Saturday, August 8, 2009

Dead Space: Isaac Clarke (SDCC 2009 Exclusive) Review

As a latecomer to the Dead Space franchise, I was indifferent to hearing the news that NECA was going to produce Dead Space figures. However, once I started playing the game, I was excited at the prospect of owning an Isaac Clarke figure. Having seen the preliminary sculpts of Isaac, I wasn't surprised at the high level of detail. All I was worried about was NECA screwing up an amazing sculpt with limited articulation. I'm really glad that NECA came through.

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:
  • Once again, NECA gives us an action figure with over 20 POINTS OF ARTICULATION! Last I checked, Issac has approximately 25 points of articulation.
  • This SDCC NECA Exclusive sports LED lights as advertised on the front packaging! It can be seen through Isaac's visor and "spine" (found on the back of his RIG suit). When this baby is turned on in the dark, Isaac's LED lights are bright enough to be used as a flashlight during a blackout (no joke)!
  • As seen in the previously released Chris Redfield figure (from NECA's Resident Evil 5 line), Isaac Clarke also sports the knee joint which is covered by his boots!
  • Just had to point out the Unitology "scribbles" all over Isaac's body armor is done pretty well. It must've been really hard to paint those on. I wonder if those symbols translate into anything...
  • The paint application on this figure is fairly consistent, which is a nice change from NECA's usual fare. I found only two pieces of dried paint: one piece of dried paint sticking out noticeably when I swiveled Isaac's right leg forward and back; the other sticking right behind of Isaac's kinesis module "meter" (found on his back right shoulder).
  • 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 lack of pack-in accessories is somewhat irksome. Isaac only comes with his standard 211-V Plasma Cutter tool with Unitology "scribble" all over it. In the video game DEAD SPACE, Isaac was able to carry four weapons of the seven found or purchased in the game. It would've been nice to see either the Flamethrower or even the Pulse Rifle as an extra weapon accessory.
  • It would've really been nice to be able to swivel the Cutter tool horizontally as in the game (although I understand the difficulties that would come with such a feature).
  • In the beginning, Isaac had a great grip on his Cutter tool. However, each time I slightly moved him from one position to another, the Cutter tool just slipped out of his right hand. Isaac can't even hold onto the Cutter just standing!
  • 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 was... distracting.
  • I really hoped to see Isaac sculpted in his Level 5 armor, where he is covered from head-to-toe in armor.
  • NOTE: Isaac has 4 "slits" in his visor as seen in the pictures on the Dead Space clamshell packaging. Unfortunately, the figure only sports 3. I wish NECA paid more attention to that specific detail. In other words, I wish NECA added on another "slit" to his visor (it would've been nice to see the SDCC exclusive sport a slightly different sculpt when compared to the original DS figures).

The Ugly:

  • When you turn on the LED lights (by pushing the "button" on the top of Isaac's spine), you see the light bleeding through the black paint with the Unitology "scribble". Also you can see very clearly, the glue scuff marks and black paint smears all over the "blue" colored plastic.
  • As much as I love the idea of the LED lights incorporated into the NECA exclusive, I wish NECA made some changes to this. Don't get me wrong, the LED light shining through Isaac's visor is great. However, having the "spine" light up in blue cheapened an otherwise cool idea. When you turn on the LED light, you can see that the entire "spine" portion is made up of blue plastic (this is due to the blue plastic bleeding through the black paint application). It would've been better to keep the bright [white] LED light as is. As much as I understand the difficulty of coming up with incorporating LED into an action figure, NECA should've also done that with the kinesis module as well. By giving Isaac's visor and "spine" LED light, it unintentionally calls attention to the painted kinesis module. By leaving it out, it cheapens the overall look.

I purchased this NECA Exclusive online via Toyrocket for a total of $47.94. I recommend searching through eBay or Amazon for better deals. If you can't seem to find a reasonable price (the MSRP is $20.00), order from (last I checked, they charge approx. $32.99). They're usually good about packaging and sending out items in a timely manner, but they seem to get their items later than most electronic retailers.


Overall, NECA's SDCC 2009 Exclusive Isaac Clarke is one AMAZING entry into the Dead Space franchise. I'm really glad to see NECA getting into the idea of heavily articulated action figures. During these harsh economic times, I'd recommend just getting one (unless you're a hardcore Dead Space fan AND have the money to purchase another for your MOC collection).

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