Frequent readers should know by now that both games in the recent Bionic Commando reboot filled me with disgust, so it perplexes even me as to why I bought this thing. I decided to take one home one day, fiddled around with it, and found I actually enjoyed this figure more than the game it comes from.
First impressions are good. It's an attractive figure with a good range of articulation and detail. The face is well done, although looking through the figures I found the slightest changes could change Spencer's expression to bored, irritated, stonewalled, or smug, but the one I got just looks "staring ahead." I do wish his ankles bent - maybe they were intended to, but the boots get in their way - and his ponytail restricts head movement some, but I don't think many people would display him his head turned all the way around in the first place.
Some of the nicest details in the figure are in his clothes. His pants and shirt have a nice cloth texture to them, and with all the creases and dirt effects, you'd almost swear it was real fabric on him. Something I actually never noticed about Spencer until I got ahold of his figure is that his ring and pinkie fingers are wrapped together with cloth. When I first saw it in the package it looked like a painting flaw, and while there is some white on the ends of his fingers where there isn't supposed to be, keep in mind it isn't. A touch I give kudos for is that there's actually a fabric texture under his boots, even though you won't see that bit when his knees are straight. And speaking of details people wouldn't normally see, Spencer also has...
...BIONIC ARMPIT HAIR
Spencer only comes with one accessory, his pistol. Not much to say about it, really, except the paint job is good for it size and it has a freakishly huge magazine. But nobody cared about Spencer or the figure in his likeness for the pistol, they came for the bionic arm.
The claw's cable is just a piece of string, and can be extended about a foot. No, it doesn't fire, you have to pull it out, then manually wind it back up with an extra digit on the arm. The fingers all have three points of movement, but I kind of wish the fingers were kept in claws and only moved where they connect to the palm piece, because you're really not going to have the fingers in any other position and it's hard to put them in claws yourself and make them look "right."
The cable is strong enough to support the toy, but his claw isn't. He'll just pull the fingers right open and fall, so unless you wrap the cable around something, don't count on being able to display the figure in a swinging pose. Incidentally, while trying to take that photo Spencer kept spinning around and around like a mid-air ballerina, and my camera has a delay between when you press the button and when the photo actually takes, so I had to keep taking pictures of him until I finally got one in the right position. If I had the right kind of camera I probably could have recorded it and made a fun .gif.
As good as first impressions are, a closer look at the figure uncovers quite a few quirks. First of all, his right arm doesn't bend at the elbow, it swivels. A couple times I've instinctively tried to bend his elbow, and I bet somebody's broken their figure that way. It also causes a very noticeable misalignment at his elbow when you have his arm anything but straight. My Alex Mercer figure also does this, but he can get away with it. His arm is leaner, so there's less of a difference in the first place. He's also wearing a jacket, so what misalignment there is just reads as folds in the cloth. Spencer's arm is thicker and bare, so it's really noticeable on him.
The claw also has trouble staying in the arm. It has a notch that's supposed to keep in in, and you can wind the cable up as tight as it'll go, but often the claw will fall out of its socket anyway.
Admittedly those are pretty nitpicky. This next flaw in no way should have made it into the final product. You know that cable that runs between the arm and Spencer's spine? The one that creeps me out? Well, on this figure, the cable is so short that you can't raise Spencer's arm without breaking it. You've probably noticed it hanging out in a couple of the previous images, but back in place in others. That's because mine popped out of the arm in such a way that I can put the cable back into its hole when I have it in the right position (and remember to), but that is really weak. I certainly hope the real one was better planned than that!
This figure also has general quality control issues. I searched through about twelve of these things at four Hasting's and a Toys 'R Us, and all of them had paint problems. The two biggest problems were his face being greenish and color from either his upper body or his shirt going over onto the other. One of them at Toys R' Us even had half the emblem on his shirt missing. I'm convinced mine has a bad left foot which I couldn't even see because his feet were behind a paper insert, some flesh coloring in his shirt, and there's this little bit of plastic on his hairline that isn't supposed to be there and can't be picked off. You can see it above his left eye (your right) in the swiveling arm picture.
Right now you can get this guy from Toys R' Us online for four bucks with free shipping if you purchase $49 or more, but it raises a bit of a dilemma. Yes, he'll be cheaper, but you'll be running the risk of getting one with a particularly bad paint job. Or you can pay a higher price and know what you're getting. But then again, I hand selected mine and still got one with problems, and any figure is going to wind up with a broken spine cable. But even if you do get one with wonky paint, four bucks is still a good price for this guy. He's higher quality than his game, anyway.