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Pyramid Head

Silent Hill 2
by Shocka

Years. Over a decade. Freakin' forever. That's how long I've been waiting for Silent Hill figures. It's absolutely insane to me that despite Japan's need to franchise and merchandise absolutely everything, we've never seen a Silent Hill action figure. It's only recently that we've even seen things like scarily overpriced statues, meanwhile there have been umpteen Biohazard/​Resident Evil figures and minifigures and capsule toys and so on from lesser videogame horror properties. Silent Hill has become part of the zeitgeist, permanently embedded in pop culture - so why has it taken so long? I cannot answer this. But what I can say, is that it has been worth the wait.

Normally this is where we'd have the character bio, but Pyramid Head doesn't have a bio. In fact there's nothing in Silent Hill 2 to indicate he even exists as anything but the physical manifestation of one man's psychological guilt. Nothing but a painting, titled Misty Day: Remains of the Judgment, that depicts a dark moment in Silent Hill's history where anonymous executioners dressed in identity-concealing helmets murdered the Native American Indian residents of the area where Silent Hill now resides.

This figure is based on the first and best incarnation of the character, from the beloved game Silent Hill 2. Curiously enough, he is never given a name there; protagonist James Sunderland refers to him as "that red... pyramid thing" when asking another hapless individual caught in the clutches of the ghost town. After Silent Hill 2 became known and popular, the character became iconic for the series, and subsequently changed and overused, but the name "Pyramid Head" stuck. The official Figma name is "Red Pyramid Thing" but everyone knows the truth. Official fan nicknames FTW!

Everything in Silent Hill 2 appears to be in pain, appears to be struggling, and the horrific visage of Pyramid Head is no different. His bizarre pyramid helment appears to be harming him, making him strangely top-heavy and maybe blind - the character's movements are strange and uncomfortable to watch. Standing the same average height as the human characters with the added elevation of that bizarre, rusty pyramid in place of his head, Pyramid Head is ~7¼" tall. This is taller than your average Figma, putting him in scale with a lot of Japanese toys, but definitely shorter than, say, your average NECA figure. This works fairly well: in game, Pyramid Head is only about a foot taller than the human characters, but is usually depicted using angles that make him look more imposing. Subsequently you can put this guy up against Marvel Legends, DCUC, Star Wars Black, etc., and he'll look terrific.

The sculpt here is absolutely beautiful. Flawless. The strange rusted helmet looks awesome, decorated appropriately, as is his long weird stained apron, covering his muscled body. Underneath the pyramid you'll find strange cancerous lumps that are equally well detailed. The paint is terrific. Japanese toys like this usually cost a premium, but you get what you pay for - this is one gorgeously sculpted and immaculately painted action figure!

One that is somehow just as wonderfully articulated as it is detailed. With Figma you can tell right from the box that you're getting something special; photos adorn it with the toy in all of the recognizable poses from the game, including in-action shots and the most well-known image, a burdened, encumbered Pyramid Head dragging his giant knife behind him. It's amazing that the toy is articulated to the point where you can put him in a pose that emotes, but that's how great this figure is. Nearly every joint uses the pop-out balljoints that Figma (and Revoltech and so on) are known for, and I love these. I know some collectors don't, but in addition to the movement they offer they also give the figure a lot of durability. Figma joints do not break like NECA joints do.

Additionally, this kind of pop-out joint offers the bonus of interchangeable parts, of which Pyramid Head has a lot. Fitting within the typical little Figma box Pyramid Head has four additional sets of hands (tight grip, loose grip, relaxed and splayed, all wearing his trademark mittens), allowing you to pose him as you please, as well as a bonus neck piece. This neck piece represents one of the final scenes in the game, where a defeated duo of Pyramid Heads commit suicide, impaling themselves in the neck via spear. (Bonus fact: there are actually three Pyramid Heads in the game; one that James encounters throughout the town with the giant knife, and two who assault him with spears in the hotel where he finds the fate of his wife.) Subsequently, Pyramid Head also includes the aforementioned spear, in two pieces so that he can be impaled with it or weird it as a pointed weapon, as well as his giant knife and his stand. The giant knife is a selling point here - it's over 4" long and it's terrific. It's perfectly scaled and detailed, a massive and iconic piece of videogame artistry to treasure, and Pyramid Head can weild or drag it very well. And, like all Figma toys, he also includes a stand so you can keep him up in nigh any pose.

One reason we haven't seen a lot of imitators of Silent Hill is that the early beloved games are much more difficult to quantify and replicate than other horror games. There is little in the way of jump scares or known monsters, rather carefully sown atmosphere and oppressive psychological terror that builds, slowly, and leaves an affecting mark. Pyramid Head doesn't function like, say, Resident Evil's Nemesis, who appears frequently in Resident Evil 3 and charges the player to murder them. He's large, imposing and scary (like Pyramid Head), but, like most of the creatures encountered in Silent Hill 2, Pyramid Head seems much more interested in being left alone than having anything to do with you. At only one point in the game does he pursue you, and it doesn't seem to be you that he's pursuing. Yet whenever he appears he cannot be killed and doesn't have a problem swinging his huge phallus blade into your body.

It's no wonder he's become such an icon for the game, and for horror games in general, and it is flat-out amazing to finally have such a tremendous figure of him. I love the game and this character so much that I bought three of these toys, so I can have two with their spears and one dragging the giant knife, and I keep them with me on my study desk. The next Silent Hill Figma is the nurse. Hopefully, Figma will deliver even more great Silent Hill figures!

-- 03/18/16


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