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Killzone Series 1 DC Direct Figures [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Once again DC Direct has offered a solid line of figures that don’t stray from the source material and manage to have more detail than you would expect given the price point.  Fans of Killzone will surely appreciate the design of the Assault Infantry and Sniper figures as both look as they do in the video games. The lack of a few additional details in the helmets and somewhat restrictive battle poses is a slight bummer, but aren’t detrimental to the overall quality of the figures. 

The Pros: 

+ The design of the figures is nearly perfect as they capture the essence of how the characters look in the games.
+ There’s a plethora of tiny design touches on both figures.
+ Unlike other figures on the market, the price point for the Series 1 figures is really affordable.

The Cons: 

- Not being able to put the figures in different poses is slightly disappointing.
- There’s just something missing in how the glowing Helghast helmet eyes are portrayed.
- Having a second accessory or decorative display stand would’ve been a nice touch. Rating : 

Compared to when the video game industry once again hit its stride in the mid-1990s and later boomed in the early 2000s the business is completely different in every possible way.  Video games are no longer solely an interactive experience as some brands extend to more “normal” forms of entertainment like novels, comic books, films and in some cases action figures.  In a way video games and toys go hand in hand as they allow us to see something cool and at one point in our lives when we were younger, playing with toys like G.I. Joes or Star Wars figures took us on journeys that were entertaining, that’s unless you were a completely unimaginative child.

The industry for creating toys or high-end statues based on video game characters may not be on par with how extensive the product lines for things such as Star Wars or Transformers can be but I guess in one way we ought to be happy we have yet to see a Master Chief Ultra Armor figure with everyone’s favorite hero in yellow armor armed with a giant nerf dart firing bazooka.  Doing riffs on things is the norm in the toy biz but so far we’ve seen more traditional figures, the latest of which is the Killzone series 1 figures from DC Direct.

If there was ever a video game that deserved to have a series of affordable toys created based on it I think it has to be Killzone.  While Guerrilla Games’ gritty sci-fi action franchise may not be ripe with unique character variety, the core designs of the various Helghast soldiers that gamers face against in the games are in a way iconic if not simply cool to look at.  Continuing their partnership with Sony Computer Entertainment, DC Direct has released the first series of figures based on the Killzone universe.  With series 1 comprising of a standard Helghast Assault Infantry Soldier and a Helghast Sniper, the figures offer a nice amount of detail for their affordable $15-20 price point but are they worth picking up if you want a need trophy for your shelf or cubicle?

In the realm of toys/action figures, DC Direct is kind of in the middle ground between being a common toy manufacturer like Hasbro (Transformers) and the high-end manufacturers out there like Kotobukiya .  The Killzone figures aren’t really meant to be played with in a sense if you’re a giant man child who likes to play with toys.  Basically, the Killzone figures are small and highly affordable figures that are mini six-inch statues with a nice amount of detail.

Being the Killzone fan that I am, I picked up both figures, with the highlight for me being the standard Helghast Soldier.  Perhaps the most common and memorable character design in the Killzone franchise, the Helghast Soldier figure is of pretty good quality though it’s not without its faults.  Featuring a nice amount of sculpting, the figure has more detail that you would expect out of an action figure as small touches like the ammo pouch on the leg and belt of the figure along with the boot buckles really make it faithful depiction of the character when compared to its video game counterpart.

The Helghast Assault Infantry Soldier

There are some things about the figure that disappointed me a bit like the immediate lack of articulation it offered and a few other design decisions.  With the only movement of the figure being in its arms and legs, there aren’t too many options for people to pose the figure in different ways. So if you wanted to buy a dozen or so figures of the Helghast Soldier and create a massive diorama then you’re out of luck as you sadly can’t put the Helghast Soldier in a nice military pose.  The other things I found issue with the figure lied in perhaps the most important aspect of the character: the helmet.  The Helghast have caught on with gamers since helmets with glowing eyes and breathing tubes are cool, even if they’re a bit derivative of stuff we’ve seen in the past such as Jin-Roh. Maybe I’m just being a complete stickler for detail, but there’s just not as much pop as I would’ve liked for the glowing eyes on the Helghast helmet.  The paint scheme for the eyes is executed in a good way as it doesn’t look sloppy, but as they say the eyes are the gates to the soul and the Helghast Soldier looks a bit soulless.  It may have been a bit gimmicky and cost prohibitive to do so, but if some LED lights were inserted and there was a light-up function in the helmet then I think that would’ve sold the character, either that or perhaps some clear and slightly light refracting plastic would’ve also done the trick as well.

The Helghast Sniper thankfully boasts the same detail found in the Soldier figure as its unique helmet design and accompanying gear looks excellent.  Though the Sniper figure sadly suffers the same issues as the Helghast Soldier, the notable of which are the lack of definition in the glowing eyes on the helmet and a restrictive pose.  Looking at both figures I must say that I would’ve preferred there to be a darker look, perhaps opting to have more blacks or mute greys instead of opting for a slightly brighter if not more noticeable hue of grey.  I wasn’t too alarmed or disappointed with the overall paint scheme and it’s often common for the paint scheme for affordable figures to either not exactly match its source material or be a bit off merely because of it being a new series, thus the production team is still fine tuning things for future iterations.

Given the detail of both figures and how closely they resemble the source material, the first series of Killzone figures from DC Direct is a success and will please those that are looking forward to showing off their Killzone fandom.  There’s definitely room for improvement in future installments in the series and an immediate lack of secondary features such as swappable hands, secondary accessories (having a Helghast flag would’ve been cool) or even stands is a bit disappointing.  If the series moves forward it would be nice to see a bit more attention paid to the head designs of the figure along with adding a bit of ISA love as it would be sweet to have a figure of Sev or Corporal Natko (the guy that looks like Triple-H).  With a highly affordable price point and solid craftsmanship, the Killzone figures from DC Direct are definitely worthy of picking up whether you’re just a Killzone fan or like to collect video game merchandise as they make perfect in-the-package collectibles.