Have a Brew With the Pandaren Brewmaster

We look at the action figure being offered as a prize at Wowhead.

Secretive and elusive the Pandaren race is one of the most revered in all of Azeroth … at least to the fans of the ever-evolving Warcraft universe. Although they were once a proud ally to the night elves in Kalimdor, they have since moved on and separated themselves from the rest of the world. So now that the Pandarens are once again showing themselves in Warcraft (in the form of a player pet), World of Warcraft players are as eager to pick up a piece of Pandaren merchandise as they are to nab the latest murloc plush toy.

Thus, when Blizzard partnered with the DC Unlimited toy company to produce a Pandaren action figure, the editors at ZAM were more than a little interested. We finally got our hands on one of these toys, and we’re ready to give it our detailed run-down (and don’t forget that you have your own chance to win one of these figurines over at Wowhead).

So is it worth the $49.99 price tag from the Blizzard store? Keep reading to find out!

The moment you pick up the Pandaren Brewmaster, you know that you’re holding one bad-ass figurine in your hand. The model is based off of Chen Stormstout, a Pandaren that is featured in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, where he is on a quest to find a volatile collection of ingredients to make an alcoholic beverage that could put hair on a Pandaren’s furry chest. Since that single appearance, however, Chen hasn’t had many cameos in the digital games, although his empty kegs can be found throughout the Barrens. That said, many players have come to know of the honorable Pandaren and admire his eccentric ways.

And the figurine does him great justice. This mammoth model is eight-inches tall and heavy enough to make you notice, which is always a nice sign for any collector. The box does a tremendous job of highlighting the figure inside – this piece was obviously meant for collector’s that never take their toys out of the box. That said, to give this item its full breakdown, we had to unwrap the panda from his shell.

Bear in mind, this is not an action figure. Chen Stormstout may be in an action pose, but his arms, legs, head, and torso don’t move like some cheap G.I. Joe. After ripping him out of his tangled web of wires and clamps, the detailing of Chen really comes to life. If you enjoy placing figurines on your office at work or really have a kick-ass bookshelf full of action figures, Chen will be a centerpiece of them all. With art directed by Blizzard Cinematic Creative Director Nick Carpenter and then exquisitely sculpted by Ray Villafane and painstakingly painted by Eddie Wires, Chen’s every detail seems to be coming to life in front of your eyes.

From the ropes on top of his drum (which look like actual ropes…but aren’t) to his gleaming medallions, buttons, and bracelets, Chen really is a top notch piece of artwork. Even his cuffs feature intricate artwork – a leafy pattern – that help really bring out the flavor and atmosphere of Stormstout. His robe, hat, and belt continue this detailed trend.

Unfortunately, the figurine does have one issue… its balance is somewhat off. While we’re not sure if it was our single figurine or if it’s a persistent problem, the Pandaren Brewmaster has a tendency to fall backwards unless something is propped under his left foot, which is a little disconcerting. He certainly won’t be breaking anytime soon – he’s made out of hard plastic – but if we’re going to take our toys out of their boxes, we want them to stand up, right?

All in all, however, that’s just a minor quibble. The Pandaren Brewmaster is an exceptional piece of work, and we’d like to encourage all of you to enter our competition to get the figurine we have up for grabs over at our sister site, Wowhead. It's free, so go ahead and enter before it's gone!     


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A panda?
# May 20 2010 at 3:28 PM Rating: Decent
616 posts
My first thought was "Wow, it looks like Peter Criss really let himself go."
Former FFXI Player of Phoenix/Cerberus (Acejester) 75RDM/SAM/WAR/MNK/NIN. Quit Feb.2008
Former WoW Player... Nothing worth noting. :)

Long time lurker.
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