In 2007, Irrational Games/2K had a massive hit with a game called “Bioshock”. They would eventually follow this up with the equally awesome prequel, “Bioshock Infinite” in 2013. Set in the floating city of Columbia in 1912 (rather than the post-WW2 underwater city of Rapture from the first game) the story delves into aspects of religion, revolution and personal loss, all against the bio-mechanical action expected from a Bioshock game. “Bioshock Infinite” received critical acclaim and earned dozens of industry awards, so how could it not get a toy line, especially with the game’s wonderful design aesthetic? Thankfully, the licence to make figures went to Neca, who have really stepped up their game in terms of translating on-screen characters into little plastic wonderments.
In the game, you come across “heavy-hitters”, large enemies that take quite a beating. One of the most impressive is the Motorized Patriot. Originally animatronic tour guides, these automatons double as massive terminator-like gun-carriers, coming after you with no regard for self-preservation. Somewhat reminiscent of the earlier game’s Big Daddy, the Motorized Patriot is a large enemy capable of dealing massive damage if you get on the wrong side of it, but it can also be turned into an ally under certain circumstances.
The figure comes in a very large clamshell that clearly shows off the figure and its accessories. It offers solid protection, but is the usual mission to open. Thankfully, there are only a few twisty-ties which my clippers made short work of. The graphics match the white, blue and sepia colours of the figure. The Bioshock Infinite logo and an illustration of the Motorized Patriot adorn the front of the packaging, while a fully assembled image of the figure and a potted history of its place in the game can be found on the back. There’s also a very cool backdrop behind the figure showing a Columbian airship emerging from the clouds.
Neca has done a superb job bringing this guy to life. Not only is the Motorized Patriot huge, he’s got a ton of detail. Scaled to match 7″ figures, he stands over 9″ tall. The face is designed to resemble George Washington, and looks just like the main version of the Motorized Patriot from the game. The face is cracked with one of its eyes is missing. The intentionally soft face and blank expression reminds me a lot of Odo from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”.
The period-style uniform looks superb. Tears reveal mechanical joints at both the knees and left elbow. Details such as buttons, boots, and epaulets, all feature sharp sculpts and added texturing. Some of his inner workings are hinted at by a couple of large flywheels on his back connected with a belt, and large valve-like wheels on each side. A pair of loops made from gold thread hang just below the rear wheels. These are meant to hold the flags in place off the ground as seen in the game. Personally I found them too awkward to use as the flags don’t bunch up properly. Anyway, I quite like the look of the flags flying loose.
On paper, the Motorized Patriot has extensive articulation, but in practice, the sculpt renders much of it useless. The head is a rod-and-ball joint, but the wig’s pony-tail fouls the collar, so the head actually has very limited movement. The arms on my figure were quite stiff. I could barely move the right arm the way I wanted to at all. The elbows are swivels, but the arm would only bend down/backwards, something or other preventing any upward movement. I ended up rotating the fore-arm 180 degrees and then bending it up so he could hold his gun. The plastic used on the mechanical looking parts is harder than the more rubbery body and feels brittle, and I didn’t want to place more strain on it than absolutely necessary. The joints at the waist/hips are also fairly ineffective as the coat gets in the way. Knees and boots are swivels/rockers, but with the waist and hips as they are, walking poses aren’t really possible.
The hands, unfortunately, are moulded closed. This makes fitting the gun handles problematic, as the available holes are just slightly too small. I first filed them out a bit with a rat-tail file which helped a bit. Someone suggested separating the thumb from the other fingers, which I did with a sharp x-acto knife and this allowed the gun to fit relatively easily without snapping off the handles.
The paintwork on the figure is clean throughout, with very little noticeable slop. To my eye, it perfectly matches the in-game appearance. Colours, like the blue of the coat and the various metallic shades, are evenly applied and look great. The battle damage and powder burns on the uniform, as well as subtle grime, really bring the figure to life. The only issue I had was a strange, rectangular smudge on the shirt front.
You get plenty of accessories to make up the final figure. The large Crank gun (also known as the Peppermill gatling gun) is a wonderful piece in its own right. It’s actually been engineered so that the barrels turn as you crank the handle. I wouldn’t be too rough with it though, as the moving gears don’t quite mesh properly and could easily break. To finish off the figure are two large soft goods Columbia flags that plug into the figure’s back. They’re ripped and ragged, although both have identical battle damage. I would’ve liked to have seen some staining and grime added to them, as they are a bit clean compared to the rest figure, especially considering their otherwise tatty state.
As a bonus, you also get an extra head. In the game, as the face takes damage, the mask falls away to reveal the wood, metal and clockwork bits underneath. This is superbly represented here. Take care when trying to swap the head. I’ve heard of a number of these breaking. I haven’t been brave enough to try it so far. The figure can stand well enough on his own, but is very top heavy. To help keep him upright, I added an aftermarket stand (available in a set of ten and also from Neca).
This figure is easily one of the stars of my collection. I have examples of all of the Big Daddies that Neca released, so of course, I had to have the daddy of them all. The Motorized Patriot is impressive in both size and quality, and as long as you don’t mind the limits on the articulation (I don’t), it should find a happy home on your shelves.