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  1. #1
    JeffSaylor's Avatar
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    NECA's Gears of War 3 SERIES 2

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    Hot on the heels of Gears of War 3 Series 1 (read our review HERE) comes Series 2. Despite a minor production delay getting this line out the gate, NECA has more than made up for it by pretty much shipping these two assortments back to back. In what might be a first, those in Europe started receiving Series 2 last month, while those in the States are just now getting their hands on them. Was the wait worth it? You bet.


    Marcus Fenix, Anya Stroud and Clayton Carmine are followed by the remaining three members of the now rag tag unit of Delta Squad: Augustus "Cole Train" Cole, Damon Baird, and Dominic "Dom" Santiago. The character selection is very well balanced in both waves, but what gives Series 2 a slight edge is its more robust selection of unique weapons. In addition to the just introduced Retro Lancer, fans get two brand spanking new guns in the form of Dom's devastating Sawed-Off Shotgun and Cole's hulkin' One Shot. I don't think Gearheads have ever received this many exciting new firearms at one time. Lets hope the trend continues... Gears of War 3 is packed with tons of wonderful new weapons I'd love to see in toy form.


    One awesome new trend that does continue is NECA's overhauled Gears of War figure body. Now featuring a staggering 30+ points of articulation, each COG soldier is able to strike pretty much any pose you can imagine - from Roadie Runs to crouched behind cover. I went over the new articulation extensively in my first review (HERE), but I will mention once again that if NECA can add cut biceps for better two-handed weapon grasping, these figures would be near perfect. As it is, comparing articulation in the new Gears of War figures to the older ones is like comparing apples to oranges - it's that radical of an improvement.


    Sculpting has also improved, which is remarkable considering how dazzlingly detailed the old Gears figures still are. Dom, my favorite figure (old and new), is a great example. Looking like some wild west outlaw, the new Dom rocks a full beard, dusty brown armor, a belt filled to the brim with shotgun shells, and packs heat with the new Sawed-Off. Details like the belted ammo, a canteen on his hip (I always wondered why they didn't have these before - they have to get thirsty on the battlefield!) and cool combo of cloth, leather and worn metal armor really makes this Dom stand out from his previous figure.


    The new Sawed-Off Shotgun also helps, an insanely cool new gun that puts Mad Max's trademark weapon to shame. This gun is a beast in size. What's really nice about this new firearm is how well the figures hold it. As mentioned, grasping rifles two-handed can be a pain, but with the Sawed-Off Shotgun it's as easy as placing it one hand, pointing and shooting. All the new Gears figures look great wielding it and playing around with powerful gun-firing poses is a blast. Dom may have gone out like a chump in the game, but this action figure is anything but.


    Baird has never been one of my favorite characters in the game, his cocky, surfer-dude attitude turning me off. After reading the Gears of War books, however, I've grown to really appreciate his character. He's a computer wiz and pro at fixing mechanical things. Plus, believe or not, he's a bit of a softie deep inside. You'll have to take my word on the latter, but NECA certainly reflects Baird's handyman skills with this great new figure. Aside from being armed with the wicked Retro Lancer, this figure features three removable tools stowed on the left leg: a large wrench, Phillips and flat head screwdrivers.


    The wrench works the best in Baird's capable hands, but he can loosely grip the screwdrivers if you positioned them between his fingers. Either way it's an incredible little detail that die-hard fans will appreciate (Heck, it's not even advertised on the packaging.)


    Lastly we come to the Cole Train. What's not to love about this bombastic, badass character? Fans who missed the very first - and only - Cole released way back in 2008 have much to celebrate as this figure of Augustus is pure awesome. Like a Rambo of the future, Cole Train dons a green bandanna tied around his head. He further stands out from his squad mates with dark green armor, the first time we've seen this color on the usually blue and silver COG attire. It looks phenomenal, lending Cole a very modern military look. Cole, you've come a long way, baby.


    Cole's main attraction is the massive One Shot, a new powerful weapon in the game that annihilates an opponent with... one shot. NECA's sculpt on the gun is amazing, the One Shot even featuring several moving parts. These include a swing-out right weapon grip and a left handle that rotates up and down (to mimic cocking the weapon, like in the game). Even the scope rotates and a shield mounted on the side swings out. The downside to this cool looking weapon is no fault of NECAs, but rather the immensely awkward weapon design by EPIC. In the game, the One Shot is used as a cover only weapon, the player lifting and mounting the gun onto a wall or barrier to squeeze off a shot. If you have something like that to display your figure with, then stop reading. Otherwise, prepare yourself for some crazy fiddling to get Cole to properly fire this thing. After getting both handles in his hands, the best firing pose you're going to get looks like THIS. Pretty awkward looking, don't you think? Sans a wall to display Cole firing the One Shot with, the best pose I found is to have the weapon slung over his shoulder. Cole looks darn tough with the gun like that, looking like a walking tank. Again, NECA nailed the One Shot... its design just doesn't allow for it to be held and fired naturally free-standing.


    My frustration with the One Shot aside, this series completely rules. It has two of my favorite characters in Dom and Cole Train, and the new tool-equipped Baird has elevated the previously lack luster character to my favorites list. Baird's still no Marcus, Dom or Cole, but he's MUCH better now. Fans wanting to complete Delta Squad will want to grab all three Series 2 figures no questions asked. Even those on the fence over certain characters will be very tempted to grab them all because of all the great new weapons, Sawed-Off Shotgun and yes, even the One Shot. While a clumsy design, it does still look cool.

    Gears of War 3 Series 2 is available now, each figure priced as low as $15.99.


    Review and Photos by Jeff Saylor

    Review Samples Courtesy of NECA


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails NECA's Gears of War 3 SERIES 2-1domnewuse.jpg   NECA's Gears of War 3 SERIES 2-1colenewuse.jpg   NECA's Gears of War 3 SERIES 2-1bairdnewuse.jpg  

  2. #2
    mephisto1138's Avatar
    mephisto1138 is offline Registered User
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    Re: NECA's Gears of War 3 SERIES 2

    I grabbed a Carmine from series 1, all that new articulation is impressive in theory, but it also means the percentage of loose joints goes up considerably and the more complex the joint, the more impossible that becomes to fix on one's own.

    And really, what's the point of it all if the figure can't hold their gun in the two handed aiming stance you spend 90 percent of the game in? It's like making the most amazing looking and finely tuned BMW of all time but it permanently steers left so all you can do is drive it in a circle. All that work and in the end the most important function can't be accomplished.

  3. #3
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    Re: NECA's Gears of War 3 SERIES 2

    I have to agree with Mephisto1138, Although these figures are amazing and have come a long way since their Gears 1 beginnings, I found it impossible for the figures to hold their rifles properly, let alone trying to make it look as if they're ADS. It's disappointing to see such articulation, but not enough in the right places, they've exaggerated some joints that are unnecessary and could have focused on this rifle issue. Still, it won't put me off buying them, I don't have this issue with the female cogs and I can still get them in some decent poses, but it could have been better.
    Sore Wa Kantan Desu!

  4. #4
    SamRock's Avatar
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    Re: NECA's Gears of War 3 SERIES 2

    Well I am proud to say I am one of those to get hand on series 2 about a month ago(probably the first one :P)!
    They are really an awesome set to be added to an already awesome Gears collection!

    I too was disappointed with the lack of arm articulation prevent us from posing the rifle properly. And being crazy for doing Stop Motion Animation with these figures.. lack of this seriously hinders animation!

    Also did anyone notice that Marcus's height has been reduced by few millimeters(add correct unit here!)??

    Thats my only complain with Marcus, he looks very very short!! His neck and jawbone is too big. Seems His head is stuck to his shoulder.

  5. #5
    JeffSaylor's Avatar
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    Re: NECA's Gears of War 3 SERIES 2

    @ SamRock - Yeah I noticed that about Marcus as well. Like all the other characters came out ok - a little shorter than the originals, but not as much as Marcus. Weird. What ya think of that One Shot though? Were you as frustrated with posing the figure with it as much I was?

  6. #6
    SamRock's Avatar
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    Re: NECA's Gears of War 3 SERIES 2

    Weird isn't it? Being is the leader and the main playable character , you expect him to be tall and towering over the Locust! Like the Cole and Clayton (their waist is slightly longer than Marcus, Dom and baird). he looks so inferior when I pose next to the older COG solider (carmines)

    To begin with, my one shot was slightly bent on the front!
    And frankly, I have not played Gears 3 yet, (i know I have too!! hoping they will release an all DLC pack on disc soon and not with the DLC codes!!) Just watched couple of videos on youtube.

    Yeah, I too found it difficult posing Cole on it, and finally I was able to do it exactly like you showed in one of the picture link
    I liked your "on the shoulder" pose, he looks way cooler, will try that when I get home!

    Great review BTW .. love your photos

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