If you want Geralt to go and fight monsters for you, it'll probably cost a few orens. To have him on your shelf? If you're lucky, about £25. I've been waiting to get my hands on the official Witcher 3 figure set for months now... and honestly, I'm still waiting. They were originally due out at the end of October, only to be delayed until November. I was hoping to cover the entire series in one go, but that would mean delaying at least a week, and I suspect these things are going to be in high demand. So, to increase the odds of you being able to snag one for Christmas, let's check out Geralt and Triss.
Spoiler: They're every bit as good as you'd hope after the games.
I really do mean it. It drives me crazy at the moment that almost all gaming merchandise now falls into three categories - overblown Special Edition tat, ludicrously expensive stuff like this Mass Effect Mordin statue or this Elizabeth statue, or the harried ranks of ghastly Funko shit that pretends to be in celebration of your favourite characters and franchises, but only in the interests of normalising the idea that row-upon-row of soulless vinyl shit is any way to remember something you love. And don't get me started on the likes of Dorbz - the same thing, only with shit-eating grins. Screw every single product in the entire range. They're the rancid Happy Meal toys of fandom, lumps of cheaply made and reconfigured plastic that this time may just happen to have Harley Quinn's hat! Grrrrr!
Where was I? Oh, yeah. The Witcher 3.
These are £25 figures that could easily go for double that, and made with all the love and attention to detail that you'd expect from a Witcher product. They're big, checking in at around 8 inches, not including the somewhat oversized stands, and exquisitely painted and detailed. Look closely at Geralt for instance and you'll see his throwing knives tucked away in his arm, and the strap on Triss' sleeves curling around her arm like the dangling plastic hairs in front of her head. Both characters are piled up with items like they're in some kind of fantasy game of Buckaroo, and every clothing piece complete. Triss has knots on her shirt - painted a strong metallic green - while Geralt's belt is loose after the buckle, and his shoes spurred for better trying to control Roach.
Along with these two, there are three more figures due out this week - sword-wielding Ciri, Yennefer, looking ready to punch someone in the face, and... er... Eredin, the leader of the Wild Hunt. I'm not entirely sure why. Leaving out that he's not a very interesting character, nor rocks a particularly exciting design, I'd much rather complete the set with someone like Dandelion. Aside from anything else, while I know Eredin is important to the storyline, it does seem weird to devote a statue to a character with less screen-time than Triss' boobs. Which, incidentally, also star in this jigsaw.
I'm assuming that the other figures will be up to the same quality as Geralt and Triss, and see no reason that shouldn't be the case. Both are exactly as promised, with the only manufacturing defects that I can see being a few bits of misplaced paint on the criss-cross pattern of Triss' sleeve and a couple of minor strokes on her boots that you really have to stare at to notice. My only real complaint with both figures is that they're stuck on the cheap and nasty Witcher medallion bases - both about 4cm tall and ludicrously wide, when I'd rather they'd had a more traditional flat plastic base. These make them a bit high for my Shelf O'Tchotchkes (Ikea made, natch), and the Triss one is just a little wobbly.
Beyond that, Geralt's hair is a little too grey rather than white and his cat's eyes don't really pop, making his face look a little faded. Triss has a far stronger face and design. However, I'm not a huge fan of the pose. I like that there's no gratuitous plastic bits to try and represent a spell, which always looks cheap as hell, but she does look a bit like she's dancing with The Invisible Man and he's not a particularly interesting conversation partner. Much like Yennefer's model, I'd have preferred a slightly more dramatic pose, even if the cost was that she wasn't standing at full height.
Still, it's fine. I like that it's not a silly sexual one or stupid bishojo reinvention, and that the expression is strong and business-like. It's also kinda notable that the sculptor kept to the basic proportions as in the game, rather than slipping in a little more plastic here and here for good measure. It's pretty much a direct copy of the high-res art, down to the crinkles on her shirt, only really differing in a few areas like the stitching on her shoulders being much, much thinner and there being more embroidery detailing around a few bits here and there. Nothing that's particularly notable by its absence though, and definitely not in a figure of this price. I'm really looking forward to the other two arriving. Yes, I said two. Eredin? Pfft. Like I want the Diet Coke of Lich Kings on my shelf.
Just in case it doesn't go without saying, these aren't action figures. They're single-pose statues with no points of articulation, designed to be put on a shelf and admired rather than played with. If you're still in the mood for Witcher 3 tat, there's more of it available, ranging from T-Shirts to wallets to Yennefer's lilac and gooseberry perfume, and even some costumes of the leading ladies. More official bits and pieces are supposedly on the way, though the lead-time for this stuff is pretty ridiculous. These Witcher 3 figures were announced back in February, with no word of a second wave yet. Meanwhile, Undertale is readying itself for its second series of Little Buddies for next August, and- wait, they're doing Sans and Papyrus plushies? Credit-card, ho!
What? I still have a lot of shelves left to fill.