Tomopop Review: ESC-Toy's Nathan Drake Naughty Dog ver.
4:00 PM on 10.24.2012
This is one collectible you won't want to lose
Readers of Tomopop have been quite familiar with the works of Erick Scarecrow and ESC-Toy for quite some time (in fact, we just saw him at NYCC), and one of his more notable figures as of late has been the stylized Nathan Drake figure Erick made around the time of Uncharted 3's release. They've been awfully popular and Erick has put out several colorways after the OG release, including one that we got our hands on: the Naughty Dog ver., based off the logo color scheme of Uncharted developers Naughty Dog.
So now that we've gotten our hands on one of Erick's Drakes, how are they? Is it more than just a DLC bundle-in and worth your money? Dig on in past the jump to find out!
Figure Name: Uncharted 3 Nathan Drake Naughty Dog ver.
Figure Maker: ESC-Toy
Available at: ESC-Toy Shop
So, we begin as always with the box. It's a rather nice box, with a big open window out front and another on the right side. The ESC-Toy logo and Uncharted 3 logos are prominent on the box, with the back containing all the safety and legal info. The background of the box on all the sides is actually the original design Erick did for the Drake figure, faintly imprinted on the box's surface.
The inside flaps of the box has a little bit of a surprise as well! Not often you see the flaps get any sort of attention in regards to design.
That being said, let's get Drake out of the box:
Popping out of the box, we get a good look at the 7-inch Drake from all angles. With his super-deformed style, he almost feels akin to the older designs of Mario and the like. Given Erick's penchant for designing characters that borrow elements from things like the old-school Mario games that were on the NES, I have no doubt that I'm supposed to feel that way when I look at his Drake.
Moving in for some closer detail, it becomes clear that Erick Scarecrow's fingerprints are all over the design. The cartoonish eyes and nose, bright color palette (even though it's limited to Naughty Dog's colors) and urban-inspired design are all things we've come to expect from ESC-Toy, and each of those elements have made their way into Drake. The lack of sculpted features on his face, like a mouth for instance, and smooth lines of the sculpt also give Drake the feel of a designer toy instead of just a super-deformed figure.
The hair also has that proper Nathan Drake look with elements of Erick's personal touches. That includes the use of the two-tone color scheme on the hair (the front is actually a very dark grey) and the cartoonish-look to the spikes of the hair. So far, everything looks pretty good!
Of course, being cartoonish, Drake has a slightly large gun. It's big but still to scale with his head and hand, with a limited amount of detail. There's not a whole heck of a lot of detail on here, but it fits in comfortably with the remainder of the sculpt. In a way, it almost reminds me of the light guns that came with the Sega Saturn during the 1990s ... which I have somewhere in my collection.
There's actual bunching of his shirt around his waist and belt, with the necessary folds included, and along the ends of his sleeves just before his wrist. You can also see that the ring on the necklace around Drake's neck is PVC, but the necklace itself is cording wrapped around the necklace to let the whole thing rest free. The feet are large enough to offer sufficient stability as a base when you get him out of the box, except for one thing we'll touch on a little later.
There's really no part of the figure that's been neglected when it comes to detailing. Even Drake's pouches have these little creases sculpted into them, and the back of Drake's harness has the Naughty Dog pawprint logo stamped on it. You can also see that the necklace is indeed knotted in the back and that the back of his shirt even seems like it's being stretched forward by Drake's extended left arm. There is a bit of paint seeping outside the lines here and there, but nothing that should be too distracting unless you have Drake planted right against your face.
On Drake's left side is a holster with a pistol inside of it ... which makes me wonder why he has two guns on the same side of his body. Maybe he's switched hands for the pistol already drawn? Eh, I'm sure I'm obsessing over something dumb here. What really matters is that the paintwork here is a little messy up close, probably because there's some hand-painting going on here, but otherwise looks OK. Despite being a second pistol, it feels natural as part of the overall piece.
Even the shoes have some detail, albeit a bit of paint that's uneven. Again, like in other parts, it's there but not terribly noticeable. Even with the limited color palette of the Naughty Dog Drake (it's basically five colors: black, red, white, yellow and gray), Erick's design has enough different components to it that they can all be painted individually without losing any of the detail you might find on the OG Drake.
On the bottom of his shoes, you'll find all the info about the figure stamped here. There's nothing here that should be a surprise, but it's still a tiny, but appreciated touch.
It's worth noting that Drake comes with limited articulation at three points on the sculpt: both wrists and the neck. They're very basic joints that only allow for rotation, but they also come with the one big problem Drake has:
He doesn't stand up if you rotate his joints in certain directions. This is about 99.99999 percent the problem in regards to Drake's head, which has a bit of an uneven weight distribution (it's heavier in the back). Thus, if you turn him too far one way or the other, he tends to topple over. You can always affix Drake to a display surface with sticky tack or some other substance to essentially make this problem go away, but if you're displaying him freely like I was doing for my shoot, beware.
Still, despite the weight balance issue, ESC-Toy's Drake is what we've come to expect from ESC-Toy: a well-sculpted figure with a unique, eye-catching cartoonish design that would really feel at home in anyone's collection. Uncharted fans ... yeah, you probably have already picked this up, but if not, get on it! There's only a few Naughty Dog Drakes left in the ESC-Toy store at the time of this review.
[Thanks to ESC-Toy and Erick for sending Drake along for review!]
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