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Review : The Lone Ranger (NECA)

I grew up in the very late 70's and early 80's when Cowboys & Indians were giving way to Military and Space toys. Despite going "out of fashion" there is something a bit special about a well done Cowboy and/or Indian figure from the American Wild West. Regardless of what you think about the Lone Ranger movie from 2013, NECA took the licence and made two great figures which I have just picked up from the great people over at Vision Toys in the Netherlands. We will look at the Lone Ranger first, as played by Armie Hammer. The LR comes on a standard NECA clamshell with a paper insert sandwiched between the packing and figure. The colours are quite sparce, but the Black on yellow does work. Flip it over and there isn't much to look at other than a picture of the figure as NECA have obviously steered away from any blurb. Once opened the Lone Ranger is packed with his Stetson and two old west revolvers. The version we are looking at here is the masked version, but there is a rarer unmasked variant. Starting with the sculpt, and it is everything you would expect from NECA. The face is a decent likeness for Hammer and there is plenty of detail sculpted into the various layers of clothing down to individual buttons, buckles and that all important Sheriff badge. The jacket is sculpted to flare out at the bottom, which I am not sure I like as it feels like there should be an action pose to go with it and as we explore articulation later, there just isn't. A good sculpt is nothing without good paint apps, and again NECA don't disappoint. The base colours, albeit quite muted and similar, are well done and then have a wash and some highlights applied to bring out the detail. Even on the badge and belt buckle, where you might expect some paint bleed, the finish is crisp. The face is painted with some pretty decent stubble and the eyes stand out really well, even from behind the moulded mask. The hair is probably the weakest area of paint, but then again you are going to cover that with a Stetson. The Hat is made of a softer rubber and fits perfectly over the head without looking oversized. And the two revolvers fit nicely into either hand and stay put with the Lone Rangers fingers slotted into the triggers. Articulation is adequate on the figure, starting with the head which revolves 360 degrees and also has the ability to look up and down to a certain degree. The arms are jointed at the shoulders and can achieve 90 degree movement out to the side and then rotates. The elbow is a basic joint that bends the arm up another 90 degrees. The hand then rotates and pivots at the wrist. All of this allows the Lone Ranger to achieve some decent "firing" shots with his resolvers - or that iconic "draw" pose. There feels like a joint at the waste, but movement is barely a few mm either side as the coat blocks most of the movement. The hips are jointed, as are the knees, but unfortunately the movement from the arms is not replicated in the leg - so all you will end up doing is tweaking the hip, knee to get him standing in a neutral pose. In fact getting The Lone Ranger to stand is the key issue with this figure as he doesnt seem to want to stand naturally, so much so that I had to whip mine onto a Kaiser Doll stand as he kept nose diving off the shelf. The film and the genre is not going to be for everyone, and even for me as a 7" scale movie collector I waited for a decent deal before I pulled the trigger. Regardless, this is still a top notch figure from NECA and doesn't disappoint on sculpt or paint, and is articulated to the level any NECA collector would probably expect. I give him 3 out of 5, marking him down for the stability issue.


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