Last year's Tomb Raider 3 review wasn't actually from Tomb Raider 3 - this year's isn't from anything at all!
With a passion for adventure that cannot be denied,
Lara leaps atop her Street Assault motorbike and kicks the engine to life. Her tires screech through the dark cobblestone alleyways of London. Lara twists the throttle and the bike rises to the redline. Suddenly her sixth sense tells her she's being tailed. A quick glimpse in the mirror and her suspicions are confirmed. She lets loose a flurry of firepower as she tears around the corner. Lara has survived for another night.
That sounds pretty exciting, huh? But while Lara's been to London, and Lara's ridden motorcycles, she's never ridden a motorcycle in London. So this is something completely made up for the toyline. What fun!
It's pretty impressive how much variety Playmates got into these Lara figures' faces. I mean, this is the fourth one we've reviewed here, and every one of them has been unique in some way. Like Jungle Lara, this one doesn't have any strands of hair falling over her forehead, but that one had a slight smile, while this one is more serious.
In fact, none of her parts are the same as other Laras! Her torso looks like it should be reused from Tibert Lara - she knows that when you're riding a motorcycle, you want to wear a nice thick jacket for protection - but that one had her tiny backpack and this one doesn't. The waist doesn't have a carabiner in the belt, the arms are straight, and her legs are bent. She's still wearing shorts, because while she believes in covering her arms, apparently she's perfectly fine leaving 20 yards' worth of leg-skin all over the road in a crash.
Her articulation is a little worse
than the other Series 1 figures: she has swivel joints in the hips, waist, shoulders, and neck, but no biceps at all. Since her legs are designed to be raised, she doesn't have any straps connecting her holsters to her belt - they're just molded as part of her thighs. She's armed with her pistols, of course, but also a pair of Uzis. She can't aim any of them too well, because her hands are permanently turned to the side slightly.
This set's "Adventure Diorama" is the London alleyway we were promised. It's a really nice piece, a suitable backdrop for any number of figures - well, "any number," as long as they're small. The Adventures of Lara Croft line is done in a 6" scale, but either this
alleyway is doing some wicked foreshortening, or it's half the size it should be. Oh, it measures 8¼" wide, 6¾" tall and 4⅞" deep, so it's plenty large, but all the details seem better-sized for a 3" figure - just look at the size of the manhole cover in the street, or the dented trash cans laying by the wall. The wall itself is detailed really nicely, with different sorts of masonry and unique paint on the bricks, plus a wrought iron fence at the side. A street light stands on the rounded corner, and the street is cobblestone. As mentioned, there are two trash cans: one is standing, but the other has been knocked over, spilling its contents. This base puts the similar piece that came with McFarlane's Jack the Ripper to shame!
Unless you're counting the small brown rat molded as part of the sidewalk, this is the only set that doesn't come with an animal enemy for Lara to fight (including the unreleased Series 3 sets).
Rather, she comes with her motorcycle, thus explaining why the figure's legs are bent. The bike is a Norton Streetfighter, which did appear in some Egyptian cutscenes in the original Tomb Raider and in promotional renders for Tomb Raider II, but was later replaced by a Ducati (the same kind of bike level designer Neal Boyd got - coincidence? I think not!). It's detailed very nicely, especially considering the rather cartoony style of the line, and features rolling wheels, handlebars that turn, and a kickstand to keep it upright.
click to embiggen
This scene may have been invented solely for the toyline, but it's a perfectly reasonable Tomb Raider setup, and the backdrop, bike, and redesigned Lara are all very cool pieces.