Friday, August 28, 2009

Dead Space: Isaac Clarke Figure Review

As a Dead Space fan and being hungry for Dead Space figures, I snatched a set of regular versions of Isaac Clarke as soon as I saw them up on eBay. I have to tell you, these figures put the SDCC exclusive to shame by quite a lot. Just something about seeing Isaac Clarke in his regular RIG outfit that makes me excited. However, this figure isn't without any flaws.

Flavor Text:

"Briefing Data:

Isaac Clarke

Update from Recipient: Have arrived on board USG Ishimura. No survivors present, power running low. Cut off from security detail at onset of mission. Ishimura crew has been overrun by alien hostiles. Attempting to restore ship systems. Unsure if communications are working, if message received send military support.

Assignment: Investigate lost signal and repair all repair all necessary equipment in order to restore communications.

Mission Briefing Recipient: Isaac Clarke

Mission Location: USG Ishimura

Issue: Total communications blackout

Support Team: Standard Security Detail"

The Good:
  • Isaac has 29 points of articulation: ball-jointed head, ball-jointed shoulders, swivel upper arms, ball-jointed/swivel/hinged elbows, swivel hands, quasi-ball-jointed/swivel hips, swivel/hinged legs, swivel thighs, ball-jointed/swivel/hinged knees, and quasi-ball-jointed ankles.
  • Like his SDCC exclusive counterpart, "regular" Isaac sports LED lights too (on both his visor and spine)! Because of the blue plastic used, the LED brightness is considerably dimmed.
  • This Isaac figure has a pretty good grip on the Ripper weapon. I (sheepishly) admit that it took me some time to figure out how Isaac would hold the weapon.
  • Thankfully, the regular Isaac doesn't suffer from the LED lights bleeding through the paint on his spine like his SDCC exclusive counterpart.
  • I can breathe an easy sigh of relief to see that Isaac doesn't suffer from the "male cameltoe" which was last seen prominently displayed on the Chris Redfield figure.

The Bad:
  • The "bloody" variant Isaac comes with the Ripper weapon as the only accessory. The "standard" Isaac comes with the 211-V Plasma Cutter. As mentioned in my previous review of the SDCC exclusive, the figure is sorely lacking in the accessories department. Although the Ripper weapon is nice to have, it would've been better to have additional weapons such as the Flamethrower or even the IM-822 Handheld Ore Cutter Line Gun.
  • It's not necessarily a bad thing, but the overall design of Isaac and the greenish-bluish tinge (when the LED is switched on) eerily remind me of Bioshock. As a side note, I really hope that NECA doesn't incorporate the LED "light feature" in their upcoming Bioshock figures. NECA, please don't do this to us.
  • Again, this Isaac suffers the same problem from its predecessor of the three [slightly] deep yet visible holes with screws in the back of Isaac just look ugly as hell. Obviously, this was needed to allow collectors to remove the dead battery and replace it. I just had to point out that it's distracting.
  • I really hoped to see Isaac sculpted in his Level 5 armor, where he is covered from head-to-toe in armor.
  • The "shoulder armor" covering Isaac's right shoulder is glued in place which limits his arm movement (preventing him from doing any "high-five" poses). The SDCC exclusive doesn't suffer from this problem.

The Ugly:

  • Obviously, the "bloody version" of Isaac would sport blood on his armor. But when you examine the "blood splatter" it's rather... disappointing. The red paint applications look more like ketchup stains than anything else (especially on the visor and Isaac's right leg). NOTE: The "regular" Isaac (supposedly "non-bloody") actually sports a little "blood deco" as well on his RIG helmet and right shoulder.
  • Also what's up with the paint application here? Right on top and at the bottom of Isaac's spine, you see an unsightly splotch of orange paint. You bet your ass that's sloppy. Would someone please explain to me why the hell are white dots applied liberally all over Isaac's body? Space dust, perhaps?
  • Starting from the fourth "row" of Isaac's chest armor, the lines of armor are [quite visibly] crooked and no longer are following the pattern (as seen in the above three "rows" of Isaac's chest armor). There's a noticeable gap betwen the third and fourth row, which is plain ugly as it is sloppy. I suspect the black "twisties" that are used to hold the figure are partly to blame (the other half of the blame goes right to the sculptor/Chinese factory).
  • The "regular" version of Isaac sports a noticeably crooked HUD display (the little blue plastic sticking out on Isaac's chest). Examine these figures in person before buying them! It seems NECA still has quality control issues.
  • As I mentioned in an earlier review [of the Isaac Clarke SDCC exclusive], if NECA was going all out to include LED lights for the spine and helmet, why not include that for the kinesis module as well? I understand that the engineering behind that could be quite complicated, but to have the LED spine "light up" next to a painted kinesis module, well.... it looks pretty bad.

I purchased this set online via eBay for a total of $34.90 (price includes S&H). I recommend searching through eBay for these. If you can't seem to find a reasonable price order from (last I checked, they charge $25.99 for both; $13.99 individually). They're really good about packaging and sending out items in a timely manner, and they seem to get their items a little earlier than most electronic retailers I've dealt with.


Overall, NECA's Isaac Clarke is one AMAZING entry into the Dead Space franchise. Despite a lot of glaring negatives, I'm really glad to see NECA getting into the idea of heavily articulated action figures. I recommend examining these figures in person before purchasing, so you can avoid the crap that I've viewed as negative. It may be just me, but I think getting both (the "regular" version which isn't really regular and the "bloody" version) is a pretty stupid idea.

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