When it comes to video game action figures, there’s one company that currently has you covered: NECA. From their amazing Big Daddies to the gorgeously detailed Gears of War figures and even oddities like Bionic Commando, they can’t be beat for sculpt, articulation, playability and fun. (Durability is another matter, cough.) But there’s plenty of other articles out there covering these goods – I want to talk about something else fun today, in a similar vein but entirely different: video game plush toys.
Yes, no longer just covering your barely legal girlfriend’s bed, or containing a hidden camera so you can watch your mate’s daughter undressing, stuffed toys are now made for REAL MEN like yourself in the forms of all your favourite video game icons and props. Let’s start with some of the best, from the makers of some of the best games ever, Valve.
From Gordon Freeman’s personal nightmare to your living room, the Headcrab is the first Valve plushie and sadly the least of their many good wares. Don’t get me wrong, this plush version of everybody’s favorite alien zombi’fier is very well made, very cute and cuddly and correct to the video game – it’s just not very big, only 6″ long, barely fitting on your head. It’s also very expensive, but never fear – there are lots of blueprints for bigger, better Headcrab Plushies online, so your loving grandma can make one for you at a small portion of the ridiculous original price! (Don’t worry about ripping off Valve, they’re long sold out!)
Now we’re talking! It doesn’t matter that you don’t have any friends because of how unlikeable you are and you were probably adopted, your closest friend who you incinerated is alive and well in plush form! The Weighted Companion Cube is adorable and cuddly and not-badly-scaled like the Headcrab, a perfect prop to keep next to your computer when performing scientific experiments for the people who are still alive.
The latest in the Valve plush collection is this adorable Boomer, a big bad boy that towers over all of the previous Valve plush and is completely adorable despite its infected flatulence. Super-cuddly and super-friendly, squeeze his hand and he’ll make the disgusting retching-and-vomiting sounds we’ve all come to love and fear in the Left 4 Dead series. (As a side note, there’s 10 sounds in all, all of which come from the game but most of which you’ll barely hear unless you play him in Versus.) And he’s currently on sale! How can you not buy him?
This cuddly little manic darling is even bigger than the Boomer, and has his own adorable feature – squeeze his tummy and he’ll let out an almighty BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! Adorable!! Unfortunately he’s let down by being somewhat overpriced and difficult to come by (an eBay search will find a vast quantity of Rabbids in various costumes, but their officialness is dubious and I don’t think they have the sound effect). Also, with only one kind of BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!! he falls slightly short of the readily-available Plush Boomer, but he’s lovely all the same!
Ahh, things get a bit more difficult here – there are a lot of great Nintendo plush toys, most of which are imported and available at places like ThinkGeek or Play-Asia for horrendous prices, however a quick search on eBay will find a lot of great, significantly-cheaper Nintendo plushies, unfortunately with dubious authenticity. Your mileage may vary, but keep in mind that if you find something awesome on one of those aforementioned sites or similar, plug it into eBay before you drop the benjamins as you’ll often be able to get it shipped for a quarter of the price!
One of the most balls-out awesome video game plush toys is the ? block from Super Mario Bros, which you’ll string up from the ceiling and every time you punch it from below, you’ll be treated to a COIN sound. On every hundredth punch, you’ll hear a ONE UP sound. Amazing and inexpensive, you might want a bunch of these hanging from your ceiling!
Grow up or get a life with Mushroom plushies, available in every size imaginable! If you’re anything like me, and I know I am, you’ll want the ones in scale with the Question Block, which are readily available, as are smaller cuter ones for your desk. There’s even tiny Blue Mushrooms and those golden “Bee” Mushrooms and you name it!
And, as with anything from Japan, there are cute plush toys of all the main Mario characters! These are closer to the girlfriend-plush-collection than anything else on the list, but are notable for a few reasons – the pictured Bowser plush is about in Mario 64 scale with the current Mario action figures, making him a nice addition to your action figure collection, and Yoshi is just frickin’ adorable and comes in every colour you can imagine! I used to have one before my druggie ex slut stole it! Bitch!
Plush toys are awesome. The cross-over for action figure collectors to plushies comes mostly with novelties and props like above, with various other enjoyable tidbits (consider NECA’s cool BioShock Big Daddy plushies based off of the very same in BioShock 2). I’m particularly fond of the plush toys that think outside the box, like the Boomer, which is somehow cute and disgusting at the same time (those sound effects are amazing) and, Tank aside, there’s not really any other L4D characters that would make a nice plush toy. (Cmon, Valve, bring out a Plush Tank that makes the Tank music and roars!) On a similar note, Valve and NECA should really work together to make L4D toys – not just the special zombies from both games, but also action figures of the survivors, all of whom are great characters – why hasn’t this happened yet? Louis voice: I hate NECA!
What about you, friends? Do you own any nifty plush toys from video games or other fun properties?