by James Alsup III
If you do things right while playing “Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater,” you’ll rarely be seen. You’ll strike at the occaisional Soviet soldier, capture an unsuspecting animal for his dinner, then vanish into the jungle., not to be seen again.
Toys based on Snake Eater are as hard to find as Snake himself in the game. Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty had supporting action figure lines from McFarlane Toys. There were MGS2 Kubricks. Konami even produced a line of 12 inch figures from Metal Gear Solid. Unfortunately, only one action figure exists for MGS 3: the Medicom Real Action Hero 12” Snake figure.
Only 1000 of these figures were produced, leaving fans on both sides of the pacific scrambling to get one. Many who pre-ordered these were left out; retailers saw their shipments halved.
I pre-ordered a figure from Hobbylink Japan in late September, days after I learned of his release. The figure was due out in December, and being the big Snake fan that I am, I didn’t want to be left out. I waited patiently until mid-December, when I noticed Snake figures popping up on eBay. HLJ hadn’t contacted me, so I decided to ask them what was happening with Snake. My heart sank when I received the news: They didn’t receive their full shipment. HLJ said they’d keep my order open until they were sure they wouldn’t be able to fill it. I saw the Snake figures on eBay slowly creep past $300. I gave up any hope of getting one.
In mid January, I received an unexpected e-mail. HLJ found a Snake for me, and he was en route. I practically did cartwheels. Then, I thought to myself “I spent the money I set aside for Snake on a couple of baseball throwbacks. I’d better make sure I have enough to cover him.” Luckilly, I did.
It took me a couple days to open Snake when he arrived. I admired him in his package, which features art from Yoji Shinkawa.
This is the definitive Snake. Look at his head sculpt. He looks exactly like Snake does in the game. He doesn’t have the super-sized head that the Konami 12” Snake does. His hair is windblown, which draws attention away from the fact that Snake has a mullet.
Snake has his STABO harnest, two knives, an M1911A1 with silencer, and his tiger-stripe camoflage uniform. Oh, I can’t forget his radio and ear piece. He comes with 5 different hands. (3 right, 2 left), so a variety of poses are possible. His accessories are period specific, down to the US Calvary symbol on his holster.
Medicom used a new body type for Snake, which allegedly allows him to be posed more realistically. To be honest, I didn’t notice any difference between Snake and any of my other Medicom figures; they’re all highly poseable. However, there is one pose that Snake cannot achieve: In the game, Snake uses his knife to dig out part of his pistol’s grip so he can hold the CQC knife and the piston simultaneously. Not a big deal… but it would’ve been nice.
The figure is nicely weighted, so that he can be posed without the using the base that was included.
This is the definitive Snake figure. The acticulation, sculpting, and attention to detail.. The price is prohibitive ($150 plus shipping IF you can find him in stock at a store… in Japan), but he’s well worth it.
|Here's a little something extra for everyone this time around. See what happens when writers have too much time on their hands? They get their hands on a digital camera and all heck breaks loose. :) With that, we present you with James' epic comic tale...
Metal Gear Solid 1/3: Skank Eater.
Yes, Barbie beware.