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Review : Prince Nuada, Hellboy 2 The Golden Army (Mezco, 2008)

Review : Prince Nuada

Hellboy II (Mezco)

Wave/Series : Series 1

Released : 2008

Price : N/A

Mezco's Hellboy 2 figures are now nearly 8 years old, and like the earlier figures from the 2004 first movie are becoming harder and harder to find.

Having a reasonably complete Hellboy collection has been a grail project for a year now, and I must admit that I didn't expect Prince Nuada to be picked up so soon and for such a great price. I am reviewing Nuada as he was received into me. He was bought loose, although I am sure all accessories are present and correct.

Nuada originally came on a clamshell card with a deep red background in which is the image of Hellboy. The Hellboy 2, The Golden Army, logo is positioned on an insert card at the bottom of the blister at the figures feet. This logo is repeated round the back along with a short write up of the plot and a visual check-list of the 6 figures in the HB2 series 1 range.

Nuada stands 7 1/2 tall with his control crown. Visually, he is one of the most striking figures I have ever seen and considering the 8 years since his release the sculpt would still put a lot of other figures and companies to shame even today. Nuada was played by Luke Goss, and the facial sculpt captures the look from the movie perfectly. The mouth is my favourite element, being sculpted slightly open and with teeth and tongue sculpted inside this.

Nuada is wearing the Golden Army crown, and this is a little soft in the detail, but looks the part. The hair is relatively simply realised - using flaps of rubber which are then sculpted with hair detail. Yet they work really well as they hang naturally down both front and back of Nuada. The whole paint job is also really well done with the hair graduating in shade from root to tip. the skin tone is spot on to the movie and the eyes are quite striking in a light blue colour.

If the head was good, then the costume is arguably better. It is very samurai in design and starts off with a ribbed torso armour, with each panel individually sculpted so there is texture as you run your finger over the piece. This is then painted in a bone yellow and washed in a darker finish. From the shoulders there are hinged shoulder panels which move with the joint, and these repeat the ribbed pattern and paint finish. Each arm has a multitude of creases and folds and as sculpted seam running shoulder to cuff. Both hands are the same pale skin tone with orange finger nails, which on mine are a bit messy although that could be wear and tear.

Underneath the chest armour, around the waist, is a tied red sash and a circular clasp. Like the head piece, the clasp is a little soft considering it is meant to be metal. The sash however flows naturally and is picked out with a deep red velvet colouring and a darker wash to bring out the folds. The skirt pieces are doubled up with one piece folding over another and these start in a bone yellow and end in a bronze coloured panel, with a sculpted seam between the two colours.

The legs continue with the deep red velvet colouring and tuck neatly into two leather shin pieces, which unlike the belt and headpiece are engraved crisply with circular iconography and ribbed side stitching.

Nuada, like other Hellboy figures we've looked at, has brilliant articulation - considering it's age. The head is ball jointed and can rotate and be cocked to the side and bent forward or backward. The hair moves with the head so never looks out of place due to the very thin rubber material used for the hair.

The shoulders are jointed, with a swivel directly under the shoulder. That allows a huge range of arm movement and even negates the fact that the elbows are a simple peg joint with no swivel. The arms finish with wrist joints that allow the hands to swivel a full 360 degrees, crucial for later on when we add Nuada's weapons.

There is no waist or torso joint, so the next articulation point is the hip joints which move to the side and outward within the constraints of the skirt. The legs move down to a single jointed knee and then to ankle rockers.

Nuada comes with three accessories, all weapons. The first is a sword, the second a short spear and the third a long spear. All three are quite soft in the sculpt, looking very much like cheaper toys accessories and with blunted points. My spear is also quite bent, not sure if that is down to the design or the age of the figure. Each weapon is very basically painted with a handle in one colour and blade in silver, with the longer spear having a more detailed sculpted handle at one end in dark brown.

The long spear fits neatly into either hand, or into a two handed poses using that wide ranging arm articulation. The shorter weapons similarly fit in either hand and with the swivel at the wrist can be rotated and posed out to the side, or perhaps crossed in front of Nuada's face. It would have been nice to add sheaths to Nuada's back to sheath the two shorter weapons when not in use, as seen in the film.

Considering his age, Nuada only shows glimpses of being "outdated" with a couple of older style joints. Sculpt wise, very few modern figures can beat him and the paint is all applied crisply and with plenty of effects to bring out the sculpted detail. The weapons are a let down, and just knock Nuada down to a 4 out of 5 score.

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