Tuesday, October 13, 2020

REVIEW: McFarlane Toys Assault Intercessor

An affordable alternative to the limited edition, $150 Ban-dai figure?

Like many, I was discouraged by the high price tag and limited availability of the initial figure offering from GW and Ban-dai. When this figure popped up on my Amazon recommendations, I ordered it to see what McFarlane had to offer in comparison. As a toy industry professional, these are my thoughts.

The packaging is simple and understated. There is a nice product shot on the left of the box that is inspired by the 8th edition art of Raymond Swanland, that often graced codex covers and promotional material.

The back contains a simple cross-sell image of the Necron figure. I found it a bit odd that there were no images of the other figures announced in the line - an Intercessor and a Sister of Battle.

The figure is secured in an inner blister using undercuts and dennison ties to keep it in place. It's removed without much effort using a hobby knife. Only the power pack needs assembly.

The figure is molded in a solid, flexible polypropylene plastic, unlike the Ban-dai figure, which is molded using a rigid, hollowed out, ABS plastic. This gives the figure enormous weight for its size, and will eventually cause the figure to become oily as the plastics begin to break down in a few years time. As a designer I avoided the use of poly plastics whenever possible for this very reason.

Oddly, the weapons are also molded from the flexible polypro, and not a rigid ABS, causing them to bend and warp. A poor decision.

Articulation is decent for the price point, with double joints at the elbows and knees, and additional rotation incorporated into the shoulder pauldrons to allow for more poseability. The figure holds poses well, and stands by itself when both feet are planted. Reviewing the Ban-dai figure online, the McFarlane toy had considerably fewer articulation points and a smaller range of motion.

Unlike the Ban-dai figure, this has only a single set of hands, so weapons must be held in a specific way, with the heavy bolt pistol in the right hand and the chainsword in the left. I found getting both weapons into the hands to be a serious chore, especially the chainsword. More disappointing was that the pistol does not fit properly into the right hand - it's scale is much too small, and the hand and handle are not sculpted as matches, so the accessory always looks askew.

Professionally speaking, I can see where they made the trade-offs here, to maintain a lower price point, and most of the compromises are smart. For $20, it makes an excellent alternative to the Ban-dai offering despite the differences.



  1. Is it that awesome McFarlane plastic that snaps at the joints if you drop it?

    1. The boys have been playing with it for a few days now, and it seems to be holding up.