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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Indiana Jones - Temple of Doom
Exclusive Sixth Scale Figure

Sideshow Collectibles
Date Published: 2016-03-16
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Indiana Jones Temple of Doom action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

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Introduction

If you thought Harrison Ford and Indiana Jones were done with each other, think again.  Speilberg and Ford announced that he'll be returning for a fifth movie, although a 2019 release date seems awfully far out.  And if you thought Indiana Jones and sixth scale were done with each other, you should check that as well.  Sideshow has just released the latest in their run on the license, this time from the second film, Temple of Doom. He comes in both a regular release as well as an exclusive available only through Sideshow that includes three extra accessories - more on that in a minute. Both versions run $230 through Sideshow, but you can snag the non-exclusive release at some other retailers for a few bucks cheaper. I have some suggestions in the Where to Buy section below.

I'm hoping this means we still might get some other critical characters...eventually.  How sweet would a Marion be? A man can always dream.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Indiana Jones Temple of Doom action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

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Packaging - ***1/2
They've done something a little different this time around.  This is still a shoe box, but I like the combination of graphics and text on the cover. Inside, they've slightly redesigned the plastic trays, making them feel a bit more sturdy, and altered the corners to make it easier to slip them in and out of the box.  There's two trays, one on top of the other, and these are held together with a cigar band style cardboard slip.  While it's not a huge departure from the de facto standard, it's enough to give it some pop and pizzazz. Of course, it's all completely collector friendly.

Indiana Jones Temple of Doom action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

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Sculpting - **1/2
This is a low score, but it's low for a very specific reason, and not the one you might assume.

Harrison Ford, and therefore Indiana Jones, is a notoriously difficult portrait to capture.  Fans are super picky, and getting the ultimate version has been impossible to date.

But it's not the portrait that's an issue here.  I know that some people will automatically rag on this figure because it's Sideshow - that's become a pretty obvious pattern. But this is perhaps the best Ford/Jones we've gotten in terms of accuracy, and both the realism and life-like qualities are quite high as well. It's certainly well above the DX05 that Hot Toys released, and certainly better than Sideshow's previous attempts in this scale. The nose is a *smidge* off to my eye, but the eyes, jawline, and overall facial shape are excellent.  It helps that there's beaten up damage on his face, something your eye can key on and easily recognize. It also helps, at least to me, that this isn't as caricaturized as other earlier portraits, including the Hot Toys DX.

The head might seem just a tiny bit undersized, but I think that's because of the large neck on this body. Inside the neck, wrapped around the post, is one of those plugs. I think that if you pull it out, you should be able to get the head to sit further down on the rubbery skin of the neck, reducing the giraffe syndrome a bit. I haven't tried it yet, but it's on the list.

So why the poor score? This figure has swappable hair that is held in place with a magnet. Pop it off and pop on the hat, also held in place with a magnet. Now, I have almost every sixth scale figure produced by Sideshow and Hot Toys, and quite a few from many other companies. And I have never, ever seen a seam this bad. It's atrocious.  It's obviously going to be even worse in macro photos, but even in person it's glaring. I tried every way to Sunday to get it to sit tighter, and nothing worked.

I do think there might be a solution, however.  The scalp is carved - yes, carved - rather than smoothly machined or formed. Cletus could do a better job on his porch with a butter knife. The inside of the hair is quite smooth, and I think that rounding down the weird high points on the carved scalp might allow it to sit tighter at the seam. It can't hurt, that's for sure.

Because of the ugly seam, you'll need to stick with the hat. The hat also sits a little high on the head, but not enough to be a major issue. The hat itself is fairly tall though, and I'll whine about that in a later section.

He stands about 12 1/2" tall in the hat, and has no trouble standing on his own, even in deeper stances. The various hands are sculpted to work with the accessories, and the scale is relatively good.

Indiana Jones Temple of Doom action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

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Paint - ***1/2
Sideshow has been working on their paint applications and operations for the last couple years, striving to improve in this critical area.  Those efforts are starting to pay off.

This is a beaten and dirty Indy, and the bruising on his cheek and lip, along with the scratches on his face, look extremely realistic. The eyebrows and eyes are sharp and clean, the beard shadow looks great, and even the skin tone and freckling are improved. He's got a fair amount of chest hair as well, highlighted with some reasonable paint work.

My one nit is with the mustache, which is a bit too dark and obvious. It's more full on 'stache and less shadow,even in person.  It was actually pretty thick by the end of the movie, but to my eye it still appears too dark. Lighten that up just a bit, and they could have pulled that extra half star this time.

Indiana Jones Temple of Doom action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

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Articulation - ***1/2
Sideshow's underlying body doesn't quite have the feel and natural flow of the best TrueType, but it's improved quite a bit over time.

The ball jointed neck works well, although I think I'm going to pull the plug, as I mentioned in the Sculpt section, to get the head down over the neck skin a bit further. The shoulders work well, and there is a ratchet design to them. I suspect that's to hold the weight of the real metal machete, and it works well enough.

The elbows are the one restricted joint that I found annoying. They are using a joint that is designed to allow for a reasonable amount of movement yet not look too ugly. That's important, since the torn shirt exposes the right arm.  However, the articulation does take a hit, and some arm poses will be tough to get.

The rotating hinge wrists work great, and the hands swap easily. Every hand has its own wrist post, as expected.

The torso and waist, along with the hips, knees, thighs, and ankles, allow for plenty of lower body poses and deeps stances.  The rocker movement of the ankles works great, and you should be able to get the feet flat on the ground in most stances. 

All the joints on mine were tight and solid, and he should be able to maintain just about any pose or stance long term.

Indiana Jones Temple of Doom action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

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Accessories - ****
There's a ton of extras, and most of them are extremely well done. I can whine about not getting one or two others - and I will - but what we did get is top notch.

Let's start with the hands, five sets and one extra for a total of eleven.  All come with their own posts, as I mentioned earlier.  The rights are all bandaged, as you'd expect based on his look in the film.  These are designed to work with the various accessories, and there are hands that are perfect for the stones, the whip, the gun...expect there's not a gun grip right, only a gun grip left.  Huh? Seems like a pretty big oversight to me. He can use the gun holding left easily enough, but still...

Speaking of the gun, it's the Colt .38 revolver that we see him use, particularly in the early part of the film. The sculpt and paint work are top notch, and you can even see the cartridges inside the cylinder. The cylinder does not swing out, however.

The gun fits deeply inside the holster, and the holster strap is held in place with another magnet. It works fairly well, and looks quite good on his hip. The holster belt rides a little lower on his hips than the regular belt, as it should, and includes the loop for the coiled whip.

He has not one but two whips.  One is permanently coiled, and can be attached to his belt with a loop. This loop is ALSO held with a magnet, a very strong one, that works much better than I expected.

The uncoiled whip can be posed...sort of. It is not bendable, but it is flexible.  You'll need to use a little hot water on it out of the package to soften it up, and then get it posed just the way you want. I wish they'd included a thin wire down this whip, but it's a minor issue.

Indy also carried a machete during key scenes in the film, and they've included a film accurate version made from real metal. It's fairly heavy, so the ratchet joint on the shoulder is a smart move.

The regular release includes the three Sankara Stones. These are painted as we saw them during most of the film, and the scale is quite good. They fit nicely in either the intended hands or in his man purse.  The exclusive release includes three more, done with the same sculpt but molded in a translucent plastic. This plastic 'glows' when light passes through it, or that's the general idea anyway. They do look quite good, thanks to a dirty color that matches the movie appearance.

Speaking of his man purse, it's one of the best items he has this time around. The interior has multiple layers and pockets, with plenty of room for all three stones and a nice magnetic closure.

Last but not least...maybe...is his small display stand.  It's pretty basic, but lends some consistency to your display if you're in the habit of using them.

My biggest complaint in this category is the lack of a second portrait.  Considering the $230 price tag, I think we should have gotten a portrait with the hat, and a portrait without, rather than the swapping option we ended up with.  That would have removed the issue with the hair seam, and improved the overall value as well. And I'm not talking about a completely new head - just give me the same head, but one complete with the hair, and one with the hat attached, making it largely a unit cost, rather than an upfront fixed cost.

Indiana Jones Temple of Doom action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

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Indiana Jones Temple of Doom action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

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Outfit - ***1/2
The outfit consists of the torn shirt, torn pants, belt, hat, and shoes. The overall quality is quite good, although there are a couple minor issues.

The shirt looks great, with the ripped sleeve and overall damage. It could use a little more dirt and grime, particularly if you're going for his look at the end of the film, and I expect to see a lot of people adding their own discoloration, but the quality of the materials and stitching are excellent.

Same for the pants, which only have the one rip at the knee.  They're a bit too clean, and some more staining and wear would go a long way. Thankfully, the tailoring is excellent, giving customizers a great place to start.

The belt matches the style from the film, much like the belt you had when you were a Boy Scout. I discussed the hat a bit earlier, but it's worth noting again that while the overall look is good, it is very tall, I'd say a good 1/8" taller than I'd like. You don't want it to sit much lower on the head either, since it's already down far enough on the ears and forehead, so there's not much you can do to improve the issue.

The best aspect of his outfit is the boots. The sculpt and paint work are excellent and yes, the size is about right.  They also have real laces, a feature we see occasionally, but this time they are in perfect scale.

Indiana Jones Temple of Doom action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
You'll have plenty of fun working with this guy to find you're perfect pose, and then do it all over again in a couple weeks.  He's versatile, with plenty of potential poses, and the use of the stones should give you some other options as well. The figure, outfit, and accessories are all very sturdy, pretty much in line with an actual toy that would see far more serious handling, so you should have no worries about damage or breakage.

Indiana Jones Temple of Doom action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

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Value - **
While both the regular and exclusive versions come with quite a few extras, the $230 price tag is still reaching top end levels. The better value is the $230 exclusive, even over the $215 you might pay for the regular release.  The translucent stones are easily worth the extra $15. However, a second portrait would have pushed this score up another full star at least, and made this a much better overall value.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Indiana Jones Temple of Doom action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

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Overall - ***
Ah, this one is sooooo close, so very, very close.  The head sculpt itself is the best Indy we've ever gotten in sixth scale - I have no reservations making that statement.  The outfit and accessories are solid, and the underlying body has no real issues. Take away the fugly seam, and you add another half star to the Overall easily. Then drop $20 - $30 off the price point, and you could have yourself a full four star figure...or keep the price point, but give me the two portraits.  Hell, give me the two portraits and you've fixed both the issue with the seam and any concerns about the price point in one fell swoop, and you've probably got yourself a four star figure.

With a little work on your part, this can reach that level.  Skip the hair piece and stick with the hat - better yet, try one of the other hats, like the DX05 version.  Pull the neck plug to allow the head to sit lower. Stain and dirty up the clothes a bit more. You'll end up with the best looking 12" Indy in your collection.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - **1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **
Overall - ***

Indiana Jones Temple of Doom action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has the exclusive for $230, which includes the additional three stones. They also have the regular for $230, but with the exclusive still in stock, that option makes no sense at this point.

- is the best option to pick up the regular cheap, because they have it for $215.

- has the regular for $221.

- has the regular for $230.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other Indy sixth scale figures include the Hot Toys DX05, Sideshow's Kingdom of the Crystal Skull version, the Sideshow Professor Jones Sr, the German Outfit Indy, Toht (with Ark), Belloq with the Fertility Idol Environment, and ROTLA Indy himself.

- Medicom has released Dr. Henry Jones as well, and Young Indy.

- and Hasbro did several figures, including Indy in German Disguise, Cairo Swordsman and German Soldier, and two versions of Indy.

- also in approximately this same scale is the Kotobukiya Henry Jones Sr. statue.

- if you're looking for more Temple of Doom, Sideshow did a fantastic Premium Format Indiana Jones for the film, as well as Mola Ram.

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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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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