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The Heavy

Team Fortress 2
by yo go re

"Shooting Good."

Like a hibernating bear, the Heavy appears to be a gentle giant. Also like a bear, confusing his deliberate, sleepy demeanor with gentleness will get you ripped limb from limb. Though he speaks simply and moves with an economy of energy that's often confused with napping, the Heavy isn't dumb; he's not your big friend and he generally wishes you'd just shut up before he has to make you shut up.

No kidding he isn't dumb! He's got a PhD in Russian Literature from the Soviet College of Mines, Farms and Science, and sounds quite cogent when speaking his native tongue. You would also sound the dumb, if you were trying to converse in a language in which you weren't fluent in.

Now, nobody tell the Soldier, but the Heavy is pretty much the face of the game. He's the one on the box, he's the one in the middle of the group shots, and in the tie-in comics, he's the one who seems to be leading the team of mercenaries. He's also really difficult to play well (too slow and too easy to hit), which is why he's my second-least-played class.

Team Fortress 2 uses unique silhouettes to make distinguishing your enemies at a glance simple. Heavy is the largest character in the game, and as such he has the largest action figure, standing more than 7" tall. He's got a body like a gorilla, with tiny legs, massive arms, and a very thick torso. Given NECA's track record for ultra-detailed toys, you may think that "animated" style toys are beneath them, but just because the detail is simple, it doesn't mean it isn't there. The subtle wrinkles on his clothes, the shape of his limbs, the look on his face... it's all true to the game, and that's what matters.

Heavy is chunkier than the other mercenaries, and you can see his clothes straining around his prodigious gut. He's wearing a blue T-shirt beneath a black kevlar vest - maybe if the other classes would wear some body armor, they'd have high starting health, too! His gloves, pants and boots are all dark, and he has his yellow class symbol (a big fist, not the skull and crossbones seen in Meet the Heavy) painted on his shoulders. The bandolier of bullets slung across is chest is a separate piece, glued in at the shoulder. It's molded from gray PVC, then given black and yellow paint apps to complete the look. He has painted stubble, both on his face and on his head, and his fingernails are a lighter color than his skin.

The Heavy's articulation is on par with the rest of the TF2 figures, but it's interesting to see how it varies from figure to figure. He has joints at the ankles, knees, hips, torso, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and neck. That doesn't sound like as much as the other toys, but that's only because we didn't list all the specific joints. For instance, the ankles, knees, wrists and elbows are all the swivel-hinge-swivel combos that provide for maximum movement. It's hard to say what kind of joints the hips, torso and neck are; they feel like balljoints, but they're still very stiff, so I don't want to force them. Protip: to help keep Heavy standing securely, turn his ankles so the hinge joint is going sideways instead of front to back. Makes him more stable.

Stability is important, since Heavy is already a big guy to begin with, and then you add on his primary weapon and shiz gets cray, as the kids are all saying! [no kids anywhere are saying that --ed.] He comes with his minigun, which he calls Sasha: an appropriate name, since it's gender-neutral diminutive of Alexander (and you know what that name means). It's based (loosely) on the M134 minigun, which you'll remember from Terminator 2 or as Predator's "Ol' Painless." Of course, Sasha has a big ammo drum carried underneath - maybe that's why she weighs 330 pounds! Early shipments of the RED Heavy were missing the "chainsaw" grip on top, but this one is fine.

Heavy also includes his secondary weapon, the Shotgun. It's based on the Ithaca 37, and is actually the same weapon the Soldier and Pyro use - since neither of them came with one, you could lend this one out when Heavy's not using it! The figure has two sets of hands: one for the shotgun, and another for Sasha. If he had fists, he'd join the Demo as the only character to have all three of his starting weapons! It also would have been nice if he had a hand with two fingers extended like a pistol, to perform his "Showdon" taunt kill.

The set also includes a card (reproducing the Heavy poster art) that has a special code you can redeem for a free in-game item. Yes, everybody gets the same item. And since this is Team Fortress 2, the item is a hat. Specifically, the Tough Guy's Toque, which is quite obviously based on Jayne's hat from Firefly - even the item description hints at it! It's too bad the toy doesn't have a hat, because (in his own words) it would make his tiny baby head not look so stupid maybe. Probably would have driven the price way up, though.

The Heavy comes from a real place - the Dzhugdzhur Mountains, in Khabarovsk Krai (east of Siberia) - and one of the comics revealed that he has a dark past he doesn't care to talk about. It's not that he doesn't like to talk about it, he just doesn't care; he prefers to talk about his gun. He likes to shoot his gun. But he don't know what it means when I say yeeaaah. That's all that matters to him. And all that matters to us is that NECA continues releasing really good toys from a really good game - with the Heavy, that streak continues.

-- 01/15/14

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