Monday, October 22, 2012

Video Game Super Stars - Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2 (Toy Biz)

If you ask ten gamers what their favorite survival horror series is, we're pretty sure the majority of them would say, "Resident Evil" - or "Biohazard" as it is known by our friends abroad. Since its debut on the Playstation in 1996, fans have been sitting on the edge of their seats with each installment. Since then the series has been adapted into comic books, novels, movies, and more.

Characters such as Chris Redfield, Leon Kennedy, Jill Valentine, Claire Redfield and Albert Wesker have become household names among RE fans. Each new story, regardless of the format it is being told in, adds to the ever growing history of the series, and expands the plotline even further.

As a result of the ever expanding RE universe, there have been a lot of Resident Evil toys over the years. Today, we're going to take a look at the very first (and second).

In 1998, Toy Biz under the sub banner of Video Game Super Stars released the very first Resident Evil line. It consisted of five figures, all based on the very first game.

The majority of the figures are considered to be two packs, though don't strain your eyes looking for a second figure inside. Rather what is considered a second figure is actually a small "creature" from the game - with the exception of the "zombie" two packs, and the larger Tyrant figure which has nothing else packed in with it.

The package is beautifully designed to resemble artwork from the original game, and the use of black really adds to the dark nature of the series. We especially like the pixilated versions of the characters at the bottom center of the package.

The figures produced were;

Chris Redfield and Cerberus
Hunter and Chimera
Jill Valentine and Web Spinner
Zombie and Forest Speyer

In that same year, Toy Biz followed up with a series of figures based on Resident Evil 2. This time the series was broken up into two parts. The first was the basic set of figures, and the second was the Platinum Edition set of figures. Considering the line was targeted at a specific audience, and there was really no difference between the actual quality of the figures in the two lines, we're not sure why Toy Biz did this. Perhaps Platinum Edition figures were produced in smaller quantities, or perhaps it was because they were slightly larger (in some respects) - But, we honestly don't know.

Once again the original artwork for the game was utilized perfectly for the card back - Though this time it was respectively for the second game, which certainly helps to distinguish the two lines.

The following basic figures were released;

Claire Redfield and Zombie Cop
Leon Kennedy and Licker
William G-3 and G-4

As we said above, we're not sure what makes the above figures any better than the basic ones. Resident Evil Platinum Figures had the same overall package design (with the exception of saying "Platinum" on the package). The figures aren't a different or better quality than the basic ones. Again, our only hypothesis can be that they were produced in smaller quantities, or because some of the figures were slightly larger.

The figures produced were;

Ada Wong and Ivy
Hunk and Zombie
Tyrant and Mr. X
William Birkin and Sherry

All and all, there are well over half a dozen lines based on various Resident Evil games from various companies. Each one brings a unique packaging design, and sculpting style. As a result, it can be annoying to fans to hold the various figures from various sets side by side because there is little to no consistency as a result of the license being handed around from company to company. However, if you can look at each line individually, and enjoy it for what it is, there is a lot to be said for each particular series.

Today, the secondary market has been particularly kind to the Toy Biz line of RE figures. An entire set of what you've seen above can set you back as much as $600.00, which averages out to approximately fifty dollars a figure. Not a bad return on a line that eventually made its way to the clearance isle.

Join us next time when we take a look at Beetlejuice – The Movie!

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