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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Verda the Andriod - Lost in Space
Sixth Scale Action Figure

Executive Replicas
Date Published: 2016-07-20
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Lost in Space Verda Android sixth scale action figure by Executive Replicas

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Introduction

As a kid, there were several television shows that defined my youth.  Of course, one was the campy 60's Batman show, another the amazing Twilight Zone, and a third the classic Star Trek. But one I loved that doesn't get much play these days is the poorer cousin of Trek - Lost in Space.

On the air from 1965 to 1968, the show, like it's competitor Batman, was based on a comic book. Unlike Trek or Twilight Zone, it was never considered serious science fiction, but it did take on some key ideas. It's interesting, because just this last weekend I watched the ST:TOS episode "What Are Little Girls Made Of", an episode that not only had Lovecraft references, but explores many of the general concepts that are the basis of the Terminator franchise. I then watched the episodes of Lost In Space called "The Android Machine" and "Revenge of the Androids", which the figure for tonight's review is based on. These shows explored many of the same concepts - what is it to be 'human'? And what happens when artificial intelligence reaches that point? While LiS might not have done it quite as well, they did take a shot at some of the more classic sci-fi themes.

Verda was the star of these two LiS episodes, being pretty much a straight up android in the first, and blossoming into a more human creature by the second. Executive Replicas picked her for their sixth scale LiS series, and she is currently shipping from a number of retailers. Expect to pay around $150.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Lost in Space Verda Android sixth scale action figure by Executive Replicas

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Packaging - ****
This is some very nice packaging, and I'm feeling some Go Hero influences here.  I labeled this figure as an Executive Replicas release, but it's really produced in concert between them, Go Hero, and Phicen. And it's clear that Go Hero had something to do with the packaging, because they always do a bang up job creating high quality, classy boxes.

Here we get a great looking outer sleeve with some great graphics (including the 'vending machine') over a high quality black box. The wrap around lid opens to reveal the figure cradled in foam, completely safe from any damage and completely collector friendly. This is some great stuff, right down to the silver foil typeface on the interior black box itself.

Lost in Space Verda Android sixth scale action figure by Executive Replicas

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Sculpting - ***1/2
Verda was played by the lovely Dee Hartford, who had also been on Batman and Outer Limits. In the first LiS episode - The Android Machine (a bit redundant, no?) - Verda had a very machine-like appearance, with the usual goofy LiS design. In the second episode - Revenge of the Androids - she had taken on a much more human look, although she still had some pretty funky antenna. They've included both versions, a huge plus with this figure.

I'm going to be honest here - both versions of this head sculpt came out much better than I ever expected. Executive Replicas and Go Hero are not known for realistic sculpts.  The characters they work on tend to be more silly, pulp themed, and cartoony, and their sculpting has tended to follow suit. And the earlier LiS figures were not giving me any great hope - check out Dr. Smith in the photo near the end of the review for an example.

But they pretty much nailed both the android and humanoid versions of Verda, giving her an appropriate expression and staying true to the likeness of both the character and the actress. Even the hair on the humanoid version is nicely detailed and realistic, although it does have a bit of a gap where the larger back section attaches to the head itself.

There's not a ton of skin texture, but that's appropriate, especially for the android head. Both figures have properly textured lips, and the accuracy of the cool helmet and funky antenna is excellent. The earrings are a little off, but hey, they went for it!

She's a hair too short, which is exacerbated by the too tall size of their earlier Dr. Smith. You can see in this photo with the Robinsons that she's about the same height as John with the helmet on, and quite a bit taller than Maureen or Judy.  This figure is 12" tall with the helmet, and really needs to be about 1/4" larger. It's a minor nit though, and one only hard core fans will notice.

Lost in Space Verda Android sixth scale action figure by Executive Replicas

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Paint - ***
The quality if the paint work is quite good, although it doesn't quite have the realism of the very best in the business. That's completely appropriate with the android head, where the bright silver should look as much like metal as possible. The silver on the face, helmet, and hands is consistent and clean, and the touches of the eyebrows, lips, and green makeup add some nice highlights.

There's one big problem with the android head - the neck is flesh tone.  While the collar can cover up most of it, some remains exposed in just about any pose. It's a bit of a catch 22, since they tried to create a situation where both versions of the head would look right.  Going with a silver neck would not have looked right with the humanoid head, and the flesh neck is the lesser of two evils. Still, at this price point a removable cover for the neck - the same material as the suit perhaps - would have been a good move.

Of course, that issue goes away with the humanoid head, and they've added some very cool sparkles above the eyes and on the antenna. The eyes on both are great, but there is a bit of bleed here, giving the whites a more stained look. Again, it's minor, but in the high end sixth scale market, these minor issues are the ones that make the difference.

Lost in Space Verda Android sixth scale action figure by Executive Replicas

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Articulation - ***
This underlying body is by Phicen, best known for their seamless look. I don't think that's the case here although I didn't strip her down to be sure - but she does have the trademark squishy boobs.

The articulation works well, and you can get her into some fluid, natural stances without too much effort.  I did find the elbows to be somewhat floppy and loose, but the hips, knees, and ankles were all very tight and sturdy. There's not a ton of twist, lean, or tilt action in the torso due to the rubbery skin covering that section (hence the squishy boobs), but the neck has plenty.

The boots are fairly tall, but have a soft upper that does not restrict the ankle mobility, and thanks to the lack of hair on one sculpt and short hair on the other, there's no restriction to the neck. Did I mention she has squishy boobs?

Adding to the floppy joints was one other negative feature - the forearms seem disproportionately long. I'm not sure if this is a general problem with Phicen females, or if the ribbing on the costume sleeves is creating a weird optical illusion, but either way I found it distracting.

Lost in Space Verda Android sixth scale action figure by Executive Replicas

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Accessories - ***1/2
It's the two portraits that really boosts the score here. The other extras aren't quite as exciting, and I think adding in a bouquet of flowers would have been a nice touch. Unfortunately, they missed that opportunity.

She does come with three additional sets of hands that go along with the posed hands she's wearing. There's a set of flesh colored relaxed palms, a set of posed flesh colored hands (pointing left and gripping right), a pair of gesturing gloved hands, another gesturing right hand, and a tight grip left hand perfect for holding a plant or flower. They swap easily enough on the Phicen body.

There is a weird thing about the flesh colored hands though.  You'll notice that when I switched to the humanoid head for photos, I swapped the hands as well. I assumed (and you know where that gets you) that she looked that way on screen, since why else would they include them? Skin face, skin hands, makes sense, right? Then I watched the episode...and searched the stills. And I couldn't find any reference where she didn't have gloved, silver hands either time she was on the show. Hmmm...did Executive Replicas make the same wrong assumption? Or am I missing something here?

There's also a display stand with a waist support. Nothing too exciting, and she stands great on her own, but good for those who use stands regularly. It's also exactly the same design, with her name on it, that we got with the earlier LiS figures.

Lost in Space Verda Android sixth scale action figure by Executive Replicas

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Outfit - ***
The outfit on the show was pretty straight forward 60's sci-fi - lots of silver and ribbing. The Robot has a great line in the show - "you suffer from the same ailment as many modern robots. Lots of chrome where it shows, not enough engineering where it doesn't." He was such a cranky old robot. Silver boots, silver pants, silver tunic with ribbed arms and collar, it was eye catching (this second season of LiS was in color) and attractive.

They've captured the look quite well, although the material is a bit different. That's most obvious in the pants, which are tighter fitting here, and were more like slacks on the show. But the ribbing at the neck and arms looks good, and the lower edge of the tunic is accurate.

She didn't wear pants in the second episode, turning the tunic into a dress of sorts over silver-ish stockings. That means when the humanoid head is in place, the outfit isn't quite as accurate, but most fans will cut them some slack on that one. The boots remained the same, and you could technically remove the pants for a closer match if you so desire.

I am somewhat concerned that the silver material may flake over time, but it's too early to tell.

Lost in Space Verda Android sixth scale action figure by Executive Replicas

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Fun Factor - ***
For the major LiS nerd, this figure will spark a bonfire of nostalgia. She is easily the best release in the series by Executive Replicas so far, and has me hopeful with the upcoming John and Will Robinson. Unfortunately, she's a huge improvement over the earlier Dr. Smith, making it necessary for them - and you - to revisit the character at some point.

Lost in Space Verda Android sixth scale action figure by Executive Replicas

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Value - **1/2
At $150, she's considerably cheaper than most of the modern high end sixth scale figures. The overall quality isn't quite at the Hot Toys level yet though, and even companies like Star Ace, Qmx, and ThreeZero are working with more complex outfits and accessories.  The real test here will be when they release the John Robinson with flight pack, a much more detailed and expensive figure overall.

While $150 is a good deal comparatively when you're only considering price, the quality is still slightly behind. I ended up going with an average score, but I'd still like to see them up their game a bit, especially with the non humanoid characters.

Lost in Space Verda Android sixth scale action figure by Executive Replicas

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Things to Watch Out For -
Fitting the humanoid head on the neck post was quite difficult - use a little water or heat to simplify.  And be careful where you grip while putting the heads on and pulling them off to avoid damaging antenna, earrings, or other accoutrements.

Overall - ***
I almost went another half star here...almost.  This figure is well above what I was expecting, considering the other releases from Executive Replicas in the LiS series and their other licenses. While they aren't quite ready to compete head to head with a company like Hot Toys, they are much improved, and I have my hopes up for the upcoming John and Will Robinson.  Both look pretty dicey in the marketing photos...but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt until they arrive.  As a big LiS fan, I'm happy that someone is giving us figures, and my only regret is that we need them to revisit a couple of the earlier figures - most notably Dr. Smith - and improve the quality.

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

Lost in Space Verda Android sixth scale action figure by Executive Replicas

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- comes in at $150.

- Entertainment Earth has her for $150.

- you can get her directly from Executive Replicas for $150 as well.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other Lost in Space figures I've reviewed include the sixth scale Maureen Robinson. And many years ago, there was a series of 9" figures produced as well.

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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