ADVANCE REVIEW: NECA Gears of War 3 ¾ Inch Figures Series 2
Dom and the Cole Train Join the Party...
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Just a few months ago NECA wowed all of us 3 ¾ inch fans with a very cool first series of Gears of War action figures (you can see our review of Marcus Fenix, Damon Baird, and Clayton Carmine HERE). And now, the COG soldiers are back with a second series that brings more fan favorite characters to the lineup: Dominic Santiago and Augustus Cole! Let’s take a look and see how these two bruisers stack up.
Dom and Cole feature the exact same packaging as their first series brothers in arms, standard J-hook cards with unique artwork. All cards have the red COG logo at the top left and a blasted battlefield behind the figure tray. On the bottom left corner is a portrait of the individual character, and in front of the figure is his name and a notation of which weapon he wields. The figures themselves are held securely in really big, heavy duty plastic coffins and you can see everything before you buy.
The back of each card has the same top section with Gears of War logo and thumbnails of the three characters in Series 2 (the third is another Marcus Fenix), and then a unique biography at the bottom with quite a bit of information.
If you thought the first series figures looked tough, get a load of these two. Leaping right out of the video games, the two new COGs have the hulking shapes you’d expect and incredible sculpts showing off all of the interesting bits and pieces of their half armored outfits. Both Dom and Cole are both about 4 inches tall, appropriately large and in charge in the 3 ¾ inch scale and sized to the other Delta Squad members.
In the last review I talked at length about the excellent sculpting on the Series 1 figures, and again I can’t say enough about Series 2. NECA may be known for its larger scale figures, but they’ve done an incredible job with these smaller ones packing in absolutely as much detail as possible. Cole Train and Dominic share the same basic outfit as the rest: heavy boots, pants with various pouches and accoutrements, a belt, torso armor, and forearm trappings ending in fingerless gloves. Dom rocks the heavy boots, but has no upper leg armor for better flexibility; instead there’s a large pouch attached to his right leg and a heavy canteen suspended from his belt on his left side. Cole on the other hand has reinforced thigh padding, a large pouch on his left leg, and ammunition attached to his right. In the belt department Dom’s features the circular “buckle” and shotgun shells all the way around except for the small of his back while his partner’s has a small canteen and tons of pouches. Both COGs’ chest armor is packed with detail on the front and back with lots of tiny differences like the straps on Cole’s back, Dom’s heavier “backpack,” and the different shoulder sculpts. Both figures too have very good face sculpts with a focused glare from Santiago and a smirk from the Cole Train (along with his thick muscled neck).
The new members of Delta Squad fit right in with their Series 1 counterparts with the same dark and dirty look thanks to impressive paint jobs. And again as with the other ones each figure has plenty of unique color details and paint apps that individualize him from the group. The former professional Thrashball payer has brownish pants and belt, gray boots, brown forearm guards, and black armor. He naturally has a deep brown skin tone and lots of cool details like the gold tips of the ammunition on his leg, the green and yellow accents on his chest, green bandana, and brown eyes. Meanwhile Dominic wears light green pants with gray boots, medium gray belt with brown pouch and canteen, and dark gray armor over a brown shirt. The shells around his waist are gold tipped as well, and his chestplate features blue and yellow highlights. Dom also has very cleanly painted facial hair, intense eyes, and of course the screen accurate “Maria” tattoo on his right arm.
Articulation remains at the same high level put forth in Series 1, a good amount that provides for solid poseability. All of the figures have the same articulation scheme with ball jointed necks, ball-jointed shoulders, hinged elbows, rotating and hinged wrists, ball-jointed waists, forward/back and side hinged hips, rotating thighs, and ball-jointed knees. See the photos for some examples of posing options, notably standing at attention, running, and firing their cool weapons (one handed). As noted with the first figures and worth mentioning again, the weight and thickness of the soldiers’ boots really helps in posing and stability and makes up for the lack of ankle joints.
Augustus comes equipped with the standard Mk. 2 Lancer, the same weapon Clayton wielded in Series 1. A heavy assault rifle with a chainsaw bayonet, it’s pretty awesome. Cole can carry it in either hand, fire it in his right hand with his finger on the trigger, or stow it on his back with its peg and the mounting hole. Dom, on the other hand, is the first figure who does not carry a version of the Lancer into battle; he trades in the assault rifle for a sawed-off shotgun! A smaller but no less intimidating looking weapon, the shotgun features two bores, a thick stock, and tons of small details. Notably, the shotgun does not have a peg for stowing.
Gears of War Series 2 has definitely lived up to the high standard set by the initial trio, with solid figures that look great. Their sculpts are very impressive, and the dark and gritty paint jobs really ground them in their universe (just look at them next to 3 ¾ inch superhero figures). And for soldiers who at first glance have only small differentiations in their armor and personal equipment, each figure has a lot of individual detail, not least of which are the great face sculpts on Dom and Cole. These two new additions (and the return of Marcus if you missed him the first time) hit store shelves early next month (June 11th), so good hunting!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Samples Courtesy of NECA
Re: ADVANCE REVIEW: NECA Gears of War 3 ¾ Inch Figures Series 2
Beauty! Great review and photos Scott... I was hoping you would photo some side by side comparison with the 7" figures. May be use one of Jeff's older images ;)
I hope NECA makes from new Locust figures too.. I got too many COGs in my collection.
Also my younger brother is making a APC vehicle from the game(for the 3 ¾ Inch Gears Figures) . He has already half made a gaint 10+" Berserker. Its well articulated and detailed.
I will share the pics soon with Jeff.
Do watch my Gears Stop motion if possible Gears of War - Stop Motion so far - YouTube