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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Stan Lee sixth scale action figure

Hot Toys
Date Published: 2016-06-13
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Stan Lee sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Introduction

I recently saw a headline that said "Stan Lee Damn Mad about Strip Club Cameo". This of course was his cameo in Deadpool. I was disappointed, since Stan never seemed like the kind of guy that would get his panties in a bunch about a strip club scene in a Marvel movie.

And then I read the article. You see, reading is fundamental, particularly in our modern click bait society. Headline writers have always taken great liberty with the material, and with every news story jockeying for position in your feed, they've gotten even looser with the facts. Turns out he was mad, but not for the implied reason. He was mad because they shot his scene in a studio, and not on location. He has made them promise that from now on, he has to be in the actual location for the shoot - that's the Stan I expect.

When Hot Toys announced they were producing a Stan Lee sixth scale action figure, I was all over it. I don't buy a lot of 'real' people, but there's a few in my collection, like Michael Jackson or casual suit Bruce Lee. Stan might not seem like the most exciting choice, but he has two big factors going for him: he's a massive influence behind everything in the Marvel universe, and he's not another Iron Man.

He's also a decent price, coming in at $200 full retail.  You can find him for $10 - $20 cheaper with some digging, and I have some good recommendations in the Where to Buy section. He has just started shipping in the U.S., and there are no exclusive or special edition versions.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Stan Lee sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Packaging - ***1/2
The outer slip cover has a comic book design, including classic elements. The MMS number is in a block on the upper left, much like the old CCA label. A small photo and signature are in the upper left corner, in a elongated rectangle, where the price and publisher was often displayed. Even his name across the top emotes a super hero feeling. My only real complaint is that the photo on the front, while granulated to look like an old print photo, really should have been artwork, better matching the overall comic theme.

Under this slip cover is the usual window box holding a single plastic tray. It's all collector friendly of course, and fairly sturdy.

Stan Lee sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - ****
One of the outcomes of aging is the acquiring of 'personality' and 'character'. That's a nice way to say we get wrinkled, saggy, and weathered. This gives a sculptor a ton to work with, to add detail and realism, and to create a recognizable portrait.

This portrait is one of the most realistic ever produced by Hot Toys. With his slicked back hair style, they reaffirm their mastery of sculpted, stranded hair, something no one else in the industry can do quite like this. They mirror that sort of detail on the mustache and eyebrows, and create a far better look in plastic than you'd ever get with rooted hair.

Adding to the realism is the wrinkling and sagging skin. They've never done anything quite like this neck, and it's pretty amazing work. It also looks to me like they altered the original sculpt slightly around the mouth and smile lines, and the changes are a big improvement.

Of course, there's a slight skin texture, which looks fantastic in hand and in macro photos. When it comes to realism, they've really outdone themselves this time.

They've also outdone themselves in the life-like category, something they have had trouble with in recent months. Too often we've gotten very realistic, very accurate mannequins, with dead eyes and soft expressions. Not this time - Stan is a happy dude, with a wry grin and squinted smiling eyes. They say that you can tell a sincere smile from a fake one by looking at the eyes, which crinkle and wrinkle in just the right way. This is called a Duchenne smile, and Stan is definitely sporting one here. Sculptors take note - this is one way to add life without going too silly or dynamic with an expression. The expression, whether it's happy or angry or sad, has to translate from the mouth to the eyes.

The final aspect I always consider for this category is accuracy. This is a little tricky with Stan, since he's got lots of images out there over the last 40 years of his life, and you need to decide what age this one is exactly. I used three different images for my comparison: this one with him doing a classic Spidey hand gesture (more on that in the Accessories); this recent photo with a very similar expression to this sculpt, and a recent shot of another very similar happy expression.

Comparing these photos to this portrait, you'll find nits to pick. Even the photos themselves look slightly different - he has a few more wrinkles in one, a little less sag in another. But there's no doubt who this is, and your friends will pick him out on the shelf no matter what cameo role you give him.

The figure is sixth scale of course, and is just under 12" tall.

Stan Lee sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Paint - ****
Outstanding sculpts deserve outstanding paint - the realism and life-like qualities of the portrait are supported and even improved by the exceptional production paint work.

The glassy, wet eyes are perfect of course, as is the mottled skin tone and subtle hair line transition. The slightly off white teeth exhibit the same glassy, wet look as the eyes, adding to their realism as well.

If I had one minor complaint, it's that the hands aren't quite as realistic.  They do both sport the required rings, but the skin tone and mottling seems a little more rushed here. Still, overall it's an impressive paint job.

Stan Lee sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Articulation - ***1/2
This is one of the smaller, narrow shoulder TrueTypes, perfect for Stan. While there's only the lower ball joint at the neck, there's still plenty of tilt and lean action for the head, and the rest of the highly articulated body works great. Another key highlight is the ankles, which are totally unencumbered by the low top shoes.

Again, I can find one area that did annoy me a bit.  The ab crunch and waist joint on this TT isn't quite as mobile as some, or as I'd like, and he can't bend forward or back as much as you might want for some sitting poses.

Stan Lee sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Accessories - ***1/2
Stan is pretty well outfitted, particularly when you compare him to some other recent Hot Toys releases.

He has extra hands of course, along with a couple extra wrist pegs just in case. He comes wearing a set of relaxed pose hands, and can swap into a pair of 'spidey' hands, a pen gripping left, a pointing right, or a slightly more generally gripping right. They swap easily, and I had no worries with peg breakage.

He also has a watch, with a detailed face, as well as a pen for signing or drawing.  It's not just any pen, but a Monte Blanc! Or at least that's what it is supposed to look like...

Stand wears a variety of big glasses in real life, and there are two pairs here. One has a silver frame with clear lens, while the other is a black frame with tinted lens. Both fit great, and are properly in scale. You won't be displaying him without one of these pairs of glasses, so it was critical that they get them in scale and realistic. They did a great job with both, and including lens even with the silver pair was a smart move.

Stan also comes with a large director's chair, which folds up neatly.  The hinges are all metal, and the back of the chair sports his name in cursive. The chair does seem slightly big for him, but it's a minor nit with an otherwise excellent, high quality accessory.

Along with those extra wrist pegs, they've included a couple extra buttons.  These do fall off occasionally, and they are very easy to lose, so the extras are appreciated.

Finally, there's the usual display stand, although you really don't need it for support. It does give consistency within your display however, if you regularly use the stands with your other Hot Toys figures.

All they needed to provide to put this category over the top was some 1/6th artwork. A couple comics or drawings would have made complete sense, particularly with the inclusion of the pen.

Stan Lee sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Stan Lee sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Outfit - ***1/2
He's wearing a pretty basic outfit - white sneakers, white socks, brown pants, belt, off white shirt, blue windbreaker.  All the tailoring is excellent, and they added just a little padding around his middle to even out the torso. It doesn't fatten him so much as smooth him out.

I could go on about how perfect the fit is, or how Hot Toys has added to the overall effect by creating an outfit that looks perfect in this scale, but I thought a photo would serve better. The next photo shows two dudes with a similar fashion sense, hanging out in the park together. The outfit on the right is good, and garnered three stars in my review, but not quite great. The shoes are too big, the pants too baggy, the fit of the jacket not quite right. The outfit on the left is clearly superior, and deserves a full four stars. Notice how much better the fit and hang is in general.

It loses a half star for me though because there is actually a mistake - how often does that happen? They very top button is not on the outside edge, but the inside edge...huh?  You'll notice it in a couple of my photos. Weird...oh wait, no. That's where it's supposed to be.  The thing that threw me off is the lack of a button hole on the outer edge. Without it, the button on the inside just looks weird to me. I still can't give it four stars...its close, but not quite.

Stan Lee sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
Thanks to the great articulation and the useful accessories, you should have no trouble finding plenty of great poses for your display. Wait a couple weeks, and you'll come up with some more! The figure and accessories are also quite sturdy, even the glasses, making it less stressful to pose and re-pose him over time.

Stan Lee sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Value - ***
Most Hot Toys figures are around $220 these days, even those that have little in the way of additional accessories. Part of that is licensing cost, and I'm betting Mr. Lee didn't charge them as much as say, Disney, but hopefully he got a decent chunk of change. At $200 and under, this figure is on the lower end of the current Hot Toys price range, and he comes with a great assortment of extras. He's definitely a solid value.

Stan Lee sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
The little buttons on the shirt can fall off - we've seen that before. There are extras, but keep an eye on him anyway, since finding one that's fallen off is better than going to the well with the extras.

Overall - ***1/2
This is a fantastic portrait, one of the most realistic they've produced.  The costume might not be too exciting, but they did a great job on it, and for the price, there's a healthy number of useful accessories.

He might lack the 'wow' factor, but Stan is the father of the best parts of Marvel, he's 'the man', and he's certainly better than another damn Iron Man. He might not be the sexiest purchase you make this year, but ten years from now he'll remain one of your favorites.

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

Stan Lee sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- is just $190.

- has him for $195.

- comes in at $200.

- Sideshow also has him at $200, and he's already in stock.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
This is a real world guy, which I don't collect very often.  He does fit in with the other Marvel Cinematic Universe figures though, like Nick Fury, Iron Legion, Ant-Man, Vision, Quicksilver and his sister Scarlet Witch. And don't forget Pepper Potts and the MK IX set. Other related characters include Maria Hill, AoU Captain America, the Winter Soldier, Red Skull, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, Hulk, and Bruce Banner. I've also covered a ton of Iron Man releases, and one of my favorites is the die cast MK43.

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

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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

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