Ben's Toy Box: "Overwatch" Mercy, Pharah and Tracer Reviews
Overwatch was released to the world in 2016 by Blizzard Entertainment and went on to become a hugely successful franchise. With over One Billion dollars in revenue during the first year of its release, it is no shock that Hasbro would want to hop onto the bandwagon and get in on the action with their own line of Overwatch action figures. Hasbro announced these figures at Toy Fair 2019, and the figures themselves hit shelves in April 2019.
Now here's my confession: while I do play video games, I do not play Overwatch, so I only had a passing familiarity with it before Toy Fair. However when I saw the Hasbro presentation and got a really good look at the designs, there were certain figures I knew I wanted to own strictly on the merit of how cool they looked! To that end I wound up picking up Tracer and the Mercy/Pharah two pack. This peek into Ben's Toy Box takes a look at these three figures.
Mercy's design is the one that really hit me when I saw Hasbro's Toy Fair presentation. Her Valkyrie Suit design is very dynamic looking. On her back are mechanical wings with energy "feathers" coming out of them. Around her head is a mechanical "halo" and the angel theme continues on the sides of her outfit, which also look like feather. The long pieces of fabric in front and back of her outfit suggest an angel out of mythology even though the rest of the outfit is clearly from a more modern era. I appreciate any design that manages to look futuristic while bringing in older styles of design, and this figure manages it brilliantly.
For the most part, Hasbro has done a great job with the deco on this figure. Like the in-game character she is mostly white with some darker parts such as her gloves and the sides of the armor. There are some beautiful deco fade patterns to be found on the arms and lower part of the outfit where yellow fades into orange and then a more deep orange/rust like color. There is some deco difference between this and the game's CG model - but they are not too dramatic. Mostly they focus on the absence of yellow trim on her knee armor and feet. From a deco perspective, this figure looks fantastic.
There are twenty nine points of articulation on this figure including six on each arm and seven on each leg. The figure also has an ab crunch and chest swivel. You can add two more points if you want to include the ball jointed wings. That is a lot of articulation for any figure, no less a $20 USD figure. Mercy includes extra hands including one that is open in a beckoning gesture and hands to hold her Caduceus Blaster. She also includes her Caduceus Staff and an "energy effect" that attaches to the top.
Mercy is packaged with Pharah so it can be easy to get confused about the stand included with the figures. Technically both figures can use it, but it feels most suited to Mercy, making her look like she is "flying".
The main weakness I would call out on this figure involves the hands. While it is easy to swap them out, they do not hold the accessories very securely. The Caduceus Blaster holds just fine, but the much heavier staff can easy flop right out of Mercy's hands. If you find ways to support the end of the staff against her body or the other hand it looks great, but it can be a bit of a challenge when posing her out for display.
Pharah is included in a two pack with Mercy. This is no random choice. The two characters are a powerful combination in the game. Again, I don't play the game so I do not know this first hand. Instead, I have been told this by friends (and found videos about it online).
Pharah's design is probably the one that I like the most from a mecha/Transformers/scifi perspective. She is basically in a bird-themed armor suit that looks like someone took bits of a Gundam and sprinkled in elements of Warhammer to create a suit. I absolutely love the design. From the beak shaped helmet (so Gatchaman) to the giant shoulder armor to the awesome wings on the back that split into four thrusters - this suit has an awesome design.
Pharah is mostly metallic blue with some black and gold details. Her face is exposed so that part is flesh tone with her signature Eye of Horus tattoo. Thanks to the metallic plastic colors, this piece looks beautiful. From a deco perspective the designers nailed most of it. There are some smaller bits of deco here and there that are unpainted such as the yellow/gold lines on her chest, but overall the figure looks great.
There are thirty one points of articulation on this figure, which is great in theory but because the armor is so bulky, Pharah has a tendency to topple over pretty easily. I kind of wish this set hand included two stands so one could be used for Pharah. Pharah includes four translucent yellow "thruster" accessories that plug into her four wings. She also has an alternative "closed fist" hand and then hands that are open to hold her Rocket Launcher weapon. My main issue with this figure are the hands. The Rocket Launcher is (by action figure standards) a somewhat bulky weapon and it tends to fall right out of her hands. Generally to support it properly she needs to use both hands. It's a shame the figure has these issues because it looks incredible.
Tracer's design is the one I was most familiar with. The character has appeared in many advertisements and media for Overwatch and even had a cameo in the 2018 film "Ready Player One"! You can see her in the trailer below around the 2:10 mark:
Above I mentioned Mercy has both futuristic and retro design influences. Tracer has the same. Her arms appear to have some type of machinery in them and she wears a chronal accelerator which is strapped onto her torso. Meanwhile, she has a bomber jacket (from her days of being in the British Royal Air Force) while her pants and shoes look like something out of a futuristic scifi movie. The result is an eye catching design that is distinct and eye catching.
Tracer's deco is pretty spot on when comparing her to her in-game model. From her brown bomber jacket to her pants with a yellow to orange fade pattern, she looks like she jumped right off the screen. Her chronal accelerator has silver, black and light blue details and her goggles are translucent orange with white painted on the dges. I would say of the three figures reviewed here she is the most "game accurate", but to be fair none of the figures are really that far off the mark.
There are twenty seven points of articulation on this figure. This includes six on each arm and leg, an ab crunch and chest swivel. Unlike Mercy and Pharah, Tracer has no problem holding her Pulse Blasters and she includes interchangeable hands that can be popped out and replaced easily. Of the three figures reviewed here, Tracer has the widest range of motion since her outfit does not get in the way.
With Transformers being my primary collecting habit, I force myself to be picky about what figures I pick up from other toy lines. That said, Overwatch is going to make it very difficult to resist other figures. If they make characters like Wrecking Ball or Symmetra in the future they will be tough to resist! I think Hasbro has something good going here with this line. They just need to work on the design of the hands and making sure the figures can hold their weapons properly and they'll be all set.