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Ovy's recent sixth-scale jointed bodies comparison review and the simultaneous appearance of a new twelfth-scale stormtrooper action figure by Hasbro inspired me to put this together. Stormtroopers are difficult -- getting the right kind of articulation with all this armor and getting the right look and proportion in the complex (and originally unintentionally asymmetric) helmet design has been a challenge even for sixth-scale products (indeed even Hot Toys has often failed to quite nail it). Some of these issues are present in the twelfth-scale figures, although most of them are perhaps surprisingly successful in most, if not necessarily all respects. Since this is mostly about comparing the figures themselves, I have not been comprehensive in covering the other items (stands, additional accessories, etc) that come in the sets, except for some basic indication in the notes.

Here are five twelfth-scale stormtroopers (there might be additional versions out there, in which case these are the second, updated versions). From left to right: Hasbro Black Series (henceforth, H), Kaiyodo Revoltech (KR), Bandai model set (B), Bandai S.H. Figuarts (BSHF), and the just-released Hasbro Black Series "The Mandalorian" (HM).

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Some things to note: KR is apparently now also released under the brand name Animewild; moreover, there appeared substantially less expensive Chinese knockoffs of the original Japanese sets, often inferior in the quality of the materials and paint application. The Bandai model set needs to be put together, a somewhat time-consuming and possibly challenging process. The new Hasbro Black Series stormtrooper, HM, while referencing The Mandalorian series, is essentially a Rogue One stormtrooper, since the shape design is supposed to be identical.

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Front. Note the extra low "brow" of H and B, and the higher dome of KR. For some reason, the helmet design of H comes across as the worst to me (strangely, their sandtrooper helmets were very good); B has a fine helmet, but the distance ratio between the "nose" and "lip" areas is reversed; HM's helmet is more specifically appropriate for Rogue One and The Mandalorian; the "nose" and "lip" distances are about the same here, which is not quite right but at least they are not reversed (strangely, Hasbro's 3.75-inch Rogue One stormtroopers were even better in this respect). BSHF's helmet is technically correct, but there is still something that seems a little off with it. Only B's helmet has actual green translucent lenses, but it is not something you can actually notice without taking it apart. KR's armor is not quite bulky enough, while HM's is specific to its source movie/series. KR's helmet is very good in many respects, but something (the high dome?) is a little off.

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Back. Note the holes in the back armor panel of H, in the butt armor panel of KR, and in the boots of BSHF, KR's diminutive thermal detonator, and the strangely small trapezoidal designs on the helmet of BSHF. It doesn't show well in the photo, but HM's armor has the movie/series-specific rectangular indent on the top surface of the "backpack" section of the back plate. Also note that the chest-and-upper-back armor assembly is a separate piece that allows for underlying articulation.

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Elbow articulation (best: HM and B; worst: H) and neck and upper torso stretch backward (best: B; worst: KR).

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Neck and upper torso stretch forward (best: KR, BSHF, and HM; worst: H).

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Upward and sideways arm movement (worst -- sideways: H). Note that B and BSHF have shoulder armor designed so that it moves out of the way, while HM's is made of more flexible plastic -- which allows the movement, but if you keep the pose too long, it might remain twisted and require corrective action. KR can theoretically do better with the upward arm movement, but the joint comes apart.

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Taking a knee (worst: H). Surprisingly, all five can achieve this pose (this should also cover any question of sitting), although H has the most difficulty getting to it and maintaining it, and needs to twist its torso a bit more than the others. The other four are about evenly matched. Note that B and BSHF have the ability to extend the thigh portion of the upper legs, which provides additional help in a pose like that.

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Random action poses. You can achieve these with any of the stormtrooper figures, although some look more natural than others. The overly short neck of B seems to get in the way of a more natural look.

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These are the two most recent twelfth-scale stormtroopers, by Bandai (S.H. Figuarts) and Hasbro ("The Mandalorian"). Their release (especially the latter) is responsible for the review. This Bandai is superior to the Bandai model kit (B) in most respects, other than price. For example, it allows more natural looking poses (a surprise to me), and it certainly has improved the helmet. Hasbro's new stormtrooper (HM) has considerable advantages over the older version, both in function and in looks (in fact I dislike the older version so much that I only picked up that one for reference). While its helmet may look a little overly small from some angles (note the difference an angle makes!), that is to a significant degree the result of the partial streamlining of the helmets for the Rogue One film (carried over to The Mandalorian).

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The packaging for BSHF and HM. While this is not the focus of the review, I should at least list the differences in accessories: H comes with a standard E-11 blaster rifle and a longer blaster rifle (seen in the first photo); KR comes with a clear stand, extra hands, and both the standard and longer blaster rifles; B comes with a stand (representing just a section of flat black Death Star floor), extra hands, and both the standard and long blaster rifles, plus the more compact laser pistol (that I never remember from the films); BSHF comes with an optional holster, with the standard blaster rifle and with two long blaster rifles of different design; HM comes only with the standard blaster rifle.

So what is the best stormtrooper? I suppose that to some degree opinions would vary, but to me the first Hasbro Black Series (H) is clearly the worst, both in appearance and in function, even if its price point (at least originally) was decent by comparison with the others. Genuine KR were fairly expensive (the knock offs fairly cheap), but the extra-lanky look and the overly high dome of the helmet make me ambivalent as to its viability, although I prefer it to H. The Bandai model kit (B) was fairly inexpensive and came with perhaps the most extensive or varied assortment of accessories, but the mistakes in the helmet design and the slightly too short neck keep it from first place. BSHF is an improvement in appearance and perhaps even functionality on B, but it can be fairly expensive. Finally, the newly-released HM has fewer accessories than any of the others, but has an excellent look (subject to the usual vagaries of Hasbro's paint job and quality control) and functionality, coupled with a relatively low price (just north of $20 USD, it is less expensive than any of the others, except the original price of H and perhaps KR knock-offs). This makes it both an excellent figure in itself and the most viable option as an army builder among the ones reviewed here. In terms of quality and functionality, there is probably a tie between HM and BSHF, but BSHF is becoming both rare and even more expensive. (I have not discussed specific prices, because several of these products are now no longer readily accessible except on the secondary market, and we are no longer dealing with their original prices.)

As always, what do you think?

#starwars #stormtrooper #film #scifi #fiction #male #military #productreview
Michael forgot to post the link to the review here, so I'm taking the liberty of doing exactly that. Enjoy and comment -- I'm sure he is looking forward to feedback like any reviewer.

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You can check out the review on Michael's site here:

#hawkeye #jeremyrenner #avengers #film #superhero #male #hottoys #productreview
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Hot Toys Endgame Hawkeye review by Michael Crawford  Replies: 2  Views: 100
Extra photos in Post 11 below.

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Hot Toys has followed up its release of the Patrol Trooper (see HERE) from the Solo movie with two versions of the young Han Solo character. The second of these is Han Solo as a "mud trooper," serving in the imperial infantry on the muddy, swampy planet of Mimban. I have little attachment to the film and its characters, but I liked the Patrol Trooper for its relatively cool design and I liked the "mud troopers" for giving us what is still a slightly modified representation of the regular imperial army, which we hardly noticed in the Original Trilogy (primarily as "AT-ST drivers" on Endor). So I picked this up, primarily with the intention of making just that... But even if I don't care much about the film, its silly plot, grungy appearance, or its redundant trooper types (on principle), since I have it, it makes sense to review the set, which, for the most part, is very nicely done.

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Packaging: 4/4 stars

This is not a category where one should expect something new or exciting every time. In fact, there should be an expectation of consistency between related products, and to some extent that is dictated by Disney/Lucasfilm. The packing reflects that of the Patrol Trooper and (I suppose) the other Solo Han Solo set. We have the shoe-type box with removable lid, with a fine depiction of the product against the standard two shades of black background. A colorful cigar box band with additional images of the product runs across the bottom of the container. Inside, below the nice but useless card showcasing the figure in something closer to an action pose, there is the translucent lid and black trey assembly (both in plastic), holding the figure and its accessories. Everything is safe and collector-friendly.

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Sculpting: 4/4 stars

This category covers all the sculpted or molded portions of the set, although it is naturally dominated by the most elaborate feature, the head sculpt. The head is an excellent representation of the actor, complete with a bit of his smirk. Despite the youthful look, there is enough in the features to look realistic, and the hair stranding is very fine, as we have come to expect from Hot Yous. In common with some other recent Hot Toys releases, the head sculpt is (1) identical to that used for a previous set (the other Solo Solo) and (2) features removable and swappable hair pieces (with magnets) to accommodate optional headgear and other accessories (like the other Solo Solo and the Endor Leia). While neither of these practices is a problem in itself, it is an example of economy that ought to have been translated into savings for the consumer. But unless the price would have been even more outrageous than it already is, that does not seem to have been the case. It could be just my impression, but the way it is put together, the face seems a little bit too far forward inside the helmet.

The other sculpted/molded pieces are done with an equal attention to detail. They are clear and sharp, even where the detail is exquisitely intricate and fine, as on the gloved hand sculpts, the exposed "machinery" on the back armor plate, or the little communicator (?) unit on the right side of the helmet. The E-10 blaster rifle is very nicely sculpted, but sturdy enough to use even if it has a couple of articulated pieces. The gas mask features flexible ribbed hoses that are to be plugged into holes at the top of the back plate of the armor, which look great and work reasonably well, even if they are difficult to plug in.

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Paint: 3/4 stars

On the whole, Hot Toys' paint job is as excellent as usual. There are no obvious errors in the application. There is subtle texturing of the skin on the face and neck and glossy treatment of the eyes, giving the head sculpt a natural and realistic look. The hair pieces are well-painted, though perhaps a little flat, although the fine detail of the sculpt and the shinier quality of the paint highlights plenty of detail. The armor pieces (helmet, chest and back plate, shoulder guards, upper arm guards, and shin guards) are given a worn, slightly dirty appearance that works very well, and is carried over to the gas mask. Something like that, though perhaps less fine, is applied to the belt and utility boxes. The paint on the gloved hand sculpts distinguished between the matte rubber parts and the shinier leather parts of the gloves. The goggles are also given nice weathering, helping them fit in with the rest of the equipment. However, they are not translucent, which is a bit of a disappointment. Admittedly, they don't need to be, but Hot Toys has spoiled us with providing that feature to helmets (more often than not), and this removable accessory would have been a good place to do so again; arguably it would be easier to observe and appreciate here than in helmets like that of the Patrol Trooper.

While everything is nicely done, there are certain inconsistencies that detract from the paint execution. The blaster rifle has traditional and fine weathering with silverish or gunmetal grey wash and the shinier finish on the lens is a nice touch, but the golden weathering at the bottom looks simply and poorly painted on. The boots have a very fine and realistic weathering making them look used, worn, and dirtied up; but this is not extended to the pants or coat, which look worn but fairly clean, except perhaps for the occasional dusty edge. Then there is the cape, which is gloriously speckled with drops of mud, but again, contrasting with both the much cleaner pants and coat and with the much finer weathering on the boots. I realize I have ventured into the outfit category, but these observations apply to the paint and coloring of the set. In and of itself, everything is well-done, but taken together, the degree of weathering seems to defy logic.

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Articulation: 3/4 stars

Like so often in the past, Hot Toys is capable of providing excellent articulation but more often than not incapable of allowing for it in the fully clothed set. In this instance we have the added benefit of a separate neck piece, allowing for two points of articulation in the area (at the top of the neck and at the base of the neck), which is an improvement on the usual practice (where the neck is either integral to the head sculpt or to the upper torso). The armor pieces get a little in the way of mobility at the shoulders, and at the ankles (where the shin guards could dig into the top of the boots and possibly cause damage), although this is the fault of the film costuming design rather than Hot Toys. However, Hot Toys insists on using hefty padded undergarments that end up severely limiting articulation, especially in the thigh area (a problem possibly exacerbated by overly tight pants, although in this juncture I don't know which part of the clothing is more at fault). The idea is to make the exterior layers of the outfit sit more naturally, but for the most part this makes little difference while having a more palpable impact on the functionality of the figure. If you want to put your Mudtrooper in any ambitious action poses, you might do well to carefully undress him and remove the padded undergarments -- it can only help. As it is, without modifications, I could barely get him to sit down, in an awkward way...

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Accessories: 3.5/4 stars

The set includes the clothed and armored figure and a number of additional items. Spare/alternate parts include an extra pair of wrist pegs, a second hair piece to be worn under the helmet and with either the chin strap or the gas mask (which has its own strap), and two additional pairs of hands, for a total of three pairs (relaxed hands, fist hands, and trigger hands). There is a rectangular base and stand with a permanently attached card on top, printed to simulate a muddy surface; the base features a shiny nameplate with "Star Wars" and "Han Solo" written on it. The real accessories are the E-10 blaster rifle, which is articulated with moving parts at the back (butt stock) and front; the helmet (which attaches to the alternate "helmet-hair" hair piece with both a magnet and a sort of plastic peg); a separate chin strap for the helmet, to be used if not employing the gas mask; the gas mask, with its flexible ribbed hose (which attach in the holes on top of the back plate); the goggles, to be worn on top of the helmet. There is a little leaflet (not shown) that provides instructions as to how to use the accessories safely. Given that, apart from some of the alternate parts, everything can end up on the figure or used by it, and that we saw the "Mudtroopers" equipped with all this, this is not an overly lavish selection of accessories. On the other hand, it is difficult to imagine what else could have been provided with this set.

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Outfit: 3.5/4 stars

The visible parts of the outfit are fairly simple: the cape, the coat, the pants, and the boots; the padded undergarment also features the visible collar of what is supposed to be the shirt beneath the coat. They all look great by themselves, although the degree of weathering applied to them as a whole is both inconsistent and arguably illogical. The pants are perhaps a little tight, limiting articulation, although the problem might really be limited to the padded undergarment. The cape is recreated very elaborately and given a fair amount of wear and tear (not just weathering), but it does not seem to be truly functional, and posing it can be an issue (there are no wires to help you achieve a desired look). The boots are soft, allowing for good ankle articulation, although the shin guards do get in the way for some poses. There is an extra strap with its two ends handing over the chest and shoulders -- this is apparently supposed to be for the gas mask when it is off, but since that comes with its own straps, you are probably meant to conceal the extra strap in the folds of the cape if you use the gas mask.

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Fun Factor: 3/4 stars

Without other figures seen alongside the "Mudtroopers" and with the limited articulation at the thighs, these figures will not live up to their theoretical full potential. The assortment of equipment/accessories allows for some variation, but army building is likely to be cost prohibitive. Still, the sets are very well done overall, and if you are a fan of the look or of the film, you are likely to appreciate them. They certainly seem to have sold out like hot bread even at the preorder stage, and command disturbing prices on the secondary market.

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Value: 2.5/4 stars

Preordered and without including the shipping, this set cost me $228 (USD). The regular price (provided you can find it in stock) is about $235. Compared to many other Hot Toys products these days, this is not a totally outrageous price (and the set is not light on content), but the prices are clearly inflated to begin with, considering the prices of similarly (or more) elaborate sets by other companies. The secondary market prices (especially on eBay) are easily $200 on top of that, or almost double. This is a very disturbing trend. The sets are pretty great, but I would have never considered them at $400+, and I would be surprised if anyone else would. I don't quite understand why, knowing how high in demand these are (even at the preorder stage), Hot Toys did not increase its profits by making more of them (it does not benefit from the extra-inflated secondary market prices). Given the re-release of other relatively recent sets, perhaps it will do just that sometime in the near future, unless it has already arranged for the production and shipping of more product.

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Things to watch out for

Not a whole lot. I was worried that the gas mask might scratch the face, but it did not. While handling, the sling came off from the blaster rifle, but it was easy to reattach. The articulated parts of the rifle, especially the butt stock, seem fragile, so it might be a good idea to be careful with those. Avoid poses where the bottom of the shin guards may scratch or dent the top of the boots. It is always a good idea to be extra careful with wrist pegs (heating the hands if necessary), although the hands work easily enough, and Hot Toys included a pair of extra wrist pegs just in case.

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Overall: 3.4/4 stars

This is actually a very nice set overall, and a very fine representation of a cool looking character and trooper type. What hurts it in the rating is the price (all the more onerous because of the negated army-building potential), the limited articulation precluding more ambitious action pauses, the very limited choice of potential companion figures (if any!). The quality is there, but, as is so often the case, there were some choices that should have been made differently.

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Where to Buy

This has been sold out in most venues even while on preorder. You can try eBay, but be prepared for outrageous prices. Or you can check out Sideshow (HERE) and Timewalker Toys (HERE), which have it on wait list. Presumably, other retailers might obtain additional product down the line.

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What do you think?

Extra photos in Post 11 below.

#starwars #hottoys #solo #hansolo #mudtrooper #productreview #review #scifi #film #movie
Search in: General Talk  Topic: STAR WARS Han Solo Mudtrooper by Hot Toys (updated)  Replies: 27  Views: 706
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Logan/Wolverine is a favorite comic book superhero, and very much at the heart of the recent X-Men movie franchise. I should state out front that I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert on any of the relevant source material, although I have seen all the movies with Wolverine played by Hugh Jackman. At any rate, this character has been a favorite for various sixth-scale iterations in both licensed and unlicensed versions. I like Logan and the franchise well enough, without specifically being a huge fan, so I was not exactly overly eager for yet another sixth-scale iteration. But this one did offer something innovative in more ways than one: a seamless Logan, and more importantly (since we can all stick one of the Logan head sculpts on a TBLeague body) a hairy Logan. The body alone was worth checking out, but the product is actually pretty full of promise. It comes with a reasonably large set of accessories and two interchangeable heads; there is also a clothed version with a more conventional hard-plastic exposed-joints body. There is a lot they did very well, and a lot that is still wanting... as you can see below. For those that were hoping otherwise, the body is not a TBLeague one or, I think, a Jiaou one.

Disclaimer -- for reasons that will become apparent later, I did stick another head on the body at one point, and some of the photos (in the articulation section) are with that head sculpt; it happened to be a Tom Cruise head, so just pretend it is a perfect color match and that Tom Cruise's real body is not actually the smoothest, most hairless naturally-occurring mammalian surface found on the planet (except of course in Tropic Thunder).

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Packaging - 4/4 stars
The set comes in a pretty standard-sized box with white surface color and some fairly abstract graphics, including what looks like a heavily posterized photo of one of the head sculpts. The box is held closed with magnets on the right side, lift that up and then open it like a book. Inside, below a thin layer of black foam, are located two black foam treys, holding the action figure and its accessories. Everything is snug enough, safe, and collector friendly. I don't expect much from packaging (ever), but I do like it.

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Sculpting/Molding - 3.5/4 stars
This category covers a lot, since there are not one but two head sculpts and the body to consider, not to mention the sculpted sword, sheath, hand sculpts (including adamantium claws), base, and shoes. Let's go backwards (you can see some of these pieces in other photos in the review). The Japanese sword (katana) and its sheath are both sculpted and nicely scaled and detailed, especially the intricate wrist guard, loops, and the characters (writing) on the surface of the sword. The adamantium claws, added to fairly standard fists, are sturdy, cleanly sculpted, sharp, and appear to be made of light non-magnetic metal (aluminum/aluminium?). The base part of the action figure stand (a standard crotch-grabber, or whatever rude term we use for it these days) is a raised plastic platform molded to appear like rusted, worn/pitted metal, with a large X in the center. Certainly far more interesting than a bland (blank?) base that might already be more than what most "third party" companies provide. The shoes (short boots) are sculpted in intricate and realistic detail, from their laces and loops to the sole.

The rubbery (silicone?) body surface is molded into the shape of a tightly muscled body with defined muscles and some veins; the only thing missing are the nipples (oddly, as they are painted). Since someone is bound to ask (and be too shy to do so), I did check, and the figure is definitely male, and fully so -- the body is molded this way, no attachable/detachable parts. Not something that we necessarily need for this particular look, but since customization, poseable figures, and seamless bodies are all about being more realistic, I appreciate their commitment to realism. With the head(s) and shoes on, the body stands about 12.25 inches (31 cm) tall.

Then there are the two head sculpts. I'm not certain that the circumference of the body surface at the neck is ideal for the head sculpts. One can probably stuff something inside to increase it and decrease the current gap -- or perhaps the heads are sitting a little too high, and they do appear a little too large for the body (or is it Logan's hair?). But let's focus on the sculpts themselves. The one that comes "on" the body is the less agitated scowling one; the alternate head has an anrgy shouting expression. Normally I would prefer a less animated expression for a sixth-scale head, but I'm not actually sure which one I like better here, and whether that has anything to do with how well one or the other is executed. Either way, they did the right thing, providing both a more animated and a more neutral head sculpt (rather than one more animated one). Whether or not this is a perfect rendition of the actor's features (and I don't remember enough to tell if they are copies of previous sculpts), the head sculpt is very finely done in both cases, and the hair stranding is superb (suitably finer strands for most of the hair, but clumpier pieces for the spiky top). The shouting head sculpt has the added complexity of the open mouth with the teeth and tongue, and this too appears to have been executed very well.

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Paint - 3.5/4 stars
The paint applies to everything but the cloth parts of the outfit. The shoes and sword sheath are painted to look like leather, offset by a few metallic elements painted appropriately; the shoes are also given a bit of weathering. Each hand sculpt is painted to not only math the body, but also to match the painted-on body hair; the adamantium claws are painted to look stained with blood, and the same effect is applied to the fists to which they come attached.

We have seen some of this before. What makes this set unique, is that the painting is carried over to the seamless rubbery surface of the body. Individual body hairs are painted or printed, and appear to be reasonably hard-wearing (although I was fairly careful, I'm sure I would have noticed some damage if things weren't properly done). The hair is a little faint on the body (less so on the hand sculpts) and I wish it had been just a little bit more contrasting and that there was just a little more of it. They probably didn't want to overdo it, but even so the overall effect is quite good. And since someone was going to ask about that, I checked, and apart from the pubic area, the body hair treatment is not carried below the waist. Yep, apparently Logan shaves his legs. I know we weren't going to look at it, but it would have been nice if they had applied the hair painting/printing to that too. There appears to be some subtle spotting on the body surface, adding extra realism (though some of it may be dust or tiny strands attaching to the surface!). The nipples are painted softly (though disappointingly not sculpted). The use of fairly traditional plastic joint pegs was not a bad idea in itself, but they should have been given a less shiny surface to match the body and hands more closely; better yet, they should also have been given the body hair effect. Minor issues aside, there is a lot TBLeague and Jiaou can learn and re-learn from this set.

Both head sculpts are exquisitely painted. For one thing, they match the body surface color very well, something difficult to do with different materials. The work on the eyes (glossy, with tiny eyelashes), eyebrows, mustache and beard is all very fine; the hair is perhaps a little flat, but this is largely offset by the fine sculpting of the strands. While it is probably just short of perfect, I'm impressed by the paint application on the lips, teeth, and tongue (or more generally, mouth interior) on the more animated, shouting head sculpt.

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Articulation - 2.5/4 stars
There is no stainless steel skeleton inside the rubbery body surface here. The active joints are perhaps plastic; the movement is certainly a little jagged. You can achieve very decent articulation in most respects in the upper half of the body (for example, you can bend beyond 90 degrees at the elbows), although holding more extreme poses would prove impossible -- the joints are too weak to keep the material pushing them back to a less extreme position. This is where this body falls short of the standards set by TBLeague. In particular, trying to raise the arm over the shoulder and head results both in a bounce back and in an unsightly fold on top of the shoulder. Things get more problematic below the waist. Here it is hard to tell to what extent the problem is due to the body's joints and rubbery surface causing a bounce back, and to what extent to the restrictions caused by the fairly tight pants and fairly high rim of the footwear. As a result, he can bend at the knee only up to 90 degrees, and he cannot sit quite properly. The ankles are fairly sturdy, but very difficult to work with. They can allow you to tilt backwards and forwards, but rotating them sideways for additional support in some poses seems nearly impossible. This makes standing the figure on its own quite difficult. And that difficulty is exacerbated by the fact that the whole body has the tendency to bounce and wobble a little bit (making me wonder if it has a full skeleton of any material inside at all), and to renegotiate its pose or center of gravity. Getting this body in a specific pose might be easy within limits, but getting it to stand in that position can be very frustrating. Once again, I wish they had gone with a metal skeleton. There is a stand, of course, and if one poses an action figure on a shelf one would probably use the (a) stand anyway, but that isn't the point.

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Accessories - 4/4 stars
First, the set includes four additional pairs of hands, making five pairs total: fists (they come on the body), relaxed hands, pistol grip hands, sword grip hands, and the fists with the adamantium claws sticking out of them (these are located in the lower black foam trey, with the base/stand). Other spare parts include the alternative head sculpt (the shouting one). Then there is the Japanese sword and its sheath, which are the only "real" accessories. Note that the sword is not only finely sculpted, painted, and inscribed, it even has actual cord (I think) wound round its handle: very nice touch. I refuse to see a base/stand as an accessory proper, although the difficulties in getting the figure to stand certainly make it a relevant addition; and it certainly looks cool. There are a lot of hand choices here, but other than that this is not a whole lot of accessories. I have long forgotten the scene or film this is based on, so I can't guarantee there was anything else that could have been included (a pistol for the pistol grip hands?), and we should realize that there is a separate, "suit" version of the set (with a different action figure body but the same accessories). The reason why I'm not going to deduct points for this is the price of the set. When Hot Toys sells you a Leia without a single accessory for over $200, that is pretty insulting. When this pretty new and obscure outfit sells you an innovative and impressive, even if not quite perfect product for $165 and includes a couple of accessories, it is somehow less annoying... to me.

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Outfit - 3.5/4 stars
The outfit (excluding the sculpted footwear) is very simple: pants and belt. The pants are in a drab color, with a modicum of weathering, most obviously a long blood stain on the right side of the right upper leg, where the bloodied adamantium claws must have brushed against the fabric. It's a nice touch. The belt is made of stretchy cloth and works like a real belt, with a real buckle. Neither of these things is phenomenal, but they are more than adequate. Considering the look reproduced in the set, they are just right. The promotional materials mentioned socks, which do not appear to be included; I doubt they would be missed, and this is the only thing they promised that they did not deliver.

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Fun Factor - 3/4 stars
War Wolf has no one to play with (other than possibly his other self), and that hurts; but you can always improvise. The effective limitations on the articulation (bounce back, tight pants) are annoying, but not extreme. The worst problem is the difficulty standing and balancing the figure. But if you end up perching him on a stand on your shelf, that would no longer be an issue. As usual, the fun factor would vary from one collector to another, and depend on their imagination and interest.

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Value 3.5/4 stars
This is a popular protagonist from a popular franchise; the set is attractive and innovative, if fairly basic. That said, in the world of high-end sixth-scale collectibles, $165 (USD) including shipping is close to the lower, rather than the higher end of the price range, and I appreciate that. There was clearly some research and development that went into this, and while the result is not perfect, it is still impressive and in many ways a step forward (a step, one might add, that other, established outfits should have taken already but have not). But note that this price might not be available at all sources; in this instance I used eBay.

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Things to watch out for
Hard to tell yet. The body surface feels just a little sticky, and closer to TBLeague's silicone bodies than Jiaou's TPE ones (though I could be wrong); either way some protective powder probably won't hurt -- but I haven't tried it myself. I would not abuse the joints excessively; if they are indeed plastic, they might snap. Heat up the hand sculpts before placing on the pegs -- there are no spare pegs provided, and these are not exactly the same as the ones used by Soldier Story or DAM or by Hot Toys and others. Careful with exchanging the head sculpts -- they require some effort to remove or to attach, and you don't want to snap the neck peg that comes out of the body; heating up the head a little bit before trying this should help. I didn't try too hard to test it, but although it appeared safe and secure, I would handle the parts of the body where the hair effect has been applied with some basic care. That said, it is not as fragile (or the body as difficult to pose) as the twelfth-scale version of Logan that came out some time ago.

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Overall - 3.4/4 stars
In terms of looks, the set delivers everything it promised. While it is fairly limited, it does include a number of interchangeable parts, including two beautifully-executed head sculpts. And it commands a price nearer the lower end of the range current in our hobby. I do wish the articulation were better, while I realize TBLeague has spoiled us. But it has also set a standard that ADD should have made sure to match. As it is, neither has attained perfection.

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Where to Buy
You can always check eBay or the following (among others) --

Cotswold Collectibles for $180

Timewalker Toys for $180

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Hope this has been useful. As always, what do you think? And one more for the road (or, in Spanish, Una mas y vamos)

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#addtoys #warwolves #logan #wolverine #hughjackman #xmen #marvel #superhero #mutant #male #fiction #productreview
Search in: General Talk  Topic: ADD TOYS War Wolves Back (muscle version)  Replies: 43  Views: 1599
Updated with Part II: Kitbash Potential in Post 17 below.

For my previous Star Wars sixth-scale review, see HERE.

Topics tagged under productreview on OneSixthFigures Htleia10

Hot Toys is apparently determined to milk its Star Wars license for all it's got, reprising different (often slightly different) versions of the same characters over an over, and bringing us renditions of their on-screen appearance from various insignificant or indeed deleted scenes (case in point, sandstorm Luke). This is not quite the same thing with their Bespin Leia, but this is the third (fourth if you count what I consider the non-canonical Sequel Trilogy) iteration of her character produced by Hot Toys (and there is another on its way) while many others still await their first rendition, and it depicts a relatively unimportant, if distinctive appearance of the character in The Empire Strikes Back. I've always had a thing for this look, and I have to confess I was seduced by the serene beauty of the product in the promotional images; so I bought it after having decided that I would not... And it turned out to be more or less as I expected, given previous experience: not bad at all, but not overwhelmingly great either.

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Packaging - 3/4 stars
I don't expect to be wowed by the packaging, so this is not terribly important to me, as long as it is practical and safe. And this is, conforming to the traditional boxing standard of (post Rogue One) Star Wars sixth-scale action figures by Hot Toys. We get a rectangular box in two shades of black with a fine photo of the product, and a cigar band with the character's name and "inset" photo running along the bottom of the lid. Inside is a nice (but in my opinion unnecessary) title card with a color image of the product, and below it a clear plastic trey with its clear plastic lid, within which the figure and its "accessories" are cradled safely. Beneath that, there is a cardboard card with the backdrop piece attached through a couple of clear plastic tabs. Everything is collector-friendly and safe. I would have preferred foam, but that would have been a departure from precedent (they did provide foam for their Deluxe Indiana Jones figure, and possibly others I don't know or forget).

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Sculpting - 4/4 stars
As usual, Hot Toys does top of the line work, and even their failures are usually more successful than the alternatives. Leia's face is sculpted with great attention to fine details (look at the hair strands and braids), and there are no technical imperfections; the seam line of the mold is perhaps just a little too apparent, while technically handled correctly. The figure stands about 10.5 inches (26.7 cm) tall, which is just a little too tall for a sixth-scale version of actress Carrie Fisher.

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Paint - 4/4 stars
Hot Toys' paint application tends to be fairly flawless, and this set is no exception even if, apart from the head, there is little room for complexity. The eyes are clear and glossy, the lips appropriately so, the skin has subtle variation making it appear realistic, the shoes are given an appropriate slightly metallic color, in short everything appears to be good. I don't know whether it is lighting or professional photography (or editing), but I get the feeling that the promotional images were just a bit more attractive than the product we get; then again, I like it better in hand than in my own photos.

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Articulation - 4/4 stars
It used to be that Hot Toys bodies were held up as an example of near perfect action figure articulation. Yet, it seems like in recent years every time we have reviewed a Hot Toys set, we have been writing something along the lines of "the underlying body has all the articulation that you might want, but the outfit restricts it significantly in several places." For once this is not the case, and Leia can pose with virtually unhindered freedom ... in an outfit in which we see her do remarkably little onscreen. She can (be posed to) walk, sit, cross her legs, do splits!, and raise her hands up in the air like she don't care. The joints are just the right combination of tight and loose to allow all this and to make it possible to stand the figure in most of these poses. This is excellent; and this is how it should be every time for this price and from this company.

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Accessories - 2/4 stars
As so often in recent reviews, this is where Hot Toys products often come up short. There is nothing here I would really call an accessory proper. Admittedly, we do not see Leia in this apparel handling, wielding, using anything at all, so Hot Toys has a perfect excuse to not provide any accessories. For this price, however (more on that later), they ought to. Leia comes with two sets of interchangeable hands (these are spare parts, not accessories), a pair of extra wrist pegs (likewise), an action figure base/stand, and a backdrop display. They certainly could have given us a gun for the grip hand (Kenner and Hasbro did), or a glass or anything film-related. The action figure stand and base are standard Death Star (?) floor type that we have seen with so many other figures; there is a printed card with what is apparently Cloud City flooring on it that you can put on top of the base, securing it in place by inserting the stand part. The backdrop is by far the most impressive and specific "accessory." It is a rectangular plastic-covered styrofoam piece with an indented section at the bottom that is lined with magnets that allow it to attach to the back of the base (and I do like this solution). The surface that remains showing is molded to look like a textured Art-Deco wall panel from Cloud City. Even if I don't care for the look (though it is screen accurate), this is a great idea. But like other such backdrops, it is far too narrow to be useful. I know the idea is that it covers only as much ground as the base, and then you can put your fancy Hot Toys figures together side by side, etc., but the effect is underwhelming. For what it is worth, they could have fitted a wider backdrop without changing the dimensions of the set's box. I almost forgot... there is also the now usual but unnecessary (at least with this set) instruction leaflet (not shown).

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Outfit - 3/4 stars
The outfit/appearance recreated in this set is probably the one I liked best, although I do not consider it as iconic as the white-dress-and-hair-buns of A New Hope. It is a strange combination of complex and simple, and was apparently inspired by a variety of traditional Indian dress, with a long-sleeved tunic worn over pants and with an open sleeveless cloak with a quilted yoke at its top. (For once the Hot Toys pants are not too tight and allow for the excellent articulation mentioned above.) I said I like it, though to be honest I do not actually find it very exciting... maybe it was Leia's hair I actually liked? Anyway, Hot Toys did a very good job recreating the outfit, but not a perfect one. The quilted yoke has more pronounced bends here than onscreen, and it should have been worn more open at the neck (the promotional images for the set have it right, but because it is sewn onto the tunic, you cannot correct this by just futzing with it). Looking at set photos from the film, it looks as if the tunic for the action figure was made just a little short -- or it may have something to do with the disparity between Carrie Fisher's height and body type and the sixth-scale version. The bottom of the cloak has a thin metal wire running though it, helping to keep the pleats in place (not very successfully if you look higher up, but then again they were not supposed to be actual pleats). Theoretically, you could adjust this for posing, but without a wire running down the side edges, it is not very easy to make effective use of it (to be honest I didn't really try, as I didn't want to compromise the pleating further). While the wire is generally a good idea, it does get in the way of the cloak draping naturally (of course the cloth might not drape very well in this scale anyway). The intricate embroidery design on the cloak appears to be accurately reproduced but ironed-on (no, I did not really expect them to embroider it). It does appear more vivid and starkly apparent and contrasting with the background of the garment than it does in the film, which does reduce the realism a bit.

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Fun Factor - 2/4
I'm divided on this one; this is not a particularly fun Leia in the film, and the absence of other specifically Empire Strikes Back iterations of the characters from the Hot Toys line (Vader, Luke, and Boba Fett don't really count in relation to this set) doesn't help; neither does the absence of any real, if imaginative accessories. That said, with a bit of patience (will they give us a better, Empire Han down the line?) and/or creativity you could get this Leia figure its playmates, create come scenes (the excellent articulation helps), and even manage some kitbashing (more on that in a follow up). Ultimately, you know what comes with this set and can make a reasonably accurate guess as to its appeal and possibilities.

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Value - 1/4 stars
Retailing at about $204 (USD), this is noticeably less expensive than many other Hot Toys sets these days. Apparently Hot Toys has taken note of the limitations of the set and priced it accordingly -- within the framework of the prices it has worked so hard to inflate over the last several years. But is the price really justifiable? Hard to tell. But there are reasons to think it might have been lower: yet another rendition of a character already produced, and a less iconic or relevant one; a probable partial recycling of a head sculpt; a recycling and more limited choice of hand sculpts; the complete absence of any real accessory; the recycling of the action figure base and stand (with just a printed card offered as a more specific option); the absence of natural relevant counterparts in the line of figures limiting the fun factor... and so on. Yes, there is the elaborately decorated outfit -- but the pattern is printed and ironed on, and the wire is ultimately a questionable choice; yes, there is the nice backdrop -- but it is narrow, limited, and styrofoam (which is actually impressive, in a way). Although the set is perfectly good for what it is, it could have been so much better -- or it could have featured another, unproduced, perhaps more exciting iteration or character.

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Things to watch out for
Nothing I can think of beyond the usual basic precautions (is this because they simply didn't include enough to be careful about?). Smile

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Overall - 2.8/4 stars
Like I suggested before, I knew what I was getting, so this was not really disappointing to me. There is a lot here was done right, in fact better than usual, and there were also some things that could have been done better. It is a nicely done set, but certainly not a perfect or very exciting one. I suppose its appeal would depend on a collector's interest in completeness, the character, the actress, or the specific look and setting. But I also imagine that, faced with Hot Toys pricing in general, the casual collector would reserve his or her money for things that they really want or need, and this is one of the more marginal and more limited options out there, so it might suffer by comparison with others.

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Where to buy?
(some of these might still be on Preorder)

Alter Ego Comics for $204
Big Bad Toy Store for $205
Cotswold Collectibles for $200
Timewalker Toys for $204

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I hope this has been useful. As always, what do you think?

#starwars #empirestrikesback #esb #bespin #leia #cloudcity #hottoys #productreview #female #scifi #fantasy

TBL Fantasy Anubis (and friends) updated - Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:04 am

Updated with M32 body in Post 9 below

The TBLeague Anubis set advertised last fall was released recently. For all the problems I had with it from a historical/cultural and artistic point of view (and these matter to me), it was still very impressive and I couldn't resist picking up several of the parted out parts. And when I say several, I suppose I really should have just bought the set...

The product -- from what I have to judge -- looks very much like the prototype photos used by the company. It has all the advantages (seamless body, glorious details) and disadvantages (overly fantastical, even when there is plenty of reality to emulate) of being made by TBLeague. The head seems slightly undersized, especially on this neck, although it is very nicely sculpted, in a manner that is at once reminiscent of Egyptian art and more realistic. He suffers from a surfeit of piercings (something markedly un-Egyptian) and the style of his accessories and clothing is streamlined enough to look more at home with Stargate than in ancient Egypt. The body is far too muscular (for an alternative, more "realistic" look see the photo in Post 9 below), and in general the look has more to do with macabre Hollywood notions of Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife (where Anubis could be seen as a tyrannical villain -- there was a sci fi C movie about this not long ago... Pyramid?) than with actual Egyptian mythology. But so far, this is all about design choices; the result is arguably more striking and "cool" than something more accurate might have been, but I wonder whether that is/should be the point -- this ends up being loosely inspired by Egypt but not Egyptian. The only real complaint about quality is the extreme looseness of the foot ball joints inside the feet. With the bulky body, poor Anubis can barely keep standing; and I suspect it is not because he's been sampling liberally from the sacrificial wine offerings...

So here are a couple of in hand photos of the part of the set I got (didn't bother with the most fantasy elements), as part of a simple vignette inspired by some of the symbolic depictions of pharaonic investiture. Ramses (reconstituted from another, less fantastical set) and Amun-Ra-King-of-the-Gods (resin? statue) co-star.

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What do you think?

#anubis #egypt #fantasy #god #male #tbleague #tbl #phicen #productreview
Search in: General Talk  Topic: TBL Fantasy Anubis (and friends) updated  Replies: 22  Views: 1186

World Box AT027 Mini Review - Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:39 am

Since there is some interest in non-seamless ripped male bodies in 1:6 scale, here is a brief review of the World Box AT027 body that I received some time ago.

It comes in the traditional simple cardboard box and synthetic trey packaging, which keeps everything comfortably safe and sound. Nothing flashy here, but certainly adequate.

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The AT027 body represents a fairly ripped type, more so than their earlier versions along these lines, but also not quite as extreme as what we see in modern body building. The body stands about 13 inches (33 cm) in height if you add a head sculpt (not included). The sculpting is excellent, with lots of medium and minor details representing muscles and veins, and even hairs. The only real problem is the continued tendency for these World Box bodies to have an extra long neck.

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Unlike so many base bodies on the market, and unlike some of World Box's more recent installments (which capitalize on articulation but compromise appearance), the body is painted in a somewhat blurry, subtle manner, most notably the areas where one would expect most body hair (chest, abdomen, lower legs, but for some reason not the forearms) and also the nipples.

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AT027's articulation is good without being perfect, at least in theory. The ankles, double-jointed knees, wrists work great; there is very little ab crunch (though you can articulate between the chest and the abdomen) but the upper torso can rotate around the waist; the upper legs can come out from the hips almost at 90 degrees, allowing for sitting and kneeling positions. The shoulders include some attempt at more extensive articulation, but it is not very effective; the elbows are single jointed, though they do allow for a 90 degree bend; neck articulation is non-existent except for rotating and tilting the head atop it.

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I don't know if this problem is limited to my purchase or systemic, but I noticed that while some of the joints were very tight, most were unusually loose. This is even more of an annoyance than usual, because World Box bodies are hefty and heavy, with a higher center of gravity, and require more care and precautions to pose them standing; with the fairly loose ankles (more specifically the fit between the foot and the ankle peg), these challenges become more challenging.

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As a base body, AT027 does not come with a plethora of accessories, apart from some alternate parts, namely three slightly different neck connectors and four interchangeable sets of hands: relaxed hands, fists, knife grip hands, trigger hands. These are nicely sculpted and fit easily enough onto the wrist pegs. The feet are also removable.

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The figure does not come with any clothing, which is not altogether surprising for base bodies. What I chose for the photos was designed to show off as much of the body as possible while keeping things clean (the body is anatomically correct or complete).

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The loose joints and the figure's tendency to lose balance due to its heft can be an ongoing concern when handling, posing, and photographing the product. Otherwise, its good articulation and appearance make it a nice option for kitbashers and customizers. AT027 sells for nearly $60 (US). Its durability and realism go some way to justifying this prices, as does the overall rise in the prices of pretty much everything sixth-scale (especially higher-end sixth-scale) these days. But if the loose joints issue is widespread or universal, the quality of the product would be compromised and the price would be far more difficult to justify.

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Overall, AT027 represents a fine addition to the line-up of World Box bodies. They have fallen into two categories: bodies that strive to convey a realistic look (via sculpting, details, completeness, un-ideal characteristics, etc), and bodies that attempt to improve the articulation at the expense of the appearance (and are therefore best covered up completely). This dichotomy or conflict epitomizes the choices any company producing sixth-scale bodies has to make. AT027 belongs in the former category, where the look is more important than articulation, although some elements would seem to contradict this, for example the very distracting double-jointed knees: they work very well but are quite hideous. Perhaps I have been resorting to seamless bodies too long...

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If you are looking to get yourself a World Box AT027 body, you can check in all the usual places, including eBay, or some of the stores listed below (among others).
Big Bad Toy Store $60
Cotswold Collectibles $58
Monkey Depot $58
Timewalker Toys $58

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Hope this was useful. What do you think?

#productreview #worldbox #at027 #male #muscular #ripped #body
Search in: General Talk  Topic: World Box AT027 Mini Review  Replies: 21  Views: 1567
Update: for the new Kaustic Plastik Conan Masterclass set, see HERE.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Conan the Barbarian Set A by Mr Toys (MT2018-02) review  Replies: 60  Views: 2647
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I don't really play video games (did some computer games, and that was mostly in the fairly distant past), but that does not mean that I don't come across cool action figures based on video game characters. And I don't just mean the Battlefront versions of Star Wars Empire Strikes Back Snowtroopers. CC Toys has just released a product called Unexplored Nate Summer Version, obviously inspired by the Nathan Drake character from the popular Uncharted video game series (and, if I am correct, the character's look from Uncharted 4). Although I knew next to nothing of the character or the game, I liked the set, so I got it when I found it for a decent enough price. I did some research preparing for the review, but I'm sure there are plenty of things I may have overlooked.

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Packaging: 4/4 stars

Although there is nothing particularly mind-blowing here, we get a sturdy and compact box with a fine color rendition of the product and all the necessary information. Inside is a single black foam trey with its black foam lid, providing safe accommodation for the figure and its accessories. Everything is completely safe and collector friendly. I particularly appreciate the combination between small size and sturdiness of the box and the use of a foam rather than plastic trey on the inside.

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Sculpt: 3.5/4 stars

The character's head sculpt is very close or identical to what we see in the promotional images and the photograph on the box. The light and quality of my photography is not quite good enough to give it real justice. The sculpt is executed in minute detail, with tiny intentional imperfections and wrinkles and wounds/scars on the skin, fine (though not quite Hot Toys fine) hair and stubble. (The sculpting of the hair is actually finer than what you see in the photos, in which the camera has focused on the facial features instead.) The sculpting extends to the torso and arms, with veins, muscles, and hairs indicated here as well (the lower body -- judging by the lower legs -- does not have this kind of detailed treatment, but then again, it is not meant to be visible). The hand sculpts are made of plastic a little softer than what I have usually seen, but easy to manipulate and use with the accessories. The sculpted detail on the shoes is excellent, and the sculpted accessories (flashlight, gun, etc) also look very good. Nate stands about 11.75 inches (30 cm) tall and is well-proportioned except perhaps for a slight giraffe-neck effect (presumably intended to counter-balance the clothed upper body but still perceptible).

There is something a bit off from the face of the video game character (which actually changed a little between games) -- perhaps the proportions of the head and/or the size and shape of the jaw or the whole lower part of the face). The resulting face is good, but not an exact rendition of the character's; it should certainly be longer (especially the forehead and mouth/chin areas) -- see HERE. Perhaps one can think of it as a younger, more boyish version of the character from the game; or a cosplayer playing the character; or perhaps the animated rendition of the character was wrong all along. I mean, Tom Holland was supposed to play him in a movie... And it is not as if Sideshow did better (it went the other extreme). Am I too easy on this because it is based on an animated character, or because I am not particularly familiar with/attached to the source material?

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Paint: 4/4 stars

While not appearing to be particularly complex or spectacular at first sight, the paint job on this figure and its accessories is actually very good. There is subtle weathering on things like the bodkin, flashlight, gun, and hook, and they have been painted in a manner that makes them look realistic and used. The eyes are glossy and beautifully done, although the pupils might be a tad too large. The hair may appear a bit flat when it comes to color, but then again so was that of the computer character. The eyebrows and stubble, however, are very impressively handled, and the wounds/scars (mostly on the right side -- camera left -- of the face) are done well -- not too much or too little color added. A sort of freckle effect is applied to the upper body and arms in a manner subtle enough to look pretty realistic. The shoes have been painted to look like used and scuffed leather, while the loopholes look metallic. The watch's face looks glossy and translucent. I don't think there is much more than we could have possibly expected in this category.

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Articulation: 3/4 stars

The overall articulation of the figure is quite decent, but it leaves something to be desired. The head can pose well on top of the neck; the figure also articulates well at the shoulders, hips/thighs, (double-jointed) knees, and wrists and ankles. However, there is very little give at the lower neck, somewhat limited abdominal crunch, and single-jointed elbows that can only bend to 90 degrees. Additionally, the lower half of the body is a little bit on the floppy side, and the ankles in particular seem rather weak, although the figure can stand on its own. The lower body articulation is slightly restricted by the tight pants, which would prevent very wide stances.

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Accessories: 3.5/4 stars

There are quite a few accessories included with the set. Apart from the action figure stand and the stand-alone name-sign "Nate," there are the hook (with articulated claws) with attached coiled rope, the bodkin, the flashlight, the watch, the waist pack, and the ring, which comes on the left relaxed hand, but is a separate little metal piece that you could theoretically put on another hand and finger. I overlooked (and therefore forgot to show) a little belt loop (or bracket) that closes with magnets and is intended to secure the coiled rope to the belt.

In terms of weapons, the set includes only a Beretta 92FS Brigarier Inox handgun, which has apparently appeared in all four games of the series. While I realize that providing the whole arsenal of weapons featured in the game would have been impractical or cost-prohibitive, it seems that one or two extra pieces would have been advisable, perhaps a rifle that the character is often shown slinging about on his back. Judging by Uncharted 4 alone, additional weapons could have included: Colt Rail Gun/M1911A1 hybrid, a flintlock pistol, a Mateba Model 6 Unica, a Sa. Vz. 61 Skorpion/IMI Micro Uzi hybrid, a Robinson Armament XCR-L CQB, an IMI Romat, a Ruger Mini-30 Tactical, a Ruger Mini-14, a Beretta ARX-160, a Remington ACR, an M14, a Winchester Model 1866, a Armscor/Rock Island Armory M30 M5 Matte Nickel, an RPG-7, and especially the SIG-Sauer SIG556 Classic rifle. And this doesn't take into account several oversized weapons. Apparently many of the weapons were misnamed and/or rendered somewhat incorrectly in the game (see HERE).

The nice paint and sculpting work done on the accessories has been mentioned above.

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Outfit: 4/4 stars

The outfit is simple enough and reflects the character's look from Uncharted 4. It consisting of khaki-colored pants (chinos), a blue long-sleeved shirt (henley), and the harness/shoulder rig with a holster and ammo pouches. The pants are slightly distressed to make them look used. The blue shirt has some staining to make it look dusty and worn, and the long sleeves can be easily rolled up to achieve the iconic look from the game; it also features four silverish-colored buttons. The harness/shoulder rig is made of thin leather or leather-like material, complete with metal loops and caps. There is also some white padding over the lower torso/abdomen, secured with velcro behind the back; I removed it so that I could achieve the signature "half-tucked" effect. The outfit is completed with the brown walking shoes, which are finely sculpted and painted, as noted above.

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Fun Factor: 3.5/4 stars

Despite the limited choice of weapons, the set comes with several accessories, and despite the less than perfect articulation, it poses very well. Because of this, it has plenty of fun potential. The only reason I'm giving this less than a perfect score is that the absence of any of the other protagonists (or antagonists) from the game means that one cannot easily pair the character with others from the same source -- at least not without some ambitious kitbashing.

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Value: 3.5/4 stars

Retailing at about $160, this is not exactly cheap, but it is much more affordable than many other high-end action figures. Admittedly, you get a slightly inexact likeness and this is not a fully licensed collectible (hence the product name). But the product is very good overall, and unlike so many others these days (including some from very respected companies), comes with a nice array of accessories.

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Things to watch out for

Giantoy, from which I purchased the figure, included a possibly generic note that it would not be responsible for broken wrist pegs. Whether this was in any way specific to this figure or a general disclaimer, be careful with the pegs (there are no spare ones included) and use a blow dryer or hot water to heat up the plastic when swapping hands. The tiny clip allowing the flashlight to attach to the belt can easily come off (though it was also easy to glue it back in place); and being black and tiny, it would be easy to lose -- so you would want to be careful with it. The little belt loop (bracket) intended to secure the coiled rope in place which I forgot to feature closes with magnets. This is generally great, but in this instance I noticed that the magnets were so strong, and the glue so weak, that one of the magnets became unglued from the (p?)leather strap. Easy to fix with some super glue, but another thing to keep in mind. Given the relative weakness of the ankles, the figure might topple relatively easily.

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Overall: 3.6/4 stars

I am not disappointed with this product, but then again I did not have particularly high or set expectations. Yes, the likeness to the video game character could have been better, and we could have had slightly better articulation and a rifle, but all in all, Unexplored Nate is a pretty nice set.

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Where to Buy

Apart from looking on eBay, I would suggest looking at these:

Cotswold Collectibles for $160 (preorder)
GianToy for $163
Monkey Depot for $160 (preorder)
Timewalker Toys for $160 (preorder)

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

#uncharted #nathandrake #unexplored #nate #videogame #fiction #adventure #male #modern #productreview #cctoys
Search in: General Talk  Topic: UNEXPLORED NATE Summer Version by CC Toys review  Replies: 5  Views: 1023
Hi all,

Here is another review of a Hasbro Black Series 6" figure.  I have to say that currently I find these smaller figures much more exciting than 1/6 stuff.  I know this is primarily a 1/6 forum but I am more likely to be contributing in this section in future I guess.  My love for 1/6 has just gone i'm afraid mostly killed by the excessive prices which are now asked in the UK for mainly franchised figures, but also the military stuff too really.

Anyway I digress and on to the review.

This time it is General Grievous.  I will admit to having a bit of a soft spot for the character.  Its not the best character ever devised, but hey this is Star Wars and I kind of like the look of this one.

This is the first in the 'Deluxe' range of Black Series figures, and as such is numbered D1 on the packaging.  Apart from the D numbering the package is standard Black Series stuff, so I won't spend more time there.

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This is a tall figure measuring approximately 18cm (7") tall at full height.

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It comes with  nice lined cloth cape which seems to drape well enough, and has 4 pockets on the inside for the included light sabre hilts.  There are four different light sabres which are all different in design and have the standard Black series removable blades 2 each of blue and green.  There is also a droid blaster which is a nice touch.

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This is an impressive figure in person.  Its tall, with those great looking claw like feet, and has arms which can be split providing either four or two arms to suit how you want to pose the figure.  Arms are nicely done and do actually clip into one another to form the two arm mode so they do really look like single arms in this mode.  The Shoulders have a great range of movement, but due to the design the elbows are a little limited and there is no wrist movement at all.  This could have been improved but then the figure would probably be likely to cost over £30 rather than the very reasonable £25-£27 it costs here in the UK.  Its important to remember too that these are toys, and not necessarily high end posable collectables, and therefore need some strength and durability to the joints.  In any case it is still relatively easy to obtain those classic looking 4 arm Grievous poses with the limited mobility.  
Each of the hands has 2 fingers and a thumb enabling each hand to hold an item, however when joined together the hands are too big to hold the included blaster.
The rest of the articulation is very good, with good movement all round and the ability to add some subtle character to a pose by cocking the head slightly etc...  I would say that the articulation is good overall given the nature of the character.

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The figure is fairly easy to pose and can achieve all those classic Grievous looks.  It balances well in most poses, and the feet whilst having multiple small points of contact are actually able to provide a very stable base in most poses.

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The look of the figure is great, with very nicely detailed sculpting and for the most part great paint.  There are some of those slightly over the top silver patches, but for the most part the weathering on this figure is great.  Very subtle and not over done.  The eyes are very well done indeed on this one, looking very reminiscent of what we see on screen.
This side of a figure is more important for me these days, as I am much more a collector now than a modeller or tinkerer.  I have been there and done that in the past but it is much less a part of the pleasure I get from figures today.  My figures for the most part don't get altered and so how they look out of the box is important to me, and this one in my opinion delivers.

I love the look of this figure and can whole heartedly recommend it if it takes your fancy.

Here he is in place on the shelf.

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#starwars #hasbro #blackseries #generalgrievous #6inch #productreview #scifi
Search in: NON-SIXTH-SCALE ACTION FIGURES  Topic: Hasbro Black Series 6" General Grievous Review  Replies: 13  Views: 1012
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NOTE: A few extra goofing around photos added to posts 11 and 15 below.


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: 5103

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
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Fancy Armchair by Haoyu Toys - Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:32 pm

We have seen these (or something just like them) used in many advertisements for other sixth-scale products, so when I saw them for sale on Big Bad Toy Store, I picked one up. They come in four colors (red, green, blue, and purple), and are technically called rather strangely "Single Sofa 3.0".

The fancy armchair is sculpted pretty nicely, if a little softly, and features surfaces colored in red (in this instance) to simulate leather and in a golden or brass color to simulate wooden framing. The paint job is fairly clean, without being very precise. It is a large and opulent piece, measuring as follows (all dimensions somewhat approximate) :

Height to back to top of back 9.5 in or 23.5 cm
Height to top of armrests 5 in or 12.5 cm
Height to top of seat 3 in or 7.5 cm
Width from side to side (external dimensions) 7.5 in or 18 cm
Depth from front to back (external dimensions) 5 in or 12.5 cm

Here are three photos with some figures for scale...

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Before you accuse me, unless I have unsuspected prophetic abilities, this is not a GOT spoiler!

Anyway, I hope this is useful.

#furniture #chair #hy #haoyu #sofa #diorama #productreview #hottoys #threezero #tbleague #jacksparrow #jaimelannister #daenerystargaryen #got #gameofthrones #humor
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Fancy Armchair by Haoyu Toys   Replies: 4  Views: 1016
She (GAC Toys GC017 A) has just arrived and is already helping herself to everything in sight...

After a long day at work, and some time slaving over the BBQ, Gunner relaxed on the couch with Peggy, who claimed she didn't want anything other than her big glass of wine... until...

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The head is one of the set announced on this forum some time ago (HERE). I got version A, with the shorter red hair, perhaps because it reminded me a little bit of Dana Scully from the X Files. While the expression is a little odd and maybe sleepy (though it can be put to perfectly decent uses, as you saw above), the quality is excellent, and the finished product appears to match the prototypes used for promotional purposes. The head is a reasonably close match to TBLeague's "new suntan" (though the head is just a little darker/warmer in color than the S25B I used), and also a reasonably close match to Jiaou Doll's "wheat" (which is just a little bit darker/warmer than the head) -- as you can see below...

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The hair is actually ok... it just seemed a little flat in that last photo. The other versions have ampler and longer hairstyles.

Hope this was useful and at least mildly amusing...

What do you think?

#gactoys #gac #female #head #headsculpt #productreview #humor
Search in: General Talk  Topic: OH NO, SHE'S AFTER HIS SAUSAGE! (GAC TOYS GC017 A)  Replies: 21  Views: 1652
Here is my second reposted review from OSW for members here to read Smile

Not so long ago I received 5 items from Pew Pew Gun:
Shen light armour figures (normal red, exclusive white edition and exclusive black edition), the silver light armour accessory pack and the Pinyike clear armour pack. I will be focussing mainly on the Shen sets for this review.

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Now, I love Pew Pew Guns prior offerings and hadn't had much/any QC issues with their Pinyike figures but these newer Shen Yaogui figures are more of a mixed bag:


Great designs and paint work:
These figures look fantastic and it not so common to find original figure lines this well designed and stylised outside of movie/comic/game IP's, so I am very glad to have them in my collection.
The design of the Shen figures seems inspired by the monkey king but with the futuristic robot theme and scavenged armour appearance. It is a weird mix but it works very well.
The base body is the Pinyike robot with most of the basic armour, over which the outer light armour, shorts and gear are attached.
The inner pinyike body and armour plates are very cleanly sculpted and cast with no noticeable mould lines or paint slops in sight while the outer amour is sculpted to look old, battered and weathered. Again, the moulding is great and the paintwork is exceptional. The armour looks great full stop.
The padded crotch-less shorts (not sure what they are called) are made of pleather and honestly aren't particularly great nor necessary IMHO but they do look fine once put on (which is a fiddly thing to do just put them on slowly bit by bit).
The belt with holster is good though the tiny plastic buckles/clips can be fiddly if, like me, you have man hands.

LOADED with accessories!:
Here is where these figures really stand out. The boxes are very large for a reason: You get a large heavy resin display base with buried tank turret and barrel poking out (barrel is as long as the figure is tall), the attaching crotch grabber style stand post, Pinyike base body with head, power cell, fixed pose hands (3), articulated finger hands (2) and armour plates, Shen armoured feet, the full light outer armour, 2 part helmet, pleather crotchless shorts, belt with drop leg holster and grenade holders, 18 grenades, grenade launcher, missile launcher, MP7, attachments for the weapons and scarf!

Sturdy packaging:
The packaging consists of 3 foam trays (1 for the base, 1 for the body and 1 for the armour/accessories), sturdy 2 part art box, clear plastic wrapper and outer brown shipping box. The figures should all arrive without crushing though the art box might get some dents here and there as the brown shipper is not particularly strong or thick and no corner protectors are used.


Non functioning display stands:
Ok, this is a weird one but the resin display bases on all 3 figures suffer the same issue. The socket where the crotch grabber is to be inserted is not large enough to fit it in and since there is no gap for the clip to pop into it wouldn't stay in place anyway. You will need to drill out the hole a bit then glue the crotch grabber in. Honestly I will just use the bases without the post/grabber.

Ill fitting armour parts:
The back plate has a couple holes to insert two tiny pegs in that hold up the waist gear/belt. The problem is the little pegs don't want to fit in.
Additionally the wrist armour plates require heating and re-shaping to attach to the forearms (hence why I haven't put them on in the pics) but they do include instructions stating to do so.
The other big issue is that the elbow armour plates keep falling off as the pegs on them are slightly too small.
All these issues are fixable but that should not be necessary.

Topics tagged under productreview on OneSixthFigures 41214274085_b6447a314f_bIMG_4416 by kraggy2011, on Flickr

Ill fitting weapon parts:
The attachments are a pain the a** to fit on. they have tiny pegs that insert into tiny holes but the are either too small or too big, so parts either don't want to attach or fall right off. Mr glue will solve the issue but it will remove the option of multiple configurations. In addition to that the parts feel like they would break if forced so it is another case where less would be more, the the figure suffers from over design in areas as I will go into below.

Overly complicated design:
As I started getting into above, there are parts that are needlessly complex. I already mentioned the small attachments on the guns that honestly could have been part of the main mold or given more simple scifi designs and sturdier attachment methods. The armour is also overly designed in that there are two layers of it. It would have been simpler to design the figure where the armour attaches directly to the body and more securely. Hell, I would honestly have preferred the armour be part of the body itself and have a more sturdy figure because every clip/attachment/armour plate/etc is another point of potential failure/breakage.

Ok so not many parts to complain about here but the few parts are kind of a big deal to me. I already mentioned the problem with the resin stand and each crotch grabber post hole is slightly different on each one. it seems that the process of casting the base results in the inconsistent and poorly done sockets. Ok , this is more a moulding issue than a material one but they are related and the weight of the base adds to the shipping cost and of course chipping will be a potential issue.
Meanwhile, the weapons and attachments are made of light fragile feeling styrene or similar plastic that feels like it could snap if forced, and the hinge for opening the grenade launcher when inserting the grenades feels tiny and fragile, so I ended up not loading the launchers on the other two figures.
Then there is the pleather material on the shorts that will probably end up peeling like so many other pleather items from other brands.

Mixed overall QC:
The shoulder pad fell off my black Shen due to the glue coming unstuck while another one had the velcro patch on the chest armour came loose. Then there were some loose joints on the base bodies here and there which added to the reduced excitement upon setting up the figures. I expect that the separate silver light armour pack will have many of the same issues.

Overall these were a mixed bag but I can't deny how cool they look and with some fixes they will be better but still not perfect. I loved the Pinyike bodies and the clear Pinyike armour pack was just as good so hopefully the Shen figure issues will not be repeated and future releases will be better. I still like Pew Pew Gun and I am glad I got the figures

Topics tagged under productreview on OneSixthFigures 41395110624_75eb481493_bIMG_4414 by kraggy2011, on Flickr

#pewpewgun #shen #productreview
I thought it would be a good idea to repost some of my reviews from OSW to here so that members here can find them, so to start here is my review of the Hanroku Genocide Trooper (red Kickstarter edition and GreenWolfGear Saltblack edition) both by Green Wolf Gear and Snow Corporation.

Topics tagged under productreview on OneSixthFigures 41214277945_036548d1bc_bIMG_4398 by kraggy2011, on Flickr

They are very cool looking figures and great first offerings but not perfect.

I will list some of the main things I noted while assembling and posing them below:


Great sculpting on armour and weapons:
Clean sculpts with detail were it is required and little if any mould lines or surface blemishes.

Good paint on said parts:
There is a decent amount of weathering and decals with no noticeable mistakes and the lines are neat.

Clever use of magnets across the figures (to reduce the fuss of fiddling around with tiny buckles and clips):
There are magnetic attachment points on the back plate, knees. shoulder pads and belt. The magnetic mines (?) magnetically stick to the belt while the knee pads attach to the knees and stay in place (though prone to being knocked upside down as they are held with the one magnet).
The shoulder pads do not have any accessories to be attached to them but it is nice to have the option (you can place the knee pads or sticky mines on them if desired).
The backpack attaches to the back plate magnetically though the glue holding the magnet on the back-plate came loose on my saltblack trooper so something to keep in mind.

Sturdy packaging:
The packaging consists of a foam tray that holds the figure and bagged accessories within a plain but sturdy cardboard window box that has the window cover flap common in the hobby. Outside of that there is the outer card sleeve with the images of the figure and printed info. All this is protected by a clear wrapper within a standard brown shipper with plastic corner protectors taped on.

Sprung bipod attachment:
Kind of a small thing but I love that the rifle bipod has springs that hold them in position so they aren't flopping all over the place.

Inclusion of mini screw driver:
Again this is a small gesture but if like me you are always looking for mini screwdrivers to open battery compartments it is a godsend to have one included. I have yet to actually use the included one as I probably won't bother putting batteries in (no need for light up gimmick that I will use once then never again, but again, it is nice they included the light up feature).

Use of metal springs instead of rubber hoses:
One thing that always bugs me with figures where hoses/tubes are required is the use of rubber for said parts as it is prone to cracking/ degrading. Springs are the logical alternative IMO and I wish more companies would use them (In this case though it is a double edged sword as I will get into later).


Loose joints:
The body has difficulty holding poses especially where the arms need to be raised (they just fall back down under the weight of the gun) so posing is sometimes frustrating. Luckily I think everyone is used to body-swapping figures anyway but still, it should not be necessary at the price point. Additionally, the wrist pegs pop out VERY easily so bulking out the pegs will be necessary.
The other issue the loose joints causes is the head often not staying in place as the thick spring on the back snaps it back. I think that this is more due to the helmet simply sitting on an insert neck socket (the kind that goes inside neckless head sculpts to attach to neck posts) and simply gluing the socket into the helmet would hold it in place and the tension of the ball/socket should be enough to hold poses, in theory at least. I have yet to try the mod as I will likely wait until body swapping first.

Lack of stand:
This would not be an issue were it not for the loose joints that make standing in anything but a neutral pose difficult. Luckily most of us have spare stands and generic crotch grabber stands are cheap and easy to get. Of course that means a stand could have been added easily at little extra cost but like 3A/Threezero they decided not to bother with any, which leads in to the next point:

A little light on accessories (standard edition only):
I got the Standard editions of the figures so no rocket launcher is included (my own choice due to limited funds) and while it is not an accessory I particularly want but the lack of it does make the figure feel a little light on accessories.
That said there is still a fair amount there: one extra hand, the rifle (with 3 magazines, scope, bipod and laser/light), handgun, 3 sticky mines, 2 smoke grenades and 2 explosive grenades.

Loose attachment rails:
This mainly applies to the rifle scope on the top rail as the others seem fine, but the scope slide right off the rifle if pointed up or down. This is kind of a big deal as it simply does not function. It can probably be fixed with some smart use of nail varnish on the part of the scope that attaches to the rail to tighten the fit a little, or you could glue it in place.
If I am being completely honest I think rails and attachments on a lot of brands have issues of either being too tight or too loose so it is not out of the ordinary but I think companies should adopt a 'less is more' approach by foregoing a little of the realism in favour of something more reliable and durable because I have lost count of how many little attachments I ave lost or broken trying to attach them via the rail system. I think Threezero have the right idea with their weapons where the attachments are part of the main gun mould or are glued in place. All we really need are extendable stocks and removable mags to be honest (though I am sure that is going to be a controversial statement here. I would prefer weapons that look good but are also sturdy and don't fall apart). I may have gone off on a tangent there but the loose rail is kind of a big issue on these figures.

Lack of weathering on uniform:
This isn't really a big deal as most of us can easily add weathering ourselves and having clean uniform does mean we have more options especially if using for kitbashing so technically this could be a positive, but it does give the figure an inconsistent appearance having the armour, weapons, gloves and gear all weathered and battle-worn but the uniform is all clean and new. Of course, in my imagination the troops were just issued freshly laundered BDU's so it doesn't bother me but other collectors may find it bugs them more. I know some people complained about the boots being plastic rather than pleather/fabric but again I am fine, pleased even, that the boots are plastic bootfeet as the fabric/pleather ones usually break very easily and often look oversized/lumpy. So yeah, my preferences may not be the popular ones but I folly the 'form follows function' mode of thinking where durability and practicality is preferred over ultra realism and detail in figures.

I have probably missed a whole load of things that just slipped my mind while typing but hopefully you get a good idea of the quality of the figures and what to expect.

These are honestly great looking figures with some clever design choices they just fall short of the mark in execution/QC,  but as mentioned each issue is easy enough to fix and honestly we have to cut a little slack as these are the first mass produced figure offerings from the GWG x Snow Corp 13 project. Hopefully the quality of future releases (particularly the bodies) will improve with later offerings.

6.5-7/10 imho

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#productreview #hanroku #greenwolf #snow
Search in: General Talk  Topic: 1:6 Hanroku troopers by Green Wolf Gear x Snow Corporation  Replies: 8  Views: 989
Topics tagged under productreview on OneSixthFigures Viking31


After reviewing the Vikings Vanquisher Valhalla version two-figure set by Coomodel HERE, I ended up going for the Viking ship (longship, drakkar/drekar) prow diorama piece that was designed to go with them. Here is a brief review, with a baker's dozen of photos. Since there is little here that is comparable to actual action figures, I have foregone the process of assigning specific points to the different categories.


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The diorama set comes packaged in two separate boxes, one containing the ship, the other containing the printed background. The ship comes in a large, deep, and surprisingly heavy box. Decorated with a graphic representation of the piece, this box is essentially what we call a "shipper"; there is no interior cardboard box here, and the ship comes nearly packed in a foam container directly inside the shipper box. Everything is safe and collector friendly. The printed background comes in a separate, larger but much shallower box, which has no graphics on it, besides the product's logo/label (still misspelled "Vikihgs").

Sculpting and Accessories

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The ship prow appears to be mostly a single sculpted/molded piece, nicely finished to resemble the wooden construction of a Viking longship's prow with overlapping planks nailed together and a carved decoration along the stem. The surface is given enough imperfections and indentations to look like actual wood. The only area where I wish there had been more attention to detail is the upper surface of the "railing," which is quite smooth and bland, and not sculpted to look like a series of interconnected planks; admittedly, you are not likely to notice this unless you are viewing the piece from the "inside" out.

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The sculpted dragon's head is a separate piece, which is attached to the top of the main piece -- partly fitting into the opening, partly due to a magnet. The magnet helps hold it in place, but is not strong enough to keep it from falling out if you turned it over. The somewhat stylized dragon's head is very nicely sculpted, with some additional Nordic detail to resemble what would have been carved in wood. With the dragon's head in place, the prow is about 21.5 inches (55 cm) tall. The last photo in the review shows you the relative height of the ship compared to figures standing on the same surface.

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The only real accessories in the normal sense of the word are the two ropes, which are nicely scaled and just the sort of thing you would expect to find aboard a ship; you will see them in some of the photos below. (The "simpler" piece, made up of two connected rope hoops, is intended to go over the head of the prow and allow the figures to support themselves by holding onto it, but I forgot to put it there.) If the ship's prow is itself a diorama environment for your figures, it comes with diorama pieces of its own. First, there are the two pieces of sculpted breaking waves, which can be fitted along the sides of the hull. The sculpt is detailed and beautiful, the "water" is the right balance of translucent and opaque, but somehow it does not look quite realistic to me. I was worried that it would come permanently attached to the hull, but was very relieved to see that it was not. So you can easily display the piece with or without the sculpted waves.

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In addition to the optional sculpted waves, there is of course the printed background. It is printed on both sides of what appears to be thick stiff cardboard. The background folds into two: one section is wider (about 23.5 inches/60 cm), the other narrower (about 19.66 inches/50 cm); both are 27.5 inches (70 cm) tall. The wider section of the background shows the rest of the ship in a vague and foreshortened perspective, with the unfurled sail bellowing in the wind. The whole scene is depicted as a dark and stormy environment (why is the sail unfurled in all that, I don't know). While not particularly shiny, the printed surface does produce some glare from the light.

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The printing on both sides of the background allows you to set up the scene with the ship facing either right or left, and the sail always behind it.

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The print has not (yet) creased and torn in the corner fold, though I expect it might eventually, if handled and repositioned often enough; having a corner fold is a bit unfortunate, but I suppose there was little choice when it came to the design (though there may have been a way of attaching a single unfolded printout to the far ends of the background). I still think it works fairly well.

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There is relatively little to say about paint when it comes to this piece (not counting the printed background). The molded hull and dragon's head are colored an appropriate dark brown for a wooden ship, especially one that might have been covered with pitch to keep water out. There is some translucent color to the sculpted waves, which is subtle enough to be reasonably realistic for the most part; perhaps the foam on the crests could have been whiter.

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Fun Factor

By itself, the Viking Ship diorama environment is more a work of art than anything particularly fun. But as long as you have action figures you can pose on or in relation to it, you should have no problem adding fun to its beautiful, yet savage look.

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This is rather difficult for me to estimate, since I am in the habit of collecting and reviewing action figures, not dioramas and backgrounds. I got mine from Big Bad Toy Store for about $170 (USD), with a very reasonable $4 economy shipping. Given the size, number of boxes (two), and weight of the product alone, I think this is a very decent deal. My suspicions are confirmed by the palpably and in some cases criminally higher prices the product commands on eBay (ranging from about $250 to $550 -- with shipping included). If you like what you see, you might want to get it while BBTS still has it in stock.

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Things to watch out for

Not too much, as the piece is pretty solid and in fact quite hefty. That said, I have not tried dropping it to see if it would shatter or crack (or, perhaps just as likely, cause damage to everything else in its path). Remember that the dragon's head is heavy enough, and if you flipped the ship over, the magnet will not be strong enough to keep it attached. I also noticed that, despite the felt on the bottom of the hull and the sculpted waves, sliding them around or removing them carelessly still scratched my work surface -- you might want to be careful if you are placing them on a something valuable or very visible.


If you like the piece, have the money to spend, and the space to put it (or store it), you will probably be happy with this product. It is large and bulky, but would probably not work as well if it were not. The sculpted pieces and ropes are near perfect. The background is perhaps overly specific (dark stormy night with counter-intuitively unfurled sails), can produce some glare, and has the potentially unsightly corner fold. Nevertheless, it still works fairly well, and we have rarely seen a company go through this much trouble to equip its action figures with such diorama elements. Of course, if this came standard with the figures at no great additional price, it would have been even more impressive, but that does not seem very likely to happen. I am about to move, and this new acquisition is definitely adding up to my anxiety about that process... otherwise, I am very happy with it.

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What do you think? Favorite parts? Favorite photos? Smile

Where to Buy?

Big Bad Toy Store $170

Timewalker Toys $170 (wait list)

#vikings #coomodel #productreview #historical #fantasy #ship #longship #diorama
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Vikings Vanquisher Viking Ship Diorama Coomodel Review  Replies: 49  Views: 3300

Ah, the Vikings... like pirates these rogues have captured popular imagination and been turned into exciting and adventurous heroes, with little regard to the fact that their modern admirers would be quite miffed, to say the least, if a Viking warband landed on their shores and made off with their televisions, DVD/blu-ray players, i-pads, computers, cars, books, money, children, collectibles, and maybe lives... and yet modern revisionist historians have been busily asserting that Vikings were not the stereotypical bloodthirsty barbarians portrayed in the sources (tell that to their victims)... but I digress...

There have been all sorts of Vikings (though technically the term is specific to the raiders of Scandinavian origin that plagued their settled neighbors -- and each other -- in the Early Middle Ages)...

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and (using items from the Ignite Viking sets)

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and even

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but today I am offering up a review of a recent pair of

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produced recently by Coomodel. I am reviewing the Warlord and Berserker set, which comes with two additional items that you would not get if you were buying each figure separately. Additionally, there is a diorama environment of the prow of a Viking ship that you could get for your figures, but I have not purchased and am not including in this review (for it, see HERE). Update: I have now reviewed the Viking Ship HERE.

Packaging: 4/4 stars

The set of Vikings comes in a large box stored within a decorated shipper, which is impressive in and of itself (my retailer was kind enough to place that in an external box, which may or may not be the case if you purchase it from somewhere else). On the shipper and the box the word "Vikings" is misspelled "Vikihgs" -- a small but embarrassing slip.

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The box proper has a nice color closeup image of the two figures fully kitted out in action poses.

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The box is sturdy and in fact somewhat difficult to open, and contains two black foam trays that keep everything safe and sound, yet easy to access. The upper tray holds the figure, sword, and most of the extra hands, while most of the weapons, the shields, display stands, and other accessories are in the lower tray. Everything is collector-friendly and safe, and I very much appreciate the foam trays (instead of plastic).

Sculpting: 4/4 stars

These are not, to the best of my knowledge based on specific actors, so it is difficult to argue with the accuracy of the head sculpts and it is somewhat easier to get a high score in this category than it might have been otherwise. Both look sufficiently like what we would expect from Vikings, sporting bald and mostly shaved heads, the latter with a sculpted braid hanging from the back; on both head sculpts the mustaches are sculpted, but the beards are made of "real" hair in a matching color. The transition from sculpted to "real" facial hair is as good as can be expected, and given that it is a novel and ambitious technique, I will not split hairs over its quality (see what I did there?). The braided Warlord is portrayed with a relatively young appearance and neutral expression, while the bald Berserker is shown as more aged (grizzled?) and shouting out commands or threats or curses. The overly-emotive expression of the Berserker gives it a slightly more cartoonish aspect, but not overly so.  

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Overall, I find the head sculpts excellent. My only annoyance was that the "real" hair beards have a tendency to jut out over the chest, and even after a water treatment they took plenty of futzing to look about right. Perhaps I should have used product on them.

There is of course plenty of sculpting on other items that come in this set, from the armor to the shields and weapons. As you will see from the photos, these are all very good, especially the detailed work on the axes, which really conveys the ornate styles of the high-end Scandinavian (and more generally northern European) art of the Viking Age. The largely fantasy plate armor elements are given slightly less fine detail and the helmets fall somewhere in-between, but everything is sculpted very well.

Paint: 4/4 stars

The paint work seems to be nice and sharp throughout, though I thought there might have been a little more contrast in the sculpted hair -- then again, since these guys are not based on anyone real, I am not going to worry about this perceived issue. The Berserker's yelling mouth gives us opportunity for looking at more detail, and it appears pretty convincing at any reasonable distance.

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The quality of paint carries over to the accessories, and looks just right: the partly carved horn, the decorated wine-skin, the wooden shields, etc. If I have any misgivings about the paint, it is that we do not see any "gold" or "brass" on what is supposed to be the most impressive piece, the exclusive great horned helm.

Articulation: 3/4 stars

I am assuming the underlying body is Coomodel's, and I have very little experience with it. The body can probably achieve and maintain most desired poses in regular circumstances, but here is it weighed down -- literally -- by several layers of clothing and armor and heavy die-cast-metal weapons. It is unlikely you will get more than a 90 degree angle at the elbow and knees, and I was impressed the figures could be made to sit naturally. The arms have some trouble supporting the heavier weaponry when stretched out or raised, due to the weight of these accessories and the somewhat loose joints (which would probably have worked just fine with lighter, plastic accessories). The arms also cannot easily reach straight up, due to the shoulder armor of one figure, and the layers of armor and fur on the other. All of this is understandable, yet still rather annoying. I appreciate the two-piece boots, which allow for some ankle movement. Due to the weight of clothing, armor, and accessories, the figures are a bit top heavy and sometimes overwhelm said ankles in a propensity to falling on their faces (or backs) -- which should make you appreciate the included display stands.

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Accessories: 4/4

These are arguably the greatest thing about the set. You might like or dislike the head sculpts on the basis of personal taste, you might accept or object to the armor on the basis of historicity. But the weapons and accessories that come with these figures are executed in excellent detail and (at least for the most part) can pass for historically accurate (I am rather dubious about the double-headed axe, although it certainly a beautiful piece).

One problem I had with the set is determining what was supposed to go with which figure, although I suppose the beauty of getting both is that you can mix and match to your taste. I tried to determine this on the basis of the promotional images for the separate figures and arranged them accordingly in the photos below, but note that the instruction sheets actually appear to swap the accessories between the two figures (unless they simply mislabeled the Warlord and Berserker).

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According to the promotional materials, the Warlord comes with the more historically-accurate hornless helmet, the large shield, the horn and wine-skin, the smallest axe, and the fine sword and scabbard; the Berserker comes with the small-horned helmet, the two larger axes, and the knife with scabbard. Each figure comes with a belt to which are to be attached a bag and a pouch; one belt is supposed to get two, the other one additional suspension rings. The Warlord also has an additional finer belt with a decorated boss on it. Each figure comes with a raised circular-base black display stand. In terms of extra body parts, the selection is the same for each figure: in addition to the sword grip hands that come on the body, there are pairs of fist hands, semi-relaxed hands, spread-fingered hands, and alternative sword-grip hands (for larger shafts like the large axes?).

As noted above, the sculpt and paint job on the weaponry and accessories is beautifully done. The axe-heads and sword and knife blades are die-cast metal, as are the three helmets (for the most part -- they also include "horn," "cloth," and "leather" elements, and the cheek pieces on one helmet are made of plastic). The sword has an etched inscription in futhark characters, but as far as I can tell they are gibberish.

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Speaking of three helmets, I should note that the third helmet, a great horned helm, is an exclusive for the two-figure set, as is the small shield or buckler.

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Overall, the accessories are excellent in both quality and selection. Note that the metal pieces can make them heavier than their plastic counterparts and, as noted, that could be a challenge for some weaker joints (one more reason why I am not uniformly elated with die-cast-metal use in this scale, but I know I am in the minority). Also note that the helmets are actually fairly small, designed to look about right in this scale and to take advantage of the bald (or almost bald) heads of these specific figures. Trying to put them on your other head sculpts could be a challenging and possibly damaging endeavor.

Outfit: 4/4 stars

Remembering that these are fantasy figures intended to appeal to our popular imagination of Vikings rather than actual historical Vikings, the outfit is detailed, fitting, and very good indeed. Both figures feature cloth, plastic, leather (pleather?), fur (faux fur?) elements in their outfits, combined and intertwined in an effective manner (for example the leather straps wrapped around the upper parts of the boots). The chain mail is a type of fabric, while the Berserker also wears a fine coat of scale armor  -- look at the photo of the box, because on the figure it is almost completely obscured by all that fur. The most fantastical (i.e., fanciful) elements are perhaps plate shoulder armor on the Warlord, the plate shoulder and upper right arm armor on the Berserker, and the vambraces on both.

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Also fantastical are the horns on the helmets, which are a feature of the way that Scandinavians and other ancient Germanic tribes imagined their gods and supernatural beings; apart from some stylized metal horns on Bronze-Age (ceremonial?) helmets (see the first photos above), these do not seem to have been found on actual, functional Viking helmets. Apart from the horns, the helmets look fairly close to what was actually fashionable in Dark-Age northern Europe (even among the Anglo-Saxons, who would later be among the famous victims of Viking raids).

The bulky outfit (in part due to the multiple layers) causes some restriction to the articulation, but that was covered above.

Fun Factor: 3/4 stars

This is hard to gauge, as it depends on each individual's tastes, imagination, and the remainder of their collection. Getting both figures rather than just one automatically ups the score in this category, as you can pose them together in a variety of poses or scenes. If you were to get the Viking ship diorama as well, you might have even more fun with them -- or less, as you might feel constrained to put them aboard and leave it at that. The heaviness of the figures and their accessories and, to a lesser extent, the limitations of the articulation imposed by the outfit, are a cause of some concern -- you would do well to make sure to use the included stands (or other stands of your choice), as these will topple as readily as real Vikings would put their greedy paws on monastic treasure or screaming virgins.

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Value: 2/4 stars

In the United States the set retails at about $390. That is about $195 per figure, which is only slightly better than getting each figure for about $200, although you do get the two exclusive pieces with the set (the great horned helm and the small shield). High end companies have pushed the price of sixth-scale action figures well past $200 in the last few years, especially where we are dealing with licensed collectibles. Coomodel's product is high end (what with the attention to detail and the plethora of accessories), though it is not, to the base of my knowledge, part of a license. For that reason, I give it a middling score in this category.

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Things to watch out for

Not much, other than the propensity for your figures to fall on their face. Hands swap reasonably easily, but as always I advise heating them up with a hair dryer (or hot water). The metal rings holding some of the accessories together could become loose, so keep track of the small parts and try to close any opening with pliers.

Overall: 3.5 stars

When these were first advertised, I flinched at the price and at the fantastical (i.e., unhistorical) aspects. They also reminded me of the stylized villains we had seen in Pathfinder. But when they were released and I started seeing them parted out, I came to appreciate the excellence of the product more fully. There were so many pieces I wanted to get, and the parted-out prices for them were still rather high, so I ended up getting the whole two-figure set. And I do not regret it. The product is of excellent quality and lends itself to various uses in and of itself, or in combination with others. I hope this review has been helpful and informative for you.

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Where to buy:
Big Bad Toy Store
Monkey Depot

#vikings #coomodel #productreview #male #historical #fantasy #warrior

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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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: 1386
Time for one of those slightly controversial reviews tonight. I'm checking out Star Ace's new Audrey Hepburn, as seen in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's where she portrayed Holly Golightly. This is a portrait that is much, much better than other recent releases from them, including Artemisia and Marilyn Monroe. Unfortunately, I still have an issue with her neck...and with the price tag. I think people have a sour opinion on Star Ace right now though, and many won't give this sculpt its due because of it. The figure has a couple other issues holding it back, but the portrait isn't one of them.  You can find my full review here:

or with the rest of the reviews at the usual:

Thanks for reading!


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#productreview #female #film #audreyhepburn #breakfastattiffanys
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Audrey Hepburn Holly Golightly sixth scale figure review  Replies: 8  Views: 835
Review of the just-released boxed outfit set from JX Toys, which is inspired by Tifa Lockheart from the "Final Fantasy" franchise. Click any image for full-size versions, or visit the JX Toys TiFa Female Fighter Photo Review album. No outtakes or anything -- everything I took is posted here.

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JX Toys TiFa Female Fighter Photo Review by Ed's Toy Box, on Flickr

Before covering anything in the set, let me impress the importance of looking over the instructions and EVERYTHING in the box, and figuring out what the instructions are trying to tell you. It would help if you could read Chinese, but if you don't then I hope my experience can help you out.

Most importantly, hiding at the bottom of the box will be 3 sheets of fairly thick, transparent plastic. What they're trying to say in steps 1 and 4 are to use these sheets in strategic places.

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JX Toys TiFa Female Fighter Headsculpt Portrait by Ed's Toy Box, on Flickr

Portrait shot of the "TiFa" headsculpt. Matches the S23B suntan pretty well, although I think you could also probably get away with using it on a pale figure as well. Might get a shot of that to show what I mean. Lovely, in a little more of a cartoon-y sort of way.

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JX Toys TiFa Female Fighter Photo Review by Ed's Toy Box, on Flickr

The product pre-release photos looked like they put this set on the standard large-bust Phicen/TBLeague body (an S12D if you want to get particular about it), and while I think it's probably a pretty good match to the character model in the original game, I wanted to put her on the more muscular S23B body. While other characters in the game use swords and staffs and guns and other weapons to fight, Tifa is a martial-arts fighter who pounds enemies with her fists, and I thought the S23B body would be more appropriate. This does mean some stuff doesn't fit quite as well as it could.

The outfit starts with Tifa's trademark cropped tank top, adding in a pair of black panties. Nothing hugely out of the ordinary, but nicely executed.

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JX Toys TiFa Female Fighter Photo Review by Ed's Toy Box, on Flickr

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JX Toys TiFa Female Fighter Photo Review by Ed's Toy Box, on Flickr

Closer look at the fit of the top and panty. No visible staining afterwards from the panty, but soaking it to remove any excess dye isn't a bad idea.

You can see a bit of the fuzz left behind by the shirt and the panty, but it's not a stain.

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JX Toys TiFa Female Fighter Photo Review by Ed's Toy Box, on Flickr

The leather mini-skirt with suspenders is a very snug fit on the S23B. It is a stretch vinyl fabric, so it will give a bit while getting it on but should snap back into place once it's in position. Still, a bit of wax paper or plastic wrap around the legs and hips will help a lot in getting the thing on.

There are ornamental buckles on her suspenders, which I would have preferred to be real ones to customize the fit. The suspenders are permanently attached to the skirt by those little loops, which are plastic that looks like elastic.

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JX Toys TiFa Female Fighter Photo Review by Ed's Toy Box, on Flickr

The skirt is very, very short, same as in the game, and the suspenders help emphasize a specific part of Tifa's body. The panty can help the figure avoid stains and inadvertent flashing of naughty bits because that is a very, very short skirt.

FWIW, the box contains a larger plastic sheet which is intended to go on under the skirt, both to help get it on easier and to protect the body. The tight fit of the skirt means there's a lot of close contact between the skirt and the body and that can lead to staining very easily.

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Make sure the criss-cross in the suspenders goes in back and not in front. It's also not too easy to see here, but I think the first problem the set runs into on the S23B body is that the rear waistband leaves a pretty big gap on the back.

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There are 2 arm sleeves that are made of the same stretchy material as the skirt. The first mistake I made in dressing the figure was putting some plastic wrap on her arms to help get the sleeves on, but not going all the way up the arm. This is what two of those clear plastic sheets in the box are for.

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Whatever you use to get those sleeves on, they look pretty good once they're in place and the material is flexible enough that a Phicen body can still hold bent-elbow poses. At least with plastic wrap under there -- I think the plastic sheets in the box are VERY thick and might impair elbow functionality more than the sleeves do.

The box also comes with three pairs of hands, which will be seen later.

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There's a pair of dark socklets that are supposed to go on the leg under the boots, but I found them to be completely useless. I just couldn't get them over the ankle peg and onto the legs, so I ditched them entirely.

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The boot is a solid piece of semi-hard plastic, with an ankle socket at the bottom of the foot. It fits the Phicen/TBLeague ankle ball perfectly, but the stiff structure of the boot means you get limited ankle articulation and therefore limited posing possibilities.

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The completed figure, along with the spare hands she has in the box. She's sporting her fist hands (why oh why doesn't Phicen/TBLeague make fist hands themselves?), a pair of flat-palmed hands, and then a semi-open right hand and a fist left hand with a band. Of the hands, only the left-band fist had trouble getting on or off the wrist peg.

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"It'll be better for you if you go limp when I knock you out. Otherwise, you might hurt yourself worse when you fall."

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My problem with the boots is that they're stiff enough that you lose ankle articulation, but not so stiff that they can support the figure on their own. This is about as deep a stance as you can get before you lose stability. The socklets might help by removing some of the slack in the ankle, and maybe I should have just been more patient (or used plastic wrap) to get them on. But I'm generally not a fan of sculpted boots overall. If they were doing this, I'd have preferred one of those two-section designs like Hot Toys has been doing lately, though I don't know if her boots work with that design.

Overall, I think there's a whole lot to like about the clothing set, and mostly minor quibbles about the things I don't (the specific tailoring, potential for staining, and the boots). If you're a fan of the character, I think it's a pretty good buy for the money.

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JX Toys TiFa Female Fighter Photo Review by Ed's Toy Box, on Flickr

And here's the reason why you should really pay attention to the stuff in the box. I used plastic wrap on the arms, but only up to the elbow, and this left stains on the inside of both elbows from the sleeves. Considering how tight the fit is, I'm a little surprised it didn't go higher. I'm not holding this against JX Toys since they do include SOMETHING in the box to keep this from happening, and I'm pretty sure I can get those out on my own. So let my impatience be a warning to anyone who gets this set.

#jxtoys #tifa #finalfantasy #productreview #female #film
Search in: General Talk  Topic: JX Toys TiFa Female Fighter Set Photo Review  Replies: 9  Views: 2678
Actor Ryan Gosling has been in a large number of films and, although he has not portrayed a major blockbuster superhero (unless I'm having a senior moment as I write this), has received at least six sixth-scale treatments. Between two boxed sets and three loose head sculpts, I have picked up five of the six. The one that got away is Redman Toys' driver, which I never sought out after some disappointing reviews and photos, featuring what looked like some very roughly sculpted hair strands.

Roughly in chronological order, the five Ryan Goslings here are:
1. DID LAPD SWAT Assaulter Driver (boxed set)
2. K-Hobby (head sculpt only)
3. BBK Drive (boxed set)
4. Elite Clone K (also marketed as Officer K) (head sculpt only)
5. Blackbox Replicant Killer (boxed set, although I only picked up the head)

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So, whether you want to showcase the actor's character from Drive or from Blade Runner 2049 or kitbash the character from The Nice Guys or The Place Beyond the Pines, you ought to have plenty of options to work with.

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Ironically, as you can probably tell from the images (and see the zoomed-in photos below), while each head sculpt is fairly decent, none is a truly exact or outstanding likeness of the actor. While the frontal looks are dubiously successful in various ways, the profile looks tend to be quite good in each case.

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The Elite head sculpt appears to be almost identical to the BBK one, except that the Elite version has a much thinner face and neck. The Replicant Killer head sculpt by Blackbox suffers in part from the atypical darker hair color and the different, relatively unfamiliar more wearied look of the actor, and has been received some dismissive comments. While I agree that something is off (again, especially in the frontal look), I am impressed by the extremely fine texturing of the skin and hair on this (most?) recent head sculpt.

What do you think?

#head #film #blackbox #bbk #elite #did #khobby #productreview
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Product Review: Five Goslings mini review  Replies: 17  Views: 1106
Received this figure some time ago, no time to do review. Now here it is.

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2 layers of goodies here. No stand, but with a base. Package is in order, no broken pieces.

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The main figure. Not very close to the promo, but good enough to pass.

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Heres the layers of clothing. No undergarment, i think. I didn't strip her beyond her outer coat. I took off the boots, and it is hollow, which means a phicen body would fit.

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The rest of the accessories. The cool one is the pair of gloved hands. I am disappointed there is no sword. In the novel, she wielded a pair of swords and was almost invincible. There is the golden ball weapon. One of its uses is to allow the girl to sleep on it tying to a tree. Well, i don't believe the figure will be able to balance on that strip of cloth, so i didn't try.

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A closeup picture of the main figure. The hair was quite well braided. This is lacking among many products on the market you can find. I wish they made more of this.

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The base. You attach the main branch to the base using a screw provided. No screw driver thou. At first, the swinging plank wasn't balanced. This can be fixed by readjusting the ropes.

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The figure can stand on its own without a stand. For other pose like one legged, pls use your own stand. The body is quite flexible, good for varying poses. Leg cannot, however, lift as high as a phicen body. Can do split, though. (sword in the picture is not provided)

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My collection of Chinese figures. Running out of space. I believed the Empress is not too happy!!

#productreview #female #eit #condorheroes

Product Review: TBLeague Phicen M35 Body - Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:29 pm

Pros: Very well defined muscles, everything is highly detailed, still just as highly posable as other TBLeague/Phicen bodies despite being very bulky.

Cons: No underwear or shorts, one less manhood!

Full Review Here  Laughing

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#tbleague #phicen #m35 #productreview #male #body
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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
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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.

Full Review Here Smile

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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: 600
To help with sorting and searching through this forum as we accumulate more and more topics (threads), I invite all members posting a new topic to add hashtags at the end of the first post. If you have already created a topic, you can go back to it, and edit the first post to include the hashtags of your choice. I have gone through a few topics started by others and myself and included some hashtags as a test, but feel free to add more of your own, where applicable. We do not seem to be limited in number of hashtags, so some redundancy is ok (e.g., both #lordoftherings and #lotr).

By clicking on a hashtag, you will be able to see all topics (threads) tagged with it -- you will be taken to a page containing the first posts in these topics (there may be further posts with additional info and images, so you might want to enter the respective topics and follow through). In Profile you can follow specific hashtags of your choice.

Working list of common hashtags below. You are not limited to this, and feel free to supply additional suggestions; so as to minimize the number of hits during searches, please do not put the # in front of your suggestions, which I will integrate into the list. At any rate this should demonstrate the principle of the thing. There are basically three types of hashtags that would apply: descriptive (like #historical or #outdoors), franchise (like #starwars or #aliens), and maker (like #easyandsimple or #hottoys).

Search in: General Talk  Topic: ANNOUNCEMENT: Hashtags for topics on this forum  Replies: 42  Views: 4868
It's taken awhile (understatement of the year) to finally happen, but we now have our sixth scale Michonne to go with our Pet Walkers!  Threezero has just started shipping her, and she's my favorite of the three humans they've produced so far. There's still a few nits, but this is a much better release than Merle. You can find my review here:

or with the rest of the reviews at the usual:

Thanks for reading!


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#productreview #threezero #walkingdead #tv
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Michonne Walking Dead sixth scale figure review  Replies: 7  Views: 566

Product Review - SideShow Zuckuss - Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:43 am

Yesterday my Pre-ordered Zuckuss and Dengar figures arrived cheers cheers

I have already reviewed the Dengar figure here:

The figures were both pre-ordered here in the UK from:

So now its time to look at Zuckuss.

I was cautious about buying this figure because I have had a Hasbro 12" Zuckuss for a while and thought he was actually ok, and so I did not know if I wanted to pay for the SideShow figure for whats is a very background character.  In the end I obviously did buy him, and whilst this is definitely more detailed than the Hasbro offering I don't think it is such a big upgrade as Dengar is.

This is much the same as Dengar, and all other SideShow Star Wars packaging so I won't dwell on this here.  I will however say that again on this box the cardboard used seems slightly thinner than previous SideShow boxes, and the overlapped seam which forms that box did not appear to have enough glue applied and was separating straight out of the brown packing box.  It just does not feel as good a quality as previous boxes from SideShow have.  Quite disappointing for a collectors model at this price point, as for many, including me, the packaging is part of the whole.

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The Figure

Let me start by saying that this is a good figure.  I probably don't think it warrants the asking price but that is unfortunately the 1/6 world we live in  Rolling Eyes

I think the sculpt of the head is very good and it has those lovely sort of translucent eyes similar to those seen on the earlier 4-LOM figure.  From certain angles they really bring the head to life.  It is difficult to tell from movie stills how accurate the colouring is but it looks right to me. The mix of organic and mechanical elements in the head has been handled very well and the overall impression is very convincing.

The figure itself seems to me to be slightly to tall.  Only by a few millimetres, but I think it is noticeable.  To my eye the extra height is found in the chest area, it just seems to long. This can be mitigated when posing the figure by bending the torso forward a little, but this is not that easy to do and only partly solves the issue.  The extra height also seem to make the figure look too slim, and he does not have the quite squat, dumpy, look of the film character.

The costume is very good, and I like the leather belt and harness which has magnetic closures on the pouches. The leather could have been made to look slightly more "used" but it is ok as it is really.  
The long coat is superb, and looks just like it should.  It has a slight silver sheen to it, and looks worn and used to a perfect finish.  To me it does feel a little freaky to the touch Shocked I can only describe it as "crispy", and every time I touch it I fear that I will damage it in some way but it does seem to be able to deal with being handled normally though.  
There are some really cool boots under that coat which are sadly all but covered up.
The pipes and breathing apparatus are all sculpted very well and are flexible enough to pose without feeling fragile.  I particularly like the back panel which given the available pictures of the film costume must be "imagined" by SideShow and they have done a grand job of it.

Extras are limited to the blaster and spare hands.  There is the usual hexagonal base as well but as this is included with every figure it is hardly an extra.  
That said what extras could have been added for a character that has as limited a screen appearance as this one.  I suppose that at the price asked for this figure I expect a little bit more, but then I guess I am really paying SideShow to complete my collection Crying or Very sad
The blaster is very nicely done.  I believe the movie prop was made with an Enfield rifle as the base, and this can be seen well in the model too.  Parts of it do look quite fragile, especially given the shape and size of Zuckuss' hands, but it is actually quite robust.

The articulation of this figure is not great, although I think this is largely due to the limits of movement in the costume.  That said SideShow's Jawas have a good range of movement and similar costumes so I think SideShow could have done better in the articulation department with this one.  If you are looking for the pose from the movie then you are ok, but anything more might be a bit more of a challenge.

This is clearly an improvement over the Hasbro figure, but I do think the price is a little excessive for what you get.  
You can achieve a reasonable movie accurate look with this figure but the extra length in the chest area is apparent whatever you do.  
Achieving more action poses will be a challenge given the limits imposed on articulation by the costume (and the fear of damaging that crispy feeling coat Laughing )

I am very pleased with this figure.  Would I buy it again given that the Hasbro is actually pretty good (with a bit of extra paint on it)?  Yes I think I would, but I do think SideShow are asking for a high premium on this figure because they know that some collectors will pay more to complete their collections.  It does feel like I have been taken advantage of a little bit because of my penchant for collecting Star Wars Bounty Hunters Laughing Laughing Laughing Rolling Eyes

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And a couple to compare this figure with the Hasbro 12" figure.  Some of the height difference is the extra height of the SideShow base.

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Thank you for reading this review, and I hope you found it interesting and helpful.

As always any comments are very welcome.

#productreview #sideshow #starwars #empirestrikesback #film #bountyhunter
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Product Review - SideShow Zuckuss  Replies: 15  Views: 736

Product Review - SideShow Dengar - Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:28 am

My Dengar figure from SideShow arrived today along with his pal Zuckuss.  The extra wait is typical of the UK 1/6 market, but they are here now. cheers  cheers  cheers

On to what I think of this figure.
I have been waiting, mostly patiently, for someone to release a good interpretation of Dengar the Bounty Hunter from TESB.  Up till now this character has been filled in my collection by the Hasbro 12" offering, which, whilst OK after a bit of extra paintwork being done, still leaves a lot to be desired when displayed alongside my other Bounty Hunters (now all SideShow).

Once this Figure was announced I knew it would be in my collection.  I bought it via here in the UK as they then handle all the import etc.  It does mean paying a bit more and the extra wait, but I know what I am paying up front with no extra charges on delivery Very Happy .  As soon as they had it to preorder I preordered.

The figure itself comes in the now standard SideShow Star Wars packaging.  A brown outer packing box, then the black with grey accents Box which has 3 different 3/4 length photos of the figure, one on each of the front, back, and inside the flap.  The flap is magnetically held closed and opens to reveal the figure itself behind a clear window, and the previously mentioned photo of the figure.
Now, upon opening this box it seemed to me as though SideShow might have used a slightly thinner cardboard than I had previously seen, and indeed comparing the box to older SideShow Star Wars boxes it does seem very marginally but noticeably thinner!!!  Both this box and the one Zuckuss came in also had the seam which closed the box coming apart at the top.  It seems as though there might not have been enough glue used to construct the box.  Minor things sure but with this being a collector figure I would not expect SideShow to be skimping on packaging as I think they may have been here, especially at the price point.

The figure itself is cocooned in a clear plastic shell along with his weapons, and has a second clear plastic shell beneath with the stand, backpack and spare hands.  This is all fine and seems to hold all the parts well for transit as nothing had moved.

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The Figure
The figure itself is I think a very, very, good rendition of the movie character, and certainly the best that has been available in this scale to date.  The proportions seem good, and the level of detail is good given the source material SideShow had available must have been quite limited.  We only see Dengar for a few seconds in TESB and again in very shadowy scenes in Jabba's palace in ROTJ.  Other than this we only have a very limited number of promotional stills in which Dengar seems to have switched weapons with 4-LOM!!

The feet seem well done, although the nature of the boots he is wearing make the right boot look more like a left boot from certain angles.  
The armour is crisp and well represented, the base colour looks good, and the over all impression is good.  Dengars armour in the still photos available does look a bit more worn, and whilst there is some weathering on the figures armour, a little bit more might have been welcome.  
The backpack is superb with individual parts and straps all very well done.  It attaches to the back of the figure with a magnet and seems to hold well.  The other pouches etc are all well done, but i did need to pad out the one on the left hip a little to get the exact look I was after.

The weapons supplied are good.  The blaster pistol is excellent, and is a tight fit for the leather holster which is riveted to the leg armour, and has a magnetic retention strap.  The MG42 used to represent the Blaster Rifle which appears in TESB is also a very nice piece.  It is of course different from the blaster seen in the promo pics as this was MG34 based.  
As has been mentioned in other reviews of this figure, the MG42 used in the film seems to have had the butt stock removed, whereas the one supplied here still has the stock attached.  It is a small detail, but it would have been nice if SideShow had spotted this.

I think the head sculpt on this figure is very good, the scaring to the right cheek, eyes and the skin tone seem spot on to me.  
Some have said a cloth turban instead of the moulded rubber one would have been nice, but I actually like the idea of the moulded one.  That said, to me the angle at the front of the turban formed where the wraps overlap is a bit too shallow to be screen accurate.  I found it difficult to get the "right" look with it, but found a position for it which I am happy with in the end.  
I like the cloth cowl/hood which I think looks very good when positioned well.  
Mine arrived with the cowl outside the breast plate, but movie stills seem to show the front tucked under the armour, with the lip on the edge of the neck of the armour visible.  This is easily remedied and the cowl looks spot on to my eyes once tucked under the armour.

I think that the basic articulation of the figure is actually pretty good, however many of the joints are limited in their movement by the padded under suit.  It would be great if SideShow and other manufacturers could find a way to use these padded under suits, which are essential to the look of the figure, without them limiting the otherwise excellent articulation.  
Fortunately I tend to play with a figure until I have a pose with which I am happy, and then I display them and largely leave them alone.  If you like to repose figures regularly or to change the pose for photography etc.. then the limit on the movement of this figure created by the under suit and general costuming may be frustrating.
I would also have liked it if the hands were just a little bit softer.  They aren't exactly hard to position on accessories, but if they were just a tad softer it would make this easier.

There is the included hexagonal black stand with the Star Wars logo on the bottom of it, which is pretty standard for SideShow, but other extras are limited to the weapons and 3 sets of alternative hands.  I suppose an MG34 as seen in the promo pics might have been a nice addition for anyone who wanted to follow that look, but that may be a bit tenuous to include as an extra scratch .  
It is difficult to see what other extras SideShow might have included, but at the price point it might have been nice if they imagined up something else to put in the box.

I love this figure Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy It closes a hole in my Bounty Hunter collection that I have been looking to fill for a number of years.  A reasonably film accurate pose can be achieved even though we only really see him in TESB in one pose for a few seconds at most, and I think he looks great alongside the rest of his Bounty Hunter chums.  
It really is nice to have a decent looking Dengar at last, and whilst there are some things I think could have been done differently it is still a great figure and one that any Star Wars Bounty Hunter fan surely ought to have.

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A couple of pics with the Hasbro 12" Dengar he replaces for reference.

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and a pic with Zuckuss, and with all his TESB Bounty Hunter mates Very Happy

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Thanks for taking the time to read this, And I hope it was useful.  

All comments are as always welcome.

#productreview #sideshow #starwars #empirestrikesback #film #bountyhunter #male
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Product Review - SideShow Dengar  Replies: 6  Views: 915

Product Review Star Ace Queen Gorgo - Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:12 pm

Product Review of Star Ace Queen Gorgo from 300

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Queen Gorgo is Star Ace's third product from the 300 movies, following upon King Leonidas and Themistokles. She also happens to be my first complete set from this series: I already had the Hot Toys Leonidas and only bought parts of the Star Ace Themistokles. You can find detailed reviews of the aforementioned products (as well as Star Ace's Leonidas) by Michael Crawford here:

The historical Gorgo (one of History's first recorded victims of creative and inconsiderate parents where name-giving is concerned -- who names their daughter after a gorgon!?) was the niece and wife of the brave Spartan king Leonidas (himself the offspring of an uncle-niece marriage). She was noted as an outspoken woman, whose good advice was ignored (by her father, for example, to his loss), and who dared to speak out among her fellow citizens. Then again, this sort of assertiveness was expected of Spartan women (to the dismay of other Greeks), and the sort of things she said inevitably reinforced the values and priorities of Sparta's militaristic society (e.g., "come back with your shield or on it!"). The historical Gorgo did not go on to lead Sparta's (largely fictitious) navy to decisive effect at the Battle of Salamis after her husband's death at the Thermopylai. Considering that 300 is about as historically accurate as its parody, Meet the Spartans, I suppose I should not really go down that path. In the 300 movies, Gorgo is portrayed by the beautiful Lena Headey, now better known as Game of Thrones' Queen Cersei.

Packaging: 3.5/4 stars

The rectangular box opens its front cover to reveal the figure and its accessories in a transparent plastic tray, but you need to open the box from the top (or bottom, I suppose), to get to the goodies inside. Everything is pretty collector friendly. The outside of the box features what appear to be images from the highly stylized film, including Greek hoplites pushing Persian troops off a cliff into the sea, a hillside littered with skulls, and the signature blood spatter effect. All this is with a matte finish, but over it is superimposed a glossy still of Lena Headey as Queen Gorgo. As attractive as this is, in a way it backfires: it provides a glimpse at what the product should look like but it does not -- in terms of the actress' features and even her outfit!

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Sculpting: 3/4 stars

The face sculpt is nice enough in itself, but it does not seem to capture the features of Lena Headey very well. Despite an attempt to pay attention to detail (like the mole on the right of the nose), to my eyes it seems closer to Daisy Ridley (Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy). Looking at images of Lena Headey, it appears to me that the forehead is a bit too tall and vertical, and the face a bit too long. The hair is partly sculpted, partly rooted. The sculpted part of the hair is the front part, around the face. Unfortunately, it is made up of two parts, and the seam line between them is bit more obvious than it should be. The rooted hair is partly held down over the top of the head by sculpted braids, which was nice idea, but once the rooted hair clears the braids, it tends to jut out in an unrealistic manner. Perhaps with enough product one could get it a little more under control. The hair itself is wavy, which is a nice touch and an attempt to replicate the onscreen look.

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The toes of the sandaled feet appear rather naively sculpted, and there isn't much in the way of detail there or on the hands. The shield is pitted to make it look worn and damaged, but only in places, while the sword appears perfectly pristine. The body is partly seamless -- the upper torso including the breasts and arms is one piece, and the elbows and ankles are covered by the flexible rubbery material. While the overall shape is pretty decent, there is woefully little detail -- for example, the very pronounced and fine shoulder blades on the back are nowhere to be seen on the action figure. The seam between the upper and lower torso is quite noticeable every time the top pleather strap on the front of the dress slips down a bit, and that happens a lot.

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Paint: 3/4 stars

The paint is uneven, with some areas very nicely painted, and others very basic or incomplete. The eyes are nicely done, though perhaps not as glossy as they might have been. The lips and eyebrows are very finely painted, though the eyelashes are a bit too simplistic/obvious, while at the same time failing to make the eyes as expressive as those of the actress. The face shows plenty of subtle paint variation and freckling, but that is not extended to the body, except perhaps for a little bit on the neck. Considering how much of the flesh shows, this is not enough. The finger- and toe nails are painted in a rather modern shade of light pink; I don't know if that is movie-accurate or not. The gold or brass color of the earrings and arm band are perhaps a tad dull, as is the rather flat brown of the sculpted part of the hair. Then there are outright mistakes: the face is painted a slightly warmer shade than the body, and the sculpted sandal straps are not completely painted: the narrow sides are left the same color as the feet.

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Articulation: 3/4 stars

The body has very decent articulation which, as so often, is limited by the outfit. Considering what the outfit consists of, this is quite the negative achievement. Shoulder, ankle, neck, abdomen, and waist articulation are great; wrist articulation is more limited. The elbows can bend to a 45 degree angle between upper and lower arm, while the knees can bed to a 90 degree angle between the upper and lower leg. The thigh articulation is more limited, at least in part because of the narrow lower part of the dress. Still, it would be possible to make the figure sit. Nevertheless, it is very difficult to give her wider stances. I do not know what were the functional limitations of the movie costume, but either its costumers or Star Ace are completely ignorant of the nature of ancient Greek clothing, which would have left a long (if concealed) slit on one side of the dress. A better-designed outfit and a better seamless body (like those by Phicen/TBLeague or Jiaou Doll) could have earned this category an easy 4/4.

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Accessories: 3/4 stars

Onscreen, Gorgo does not have much in the way of accessories, so their scarcity with the figure is partly excusable. It also depends on your definition of accessories. There are spare parts: two extra hands, making a total of four (or two pairs) -- the relaxed hands she comes with, and the grip hands you can replace them with. There are a couple of additional items that form part of her costume but come separately in the tray: an arm band and a wolf fang necklace. There is also a standard base and stem action-figure stand with a waist-grip; the stand's base features the 300 logo. Then there are a sword and a shield of the same type as Leonidas'. These accessories are nicely sculpted and fit well into the grip hands, and the shield is easy enough to put on her arm (although its flat inner surface is historically inaccurate). The hands swap easily enough without the need for heating.

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Outfit: 3/4 stars

Gorgo/Lena Headey wore several similar Greek-ish outfits in the movie, not counting the battle-dress at her (fictional) involvement in the Battle of Salamis. One of these outfits is provided with this product. It is visually fairly accurate, and appears to be made of a linen or linen-like cloth. I have already mentioned the unfortunate tight fit of the lower part of the dress, which ruins the leg articulation. There is a long scarf-like extension of the dress that starts from the front left side of the waist, and is intended to wrap around the back of the dress and be held or wrapped around the lower left arm. To keep it wrapped in place there is a button, but additional futzing may be required to get it to "drape" in a more or less realistic fashion. This is all rooted in the film's unrealistic (or unhistorical) rationalization of Greek dress, where the dress (or tunic) itself would have been one piece, and the almost ubiquitous wrap (or fuller-scale cloak), another. Two pleather straps hold the uppermost part of the dress (also an unhistorical design) into place. The straps passing just under the breasts have the tendency to slip down and reveal the seam between the upper and lower and torso of the figure, requiring extra futzing. As mentioned above, you need to place the arm band and wolf fang necklace on the figure, which is easy enough to do. Another minor shortcoming: the wolf fang is so light, that the string it hands from does not hang realistically.

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Fun Factor: 3/4 stars

The articulation limitations get in the way of this figure's potential, but at least she has two buddies to play with: her husband (and uncle!) Leonidas (whether you go for the Hot Toys or Star Ace version) and Themistokles. Of course, a more accurate depiction of the actress would not have hurt. As far as mixing this with more historically-accurate figures (such as the ACI hoplites), that would depend on your tolerance for lack of realism or accuracy. Of course, Star Ace was depicting a movie character, not a real and realistic Spartan queen.

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Value: 2/4 stars

This depends on how much you pay for the figure. There are still places (check eBay) where you can find it for under $200, but they are few and far between; in most places she sells for $220-290. That is Hot Toys pricing, and even though Hot Toys itself is not always flawless, this product is not really in the same category. So, for the most part, I would say she is quite overpriced.

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Things to watch out for

Nothing unusual. Be gentle with the hair, a few little strands became detached here and there. The figure managed to fall on its face a few times during posing and photographing, and unless I am imagining it, got a little blemish on its nose. I think she also developed a small stain on one shoulder -- but how remains a mystery.

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Overall: 3/4 stars

This is a very decent, even good figure, but it is not great. The imperfect likeness, the uneven paint job, the partly limited articulation, are all noticeable, and a significant factor especially at this relatively high price point. Unless you are a completist or a kitbasher or just like the appearance of the figure, you might be disappointed in one or more of these areas. Whether that keeps you from getting this figure is, of course, up to you.

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What do you think?

#productreview #starace #gorgo #300 #ancient #film #female
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Product Review Star Ace Queen Gorgo  Replies: 38  Views: 1987
Tonight I'm checking out one of the nicest Star Ace releases in awhile - Newt Scamander from Fantastic Beasts!  He's not quite Dumbledore good, but he can certainly hold his own with most other figures in the category. You can find my review here:

or you can find it with the rest of the reviews at the usual:

Thanks for reading!


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#productreview #starace #harrypotter #male #film #fantasticbeasts
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Fantastic Beasts Newt Scamander sixth scale figure review  Replies: 5  Views: 535
Pros: Beautiful 2B face, nearly accurate hairstyle, vibrant white design, cleaner decors, posable wired skirt, zipper on side of costume for easier time putting on costume, beautifully designed swords!

Cons: Boots incompatible with TBLeague/Phicen bodies that have removable feet and was never mentioned in the marketing material, the stocking's color became flesh and not black, swords are made of fragile material.

Full Review and Comparison Here

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#productreview #superduck #clothing #female
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Product Review: Super Duck 2B Set Review and TF Toys Comparison  Replies: 12  Views: 2001

Product Review Artoys Hellman - Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:22 pm

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I am a little late to this party. I've always liked Hellboy, but missed my chance at getting earlier, licensed figures from that franchise. Now a non-licensed figure called Hellman (a name that I think he would prefer!) has been produced by Artoys, and I picked one up on eBay. It took a good three weeks to get here from China, but arrived safely yesterday, despite the rather disturbing condition of the outer package. The product bears many similarities to what I have seen from Hot Toys' second Hellboy figure, but also some differences that will be highlighted below. I am adopting a Michael Crawford-style format for this review, although I am treating outfit and accessories as a single category.

Packaging: 4/4

Hellman comes in a sturdy shoebox-type package. Artistic depictions of the character populate sides of the surface, filtered and posterized to different degrees. One surface of the lid features Hellman's trademark exclamation, "Oh, crap!" and two other surfaces bear the BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) acronym. Similarly, once the lid is removed, the sides of the box showcase Hellman/Hellboy's other designations: his real name, Anung un Rama, and his loving nickname, "Red." Nothing too spectacular, but very well done. The same can be said for the foam packaging inside the box -- I would take this over nestled plastic trays any day, and appreciate it with this and any boxed figure. Below a thin lid of black foam lies a black foam tray containing the figure, three additional head sculpts, and a few accessories. Below this foam tray lies a second one, containing the remaining items. Again, nothing mind-blowing, but perfectly safe and collector-friendly.

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Sculpting: 4/4

While I am no Hellboy expert, the sculpting on the figure looks excellent. All four head sculpts are beautifully sculpted, with great attention to detail. The soft rubber body also exhibits plenty of fine texturing, cuts and bruises (in a way more apparent than in the actual film), and features the carved "tattoos"/scars on the upper torso and right arm. Perhaps the execution is not quite as fine as Hot Toys', but I don't think it leaves much to be desired.  The hair is pretty finely carved, though not as finely as we have seen in some of the highest-end products in recent years. The cut-off horns seem to protrude a little too far out of the forehead compared to what we see on the screen, but this does not really detract from the overall look. Other sculpted elements are very finely done, including the heavy right hand and arm, the belt buckle, the crucifix, the guns and shells.

Three of the head sculpts portray Ron Perlman's depiction of Hellboy from the films. Two of these have the cut-off horns with different facial expressions, while the third has the head sporting two complete and uncut horns. The fourth head sculpt (with cut-off horns) has a more snarling and caricature-type appearance, being based on the comics instead. This was supposed to be a preorder special, although it might actually be present in all boxed sets.

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Paint: 3/4

While the paint work is very good, it is not quite perfect. Overall the red color used is a bit duller than what we see on screen, and especially so on the rubbery body. The head sculpts and especially the hands have a slightly more intense color. That's right, the colors do not match perfectly, although the difference is not too bad in hand. Displaying the figure in the coat or coat and t-shirt largely precludes the slight differences from being noticed, but they are there. Generally speaking, the overall duller color goes in the opposite extreme from the old Hot Toys version: where Hot Toys' Hellboy was a bit too orange, this one is perhaps a little too red. In terms of application, the paint is generally very cleanly applied, except perhaps in the teeth (most notably on the full-horned head sculpt). This can be a good thing to a point, as the guns (for example), could have benefited from some weathering.

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Articulation: 2/4

This is where the figure falls palpably short of what one might hope. The wrists, ankles, and knees have good articulation, and the figure can stand well even without the included stand. So does the neck, especially at the base of the skull. The tail is articulated by way of an internal wire, and works quite well, except that in some cases its hollow rubbery shell can crease in strange ways -- sometimes futzing with it helps, sometimes it does not. However, there is little or no ab crunch or waist rotation, and the legs cannot reach a seating position at the thigh. Although the rubbery outer shell is quite soft, it precludes the underlying skeleton from keeping most medium to extreme poses with the arms and shoulders; and when you can bend something well enough -- for example the elbows -- the hollow rubbery shell often assumes unsightly and unnatural shapes. There are partly or more fully seamless bodies (especially TBLeague's) that would have performed much better.

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Accessories and Outfit: 4/4

This is a very well-equipped figure. It comes with the four head sculpts (Hot Toys provided only three -- lacking the comic book one) and a total of four hands (relaxed and fist heavy right hand, spread out left hand, gloved trigger grip left hand); admittedly that is not much in the way of hands (Hot Toys did not provide any more for Hellboy II), but it is where it comes to outfit and real accessories that the set shines.

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Apart from the action figure stand, which comes with an optional surface sticker, the accessories include a rosary with a crucifix, two guns, and a cigar. The smaller of the two, the "Samaritan," can be opened to display the shells in the chamber, although they do not seem to be removable; there is a coiled strap hanging from the handle of the gun. The lager gun, "Big Baby," can also be opened, and six large shells can be inserted (at least theoretically -- it is a very tight fit) into its hollow chamber openings. The handle is sculpted and painted to resemble wood, with a painted on inscription and image of... "big baby." You attach the supplied shoulder strap to the gun. Then there is the cigar, which can fit into a couple of the hand sculpts, but unfortunately not in any of the head sculpts.

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The outfit choices are also very good. They include beautifully detailed real leather boots, fine black real leather pants, a ripped black t-shirt, the beige overcoat with shortened right sleeve, and a complex belt with buckle and straps. You attach a holster for the "Samaritan" gun to the belt (its additional straps go around the right leg), and there are six pouches (in three different sizes) that can also go on the belt. The rosary with the crucifix can also be attached to hang from the belt, using its own little strap.

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All this looks great, although it can be a bit of a hassle. Putting the t-shirt and even the coat on the rubbery body can be a little frustrating, though not nearly as difficult as I expected. Putting the holster and pouches on the belt was not too bad, but trying to buckle it properly was beyond my abilities or at least patience. I really do not appreciate this aspect of functional sixth-scale buckles. The pants reach a little too high up, and it is somewhat difficult to make them ride down and stay that way, but I am not about to attempt any actual alterations.

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The ripped black t-shirt is movie accurate, the tears corresponding exactly to the ones suffered by Hellboy after his encounter with the tooth fairies in Hellboy II. The coat is also very impressive, especially as its collar can lay flat on the shoulders, unlike so many others in this scale. Other impressive features of the coat include the buckles on the collar and the right sleeve; thankfully, these last were already done in the box, and did not require me testing my limited skills at buckling things in this scale. The pants and coat make suitable accommodation for the tail.

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How does this compare to Hot Toys' Hellboy II? The latter included separate removable shells for the "Samaritan" gun and a second little rosary for the left wrist, neither of which is included here -- this second rosary is missing altogether, while these shells (unlike those that come for "Big Baby") appear to be sculpted and painted in the chamber. On the other hand, we get things that were not included with Hot Toys' Hellboy II -- the cigar, the black t-shirt, and the fourth (comic-style) head sculpt. This is not a bad trade off, although of course I would have preferred the best of both worlds.

Fun Factor: 3/4

While the problematic articulation limits the fun potential of this product to some extent, overall it looks great and allows for plenty of good poses and a variety of different looks. To be honest, I am rating this category just a little too low, as I may have rated the previous one just a little too high.

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Value: 2.5/4

This is difficult to evaluate. When the set first appeared, it was retailing for as low as around $170; then the price reached around $250; now the price often exceeds $300. This in the space of two months or so, and for an unlicensed figure. It really depends on where you buy, but also when you buy. At $170, this product is a steal; at over $300, it approaches daylight robbery, although it does have four head sculpts. It offers a lot, although it suffers from some flaws and limitations, most notably when it comes to articulation. And it is not as if you can put everything on a different body -- it would take serious customization and skill to create an equally detailed and accurate but better articulated body.

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Overall: 3/4

I am divided on this figure. The look is excellent overall, despite some minor problems (paint mismatch, pants riding too high) and offers plenty of outfit and accessory choices, while still missing some. My one significant disappointment is the articulation, while the choice of finely-crafted head sculpts is a big plus. The price plays a role too, but is a big variable, depending on what sort of deal you manage to find.

Where to buy? It is already sold out at several retailers. Cotswold Collectibles still has it for $300 here: Or you can always look on eBay.

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What do you think?

#productreview #artoys #hellboy #male #film
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Product Review Artoys Hellman  Replies: 8  Views: 1791
I skipped Sunday - hey, the family was over for Easter.  But let's get back to things tonight with a look at a very wintry dude, the Snowtrooper Commander from Sideshow. I love Hoth characters, and it's amazing that I've added two to the collection in the last couple weeks. You can find my review here:

or with the rest of the reviews:

Coming up next - two reviews in a row from Qmx!  Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading!


#productreview #sideshow #starwars #empirestrikesback #esb #film
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Snowtrooper Commander sixth scale figure review  Replies: 7  Views: 508

Review: TF Toys 2B Set - Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:16 pm

The TF Toys 2B set provides a nearly perfect representation of 2B, the protagonist from the game Nier Automata. The costume looks great and fits TBLeague/Phicen bodies well. Her sword has also been recreated faithfully but the blade part has a tendency to fall out of the hilt so you have to reattach it (or fill the hole with Pledge Floor Care to make it a bit sticky so as to hold the blade in place). The paint application on the face could have used extra work but it's decent enough. The only true negative of this set is the inaccurate hairstyle. In the game, 2B has short hair, while in this set, her hair is medium length. You can use hair styling gel to fix it yourself or you could even trim it if you're experienced with cutting hair. Anyway, it's a pretty good but imperfect set.

For the full review, click here Smile

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#productreview #tftoys #female #game
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Review: TF Toys 2B Set  Replies: 6  Views: 636
Most of us who enjoyed Rogue One found Krennic to be an interesting enough antagonist, especially considering that he was disposable, unlike Tarkin and Vader, who had to survive the film. If that translates to hoping for a sixth-scale figure of him, I suspect I am not alone in being disappointed that neither of the high-end companies (Sideshow and Hot Toys) that produce Star Wars figures in this scale seems to have any intention of making a Krennic figure. That void is partly filled by Disney's elite series Director Orson Krennic premium action figure.

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I am not very familiar with this line, although I have their very diminutive Leia. While there has been concern over the scale of Disney's figures, that does not seem to be an issue in Krennic's case. The Krennic premium action figure stands about 11.75" (almost 30 cm), which is about right for actor Ben Mendelsohn's real-lige 5'11" height translated into sixth scale.

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The figure comes in a clear-plastic and cardboard box. It is secured to the inner cardboard shell with a single twisty tie and is overall fairly collector-friendly.

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The head sculpt and paint are quite good, considering. Yes, the skin tone is consistent, the eyes feature the dreaded doll dot, and the hair is a tad too brown (though greyish brown). Despite some sculpting and texturing, the skin is a bit too smooth for Krennic's characteristic weathered look. In fact, I am reminded of an Are You Being Served episode, where it was pointed out that the mannequin based on Mrs Slocombe looked younger, because the store owner refused to shell out the extra money to sculpt all the wrinkles. That said, this figure retails for 10 times less than it would have, had it been produced by Sideshow or Hot Toys. For that very reasonable price, you get a very recognizable likeness of Ben Mendelsohn as Krennic, and that in itself is quite impressive. The quality of the sculpt and paint of other sculpted elements (badge, belt, gloves, boots, holster, grenades (?), gun) are also not Hot Toys quality, but still pretty good, especially if you want a slightly worn/weathered look.

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The figure comes wearing Krennic's characteristic uniform from the film: white officer's tunic with rank badge and cylinders, black officer's trousers, black gloves, belt, and boots, as well as a billowing white cape. Everything except the tunic, pants, and cape is made of molded plastic.

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This is all quite screen-accurate. That said, one might say the pants flare out just a little too much, and the cut of the cape is not quite right at the shoulders, which is probably my least favorite thing about this product.

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It is sometimes difficult to keep the voluminous cape under control in a reasonably realistic manner. Part of the problem may be the choice of a relatively thick denim-like material for the cape. I suppose if you wanted to customize you could easily remove it and replace it with something of your choice.

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The molded plastic parts of the outfit are quite functional. The belt, for example, can be unbuckled and removed; the holster holds the gun very well; the gloved hands come in two parts (hand and cuff) allowing for improved articulation; the boots are also made of two pieces (shoe and lower leg, with the shoe part given toe articulation to boot -- all puns intended). Although getting the right look requires some futzing, this is all pretty well done and allows good articulation.

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Speaking of articulation, there is plenty of it: double jointed knees and elbows, decent ab crunch , ankles, and thighs. The figure can take reasonably natural poses and stand well on its own (there is no base provided anyway). One minor disappointment is the single-piece head and neck, precluding articulation at the base of the skull; moreover, the head and neck are sculpted in such a way, that Krennic seems to be looking slightly up most of the time; trying to position the head so that he would look down can result in popping it off at the base of the neck.

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The figure comes with the following accessories (counting what is not permanently part of the outfit). A spare pair of gloved hands (relaxed hands, to supplement the trigger hands that come on the figure), a weathered gun, three grenades (?) that can fit onto the right side of the belt (one of them comes installed in place); the belt itself is easily removable (although I do not see why one would want to do that unless placing the outfit on a different body). Both pairs of gloved hands have their own separate molded plastic cuffs; since I don't expect them to be sculpted differently, I thought that to be a bit curious.

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Here are some shots of Disney's Krennic alongside a few Hot Toys characters from Rogue One and A New Hope. Remember that Death Troopers are unusually tall.

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This Krennic figure was a Disney Store exclusive, but is available in plenty of other places. It retails for around $20 USD (and often a little below that), which is what makes it an even more attractive and impressive product. That is, as pointed out above, ten times less than what it would cost if it were produced by a high-end company; it is also as much as (or less than) the all-plastic 6 inch Black Series Krennic by Hasbro, which is far inferior in every way. If you do want to pick one up, there are plenty of options on amazon and eBay.

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Overall, and especially considering the price, this seems like a very nice product. Customizers may improve on it with a repaint, or kitbashing security-bureau officers who wore a very similar outfit (except that their white was a bit more cream-colored).

What do you think?

#productreview #starwars #rogueone #disney #male #film
Since a new forum needs new contents, here is a quick little review of a figure I obtained recently. It is DML's MIB3 (Men in Black 3 -- both appear as labels on the box) Agent K from 1969. In the film, Josh Brolin played the role of a much younger Tommy Lee Jones. If we can rely on the time stamp found on the sole of one shoe, the figure dates to 2012.

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The figure comes in a basic sturdy shoebox-type container. The design of the box is intended to remind you of the film's titling, without any specific depiction of the character. Inside is a transparent plastic tray (with a transparent plastic lid) holding the figure and its handful of accessories.

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The figure comes with a one-piece head and neck sculpt of Josh Brolin. It is executed pretty well, but in what seems to be a more impressionistic fashion than what we are used to from other companies. This is a difference in style, but it might also be somewhat tailored for the rugged features of Josh Brolin. The sculpt and paint give the impression of a sweaty pale individual with hair that is beginning to go grey. The work definitely lacks the sharpness of HT and DAM products in either sculpt of paint, but still succeeds in conveying the overall impression. That said, the paint could have been done more carefully, especially on the sides of the forehead. Without being perfect, the head does resemble the actor well. The paint and gloss on the eyes is very well done, though difficult to notice because they are sculpted in a fairly squinted position; the paint is also very good on the three guns. The hands have very nicely sculpted lines and veins, and possibly some subtle paint work too.

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The figure comes wearing a two-piece black suit (hence "Men in Black"), black tie, black silver-buckled belt, black socks, and glossy black shoes, as well as a white dress shirt. The socks are a nice touch, as they are often omitted in other products, making formally-dressed figures look silly when their emaciated plastic ankles are exposed. The two-piece black suit is made of a soft, slightly velvety material, which looks great, although it can attract dust. The three front buttons on the suit jacket are functional; there are also three buttons on each jacket cuff.

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Agent K comes with a two-part display stand, one extra pair of relaxed hands (the figure comes wearing gun-grip hands out of the box), translucent sunglasses, and three different alien-hunting guns. Each of the three guns has a black handle and various chrome and translucent sections. While they do not look particularly realistic, the guns appear to be movie-accurate.

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The action figure body appears to be of an older type, with the hands permanently attached to their wrist pegs. The body has pretty good articulation, but is a little bit floppy and jerky: the ankles are a little weak, and the arms cannot keep raised positions easily or precisely as the jacket tugs on them. Otherwise the figure does not suffer from common articulation problems such as at the wrists or ankles, elbows or knees. The figure stands reasonably well without the included stand.

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Overall, despite the somewhat impressionistic head sculpt and the dated body type, this seems to be a very decent product. I purchased it with the intention of customizing/kitbashing, but we'll see what happens to it in the end.

#productreview #meninblack #mib #film #male

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