Rocket Toy Review: Boy of Silence

 
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3.5/5


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Posted August 15, 2013 by

 
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It’s probably no surprise that Bioshock Infinite has done as well as it has. It was recently revealed that the game has sold four million copies. Combine this number with the plethora of merchandise for sale and it’s clear that 2K Games and Irrational Games have struck gold. Amongst the variety of artbooks, t-shirts and replicas that have appeared on the market are two action figures: one representing Elizabeth and the other representing an enemy the player encounters late in the game, the Boy of Silence. Rocket Chainsaw reviews the latter and finds it to be a worthy addition to any Infinite fan’s collection.

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Figure Name: Boy of Silence
Figure Maker: NECA
Retail Price: AUD$28

The Boys of Silence are among Infinite‘s most memorable enemies, with their highly industrial design masking the fact that they are human too. The large, horn-like helmet over the boy’s head acts as a surveillance tool, with the boy using it to scan the area and detect the player if they enter his line of sight. The result of being caught by a Boy of Silence are, needless to say, terrifying.

The Boy of Silence is created by NECA, who have a long track history of video game collectibles, grouped under the Player Select line. Like the majority of NECA toys, the Boy of Silence stands at around 15cm tall and comes in hard shell packaging (the kind that can result in cuts and punctures if you’re not careful).

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The packaging insert has some information about the boys and builds upon the lore of the game, featuring an excerpt from a Columbia nursery rhyme.

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The unfortunate thing about NECA figures is that they do tend to be hit-and-miss; one only needs to have a look at Elizabeth from the same range to see what I mean by that. Thankfully, although perhaps it is due to his lack of facial features, the Boy of Silence looks great. He sports fine details all over, from pleats in the fabric of his uniform to the mottled, dirty colours.

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The paint on his horned headpiece is especially impressive, styled to look like real metal.

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A good job has been done on the hands as well, looking stained and coarse yet slightly cartoonish, fitting in nicely with the aesthetic of Bioshock Infinite as a whole.

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The frightening moment when he detects the player can also be replicated as his mouthpiece opens.

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However, like a lot of the figures in the Player Select line, the Boy of Silence has very limited articulation. The joints, located in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, thighs, knees and ankles are for the most part fairly stiff. Combine this with the rigidity of the plastic used for the costume and it takes a fair bit of work to put him in any sort of pose. His shoulder joints are covered by his helmet, making it hard to raise his arms. One particularly spirited attempt resulted in his head popping off entirely!

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The exception to the ‘rigid plastic’ comment is his blazer, which is made of a softer plastic, allowing the thigh joints to be moved fairly easily. However, there’s only so much need to bend those joints if you want to pose him. It proves difficult to keep the Boy of Silence standing due to two things. First of all, it’s very difficult to bend his knees because the cuff of his pants end just below them, impeding his calves. Secondly, the shape of his shoes are too small and narrow to compensate for the bulk of the rest of the figure. Combine these issues with the weight and size of his helmet and you have a real problem with balance.

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Overall, the Boy of Silence is a solid entry into NECA’s Player Select line, sporting a better-than-average sculpt, although featuring the same kind of articulation we’ve come to expect from the collection. At $28, this is a great purchase for any Bioshock Infinite fan wanting to bring a little bit of Columbia’s terror onto their shelf.


Bev Chen

 
I like exploring the bizarre side of video games and enjoy a good scare from them too. And despite pretending that I hate video games sometimes, I don't. Really. Connect with me on Google+.


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