Resident Evil, Series Three
Resident Evil holds a distinct place in the world of toys and video games. It is a popular franchise of video games, but it is also a license that has been passed around and shared by various toy companies, which proves it is popular in toys. Palisades Toys is one of the current license holders and while this is the last series of figure they plan to produce for the line, they’re going out not with a whimper but a bang.
The series of Resident Evil (RE) video games started on the original Playstation console and since then Playstation has made it to '2' while RE has reached '3' (not counting Code:Veronica, Survivor or the prequel RE 0). The various games have spawned numerous websites, some novels and even a big budget movie starring Milla Jovovich (who is thankfully very cold throughout) that is currently available on video and DVD. The series of games is horror, but there is plenty of action and a science fiction grounding the story.
The Palisades license allows the use of characters from any of the games, so in the third series there are characters from three of the games - RE, RE2 and Code:Veronica. The good is that this series is the best one yet from Palisades and the bad news is that it will be the last. At least now they won't have to worry about outdoing themselves again.
The third series can be summed up in two words - big and bad. The big part comes in the form of Tyrant and William G4, and William must have the biggest blister card around because it even needs metal reinforcements to stay together! The bad comes in four flavors, and all the figures in this assortment either look mean or come packing an arsenal. They are all blister carded and there are two variations in the series - a packaging variant for Wesker and a paint variation for Chris. Greg Leeuwen handled the package design for these figures. Greg really deserves extra credit here because the packaging had to be redesigned for Series Three due to the sheer size of Tyrant and William. You'd think that by Series Three, he could get an easy ride by using the packaging from Series One and Two.
If you are looking for the variations, the cases are packed as follows: 3 each of Tyrant and William, 2 regular Chris Redfields, 1 Chris Redfield camouflage repaint, 2 Weskers with plain head on his body, and 1 Wesker with the sunglasses head on his body.
The figures are built around a seven-inch scale, so a character six feet tall would be about seven inches. Chris and Wesker are both around seven inches (Chris is just under it and Wesker is right at it), Tyrant is nearly eleven inches tall and William G4 is just plain big any way you measure him. The assortment is balanced so that buying the smaller 'human' figures won't leave you feeling cheated compared with the other two. Wesker comes with a hunter companion figure to even him out and Chris has enough guns for everyone.
Click on a picture to see more pictures of that action figure.
William Birkin was a scientist for the Umbrella Corporation who worked on viruses. He developed the G-Virus from the T-Virus toxin and decided to test it on himself. The Umbrella Corp's HOM really frowns on this, so they sent him a nasty note. Meanwhile the virus mutated him, and every time he sustains lots of damage he mutates to the next stage. By the time he got to stage four the company really wanted him dead because he would easily bankrupt the company with dental benefits. Fighting plaque and killing the living are now his primary hobbies, not necessarily in that order.
This version of William appears as he did in Resident Evil 2, and the guy is ugly. The figure is very creepy with the rows of teeth and eyes that seem to be everywhere. He also has some extra arms and he really has trouble standing upright. The figure is huge, and he weighs quite a bit and most of it in centered in that big maw. There are no accessories for this guy because anything you would put in the package he'd eat! He has more crooked teeth than an Arkansas family reunion, and the guy really needs a breath mint. Bad.
Just because he's a huge hunk of plastic doesn't mean he's as useless as Vice President Quayle (one can spell and one can't). William is full of articulation, though you may have trouble getting him to hold balancing poses because all his weight is in that jaw. Slick Willy has four arms and they all have ball-jointed shoulders. The two smaller arms that stick out the sides of the mouth have elbow articulation and the 'hands' for all four arms have ball-joints. The legs just have swivel joints at the thighs and the torso has a ball-joint where it joins the mouth. All the descriptions aren't necessarily anatomically correct, but those appendages just look like arms and legs when this is pretty much a giant mouth. One thing is certain - with nine ball-joints this guys has plenty of balls.
Jeremy Bush and SOTA sculpted this beast while SOTA finished off the prototype and paint. SOTA also worked on the other figures in this assortment and sculpted and painted the Alien and Predator line of busts and statues for Palisades.
Boss monsters are important parts of shooting games, and you always need to make sure the boss is one bad mother all by himself so he won't need help. Tyrant was the big boss monster from the original Resident Evil game, and if you want to know why he looks so weird it's because he was a preemie. Tyrant was created as part of a super soldier program and was released prematurely. Since he was killed they decided to work on a new program because he just wasn't cutting it, but you have to feel for a guy who has half his internal organs on the outside and is missing any sexual organs. Life can be cruel.
Tyrant is not quite as creepy as William G4, but who is, short of Bill Clinton at a sorority party? He's tall though, measuring nearly eleven inches, which makes him popular with the ladies since they like that. Tall men that is, what did you think we meant? He's the tallest figure of the series by far and he has plenty of veins and pulsating organs on his body. You can thank SOTA for sculpting and painting this guy. Go ahead, thank them!!
Tyrant might be the tallest but he is the least articulated of this series of figures, He has ball-jointed shoulders and the neck has a ball-joint so he can look up and down as well as twisting. Since his face is attached to his body by a growth on the side it limits the amount you can pose him but the way it is designed the pieces fit together and allow movement. Both elbows can bend and the left wrist can twist so his claw hand can get busy clawing. The chest has a ball-joint so he can do a little aerobic work-out to keep the heart pumping on the outside of his chest. The legs have articulated ankles, knees, and swivel thighs so he can kick, stomp, and do the 'hootchie koo.'
Albert Wesker was once a founder of S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics and Rescue Squad) and an all around cool guy. He went through a phase where he listened to 'I wear my sunglasses at night' for three weeks straight and really took it to heart by wearing his sunglasses at night. He worked for Umbrella but decided to change his allegiance, especially after setting Tyrant free and getting mauled (and nearly killed) by him. Plus he broke his glasses, and that really ticked him off. Since then he's had his own agenda and really shouldn't be trusted. He appears here as he did in Code: Veronica because he just looks way cooler than in the original Resident Evil.
He likes to go around with some hunters, which are ugly green guys who don't like other people. Not only do they give you warts, they try to kill you too! The best defense for these guys is to remind them of high school biology. Of course that might get them mad, so maybe you should just run or shoot them with something really big. Just a thought.
Wesker comes packed with a hunter and he also has two package variations. In one he has on his 'sunglasses' head and the other he has the shadeless one. Both heads are included with either variant, it's just a matter of which head he's wearing so this is more for the total completists out there. The heads can be interchanged and other than the hunter with him Wesker is unarmed. Except for his two arms that is.
Wesker lacks guns but he has loads of articulation to make up for it. He has ball-jointed shoulders and neck, mid-bicep twists and articulated elbows. He also has twisting wrists and waist, articulated thighs, knees and ankles. He has mid-thigh twists and calf twists, and the calf joints are hidden by the boot sculpt. As if that wasn't enough his little green buddy is articulated as well, with ball-jointed shoulders, bending knees and elbows and a hinged right hand. The thighs are articulated and so is the jaw, so he can show off his teeth and tongue.
Jon Matthews and SOTA did the sculpting, and our best guess is that SOTA worked mostly on the Hunter while Jon worked mostly on Wesker. Plan B Toys and SOTA did the prototype and paints. We opened the package and swapped heads, so that should count for something.
Chris Redfield was once in the Air Force, which may help explain why one of his accessories is a typewriter. Actually, he was a pilot, not a typist, and is now a crack member of S.T.A.R.S. He is a staple character of the games, and is Claire Redfield's brother.
The Chris figure is from Code: Veronica. He is seven inches tall, nothing to sneeze at, although he's not the size of Tyrant. There are two versions of Chris: regular deco and camouflage deco, a completely different color scheme on the outfit, including the boots. On both versions of Chris, his gloves are black. Like the Model T, they are available in any color you want, as long as it's black. In addition to having keen fashion sense, he is loaded with articulation: a ball joint for a neck, ball-jointed shoulders, mid-bicep twists, elbows, wrist twists, a waist twist, hips, knees, and ankles, as well as mid-thigh twists and twists where his boots meet his pants. One of his accessories is an extra right hand. Who couldn't use an extra hand? This one looks nearly the same as the original, but can be swapped out so that he can hold different weapons.
His accessories are: SPAS 12 shotgun, M79 grenade launcher, 3 grenade shells, Glock 17, 2 Ingram .38 caliber machine guns, typewriter, ammo box, alternate hand, combat knife, and a green herb. Don't get too excited, the 'green herb' is just a plastic plant, and Chris uses it only for 'medicinal' purposes. The Glock fits into a holster on his right leg, and the cover on the holster snaps conveniently shut so that he doesn't lose it while he's trying to carry all of his other gear. The shotgun has a pumping action, and the grenade shells fit into the grenade launcher. They also fit nicely into the mouth of the average house cat, so it's best to store them safely. Bad news: the typewriter does not come with extra ink ribbons, so you won't be able to save your game. Good news: cats aren't as interested in the typewriter as in the grenade shells.
Jon Matthews sculpted Chris, with Plan B and SOTA sharing the duties for prototypes and paints. Johnny Apokolips stepped in to help out with the accessories.
Pictures of William G4
Pictures of Tyrant
Pictures of Wesker with Hunter
Pictures of Chris Redfield
RTM Spotlight: Resident Evil, Series One
|Where to buy Resident Evil: The Resident Evil action figures retail for about $11.99 to $14.99 USD each and are available at computer game and specialty stores, as well as various online toy retailers.
Several such online stores are RTM sponsors AisleSniper.com, Big Bad Toy Store, and The Outer Reaches. (Be sure to check the other RTM sponsors, listed on the Shop Center.)
RTM Spotlight: Resident Evil, Series Two