REVIEW: NECA's 1:1 Scale Gears of War LANCER Replica exclusive ready to shower red. But is it worth the green?

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NECA has been giving Gears of War fans a lot of love this year. With a growing assortment of hyper-detailed action figures, NECA has set the stage for "Gearheads" to rage their own epic battles outside the game. To help pump fans up for Epic's Gears of War 2 and their impending army of new 2009 figures, NECA has collaborated with online shopping giant on a few exclusives. While I still patiently wait for my preordered "Head Shot" Locust, one item I was particularly eager to get is already in my hungry hands: NECA's 1:1 Scale Gears of War LANCER Replica.

An "affordable" alternative to the high-end $900+ model being produced by TriForce, the Amazon Exclusive Lancer ships free priced at $139. However, those that act before December 1st can take advantage of Amazon's Exclusive Lancer Bundle, which not only includes the gun, but gives fans a copy of the Standard Edition Gears of War 2 game FREE. That's a $59.99 savings and a compelling incentive to purchase this cool gun. Since I was going to purchase GoW2 anyways, the bundle was the clear choice for me. Heck, for only $10 more I even upgraded to the Limited Edition Gears of War 2 packed with extras, such as an art book and making-of DVD. Yeah, I'm a Gearhead, but lets get back to the gun.

Packed in a long, plain cardboard box, the Lancer's packaging is anything but pretty. Like NECA's massive Balrog, it is clear corners were cut to keep pricing down. The Lancer's simple box serves only one purpose: to deliver. That's all fine with me; this huge replica was definitely meant to be taken out and held. What concerns me is how well the package protects the contents. Aside from the cardboard exterior, only two foam inserts, one clam-shelled snug on each end of the gun, keep the replica safe. While the incidents appear to be rare, I've read a couple horror stories of rough mailing damaging the box, cracking the exposed gun inside. Luckily mine came intact, but NECA really should have gone the extra mile and protected the Lancer in a FULL sleeve of Styrofoam. If you are one of the few unfortunate ones, contact Amazon immediately and they should ship out a replacement rifle.

Once free, the Lancer stuns with jaw-dropping sculpt. Amazon saves me the trouble of measuring this mighty weapon, stating that the Lancer measures "36 inches long, 10 inches tall", and weighs "about 13 pounds". That's sounds just about right to me, this thing is BIG. I own quite a few weapon replicas, including the Pulse Rifle from Aliens and those great HALO guns from Jasman Toys. NECA's 1:1 scale Lancer dwarfs them all, being more akin to my Braveheart claymore sword in length. Already the Lancer's incredible game-accurate sculpt and life-size construction justifies the $139 price tag in my book. Or is that $80 with the game bundle?

Materials used on the 1:1 scale Lancer are tough plastics. The plastic is not quite as dense as I would have preferred, but it's far from Dollar Store toy gun plastic brittle. Despite its somewhat hollow construction, the gun carries some weight, especially in the chainsaw-armed front. This provides some nice heft when slicing up those vile Locusts.

Paint on the rifle is mostly reserved to the logos on the ammo clip, blue "lights" and the over-the-top blood splatter. The latter is a rather grisly and realistic effect; the "blood" generously applied on the blade and chaotically splashed on the muzzle and grip. Artist Hermann Nitsch should be proud. The rest of the weapon's color comes from the industrial grey and black cast plastic itself. Some battle-worn weathering would have gone a long way in making the Lancer look much more realistic, but the rifle's overall color palette adequately gets the job done.


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Jeff Saylor (Editor)
on 11/14/2008
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