Company: Mindzeye Studios
MSRP: Marcus Fenix $205 (Also in Bronze)
Boomer – $260 (Also in Platinum)
Review by: Bill Jones
Photos by: Sarah Kumley and Bill Jones
Mindzeye Studios already had our attention with its painted Hellboy statue. Despite some very minor flaws, the incredible attention to detail made it a fantastic collectible for any fan of Mike Mignola’s creation. And as much as it pains me to say it as such a big fan of Hellboy, the company’s take on the Gears of War license is even more impressive.
At the core, it’s that same attention to detail, not to mention a respect for the Gears property, that makes the latest creations of Pete Jirles and his design team incredible successes. Mindzeye earns every cent of the $200+ price tags on these heavy pieces of sculpted metal. While the statues may not be in everyone’s budget, Gears of War is a franchise that has spawned a nearly $1,000 Lancer replica and a $500 Locust bust. So in comparison, the statues come in at a fraction of the cost with all the same display case prominence to stare at in appreciation and show off to friends.
Mindzeye Studios’ take on the Gears license has yielded three molds – Marcus Fenix, the Boomer and Dom Santiago – each available in platinum or bronze finishes. They have also been released in Comic Con exclusive variants, but these are not available at the studios’ website. We received a platinum Marcus Fenix and bronze Boomer statue for review, each limited to 1,000 produced.
Marcus Fenix was the first we took a look at, and he’s featured prominently standing strong, in his usual combat gear, looking to the distance with a Lancer in hand. The monochrome platinum design is accented only by the black of indentations used to bring out the details of the character. Despite the solid metallic look, there is an incredible amount of detail to be found on the statue. It is 10 inches high, 6 inches long and 5.5 inches deep. It weighs 3.5 pounds, and was designed and sculpted by a team of three men.
The Lancer is the first thing that jumps out, so let’s get right to that. Though it is only a few inches long, Mindzeye has packed all of the components of the gun into the piece. Marcus grips the handle and trigger in one hand, while his left hand wraps between the barrel and the chainsaw. The saw features tiny blades wrapping around, close in size but some looking as if they’ve had some wear from tearing through flesh. Even two small grooves can be seen up top under the muzzle where they would feed through before winding down the bottom. The grip under his hand is evenly grooved, and the magazine is locked in underneath.
There is a stark contrast when it comes to clothing and gear between the smooth metal panels of the armor and the wrinkles of the clothes beneath it. One of his shin guards is lifted slightly off the left leg that is bent, moving down to the boots, which features the pleated armor that allows for movement and protection. Hefty straps wrap around the back of his legs to help hold those pieces of armor in place. Each piece of armor in a larger plate is also detailed with the screws holding it in place, down to the flathead tops of them. A knife is strapped to his right leg, and gear is featured around his belt line.
All around, a worn black texture is used to give the piece a grittier feel. The bandana atop his head smoothes out at the top, while showing the wrinkles around the edges. The detail goes as far as showing the little bit of hair coming out of the back, and the aging and scars of Marcus Fenix’s face. The only thing that struck me as slightly off was the fact that the bottom of his legs look as though they have more girth than his thighs, but looking back at the character design, this is accurate, and seemingly has more to do with the pants and bunching than being disproportionate.
The base is just as striking. Marcus is standing on a giant cog, which features a smaller gear and skull logo in the center. His right foot is flat, while the left heel is up just a bit, matching his bent knee. The cog shows the same wear, with surface fractures abundant across the piece. Another logo rests between a gap in the cog on the front of the statue, and it all rests atop a flat panel with a fancy design. The statue rests atop small pieces of rubber designed to help protect both the statue and the display surface. The underside is hand-numbered and includes info on the statue’s production.
The Boomer is designed in much the same way, only atop one hell of a bigger cog that tapers off at the bottom. The statue shows its truly imposing size when placed next to Marcus, standing at 12.25 inches tall, 8.75 inches long and 7.5 inches deep. It weighs a whopping 11.25 pounds. Similar to the Marcus Fenix statue, it comes in a cardboard box with images of the different variants on the outside, and it’s wrapped in plastic and packed in Styrofoam.
It’s just as gritty, thanks in part to the metallic finishes (bronze in this case). While I was a bigger fan of the painted Hellboy statue, as it fit the comic source material better, the metallic look is a perfect fit for the Gears statues.
Absolutely everything about the Boomer is big, but that doesn’t mean Mindzeye had to worry less about the details; it just means the studio had a bigger canvas to pack them in. And they nail the rock-like lumpy textures of the muscular areas of the Boomer that show, as well as what appears to be a bit of an alien beer gut. The sinew of his Locust head is prominent. Every strap and clamp of his armor is present, and it’s a nice touch to see small cracks around the worn armor, showing both his battle wear and the bulk of his being taking a toll on the armor. His chest pads even have a different, Swiss-cheese like texture compared to the flat ones on Marcus Fenix.
The most noticeable feature of this piece has to be the Boomshot. The Boomer’s hideous claws wrap underneath the barrel, while his other hand is gripped around the trigger. There are a few things here – the lowermost piston for pumping it isn’t quite as detailed as the rest, pieces on the pump look ever-so-slightly uneven upon super-close inspection, and the gun as a whole has a very slight arc to it, as if the stock or barrel are dipping – that detract from total perfection, but they are very minor, won’t be noticed by many especially from a distance of more than a foot, and do little to affect the overall quality of the piece. Hardcore fans will see the powerful Boomer and immediately yell, “BOOM!”
Overall, both the Marcus Fenix and Boomer statues do service to the Gears of War property and stand in all their metallic glory as elite collectibles for hardcore fans of the series. They show Mindzeye Studios as one of the best around in licensed, sculpted collectibles, but we’d expect nothing less at this point. They’re not here to sell cookies, after all.
For more info, www.mindzeyestudios.com
For a gallery of 29 unique images, see below.
Pads & Panels received the statues courtesy of Mindzeye Studios for review purposes.