Combat Approved: GoW3 Marcus Fenix Action Figure Review

The Gears of War franchise has been a boon to Microsoft and helps draw in those of us that prefer our hard-fought science fiction wars to be a little bloodier than what Halo has to offer. From the war-torn look of the environments to the rough and brutish looks of Delta Squad, GoW brings a little Warhammer 40K aesthetic to our eyeholes and the sweet sound of gun-mounted chainsaws to our ears. We recently ran across the first series of figures based on the new game and snatched up their fearless squad leader to add to our collections. Join us now as we take an unclassified look at Marcus Fenix from NECA's Gears of War 3 action figure line!

Marcus Fenix established himself as a war hero during the Pendulum Wars. He was on the fast track to an outstanding military career-- until the monstrous Locust Horde emerged from the underground. Now leading Delta Squad, he simply fights for survival.

After 3 Gears games, Neobauhaus Studios definitely has the sculpting of these figures down to an art. Every inch of this guy has been textured and detailed to bring out the ferocity and hyper-realism of the character from the game. In order to show Marcus' facial scarring and weather-worn face, the lines have been cut deep to keep the sculpt from becoming too "soft", which has succeeded in making Mr. Fenix even rougher looking than in the game. Bonus!

When it comes to paint, Marcus benefits from NECA's attention to detail and their love of drybrushing and washes. Everything about this figure looks as if it's been used, abused, and battle-worn from the scratched armor to his scratched arms! The tampographed tattoo and emblem on his sweet bandanna are both applied cleanly and have really tight linework for such small additions. The paint has been credited to Jon Wardell and Geoffrey Trapp so those guys can rest easy tonight knowing they did a bang-up job with Fenix.

The articulation used for Marcus is exactly what we'd love to see NECA using with every single upcoming release, regardless of line. While their upcoming Evil Dead figures look very, very good, could you imagine a figure of Ash that could be posed as well as this guy?! We just drooled a little! Anyway, Marcus features a ball-joint neck, hinged chest (at the shoulders), swivel/hinge shoulders, dual hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge knees, swivel/dual hinged "rocker" ankles, and hinged feet. That's quite a s***load of movement packed into the bulky frame of this soldier. While the neck is hindered due to the width of the figure's muscle-y neck, the rest of the articulation moves very well, holds its position, and allows this guy to be posed up in a variety of kill-friendly circumstances. Yes, this another section of the review that has gushed about this figure-- sometimes a toy turns out to be what you wanted. Weird concept, right?

Accessories are few with this release, but stick to what's important: a big friggin' gun! Marcus comes packaged with the Retro Lancer. This puppy comes sans chainsaw and instead rlies on a mounted bayonet for those "up close and personal" times with the enemy. The grip fits perfectly into the figure's hand and has the same highly-detailed sculpting as the rest of the toy. There is a small peg/cocking handle jutting from the side of the rifle about midway down the body on the left side which can be inserted into a hole on Marcus' back so it can be stowed the same way it is in the game. Too bad he didn't come with any other weaponry in order to show off this feature a little more.

Overall, this figure of Marcus from Gears of War 3 tops even NECA's fantastic Crysis figure when it comes to coupling a tremendous sculpt with piles of useful articulation, and we only wish that this guy would help to abolish the dreaded "v-hip" from their action figures forever! The Gears line is a perfect match for the company and plays up to all of their strengths and hides any of their weaknesses. Be sure to check out the entire line of GoW3 figures, along with the Gremlins, Evil Dead, Duke Nukem, and the rest of NECA Toys' plastic effigies at their official website!

Stay tuned to MTV Geek! for all your NECA Toys and Gears of War coverage from this year's Toy Fair!

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