McFarlane Destiny Figurines Review
It’s so hard to believe that Destiny the game developed by Bungie and published by Activision to mixed reviews came out almost 3 years ago to the day. During that time the selection for some good Guardian merchandise have been relatively frugal, from the slim pickings offered through the Bungie Store to those few item licenses existing through other manufacturers like ThreeA and Mega Bloks. With the renewed interest in the Destiny universe from veterans and new players alike, and the sequel just about 3 weeks away, we finally see the release of the McFarlane Destiny 7 inch figures. The question is, do the figures meet the standards us gamers and collectors expect or will they come down like Crota, son of Oryx? For this review, we will be taking a look at the mold, articulation, paint/ detail, accessories and overall cost/ value and each will be graded according to engram scale: Clear, Green, Blue, Purple, and Exotic.
When looking at the mold it’s easy to see that McFarlane made it a priority to use a plastic that has a slight give, but more importantly, holds every detail in place. From the feathers on the Warlocks Light Beyond Nemesis to the Iron Banner detailing on the Hunter and the Mark on the Vault of Glass Titan, these figures really do a good job in representing your avatar regardless if you were Alpha, Year 1, Year 2 or Year 3 player. I found myself climbing the top of the mountain in the Iron Temple just so I could have my figure look down from its snowy peak upon the Guardians below. The fabrication easily deserves a Purple Engram and the care taken to represent fabric lines and folds to the porous bones and armor detailing really shine.
One cannot discuss the mold without getting into the other major things a collector looks for in a figure and that is articulation. Unfortunately, the articulation on this product does not offer a good range of motion. This is particularly noticeable with the Warlock robes since the cape gets in the way and is especially hindering when it comes to the arms and shoulders and leg movement. Going for the Ice Breaker snipe, or that mean Gjallahorn blast? You might find it difficult to maneuver those hands, elbows, and shoulders into the pose you want. Balance is also an issue, however, the provided stand does alleviate that if you are looking to have a running pose. From the bottom up we have an ankle swivel, single bend and swivel knee joint, solid abdomen, shoulder swivel and bend, elbow swivel and bend, wrist swivel and head swivel/ slight downturn. Taking this into consideration, I would rate the articulation as an overall Green Engram.
It takes more to make a figure than just a mold and articulation. Paint is just as important and can make the difference between a figure you leave in a box and one that you take out to show off. In this respect, McFarlane’s history with licenses like Halo and Spawn show through; the paint is incredible. There is some paint bleed on smaller details such as the Hunters Iron Banner chest plate, but the shading and paint application overall really stand out. This is especially true for the original Taken King Warlock armor set. The bone-like appearance of the armor seemingly seized from Oryx himself stands out against the blood red and black under-armor. If not for the slight paint bleed, this would’ve easily been worthy of an Exotic engram, but as a reviewer, I must take into consideration all things and for that, I give the paint job a solid Purple Engram.
To wrap things up we will finally take a look at the accessories included with these figures. Now each character that has officially been released in the 7in line has two weapons with pegs to secure them to your guardian, a stand, and a ghost. The weapons are easily recognized especially with classics like Ice Breaker (my first exotic ever in Year 1) to the Gjallahorn, Invective, Thorn, Black Hammer and Touch of Malice. Very well done though the scale of the snipers makes them unwieldy. Mold and paint though are just as well done and actually got me wanting to set up a little weapons rack for them (ya hear that McFarlane?). The pegs used to secure these weapons are brittle! Some are also ill fitting of the holes and you may have to switch them around. This existed as an issue back with the Halo figures so I’m not all too surprised. The ghosts are a nice little throw in that I just wish had a small little clear stand to rest them on. I’ll probably try to repaint one because they are rather lackluster in paint though they did manage to get the little eye in there. Finally, there’s the stand itself bearing the words Destiny with the familiar logo.
It has some added detailing on top that gets utterly lost in the molded black plastic but it holds your figure in place and serves its purpose well in both being a place to put the ghost as well as giving the added support for a more dynamic pose. Keep in mind you can rotate the figure around to give some other options for a stepping pose. I really hope that down the line, we get more options for these figures such as weapon packs, interchangeable armor parts to more resemble our in-game avatar and of course: enemies. Yep, let’s get some Fallen, Vex, Cabal and Taken in there. Maybe even some bosses? A massive Oryx and Crota figure? (insert Omnigul shriek here), For now, we can expect the sparrow that was previewed as well as Lord Saladin on the 10-inch scale which we will cover separately. But for now, the accessories qualify for a good solid Blue Engram.
As a collector, one of the hardest things to do with any purchase is to see beyond the fandom, reach beyond what you have in hand and really evaluate if a figure is worth it. These particular guardians share a $19.99 price tag and can be purchased from Gamestop, Toys R Us, Walmart, Target, Walgreens, as well as other online brick and mortar retailers. When taking everything into consideration from the stellar attention to detail, to the lackluster articulation, the great paint job, and the overall decent accessories, we are left with a product that honestly fits well between the Blue and Purple Engram rating. I don’t know that I would trust these figures to have the ability to cross the ships on King’s Fall but for the Collector or the Guardian in your life, this may just be what the Traveler ordered.