Got cash? You’ll want to open your wallet …
I’ve been an unabashed cheerleader for NECA’s Planet of the Apes action-figure line. I make no apologies because I don’t really need to: The toymaker’s 7-inch scale and 8-inch Mego-style figures are among the best POTA items you’re going to ever get your stinking paws on.
Wave 3 of the 7-inch series presents a challenge, though: It’s a three-piece set, exclusive to shows like San Diego Comic-Con or to Toys R Us. SRP? $75.
That means pretty serious collectors only, for good or bad. (You can always try re-sellers if you’re looking to nab just one character but I don’t generally advocate making life better for scalpers.)
In any event, price considerations are a highly individual decision. It’s worth it to you or it’s not. I do know that NECA has made it pretty clear that if people keep buying, they’ll keep making. Even Ape Law accounts for basic economic principles. But this is a fairly niche market, so I get the impression that the bottom line is even more important here.
So, all that said, what about the new wave — Caesar, Conquest Gorilla and General Aldo?
This is the first wave to completely ignore the first three movies, in favor of Conquest (one of the best in the series) and Battle (by far the worst). Caesar, as shown in Conquest, is the headliner and his figure here is outstanding.
I say without reservation that I never expected to own a Caesar in a green jumpsuit that’s this accurate. The outfit’s pretty easy to emulate, I grant you, but the details, like the pocket highlights are right on. And keeping him chained on a leash is deviously subversive, just like the film itself.
Best part is the head sculpt. Rather than simply slapping Cornelius‘ head on his son’s body, the faces are completely different. Actually, Caesar‘s an improvement over Wave 1’s Cornelius, with a more canny approximation of Roddy McDowall‘s look.
Accessories include manacles and a (slightly too small) rifle.
I’m jumping ahead to Battle here. Aldo is one of the least compelling Apes characters — too stupid to really lead a rebellion — but his figure is solid. Again, his likeness and outfit are on the mon(k)ey and he comes with his requisite weaponry.
If Aldo suffers, it’s because he doesn’t come close to the awesomeness of General Ursus on the shelf (or the screen, for that matter). But props to NECA for going kinda deep into the Apes catalogue for this one.
But if there’s a NECA gorilla who can give Ursus a run for it, it’s this one. Remember what I said about never expecting to own a green-jumpsuited Caesar? Well, that goes double for this guy right here.
This is a magnificent, glorious, spectacular ape — one of the top two or three figures in the entire 7-inch line. I mean, he comes with a SWAT shield, rifle, kitchen knife and a meat cleaver, for crying out loud.
If, the Lawgiver forbid, this is the end of the POTA line, Conquest Gorilla takes it out with a fiery, futuristic city-burning bang.
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