When I got home from work on Monday, there was a package waiting for me from the London branch of Ubisoft. It couldn’t possibly have been the package they told me about a mere four days ago. I mean, four days for something to get from London to the middle of KwaZulu Natal? That’s crazy talk. Also, remind me to use AmWorld whenever I need to courier something.
Considering Ubisoft is all about Ghost Recon: Future Soldier at the moment, the package contained a figurine of Sergeant John Kozak – the player character and one of the four members that make up the new Ghost squad of the US Special Forces in Future Soldier.
I have a fairly sizeable collection of video game figurines filling up a custom-made shelf above my PC. Most of them come out of collector’s editions but there are a couple that I’ve purchased separately, and the vast majority of those I’ve ordered online. When it comes to all forms of cross-media products, Ubisoft never skimps on the detail. Whether they’re producing cartoon shorts, Assassin’s Creed hoodies or comic books, there’s no doubt that a considerable amount of dedication goes into the products that Ubisoft uses to expand their various franchises.
This figurine of Sergeant Kozak is no exception and is the first official Ghost Recon figurine ever produced. It’s a nicely detailed, single piece PVC figurine that stands just over 20cm high. It’s remarkably similar in feel to the figurine of Ezio Auditore that shipped with collector’s editions of Assassin’s Creed II. The Sergeant Kozak figurine, however, has been made by a different company: PureArts.
The actual design of the figurine was done by Hugues Martel, who is the creative director at Ubisoft Shanghai. His previous design work includes the very limited run of the Arch Angel Michael figurine from Heroes of Might & Magic VI.
Considering the figurine has a recommended retail price of €30 (about R320), there’s an above average amount of detail and quality that’s gone into the manufacturing process. The base of the figurine successfully captures the urban settings of Future Soldier, with bullet cartridges scattered on the brick work and a storm-water grate added to the rear side of the stand. It could have been an ordinary flat base with little detail, but the angled figurine stand, with its metallic Ghost Recon: Future Soldier logo embedded in front, really adds to the overall presentation.
Kozak himself has even more detail; even his dirt-splattered trousers have creased in all the correct places as he traverses the sloped setting. All of his equipment is depicted including extra clips, handgun, comms radio, pouches and more. There’s even an intricate, physical (ie not a sticker transfer or painted decal) Ghost team patch on his upper left arm.
Obviously, the Ghost team has access to some pretty hi-tech equipment throughout the game, and the figurine does a good job of representing this. There’s painted detail on Kozak’s sunglasses that represents his heads-up display. As cool as that is, for me the best part of the whole figurine is how they’ve done the holographic sites on Kozak’s rifle; these gun sites are probably the most stand-out aspect of the figurine, and they work really, really well. You can read details like the amount of bullets left in the rifle to the amount of frag grenades Kozak has in supply. There’s even an “effective distance” marker for whatever it is he’s targeting as well as a radial mini-map. All of this is displayed on two separate, clear plastic circles that you attach to the gun via moulded slots. The bright turquoise of the text really stands out against Kozak’s camouflaged uniform, which creates a great focal point that hinges on a signature feature of Future Soldier.
This Kozak figurine is supposed to be available online from the UbiShop. However, it looks as if the UbiShop region blocks certain content. Ubisoft’s London rep sent me a direct link to the product, but navigating there will redirect you to the store’s home page. It appears that this figurine is for EU territories only. I’ve given Ubisoft South Africa a shout to see whether these figurines will become available at local retailers, but so far there are no plans. It’s a pity because it’s a really lovely collector’s item that I’m sure any Ghost Recon fan would love to get hold of. For now, you’ll just have to ogle pictures.
Special thanks to Hayley Johnstone from Ubisoft London who made the effort to get one of these to us here at NAG.