Today is the day we celebrate as a nation, the independence and sovereignty of these United States of America, and the breaking away from tyrannical English rule! Or just refusing to pay English taxes. Whatever. It usually includes fireworks and hotdogs, so no reason to go poking around too much and ruining a good time, right? Anyway, right now I’ll be checking out the NECA Ben Franklin Figure. It’s based on a version of the “Heavy Hitter” Motorized Patriot from 2K Games‘ “Bioshock: Infinite”. I haven’t played the game, but sometimes a toy is so visually stunning that I just have to get it, regardless of its source material– and Ol’ Ben here just happens to be one of those toys! As you wait patiently for night to fall and the fireworks that follow, why don’t you choke down a freshly-grilled hamburger, chase it with a cold beer, and read along to judge if this founding father is worthy of being a death-dealing automaton!
The packaging for this figure is quite massive, and it has to be, due in no small part to the size of the figure and his included accessories. It’s the same clamshell-style packaging you’ve come to expect from NECA, which means have your blood-stained switchblade at the ready, because the only way to get at this package’s delicious, Ben-Franklin-shaped innards is to slice into it! No real reason to describe the packaging further since your eyes can just as easily view the photos above, so let’s just move right the hell on, shall we?
Here’s the text from the back:
“The Motorized Patriot is a testament to the technical prowess and power of Columbia.”
Originally constructed by Frank MFG. to serve as tour guides for the residents of Columbia, the Motorized Patriots now serve as a standing guard for the entire city. Fearless and unrelenting, without a shred of self-preservation, the Patriots will track down and eliminate any opposition without remorse. Will you be able to find the right combination to defeat these automated monstrosities?
The sculpt for this figure is what really sells it. Literally. I spent all my scratch-off winnings on this guy because of the intricate detail put into every inch of the figure. This is actually the second Motorized Patriot figure to be released. The first was based on George Washington, and while also very cool, the unassuming face and glasses of Ben Franklin called to me a little more. From the cracks in the face, to the underlying mechanical joints, and torn period clothing, the figure is a perfect example of modern action figure sculpting. America!
Along with the spectacular sculpting, the paint work really makes this figure be all it can be. The skin is lightly shaded and gives the appearance of a porcelain doll’s head, while the clothing has darker shades in the folds, along with proper weathering and burn marks. The under-skeleton and mechanics on his back look like oiled brass and honestly, he looks like a million bucks– but thankfully he only ran about thirty.
Articulation for Ben is plentiful, although not entirely useful for anything more than he was designed for. He sports a ball-joint neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, ball-joint wrists, ball-joint waist, ball-joint hips, swivel/hinge knees, and swivel/hinge “rocker” ankles. Don’t get me wrong, the articulation gives the figure the ability to tote his machine gun as advertised– there’s just not a lot else he’s capable of. Granted, with his incredibly offset weight, the fact that he can stand freely while doing so is a testament to the joints strengths, especially in the knees. While this automated Franklin can stand menacingly, and his joints swing smoothly, the lack of forward movement in the hips will keep him from climbing the top rope, and we all know that without Ben’s patented elbow drop, he’ll never win that damned World Title!
Being the man-about-town that he is, the Motorized Patriot version of Ben Franklin comes with some accessories sure to be a hit amongst the people of Columbia– or it can signal their impending deaths. Whichever. Two flags, a Gatling gun, and an extra head pad out the extras. Both flags are made of cloth and feature worn edging and a faded paint job to match the look of the figure. The plastic flagpoles slide into the back-piece of the figure and give the appearance of striped wings for this angel of death! The extra head is the skeletal structure that lies beneath the porcelain skin of the Patriot. It even has a moveable roller on the back to mimic the intricate mechanics used to create the motorized abomination in the game world. Finally, the crown jewel of the accessories is the multi-barreled Gatling gun. Turning the crank handle actually rotates the barrels! There’s also a hinged flap that lays across the barrels where the bullet feed would be. A warning: the handles on the gun are made of a rigid plastic and his hands took a lot of prying and working to get them on the grips without anything unceremoniously being snapped off.
Overall, this figure looks great among any collector’s shelves. The videogame from which it was based isn’t relevant to Ben Franklin’s robotic badassery, and that’s about the biggest compliment an action figure can get! If you’re interested in owning your own Mechanical Patriot, be sure to hit up your local Toys R’ Us, comic shop, or just be lazy and look online here. After all, it’s a holiday!