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Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review

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1bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:06 am

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Sideshow Collectibles: Big Trouble in Little China: Jack Burton

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Introduction

It seems like an eternity ago Sideshow announced that it will be producing a sixth-scale figure of Kurt Russell as Jack Burton from Big Trouble in Little China. The goofy but entertaining film seems to encapsulate some of the more likeable features of 80s cinema, as does its protagonist, who was played by an actor once almost cast as another lovable scoundrel, Han Solo. This is Sideshow's second Kurt Russell figure, following in the wake of their Snake Plissken (you can find Michael Crawford's fair review of it HERE ). As the first in-hand photos of the new product became available, there was much disappointment among collectors over the way it turned out. I did what I could to hang in there, and am rather pleasantly surprised. I have come to the conclusion that the final product is not substantially worse than what was shown in promotional images and, despite various problems, is a good representation of the character. That said, much could have been done differently.

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Packaging: 4/4 stars

The figure comes in a basic true shoebox-type container with a fully removable lid. Unlike many other products, the box is elaborately decorated on all sides with colorful graphics, including images of both the Jack Burton and revolting guardian creature figures that are contained within. Inside the box are two plastic trays, each with its own transparent lid. The top one contains Jack Burton and some of the accessories, the bottom one contains the guardian, the stand, and other accessories. The two trays are wrapped by a wide cardboard cigar-wrapper band held together with tape, which needs to be undone. Otherwise, everything is completely collector-friendly. Without being particularly mind-blowing, the packaging is unique, attractive, and does its job. Added bonus: the box is somewhat smaller than those for most action figures in this scale (about 3.5 x 7 x 14 inches or 9 x 18 x 36 cm).

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Sculpting: 3/4 stars

The sculpting of the figure and its accessories is very good (if at times just a little on the soft side), and represents an improvement on the production quality of Sideshow's Snake Plissken. For example, the hair strands are considerably finer, and so is the texturing of the skin. There are also plenty of wrinkles and moles and other natural details on the face (including the busted lip), finely sculpted veins on the arms and hands, and plenty of such detail on the non-human guardian figure. There are aspects of the design that are questionable: the hair around the face was sculpted separately from the hair on the rest/back of the head, and if you look carefully, you can detect the joint easily enough in the hairline; similarly with the seam between the two halves of the guardian. More obviously, the choice of hair style (it changes slightly throughout the film, due to circumstances) and especially the expression are not necessarily the best, depending on one's expectations. I would have preferred a more smug or smirking look myself, but it cannot be denied that Jack Burton had plenty of occasions for a concerned and confused look like the one chosen for the facial expression here. This is a legitimate choice, though perhaps not the most popular or recognizable. Look at it with the right shadows, and you will realize the sculpt is almost perfect; I think perhaps they made the back corners of his jaws a little too massive, but that is the only inaccuracy I can put my finer on -- if I am right. The hands are made of relatively soft plastic, which is a good thing in my book, but I wish all the fingers had been made separate. The soft plastic boots are also very nicely sculpted and textured.

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Paint: 3/4 stars

Like the sculpting, the paint work is good, but not perfect. However, it might be that whereas the sculpt suffers from production decisions, the paint suffers from the execution. That said, there is plenty here that is done right: the eyes look glossy and moist, the strands of hair are given some nuances of brown, there is a little bit of light coloring on the face, the neck, and veins on the arms. There is some weathering on the gun's magazine, and the whole thing looks like dull metal; the watch face looks near perfect given the scale; the boots and the guardian were given a wash that makes them look more realistic. On the other hand, Jack Burton's eyes look a bit too bloodshot to me, some of the guardian's multiple eyes are not painted very precisely, and I can't help but feel that the eyebrows are painted in so light a color that they detract from the realism and recognizability of the face. Then there are some shinier bits in the hair -- some of them appear to be on purpose, but others might be surplus glue from putting together the head along the seam in the hairline; I also found some unexpected shiny spots on the otherwise matte arms.

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Articulation: 3/4

As so often these days, companies seem to settle for decent rather than excellent articulation -- whether by the design of the jointed body or the clothing and equipment placed on it. This seems to be the case here. Like Sideshow's Snake Plisken, Jack Burton sports a jointed muscle body designed to show off the elbows. Perhaps for this reason, they went with single joints, which are less of an eyesore, but allow a bend of only about 90% at the elbow; the knees are slightly better. I can't tell whether it is the boots or the ankle design that restrict the ankle articulation in this case -- the boots are made of very soft plastic, although it might not be soft enough to allow the ankles to hold a bent position; but it could be the ankle design after all, as the ankle peg pops out when I try to bend it too far. As a result, Jack Burton can sit but not squat, and action poses are rather difficult. Otherwise the articulation is quite good.

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Accessories: 3/4

The accessories that come with this figure include a knife, a gun with a removable magazine (featuring nicely sculpted and painted shells), the watch, extra pairs of hands, extra buttons, the guardian, and the stand. The watch is a tiny work of art, with a shiny transparent cover over its face. There are three pairs of hands in total: the relatively relaxed pair that come on the figure, the gun- and knife-grip pair (the right hand for the gun, the left for the knife), and a pair of fists. Each hand comes with its own wrist peg, which is a nice Sideshow tradition. The hands swap relatively easily and are nicely sculpted despite being made of fairly soft plastic. In case some of the buttons on the outfit disappear, Sideshow has provided three extra buttons (2 brass and 1 silver) in a little reclosable plastic bag. The guardian is technically a separate figure, or rather statue, nicely sculpted and painted (see above), but understandably unarticulated. The hexagonal black stand features the film title on its top, but being executed in black on a black background, it is difficult to read or even notice. A special bendable metal rod is provided to attach to the stand's stem (there are three little openings you can choose from, but you might need to open up the holes in the rubbery cover before you could insert the rod); attach the guardian on the outer end, and he can hover around and spook your figure. Is this a lot? Spare parts and stands are not exactly accessories, which leaves us with the knife, gun, watch, and guardian. And while the guardian is a cool extra, it is not exactly an interactive accessory. So that is not all that much for a $240 figure. Besides, there were other items (sunglasses, guns, bottles, etc) that could have been provided.

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Outfit: 4/4

In this category, the product is pretty much impeccable, although once again one could question some of the choices. The denim jacket is beautifully executed and looks realistic and worn; the only drawback is that it was not featured much in the film. The jeans are not only nicely tailored, but give the appearance of a fashionable acid wash; they are perhaps a little too clean, and the white velcro closure for the fly is a little bit too obvious. Note that only the back pockets are functional. The little caps used as buttons on the jacket and pants are the right colors and size. The signature white tank top from the movie is reproduced in beautiful detail, the printed design matching what we saw onscreen perfectly, as far as I can tell. I have discussed the leather-like plastic boots above, but the only problem with them applies to the articulation category.  

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Fun Factor: 3/4

This is somewhat more difficult to determine than usual. The limitations in articulation and the absence of other figures from the film are likely to get in the way of a perfect score in this category. Admittedly, Jack Burton comes with the guardian which can be placed to hover by him if you are using the stand, but there wasn't that much interaction between the two in the film. Nevertheless, you should be able to find a few good poses for the figure and display it on its own or alongside other similar collectibles.

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Value: 2/4

At $240, this is an expensive collectible even these days. Given the good but not outstanding paint quality, the articulation limitations, and the small number of accessories proper, this is not much of a deal. On the other hand, there is the guardian, technically an extra figure. I like its inclusion, though I could have easily lived without it and with a lower price. If it wasn't for it's inclusion, I would have dropped the rating in this category a little lower.

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Things to Watch Out for

No much. Take the usual precautions swapping hands, although it is not much of a challenge, and be careful attaching the magazine to the gun. As mentioned above, it may be difficult to insert the additional support rod for the guardian to the stem of the base, so take your time and open up the holes in the rubbery cover in that area. From previous experience (which could have been an exception), be careful with the paint, especially on the face. I noticed a little bit of flaking on the elbow joints, although there was no change in actual color.

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Overall: 3/4 stars

Given the negative reception of this figure by so many, I was surprised to arrive at so positive a rating (and it is not an exact science). But while I might not have made the same choices in every instance (e.g., the facial expression), on the whole the product is faithful to the prototype (which was photographed at some distance and in a very specific light environment), very well sculpted, quite decently painted, excellently outfitted, and decently articulated. It is not perfect as a whole, or as a likeness of Kurt Russell in particular, but it is also not really bad. This might not be quite cool enough to do justice to a very cool character, whether it meets your expectations or needs would be up to you; I do not regret getting the figure (except maybe its price). I hope this review and its photos have helped inform you about it.

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Where to buy:

This product is a Sideshow exclusive , and retails at $240.

So far, there are a couple of ridiculously overpriced listings on eBay, which I did not see fitting to include.

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I hope you enjoyed this review, and am happy to answer any questions. Meanwhile, three more for the road...

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#review #sideshow #jackburton #bigtroubleinlittlechina #male #film #productreview #kurtrussell


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2bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Re: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:57 am

shazzdan

shazzdan
It's all in the reflexes.


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3bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Re: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:00 am

Stryker2011

Stryker2011
Founding Father
Fair review, thanks for posting. I will say that your pics look far better than any of the others that I’ve seen. But, still glad I canceled my PO with SSC. I don’t quite get how they can justify charging $240 for any of their figures. If this was below $200 I might reconsider, but the softness of the sculpt, and the paint apps made this an easy pass. Unfortunate that there are newer companies out there (like QMX), where you pretty much get what you see, but a company that’s been around as long as SS just can’t seem to get it right (time to look for a different factory, folks). I will say that I think their Lobo figure is one of their best to date (though he’s not based on a real person).


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4bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Re: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:38 am

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
shazzdan wrote:It's all in the reflexes.

So true. While researching images from the film for the photos (it had been awhile seen I last saw it), I came across the "it's a good knife" scene. Alas, with limited knee and especially ankle articulation, Jack had trouble replicating that one faithfully enough (his attempt is among the photos above).

Stryker2011 wrote:Fair review, thanks for posting. I will say that your pics look far better than any of the others that I’ve seen. But, still glad I canceled my PO with SSC. I don’t quite get how they can justify charging $240 for any of their figures. If this was below $200 I might reconsider, but the softness of the sculpt, and the paint apps made this an easy pass. Unfortunate that there are newer companies out there (like QMX), where you pretty much get what you see, but a company that’s been around as long as SS just can’t seem to get it right (time to look for a different factory, folks). I will say that I think their Lobo figure is one of their best to date (though he’s not based on a real person).

Thank you very much, Mark. I think Sideshow is being influenced from its usual partner in crime, Hot Toys, but is not advancing in quality at an equal rate as them (or other companies like QMX and DAM). The production values really are improving (compare the hair on Snake Plissken with the hair on Jack Burton). I don't think the sculpt is really soft overall, maybe a little (is it those big wrinkles on his brow?). But yes, the price is quite a lot for what you get -- there is the guardian, who must have taken plenty of sculpting and painting to get right, but I think any of us can live without him, and with a lower price. Sideshow's recent helmeted or alien characters have been very good quality for the most part (like the Scout Trooper, the AT-AT driver, 4-LOM, Zuckuss, even Dengar, less so the Snowtrooper Commander), so I suppose the quality can be a bit uneven between products.


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5bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Re: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:45 am

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father


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6bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Re: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:16 am

Rogerbee

Rogerbee
Founding Father

It isn't bad, but, for the money it should have been brilliant, and it wasn't. Mind you, I'm not that big a fan of the movie anyway. I liked it, but I didn't love it.

The likeness is there, in that final pic you do actually see it, but, it just needs too much work for it to look as good as I'd want it to.

CHEERS!

7bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Re: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:46 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Roger, I agree. This is not my favorite Kurt Russell movie, though I do enjoy it, much like I do Overboard and Captain Ron, and almost as much as the Snake Plissken movies. I do like Stargate quite a bit, but my favorite is (and I know I'll be in the minority here) 3000 miles to Graceland. So still on the look out for a Kurt Russell (or at least his head) that is a faithful enough likeness and lends itself to any of these.


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8bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Re: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:12 am

Rogerbee

Rogerbee
Founding Father
My favourite Carpenter\Russell movie is Elvis. Kurt totally nails him, way better than any tribute act ever has. I caught some of it on TV a while back, and it took me several minutes to realise that it wasn't actually Elvis I was watching, he really was that good.

CHEERS!

9bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Re: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:39 am

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Rogerbee wrote:My favourite Carpenter\Russell movie is Elvis. Kurt totally nails him, way better than any tribute act ever has. I caught some of it on TV a while back, and it took me several minutes to realise that it wasn't actually Elvis I was watching, he really was that good.

I haven't seen this one, but I'll look it up one day. Interestingly, Kurt was in some filmed appearances with Elvis as a kid, did become an Elvis impersonator (so his casting in Elvis would make good sense), and he was an Elvis impersonator in 3000 miles to Graceland, too.


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10bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Re: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:07 am

shazzdan

shazzdan
This is the only scene I remember from that movie.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYJ5vbSt9K0

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned The Thing. It is a classic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9XFUDk4clg


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11bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Re: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:28 pm

Rogerbee

Rogerbee
Founding Father

A 1/6 Macready would be cool, as long as it came with a Spiderhead. PCS were supposed to do it, but, they shelved it and nobody took up the license.

CHEERS!

12bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Re: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:15 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Shazzdan is right, The Thing was pretty good. He's been in so many films, we're bound to miss some. Of course it doesn't help that about 33% of the time I am (or have been) on the verge of confusing him with Patrick Swayze. I think it must be all that cool hair and masculine beauty.


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13bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Re: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:16 pm

Stryker2011

Stryker2011
Founding Father
GubernatorFan wrote:confusing him with Patrick Swayze.

Blasphemer!!!


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14bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Re: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:44 pm

shazzdan

shazzdan
GubernatorFan wrote:Of course it doesn't help that about 33% of the time I am (or have been) on the verge of confusing him with Patrick Swayze. I think it must be all that cool hair and masculine beauty.

I've been thinking about doing some characters from Steel Dawn. The movie was B-grade but the setting and costumes were pretty cool. As a kid I loved the fight scenes.


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15bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Re: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:40 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
I loved this movie (Steel Dawn)! Someone who's in with Kit better suggest some Kurt Russell and (now also) Patrick Swayze head sculpts (recognizable ones)!


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16bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Re: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:48 pm

ZombieKev


For the price of $240, this figure is a giant disappointment. At $150, I would've happily accepted it as is, but a Hot Toys premium price should provide Hot Toys quality. This is not HT level, not even close. The level of detail, the paint job, and even small but important aesthetic things like body silhouette & proportions are all second rate compared to HT. Hell, they're second rate compared to Dam and Artfigures who are working at the $160 price range.

SST's 1/6 figures in general almost always look awkward and weird to me. Consistently through their GI Joes to the DC and Marvel figs, they always make baffling design choices. Overly large heads, weak bodies, cheeseball interpretations of outfits, etc. When it comes to looks, you could say that it's all a matter of taste, but damn, SST has bad taste. I don't think I'm overly demanding.. For example, I think Hasbro's 12" plastic Marvel Legends figures nail the "look" more often than not, so it's disappointing to me that SST messes it up so frequently. Which is a shame because they have great taste in licenses.

NOTE: I preordered this because BTILC is one of my fave movies and I doubt there will be additional figures from this property, but it's the last time I ever pre-order a SST product. They've broken my heart too many times.

17bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Re: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:14 am

MarkEl


Fantastic review GF. Very fair considering the tone on this figure around the hobby right now. I’ll be passing as it’s a film character that does not resonate with me especially at that price point. The outfit is better than expected, but I’m still underwhelmed with the HS. There’s something about moulded long hair that diminishes a sculpt for me. There’s a tipping point with plastic hair. It’s a personal preference of course. Also a fan of Stargate!

18bigtroubleinlittlechina - Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review Empty Re: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review on Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:27 am

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
ZombieKev and MarkEl -- thanks, and I agree, the price was pretty high, even if the product had been better, but especially with its issues. Of course, it's not like they would have lowered it to account for the issues we had with the final product, but we wouldn't have had this particular point of complaint.


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