It is no secret that I am a huge NECA fan boy. This company puts out amazing figures for really competitive prices. I’m also a big fan of Gears of War. The original game was the sole reason why I picked up a Xbox360 back in the day. Now let’s see if my love for NECA en GOW will translate in enjoyment of this figure.
Damon Baird comes in a standard clamshell packaging. Not much to discus here. The figure is clearly displayed and there is some nice CGI art on all sides.
Since Baird is the only figure NECA released from this game, there are some lame CGI pictures on the back for upcoming 3 ¾” figures. I know it all has to do with sales and business models, but who the hell cares about 3 ¾” figures? I would have been much happier if NECA released the rest of Kilo Squad. But whatever, let’s just be happy that we at least got Baird.
The FigureThe first thing that jumps out is the paint. Oh my goodness the paint! There is so much of it! If you are a Marvel Legends or a Star Wars Black series collector, then you will know what I mean. Opposite to the two aforementioned toy lines, everything on this figure seems painted. It looks like there is no flat area left on this figure, everything has a wash, dry brushing or some metallic finish. It’s seriously very nice. The only bummer is, that at the time this figure came out, NECA hadn’t yet mastered the fake luminescent paint application. Like they did on their newer offerings similar to the Pacific Rim Otachi figure. Baird his goggles and some other details in his armor would have benefited greatly from these newer paint techniques.
The sculpt on this figure is equally impressive. There are just sooo many sculpted details on this toy, it’s mind blowing . As far as I can tell, the figure looks accurate to the in game model. There are just a couple of things that look a little bit off to me. I remember from the game that Baird had a more square head, but the figure sports more of a rectangle shaped head. Maybe if the hair was a bit more flat… And the other thing that throws me off, is that the shoulder pads and the leather flaps on the hips, both sit more flush on the in game model. But I understand (and welcome) why this design decision was made for the figure; it allows for better range of motion in the shoulders and hips.
I started collecting NECA Gears of War figures way back when NECA was still doing their pre-posed figures. I hated that, but those figures were still cool to me, because of their detail and sculpt. Compared to those old figures, this installment has amazing articulation. It’s pretty much all there, even butterfly joints in the shoulders.
Due to the armor, Baird is a pretty bulky figure. Despite that, the articulation still allows for enough range of motion to put him in some dynamic poses. Sure, he can’t pull off a rodey run, or crutch for cover, but this articulation setup is a nice balance between sculpt and functionality.
It’s not all great though; I’m not really a fan of the hip joints that were used. They allow for enough movement, but ball joints just look much better in my opinion. But the biggest articulation misstep are the knees. There is very little range of motion there. Not even 45 degrees. Some kind of double joint here would have been perfect.
Baird comes with a very nice Retro Lancer. The sculpt and paint on this rifle are outstanding. The only thing that kind of sucks, is the slapped on paint on the bayonet. This makes for a huge contrast with the super detailed rest of the rifle.
Something that NECA can’t be blamed for (but I still want to point out), is the design of the Retro Lancer. How can such a big a powerful rifle have such a tiny stock? Same goes for the regular Lancer for that matter. How are you supposed to steady this gun? All the kick goes right in to your wrist and you would have zero accuracy. This always has looked silly to me. And since I’m already hating on the design of the gun, what the hell is up with the bayonet placement? The blade should sit all the way in front of the barrel, not 75% underneath the barrel. This just wouldn’t work, you might as well stab the enemy with the barrel itself. But whatever, it’s a videogame LOL.
Since Baird is the Donatello of Delta Squad, he also comes with three little screwdrivers. They are nicely sculpted and painted, but it’s weird that they are all flatheads. Baird can only hold the bigger screwdriver. It’s nice attention to detail on NECA’s part and it’s cool that they are removable from his leg, but to be honest, the screwdrivers only serve an esthetic purpose.
In closing; this figure is very cool! And even despite the fact that Baird is the only character that was made for Judgment and we will never be able to complete Kilo Squad, I still greatly recommend him. For the price, you get great value in terms of sculpted detail, paint application and coolness. I can’t see any Gears fan or toy fan in general being disappointed with this figure.