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For additional images, see Post 9 below.

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Introduction

After a long wait, Hot Toys has released its sixth-scale rendition of Director Orson Krennic from Rogue One. I still have a soft spot for this film, which felt more like Star Wars than any other since Return of the Jedi, although I have gradually come to realize how many plot holes, inconsistencies, and improbabilities it contains. Krennic, played by Ben Mendelsohn, served as a relatively interesting and relatively well-developed disposable antagonist, and I'm happy to see that he has made it among that select list of characters from the film that has received the Hot Toys treatment (apart from Chirrut Imwe and the three versions of Jyn Erso, he is the only one with an actual face, all the others being masked and a robot). As far as I know, this is the first higher-end sixth-scale rendition of Krennic, the closest thing to it being the Disney version which I reviewed HERE. Although it would be an unfair comparison, in every respect except price, unsurprisingly the Hot Toys product is superior.

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Packaging - 3 / 4 stars

All Star Wars sixth-scale collectibles from Hot Toys come in identical packaging, which has its advantages, but also means that there is even less cause for excitement than usual. Perhaps it is unfair to expect more, and I personally don't put a lot of store on this. The packaging is perfectly collector-friendly and safe, and accomplishes its purpose beautifully. Krennic comes in a standard shoe-box type container with a removable lid, a printed color "title card," and a transparent plastic trey with its plastic lid holding the figure and its accessories; a small transparent plastic trey and lid combo holds the rain poncho, and is taped on the underside of the main trey. Like other Rogue One sets by Hot Toys, the box lid features a "cigar band" affixed near its bottom, with the character's name and stylized depictions.

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Sculpting - 4 / 4 stars

I don't know whether they quite nailed Ben Mendelsohn's features perfectly -- from certain angles the likeness is striking, from others less so. However, they did achieve a lifelike and realistic portrait, complete with countless wrinkles and hair strands. And that is just the head. The sculpting on the other molded pieces (rank badge, code cylinders, belt buckle, gun, ammo clips) seems to be flawless and sharp. The cap is molded plastic in fine and fitting detail, giving it the appearance of real cloth. Hot Toys resolved the usual dilemma of making such removable headgear look realistic and properly sized by giving Krennic a magnetic removable hairpiece that could be swapped with the magnetic removable cap. The cap looks flawless when in place, and the hairpiece is quite undetectable. The stature of the body, 11.75 in (about 30 cm) is approximately correct to Ben Mendelsohn's height of 5'11". This is worth noting, because in the film Krennic appeared shorter than Tarkin, but the action figures are about the same height. We should not forget that Peter Cushing's Tarkin was digitally recreated for Rogue One, and Hot Toys' Tarkin is actually scaled correctly to Cushing's height of 6'.

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Paint - 3.5 / 4 stars

Hot Toys is known for both the excellence of its sculpting and the almost equal excellence of its paint application. It is done extremely well, with various dull and glossy surfaces as appropriate. However, it is not quite perfect. I noticed a little bit of inaccuracy here and there on the blaster pistol, and the overall treatment of the face is perhaps a little less nuanced than what we saw in the promotional materials (which is not necessarily surprising). When dealing with light-colored hair, Hot Toys has a tendency to use a metallic paint or finish, and this is what it did here. It looks good and allows us to appreciate the incredible detail of the finely molded strands, but it does not necessarily convey the salt-and-pepper hair of Ben Mendelsohn in the film with complete realism. That said, I'm not sure anyone could have done a better job of it with molded, painted hair. The entire color palette appears to be slightly warmer than what we see on screen.

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Articulation - 3 / 4 stars

I am tired of writing that the Hot Toys body has the usual excellent articulation, but the clothing gets in the way. Unfortunately, this is true here, as so many other times in the past (Bespin Leia was mercifully spared this issue, but that seems to be an exception these days). The problem appears to be Hot Toys' insistence on using padded undergarments; these are intended to fill out the clothes better than the plastic body itself, but the difference in appearance is minuscule, while the degree to which articulation is made more difficult or outright restricted is consistently annoying. In the case of the Krennic figure, this is especially true for the shoulders and to a degree for the hips and abs -- although with some effort you can make Krennic sit down passably. The wrists work well, the knees and ankles very well, and the tall boots do not impede the ankle articulation. This helps the figure balance well in various poses, and you can even achieve some mid-stride poses at times. I understand why they went with a head sculpted with an integral molded neck (with all sorts of creases on it), but the resulting head articulation is very limited in terms of tilting.

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Accessories - 3 / 4 stars

Krennic comes with a blaster pistol that fits on the holster suspended from the belt, three ammo clips that fit into special openings on the belt, two code cylinders to fit in the slots on both sides of the chest on the tunic (or together in the one slot on the right side of the poncho), a molded plastic hat that can be swapped for the hairpiece making up the top part of the hair, and several interchangeable hand sculpts, including a right fist, a left pistol grip hand (which works ok, but not great), and five more hands that are difficult to describe, but I try anyway: a right closed hand, a right almost closed grasping hand, a left open grasping hand, a left more closed thumbs up hand, and a left more open thumbs up hand. Each of these was presumably useful for some scene, but as I was looking at Krennic's scenes I found that many of the hands that would be necessary to replicate them were not provided with this set. Add to the partial repetitiveness and idiosyncrasy of the hand sculpts the absence of any real pairs (i.e., there's only one fist, there's only one gun grip, there are no relaxed hands, etc), and this makes for an odd and limiting choice of hand sculpts. In terms of spare parts, there are two extra wrist pegs and an extra belt button. There is a now fairly standard stand with a neat extra piece to fit under and around the detachable name plate that makes it look like the end piece of futuristic ramp. However, the top of the base, instead of the usual Death Star floor texture (or the like), has a printed image of Krennic's head (alongside a Death Trooper's) glued on. The image is slick enough and colorful enough, and there is a faint textured inscription of the character's name ("Orson Krennic") in the fictional Star Wars alphabet on top of it (it is not apparent in my photo). But unlike so many previous stands, you are not given the option of using a standard floor-textured surface instead. And that is disappointing. The limitations of the base and of the hand sculpts and the fact that virtually every "accessory" is actually part of the character's outfit detract from this category, especially at this price point.

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Outfit - 3.5 / 4 stars

Krennic's outfit ought to be considered one of the best things in this set, yet here too there are some flaws. The basic outfit is the cream (not white) officer's tunic paired with black pants and black leather-like jackboots, as well as a black leather-like belt with a silver buckle and button. Over this, Krennic wears his cape in a matching color, held fast with magnets at the shoulders. Everything is beautifully tailored and looks and works great; the cape has some wires along the bottom edge that allow for some posing, if not much. But if you look closely, you would see that the cape's collar rides too high -- perhaps it is too wide, or perhaps the cape's magnets do not hold it far enough down -- in stills from the film the cape's collar does not reach as high as the tunic's collar, leaving its top edge exposed; with the figure it is the opposite. Moreover, when Krennic bends his arms at the elbows, the sleeves ride short at the cuff. Neither of these flaws is particularly horrid, but they are notable. Then there is (almost) a whole alternative outfit, and this is what gives this category a higher score. You can remove the cape (and the rank badge which plugs into the tunic) and swap them for the rain poncho, once again in matching colors, and pair that with the molded plastic officer's cap (replacing the hairpiece). The light material used for the rain poncho seems like a good idea, except that it really does not drape well enough, and there are no weights or wires to help it. Moreover, unlike the rank badge on the tunic, the rank badge on the rain poncho is not designed to be removed; but it should have been, as in different scenes in the film Krennic wears different rank badges with the poncho -- the one-row all-red rank badge at the beginning, and (presumably after promotion) the two-row red over blue rank badge (here used for the tunic) at the middle. I suppose one could make modifications, but this appears to be a detail Hot Toys overlooked. Speaking of rank badges, the film continues the tradition of inconsistency and confusion that has plagued the Star Wars saga since just after A New Hope (apparently). The six red squares in a single row badge gives Krennic a rank equivalent to general (like Tagge in the Death Star conference room in A New Hope), while the six red squares over six blue squares badge gives him a rank equivalent to fleet admiral (like the unfortunate Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back) -- although the number of code cylinders might make a difference. Of course, the confusion of Gareth Edwards' team is not Hot Toys' fault, but once again, both badges should have been removable/swappable. As noted above, everything in the set seems to have a slightly warmer palette than what is seen onscreen in the film. This is a good thing where the outfit is concerned, as the creamy tunic allows one to kitbash imperial security bureau officers (like Yularen from the Death Star conference room in A New Hope) far more effectively than if the tunic was in a lighter, colder white. Note that the great cap will be problematic for kitbashing, because it is inside is adapted for use with a magnet and would require substantial modification before you could place it believably on another head.

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Fun Factor - 4 / 4 stars

Whatever the limitations of the set, there is no denying that Hot Toys has delivered a recognizable Krennic who can be paired with all but one of the more frequent characters he interacted with in the film (the notable omission is Galen Erso). We have a Vader from Rogue One (not to mention two from A New Hope), a Tarkin (from A New Hope), three Jyn Ersos, as well as Death Troopers, Shore Troopers, and Stormtroopers (all from Rogue One). Even without the natural kitbashing potential for imperial security bureau personnel, this gives Hot Toys' Krennic a great potential for posing and/or interaction with other figures and in a variety of real or digital environments. I had fun attempting to recreate various frames from the film, or to pair Krennic with others -- so much so that I took more photos than I'm including in this already more than usually illustrated review. So, yes, this set is fun, and I'm glad I went for it. For additional images, see Post 9 below.

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Value - 2 / 4 stars

Retailing at about $235+ (USD), this is not a low-cost product, and being mid-range (and increasingly low-range) for Hot Toys these days is not particularly comforting, given their notorious inflation of prices. On the other hand, even if it lacks some of the "fancy" electronics or more elaborate bases and backdrops found in some of Hot Toys' deluxe sets, it does come with enough extra clothing and accessories to allow for a whole second look. So this category gets a middling rating.

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Things to watch out for

Really nothing much -- except perhaps to watch that you don't lose those smaller pieces, like the code cylinders and ammo clips. The figure is reasonably sturdy and capable of balancing on its legs, in part due to the good ankle articulation. The hands are easier to swap than usual (softer plastic?), which is a great thing, although Hot Toys included a spare pair of wrist pegs just in case.  

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Overall - 3.25 / 4 stars

This rating may not convey my pretty thorough enjoyment of the set, but it does reflect the several limitations and imperfections, compounded with Hot Toys' increasingly hefty prices. Judging by the fact that most of my usual go-to sellers have already sold out this brand new set, it must be popular enough (and perhaps produced in small enough quantities). There is plenty you can do with it or with its parts, which is not always the case.

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Where to buy

Among my usual go-to stores, Alter Ego Comics, Big Bad Toy Store, and Timewalker Toys have sold out of this set, so you can try your luck on our online retailers list (HERE) or on eBay.

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I hope this has been useful. What do you think?

One more for the road...

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For additional images, see Post 9 below.

#starwars #hottoys #rogueone #director #krennic #scifi #film #male #fiction #review

Mezco Joker Deluxe Edition (Review) - Wed Mar 18, 2020 4:08 am

Summary:
Pros: Beautiful headsculpts, wonderfully colorful outfit, nice extra trench coat, fun accessories, good posability.

Cons: Hat is not removeable on one headsculpt, elbows are single jointed.

Full Review Here Smile

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#Mezco #Joker #Deluxe #Review
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Mezco Darkseid (Review) - Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:21 pm

Summary:
Pros: Impressive and intimidating sculpt, very nice light up feature, nice polystone and metallic materials used, very wonderful extra faces.

Cons: Very basic articulation, omega beam effect on one of the faces can easily break if it falls.

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#Mezco #Darkseid #Review
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Mezco Sovereign Knight Batman (Review) - Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:07 am

Summary:

Pros: Very beautiful Mezco Batman design, the costume seems to be made of durable material, body is very well articulated, there's a ton of wonderful accessories to play with, the headsculpts are really detailed and unique.

Cons: Non-wired cape so you'll have to use the weird clips that comes with the stand if you want to pose the cape, ab-crunch and ankle rockers don't have much range, one head mysteriously has short bat-ears.

Full Review Here Smile

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#Mezco #Sovereign #Knight #Batman #Review
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Mezco Classic Superman (Review) - Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:48 am

Summary:

Pros: Nice classic Superman look from the old comics or cartoons, functional posability, nicely fitted costume, well thought out accessories.

Cons: Ab crunch is barely there, heat vision head looks like Superman got maced in the eyes.

Full Review Here Smile

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#Review #Mezco #Classic #Superman
Search in: NON-SIXTH-SCALE ACTION FIGURES  Topic: Mezco Classic Superman (Review)  Replies: 8  Views: 318

Mezco Pennywise 2017 (Review) - Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:30 am

Summary:

Pros: Very realistic sculpt and overall look, very detailed headsculpts, well fitting costume, great implementation of balloon accessory, very creative use of hologram on the painting, wonderfully articulated body!

Cons: NONE!

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Pros: Despite being a bootleg, it looks very good as long as you don't use a magnifying glass or a camera's zoom function to find imperfections, joints are firm and can be wiggled to loosen up a bit, costume seems to fit well and it's stretchy durable.

Cons: The headsculpts have imperfections, the paint application isn't great if you look closely, there's actually dried paint that makes Superman look like he has acne, although firm joints are good, sometimes they get too tight and you have to wiggle them loose, neck ball joint can get stuck in the head and you'll have to figure out a way to pull it out.

Full Review Here Smile

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#Mezco #Bootleg #Superman #Review
It is a week of reviews, by the looks of it. If interested, check out my review of Peggy Carter and Michael Crawford's review of Selene from Underworld.

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Introduction
Alexander the Great (Alexandros III of Macedon, 356-323 BC) is one of those iconic historical characters that everyone seems to know or name, to the point where one is tempted to take him down a notch. And there were plenty of issues with him and his character, not least his relentless ambition, competitiveness, rashness, and delusions of grandeur. He was certainly a conqueror with an unprecedented scale, speed, and rate of success, and for that he was idolized for generations of Romans and those who took their cultural cues from Rome (elsewhere he was demonized instead). From a modernist or humanitarian perspective there are sides of his character that are less often mentioned but perhaps even more commendable: most notably, although a successful Greek conqueror, he chose not to treat his conquered enemies as the subhuman beings he was taught they were by his society (and by his teacher, the philosopher Aristotle), but instead sought to pacify, unify, and merge the societies he had come to rule, on a remarkably even footing for any time. He probably would have failed even if he hadn't died prematurely at 33, but this suggests that, contrary to popular belief, he had a talent not only for conquering, but also for governing.

At any rate, this is not what this is about. TBLeague (formerly Phicen) has just released its sixth-scale figure of Alexander the Great, occasioning this review. And since Dragon did the only other high-end Alexander in this scale (that I know of), back in 2004, it is a natural point of reference. Both figures are based to a significant degree on the Oliver Stone film Alexander (2004), starring Colin Farrell. Another point of reference for the TBLeague version is a larger scale statue by ARH (HERE and HERE), as confirmed by the ARH logo on the box. Neither the film nor the figures are entirely historically correct.

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Packaging
Dragon's Alexander comes in a box that opens up like a book cover to reveal the figure and its accessories through a clear plastic cover; the back side of the cover contains a shallow clear plastic trey containing the cape and the two-part spear; the figure and the rest of the accessories are contained in a clear plastic trey in the box proper.

TBLeague's Alexander comes in a typical container for TBLeague boxed sets, one where the cover and side flaps are held by magnets and can be removed and propped up like a triptych. There is a missed opportunity here, as they could have followed other companies' lead and printed an appropriate background on the back side (which is just plain black) that could have worked as a backdrop to the figure. The figure and its accessories are held in a couple of black foam plastic treys, each with its own thin black foam cover.

Everything comes safe and collector friendly in both sets.

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Sculpting
Here time of production makes a difference. Standards and possibilities were very different in 2004 from what they are today. Dragon's Alexander obviously is less finely and realistically sculpted, although it is not bad at all for the time when it was made. The face does not look like Colin Farrell, and might be an attempt at the actual Alexander (if so, not very successfully) or possibly Richard Burton's Alexander (from 1956); to me it really looks like Tom Jane. The head is bald, allowing you to swap between a soft plastic hair wig and a lion-head helmet that is fairly accurate to the 2004 film, except for its sculpted plumes and crest. There is plenty of fairly fine sculpted detail on the armor, including a lion's face over the chest, the sword (especially its hilt), and the soft plastic riding boots. The head and rear spikes of the long spear are very sharply sculpted. The body's legs are covered in seamless rubbery material with appropriate sculpting, although they might be a little too skinny.

TBLeague's Alexander has a very finely sculpted head sculpt that also does not look like Colin Farrell. As far as I can tell, this is a generic pretty boy with a possibly "Eurasian" look. The head vs helmet problem has been resolved by resorting to "real" hair, which works well enough with the lion-head helmet. The helmet is a little less accurate to the film in at least some details, but its crest and plumes are more on target. Once again, there is plenty of fine detail to the armor, including a gorgon's head over the chest, sword (especially its hilt), "wrist armors" (sic!), and even more detailed soft plastic boots, and there is also a gorgeous shield carrying a sun or starburst design found on the lid of a box in what is almost certainly the tomb of Alexander's father; the design has been adopted in stylized form as the state symbol of the modern (Slavic) nation of (recently Northern) Macedonia, much to the annoyance of modern Greeks. The sculpted items are given an even more detailed treatment, making them look more weathered and worn, most notably in the case of the scratched and dented shield. The body used is the seamless M35, which has finely sculpted muscles and veins; it is, however, incomplete, missing both the feet and the genitalia.

Historicity. There are no known contemporary portraits of Alexander, but his successors legitimized themselves through him and produced plenty, which were copied in the Roman period. They are consistent in his basic appearance, with a high forehead, somewhat sunken heavy-lidded eyes, and a very Greek nose (almost no indent below the forehead). Neither set has a head sculpt that looks like this (on the other hand, I had a high school classmate named Kingsley who did). The sculpted hair in the Dragon set is more accurate to the traditional portrayals of Alexander than the longer straight locks of the TBLeague set. In both cases, the armor is based on the 2004 film, and that in turn on two sources: the famous Issus mosaic from Pompeii (agreed to be based on an earlier Greek painting) for the armor (see HERE), and the so-called "Alexander" or "Abdalonymos" sarcophagus from Sidon, now in Istanbul for the lion-headed helmet (see HERE). The mosaic shows a painted head of the gorgon Medusa over the chest; the Dragon set replaces this with a sculpted lion's face, while the TBLeague set has a gorgon head, but sculpted in relief in a rather modern, abstract style; this does seem to be based, at least loosely, on what was seen in the 2004 film. Alexander was considered to be fairly short, but both bodies used here translate as just over six feet in 1:1.

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Paint
Here again we are dealing with apples and oranges, if nothing else on account of the year of production. The Dragon set has a fairly basic paint application, flat treatment to the hair (which does not help the already relatively simple sculpted locks), and the dreaded "doll dot" in the glossy eyes. The paint treatment is not extended to the remainder of the figure's body, much of which (excepting the rubbery seamless legs) is shiny and toy-like. The paint application to the rest of the sculpted items is pretty neat, though not overly so. Metallic items are given a dull silverish color, non-metallic ones are in tones of brown and beige. The overall effect is rather drab, but there isn't much, if any, actual weathering (except perhaps a little on the boots). TBLeague has done better, but then again it is doing so almost 16 years later. The eyes are glossy, the eyebrows painted seemingly with individual strokes for each hair. The painted sculpted detail is sharper, and there is more weathering (rather too much on the white plumes); in fact, it is near perfect. The TBLeague helmet's color is more accurate to the 2004 film.

Historicity. Alexander was considered to be relatively fair and ruddy, where the Dragon set makes him a bit yellowish, while the TBLeague one quite tan. Alexander's hair was light for a Greek but still something we would consider light brown, possibly auburn; both sets make him look blonde -- and even more so than the bad dye job on Colin Farrell in the film. The armor from the Issus mosaic appears to be white colored, and that is more accurately conveyed by the TBLeague set.

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Articulation
The Dragon set uses a body that has very decent articulation. However, the head and neck are one piece, and if there is an ab crunch, it is rendered impossible by the armor. The seamless rubber-covered knees can bend to about 90 degrees. The TBLeague set uses M35, a very muscular but also very fully articulated body. It is only slightly hindered here, and for the most part performs very well. There is one significant drawback, shared by both sets: the one-piece sculpted boots. Although in both cases there are molded from soft plastic, that is enough to hinder ankle articulation and to make achieving sure-footed poses difficult. Dragon has the excuse of having made this in 2004, but TBLeague should have known better.

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Accessories
The sets are both fairly limited in accessories. The Dragon set has the lion-headed helmet with two plumes and a crest (which you have to attach), the sword, the scabbard on its leather (or leather-like) baldric, and the long spear (you fit the two halves together), as well as the removable molded hair wig. The TBLeague set has the lion-headed helmet (crest and plumes come attached), the sword, the scabbard which buttons onto the outfit, and the shield (on which see above), as well as the extra pairs of hands, making three pairs total (relaxed, grip, and fists).

Historicity. The lion-headed helmet is an odd piece known from the Alexander Sarcophagus, which can be shown to take various liberties with reality -- Alexander fights in a long-sleeved tunic but no armor, while his troops are shown heroically nude. The lion-headed helmet is a blatant reference to Alexander's much advertised descent from Herakles (Hercules), although that does not mean he didn't have and wear such a helmet at least on occasion. More typically, we would expect Alexander to have worn a Boeotian helmet (the shape of which is derived from a sunhat, see HERE), and he is in fact portrayed wearing one in at least one statue; it was also standard for his fellow cavalrymen. The two plumes on the helmet, however, are attested in the sources. Neither sword resembles what is shown in the Issus mosaic, but the TBLeague set's sword and scabbard are accurate to what is seen in the 2004 film. However, they should have been suspended on a baldric, as in the Dragon set, instead of being buttoned to the outfit. The ARH Alexander statue also has a baldric. The TBLeague shield is gorgeous, but questionable. For one thing, the rope that goes around inside the circumference of the shield's inner side is sculpted as part of that surface. For another, it is unclear that the sun or starburst design would have been found on a shield, and if so, that it would not have been simply painted on. Alexander's father's tomb does contain a very elaborately decorated shield (probably a parade piece, as it is likely to have been impractical in battle), complete with a sculpture group in the center and geometric decoration round the edges. As a cavalryman, it is possible that Alexander did not carry a shield, strange as it is for us to imagine. On the other hand, the long spear (22 inches in 1:6 = 11 feet in 1:1) might be appropriate for a cavalryman's lance (kontos); it is perhaps too long for a standard hoplite spear (about 8 feet) and too short for a Macedonian sarissa (about 16 feet). But there is room for variation here, and all this assumes (perhaps wrongly) that the companies did their homework.

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Outfit
Dragon's Alexander wears what appears to be a beige long-sleeved tunic with pleated fabric pteryges (flaps) at the waist and shoulders; there are also beige boxer shorts. TBLeague's Alexander appears to be wearing a sleeveless short tunic (khiton) which is actually a sort of muscle shirt and white briefs, with a leather skirt of pteryges on top. Dragon's cape is beige and clean; TBLeague's is white but distressed (tattered and weathered) and blood stained, in what seems to me a somewhat unrealistic fashion. The Dragon cape is better designed at the front, while the TBLeague one has too much material showing on the front and not realistically bunched tight under the fastening; it does, however, have a wire, allowing for some options in how it hangs (though it does tend to rise up in an annoying manner). TBLeague's Alexander has also been given "wrist armors" that appear to be as decorative as they are (allegedly) functional; you have to put these on the figure yourself. Both Alexanders wear riding boots, the main difference being added detail in the TBLeague set.

Historicity. In the 2004 film, Alexander wears a white long-sleeved tunic without pteryges at the shoulders, and a beige (but not very dark beige) cape; neither set gets this right, although in some scenes there is a sleeveless variant that would fit TBLeague's look. In the Issus mosaic, both the long-sleeved tunic and the cloak are a darkish color (certainly not white), but there are white leather pteryges at both shoulders and waist. The sarcophagus is not of much help, since it shows Alexander unrealistically fighting in just a long-sleeved tunic and boots; but it does confirm the long sleeves and the traces of color suggest a darkish, reddish hue. Again, neither set gets this right. The undergarments provided in both sets are for modern sensibilities -- the Greeks did have undergarments (like loin-cloths) of sorts, except they wore them instead of, rather than beneath, the other clothing. The "wrist armors" that come with the TBLeague set are pure fantasy (as so often, probably ARH's fault), although probably far more interesting and appropriate to our modern eyes than any more conventional bracelets that might have been worn as a sign of wealth and/or rank. On the plus side, neither set tried to put Alexander in pants, as some modern fantasy might imagine him. Late in his reign he made various concessions to eastern fashions in his dress (now that he was also king of Persians, etc., not just Greeks), but he drew the line at wearing pants... apparently that was considered both barbaric and effeminate!

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Fun Factor
I suppose that depends on your expectations and experience. Neither Alexander really has anyone to play with, both have some difficulty standing in any action poses, and the keen-eyed historian might spot a problem or two. Yet, for fairly simple sets, these are pretty fully kitted out figures with plenty of historical or fantastical detail. They can be fun in themselves, or as a basis for more creative kitbashing.

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Value
The Dragon set is almost 16 years old, so fairly difficult to find. Ebay listings have it to $90 (USD) or more, plus shipping. This is a very decent price today, although the set is both limited and has not aged particularly well. But an ambitious customizer could probably do a lot with it. The new TBLeague set can be found for as little as $145 (USD), plus shipping. This is relatively light for a high end figure today, then again the set doesn't have a ton of accessories, a stand, or a backdrop, unlike some of TBLeague's more ambitious offerings.

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Things to watch out for
Not much in either set. The items are either sturdy enough or flexible enough to be reasonably safe when handling with a modicum of consideration.

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Overall
I did not expect very much from either set. I knew the Dragon one was going to come with a dated body type and sculpting technique/technology, and I could see the shortcuts (pleats instead of pteryges, for example); and I could see how TBLeague's was a cross between the 2004 film version and some sort of ARH fantasy in TBLeague interpretation, falling far short of historical reality or plausibility. But partly thinking I might customize them, partly thinking of kitbashing, I got both and don't regret it. I haven't done anything to either yet, perhaps because I like them enough as is. Neither set is egregiously expensive at present, and if you like what you see, or the historical character (however mythologized), or want to customize the sets, you might find them worthwhile.

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Where to buy
As always, you can look or a deal on eBay, and that will likely be the only place where you can easily find any of the Dragon set; for the TBLeague set you can also check out the following:

Big Bad Toy Store for $145
Cotswold Collectibles for $146
Monkey Depot for $145
Timewalker Toys for $146

Hope this has been useful. What do you think?

#alexander #great #macedon #historical #dragon #tbleague #phicen #male #ancient #review
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Introduction
Peggy Carter is familiar to audiences both as the love interest of Steve Rogers (Captain America) and as an able and intelligent agent in her own right. In the recent Marvel movies and shows she has been played by actress Hayley Atwell. JX Toys has just produced a figure of Atwell as Carter's character and it is this product that you are looking at here. I decided to change up the format a little bit, keep the review concise and end with a silent photo story giving you plenty of opportunity to observe the figure/character in different poses. Since I am no expert on the character and my ability to provide objective evaluation in some of the categories is limited (e.g., what other accessories would be appropriate, would she wear a cap with her uniform?), I have omitted assigning stars to the categories, but I believe the photos and descriptions would suffice for you to make up your own mind.

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Packaging
The figure comes in a relatively compact hard cardboard shoe box-type container with a printed color image of the product on the cover. Inside it is a black foam trey with a thin sheet of black foam as a lid, containing the figure and its accessories. This is pretty basic, but also completely collector friendly and safe: my package was slightly damaged in the mail but although a little creased, the box held up, protecting the product.

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Sculpting
The actress/character can look a little different in different angles, scenes, or settings, but I believe JX Toys produced a very accurate and realistic likeness of Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter. It has the slightly austere, overly neat look of the period, conveys the fashion of a bygone age, and is one of those instances where the finely sculpted hair does work well for anything but very short hairstyles. Since this is a jointed body (with some seamless soft shell material for the torso) that is pretty much all covered up, I did not evaluate the rest of it for sculpting, although I will note that a true seamless body would have helped with the look of the knees and, to some extent, ankles. The hands are sculpted of very soft plastic, but work very well.

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Paint
The paint work is fairly minimal and very neat, both of which are appropriate. The face is pale but not unrealistic for the powdered and contrasting lipstick look of the era, the eyelashes and eyebrows are given very fine treatment, the eyes are glossy and symmetrical, the hair is perhaps a little flat but the fine sculpting of the strands overcomes any potential negative effect. Not seen in the photos, there is a bit of a hair clip showing at the top of the hair, which is appropriately painted a darker color and given a shiny finish. Even the fingernails are painted to match the lipstick, though here the level of detail and accuracy is just a little less impressive.

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Articulation
The articulation of the underlying body appears to be excellent, providing for all the movement you could expect or desire. The shirt and jacket do make posing the arms a little more difficult, and the skirt definitely limits the articulation of the thighs, as well as the ab crunch. The ankles are articulated, but just a little loose, an effect compounded by the inherent instability of high heels in this (or any?) scale. This is really the only annoying feature of the body, and makes it very difficult to have the figure standing in even fairly neutral "museum" poses -- without a stand or something/someone to lean on. If there is anything that bears improvement, it is the functioning (and look) of these ankles.

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Accessories
This is a very simple set. You get the figure in its outfit, some alternative hands, making a total of four pairs (relaxed, fists, trigger grip, knife grip), and a single true accessory, a non-articulated gun with painted handle and screws. This is minimal, but to be honest my memory of the movies (and I haven't seen the shows) is not detailed enough at this point to propose exactly what else should/could have been included. Moreover, retailing at about $105-140 (USD) even on eBay, while simple, this set is relatively modestly priced for a high-end figure from the Marvel Universe these days.

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Outfit
The outfit is made up of stockings, underwear, a blouse, a skirt, a belt, and a jacket. Everything looks pretty well tailored and realistic, and the jacket is particularly impressive, with pleating and brass-colored metal buttons. Everything comes already on the figure, so unless you want to customize the look, you are all set. I removed the jacket to show the blouse, which also looks appropriate for the character and period, albeit inevitably creased. The belt works well, except for the difficulty in trying to get it to go into the cloth loop past the buckle. The one really annoying feature here are the stockings, which keep trying to slide down in an unsightly fashion and require repeated adjusting to look reasonably well. They also seem a little too light colored and opaque, but I am no expert in World War II-period stockings.

Before getting to the rest of the review, here is a little silent photo story (you can provide your own dialogue) that evolved from the photographs as I was taking them... World War II is not my period, so I didn't have all the necessary items, and this was the only other uniform from the time I had around. So consider it an alternate universe or what happens differently when Steve goes back... Smile

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Fun Factor, Things to watch out for, Value, and Overall
There is almost nothing to worry about here, but as always, take care with the delicate wrist pegs. The combination of high heels, stockings, and less than perfectly tight ankle joints makes the figure quite unstable, so take this into account when posing it and displaying it. This cuts into the Fun Factor, as it can be annoying and time-consuming. But she looks great and will delight any and all of your Captain America figures, and probably anyone else too. Going for anywhere between $105 and $140 (USD), the set is not cheap in itself, but for a high-end rendition of a named protagonist from the Marvel Universe this is not bad. And if you worry whether the final product matches the promotional images, you need worry no longer: it does. Overall, this is an excellent figure with some minor issues. I imagine some customizers might end up swapping the body, and that might overcome some or all of these issues.

Where to Buy?
As always, you can search eBay for a deal. You can also find the set here:
GianToy for $105
Toy Origin for $120

Hope this has been helpful. What do you think?

#peggycarter #hayleyatwell #marvel #female #jxtoys #film #tv #review #photostory
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Peggy Carter JX Toys Review and Photo Story  Replies: 15  Views: 549
With the recent release of the Return of the Jedi (ROTJ) stormtroopers by Hot Toys (HT), it became apparent that the new product required additional sculpting and molding, partly intended to reflect the subtle changes in appearance between films and partly to improve any imperfections with earlier (especially A New Hope (ANH) ) versions of their stormtrooper. All this lends itself to comparison and, having promised that in my review of the HT ROTJ Stormtrooper, here it is.

At this point, HT has released three different versions of the basic imperial stormtroopers, not counting the slightly different Spacetrooper, Sandtrooper, etc. The three versions, in order of production, are those from ANH, Rogue One (RO), and ROTJ. Why a character type from the same franchise featured in films set in the same fictional era should exist in so many versions should be a mystery, but it is not: the appearance of the basic stormtroopers was altered between films. Some of this had to do with improving the actors' experience and was not intended to alter the overall look, some of it was intended to cause minor "improvements" to the appearance. A dubious rationale from the point of view of continuity, for sure, but it was done, and it gave HT the opportunity (or excuse) to produce several versions.

In the comparison photos below, the stormtroopers are arranged according to the chronology of the Star Wars fictional universe: RO - ANH - ROTJ. I realize that RO is not technically part of the Original Trilogy, but since it is set mere days (or minutes?) before ANH, and since it is intended to portray the same character type from the same era, I am including it here.

First, a side-by-side comparison of the all-important stormtrooper helmets made for each film:

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Then, a side-by-side comparison of HT's stormtrooper figures; front view:

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HT's first basic stormtrooper depicted the character type's appearance from ANH. It was a sharply executed, beautifully sculpted and painted figure, and an improvement on any that existed among higher-end sixth-scale models. The one serious departure from a correct reproduction of the appearance of the stormtrooper was HT perpetuating a mistake already present in the earlier Marmit and Sideshow versions. This was making the space along the nasal ridge larger between the toothed "frown" and the "mouth" than between the "mouth" and the lower edge of the integral "goggles." It should have been the reverse. Perhaps in part due to this error, the helmet also became too "snouty," extending too far down and forward. The result was a striking and attractive sculpt, but ultimately an inaccurate one. I should point out that the stormtrooper helmet is nearly impossible to get right due to its complexity, its variety (there were two slightly different types, "hero" and "stunt," from the start), and due to the fact that the original molds were based on a hand-sculpted and unintentionally asymmetrical sculpt. That smaller-scale toys and collectibles should "correct" this to a streamlined, symmetrical version (which might even be logically better grounded) is probably unavoidable. Even so, the basic error in proportions should have been spotted and avoided.

Side-by-side comparison of HT's stormtrooper figures; side view:

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For Empire Strikes Back (ESB) and ROTJ, the stormtrooper helmets, though still based on molds from the original film, were altered by Lucasfilm (Mk II). The most obvious difference was the repainting of the "frown" from gray to black, and a less extensive black paint application on the sculpted "mouth" area. Because of the way the molds were produced, the helmets also assumed a slightly thinner, taller, aspect. Note that although the Mk 2 helmets were produced for ESB, they were barely used in it (most scenes were already shot, using slightly altered ANH helmets), and were mostly used in ROTJ. HT's recently produced ROTJ Stormtrooper feature a new helmet sculpt that reflected the changes in appearance fairly well, and undid the earlier mistake in the ratio above and below the "frown" along the nasal ridge -- now the length above is longer than the length below. In fact, they seem to have over-corrected, making the difference a little too large, and still ending up with a slightly too "snouty," if generally more accurate, helmet.

Decades after the Original Trilogy had been filmed and released, the stormtrooper helmet was altered once again for RO. In this instance, it was streamlined by computer design, although some of the original asymmetry was allegedly preserved. The RO helmets naturally attempted to recreate something closer to the ANH look (e.g., the gray toothed "frown"), but the slightly larger and uniformly bubble lenses did alter the appearance a little bit. HT's RO figure appears to have captured the on-screen appearance perfectly in the helmet, with a correct ratio along the nasal ridge above and below the "frown."

Side-by-side comparison of HT's stormtrooper figures; rear view:

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In terms of the rest of the stormtrooper armor, changes undertaken during the filming of the Original Trilogy were largely minute and mostly undetectable, being mostly related to the way the armor was designed to fit onto the underlying body suit. The most visible external changes included adding a narrow trim along the edges of the torso armor elements -- chest and upper-back plates, abdomen and lowe-back plates, cod and butt plates -- and also inverting the small rectangular button plate in the middle of the abdomen. Both of these changes are featured correctly in the HT ROTJ Stormtrooper figures.

The RO armor design made larger departures. Generally speaking, the edges of the armor pieces receded to allow for better articulation, and also the lengths of the body armor pieces changed, presumably for the same reasons. The chest and upper-back plates became narrower but longer. All this is most easily spotted when looking at the troopers from behind. In the same area, the upper-back plate now features a long groove running along the upper edge of the integral "backpack" area, and a little circular hole just above it on the right. The cod piece, belt, and thermal detonator all received minor redesign. The small rectangular button plate in the middle of the abdomen returned to its ANH look, except that the one "stray" button was now made rectangular; also, all the buttons became recessed. All this is correctly reproduced in the HT RO Stormtrooper figure.

Finally, there is the question of holsters. In ANH Stormtroopers were usually portrayed with them (on their left hip), in ESB with them (on their right hip) and ROTJ sometimes with (on their right hip, Death Star scenes) and sometimes without (Endor scenes). Except for that last variation, HT's ANH and ROTJ Stormtroopers are correctly equipped, with the holsters on the correct sides, respectively. HT's RO Stormtrooper comes without a holster, which is also correct. Although this is not illustrated here, HT's ANH Stormtroopers came with two weapons each (or three, if you got the two-pack), but the ROTJ and RO Stormtroopers came with only one, the E-11 standard blaster rifle.

Overall, I would say HT was most successful in recreating the RO stormtrooper appearance; if you get that belt unstuck from the abdomen plate, it would also be the best-articulated of the three stormtrooper figures. The ANH and ROTJ figures are also very well designed and executed, but somewhat undermined by the errors in helmet design (especially ANH, less so ROTJ).

You can find detailed reviews on the HT stormtroopers below:
ANH Stormtrooper (HERE, by Michael Crawford)
RO Stormtrooper (HERE)
ROTJ Stormtrooper (HERE)

I hope this has been useful. What do you think?

#starwars #hottoys #imperial #stormtrooper #galactic #empire #review #comparison #fiction #scifi
Search in: General Talk  Topic: STAR WARS Original Trilogy Stormtroopers Comparison  Replies: 15  Views: 1074

Figuarts Yoda Revenge of the Sith (Review) - Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:51 am

Summary:

Pros: Wonderful detail on the sculpt especially the wrinkles on the faces, still very posable despite how small Yoda is, great extra robe variants, very well made chair and sitting functionality.

Cons: Head can't really look fully up.

Full Review Here Smile

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#Figuarts #Yoda #Review #Revenge #Sith #StarWars
Search in: NON-SIXTH-SCALE ACTION FIGURES  Topic: Figuarts Yoda Revenge of the Sith (Review)  Replies: 6  Views: 479
Summary:
Pros: Great looking SSB Goku, well defined faces, excellent posability.
Cons: Basic accessories
Rating: 10/10
Buy? YES, a perfect representation of Goku's Super Saiyan Blue form!



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#Figuarts #Goku #SSB #SuperSaiyan #Blue #Dragonball #Super #Review

Figma Ryo and Emily Swimsuit Body Version - Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:52 pm

Summary:
Pros: Very cute looking characters, very posable.
Cons: Very basic, doesn't come with accessories other than hands.

Full Review Here

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#Figma #Ryo #Emily #Review #Swimsuit
Search in: NON-SIXTH-SCALE ACTION FIGURES  Topic: Figma Ryo and Emily Swimsuit Body Version  Replies: 6  Views: 769
Update: for the new Kaustic Plastik Conan Masterclass set, see HERE.

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Introduction
It seems like this is ancient/fantasy action figure review week, what with the Rome Imperial Army Legionary (HERE) and Centurion (HERE) figure reviews posted earlier, and now my Conan the Barbarian set from Mr Toys finally arrived yesterday. As a fan, it was not something I could easily pass up, although I already own the two fantasy barbarian warrior sets from Kaustic Plastik and was also going to pick up Kaustic Plastik's new Conan set, which is essentially an upgrade on their previous work and a variation of the Mr Toys set. In fact, Mr Toys seems to have redone a version of Kaustic Plastik's old sets with a selection of the items and some new additions, basically trying to replicate Conan's iconic look from Conan the Destroyer (by far the worse of the two Conan Arnold Schwarzenegger films, in my book). The Mr Toys set is available in two variants, one without (A) and one with (B) the TBLeague (Phicen) M35 seamless action figure body. Since I had M35 bodies to spare, I ordered the smaller, less expensive set A. Because this is not a complete action figure set, I am going to simplify the review and not assign point values, while providing as many images as usual. For the M35 body itself, you can check out my detailed review and a zillion images HERE.

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Packaging
The set I ordered (without the M35 body) comes in a tidy black rectangular cardboard box with a slip-on cover showing off the product, the Mr Toys logo, and product number. Inside the box there are two black foam treys (always appreciated) with the various items that come in the set stored safely and easy to access. Nothing mind-blowing but certainly neat and collector-friendly.
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Sculpting
This category includes a number of items, but of course the most focal one is the head sculpt. Mr Toys appears to have used a head sculpt of Arnold Schwarzenegger that seems just a little more youthful than what we usually see, and is therefore appropriate for the film-based character; nevertheless, it features a sufficiently stern expression. This is the first "real" hair Conan head sculpt we have gotten, and that is a big plus in my book. The sculpting on the head appears to be of excellent quality. It is also very well done on the remainder of the sculpted elements: from the soft plastic headband with its ornaments, to the two pendants, to the ornamented over belt, the utilitarian dagger, and the ornately decorated sword. This category leaves nothing to be desired, and although many of the pieces appear to have been copied directly from the old Kaustic Plastik sets, there are also improvements -- including quality (especially durability -- nothing fell apart as I was handling it), the "real" hair head sculpt, the removable head band, the teeth added to one of the necklaces (although they actually go with another pendant that Kaustic Plastike had not yet produced and was therefore substituted with one that they had made, but didn't go with the teeth).

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Paint
In terms of quality, the paint work appears to be excellent. The face looks realistic, the eyes are precisely painted and glossy, the metallic elements -- whether actual metal or painted plastic -- are convincing and precisely executed. Accuracy is a slightly different matter: for example, parts of the sword should have been given a gold or bronze coloring, but like the old Kaustic Plastik set we get the same clean steel look; the leather strings wound round the boots and fur leggins should have been black. There is little in the way of weathering here, except perhaps on the dagger, the buckle on the back of the ornate belt, and the metal pendant. More weathering would have lent the figure's appearance added realism.

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Articulation
Technically, since my set was the version that came without a body, there is none; the recommended M35 body (HERE, although M34 would probably work just as well) has pretty much all the articulation you could possibly expect and the rather skimpy outfit does not get in the way much. The boots allow for excellent ankle articulation, making wide stances easy to achieve. It is great that the boots include feet (or perhaps they are integral to them), and these fit well onto the TBLeague body. Nevertheless, the stainless steel plus silicone body is heavy and with a high center of gravity, meaning it is not going to be overly steady on its ankles. Take precautions against the figure toppling over, and perhaps stuff something in to tighten the fit of the ankle peg into the hole inside the boot.

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Accessories
The set includes the following accessories: the metal pendant on a string with four teeth or fangs (inaccurate, both because of their placement and because they were paired with a different, golden sun pendant that is not provided here); the green stone snake cult pendant; the decorated battle (?) headgear with "noseguard", which is tied with string at the back of the head; the dagger which fits into a sheath attached to the belt (it fits well, but perhaps a little too high); the long sword which comes with its own sheath with imprinted design and has a couple of hooks on its back, allowing it to hang from either the decorated belt (again, rather too high) or to attach to a leather-like belt that goes across the chest and back and is buckled on the front. There are several other items, but I am keeping covering them under Outfit below. The accessories are of high quality in terms of durability and execution, but again not always entirely accurate (most notably the pendant paired with the teeth/fangs necklace or the lack of gold treatment on the decoration of the sword).

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Outfit
The outfit is minimal, but that is the look we saw on screen for most of Conan the Destroyer. There is a furry (wolf- or bear-skin?) kilt, held in place by leather thongs (called "leather pants" in the product description), over which goes the wide belt decorated with "metal" strips and a dragon crest in the middle; all this is very well executed. The lower arms are protected by a couple of vambraces. On the right lower arm there is a brown leather vambrace with gold- or bronze-colored round studs (which represents the much more numerous and more closely set spikes in the film -- the simplification is carried over the old Kaustic Plastik set). On the left lower arm there is a black leather vambrace with thongs, held together by velcro (I'm not sure it should have been quite black as opposed to dark brown, except perhaps for the thongs wound over it; and it should have been made a little wider to allow a more comfortable fit). Finally, there are the brown leather boots with grey fur trim on the top, and brown leather straps (should have been black or much darker brown leather) wound around both boot and trim. These constantly move out of place and require some futzing to get halfway right; nevertheless they do not fall apart like those in the original Kaustic Plastik set, which is a relief.

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Fun Factor
The absence of other character from the Conan films does not help, but nevertheless, the fairly complete outfit and accessories makes this a fun set. This is augmented by the excellent articulation potential and by the quality and durability of the items included in the set. Still, not something you would want careless children to mess around with.

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Value
The set I bought, without the M35 body included, retails for anywhere between around $85 and $100 (USD), often with shipping included, if you're buying on eBay from China. This is not exactly cheap, but it is not horrendously more than the price of the old Kaustic Plastik sets from years back, partly reprized by Mr Toys. If you are buying the set with the M35 body included, the price jumps to closer to $180, but that includes the $80+ for the body. Overall, the price is not inconsiderable, but also not horribly exaggerated compared to earlier and similar practice. But of course if you are buying multiples, or also looking forward to picking up Mr Toys' He-Man set and Kaustic Plastik's new and improved Conan set, the costs will add up.

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Things to watch out for
If you are treating the figure with the usual amount of care appropriate for high-end collectibles of this type, there should be little or nothing to worry about. As I mentioned, the figure can be a bit top-heavy and lose its balance, so take precautions about that. I do worry that the little round metallic studs on the leather vambrace on the right hand might fall off, as they did with the Kaustic Plastik version, but on the whole the quality seems to be better, so perhaps it should less of a concern.

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Overall
All told, this is a very good set. It is not perfect (occasional mistakes with the pairing and painting of accessories, etc), but it is fairly complete as far as what we can associate with this look of the character, and it is durable and beautifully executed. Don't get me wrong: I love the old Kaustic Plastik stuff, and between their two sets, you do get more than you get here; however, I am weary and wary of everything I touch coming apart in my hands, and Mr Toys' set is like a breadth of fresh air in that respect. Moreover, with the new head sculpt, the "real" hair, and the removable headband, we get some real and unprecedented improvements in terms of the selection, functionality, and appearance of the items making up the set. I am very pleased overall, and I think most others who go for this set will be too. One should note that it looks like the new Kaustic Plastik set will correct some of their earlier mistakes and omissions (including some carried over into the Mr Toys set) -- but the new Kaustic Plastik set is much more expensive, does not include a body, and features a beautiful but one-piece sculpted head (the hair and headband are part of the head sculpt).

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Where to buy?
This is a tough one. Most outfits carrying these here in the States have long sold out their pre-orders, although it is to be expected that they might get some additional sets. I don't like to pre-order, but when I saw so many venues sold out, bit the bullet and pre-ordered from GianToy (you can do so directly or via eBay). If you want one and haven't pre-ordered it, check where you would usually check (just in case), or look on eBay.

For comparison purposes, here are a couple of photos of this set alongside my custom Conan the Barbarian (also based on the appearance in Conan the Destroyer) and the much more loosely-inspired "Conanesque" figure.

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I hope you found this useful. What do you think?

Update: for the new Kaustic Plastik Conan Masterclass set, see HERE.

#conan #barbarian #arnold #schwarzenegger #mrtoys #film #fiction #fantasy #warrior #male #productreview #review
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I've been one of those sorely disappointed with the initial in-hand photos of this guy since they first started appearing a few weeks ago. Like many figures out there, however, in-hand he doesn't appear nearly as bad as some photos have made him seem. Is he great. No. Is he even good --- Mhmm, maybe. But, this is Sideshow -- and if there is one thing Sideshow struggles with, it's getting an actual person's likeness right. That being said, I think this one, for all it's flaws, (and if it had a much better paint job), would actually be a better sculpt than the all-too cute and glorified one that we were given by Hot Toys for Mark Hamill as he appeared in the film. Mark had had a few (what look to me like botched) plastic surgeries after some car accidents (one or more, don't remember) that turned him from the cute, pretty-boy he was in the first Star Wars film, to a much more rough-looking individual by the third.
The problem with the Sideshow version is they took those flaws, and instead of smoothing them over and making Mark's face TOO clean and symmetrical like HT, they magnified them to the point of a bit of distraction. Those of us who were alive and old enough to remember Corvette Summer, and the resulting incidents could see the damage that had been done, but it wasn't so blatantly obvious to us while watching the film. Here, they seem to draw your eye to the very spots that had been effected. I think if we had gotten a sculpt halfway between the Hot Toys version and this version, we would have had a near perfect Return of the Jedi Luke Skywalker as played by Mark Hamill. As it is I'm not fully convinced on either.

The figure itself comes with plenty of good features, though. Not least of which is the three different looks you can give the character. Two head sculpts -- one inside the Endor helmet, and one without. I've seen people have managed to get the head out of the Endor helmet, but not without serious effort (something I have no intention of doing, as I don't honestly think I'll ever use the Endor look myself -- so I'd rather get rid of those parts if possible).
The heads have an okay paint job, but it could be better. There is only the slightest hint of color variation in the hair, even though the overall sculpting of it is there, a better paint app would have made the hair more believable. There's a hint of cast flashing in part of the hair on helmetless head, but at normal viewing distance it really isn't all that noticeable.

One of the cool things about his black Jedi shirt with the flap is that it has  magnets inside the flap and the shirt, so if you want the flap down it stays perfectly in place, if you want it closed -- same thing. Overall the outfits looks really good, I especially like the Jabba scene over-tunic (he comes wearing that), and the straight-up Jedi look with all black for the final light-saber duel with dear-old Dad. He also comes with an assortment of hands, including one ungloved right hand with robotic battle damage. The boots are a nice two-piece design giving a fairly decent amount of ankle articulation.

The one gripe I have about the costume pieces is the Jedi belt -- for some unknown reason the tongue of the belt goes UNDER the backside of the belt into the loop place holder -- I guess to hide the excess belt -- but it's an absolute pain in the butt to slide in there and pull the belt enough to attach the prong into the hole to make it tight (I had to use two self-holding tweezers in order to get it to work). They could have just made the belt the appropriate length and had it clasp closed on the back of the buckle, but I guess that would take someone pulling their head out of their you-know-what...

Other than that, my pictures (as usual) don't really do the figure any justice. But I took a few anyway. Overall, my impressions: it's a good, but not great figure, that comes with some nice accessories -- but for the price, it should have been a home-run. Let me know what you think.

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#review #Sideshow #LukeSkywalker #ReturnoftheJedi
Summary:
Pros: Great looking Jason Voorhees, clothes fit nicely and don't look baggy, headsculpts are gruesomely beautiful, masks look real nice, comes with a lot of weapons, great range of movement and posability!
Cons: NONE!

Full Review Here Smile

Jason VS Frankenstein:

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#mezco #jason #voorhees #review #frankenstein #fridaythe13th
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Storm Collectibles Muhammad Ali 1/12 - Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:14 am

Summary:
Pros: Definitely looks like Muhammad Ali, very smooth joints, highly posable, alternate heads are consistently great.
Cons: Robe looks a bit thick on Ali, no other accessories, not even a postcard/picture like what Mike Tyson had.

Full Review Here Smile

The Greatest and The Baddest:

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#stormcollectibles #ali #muhammad #review #muhammadali
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Storm Collectibles Mike Tyson 1/12 - Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:27 am

Pros: Very great looking toy that has the likeness of Mike Tyson in his prime, surprisingly great articulation with help from the rubber upper body, nice cloth shorts, nice looking alternate headsculpts, the use of real life brands and championship belts add to the authenticity of this toy.

Cons: The championship belts aren't that well detailed, the WBC belt is missing a circular gold part, joints can be very stiff so you'll have to use silicone shock oil to loosen them up safely, the scale is not exactly 1/12, it's much bigger and it definitely won't fit with Figuarts or Figma toys.

Full Review Here Smile

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#stormcollectibles #miketyson #review
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Figma SP-108 Alien Takayuki Takeya Version - Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:40 pm

Summary:

Pros: Very beautiful design that stays true to the Giger original, highly posable, nice facehugger accessory, good inner mouth functionality, decent tail mechanics.

Cons: No chestburster or egg accessories to complete it, upper body articulation could use a bit more range.

Full Review Here Smile

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The Corridors of Nostromo:

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#review #figma #alien #sp-108 #toycomic
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NOTE: A few extra goofing around photos added to posts 11 and 15 below.

Introduction

Following upon its recent releases of Luke Skywalker and the Imperial Royal Guard (see HERE) from Return of the Jedi, Hot Toys has now provided Emperor Palpatine to go with them. The galactic emperor comes in two versions, regular (MMS467) and deluxe (MMS468); it is the latter version that I am reviewing here. The difference consists of the larger box and two accessories: the emperor's throne and Luke's un-ignited lightsaber, which come exclusively with the deluxe version.

If you are a hardcore Star Wars fan, it is likely enough that the supreme antagonist of the Original Trilogy would be on your shopping list. Sideshow produced what was a very respectable version at the time, but improved standards and the superior detail and quality of Hot Toys made me break my usual rule of not upgrading and go for this; besides, I did not have Sideshow's throne, which had become rare and expensive, as well as cumbersome and brittle (polystone). So I gave my Sideshow emperor to a friend and lightened my wallet.

I am divided on the character, although he was played masterfully by Ian McDiarmid (all the more so in the otherwise fairly abysmal Prequel Trilogy, which I cannot bring myself to consider canonical). The emperor's character, importance, and even name changed over time as drafts of what became Star Wars progressed. At one time he was the puppet of corrupt politicians instead of a force user; early versions of his name included "Ford Xerxes XII" (1973), "Alexander Xerxes XII, Emperor of Decarte," "Cos Das-hit (sic!), Lord of Alderaan, Consul to the Supreme Tribunal, ruler of the Galactic Empire" (Rough Draft, May 1974), "Son Hhat, a Hhut (Hutt!), Lord of Granicus, Consul to the Supreme Tribunal, ruler of the Galactic Kingdom" (First Draft, July 1974), and was given the name Palpatine, sounding palpably Palatine or palatial or portentiously pulsating only in the first novelization of Star Wars from 1976. You can find more on his evolution into the emperor we know from the Original Trilogy (and beyond -- I will not address the Sidious or, worse, Sheev silliness) HERE.

Lucas did plenty right (at first), dropping overly obvious parallels to ancient or modern leaders, making him a mysterious mastermind, keeping the emperor out of the original film, confining him to a short conversation via hologram in the second installment (until he revisited this and pointlessly extended said conversation later), and presenting him as a relatively diminutive and understated ascetic old man in the third. But then he was also portrayed as a cartoonishly simplistic villain who demanded needless sacrifices for an artsy and ultimately unsuccessful strategy, cackled fiendishly, and thought it a good idea to win their hearts and minds by pitting father and son against each other and demanding that they fight to the death (not to mention that arguably these were, at least in a sense, his own son and grandson). How do you reconcile that with the apparent ability to take over the known universe and bring peace and prosperity with the minor exception of a determined small band of hypocritical and dogmatic terrorists? Perhaps one needs to make recourse to senility... One of the tragedies of the Star Wars saga is that its sophisticated visual appearance does not match its childish simplicity and that if fans grow up and choose to analyze it at any depth, they find it wanting; if they don't, perhaps the stylized and misleading dichotomy of the Star Wars universe has sunk in too deep. But we love it anyway and at any rate let's not diverge too far; let's focus on the product at hand.

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Packaging: 4/4 stars

The emperor arrives in a large box measuring approximately 8 by 14 by 16 inches. There is a slip on cover with a frontal image of the enthroned emperor, the Star Wars logo, and the product name and number on the front, and credits on the back. Within lies the box proper, with a large see-through cover on the front and the emperor risen from his throne and about to unleash his force lighting, seemingly in the process of saying "So be it, Jedi..." on the back. Inside the box there are two plastic treys, each with its own see-through plastic lid. The top one holds the action figure, the extra hands, and the hand-held accessories, while the bottom one contains the two-part throne, action figure stand, and a couple more accessories. Nothing terribly exciting in the design and decoration of the box, but it is done perfectly well, and everything within it is perfectly safe and perfectly collector-friendly.

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Sculpting: 3.5/4 stars

I think Hot Toys did an excellent job reproducing one of the facial expressions of the emperor from the film. When I saw the toothy grin on the prototype advertised what seems like many years ago, I was dubious; but the product looks great. The look they chose is one of a sinister grin, looking amused, yet creepy and threatening at the same time. Do keep in mind that it is difficult to capture the quality of the sculpt with justice in photographs, and even more difficult to recreate the exact look from the screen, which has benefited from professional lighting and manipulation in post-production (most infamously the "emperor's slug(s)," though I just spotted a rectangular band of light on the face, produced either by an actual spot light or mirror or in editing); even with two poseable spot lights I was often unable to replicate the right shadows.

If there is any decline in quality from the prototype used for the promotional images, I do not know whether it is owing to a slightly softer sculpt or to a lighter wash used in the paint (I am going to assume the former, but could be wrong -- I am taking off the relevant half point here). The sculpt of the hairs on the head (which we do not see in the film) is perhaps just a little softer than it could have been, given Hot Toys' achievements in that respect. At any rate, the detail is there, and while it is difficult to give it justice in the photos (and angle and lighting play a role), this is certainly the best sixth-scale iteration of the emperor so far. If it leaves anything to be desired, that goes beyond the scope of any figure sporting a single head sculpt: the emperor made a great many different facial expressions in the film, and we get only one: the toothy grin. It would have been nice to see at least a dissatisfied expres​sion(if not a furious one) and a sarcastic mock-commiseration expression. If anything, a neutral head would have been advisable. Generally, that might be too much to ask for, but this is a deluxe product after all. Despite being a short guy who spent a lot of his time seated, the emperor did manage to look down on people (especially Luke) in a number of scenes; looking down in particular is rather difficult to convey with the present head sculpt, no matter how good it looks otherwise.

The tiny details are carried over to the hand sculpts, and the elaborate clasp on the front of the emperor's cloak, while the non-organic pieces (the lightsaber and throne) look machine-like and ever-so-slightly used. The emperor stands almost 11 inches (28 cm) tall.

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Paint: 4/4 stars

Hot Toys is known for its excellent quality paint application, and the present figure is no exception. There are no oversight problems here. It is possible that the promotional prototype had a more delicate wash that intensified the numerous wrinkles on the skin (but I have assumed it is a question of the sculpt above); this seems more subtle and less effective here, although the detail is still minute and impressive. I also wonder if perhaps the color chosen for the eyes is not a tad dark (but I realize it would have been very difficult to reproduce the almost glowing eyes we see in the film). As in the film, one of the eyes appears to be ever so slightly "lazy." The area around the eyes is painted a little darker, which works great for some scenes; in others, they appear to have been artificially lightened in the film's post production, and you cannot replicate that with the figure, except perhaps by editing the photos. The paint application is consistent with whatever is appropriate: glossy eyes and clasp, slightly less glossy teeth, matte metal for the throne, dull pale skin, etc. The crooked wooden cane is perhaps too shiny, although I do not know it for a fact that this is wrong.

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Articulation: 3.5/4 stars

Generally speaking, the articulation of the figure is excellent. It is possible that the typical Hot Toys undersuit (padding) gets a little bit in the way, but not much. The one really disappointing thing about the articulation is the one-piece neck and head. I understand why they went this way (and there seems to be a pattern in this to their recent figures, including Luke), especially given the emperor's wrinkled neck, but it keeps the figure from replicating the character's head gestures to a more significant degree than I expected. I believe a less restrictive design might have allowed even a one-piece neck and head to work better. Apart from this the figure can perform the other movements of the character from the film.

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Accessories: 3/4 stars

By far and away the most impressive accessory is the throne exclusive to the deluxe version of the figure. The throne is constructed of two pieces, the base and the seat proper. The latter fits onto the former, and can rotate around its axis. For its light feature, see below. The overall look and size of the throne appears great, but unless I am missing something, either the throne is not exactly right in terms of size or proportion (is the seat too high and the ceiling too low?) or the figure is just a little too tall or inflexible to comfortably fit on it with sufficient overhead room to match the appearance in the film. If you try to have the emperor sit up to lecture Luke, he will have to either hit or clear the throne's ceiling; also, if you have him lean back into the seat (as he does in the film), it is pretty difficult to have his feet reach the floor. Nevertheless, I should stress that if there is anything off here, it is very minor; additional futzing and patience may yield even better results.

Apart from the throne, the accessories include additional hand sculpts (for a total of six), the twisted cane, Luke's un-ignited lightsaber, and two sculpted bolts of force lighting. There are also a couple of spare wrist pegs (not shown) and an instruction leaflet (likewise). Finally, there is an action figure stand with interchangeable Death Star flooring: the sculpted top of the stand and a removable sand-paper-like sheet with imprinted floor pattern at an angle; the figure stands quite well without the stand. The selection of accessories is comprehensive for the character. If there is any room for improvement, it would have been to add an extra hand sculpt or two. The ones we get on the figure in the box are the semi-relaxed/semi-closed hands that the character has while seated on the throne or walking around the throne room; the right one is also recommended to be used with the cane, but does not work very well for that purpose. There are left and right hands with fairly outstretched fingers to attach the sculpted force lighting, and there are two variably semi-closed right hands with partly extended index finger. It would have been nice to get a left pointing hand (the emperor uses that at least twice on screen) and a proper right hand to hold the cane (though one of the extended index-finger hands works better for that than the hand recommended in the instructions). The sculpted force lighting looks and works remarkably well. It attaches better to the left hand than the right, but if the light hits it (and especially in front of a darker background) it captures it and looks just right, shining and translucent at once.

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Light Feature: 4/4 stars

The actual light feature that comes with this product is confined to the emperor's throne. It is simple but relatively user-friendly and perfectly effective. The underside of the seat features a compartment for the insertion of two AAA batteries (not included), and a tiny switch to turn the electrical feature on and off. For once this is very easily accessible. When it is switched on, the throne's control buttons on both sides of both arm rests become illuminated in the appropriate colors. The buttons are made of colored translucent plastic and look that way even when the light is not turned on. There is also a rectangular white light on the underside of the throne's ceiling. All lights are controlled simultaneously by the single switch on the bottom.

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Outfit: 4/4 stars

The emperor's outfit from the film, however basic, is reproduced in exact and loving detail. It is, on the outside, simple enough: a flowing waffle cotton hooded robe with long draping sleeves. The texture is designed to replicate the look from the film, although I suspect it does not drape quite as readily in this scale. The bottom edge of the robe, the bottom edges of the sleeves, and the edges of the hood have thin wires allowing you to position them for a desired look. The inside of the hood is sown up in such a way that the head would not go too far in (with my figure, I actually wish they had left a little more room inside the hood so I can cast deeper shadows over the face). The shiny molded clasp has been discussed above and can be opened. Looking at the official Star Wars costume book (B. Alinger, Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy, San Francisco 2014: 162) I thought the clasp had been placed wrongly (rotated by 180 degrees), but a look at on-set photos revealed that Hot Toys did it right.

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Below the black waffle cotton cloak is a suede robe tied at the waist with a sash from the same material. Some of this was visible on screen in the film. Under that there are black pants and soft dull reddish-brown boots. Insofar as this can be verified, everything appears to be correct or appropriate.

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Fun Factor: 4/4 stars

With so many sixth-scale (or similar) action figures from (or applicable to) Return of the Jedi already out there from Hot Toys and other brands, one should have no problems having fun reenacting the film or creating new scenes and situations with the present product, all the more so because of the throne and other appropriate accessories. Here is a little reenactment sequence from the film...

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Value: 3/4 stars

Between them, Hot Toys and Lucasfilm are among the main culprits for the skyrocketing costs of sixth-scale action figures and accessories, and others have been quick to follow their lead. That said, this extensive and deluxe set is not horribly overpriced, especially by the standards they have already set. The regular version (without throne or Luke's lightsaber) retails at around $220, which is around and near the low end of other protagonist figures from this and other franchises produced by Hot Toys today. This means that if you buy the deluxe version at $315, you pay an extra $95 for the extra accessories, most notably the fully-functional light-up throne. This is certainly not exactly a bargain, but also not as horrendously expensive as it might have been, or as it might become soon enough on the secondary market. For a deluxe set by Hot Toys and licensed by Lucasfilm, the price appears fairly decent, and seemingly more so than many other recent offerings. Still, it hurts...

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Things to watch out for

Darth Vader falling on his face during photography and breaking off one of the tusks on his helmet; failing to find said tusk; detaching a tusk from another ruined helmet and losing that one; having to cannibalize a third... but wait, none of that has anything to do with the product reviewed here. There really isn't much to worry about, and there aren't many small, dangerous, or easily misplaceable parts, so basic precautions should be enough. While the throne is not as brittle and delicate as polystone, I would not drop it. The hands were a bit difficult to swap, but a hair dryer should have helped and despite some impatient pulling, I still did not manage to break the wrist pegs (just in case, they included a couple of spares).

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Overall: 3.67/4 stars

I am very pleased with this figure, and believe it is a better representation of the character than any that has been available in the past -- certainly in this scale. Admittedly, we are stuck with one expression for a very expressive character, but that is the worst that can be said about it. The appearance and articulation are excellent and the choice of accessories extensive and appropriate. We could have used an extra hand sculpt, and a slightly more comfortable fit on the throne, but all in all these are fairly minor disadvantages. But you can draw your own conclusions from the photos and details above (and below). What do you think?

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Where to Buy:

Big Bad Toy Store $315
Or $220 (regular version)

Cotswold Collectibles $314

Timewalker Toys $220 (regular version)

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#starwars #returnofthejedi #rotj #hottoys #emperor #palpatine #review #productreview #scifi #male
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Hot Toys Star Wars Emperor Palpatine (Deluxe) Review  Replies: 89  Views: 3490

VS TOYS BATHROOM - Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:28 am

I don't buy a lot of diorama elements these days, but ended up going for this when I considered several of the parted-out pieces. This review is dedicated in loving memory to one of our Founding Fathers who has since left us, but who would have loved this (and is surely loving it).

VS (Vicky Secret) Toys have produced a bathroom set that just became available Stateside. The set features a bathtub with a shower with hand-held adjustable hose, a toilet, a toilet paper holder, a bathrobe, a large towel, a smaller towel, and reversible printed tile floor and wall surfaces. There is even a little color graphic labeled "bathtub," but its purpose is somewhat indeterminate. The whole set comes packed into a white box (with various bathroom-related graphics on top) with a two-part foam trey, and an additional foam sheet to protect the wall surfaces.

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If you have been looking for additional "modern civilian" diorama pieces, these might be right up your alley; or if you want to put your favorite superheroes in humorous bathroom situations. Overall, the set is quite nice, while not quite perfect. Read on for the specifics, interspersed with another nine photos.

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The floor and wall surfaces are both reversible, giving you a choice between dark granite or light sandstone tiles (or something like that). The floor surface measures about 12 x 13.75 inches (30.5 x 35 cm). The wall surface folds into three consecutive segments, each 13.75 inches (35 cm) tall; two of the pieces are 12 inches (30.5 cm) wide, while one of the end pieces is 5.5 inches (14 cm) wide. You can place the floor and wall pieces in various configurations. A minor flaw is that the dark granite tile surfaces exhibit perfectly continuous lines and strands in the stone, which would not be the case with actual tile work. There are no other problems with these pieces, although I worry that with enough folding back and forth the printed surfaces would crack or at lest crease at the fold lines.

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The bathtub is made of resin and is the heaviest piece in the set. It measures about 10.5 x 5 x 4.25 inches (25.5 x 12.5 x 11 cm) at the extremes. It is done nicely enough, although it has some slight imperfections (which might give it a slightly more realistic, lived-in look). The level of detail is not quite superb, with the most annoying (even if rarely visible) problem being the lack of a sculpted (never mind functional) drain at the bottom. Moreover, only on the faucet side is the tub designed to fit flush against a wall; generally the same should have been true for one of the long sides, but I suppose this way you can place the bathtub in whatever direction you choose. Your sixth-scale figures should have no problem fitting inside the tub, which was a pleasant surprise for me, as I half expected it to be undersized.

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The toilet paper holder is made of plastic and is intended to be attached to the wall with double-sided tape (provided and already attached to its back). I would have much preferred it to be done with magnets, so that you can choose which side of the wall surface background to place it on, and where exactly to do so, from scene to scene. Perhaps I am commitment-phobic, but I believe most people would see the advantage in that over getting stuck with a single permanent look or risk possibly damaging the wall surface when changing your set up. At any rate, I improvised and placed one magnet on the inside of the unexposed double-sided tape (it is concealed by the outer structure of the toilet paper holder) and another on the other side of the wall surface. The holder itself is a slightly more elaborate version of the simpler classic look, but this allows you to supply what does not come with it -- an actual toilet paper roll. I improvised one of these too, cutting a narrow strip of actual toilet paper and rolling it around a foamie that I jammed inside the holder, leaving a portion of the strip to hang out as it would in real life.

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The diorama area is big enough for at least two figures.

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And so is the tub, even if it is a somewhat tight fit. And unlike real full-sized humans, these don't seem to take issue with the faucet pushing against their backs.

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Like the toilet paper holder, the shower component is designed to be attached to the wall with double-sided tape (provided and already attached to its back). Again, I would have much preferred this to be done with magnets, and in fact used magnets for my photos (placing one on top of the shower component and the other on the other side of the wall background). The hand-held shower head can be attached to or detached from the component, and the adjustable hose attached to them is made of a fine metal chain that works and looks great.

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The toilet bowl itself is made of resin, but it is not nearly as heavy as the larger and more solid bathtub. The toilet seat and lid are made of plastic, and are both articulated. Unlike the bathtub, the toilet has a sculpted (non-functioning) drain. Believe it or not, the size of sixth-scale toilets has been a concern, and this one seems about right, measuring about 4.5 x 3.5 x 3 inches (11.5 x 9 x 7.5 cm) at the extremes. The design does leave something to be desired: it is not clear (to me, anyway) where the water tank is, and the part that seems intended to fit flush against the wall is prevented from doing so by the portion below it jutting out in the same direction. Perhaps these are the tankless toilets of the future. I suppose leaving the lid up helps hide these potential visual flaws.

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In terms of soft goods, the set includes the bath robe, the larger towel, and the smaller towel. All three are in white. (Contrary to some of the promotional materials, no underpants are provided.) The towels are a fairly basic affair, and feel somewhat like the real thing only on the "face" side. The larger towel can be wrapped around a male figure's waist, or around a female figure's entire torso. The smaller towel can probably be bunched up into a turban, but I haven't tried.

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The bath robe is made of a soft cotton-like material (perhaps actual cotton) that feels much like the real thing, and comes complete with pockets and a belt. It fits comfortably on female figures, and well enough on male ones (if you don't mind shortish sleeves and a tight fit on the upper arms).

Overall, this is a pretty decent and versatile set. Each of the pieces in it (except perhaps for the soft goods) could have been even better, but on the whole it gets the job done and covers most of the basic things you will find in one of the rooms of a modern home. It also works and looks very well with figures in its scale. Moreover, there really isn't much in the way of alternatives except for Barbie (and possibly other doll) accessories. With some customizing, these, too, can be made realistic -- for an example, see the first post in the Barbie deBarbiefied thread HERE. But here I only improvised the magnetic attachment of the shower component and toilet paper holder (because I did not want to tape them in place), and made the little toilet paper roll. Of course, you'd need a few more things to make up a complete bathroom (like a sink and mirror), but it's a decent place to start.

Where to buy? Try eBay or, in the US:
Big Bad Toy Store $110
Cotswold Collectibles $106
Monkey Depot (sold out, some parted-out pieces available)
Timewalker Toys $106
Toy Anxiety (some parted-out pieces available)

Hope this was helpful and let me know what you think.

#productreview #review #vstoys #vickysecret #diorama #bathroom #superhero #modern #bathroom
Search in: General Talk  Topic: VS TOYS BATHROOM  Replies: 20  Views: 761
My wonderful wife helped put this one together for me (luckily it wasn't very hard). Most of his back-pack accessories were already attached (thankfully), or she probably wouldn't have.

His lightsabers, the binoculars, and the long rifle were the only things that had to be attached (other than the goggles). Pretty simple to set up. The base top did not come with the figure (it was a custom I got from a customizer over at the Freaks: Cocoboloboy).

Overall I'm pretty happy with this guy. The paint apps are better than the usual Sideshow human effort, but still kind of flat -- particularly in photos; the sculpt, however is excellent, and they did a really good job on the weathering of his clothes -- with the exception of his white tunic sleeves having little-to-no weathering, and the color of the neck not matching the head sculpt. It's a decent conglomeration of Sir Alec and Ewan, though I tend to see more of the former than the latter. For the price it would have been pretty cool if they had included some sort of feature to light up his saber blade, but it's not really that big of deal for me, as I never use those features anyway (I have one Iron Man armor and I've never tried any of the light up features -- as I've heard it's a nightmare to open all the little compartments to put those batteries in).

The first two pictures are mine from my cell phone.

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And the rest, which really show off how great this figure is are from Freaks members Cocoboloboy, jedibear, Kamandi, Mandible, Pizza, robrod, & Stealth V3teran. Please enjoy some of the great photography and details of what is, in my opinion, one of the best figures Sideshow Collectibles has ever done.

Cocoboloboy:
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jedibear:
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Kamandi:
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Mandible:
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Pizza:
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robrod (went to a rock quarry and grabbed sand and dirt and glued it to the top of his base):
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Stealth V3teran:
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#review #Sideshow #Obi-WanKenobi #Mythos
Search in: General Talk  Topic: REVIEW: Sideshow Collectibles: Obi-Wan Kenobi Mythos  Replies: 14  Views: 712
Summary:
Pros: Very well detailed especially the wounds, good articulation, nice fitting clothes.
Cons: Chest or ab-crunch articulation is missing, extreme lack of accessories, Flyboy's shoes are a bit rounded or curved, making it hard to make him stand without assistance.
Rating: 7/10

Full Review Here Smile

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#Mezco #DawnoftheDead #Flyboy #PlaidShirt #Zombie #Review
Summary:
Pros: Nice looking clothes that fit TBLeague/Phicen and Jiaou Dolls, nice sewing quality, beautiful yet simple design, doesn't seem to stain doll's flesh even without washing.
Cons: A little hard to put on, especially on big breasted TBLeague/Phicen dolls like the S10D model.

Full Review Here Smile

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#FlirtyGirl #OktoberGirl #BlueDress #Review
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Flirty Girl Oktober Girl Blue Dress Review  Replies: 3  Views: 524

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

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
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Sideshow Jack Burton Detailed Review  Replies: 17  Views: 1090
Summary:
Pros: Beautiful face that somewhat resembles Taylor Swift from certain angles, nice hairstyle, pretty face.
Cons: Paint application on the left eyeshadow is imperfect, one iris is bigger than the other, even though it's recommended for PALE TBLeague/Phicen bodies, it's not really a perfect match.

Full Review Here

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(I haven't been able to post in a long time... 12 hour work days, 6 days a week, too tired, so many toys still boxed lol!)


#review #superduck #sdh005-a #european #headsculpt
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Review: Super Duck SDH005-A European Headsculpt  Replies: 2  Views: 850
Pros: Beautiful and elegant design, nice soft material, high heel shoes fit even the removable feet version of TBLeague/Phicen bodies!

Cons: The zipper at the back requires considerable strength to use.

Full Review Here Smile

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#vortoys #v1011b #shoulderdress #review #clothing #female #productreview
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Product Review: Vortoys V1011B Women's Shoulder Dress  Replies: 6  Views: 420
Pros: Play Toy MB001 body follows the standard 1/6 body style so it has most of all the modern day articulation to be expected, Ip Man headsculpt set has a wonderful paintjob, useful hands, butterfly swords are made of metal, clothes and pants look nice.

Cons: Play Toy MB001 has a somewhat loose right foot that should be fixable with Pledge Floor Care, Ip Man's clothes are hard to hook into place due to tiny hook size, Ip Man's shoes have trouble fitting on MB001's feet so you have to force them and loosen them up. Ip Man's neck adapter is a little loose on the MB001 neck join so it needs some putty or clay to tighten up.

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#playtoy #mb001 #ipman #head #male #review #productreview
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Product Review: Play Toy MB001 and Ip Man Headsculpt Set  Replies: 5  Views: 498

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