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Review of Great Escape Steve McQueen 1/6th action figure
Deluxe Version

Star Ace
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Great Escape Steve McQueen sixth scale figure by Star Ace

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Introduction

One of the highlights of my trip to last summer's San Diego Comic-Con was meeting with two gentleman from Star Ace. Technically, one was from Star Ace and one was from the parent company, X-Plus, but all we talked about was the plans and aspirations of the upstart sixth scale company that's making plenty of waves, and I came away feeling even better about their organization.

They have a lot on their plate, including new licenses like 300 and Underworld, as well as a ton of Harry Potter releases to come very soon. One of the aspects of the company that is very attractive to collectors is their speed and nimbleness. While other companies announce a license and can take years to produce even one or two figures (I'm looking at you, ThreeZero), Star Ace has produced 4 figures in the Harry Potter line in less than a year, with several more already on pre-order and even more already announced.

In the midst of all this major work, they also released a Steve McQueen figure based on his appearance in the film The Great Escape. The movie is one of McQueen's best, and a fan favorite. The basic figure was released early this year, and I reviewed it shortly thereafter. This first release has Virgil Hilts in his standard outfit, worn through the majority of the movie.  Star Ace added a deluxe version to their roster in the spring, with the entire outfit and accessories of the first release PLUS his German soldier disguise.

This Deluxe release has just started shipping (that quick turn around from announcement to release is a very, very good thing), and will run you around $235 - $240, depending on the retailer.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Great Escape Steve McQueen sixth scale figure by Star Ace

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Packaging - ***1/2
The first release came in a fifth panel box. It's called that because there is an attached 'lid', and when you open it there's a, wait for it...fifth panel for graphics or text. Rather than stick with that design, they changed things up for the deluxe release.

This time there's a slip that slides down over the top 80% of the box, with a swoop cut along the bottom edge. This outer cover has some great graphics, especially on the front where the real McQueen's mug is prominently featured. It's a nice design, and gives the deluxe name a deluxe feel.

Of course, inside it's all collector friendly.  They added little protective plastic mittens and booties to avoid paint rubs on the hands or boots, but these aren't tightly wrapped and are quite easy to remove.

Great Escape Steve McQueen sixth scale figure by Star Ace

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Sculpting - ****
I gave this sculpt four stars the first time around, and it would be a little weird for me to knock it down this soon after.  This is the same head sculpt that you got with the basic version, and while that re-use can cause some problems of it's own - more on that later - it's still an excellent rendition of McQueen.

The sculpts and manufacturing process are getting spooky real for Star Ace, and they can rival the best in the market when they are on point.  The proper skin texture is here, as is the soft hair sculpt with fine stranding and tight detailing. Even the lips and eyebrows have just the right amount of texture and detail.

I also love the life they've given the sculpt. The expression is gritty and determined, and there's no slackness to the muscles of the face or the eyes.  They've avoided a mannequin appearance which is so critical in selling the look.

However, as I said this is the same head sculpt you got with the original release.  If you picked that one up already, there's not a lot in this category to drive you to buy this one.

Great Escape Steve McQueen sixth scale figure by Star Ace

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Paint - ***1/2
The paint work here remains above average, capturing a life-like, realistic skin tone and his baby blue eyes and sandy blonde hair perfectly.

The paint work on some of the accessories is also a stand out. In particular, the work on the color of the helmet, as well as the tampos on either side, is very clean, neat and attractive.

Star Ace still has a little way to go to hit the high bar set by Hot Toys and Enterbay in this category, but let's be honest - Hot Toys and Enterbay don't always hit it either.

Great Escape Steve McQueen sixth scale figure by Star Ace

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Articulation - ***
Since I had to swap clothes on this guy anyway, I thought it was a good opportunity to give you a look at the base body.

As you can tell, there's all the usual articulation, although some of the joints have a slightly different design. Overall, the body is tight and can maintain most poses, but it doesn't have quite as natural of flow.  The neck was particularly annoying, and I found this to be true with the previous McQueen as well.  Oddly enough, the body didn't give me as much trouble with either Voldemort or Sirius Black, and I'm not sure why.

Swapping the hands and feet is pretty easy, although you'll want to take a little care.  The hands are very hard plastic, so ensure the posts are lined up before you put too much pressure on them. The feet (and boots) have their own posts, and these are actually keyed to the inside of the ankles. There's only one way they are supposed to be inserted, and once in, it allows the ball ankles to work smoothly.  I say 'supposed to be' because you can force them in misaligned, and might not even know it.

The ball ankles can be frustrating if the feet are placed tight against the bottom of the leg.  This reduces their rocker movement. However, I found that if you pull the foot down slightly - the ankle post is quite long - you can get a much better range of movement out of the ball joint.

Great Escape Steve McQueen sixth scale figure by Star Ace

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Accessories - ****
While there's a ton of re-use here, at least they ensured that you're getting everything that came with the original release, making it unnecessary to buy both. The only real difference is in the display base, which is not critical to the final look.

As with the original figure, this guy comes with the relaxed grip pair of hands, the ball gripping right hand, the tighter gripping right hand (perfect for the bag handles), and the glove wearing left hand. He didn't get a new hand to hold the gun - I'll whine about that in a minute.

As I said, the hands swap pretty easily, and while they are slightly over sized, they are pretty much in line with other manufacturers.

There's also the extra pair of bare feet, which work well with the standard outfit. The posts are quite long, and very sturdy.

To go with the sculpted mitt/hand, he has a standard baseball. This can be held in the pocket of the glove or in the intended right hand.

He didn't wear a lot of jewelry, but there is both the watch and the St. Christopher's medal again. They looked great the first time, they look great the second time. By the way, it appears as though he wore his watch on his right wrist.

Interestingly, the ring on his relaxed left hand (which is not part of the hand sculpt but an actual metal ring that is a separate piece), is not exactly the same as the first release. He was wearing a ring on his left hand in the film, but I haven't seen any stills where you can really make it out. On the first figure, Star Ace went with his signet ring, which has an S interwoven with an M on the front. This new version is more attractive than the last - I've included a close up - and is still the signet version, but is slightly smaller and in scale, as well as having a smoother finish.

Finally, he also has the large bag. He can carry this in the supplied right hand, and the stitching and materials are excellent. There's a foam piece inside to fill it out, but you can easily unzip it and remove this if you'd prefer a flatter, less full look.

The new additions to this figure revolve around the German outfit. I'll cover the clothing itself in the next category, but he does come with the holster, Luger, and helmet. The helmet looks terrific, and fits nicely thanks to a proper insert.  The strap can be adjusted and is easy to work with.

The Luger looks just like you'd expect, and both the paint as sculpt are top quality. It fits neatly in the holster, and this holster has a sharp plastic post that closes the flap. This works well and stays in place, but take a little care - the post is sharp enough to poke a new hole or two if you're not careful. I wish they'd included a specific hand to work with this gun, although you can get either the ball holding hand or the bag holding hand to work.

The holster is the one accessory where I was a little disappointed, however. The brown thread looks weird, and stands out against the black leather. Perhaps it really was brown in real life, but the thread is slightly out of scale and the color clash makes it all the more obvious. I think going with a black thread would have been a better look at this size.

The last addition is also slightly different - the display stand.  The included stand is probably going to be their default moving forward, since they've used it with all the Harry Potter releases. This is the clear plastic stand with multiple posts and fittings for all kinds of variety. The only difference here is the printed movie logo on the clear base.

Great Escape Steve McQueen sixth scale figure by Star Ace

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Outfit - ***
I'll discuss both outfits, although it's the German soldier suit that will be most interesting.

The original outfit consists of his sculpted boots, pants, shirt and jacket.  These are all extremely well done, with solid tailoring and a good fit.  The materials and stitching are high quality stuff, and scale is generally good.  There's a couple spots on the jacket that are a little big, but overall the look works well.  The outfit was solid with the first Virgil, it's solid here. Oddly, I thought the jacket looked better right out of the box this time, although it's the exact same jacket. If I were grading only on this original outfit, he'd get another half star in this category.

The real incentive here is the second soldier's outfit that consists of the shirt, pants, leggings, and belt. There are also three separate insignia pieces that you attach to the outfit, two for the collar, one for the breast. It's helpful to use a scene from the film as reference for the German soldier's uniform

The leather belt is easy to work with, with an engraved buckle that stays in place nicely. The pants are very well tailored, and include the half belt in back, a nice touch. The two leggings are designed to go around his ankles, and there are two straps that can be adjusted to tighten them up. I left mine fairly loose, but you can cinch them much tighter if you prefer.

The shirt is a bit large, and the collar is particularly obvious with its scale problems. It's not atrocious, but the fit could be better and the overall look more in scale. But the biggest issue is with the included patches.  They come loose, and you have to attach them with glue or tape yourself.  I didn't have any fabric glue handy, so for the photos I used a small piece of double sided tape.  Unfortunately, this allowed them to move around a bit more than I liked, and I'll be picking up fabric glue next week for the final look. I'm sure that once I do, they'll look much better, tighter to the cloth at the edges and remain straight when posing, but at this price point, they should already be attached. I included a couple photos without them as well, in case that's a look you decide to go with.

Great Escape Steve McQueen sixth scale figure by Star Ace

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
The body isn't quite as smooth as the best on the market, but it does allow for a decent number of poses. With two outfits, both easy to swap into, you have a lot more potential for mixing things up on the shelf.

Value - **
The original figure was a decent value at $190.  They added in the shirt, pants, leggings, insignia, helmet, belt, holster and gun, and raised the price $50.  I think you could argue that the eight additional accessories are worth $50, but there's also the idea that the entire base figure is re-used. There's a natural inclination to believe that without the initial fixed costs of the molds, patterns, etc, the price should be lower with re-use.

It's not a terrible value, just not quite the solid value we got the first time around.  I suspect that a lot of military sixth scale collectors will point out - and rightly so - that you can add the German outfit to the original figure for a less than $50 on the custom market.

Great Escape Steve McQueen sixth scale figure by Star Ace

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a whole lot.  As I mentioned earlier, when swapping the feet pay attention to how the posts line up with the legs, but that's about it.

Great Escape Steve McQueen sixth scale figure by Star Ace

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Overall - ***
I'm grading this figure assuming it is a stand alone product, and that you did not already buy the original McQueen. The head sculpt, paint work and accessories are excellent, but the body, outfit and price end up pulling it down to a more average level. If you didn't pick up the original release, I recommend going this route, because prices on the original have already started to climb (BBTS originally had it for $195, but is now selling it for $225), making the potential of buying that one and adding the German outfit on your own less cost effective. Also, if you buy this second version, there's little reason to feel bad about not having the first.  The only differences are in the ring and the display base, neither of which are much of a deal breaker.

If you do already have the first Virgil, there's a couple things to consider.  Obviously the extra outfit is nice, but you can bash one with a little effort.  The clear base is different, but that wouldn't be enough for me to go for the new version. There's really only one big plus to buying this version as a double dip - the ability to display both outfits on complete figures at one time. That's not a bad thing by any means, but you'll have to decide if it's worth the bucks.

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

Great Escape Steve McQueen sixth scale figure by Star Ace

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has this deluxe version for $238.

- has him for $238.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Obviously, you'll want to check out my review of the first Steve Mcqueen from Star Ace for comparison. This isn't the first Steve McQueen sixth scale action figure I've reviewed either - six years ago, Triad Toys did a "Wanted Dead or Alive" Josh Randall, also played by McQueen. They also did a 1/3 scale bust of the character.

If you like Star Ace, you should also check out their work on the Harry Potter license so far - Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Voldemort, and Sirius Black.

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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Great Escape Steve McQueen sixth scale figure by Star Ace

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

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