Over the Summer, the sci-fi film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets was released in theaters. It’s based on the French science fiction comics series Valérian and Laureline. It was directed by Luc Besson, whose previous works include The Professional, The Fifth Element and Lucy. In the film, Valerian (Dane DeHann) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are special operatives instructed to head to Alpha, a massive city in space that peacefully houses thousands of species from all over the universe. Their mission shifts as a dark force rises up that threatens the City of a Thousand Planets, as well as the universe itself. When released in theaters, the film landed with a thud, as audiences in North America showed little to no interest in the film. Overseas, the film fared far better, raking in over $182 Million.
In December of last year, NECA announced plans to create figures based on the film. They were fully revealed just prior to the films release in July. Thanks to NECA, we have an advanced look at the figures. After the jump, find my thoughts as well as my photo shoot for the figures.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 7-Inch Scale Figures by NECA
- Very detailed suit sculpts for Valerian and Laureline
- Decent likenesses to the actors
- Lots of articulation on K-Tron
- Gorgeous shiny black deco on K-Tron
- Arm articulation on Valerian and Laureline is limited
- Some paint on Valerian’s head sculpt looks off
The Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets figure come packaged in basic collector friendly window boxes. The packaging uses art and design elements from the original poster for the film. The back of the boxes feature a short bio for each character. Valerian and Laureline each include a pistol and a knife. K-Tron includes a rifle.
The two human figures feature similar sculpts, as both Valerian and Laureline are portrayed in the space suits from the film. The suits resemble a nice, futuristic looking armored suit, with a ton of detail. The suits themselves look outstanding in person, with differing textures throughout and subtle, metallic paint applications. Paint work on the suits is excellent, with nice highlights of red and silver and a dark paint wash over it to bring out the details. To top it off these suit sculpts with additional accessories like the belt, holster, tubes and more. The head sculpts for both humans are actually quite good. The have a decent resemblance to the actors. The paint is ok on them, but a few things feel off with Valerian. The printed cut on Valerian’s cheek looks out of place, with large printing dots visible, even from a distance. The eyes just have an odd look to them. The factory painters added a heavy, dark color underneath Valerian’s eyes, making them look a bit bug-eyed with bags under them. I understand that’s kind of how DeHann looks, but it’s a bit too exaggerated here, though it only becomes a real issue up close. IF that dark swipe of paint was lightened or faded out a bit, it would look more natural. When looking at both Valerian and Laureline as a whole, they do look quite cool, as again, the suits really have a great amount of detail and care. Articulation is about on par for a normal NECA release. The elbows and knees are both single jointed. The bulkier pieces of the armor on the arms prevents some range of motion there. The rest of the articulation is perfectly fine on the humans. They have a decent weight to them and the boot designs allow for sturdy poses without falling over.
The real star of the wave is K-Tron. The robotic officer has a great, jet black look to him. The material and paint they used on K-Tron give him a nice, right off the assembly line look to him. The black is so deep, with a nice smooth shine, that it was actually a bit hard to photograph properly. The design and sculpt are excellent here. The smooth armor panels throughout are a nice contrast to Valerian and Laureline, and definitely feels a bit alien in nature. Articulation is a particularly strong point for K-Tron. The figures sleek design means there’s no hindrance to the range of motion. The knees and elbows are both double jointed as well. From top to bottom, K-Tron is a really fun figure.
I was definitely surprised, after the failure of the film in North America, to see that these figures would still see a release. Something like this I feel should be available day and date with the film to capitalize on any fan excitement for the property. It looks like these will be timed to hit right around when the film hit Digital and Video On Demand services. So the return of marketing for the film should help these figures out for sure. In the end, they are a decent trio of figures that offer a nice representation of the main heroes of the movie. K-Tron is worth tracking down, as it’s such a well made release. Even if you aren’t into the film, that figure makes a great general sci-fi robot.
You can check out some highlight photos below and the full gallery after that.
The backgrounds in some shots comes from Extreme Sets. Use code TOYARK at checkout for 15% off your order!