The first wave of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes figures is here, and they’re fantastic! Of course, this series needs to start strong with the leader of the apes’ rise to power, Caesar, and NECA has really delivered with the toy version of our hero.
Caesar is an all new sculpt, and is stunningly realized, completely true to life from the waves of his fur to the rough texture of his hands and feet. Every detail is captured here, from the badge-like birth mark on Caesar’s chest to the awesome skeletal war paint dusted on the chimpanzee’s face, chest and arms. It’s wonderfully subtle and realistic; looking as it had been applied on top of the fur, while remaining totally noticeable on top of Caesar’s dark brown coat.
The figure features lots of articulation, with a ball neck, ball torso, ball shoulders and hips, half-ball elbows and knees, and ball wrists and ankles. While the moving parts are plentiful, if I had a complaint about Caesar it’s that he doesn’t get quite the range I’d hope for from such a physical character. The hips are constrained by the sculpt of Caesar’s lower torso, and he suffers from the same swapped elbow joints as the Aliens Colonial Marines and David from Prometheus. This means the elbow offers no lateral movement, since the ball is on the upper arm, plugging into the lower.
Clearly, you can still get lots of poses out of the figure, even with these limitations, and he looks incredible. The sculpt’s strongest asset, that face– loaded with determination and intensity befitting the leader of the apes– is utterly perfect. Everything you need to know about Caesar’s character shines through in this great portrait.
Each Apes figure features some cool accessories, and Caesar is no exception– he includes a wooden spear which he can hold very well in one or both hands, as well as an alternate pair of hands, modeled to either grip the spear or remain open-palmed. The hands switch out with a simple ball, making it easy to change things up while remaining nice and sturdy, with no real threat of breakage.
I love the Planet of the Apes reboot, and Dawn is one of the most exciting movies of the summer for me. I was totally stoked when NECA announced the license for toys, and Caesar is a perfectly realized action figure of our main monkey.