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Resident Evil
by yo go re

Just a hint: if you're a team leader, and every time you go out on a mission, you're the only guy to come back alive? That makes you a crappy leader, not a good one.

Team leader of a private Special Forces unit under direct control of Umbrella executives, HUNK is a professional warrior with extensive military training.

Normally we might complain about such a truncated little bio paragraph on the back of a figure's packaging, but in HUNK's case, that's really all anyone knows about him - we don't even know why "HUNK" is all caps. He made his first appearance in Resident Evil 2, starring in an unlockable minigame that you could only find by beating the game with each of the main characters and getting an "A" rating both times - and since that means beating the game in less than three hours, without saving more than five times, and not using any health sprays or special weapons, it's not exactly a cakewalk in the tea park. The minigame, "The Fourth Survivor", is an interesting scenario: HUNK wakes up in the sewers beneath Racoon City after a run-in with William Birkin, and has to make it to the roof of the RPD building for evac; since he's nearly out of ammo, the game is more about dodging enemies than blasting them.

HUNK is a part of NECA's Resident Evil 10th Anniversary line, the same one that gave us the nifty zombie that everyone loved so much. Of course, that line came out in 2006, so this figure's look isn't based on the "Fourth Survivor" appearance - HUNK also showed up in "The Mercenaries" side-game in 2005's Resident Evil 4, and got a slight redesign. Since that's now his canonical appearance, that's what the toy gives us.

Despite the fact that every Resident Evil game takes place in a combat/biological hazard situation, HUNK is the only character who wears a protective helmet and gas mask. He's got a grey SWAT-style tactical uniform, with knee and elbow pads strapped around his joints, thick boots, web gear with all sorts of pouches on his chest and belt, and a radio taped to his back. There's a holster on his right leg that looks like it would be a functional piece, but it's empty - there's no gun in there, and no gun in the set designed to fit in it. That's not a mistake or a mis-pack: for whatever reason, NECA made him without a gun there.

One of the changes made to HUNK's design for the RE4 appearance involved his mask - and since that's the only "face" you ever see while playing him, that's substantial. The original mask was fairly non-descript, pretty much what anyone would design when told "put this guy in a gas mask." The new one has a longer "nose" with slots for three filters; he's only wearing two - one on the front and one on the left. The goggles are red, making for a distinctive look - if you've never seen any Mamoru Oshii works.

We already mentioned the accessory HUNK doesn't come with, so what do we get? His only weapon is his trademark TMP (Tactical Machine Pistol), a customized Brügger & Thomet MP9 with folding stock, no muzzle break, alternate foregrip and AN/PEQ laser unit mounted to the right side of the weapon. He's packed with a working briefcase, which opens just wide enough to show you that there's no possible way he's going to be carrying anything inside it. There's a black oval base, like all the figures had, but most importantly, HUNK's got a canister of the G virus. In RE2 the virus looked like purple liquid in small vials, but this is more like the big glass jars seen in the Resident Evil movies.

HUNK stands a bit below 7¼" tall, and is only lightly articulated. This line was one of NECA's first videogame forays, and they hadn't quite made it to Altair/Kratos levels yet. We're talking swivel boots, waist, wrists and elbows, swivel/hinge shoulders, and double-balljointed neck. It's enough to hold his gun, but not much else. It's quite obvious he's not meant to get much beyond what you're given in the package, and that's sad.

NECA's early Resident Evil figures were decent but not great, and HUNK falls right into that strike zone. Very nice sculpt, but he's definitely pre-posed and the accessories seem half-baked. Why don't the briefcase and the virus work together? Why sculpt a working holster and not put anything in it? Still, if you want a 7"-scale SWAT Officer, there's none better than HUNK. Still, it'd be great to see NECA go back and redo these 10th Anniversary figures with new joints, like they did for Marcus Fenix.

-- 10/24/09

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