#1750: Agent Phil Coulson

AGENT PHIL COULSON

AVENGERS (HOT TOYS)

So, about this monumental reviews business, you know, where I do the “deluxe” reviews of the high-end stuff?  When I started them, I was doing them every 50 reviews, which was far too frequent, so I bumped that up to every 100.  Well, right around the night before I had to write #1500, I decided 100 had gotten to be too frequent as well.  And so, as I noted in review #1600, I’m now doing them every 250.  Isn’t that nice?  For me it is.  Alright, let’s get back into the swing of things!

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Wow, it’s been another 250 reviews?  Who could have forseen this coming?  Well, at this point, me, because I know I’m not stopping any time soon.  In honor of another 250 under my belt, let’s have a look at another one of my high-end Hot Toys figures, shall we?  Slowly but surely, I’m making my way through the crown jewel of said Hot Toys collection: namely, my Avengers figures.  Today, I continue that, taking a look at one of my personal favorites, Agent Phil Coulson!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Coulson was released as part of Hot Toys’ main Movie Masterpiece Series, where he was figure 189.  While most of the Avengers figures stuck together in their numbering, Coulson was a later solicitation, so he’s smack dab between Catwoman from The Dark Knight Rises and the Scar Predator from Alien vs Predator.  What an assortment.  Coulson is meant to be based on his appearance in Avengers specifically, but he can just as easily work for his appearances in Iron ManThor, or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., making him quite a versatile figure.  The figure stands 11 3/4 inches tall and has over 30 points of articulation.

Really, the key piece to a figure like this, is the head sculpt, since without it, he’s just a generic suit.  Fortunately, Coulson got one of the best head sculpts to come out of the Avengers sub-set of figures.  There’s absolutely no denying who this guy is meant to be; he’s the spitting image of Clark Gregg.  But, of course, it’s not just about the likeness; it’s also about how lifelike the figure looks.  Some of the other Avengers figures were a little lighter on the texturing and the like, but fortunately that’s not the case with Coulson, who really does look like he stepped right after the movie.  His paintwork is up to the usual Hot Toys standard, which only furthers the lifelike nature of the sculpt.

Coulson’s sporting his standard-issue government agent black suit, with a dress shirt and a tie to go with it.  While not the most spectacularly tailored suit Hot Toys ever put out, it’s certainly a marked improvement over the likes of the Two-Face figure from just a few years prior.  I think my biggest complaint isn’t the suit itself, but actually the tie, which is a little bit on the short side, resulting in a somewhat goofy look.  In addition, his suit doesn’t have any buttons for closing it, so there’s no option to hide the shortness of the tie, at least not in any sort fixed fashion.  Still, that’s a rather minor issue.  On the opposite end of things, there are his shoes.  They’re fully sculpted feet, as is the usual Hot Toys fashion, and they’re just really, really nice looking.  Finally, there are the little touches that bring the whole thing together, which includes his Level 7 access badge and his wrist watch, both of which are quite a bit of fun.

Coulson’s accessories are a fun selection of movie specific extras.  He includes:

  • 5 hands
  • sunglasses
  • earpiece
  • cellphone
  • walkie talkie
  • handgun
  • Destroyer gun
  • filefolder
  • Captain America trading cards
  • Display stand

He has a pair of relaxed hands, a pair of gripped hands, and a hand specifically designed for holding either the file folder or the trading cards.

The sunglasses sit well on the face, in a decent enough fashion that you might not realize they were a separate piece at first glance.  I also appreciate that they’re actually semi-transparent, as they should be.  Similarly, the earpiece fits snugly into the right ear, and looks like it belongs there.  The cellphone and walkie talkie give him another two communication options, if that’s what you’re looking for.

The handgun’s a pretty nice piece as well.  It’s got a moving slide and a removable clip, which makes it fun to mess with.

The prize piece is definitely the Destroyer gun, Coulson’s signature weapon from his final moments in Avengers.  It’s well-scaled, a solid recreation of the design from the movie, and it even lights up! …or at least it did.  In the 5 years since I got it, the batteries in mine seem to have gone up.  Oh well.

The file folder and cards are both paper goods.  The folder is a little bit of a let down, since there’s noting inside of it, and it doesn’t open like a real folder, but it’s still a nice little bonus.  The cards are definitely a lot of fun, and I’m glad they weren’t over looked.

Lastly, there’s the display stand.  It’s just a basic oval stand, with the Avengers logo and Coulson’s name printed on the placard.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Coulson was the figure I was most excited for from this whole subset.  It was the strong hinting at his release from Hot Toys that actually got me on-board for the whole Avengers set-up, since it was, at the time, the only way to get a Coulson figure to go with the rest of the team.  Though he’s just a fairly average guy, the figure’s definitely one of Hot Toys’ stronger efforts, and it’s the cool accessories that give him that extra edge.

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#1500: The Joker

JOKER

THE DARK KNIGHT (HOT TOYS)

And another hundred reviews have passed.  Would you believe I only barely remember writing #1400?  It’s been a real whirlwind of a year, let me tell you.  As is the case with all of my “monumental” reviews, I’ll be taking a look at a higher end item, courtesy of out friends at Hot Toys.  These reviews are frequently from the MCU, which makes up a sizable portion of my Hot Toys collection, but today I’m flipping over to their distinguished competition and taking a look at another figure from the widely successful The Dark Knight (which, coincidentally, was released the same summer that the MCU was launched with Iron Man).  So, without further ado, here’s The Joker!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Joker was released as part of Hot Toys’ long-running Movie Masterpiece Series line.  He was entry 68 in the line, placing him between the Original Costume Batman and the Tumbler.  He and both surrounding releases are, of course, from The Dark Knight, and this Joker represents the character as he looks for the majority of the film’s run time…more or less.  I’ll get to that. Joker stands about 11 3/4 inches tall and has over 30 points of articulation.

First up, let’s look at the headsculpt.  Right up front, this is the weakest part of the figure.  It’s not that it’s a *bad* sculpt, necessarily, but more that it’s highly inaccurate.  Look at that head.  Does it look at all like Heath Ledger?  No it does not, and that’s what makes reviewing it difficult.  See, it’s still a very strong, realistic sculpt, on par with HT’s best from a purely technical standpoint.  He totally looks like a real dude, just not the real dude who played the part in the movie.  Quite frankly, the sculpt isn’t even a half bad Joker.  I actually quite like it.  But it’s not Heath Ledger.  Even the paint sort of follows this trend.  It’s good technically, but for a Dark Knight Joker, it’s a little too clean and consistent.  If I had a guess, I’d say this whole head was largely assembled with early materials that didn’t quite represent Joker’s final look.

Joker’s outfit is made up of a shirt, tie, vest, pants, socks, sport coat, and over coat, as well as a pair of sculpted shoes.  The overcoat is probably the weakest piece.  Like the head, it’s not bad, just a little inaccurate.  It’s got the same basic look, but the specifics are a little off.  The rest of the parts are fairly decent, accurate, and generally well-tailored to the body.  His vest is a bit hard to keep closed, due to some iffy velcro.  I think snaps might have been better.  It’s worth noting that the belt is actually a superfluous piece, since he doesn’t have one in the movie, but you can remove it easily enough, and then there’s no issue.  The prints on the shirt and pants are quite impressive, and I particularly like the funky socks, a detail that most will never see.

Older HT offerings were a bit lighter than later ones.  Joker is one of the lightest in my entire collection, but he does still include two pairs of hands (one set for poses and one set for holding accessories), a deck of 13 unique Joker cards, a switch blade, and a standard black display stand with his same and the movie’s logo.  It’s not a huge selection, but it covers the basics.  Later releases offered other just about any extras you could want for a Dark Knight Joker, so there are options out there.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Joker has the distinction of being my very first Hot Toys figure, and easily one of the most difficult times I’ve had acquiring one of them.  I asked for him for Christmas the year they were released, and my parents ordered him, nut he just kept getting pushed back over and over, to the paint that I just gave up completely and ended up asking for a couple of Sideshow Star Wars figures instead.  I tried again the next year, and I finally got him that time, thus beginning my lengthy obsession with Hot Toys figures.  This figure’s started showing his age, especially in light of later Joker figures, but I still really like him, and except him for what he is.

#1400: Sarah Connor

SARAH CONNOR

TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY (HOT TOYS)

Oooeeee, look at that.  1400 reviews.  Another hundred down.  Seeming like less of a milestone these days, but I’m noting it nonetheless.  I’m noting it the usual way, with a deluxe review of one of my higher-end figures.  Today, I turn back to the film that kicked off the milestone reviews, Terminator 2.  So far, I’ve looked at both the terminator and the protector from the film, but I haven’t yet looked at one of the franchise’s central characters, Sarah Connor.  So, uhh, come with me if you want to…read this review?  …Doesn’t have the same ring, does it?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sarah was released as figure 119 in Hot Toys’ Movie Masterpiece Series, placing her between Inglorious Basterds’ Aldo Raine and Iron Man 2’s War Machine numerically.  Not as themed as other releases, but the T2 figures were all pretty scattered.  This figure is based on Sarah’s “terminator” look from around the film’s mid-point, when she goes to kill Miles Dyson.  It’s really her most distinct look, and definitely my favorite.  Sarah stands roughly 11 inches tall and she’s got 28 points of articulation.

Let’s start things off by looking at Sarah’s head sculpt.  While heads are usually one of HT’s stronger suits, this one’s not one of their best offerings.  The prototype actually looked pretty good, but it seems something was lost in the manufacturing process.  It’s far from a terrible sculpt, of course.  The resemblance to Linda Hamilton is passing; it’s not spot-on, but it’s decent enough that you can tell who it is.  I think it’s the hair that’s throwing it off.  While I’m definitely a fan of the hair being sculpted, rather than rooted, and the overall shaping and detailing is pretty solid.  The biggest issue is with the bangs, which are just a little too short; they really should be getting closer to her eyes, and I think that throws off the likeness.  The bangs actually swap out, and there’s another pair that’s parted and closer to the head.  It doesn’t really improve the likeness, but it does allow for the addition of the included hat.  The paintwork on the head is generally up to the usual HT quality.  The only real flaw is the color of the hair, which is a touch too dark for Hamilton.  It’s not that far off, though, so it’s pretty minor, all things considered.

Sarah’s costume is made up of four main pieces.  She’s got a shirt, pants, a tactical vest, and a belt.  All of the pieces are very well tailored to the figure.  The vest in particular is really cool.  All of the pockets open and the the clasps all work like they’re supposed to.  There’s also a pair of sculpted boots, which are very nicely sculpted, and well scaled to the figure.  She’s also got a watch and a wristband, which are mostly there to hide the wrist joints on the arms.  They do that job well, and add some extra character to the figure as well.

The underlying body is largely unique to Sarah.  The arms in particular are unique; they’re armatures with a rubber coating over them.  They actually look quite a bit like Hamilton’s arms from the film, and she’s even got her scar on the left shoulder.  The rest of the body is decent, but could be a little more tailored to the figure.  The shoulder’s are definitely too narrow, and the neck is a little thin, which makes the head look really large comparatively.  Once again, nothing too terrible, but it’s definitely a little off.

Sarah’s accessories are definitely this figure’s strongest suit.  She includes:

  • 6 hands
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Shotgun
  • Assault Rifle
  • Handgun
  • Knife
  • Display stand

She’s got the basic relaxed hands, as well as a right trigger finger hand, a left gripping hand, a a right cigarette holding hand (with removable cigarette!), and a right hand for holding her knife.  They’re all very nicely sculpted and quite realistic looking.  They’re a little hard to swap the first time, but once you swap them a few times, they go alright.

The hat works in conjunction with the alternate bangs piece.  It’s cloth, and a little oversized, but it’s generally a pretty nice piece.  Just, whatever you do, don’t leave it on for long periods of time.  It’ll stain her forehead!

The sunglasses are very definitely my favorite piece.  They’re just amazingly detailed, perfectly scaled, and sit amazingly well on the figure’s face.  I wish I looked this good in sunglasses.

The shotgun, assault rifle, and handgun are close runners up to the glasses.  They all have a number of moving pieces and all of the details that you’d see on the full scale weapons.  The shotgun has a folding stock, as well as five removable rounds.  The assault rifle includes a removable scope, rail, and silencer, allowing for a few different looks.  The handgun has a removable clip, and the clip even has a removable bullet at the very top, which seems like it’s asking to be lost.

The knife is a key piece to the film, so it’s great that it was included here.  Like the other weapons, it’s very well scaled and detailed.  It includes a sheath, which feels a little cheap and quick by comparison, but it’s nice to have the option of putting the knife away, I guess.

Lastly, there’s the display stand.  It’s the same basic oval stand we’ve seen a number of times before.  It gets the job done, and it looks pretty decent, so that’s good.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Sarah is a very early Hot Toys figure for me.  I believe she was my third.  She’s also got the notoriety of being the very first Hot Toys figure I bought for myself.  I ordered her off of Amazon, in anticipation of getting the T-1000 figure later that year.  She’s not a perfect figure, and is definitely the weakest of my three T2 figures, but she’s still a pretty darn fun figure in her own right, and she completes one of my favorite sets of HT figures.

#1300: Loki

LOKI

AVENGERS (HOT TOYS)

Would you look at that?  Seems I’ve made it another hundred reviews.  As I noted in my Thor review, I’m honestly getting to the point where 100 reviews isn’t that much of a milestone.  This particular review will mark the thirteenth time I’ve done it.  Still, it’s worth noting it, right?

In honor of getting though another hundred of these things, I’ll be doing another of my milestone deluxe reviews, focusing on one of my higher end figures.  Like almost all of my high-end reviews, today’s figure is from Hot Toys, and is yet another figure from their impressive Marvel Cinematic Universe subset of offerings.  For the last monumental review, I looked at Thor, and today I’ll be following up on that with a look at his mischievous brother, Loki!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Loki is figure 176 in Hot Toys’ Movie Masterpiece Series, directly following the Avengers version of his brother and immediately preceding the Dark Knight Rises re-release of the Batpod.  The figure hit around May of 2013, a full year after the release of the film he was featured in.  As with Thor, Loki is based on his appearance in 2012’s Avengers, specifically his fully armored appearance, seen during the film’s big climactic battle.  Initially, Loki was to be done in his armored look from 2011’s Thor, and a finished prototype even showed up a few places, but in an effort of finish out the Avengers set and be a bit more timely, he was re-fitted into his later costume.  It’s for the best, really, since I think his Avengers look is his best to date, and a more fitting adaptation of his comics design.  Loki stands a little over 12 inches tall and he has “over 30 points of articulation” according to the Sideshow solicitation for him.

Loki’s head was the source of some strife amongst fans and Hot Toys.  There was a debate about how exactly his helmet should be handled.  The final solution was a removable helmet, which not everyone was thrilled with, due largely to the necessary compromises for both the head and the helmet.  The head did actually turn out pretty well.  The Hiddleston likeness is one of HT’s best, at least as far as the face is concerned.  The compromises, of course, really come into play with the hair, which ends up a little matted down to the head.  Admittedly, Loki’s hair in the movie doesn’t have a ton of volume, but it’s still a little more present than what we see here.  It’s still very well sculpted, and quite realistic, but it’s undeniably sculpted to sit best under the helmet.  He’s not really designed with an un-helmeted appearance in mind.  Which, if I’m honest, results in a bit of disappointment when you finally get the helmet placed on the head, which is no easy feat, let me tell you.  It’s two pieces that pop apart; the bottom is supposed to slide up under the head and the top goes over top and then you snap the two pieces back together.  I’ve never been able to get a perfect fit, and the difficulty involved means that you really aren’t going to be taking it off a lot. This whole two piece construction is meant to give the helmet a tighter fit (which is also true of the actual film prop as well), but due to the scale, it’s still noticeably thicker than Loki’s helmet from the film.  To be fair, it’s mostly only an issue when viewing the figure head-on; in profile or even three-quarter view, it looks pretty good.  The detailing on the helmet is the usual HT-quality, of course, which is nice.  Ultimately, it’s far from terrible, but I just really feel the figure would have benefited from two separate heads to depict him with and without the helmet (especially since in the movie the helmet just magically appears on his head; we don’t see him carrying it around or anything).  The paint on both items is up to the usual HT standards; the face is incredibly lifelike, and the helmet looks suitably weathered.

Loki’s outfit is something of a mixed media effort, though not quire so much as Thor.  Most of the base clothing is actual cloth, with plastic boots and armor plates.  The plastic bits are all exquisitely sculpted, and the cloth sections are generally pretty well tailored.  The coat(s) sit really nicely, and I really love the way the cape hands.  Easily the best cloth cape I’ve ever seen.  My one real complaint is the weird bead things that line the edges of the coats.  In the movie, they look to be a zipper or something, but this figure uses these needs that look like those things that banks use to make sure you don’t steal their pens.  It’s not bad from far away, but looks rather hokey when you get up close.  I’m not sure why they were handled this way, rather than the way most zippers are handled at this scale.  I mean, they don’t ruin the figure, but they do just look weird.

Loki includes the following accessories:

  • 11 interchangeable hands
  • 2 versions of this scepter
  • 2 daggers
  • Shackles
  • Muzzle
  • Display stand

The hands come in relaxed (R and L), fists (R and L), dagger holding (R and L), gripping (R and L), gesture (R and L), and larger gesture (L).  All of them are very nicely sculpted and they suit the character.  They swap out pretty easily, but there’s an extra set of wrist pegs as well, just in case something goes wrong.

The scepter comes in both short and long configurations, which is nice, I guess, but in this get-up, he really only needs the larger one.  Still, both are very nicely sculpted, and it’s nice to have the option.

The daggers are both the same piece, and are just as well sculpted as the scepters.  They don’t get much use in the film, but they’re still a cool extra to have.

The shackles and muzzle allow for Loki’s look from the final scene of the movie, when he and Thor go back to Asgard.  It’s nice that they included them, and they allow him to pair up nicely with Thor and the contained Tesseract.  Technically, like the short scepter, they don’t really go with this costume, but the inclusion’s still nice.

Then there’s the stand, which is the same basic stand we’ve seen over and over again.  There’s a logo for Avengers and Loki’s name is on the front.  It helps him not fall down.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When the Thor version of Loki was first announced I was really excited, because I really like Hiddleston as Loki, and was bummed he wasn’t one of the first two released.  When that figure was re-worked into this one, I was initially uncertain about getting it, but ultimately decided he still looked cool enough that I’d kick myself if i didn’t get him.  In the ensuing months between pre-ordering him from Sideshow and his release, I grew to like the Avengers design even more, and I’m ultimately pretty happy that this is the one they went with.  The figure is not without his issues, but I think he’s still one of the coolest HT figures in my collection.  He’s just hard not to love.

#1200: Thor

THOR

THE AVENGERS (HOT TOYS)

thorht1

Well, it looks like I made it another hundred reviews.  That’s cool, I guess.  Admittedly, we’re getting to the point where 100 reviews doesn’t feel like that big a deal anymore.  I mean, I’ve done it 12 times, so, maybe I should up the interval again.  I don’t know.

Anyway, it’s an ’00 review, which means it’s time for another high-end figure review.  Once again, it’s a figure from our friends over at Hot Toys.  More than a few of my Hot Toys figures hail from the MCU, and today’s entry is no exception.  Yes, it’s the God of Thunder himself, Thor Odinson!  Is the last name too much?  It sounds goofy, doesn’t it.  But, well, that’s his name.  So there it is.  Onto the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

thorht2Thor is figure 175 in Hot Toys’ Movie Masterpiece Series, which puts him smack dab between the Avengers versions of Captain America and Loki, which is sensible.  Like those two, he’s based on his appearance in The Avengers, specifically his fully armored up look from the film’s climactic battle.  He hit in early 2013, which was actually pretty good turnaround for a HT figure of the time, arriving less than a year after the movie he was based on.  The figure stands about 12 1/2 inches tall and has “over 30 points of articulation” going by the blurb on the Sideshow website. 

First off, let’s have a look at Thor’s noggin.  When this figure was first shown, there was quite a bit of contention over the likeness on the head, due to the prototype shots looking less than stellar (he looked more like Leonardo DiCaprio than Chris Hemsworth, and those two don’t particularly look similar).  The final product showcased a marked improvement.  The final sculpt isn’t a spot-on Hemsworth likeness, but it’s very, very good.  A lot of it depends on the thorht3angle; when viewed from the right, as seen in the close-up shot, it’s clearly Hemsworth, but flip over to the other side and the likeness gets off pretty quickly.  You can always tell who he’s supposed to be, but it’s not always very convincing.  Likeness aside, the actual detail work is solid regardless; his face has tons of subtle little wrinkles and such, which really make him look like a real person, and the detailing on the stubble of his beard is surprisingly well-rendered.  Thor has long hair, and no matter how you handle that, there are always some compromises.  HT opted to go sculpted for this figure, which I think was the right call.  The hair is decent enough, but there are definitely some section s that are more convincingly hair than others.  Also, there’s a seam running near the front of his head, which is more present than I’d like.  As far as paint for the head, it’s the usual HT standard of insanely lifelike.  Really, it’s quite impressive how well down they have this.  The eyes in particular are what really sells it for me; there’s just so much life behind them.

Thor’s costume more of a mixed media effort than usual for HT.  The vest, pants, cape, and the red sections of the wrist bands are all cloth pieces, and are mostly tailored pretty well to the body.  The pants look a little odd in certain poses, almost looking backwards at times, but they’re not bad.  I like the brightness of the cape, and it’s a good, sturdy material, which is always a plus.  The rest of Thor’s costume pieces (the outer vest, sleeves, wrist guards, and boots) are constructed from various sculpted elements.  By and large, they do a good job capturing the movie’s designs.  The sleeves are a rubber cover for the arms, and do most of the work to give the arms actual shape.  They look good, but end up being very limiting when it comes to posing the arms; the elbows barely have even 45 degrees of movement, and even then, they have a tendency to slowly return to a straighter pose, due to the heaviness and thickness of the material.  Later Thor figures tackled the sleeves/arms by just putting a joint on the outside, but they were still figuring everything out for this guy.  The boots are each two pieces: a foot and a slip-over piece that covers the shin.  This is nice from a movement perspective, but ends up looking a little goofy in practice.

Thor isn’t super heavy on the accessories, but he does have a few fun pieces.  He comes with:

  • 9 hands
  • Mjolnir
  • The Tesseract in its fun little carrying case from the end of the movie
  • Display stand

thorinventoryThe hands come in relaxed (L and R), fists (L and R), tight grip (L and R), loose grip (L), and wide gesture (L and R).  They’re all very nicely sculpted, and look like real hands.  They’re a bit difficult to swap out, but do ad some nice expressiveness to the figure.

Mjolnir is definitely the main highlight here.  It’s made from metal, which gives it some really nice heft, and there’s even a little leather strap at the bottom, just like in the movie.

The Tesseract is definitely the most unique of the pieces. It’s sort of fun, and allows Thor to be posed with the Loki figure, like at the end of the movie.  It also continued the trend of giving us all possible variations of the Tesseract, after the normal one from Red Skull and the one in the metal case from Nick Fury.

Last up is the stand, which is the same basic stand we’ve seen tons of times before.  There’s a logo for Avengers and Thor’s name is on the front.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I pretty much have Thor because I was getting the rest of the Avengers line-up from the first movie, but what’s kind of amusing about him is that he was really the lynchpin of me getting the whole set.  Initially, I had just planned to get Black Widow and Hawkeye to put with my Mech Test Tony Stark and First Avenger Captain America.  Then I realized I would have most of the team, so I went ahead and pre-ordered Thor, which eventually led to me picking up both the Mark VII and Hulk, and realizing I might as well get Cap as well.  So really, it’s Thor’s fault.  Silly Thor.

#1100: Spider-Man

SPIDER-MAN

SPIDER-MAN 3 (HOT TOYS)

spidermanht1

We just got through the whole “three years” hubaballu, and now we’ve got another monumental review?  Sheesh, I gotta space this stuff out more.

Hi there readers, and welcome to the 1100th review on The Figure in Question.  As with my other “00” reviews, this is another deluxe review, where I look at a slightly higher-end figure.  Today’s figure once again comes from out friends at Hot Toys.  While HT has been making their mark with a number of figures from the very successful MCU films, they haven’t shied away from some of the pre-MCU films.  In addition to a few Wolverines, and a handful of characters from Blade, HT put out three figures from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy (well, specifically Spider-Man 3, for whatever reason).  The figures hit right on the cusp of Hot Toys exploding in terms of popularity, in much the same way that the movies hit right on the cusp of the whole super hero movie explosion.  It was pretty fitting really.  Today, I’ll be looking at the basic Spider-Man figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

spidermanht2Spider-Man was figure 143 in HT’s Movie Masterpiece Series, placing him between their two Tron: Legacy figures chronologically.  He was released in mid-2011, which is a bit odd, since Spider-Man 3, from which his appearance is taken, was released three years prior.  As noted, this figure is based on the main costume design from Spider-Man 3.  It’s essentially the same design that was used in Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, but, like the Stormtroopers in Star Wars, there are small details on the costume that change from film to film, which someone with a more mindful eye then my own could probably point out.  Of course, all three versions of the costume are in turn based on the classic Spidey costume from the comics.  The only real difference between the movie and comics designs is the movie designs have raised silver webbing, rather than the printed black webbing from the comics.  Spider-Man stands about 12 inches tall and, going by the Sideshow website, he has “over 30 points of articulation.” 

spidermanht3Unlike most HT figures, Spider-Man possesses neither an actor’s likeness, nor any real discernible head sculpt to speak of, for that matter.  I mean, there’s a head, and it’s unique to this figure.  The sculpt is certainly important, but in a different manner than usual.  The mask is cloth, but there’s a “blank” head underneath, which gives the mask a proper shape.  It’s actually very nicely done in that respect.  The shape matches pretty well with the appearance of Tobey Maguire in the mask from the movies.   The tailoring of the mask itself is pretty good, though it could perhaps be a little better.  The seam right at the top is sort of annoying (and it was something that future HT Spider-Men removed); it really should have gone somewhere more inconspicuous.  There are also a few issues around the neck of the costume, with it bunching up at certain points in a rather unrealistic way.  A lot of this stems from HT’s decision to make the mask and suit all one piece, presumably to emulate the look of the film (where movie magic makes the whole thing look seamless).  Unfortunately, it doesn’t translate quite so well to the smaller scale.  The later symbiote Spidey forewent the idea entirely and just had the break right at the base of the skull, which looks quite a bit better.  The head is topped off with a set of sculpted lenses (which hold the whole mask in place on the head), and they work pretty nicely (though there’s a slight scratch on one of mine), as well as a small bit of rubber for the webbing.

spideyht1The costume on this figure is technically made up of three parts, though they really function as one big body suit.  The main suit is pretty well done.  As with the head, there are some issues with the cloth bunching up weirdly in a few areas, which has a lot to do with the one-piece nature of the design.  That being said, it’s very well tailored to the body, is incredibly flexible, and offers a really great range of motion.  The suit ends at the wrists, but there’s enough extra material to cover the wrists and join up pretty well with the sculpted hands. The boots are a separate part (which you’d really only know if you had to disassemble the figure like I did.  More on that in the next section), starting halfway down the calf.  They’re actually a pretty clever in design.  There’s a sort of a skeleton calf and foot, to keep the articulation at the ankle, which is then incased in a rubber material to maintain a more natural shape.  The actual visible boot is really just a sock that slides over the foot, and it’s all held in place by a plastic sole that clips into the base of the foot.  The figure was originally shown with plastic boots (like the ones sported by most of my prior HT figures), but after some fans brought up how it ruined the seamless nature of the design and would also rob him of ankle movement, HT changed it for the final product.

The underlying body is, I think, unique to Spidey, though I’m not 100% sure on that.  It’s a good body for him aesthetically, being lean but still muscular.  It also offers a good deal of posability, and it looks good from under the costume.  That being said, the major issue that plagued this body was its durability.  Remember how I said I had to disassemble the boot?  Yeah, that’s because when I got this guy he couldn’t stand, due to his ankle joint being broken into three pieces.  Fortunately, the foot is easy to access and repair, but I’ve heard stories of figures breaking at the hips, shoulders, or even the neck, places that are virtually impossible to fix due to the design of the suit.  In addition, to make sure they blended with the costume, Spidey’s wrist pegs were cast in red plastic.  Red plastic is notoriously fragile if you don’t pay for a very high quality product, which it seems HT did not.  The pegs are only good for about one hand swap, and then they’re pretty much done.  Fortunately, this figure was released after a spare set of pegs became the standard, but it’s still very frustrating.  I myself have already broken one of the pegs (which is why you only see him wearing one pair for most of the pictures).

spideyinventorySpidey included a fairly decent accessory complement.  He has four pairs of hands, several different lengths of webbing, the edge of a building to perch on, and the usual display stand.  The hands are in fists, open gesture, web gripping, and web shooting poses.  Apart from the issues swapping them, they’re pretty cool.  The open gesture ones are my personal faves.  The webbing is fairly cool, and tow of the pieces can be slipped over the wrist pegs to look like he’s firing it from his wrists, which is a fun touch.  The perch is a pretty cool base, though he has a little trouble actually standing on it.  The basic stand is exactly what it says on the tin, but it works for its intended purpose.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Despite being a huge fan of the Raimi Trilogy (even Spider-Man 3!), I didn’t get this guy when he was new.  At the time, I didn’t have the funds for Hot Toys figures, and he fell right between my birthday and Christmas, so I couldn’t even really ask for him as a gift.  By the time I got into HT collecting hardcore, his price had gone up a fair bit.  I thought about getting the black suited version, but it wasn’t really the same.  I ended up finding him on Ebay for a reasonable deal, from a collector who had opened him and put him on the shelf, but that was it.  Despite his issues, I really like this figure a lot, and he’s probably one of my favorite HT figures I own!

#1000: Captain America – Rescue Uniform Version

CAPTAIN AMERICA – RESCUE UNIFORM VERSION

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (HOT TOYS)

CapRescue1

Yes, dear reader, you read that review number correctly. Today marks the 1000th review on The Figure in Question! That’s a pretty big number, isn’t it? It’s kind of a turning point, since from here on out, that 0 at the beginning is gone. Goodbye little 0. You served me well.

Okay, let’s get the next 1000 reviews kicked off with one of my special Deluxe Reviews! This one is another Hot Toys figure, once again from their massive subset of Marvel Studios figures. As I noted in #0900, I generally try to avoid doubling up on characters when it comes to high-end collectibles. The one major exception to this, however, is Captain America. I’ve got a bit of Captain America addiction, mostly due to The First Avenger being my favorite of the Phase I solo films. In TFA, Steve has two distinct Captain America uniforms. The first is the Star Spangled Man look and the second is his main battle uniform. The figure I’m looking at today is sort of the bridge between those two looks.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CapRescue2Rescue Uniform Captain America was figure 180 in Hot Toys’ Movie Masterpiece Series. He was one of the three SDCC exclusive figures from Hot Toys in 2012, though he didn’t technically ship until after the con. The Rescue Uniform is so called in reference to Cap wearing it during his mission to rescue the Hydra-captured Allied soldiers at The First Avenger’s mid-point. Pretty much, it’s some fatigues and a bomber jacket thrown over the “Star Spangled Man” costume, in reference to the times during WWII set comic stories where Steve wore his costume under his fatigues to maintain his secret identity, as well as the WWII battlefield uniform from The Ultimates. The figure is a little over 12 inches tall and, according to Sideshow’s website, he has “over 30 points of articulation.”

First up, let’s look at the figure’s head sculpt. This was Hot Toys’ first stab at an unmasked Chris Evans. Although CapRescu3later figures would come closer with the likeness, this is far from a bad first try. Facially, I think it’s pretty spot-on. What really seems to throw the whole likeness off just a tiny bit is the hair, which is much more matted to the head than Evans usually has it. That being said, it’s supposed to be under the helmet, so it doesn’t look that off. All-in-all, it’s not one of the strongest heads HT’s ever done, but it’s still a solid piece. My only real complaint is that it seems a little less textured than other sculpts. That’s pretty minor, though. The paintwork is nice and solid, looking just as lifelike as ever. The hair is a touch darker than usual, but this, coupled with the more matted sculpt, sells his hair as being sweaty and matted, which seems pretty accurate to what happens when you go on a mission wearing a metal helmet.

Cap’s costume is quite involved, and impressively so. He doesn’t get the whole “Star Spangled Man” costume; just the torso portion of the shirt and the trunks. That’s more than enough to sell the effect, though, and what we can see matches up pretty much perfectly with the full SSM Cap from later on. He also gets a faux-leather jacket, a pair of khaki trousers, gaiters, and a two-part harness with lots of pouches. The pieces are all very nicely tailored and fit well on the chosen body. He also gets a pair of sculpted shoes, which are both incredibly well detailed. As with the SSM Cap, the star logo on his torso is a sculpted element as well, which plugs into the center of his chest. The most important piece of his outfit is his helmet (and by extension, the goggles on the helmet). The helmet is two pieces (as a proper WW II helmet would be). The under piece is plastic, and has the straps and such attached to it, while the over piece is metal, and quite solid metal at that. It’s very nicely textured, and looks like the real prop from the movie. It also sits on his head just right, and is pretty secure when in place. The goggles are a little difficult to get on the helmet at first, but once they’re in place, they stay put and they look pretty great too.

Cap(Rescue)AccessoriesCap’s underlying body is a bit better than the last Cap I looked at, given that it’s less of a Frankenstein creation. It’s just a pretty standard muscle body, which means he loses some articulation for the sake of the upper body’s appearance. But, that just ends up making him a bit more realistic, and it’s a good fit for this particular design.

Captain America includes a somewhat smaller accessory compliment, due to the more complex costume. However, he still gets a few cool items, including:

  • 6 different hands
  • Machine gun
  • Pistol (w/ holster)
  • Knife (w/sheath)
  • Shield
  • Display stand

All of the hands are sculpted wearing the leather gloves he has in the movie. There’s a pair of fists, a pair of relaxed hands, a grip for the shield, and a grip with a trigger finger for the two guns.

The weapons are all very nicely sculpted to match the in-film props. The two guns have moving pieces, just like their real counterparts would, which is certainly a fun bonus. The holster and sheath can be attached to the figure, with the holster attaching to the belt on the waist and the sheath tying onto his shin. These all allow for a complete rescue look.

The shield is the same piece as the SSM version. However, while that one was totally clean, this one has scrapes and dirt all over it, matching the figure’s more battle-ready appearance. It’s definitely some solid work, and it helps to differentiate him from the other figure even further. It would have been nice to also get a version of the shield with a dent from where Red Skull punched it, but this is the more important of the two, so I’m happy to have it.

Lastly, there’s the display stand. It’s the same basic stand we’ve seen lots and lots of times before, but it still works for what it’s supposed to do, so that’s good.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Rescue Cap isn’t one of my first Hot Toys figures. He’s not even my first Hot Toys Cap. He is, however, the figure that is the most responsible for just how many Hot Toys figures are in my current collection, because he’s one of the earliest HT figures that I bought for myself. Rescue Cap is one of my favorite looks from the movies, so when HT first showed the prototype, I was eager to get him. It took a while for him to finally get slotted as a con exclusive, but he finally did and I sat on Sideshow’s website for several hours the day he went up for sale to make sure I got one. He’s probably my favorite HT figure I own, if I’m honest. There’s just a lot to like about this figure, and, above all, he’s a ton of fun! Of course, getting this figure led me to want to finish out the TFA Cap set, as well as picking up the Avengers Cap and, by extension, the rest of the Avengers. So, there was that…

CapRescue5

#0900: Captain America – Star Spangled Man Version

CAPTAIN AMERICA – STAR SPANGLED MAN VERSION

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (HOT TOYS)

CapSSM1

Whelp, looks like I’ve stumbled my way through another 100 reviews, bringing my total reviews up to a resounding 900. Wow, that’s a lot. I need to get a life. Oh, right, the toys. The toys are my life. That works out, then. As is customary for all reviews divisible by 100, I’ll be doing another Deluxe Review.

When you’re dealing with high-end action figures, where each figure costs a small fortune, you would think that you might want to avoid doubling up on characters. By and large, that’s been what I’ve attempted to do in my high-end collecting. However, there was one main exception: Captain America. For some reason, I just kept buying the guy. Cap’s costume in the Marvel Studios movies has minor changes in each film, in an attempt to take him just a little closer to his comics counterpart. However, he actually started out in a costume that was an almost exact replica of his classic comics look, even if it ended up being a bit of a joke.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CapSSM3Captain America was released as figure number 205 in Hot Toys’ Movie Masterpiece Series. He was one of three figures “exclusive” to San Diego Comic Con 2013 (I say “exclusive” because he was available through Sideshow’s website, and didn’t actually ship until a while after the con). Chronologically, he’s the first of the three exclusives. This version of Cap hails from Captain America: The First Avenger, and is based on the propaganda costume Steve wears during the “Star Spangled Man” musical montage (hence the name). With the exception of covering up his ears (for silly practical reasons like being able to turn his head), it’s a pretty straight recreation of his comics look. The figure stands roughly 12 inches tall and has “over 30 points of articulation” according to the blurb on Sideshow’s site.

CapSSM4While masked and unmasked heads have more or less become the norm on HT’s Cap figures now, this guy only includes the masked look. This is presumably due to him being a follow-up figure to the Rescue version, which was unmasked. The head sculpt is the usual HT quality; tons of little detail work that makes it look like the real person it’s emulating. Well, it looks like a real person. There’s certainly a bit of Evans in there, but it’s not as spot-on as other HT sculpts. Also, his face looks oddly out of proportion with the rest of his head, like it’s just a bit too big. This probably isn’t helped by the fact that his neck is nowhere near as thick as it is in the movie, which makes him look slightly bobble-headed and less heroic. The expression on his face is rather serious, which seems a bit out of place for this costume within the context of the movie, but makes sense when you recall that a major appeal of this figure was selling it to people who just wanted a comics accurate Cap. The texturing on his mask is pretty nicely done; it seems a bit heavy when viewed up close, but looks just about right when viewed from a little further away. The head is finished off with an absolutely top-notch paintjob, which does a lot to distract from some of the more minor issues present here.

CapSSM2Cap’s costume makes use of seven different pieces; He has a cloth bodysuit, which makes up the majority of his costume, as well as a pair of shorts to go over it and a belt. The pieces are fairly well tailored, but not completely without issue. The shorts seem a bit more obtrusive than they were in the movie, and the red and white stripes on the torso stick out a little bit on the sides. The star symbol is actually a sculpted piece, which plugs into the center of his chest, in order to keep it properly centered. There are sculpted pieces for the boots and the tops of the gloves, which are very nicely handled and do a great job of simulating the leather used for the real items in the movie.

The weakest part of this figure by far is the underlying body. While I haven’t undressed my figure, I’ve seen pictures of the underlying body; it’s a Frankenstein’s Monster of earlier base bodies, which don’t all quite fit together, resulting in some odd gaps. The gaps have been filled with padding, which does an alright job, but has to be shifted from time to time to prevent him from getting weird lumps, and it also gets in the way of some of his articulation. Also, for reasons I can’t begin to fathom, the arms they chose are the ones with the most limited elbow movement available, which is incredibly limiting in what you can do with the figure, and makes little sense, since the joints could have easily been hidden by the sleeves.

Cap’s accessories complement does a fair bit to make up for the somewhat lackluster body. He included:CapSSM6

  • 7 different hands
  • Tommy gun
  • Pistol (w/ holster)
  • Grenade (w/ pouch)
  • Utility belt (w/ two pouches)
  • Ammo belt
  • Leather strap
  • Shield
  • Cue cards
  • Display stand

The hands are all sculpted to match up with the top parts of the gloves on the costume. They come in relaxed (R and L), fists (R and L), tight and loose grips (both L), and a trigger finger (R). The one glaring omission here is a pointing hand for an “I Want You” style pose. You can sub in the trigger finger (as I did), but it’s not quite the same.

The Tommy gun, pistol, grenade, utility belt, ammo belt, and leather strap are all based on the sequence in the montage where Cap is filming a propaganda film. The gun is the coolest piece, and it even has a removable ammo drum, with a few rounds visible at the top. All in all, these paces make for a pretty cool alternate look.

CapSSM5The Shield is the coolest piece, not necessarily for itself (though it is a good recreation of the first shield in the movie), but for the cue cards. In the movie, Cap has a speech about buying war bonds, which he has to give at each Star Spangled Man performance. It’s revealed during the montage that he has cue cards with the words from the speech taped onto the inside of his shield. It’s a brief little moment, but a cool character piece. You have to attach the cards yourself, but it’s a super cool touch that HT included them, and it offers a fun extra that most companies would overlook.

Finally, there’s the display stand, which is a fairly standard, run of the mill piece, but nice to have regardless.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This Cap is the “newest” of my HT Caps. The First Avenger was my favorite Phase 1 solo film, and I love the whole Star Spangled Man sequence, and Cap’s costume is one of the most distinctive in comics, so I was pretty excited when this figure was first shown off. Then there was the waiting (since it took over a year from showing him at a con for him to actually get a slot in the line). I bought him through Sideshow’s site when he was finally listed. Then the real trouble began. See, Sideshow ships through UPS, and they require a signature for delivery. I missed the driver the first two times Cap went out for delivery, and wouldn’t be home for the third, so I contacted UPS about having him held for pickup at the distribution center. They told me they weren’t allowed to do that, and that he’d be sent back to Sideshow if I wasn’t there the next day. A few calls later, I was told to just show up for pick-up that evening, despite it not being officially set-up. Well, surprising no one, that didn’t work out, resulting in another 5 hours of phone calls, before I was finally get it all sorted out, and was able to pick him up the following morning. After all of that, this better be the best darn Cap figure I’ve ever owned, right? Well, not quite. Honestly, he’s not a bad figure, but he’s probably the weakest of the Cap figures I have, due mostly to the weird body. Still, I’m glad I have him, and he rounds out my set of First Avenger Caps quite nicely.

#0800: Two-Face/Harvey Dent

TWO-FACE/ HARVEY DENT

THE DARK KNIGHT (HOT TOYS)

TwoFaceHT1

Wow, it’s kind of a big day here. I’ve actually managed to write 800 of these things, AND it’s the last day of 2015. How about that. Well, let’s close out the year in style, with another Figure In Question “deluxe review!”

I’ve got quite a large selection of Hot Toys figures, and the vast majority are based on various Marvel Studios properties. However, the property that actually got me into the realm of high-end collecting was their rather impressive selection of figures from The Dark Knight. Wait, didn’t I just talk about how I only thought Dark Knight was okay, not great? Why, then, would I start shelling out the big bucks on figures from said movie? What can I say? My buying habits are an enigma! While everyone always praises Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker, I’ve always found that one of the unsung parts of the film is Aaron Eckhart’s turn as Gotham District Attorney Harvey Dent, known in the comics as Two-Face.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

TwoFaceHT2Harvey Dent/Two-Face was released as part of HT’s Movie Masterpiece Series, as number 81 in the line. He’s the fifth figure from the Dark Knight sub-set, after Begins-style Batman, Joker, Dark Knight Batman, and Bank Robber Joker (and, if you count the Tumbler and the Bat-Pod, he’s the seventh Dark Knight item to carry the MMS label). Two-Face stands about 11 ½ inches tall, placing him at a height just below Batman and Joker. Going by the actor’s heights, this isn’t too far off. Going by the solicitation for the figure, he has “over 30 points of articulation,” which is the best count you’ll get barring actually stripping the figure down to count the joints (which I won’t be doing). Harvey is based on his appearance in the last half or so of the film, from right before his capture by the Joker, up through the end of the film.

Appropriately for a character such as Two-Face, this figure includes a pair of head sculpts. The first is based on his scarred look from the last third of the film, which is his more distinctive “Two-Face” look. The right half of the face is a very good likeness of Eckhart, looking rather intense and angry. The texturing on the face is a little softer than a TwoFaceHT3lot of other HT figures, but it’s actually fairly realistic, and helps to further highlight the differences between the two sides. The hair is very finely detailed, and a pretty good match for the look from the film, if perhaps a bit too neat and tidy. The left side of the face is a fairly impressive sculpt purely from an aesthetic stand point, however it has a number of inaccuracies, particularly around the nose and chin. Given how closely the figure was released to the film, one assumes a certain degree of this has to do with the final look from the film changing from preliminary designs. The overall effect really isn’t bad, though, and the sculpt truly is a nice piece of work. The second head presents a pre-accident Harvey. While you might think that the two sculpts would be more or less the same on the right side, this doesn’t appear to be the case. They’re certainly similar, but there are a few differences. The hair is (unsurprisingly) parted a slightly different way, and the general demeanor of the face is less intense. While this is in keeping with the character from this point in the film, the end result is a sculpt that I don’t feel has as strong a likeness as the scarred head. Nevertheless, the sculpt is still a very nice piece. Both heads sport some excellent paintwork, in keeping with the usual work from Hot Toys, and they both showcase incredible realism.

Harvey’s outfit is made up of seven different pieces. He has a jacket and dress pants, a tie, button down shirt, belt, and sculpted shoes. The jacket is probably the weakest piece here. The tailoring isn’t terrible, but it’s a little bunchy and oversized. To replicate the burnt nature of the left side of the jacket, it’s been coated in a rubbery sort of material. While this is nice in theory, and perhaps the most plausible way of creating the look in a mass-TwoFaceHT5produced sense, it only further bulks up the jacket, and makes Two-Face look a little flabby. The tie is oddly plastic-y, but it looks reasonable enough and does a pretty fair job of replicating the look. The shirt, pants, and belt are all pretty nicely tailored and serve their purposes pretty well. The shoes are a fairly often used piece, but they fit the part and are quite well sculpted.

Harvey is an older HT figure, so he has less extras than some other figures, but he does still have a few. He includes:

  • 2 pairs of hands
  • An extra jacket
  • 2 coins
  • Campaign button
  • Revolver
  • Display stand

The hands come with one relaxed pair, plus a right hand for holding the gun and a left hand for holding either a coin or the campaign button. Both sets of hands are pretty well sculpted, and decently sculpted, though the thumb on the left hand has a somewhat visible seam on it.

The extra jacket is the same as the regular jacket, but without the rubber coating for the burnt side. The tailoring could still use a bit of work, but it’s a better piece overall than the other coat.

TwoFaceHT4The two coins are actually the same piece twice. It’s supposed to represent Harvey’s lucky double-sided coin. In the film, the piece is scarred in the accident that scars Harvey’s face. The coin here is small enough that it’s not really clear which version of the coin it’s supposed to be.

The campaign button is one of the ones worn by various characters in the film, which says “I believe in Harvey Dent.” It’s well scaled and well painted, resulting in a very faithful piece.

The revolver is a fairly standard piece. It’s nicely sculpted and scaled. The cartridge swings out and can be removed, which is a nice touch.

Last up is the display stand, which is just the standard piece, which “Two-Face/Harvey Dent” printed on the front, as well as the logo from Dark Knight at the center.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Two-Face was my second Hot Toys figure. After getting Joker, I wanted to have a companion figure, so my parents offered to chip in half the price of the figure as part of my Christmas gift for that year. Though the figure might be worth a small fortune now, I actually got him for well below retail, since nobody seemed to want him at the time. While he’s not the greatest offering HT ever put out, and I don’t really think he warrants the high prices he goes for now, he’s a pretty solid figure, and I’m certainly glad to have him.

#0700: Joe Colton

JOE COLTON

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION (HOT TOYS)

Colton1

Hey! I made it to 700 reviews! Cool! Alright, it’s another milestone, so, faithful readers know it’s time for another Deluxe Review! Let’s take another dip into the world of high-end collecting, courtesy of Hot Toys.

Now, G.I. Joe is the very first action figure, and it’s also completely owned by toymakers Hasbro. It’s very rare that one toy company allows another to make toys from an in house property, especially Hasbro, who are notorious for not even letting other companies anywhere near licenses that they merely hold, not own outright. So it was a bit of a shock when they allowed Sideshow to make 12-inch versions of their A Real American Hero characters, and even more of a shock when they let Hot Toys have the license for 2013’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation. They only made a small handful of figures, one of them being Bruce Willis’ Joe Colton, namesake of the G.I. Joe team.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Colton3Joe Colton is another figure from HT’s main Movie Masterpiece Series. He was technically an exclusive to San Diego Comic Con 2013, though he wasn’t actually available at the con; he just went up on the Sideshow site shortly after. So, he really wasn’t much different from a normal release. He’s figure number 206, putting him right between fellow exclusives “Star Spangled Man” Captain America and Evil Superman. The figure stands roughly 12 inches tall and has “over 30 points of articulation” according to Sideshow’s website. I’ll trust them on that. Joe is, obviously, based on his appearance from G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Specifically, he’s presented as he looks during the film’s big climactic fight scene (more or less).

Let’s start things off by taking a look at the head sculpt. It’s another fantastic piece of work from Hot Toys. The likeness is absolutely spot-on to Willis, right down to his slight, sarcastic sneering, grin. The lack of any sort of hair adds actually adds to the realism of the figure, and it helps that HT’s managed to get Willis’ head shape down pretty much exactly. The paint on the head lives up to the sculpt, further enhancing the likeness, and adding even more to the realism.

Colton2Joe’s costume is a pretty cool little nod to the history of G.I. Joe, actually. It’s based on the uniform of the Adventure Team Commander from the G.I. Joe: Adventure Team line from the 70s, who, by extension of appearing to be the same guy as the original Joe, is the guy Colton is supposed to represent. The outfit is made up of three main pieces, a t-shirt, a pair of combat pants, and jacket, as well as an assortment of additional parts, including two different belts, hip and shoulder holsters, and a pair of boots. The boots are sculpted pieces; they’re pretty nicely detailed, though they seem harder and less movable than previous boots. The holsters are also sculpted, and they fit their corresponding guns pretty well. The rest of the outfit is made up of tailored parts.  Everything fits pretty well on the body, though maybe not quite as perfectly as I’d like. The jacket in particular feels just a bit bulky when placed on the figure. That said, most of outfit sits very nicely with a minor amount of futzing. In an odd move for a HT figure, the pants of Joe’s uniform are just a bit inaccurate to the film; the right leg is permanently tucked into the boot, which is odd, and the left leg sports a kneepad not seen in the film, which cannot be removed. I’m not sure why HT decided to do these things; one would assume the more accurate straight green pants would have been easier to produce.

Joe makes use of one of HT’s more posable bodies. It also happens to be the body that balances look and posability the best of HT’s standard bodies, which makes it a good choice. The only real drawback is that the body uses a rather obvious set of double joints at the elbows, which is a bit of a bummer if you want to display him without the jacket. That said, the movement allowed by these joints is essential to him properly holding his weapons, making it a worthy trade-off.

Colton5Joe includes a decent selection of extra pieces, though he was lighter than some others. He included:

  • 6 different hands
  • Machine gun
  • Spare Magazine
  • Shot gun
  • 3 pistols
  • 5 ammo clips
  • Display stand

The hands come in a nice variety of poses, with basic relaxed (R and L), trigger finger (R and L), gun holding (R), and fist (L). The hands are very realistically sculpted and painted, and each fulfill their intended purpose quite well. Willis is left-handed, so I was happy to see the gun grip hand was his right, allowing him to hold the guns as he actually would. That seems like it should be a given, but the poor T-1000 didn’t even get a proper left-handed trigger finger, so you never know.

The machine gun is very nicely handled. It’s exact model is a SCAR-L*. It has a removable clip and a folding stock, as well as a strap, allowing it to be slung over his arm. It’s impressively detailed, with tons sculpt and paintwork, all of which do a good job of passing this off as a miniaturized version of the real thing.

The shot gun is my personal favorite of the weapons, mostly due to it being his most used weapon from the film, and it just working very well visually with the figure. It’s the Benelli M4*. It’s admittedly not quite as exciting as the machine gun, since it’s a more simplistic design to begin with. Still, it’s got a moving stock and a spring-loaded breach and it looks pretty cool in his hands.

The three pistols are mostly just there to fill the three corresponding holsters. Two of the three are identical, and the third isn’t far off. All three are Colt 1911s*. They’re well sculpted, and they have moving slides and removable clips, which is always cool. Unfortunately, the included trigger fingers aren’t really optimized for a smaller weapon, so he really can’t hold them all that well.

The ammo clips are the same as the ones in the three pistols, placed into nice little sculpted holders. They can be hung on is belts, or removed if you so choose.

The display stand is fairly run of the mill. It’s just the basic black oval stand, with a little tag for his name and the film’s logo printed on the base.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like so many of my Hot Toys figures, Joe was pre-ordered from the online store of Sideshow Toys, the North American distributor for HT’s stuff. He ended up being the last thing I ordered from their site, and in fact, I almost cancelled the pre-order. Not because I didn’t want him or anything, but because I had gradually been moving away from HT. I’m glad I never got around to cancelling it, since he’s actually a pretty cool figure.

*Thanks to Tim Marron, of Timsical Thoughts, for helping me ID the specific models of the guns.

Colton4