In 1989, SEGA released on of their most iconic video games, Golden Axe, into the arcades. Soon after, the game was ported to numerous home computers and a few consoles. When the SEGA Genesis (US) and Mega Drive (Europe, UK, Japan, etc.) were released, SEGA was quick to work on near perfect arcade ports for their powerful home console, including Golden Axe.
In the game, you play as one of three warriors in the land of Yuria. The heroes are Ax Battler; a sword-wielding barbarian, Tyris Flare; an Amazonian warrior and sword wielder, and Gilius Thunderhead; a dwarf who wields a battle ax. Each of the heroes posses an elemental magic as well, which they can unleash after collecting magic urns from the dwarf-like thieves in the game. Ax Battler controls earth magic, Tyris uses fire, and Gilius uses lightning. The heroes battle their way across the land, facing off against the forces of Death Adder, who has kidnapped Yuria’s King and Queen. The game is a classic side scrolling hack ‘n slash brawler, with a variety of enemies, boss battles, and mythical creatures.
Storm Collectibles is releasing figures based on the classic brawler. The first release features Ax Battler, paired with one of the Red Dragon’s that you can ride in the game. The figure includes swap out heads, interchangeable hands, a sword, and a fireball for the dragon. We picked up the figure from sponsor Entertainment Earth. You can see a full photo gallery and review after the jump.
Golden Axe – Ax Battler Action Figure by Storm Collectibles
- Outstanding sculpted details
- Easy to swap out parts
- Great articulation on the figure
- Clean paint application
- Dragon looks fantastic
- Decent articulation on the dragon
- Skin tone on Ax Battler is a little odd
- No stand for the Dragon’s fireball
- Could use some magic accessories
The Ax Battler Figure comes packaged in a collector friendly window box. The packaging features assorted design details pulled directly from the game. The back of the box showcases the figure, the dragon, and some of the swap out parts. The figure and Dragon sit on separate plastic clamshell trays. Everything is easy to put back in for display or storage. Ax Battler include two closed fists, two grip hands, two open palm hands, and two bent finger hands. He also includes two swap out heads, and a sword. The Red Dragon includes a saddle, and a fireball accessory.
Before I get to the review itself, I wanted to clarify the look of the figure. With this release, Storm Collectibles based Ax Battler on as he’s seen on the cover of the Mega Drive release of the game. Much of the games promotional art was highly inaccurate to the contents of the game itself. Often times characters were in the wrong outfits, holding the wrong weapons, or having the wrong colors. the Mega Drive cover showed the barbarian with longer blonde hair, while in the game, he has very dark hair. It’s best to ignore the Sega Genesis box art, which rivals the original NES Mega Man art for inaccuracy.
The figure itself is outstanding. He’s tall though, making it tough to accept this as a 1/12 scale release. Almost head and shoulders above the Storm Heihachi. However, the sculpt and articulation are excellent. Ax Battler features a classic barbarian look, with a minimalist outfit showcasing the characters physique. The body is a mix of ABS and PVC, with softer hollow areas throughout to maximize range of motion. All of the high end articulation you’d want is here, including double jointed elbows, ball jointed waist, ankle rockers, and more. The range of motion makes it easy to get into combat poses, or to sit in the saddle included with the dragon. The hands and portraits swap out with no trouble. Speaking of the portraits, I do wish they included at least one dark haired portrait to closer match the in-game appearance. Paint application is perfectly fine, with detailed splatter paint to mimic skin tone transitions, and clean crisp paint lines. But the skin tone is way off. The figure almost looks like it has jaundice. Just be aware of that when you get it in hand.
The included Red Dragon is a great interpretation of the in-game creature. The Red Dragon was known for being able to spew fireballs, while the blue dragon aimed fire at the ground. The sculpt is excellent, with fine details on the scales, and carapace, and a great dragon portrait. Paint is vibrant and clean. both the harness and saddle are flexible plastic, so there’s little worry about tearing as you try and place Ax Battler atop the Dragon.
The only real downside is the accessories. The Dragon includes a fireball, but no stand to display it. Golden Axe was best known for the magic attacks, but no urns or magic effects are included. Perhaps future releases will see some of those items added.
Golden Axe has always been a dream license to me. It was the first game I ever owned for the Sega Genesis, and remains one of my go to retro comfort games. It’s a game I also never imagined would get any release outside of art vinyl figures, or Pops from Funko. All in all, this is a really fun release by Storm. The figure has a lot of poseablity, and the inclusion of an articulated dragon the figure can ride is awesome. Check out a selection of images below, and the full gallery after that.