By Jason "loonyboi" Bergman
this column looks at "Geek Toys" as in video cards, joysticks,
and other hardware, we though that in honor of our Duke special
issue, it would be fun to look at a literal "Geek Toy"...the
Duke action figure. The normal version of this column will return
he Duke Nukem action figure is one of those things that you can't help but wonder why it took so damn long for someone to make. After all, what is Duke himself, if not a walking, talking action figure? Considering how many mediocre toys are made each year, it's a wonder that Duke is just now being released.
But, in all fairness, it most certainly was worth the wait.
Toys these days have entered a sort of renaissance. Thanks largely to comic book artist Todd McFarlane (who I'll refrain from speaking about outside the context of his toy company, as I do have some...issues with his other fields) and his company Todd Toys, a new form of action figure has started to emerge over the last few years. Todd Toys' first products were nothing short of astounding...they featured incredible detail, painting that was worthy of a museum (okay, so maybe that's over the top...but it was pretty cool) and they stood much larger (in some cases, much, much, much larger) than the toys which had preceded them of late.
Most importantly, perhaps, was the fact that Todd Toys was the first (successful) independent toy company. Suddenly it was possible to get toys from a company that wasn't Hasbro or Kenner (two companies which have since merged anyway, making that one a moot point). In short, Todd Toys was a strange, action-figured revolution.
So what does this have to do with Duke? Well, the Duke action figure, made by indy-toy maker Resaurus, is clearly influenced by Todd Toys. Standing at the larger 8" size (compare that to the old 3 3/4" GIJoe figures...it's pretty sick) Duke gives off a commanding presence, and simply screams coolness.
Like many recent toys, the attention to detail on the Duke figure is admirable, to say the least. The figure comes with not one, not two, but no less than five weapons of destruction (I've learned that this is only available in the direct-order version of the figure...the store bought version has one less). And ye gods, what weapons!
First, let's start with his guns. These babies look like they were ripped straight out of Duke (or actually, Duke 64, since I can't seem to recall him wielding such weapons in any other version). These are stylin' submachine guns, and fit flawlessly into his hands (with handy pegs for holstering them on his legs). Duke's wrists are on a swivel-peg, allowing you to have him grasp the weapon in standard form, or gangsta-style, if that's your thing.
Duke also wields (like any "fun loving mass murderer"...see Josh Vasquez's "Pixel Obscura" elsewhere in this issue for details on that) one hell of a bloody knife. It's of the "bendy plastic" type, and quite durable, making it perfectly suitable for just about every scenario you could come up with for this figure. Duke also comes with the devastator gun (a personal favorite from the game) and the freeze-thrower (in direct versions only). The devastator is appropriately huge, making it the intimidating instrument of carnage it should be, and the freeze thrower is pretty much a faithful representation of its in-game counterpart.
One neat touch (again, only in the direct version) is the fact that you can take the freeze-thrower, and stick it on top of the devastator, making a massive, and incredibly intimidating weapon. Perfect for kicking ass against whatever toys you might have lying around the house (or desk, as it were).
The painting on the figure is quite impressive...if you take a good look at the cover painting to Duke Nukem 3D (and the box of this figure, actually) it is almost exactly the same...Duke's got the same belt, the same shirt, the same badass expression on his face. My one complaint about the toy, is the size of his neck, which is very accurate to the painting of Duke, and any other representation of the man...it just looks a bit goofy. Seeing Duke with a giant neck in a painting of videogame works...seeing it on a toy is a bit harder to pull off.
But that's really a minor gripe...don't let it keep you from checking out this figure. It truly, in genuine Duke Nukem fashion, kicks ass and takes names.
For your viewing pleasure, myself and fellow loonygames contributor Mike Sanzone, have taken it upon ourselves to make a couple of "mock scenario" photographs of the figure, kicking ass as only Duke can. Click here to check out our pictures of Duke vs. some zombies (which are part of the recent Resident Evil line).
- Jason "loonyboi" Bergman is the editor-in-chief here at loonygames.
|Credits: Bargain Bin logo illustrated and is © 1998 Dan Zalkus. Geek Toys is © 1998 Jason Bergman. All other content is © 1998 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is a majorly hostile gesture.|