It feels like the front window is too small, as Raiden is barely peeking out from under the cardboard. PAK went with a white and blue theme here, but if I remember correctly; all the promotional material for the game was white and red. Didn’t the start-up screen turn blue once you beat the game? Guess it’s time to replay the game again.
The hexagon patterns used on the packaging did come directly from the game. As usual, the back features some photography of the figure in different poses. All in all, it is a nice and basic packaging.
Upon opening, the figure has a very strange smell. Not one I encountered before. (You know somebody is a straight up action figure nerd when he differentiates different plastic smell).
This figure has a very nice head sculpt, but Raiden looks a bit more ladylike than I remember from the game. The hair is specifically nicely done. Molded in a semi translucent plastic that is painted very well, it gives the hair a very unique effect. Consisting out of, what seems to be, three separate pieces, the hair has a nice layered look. I like how some of the locks are positioned in front of the eyes, it makes for some pretty boy badassery. The head does seem to sit on the neck too high. I’ll have to see if I can fix that with some hot water.
I love the sculpt of the skull suit. There are so many details and wrinkles. The attention to detail is very high, the small writing throughout the skull suit is applied very clean and is legible. Speaking of detail; the little dog tags that the figure comes with, are just amazing. Who the hell makes this stuff? Whenever seeing things like this, I can’t help myself and imaging little elves making these toys.
A super weird thing about Raiden is that he has strangely sculpted fists, the thumbs positioned over the index fingers. Not even girls make fists this way. (I apologize to every woman that can make a decent fist <3).
The paint application throughout the figure is mostly very clean. There are some nice, different paint finishes. The metallic silvery blue on the shoulders and other details is particularly eye-catching. As to be expected on, even a high-end, mass-produced action figure, there is some paint sloppiness. Mostly in the form of scuff damage. The elves painting these figures really should be more careful. But it’s pretty minor and can be easily overlooked. As long as the eyes are centered and there are no crazy smears on the face, I’m mostly happy.
There is a very nice contrast between the sleek skull suit and the army green pistol holster. The detail continues even to the bottom of the feet. The soles are nicely sculpted, looking like some modern ninja gear.
The head has a good range of motion, mostly to the fact that it’s floating on the (too) long peg. It’s fine, but gaps between the neck and head appear from some angels. The movement in the shoulders is mostly perfect. Double handed sword posing and gun supporting with two hands is not a problem. Be careful not to damage the metallic paint on the shoulders against the sharper edges of the chest. The elbow joints could be better, since they only allow for a ninety degree bend.
The hips are on ratchet joints, both for the forward and the sideways movement. While moving, especially outward, they make a terrifying sound. But luckily no breakage for me. The upper and lower torso joints are almost perfect. It’s such a shame that the forward crunch is so limited. Compared to Kaz, Raiden his knee joints look great, nicely hidden by the big knee protectors. It’s too bad that the design of the suit really restricts the ankle movement, this is a damn shame for an agile character such as Raiden. I’m also not a big fan of the mid-foot cut, that is supposed to substituted for an ankle pivot.
Raiden comes with an alternate head, hooray for alternate heads! The skull mask head is sculpted nicely and looks very insect-like, awesome! I guess it’s asking for too much for PAK to have used semi translucent plastic for the lenses. But still, this head is a very nice addition, an essential addition in my opinion. I do really like the unmasked head, but the full on skull suit, including mask, makes Raiden look amazing.
Raiden comes with three additional hands. A semi relaxed left hand and two right hands for holding the different weapons. The two weapons that come with Raiden are his high frequency blade katana (with sheath) and the silenced SOCOM pistol.
The high frequency blade is pretty sweet. At first I was kind of thrown off by the square hilt, but after looking it up, it’s actually accurate to the in-game model. Half of the blade is painted black, this gives it a nice shadow effect from some angles. Raiden can store the katana in a nicely painted sheath. The sheath is attached to a soft rubber strap and to be honest, it feels like NECA gives us better quality straps on their figures. In this case the buckle on the strap is not even painted. PAK is dropping the ball here just a little bit. The silenced SOCOM pistol has nothing shocking in terms of paint, but the sculpt is incredibly detailed and the silencer is removable. I remember seeing the SOCOM pistol for the first time in Metal Gear Solid 2, so it’s shape and design has always stuck in my mind. Lastly; Raiden comes with a standard PAK display stand, which is very functional. It can be used across different toy lines.
What I miss in the accessories is the M16 rifle. I would have gladly gave up the lady fists for an M16 rifle.
In closing, I really love this figure. The critique and the nitpicks that I have are really all very minor. The articulation and details are all there and if you are a hardcore Metal Gear nerd like I am; you will forgive the more restricted articulation points. Unlike a lot of other fans, I have never had a problem with Raiden his character. I remember playing the game for the first time and after the tanker mission, going; “Huh, Snake’s blonde now?” “Wait, this is not Snake, who’s Raiden?” “Let’s follow the story and find out.” And that’s it, I never had any aversion for the character. Maybe I love Metal Gear so much, that even to this day I fail to see the whole androgynous thing so many people hate. Sure he is a handsome mofo, sure he has long hair, but the same goes for the dude playing Thor and nobody thinks he looks like a girl! Okay, maybe it’s the beard. But whatever; I think Raiden is a badass and I highly recommend this figure to any Metal Gear fan.
+ Amazing sculpt, so much detail throughout
+ Nice paint
+ Both head sculpts are great
+ Almost perfect articulation