#1161: Contra

PLAYER 1 & PLAYER 2

CONTRA (NECA)

contra1

I don’t know about you guys, but I definitely enjoyed Friday’s partner review.  And during the winter holidays, I think it’s a great time to deal with togetherness and stuff, so why not do another partner review? It’s definitely not just because this way I only have to do half the work.  What are you talking about?  Anyway, today I’m teaming up with my brother Christian to take a look at NECA’s recent Contra figures.  Any words to start us off Christian?

At this point, I do believe I’ve exclusively written about video game related toys. So to break the mold and expand into new horizons(*wink*), I’m talking about the Arnold-Contra-Guy, Bill Rizer (aka Player 1).

And I’ll be taking a look at Sly-Contra-Guy, Lance Bean (aka Player 2).  Let’s do this!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Bill and Lance were released over this past summer as part of NECA’s Player Select. Unlike most of the line, this is a two-pack, because who in their right mind would release these two separately?  (Mattel probably would…)

PLAYER 1

contra5Ok. I’m not gonna be as much of a spicy meatball about the specifics as MC Ethan down below, but I got some things to say. So yadda-yadda he’s roughly 7 inches tall and has 26 points of articulation. He’s got some like, uh, sand(?) all over his rippling biceps and pectorals and to accent this uber-testosterone he’s got like a bazillion bullets to refill his guns(but not those guns!*FLEX*). He’s waisted up with a knife(Heyo, I’m not Tim. I opened this box with a carving knife.) He looks really good and considering they only have the weird box art and 8-bit pixel patterns to work with and he’s a sturdy figure. In fact, maybe too sturdy. He’s not very easy to pose and is incredibly stiff. Other than that I have no issues. This is a well-made figure that does it’s job well: killing gosh darn aliens!

contra2I also kept the box, so let’s get cubular. The box art is an obvious homage to the original game’s box art and design(The NECA seal of approval looking like the Nintendo seal made me very happy; so thumbs up for effort!) This box is clearly trying hard to capitalize on the fans of the original and it does a fantastic job. This is not a box to throw away. As for what’s in the box, we’ve got a few accessories to choose from.   We’ve got the spread gun and the machine gun for your bullet-multiplying needs. We also have a sold and well-designed weapon capsule with the red falcon. These are very awesome assets to have and they really make these figures feel like more than just hit-it and quit-it NES inspired cash grabs. For me it’s a plus because rather than 18 million hands to not use to customize my figure, I get real in-game accoutrements that look cool in photos 🙂 

PLAYER 2

contra6Guess I gotta go all “spicy meatball” with the specifics here in my section.  Both Bill and Lance are built on NECA’s Jungle Encounter Dutch body.  As Christian noted above, the body is about 7 inches tall and sports 26 points of articulation.  The choice of body is pretty spot on; while Bill and Lance are commonly known to be patterned after Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, on the box art, both of the pair used shots of Schwarzenegger’s Dutch as models, making the use of actual Dutch bodies very appropriate.  It helps that the Dutch bodies are still amongst NECA’s strongest sculpts and are a very strong foundation for any figure.  Lance is sporting an all-new head sculpt based on his box art depiction.  For being based on a single two-dimensional image of a character we only ever see in profile, it does a remarkable job of capturing the general likeness of the character.  Not only is he almost perfect when viewed in profile, but he also just looks really good in general.  I know some people have expressed being slightly let down that he doesn’t really feature any sort of Stallone likeness, but I myself prefer him this way, as it let’s him actually be his own character, rather than just complete imitation of Rambo.  While the sculpt of the head is based on the box art, the rest of the figure, specifically the paint, is based on his actual in-game sprite.  Hence the bright blue clothing and the slightly strange shading on his upper half.  As with so many of NECA’s video game figures, their ability to simulate a pixelated character model on a fully detailed large scale figure is quite impressive, and Lance looks like the spitting image of his in-game model.  The accessories are mostly shared between these two figures, but Lance does get his own pistol and knife, as well as a base rifle to which you can add attachments to make the various types of guns that appear all throughout the game.

THE US HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Contra at a Goodwill for about 30 bucks. Currently, Contra has shot up in price nearing around $45-$50. It was one of the few non turn-based multiplayer games I had for my NES at the time(I don’t know how much over lap is, but thats’s the Nintendo Entertainment System for those in the dark about video game history. They just made another one, though it’s the small one from Las Vegas) and so I popped it in to play with my best an only bro, Ethan. Not being a child of the 80s, I didn’t have the Konami Code memorized(#F@#&Konami) and had to spend about ten minutes getting the code to work. From there it was free sailing and I had a blast playing it.  Close to a year later Ethan saw the figures in a Toys R Us in PA for only like $17. We picked it up and since Ethan and I are separated by 600 miles and both loved Contra about equally, we agreed to split the two-pack, but I got to keep the box. So by definition I win. Hee Hee!

Look at that, I didn’t have to write the outro! Alright!

contra7

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