For the longest time, publishers Valve - the people behind Half-Life, Team Fortress and Left 4 Dead - resisted the urge to release toys or statues based on their games. That time has now passed.
The Heavy, from Team Fortress 2, is the first in Gaming Heads' line of large, expensive statues based on characters from Valve's various first-person shooters. Cast in poly-stone and standing 13 inches tall, in addition to being large and expensive, he is also, appropriately enough, heavy.
This is a statue, not an action figure, so you don't use it at all. All you have to do is take it out of the box - the body comes in a single piece - then slide it onto the base and choose which of The Heavy's two included heads you like best. Oh, there's also an ammo belt for his minigun.
What We Liked
Part of what makes Team Fortress 2's characters so lovable is that they're so unique. So full of personality. A lifeless representation of one could easily have lost that charm, but this piece's pose and face sculpt captures the proud stupidity of The Heavy perfectly.
Also, when you're spending $US245 on a shelf ornament, you want it to not only look good, but feel like it was worth the money. That it's solid, sturdy and built to last. And, for the most part, that's what you get here. He's well-constructed enough to make you feel like he'll last for years to come, and heavy enough to know he could kill a home intruder if ever the need arose.
What We Didn't Like
I liked pretty much everything! My only minor quibbles were with some joints around the minigun, which looked a little flimsy, and the fact that I for the life of me can't work out how to attach the minigun's ammo belt (and there's no instructions in the box telling me).
The Bottom Line
Sadly, all four variants of The Heavy statue are sold out. They were sold out before the things even shipped. But if you were on the fence for future Valve statues, waiting to see if Gaming Head's work was worth the $US200-$300 price being charged, I'd have to say that comparing this sturdy, sexy statue to others on the market it's a no-brainer. Whether a collector or just a die-hard Valve fan, if future pieces are of the quality of The Heavy, it'll be money well spent.
The Heavy: Gaming Heads Exclusive Edition was manufactured by Gaming Heads, based on Valve's Team Fortress 2. Shipped Q2 2011, retailed for $US245 (a regular edition retailed for $US230). A statue was given to us by the manufacturers for review purposes. He now sits like a guardian angel over my desktop PC.