The Good: Incredible sculpt, Exceptional poseability, Good balance, Accessory
The Bad: Initially stiff joints, Joints are more evident in this form, Recycled, Lack of collectible value, Coloring issues
The Basics: NECA’s Holographic Engineer (Chair Suit) from their Prometheus toy line is neat, but is a limited-concept figure more likely to underwhelm fans than thrill them.
Whenever a toy company reuses the mold for a figure to create a “new” figure, I get suspicious. Having been a dealer in various forms of collectibles, I know there can be a lot of pressure and contractual obligations on a manufacturer to produce products. Lately, when I see figures that are essentially recycled hitting the market, I try to balance my dismay with the hope that if the current line is successful, a better, more costly-to-produce line might yet be produced. Such is where I am with the NECA Series 3 Prometheus figures. As I sit down to review the Holographic Engineer (Chair Suit) action figure, I find it hard to keep up the hope I had, though. The previous Series featured images of Shaw and Fifield figures and the Holographic Engineer (Chair Suit) no longer promises those figures forthcoming.
The Prometheus Holographic Engineer (Chair Suit) action figure is identical to the Engineer (Chair Suit) figure (reviewed here!) released in the first series of Prometheus figures, save that it has been entirely recolored and painted to look like the holograms that were seen running around the facility in holographic records in Prometheus. This figure is a niche figure that was exceptionally inexpensive to produce for NECA (they had the molds for the figure itself all done and not having to make a complicated paint process made finishing it less problematic on the manufacturing end) and only the die-hard Prometheus fans are likely to be at all impressed or care for the figure.
Based on the character that spawned the idea for the film, the Prometheus, Holographic Engineer (Chair Suit) is the heavily armored alien Engineer who was clad in the suit that allowed it to interface with the navigational machinery. This version is blue with brighter blue dots all over (in the film, the holograms were greener) and semi-translucent.
Standing eight and one-quarter inches tall, the Holographic Engineer (Chair Suit) is a broad-chested, helmeted alien Engineer in his armor with the tubes that allowed it to interface with the navigational chair. The color scheme for the figure is light with no real detailing. Most of the figure is translucent blue with bright specks all over it. Unfortunately, the paint job is based on the neutral pose the figure comes packaged in. The moment one starts moving the figure into an action pose, the joints become more obvious as the sparkled portions are pushed away to expose the smooth, monotonal plastics beneath.
The sculpt is exceptional from the boning on the breastplate and tubes that connect the shoulders to the helmet, this is incredibly detailed. This figure holds its own with any other drawing or character design from H.R. Geiger.
Holographic Engineer (Chair Suit) comes with one of the vials seen in the main chamber the Holographic Engineers were running from. The accessory makes what is otherwise a throwaway figure worth picking up (at least until Shaw and Fifield are released with similar accessories!). The storage container is 1 7/8” tall and ¾” in diameter at its widest. It is colored an appropriate rusty gunmetal and features the tiny inscriptions on the outside to look exactly like the one in the film! The neat thing about the accessory is that the container may be opened! Remove the top and it exposes the capsules inside and the four replicas of the vials may be lifted out (as one)! The capsules inside are a less-realistic green color (they were black in the film), but the accessory still looks pretty cool with this or other Prometheus figures!
Despite the Holographic Engineer (Chair Suit) having foot holes, the fact that there are no corresponding pegs from a playset or stand for the figure. That means posing the Holographic Engineer (Chair Suit) is based entirely on balance. This figure has good balance, though figure only remains balanced when the figure is flatfooted. With sixteen points of articulation, Holographic Engineer (Chair Suit) has incredible poseability, the sculpt does not allow the figure to actual make use of all of the joints, though the only real “sticky wicket” is the head joint. The Holographic Engineer (Chair Suit) has hinged ball and socket joints at the ankles, knees, groin socket (which were initially ridiculously stiff, but once I cracked it correctly, allowed the figure to take a true seated position!), shoulders, wrists and elbows. The bust, biceps and head are on ball joints, with limited range of motion there.
All of the articulation makes Holographic Engineer (Chair Suit) a decent toy for play, but one suspects those who would recognize Holographic Engineer (Chair Suit) enough to enjoy the figure would not be the type to actually play with it and the Prometheus toy line is intended for the adult collector. There is no superlative play function for this figure; it is very much intended for display, as opposed to play. It cannot, for example, hold the accessory it comes with in its hand.
NECA Toys made a neat figure with Holographic Engineer (Chair Suit), but given how it is a recycled figure, it is hard to bet on this ending up as a good investment. Hype surrounding Prometheus has faded and merchandising for the movie has not exactly been a huge hit with its fan base. Most fans will want to wait until the Holographic Engineer (Chair Suit) ends up on the clearance racks (because it will!).
Vastly overpriced at its original retail price, NECA might be trying to fund its previously leaked figures through sales of the Holographic Engineer (Chair Suit), but it’s a poor proposition for fans of Prometheus . . . or quality toys!
This version of the Holographic Engineer appears in Prometheus, reviewed here!
For other Prometheus toy reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Series 1 Engineer (Pressure Suit) figure
Toys ‘R Us Exclusive Trilobite Vs. Engineer (Battle Damaged) two-pack
Series 2 Deacon figure
Series 2 David 8 figure
For other toy reviews, please visit my Toy Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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