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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Human Skeleton Sixth Scale Action Figure
Version 2.0

COO/COOMODEL
Date Published: 2016-07-15
Written By: Ian Stefan
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4
The following is a guest review. The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford, Captain Toy, or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author.

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Human Skeleton sixth scale action figure by COO/COOMODEL

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Introduction

I have been fascinated with the human skeleton since I was a kid, and have long wondered about getting a good human skeleton action figure.  This interest was encouraged, perhaps subconsciously, by Ray Harryhausenís skeleton warriors in Jason and the Argonauts from 1963. In 2010, Go Hero produced a 1/6 version based on the Ray Harryhausen Presents comic book series (reviewed by Michael Crawford on this site, see link below), while Kaiyodo/Revoltech produced a much smaller, 5.5 in (14 cm) version based on the feature film and having a somewhat more realistic appearance.  In 2013 COO/COOMODEL produced a more generic 1/6 human skeleton body (SK05), fitted out with a spear and shield, thus obviously reminiscent of (though not identical with) the Ray Harryhausen characters.  In 2015, this was followed by version 2.0 (BS003), featuring metal joints and a more realistic color.  Without any weapons, it is clearly intended as a generic human skeleton, although it allows for any number of customizations.  The present review is on this version 2.0, and I should stress that I have never seen the other products mentioned above in hand, so I cannot make detailed comparisons to them.

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Human Skeleton sixth scale action figure by COO/COOMODEL

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Packaging - ***1/2
The skeleton body comes in a simple cardboard shoebox-type container that is painted in a way intended to convey the impression of soil.  The top features the image of a simple brown wooden cross, reinforcing the grave-like imagery.  The text highlights the new metal joints specific to this version of the skeleton body.  The bottom of the box includes a brief summary of major changes from the previous version of the body, and a photo of the skeleton sitting with legs stretched out, on which the different types of metal joints are pictured and indicated.  The usual choking hazard safety warning and the disclaimer that company the company accepts no responsibility for damage due to incorrect use is found the bottom of this side of the box.

The inside the box is taken up by a simple black foam trey with a matching foam sheet as a lid.  The deep trey contains the skeleton body and its accessories, once again giving the impression of something buried in soil.  COO/COOMODEL has also enclosed an operation manual sheet, which illustrates the correct use of the bodyís joints and cautions about specific errors of operation.

Overall, the packaging is collector friendly, everything fitting snugly into place without twisties or tape (not counting the two disks of tape sealing shut the outside of the box).  Functionally and conceptually, the packaging is excellent, protecting the body and conveying a graveyard setting suitable for its character.  The quality of the design art, however, is a just a bit too basic and naÔve to match the relative genius of its concept.  A box is a box, and this one accomplishes its purpose, without being mind-blowing in appearance.

Human Skeleton sixth scale action figure by COO/COOMODEL

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Sculpting - ***1/2
I should preface this by admitting that I am no expert on anatomy.  That said, this skeleton body conveys the impression of a very accurate human skeleton overall.  The body stands 12 in (30 cm) tall, therefore matching the standard average height of 1/6-scale male action figures; this is anatomically a bit tallish, but useful if you are going to pose this action figure next to regular action figures of that scale.

Actual human skeletons vary a little bit, but one might note that the skull is perhaps just a smidge too large, the neck is just a little bit too long, the sternum (the vertical bone connecting the ribs at the front of the chest) appears to be just a little bit too broad; the clavicle bones are a bit off; the radius and ulna (the bones making up the lower arm) are sculpted too fused together (probably for greater sturdiness); the ribs are perhaps a bit too close together; the front of the ribcage is not quite concave enough for my taste, although it is not necessarily unrealistic.  I could not spot any problems beyond these, and, despite their number, these are quite minor in my opinion.  Overall, I consider this a very good approximation of human skeletal anatomy, especially considering that this is a poseable articulated action figure, whereas a real skeleton would be a loose set of bones.  

The skull, in particular, is a work of art.  It is sculpted in minute detail, including the thin jagged lines of the sutures (seams), which are fleshed out additionally with the wash.  The same applies to the teeth and all other facial features.  Without making these features unrealistic, the wash gives them sufficient depth and character to infer attitude and emotion if combined with a particular stance and setting.

Human Skeleton sixth scale action figure by COO/COOMODEL

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Paint - ****
In contrast to many snow-white skeletons used as anatomy models, this skeleton body features a more realistic nuanced coloring suitable for bones that were dug up from the grave and the soil.  The color varies slightly over the surface, giving it a realistic appearance, and the recesses are brought out with the wash in a much darker shade.  While this might be a bit surprising for those of us who imagine the quintessential skeleton as white, it does appear to be spot-on for actual human skeletal remains like those displayed in museums (unless they had been overly cleaned and bleached).  The darker coating on (e.g.) the metal knee joints gradually rubs off with posing, but that is a minuscule price to pay for the articulation.

Human Skeleton sixth scale action figure by COO/COOMODEL

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Articulation - ***1/2
Unlike muscle and seamless bodies, this is stripped down to its very bones, by definition.  As a result, the joints and seems would show, since they form the connections between what should be loose bones held together by non-existent tendons and muscles.  Given this challenge, this skeleton body achieves a very impressive balance between the contradictory goals of aesthetics and articulation.  

The skull sits atop a ball joint that is part of the backbone, allowing it to rotate and tilt freely.  It can be detached as a stand-alone piece for a scene out of Hamlet and the like, or can be mounted on another action figure body.  The lower jaw swivels open, at times a little too freely, but it is tight enough that it can be easily posed shut.  If it is too loose, pinching it inward helps.  I have not attempted to remove it for a jaw-less skull look, lest I damage something beyond repair or make it too loose.

The backbone is flexible at the neck and lower back (the upper back, however, because it is attached to rib cage, cannot be bent).  Between the pivot-and-hinge shoulder joints and the ball hip joints on the one hand, and the pivot joints in the upper arms and the upper legs on the other, it is possible to achieve a fairly extensive range of motion for the limbs.  The elbow and knees bend a little over 90 degrees, and this (along with the ankles) is where I really wish the articulation was a bit better.  The wrists are very well-articulated.  To achieve the desired pose (e.g., sitting on a chair), you might have to experiment with rotating the hips, and upper legs in different allowable directions that do not always seem intuitive given more traditional action figure bodies.

Human Skeleton sixth scale action figure by COO/COOMODEL

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Accessories - ***3/4
The skeleton body comes with a pair of solid feet and a pair of sword-grip hands attached.  The box also contains a pair of gun-grip hands, a pair of rather flat relaxed hands, and a pair of spare plastic ankle pegs.  This is a fairly simple but adequate selection of accessories for a generic human skeleton body.  A pair of bended-toe feet would have been a welcome addition for added poseability.

Human Skeleton sixth scale action figure by COO/COOMODEL

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Outfit - N/A
As a skeleton body, this is entirely bare bones, all puns intended.

Fun Factor - ***3/4
Although there are some limits to the poseability of this action figure, over time I have realized it can achieve more than I initially suspected.  It is not quite sturdy enough to be a kidís toy, but a careful individual could do quite a lot with it.

Human Skeleton sixth scale action figure by COO/COOMODEL

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Value - ***1/2
There arenít a lot of 1/6 human skeleton bodies out there, and the closest comparison seems to be with the Go Hero Skeleton Warriors from five years earlier.  That retailed for $45 (for the basic version) at the time, while the COO/COOMODEL human skeleton costs about $40 today (or a bit more with free shipping included on ebay).  Admittedly, this comes without weapon or shield (it is supposed be a generic skeleton), but then again it is a much more realistic depiction of the human skeleton.  Because of this, and given the way in which the prices of 1/6 scale action figures have been increasing, I think the value is pretty good.  I had no qualms about getting a second one, and do not regret my decision.

Things to Watch Out For -
Make sure you review the operating manual instructions, and donít do anything unnatural or extreme with the elbows and knees.  Remember that, although the body features metal joints, the bulk of it is made of fairly hard plastic, and if you are particularly careless, that could snap.  Use the hair-dryer to soften the wrists and feet if you are preparing to swap them, but avoid heating the metal joints of the body (if you do, wait for them to cool before posing).  The joints can become too tight over time, presumably due to rusting; a little bit of machine oil (I used the lubricant for my shredder) fixes this problem.  But if you use too much of this, or pose the limbs too much, the joints would become too loose.  Presumably the usual treatments for this apply here (like using some superglue without allowing it to cure fixed), but proceed at your own risk.

Human Skeleton sixth scale action figure by COO/COOMODEL

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Overall - ***1/2
I was not entirely certain how much I would like these action figures when I first ordered them, but they have reached almost all my expectations.  Without being absolutely perfect in every single detail, overall they are an excellent product that lends itself to various possibilities and customizations.  And without being specifically designed to depict those characters, they do allow the creation of scenes reminiscent of Jason and the Argonauts.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ***3/4
Fun Factor - ***3/4
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has it for $37.99.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
A number of years ago, Michael did a review of the Go Hero Skeleton Warriors.

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 Ian Stefan.

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