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Execututioner Majini

Resident Evil 5
by Shocka

This review might be late to the party, with the fantastic Resident Evil 5 many months old and the toy having gathered dust on my shelf for a while, but nonetheless, this is an interesting toy with plenty to talk about. I should preface that I'm a Palisades fanboy and consider their awesome Nemesis to be the most definitive RE action figure ever made, but I'm slowly coming around to the (supposedly) cheaper NECA attempts, with better experiences since my first unfortunate pick-up. I was lucky enough to score the full set of NECA Resident Evil 5 figures with my game preorder, weeks before they were released at retail, and by far the most awesome to behold is the utterly ridiculous Executioner.

An enormous Majini who swings around an axe constructed of an iron pole and a guillotine blade. He considers anyone who denies (Plaga) implantation and executes them. He is extremely tough and will not fall from a few gunshots.

The Executioner is a very large and disturbing foe wearing a blood-soaked black cloth over his head that conceals his face, and a large black apron, tattered and soaked in blood. He also has dozens of nails potruding from every few square inche of his exposed skin, including two very large hooks impaled into his back; if this was the case with a normal human being, they would be dead or in excruciating pain. The most notable feature of him, however, is his weapon of choice: a very large and heavy axe with what appears to be an oversized hammer opposite to the blade. Despite his power, the Executioner's role in the storyline is minimal, serving as the literal executioner in the death of Reynard Fisher. After some time has passed in the following swarm of Majini, the Executioner will enter the fray and try to kill Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar. If the player does not kill him, he will disappear with all the other remaining Majini when Kirk arrives to blow open the gate.

It's a little strange of NECA to have made a short-lived character into an action figure, but despite his brief appearance in the game, The Executioner was a big part of the game's advertising and is instantly one of the more recognizable characters, an image that puts across a stronger departure from the previous entry into the Resident Evil series. (I'm guessing that NECA also didn't want to get involved with the racism controversy that spawned from the game by making Majini figures, and also didn't want to give away the game's Big Bad, despite how obvious he was.) Thus, we end up with this hulking 7¾" monster, looming above Chris and Sheva, axe-ready in hand!

NECA's sculpt captures the massive strength of the beast, engorged muscles wrapped in the bloodied cloth that covers his ripped body. A messed-up apron is glued to his front (and poorly in some cases - yo was able to pull his apron down from the body to reveal erect nipples!) [that oughta bring in the google-hits! --ed.] while gory spikes and hooks jut out from his body all over. There are two huge nails piercing the tremendous hump in his back, and several hooks through his belt all smeared in red. It's a very strong sculpt with a slightly disappointing, splattered paint scheme - I have no problem with the smears of blood, of course, but the paint on the non-gory sections of his clothing is uneven and not so much "detailed" as simply "washed en mass," thus lacking reasonable shading or precise paint. This is only obvious from up close, but it's still annoying.

Though not quite as annoying as the vast variation of the nails in his body; because the little silvery-red nails poking out of all of his torso are made of very stiff plastic, they're very prone to breaking off. Mine was missing several in the package, leaving annoying white polka dots in their place, whereas yo was lucky enough to find one nearly intact - inspect your packaged toys carefully!

The Executioner is fairly well-articulated, with big balljointed shoulders accompanying standard articulation in the feet, wrists, midsection, elbows and shoulders. There's a possibility the neck moves too, but the big bulky hession mask covering his head keeps it firmly in place. All this movement is necessary for his one and very notable accessory - his GIGANTIC-ASS axe, which is nearly as big as the figure. This thing is BRUTAL, a big sharp and gore-splattered blade wrapped in chain and supported by a huge spiked hammer on the other side. It's also heavy, unfortunately too heavy for the figure, who can't support it without it leaning against the ground, and even then he's likely to take a dive. It's also absolutely, positively ridiculous - it was never this huge in the game, and even then it was stupidly big; it's just unreasonably gigantic here, which does give it more appeal, even if it makes less sense.

Even though The Executioner was only featured in one section of the game, he was still a big bad imposing force. Spinning around to find him lumbering over you about to swing his massive axe was horror-inducing and made him one of many memorable parts of the game. Despite its flaws, this is a very decent figure, and one worth RE fans acquiring! Everyone cross their fingers that NECA will, somehow, go on to make more characters from the series, particularly a trenchcoated, sunglasses-wearing Wesker.

-- 08/19/09

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