Recently I’ve has returned to one of my favorite video game series of all time, Silent Hill. Although the first has aged graphically, it’s still an artistic masterpiece featuring some of the most amazing atmosphere and sound design of any game ever, and the level of tension it maintains is unmatched. I spent literally hours on edge making my way through that godawful hospital, and from there the nightmare doesn’t end until the game’s close.
The sequel keeps up the high level of quality with a stronger storyline and unbelievably messed up second half; there have been many times I have literally yelled “#%@* this!” at the TV (seriously – special characters and all), often when encountering a certain geometry-headed gentlemen, and at other times when the games just go out of their way to mess with you. (Those who have experienced the hotel at the end of Silent Hill 2 know EXACTLY what I mean.) I was pleasantly surprised to find both the first and second games just as excellent as the first time I played them, although the third suffers somewhat with a second playthrough, due in part to the slow and poorly-paced first half, before picking up in the second, with an absolutely triumphant close. I have to say that Silent Hill is the rare series wherein every entry has something to offer; even the most lacking Silent Hill game still has some great scenes and clever ideas, which is more that can be said of most video game franchises.
Anyway, Silent Hill action figures are possibly my most requested toys of all time, and although I once dreamt of a full line of highly-detailed, super-articulated figures from the horrific universe, the way the industry has changed has made me a bit more realistic about what would be feasible if these toys were ever to be made. The ideal company to take these on, NECA, has repeatedly stated they have no interest in the property, and it’s no surprise why: the diminishing returns on their Resident Evil lines, featuring figures from the considerably more popular series, proved how the market has changed in regard to toys like this. If a similar company was to pick up the licence, they would really only be looking at the most popular and notable characters to bring to life in plastic. With this in mind, here is what I would want from a Silent Hill line.
The obvious choice; the unofficial mascot of the series and far-reaching meme as seen in his original Silent Hill 2 guise, Pyramid Head is guarenteed to sell. He needs to be nice and tall, as he was in the game, with highly articulated arms – his legs, not so much. The top-heavy nature of a figure like this lends itself better to legs with limited articulation, to ensure he can keep standing in poses. Pyramid Head should include his SYNONYMOUS weapon, the Giant Knife, which he can weild and drag behind him, as well as his spear and perhaps an unposeable Mannequin he can rape. (Arguably Mannequins would make terrific action figures, but short of making them entirely bendy they’d be very hard to make poseable and even harder to make standing, and couldn’t have anything in the way of accessories…)
Although monster nurses are present in nearly every Silent Hill game, the Bubble Headed Nurses from Silent Hill 2 are the most well-known and hideous, even finding their way into the films. They’re incredibly busty in their low cut tops and tiny miniskirt, shuffling awkwardly towards the player, moaning and groaning sexually from their cancer-ridden faces. Representing the anxiety SH2 protagonist James feels due to his wife’s terminal illness and the sexual deprivation that came with it, their overtly sexual nature makes no sense in either of the films but would make for a terrific action figure, armed with a pipe and perhaps their SH3 handgun.
ROBBIE THE RABBIT
After Pyramid Head and the Sexy Nurses the next most well-known Silent Hill icon is Robbie the Rabbit, the bizarre anthropomorphic mascot from the Lakeside Amusement Park. His first appearance was in Silent Hill 3, wherein the opening nightmare found young Heather wandering the darkened amusement park surrounded by what appeared to be corpses dressed in blood-splattered Robbie the Rabbit costumes. A bloody Robbie the Rabbit action figure would be amazing – but most Silent Hill fan’s most memorable Robbie moment comes from Silent Hill 4: The Room, in which a peek through the peephole to neighbor Eileen’s bedroom reveals a creepy Robbie the Rabbit doll, which points at you. It’s awesomely messed up, and what’s frustrating is that a limited number of Robbie the Rabbit dolls were made to promote the terrible second Silent Hill film, but are not readily available. I think every Silent Hill fan would agree that these would be AWESOME to own.
After the main three, we get a little more obscure. The Closer is the most recognisable monster from Silent Hill 3 and the first monster Heather sees after the mall transforms into a horrific bleeding, pulsating nightmare. As with most of the Silent Hill 3 monsters, the Closer has long phallic legs and represents the fear of sexual assault, being much taller than Heather and lumbering towards her with its long penile limbs and hideous spinning “face.” It’s revolting and would make an amazing action figure.
Also known as the “Twin Victims” from Silent Hill 4: The Room, this nasty abomination features the faces of two murdered children beneath a black cloak held up with long arms, usually seen in the distance pointing at the protagonist and whispering “Receiver.” It’s another monster that would be difficult to make as a toy but would be oh so worth it – with a clear stand it could make the signature pose on one hand, pointing at you from the shelf, but also be poseable to stand on both hands.
We’re getting into McFarlane territory here – as great as the bizarre and horrifying Abstract Daddy design is, it does not lend itself to poseability. The Abstract Daddy is a monster representing the childhood abuse of disturbed Silent Hill 2 character Angela at the hands of her father, appearing to be two figures lying on a bed covered in a “blanket” of skin, seemingly trapped in the rectangular board. With a clear stand it could be posed on all fours or “standing” on the two back legs, with some movement at the front, but unless our imaginary Silent Hill line sells gangbusters I’m not betting on it.
The Lying Figure is another of the iconic Silent Hill monsters, initially featured in Silent Hill 2 as the first monster James encounters, with a variation of the design later appearing in the Silent Hill film. Resembling a man trapped in a straightjacket, these awful things gasp and strugging towards the player then spew forth acid from their bodies – I’d love a couple of them as action figures, though I’m not sure how to make them poseable without any proper arms.
THE PROTAGONISTS – JAMES, MARIA AND HEATHER
With Silent Hill 2 unarguably the best and most popular game in the series, protagonists James and Maria are iconic enough to warrant their own action figures. Being at a much higher resolution and graphical quality than the first game (and it’s worth noting the major strides Silent Hill made graphically) these characters could easily, beautifully be sculpted from their 3D models. Ditto Silent Hill 3’s Heather – who wouldn’t want her in their collection, battling demonic forces with her metal pipe (or perhaps one made of silver or gold?)
What say you, readers? Who would you want from a Silent Hill line, and who would you want to make them?