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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Belaphoss the Mad - Sword Coast Legends
Dungeons and Dragons statue

Symbiote Studios
Date Published: 2016-02-05
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Dungeons and Dragons Belaphoss statue by Symbiote Studios

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Introduction

Just a few days before I arrived at Michigan Statue University for my freshman year of college, a depressed nerdy guy ironically named James Egbert, wrote a suicide note and disappeared into the steam tunnels below the school. And yes, that was a thing - I visited the tunnels myself on occasion, just to check it out, and it was not that complicated back then. I suspect that's no longer the case.

Back to the story. Egbert tried to kill himself, failed, ran off to a friend's house, and the search was on.  A poorly informed PI with little knowledge of Dungeons and Dragons found out Egbert was a player, and floated the ridiculous theory that this was all tied to the game in some way, sort of a live action version.  Egbert was eventually found down south, after attempting to kill himself again and failing, and while there was zero connection between his mental health issues and the game, the silly stigma and misinformation carried on for years.  Sadly, Egbert eventually succeeded in taking his own life.

Tonight's review covers a new statue based on the final boss of the latest D&D based video game - Belaphoss the Mad. He's also known as the Devourer of Hope, and I'm sure if he'd been around in 1979, that sadly misinformed PI would have found a way to blame poor Egbert's situation on this fictional monster by way of name alone.

Belaphoss is a critical character in the video game Sword Coast Legends. This guy owes a lot to the Balrog of course, from his look to his back story, but he puts his own unique spin on things as well.

The game was released in late 2014/early 2015, and this statue followed only a few months later. Symbiote Studios produced these in limited numbers, but two versions.  I know a 1000 were produced, and I believe that covered both the regular and special release. The special edition that included a cloth map, if you pre-ordered the game and statue through them.

The statue wasn't cheap, selling for around $300 originally (I believe), but it's a big one. The secondary market rates seem to be around $200 or so at this point, which is a very good deal.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Dungeons and Dragons Belaphoss statue by Symbiote Studios

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Packaging - **
Let's talk soft, fluffy, breakable foam trays, or more specifically, how much I hate them. The box is quite attractive, and it's all very safe. But inside is a tower of foam layers (the statue comes in eight pieces) with each layer holding a couple more hunks of the statue.  Cutting the tape on eacy layer and freeing it all means little pieces of foam every where. I hate that.

Dungeons and Dragons Belaphoss statue by Symbiote Studios

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Sculpting - ***1/2
Bela is posed in attack mode, flames alight and burning, ready to cleave his opponent in twain and suck the bones dry. Yep, I like the pose, and the addition of well sculpted armor is a great design detail.

As I said, the statue comes in eight pieces. There's the large, heavy, black base; the full body; the head and flaming horns; two separate wings; and the three piece weapon. Instructions are included to assemble the statue in the right order - ignore them and you might find yourself taking things apart and putting them back together unnecessarily. The fit on the parts varies, with some being very solid and tight, and others being a bit too loose.  The only areas I had any real issue with was the two connections on the weapon. Both fit easily enough, but were too loose for long term.  I added a little poster tack to improve the fit, but you could always glue things together for a more permanent solution. If you do, keep in mind that you won't be able to remove the weapon from his hand.

The flame sculpt is decent, if a bit lacking in detail. Of course, actual flame doesn't have a lot of 'detail', but it does look a bit too chunky in some spots here. Going with a translucent material would have improved the look as well, but more on that in the next section.

They did a particularly nice job with the textures, varying the look from the skin to the armor to the horns to the wings. I also like the use of actual metal chains holding the dangling skulls around his belt, and based on the size of said skulls, I'd say this guy is supposed to be about 1/18th scale, and he stands almost 13 inches tall including the base.

Dungeons and Dragons Belaphoss statue by Symbiote Studios

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Paint - ***
There is almost no slop to be seen, with a very clean application across the board. Again, the armor is a highlight, but the work on the yellow 'lava' on the face, the teeth, and even the variations in skin color are all well done.

My one nit is with the flames. They're always tough to do in plastic or resin, but the end result here looks a bit too candy corn. I think a bit more translucence to the material would have gone a long way to giving the flames the kind of depth and realism they need. Good examples are the Balrog mini-bust, the large NECA Balrog, the sword on the Asmus Morgul Lord, or the flaming sword on the Sideshow Morgul Lord PF.

Dungeons and Dragons Belaphoss statue by Symbiote Studios

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Dungeons and Dragons Belaphoss statue by Symbiote Studios

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Value - **
I'm grading this guy at the original $300, which seems a little high to me even with the large size and multiple pieces.  If you find him in the $200 - $250 range, which seems to be the current ebay rate, you can add a half star here.

Dungeons and Dragons Belaphoss statue by Symbiote Studios

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Things to Watch Out For -
The instructions will lead you through the assembly, so read them first. It's not complicated, but knowing how it should go together will save a little frustration.

Some of the pieces are a loose fit as well, so take care when moving or handling the statue once it's assembled.  Something could slip or drop off, and it's a long way to the floor.

Overall - ***
Sure, Belaphoss is pretty much just a better dressed cousin of Balrog, but this large statue looks great on the shelf, particularly chasing down 4" action figures. He also gives you a new addition to your 'demons with flaming heads' display.

Symbiote did a great job on the design and pose, although I do wish they'd gone with a more translucent material for the flames. It would have been the one extra touch that would have elevated this release that extra half star or so. They went the extra mile with the chains, so it wasn't out of the question to add a little more pizzazz to the fire.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - **
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Value - **
Overall - ***

Dungeons and Dragons Belaphoss statue by Symbiote Studios

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Where to Buy 
This guy is long sold out, so searching ebay for a deal is your best bet now.

Related Links -
Other cool Symbiote Studios collectibles include the Warframe Rhino and Excalibur statues, this Monkey Island statue, and the terrific Sam and Max statue.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Dungeons and Dragons Belaphoss statue by Symbiote Studios

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This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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