to hinge from front to back as well as pivot - or "rotate" - from side to side.

These joints allow for a variety of arm and leg poses, though the soft material which makes up the robe from the waist down hinders any major leg poseability.

Considering the source material and the abilities of the character in the game, it might have been cool had the figure included a stand with the ability to suspend Altair above the ground, ala some of the older Toybiz Marvel Legends figures. This would have made it possible for collectors to display Altair in mid-jump and allowed fans to utilize the joints in the legs much more.

ACCESSORIES: In the game, Altair uses a variety of weapons to dispatch his prey. Likewise, this figure includes a variety of weapons including 4 removable throwing knives kept in the sheathes about the figure's waist, a dagger housed in a sheath across his back, a long sword worn at his left hip, and the swift, silent and deadly wrist blade, which telescopes into a sheath along his left forearm (below).

The figure can be posed with each of the blades in a variety of ways thanks to the two right hands included. One features a “grip” which allows the figure to hold either a single dagger, long sword or knife while the other features a “open palm,” which can hold multiple knives between the out-stretched fingers (above).

COST & OVERALL IMPRESSION: Available at fine retailers, fans can purchase Altair now for $11.99 at, where he’s in-stock and ready to ship. Overall, Altair includes an amazing sculpt worthy of the character, a beautiful paint application which brings out the fine details in the sculpt, plenty of articulation for those looking for poseability, and enough accessories to slaughter the rest of your figure collection while you sleep...

Though the leg articulation is hindered by the robe and the figure lacks a base of any kind to ensure it stays upright, NECA’s Player Select – Assassin’s Creed: Altair figure is an excellent inclusion in this fan-favorite video game figure line. Those who enjoy playing the game should pick him up while those interested in impressive character design may likewise find Altair a worthy addition to their collection.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery below for over 50 photos of this fine figure.

Review and Photos by Jess C. Horsley

NECA Player Select - Assassin's Creed: Altair Photo Gallery
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