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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Viktor - Underworld Evolution
Sixth Scale Action Figure

Star Ace
Date Published: 2016-10-03
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Underworld Viktor sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Introduction

Star Ace is breaking the mold in more ways than one.  While other companies shy away from and even fear licenses that star female leads, Star Ace is actively seeking them out, going for properties with strong woman at the forefront. They have picked up licenses like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Hunger Games, and Underworld, specifically because they are looking to work with female led properties. Even when the license doesn't involve a female lead, like Harry Potter or 300, you can bet the ladeis be well represented.

Underworld is a great example. With four films already in the series, a fifth film releasing in a few months, and a sixth film in talks, it's a popular vampire/werewolf property. The second film in the series, Underworld: Evolution, had Bill Nighy playing the antagonist vampire leader Viktor. While the overall film wasn't the best of the series, his character is a stand out.

Star Ace originally solicited Selene first, as you'd expect, but the second figure in the series, Viktor, has beat her to the street. Not by much though, as Selene should be on your doorstep just a few weeks behind this guy.

Viktor is available for around $220 at most retailers, but you can find some deals if you search.  One of my sponsors has a great price at just under $200 - check the Where to Buy section for more details.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Underworld Viktor sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Packaging - ***1/2
I'm liking the stylized artwork on the outer flap of this fifth panel box quite a bit.  It's the actual character, not the figure, which gives you an immediate comparison point for the sculpt. It also fits in with the art style of the film.  The box itself is completely collector friendly of course, although Star Ace is using slightly thinner card stock than I like. Still, it arrived safe and sound, so job one was completed successfully.

Full disclosure, my buddy Eamon is the designer on these, and the Star Ace packaging has taken a decided turn for the better since they've involved him.  No bias, of course.

Underworld Viktor sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Sculpting - ****
To compare the sculpt to the character, I scraped up a few stills. This one also shows the outer coat, here's a really big close up, and here's more of a promotional image.

As always, I grade portraits like this on three criteria: realism, emotivity, and accuracy. Star Ace has really upped their game on the first criteria, realism.  This figure has excellent skin texturing and detailing, with great wrinkles, marks, and age.  This sculpt transfers down the neck and over the chest and back, ensuring that this open coat design looks fantastic. The hair is also finely stranded, a key to creating a great looking sculpted hair style.

This isn't a highly emotive sculpt, but it avoids the mannequin look by giving him just enough danger in the set of the lips, arch of the eyebrow, and squint of the eye. He isn't staring off bored and blank, but appears to be looking right at you, and it's not with love in his heart.

Accuracy is the one area where I pulled him down, but only slightly. As you can see from the stills above, it is a solid Viktor sculpt, and captures Nighy quite well. The slight joweling at the jaw and sunken cheeks mirror his look in the make up. While it's not *quite* dead on, I do think that if you popped the head off and handed it to a fan - someone that actually knows Nighy - they'd recognize it immediately.

While the excellent sculpt extends to the torso skin, the hands are fairly generic.  The sculpts work fine with most poses and the accessories, but there's nothing really unique about them.

Underworld Viktor sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Paint - ***1/2
The above photo was shot in pretty specific lighting to get specific look, but it isn't particularly accurate to the actual colors. Of course, that's true on film as well, where various lighting in a movie can make a big difference in perceived color. The photo below is a better representation of the paint.

And as you can see, it's quite good.  Again, Star Ace is getting the sort of production paint work that we expect at this price point, and they are starting to do it with consistency. The piercing eyes look fantastic, and the slight variation in the skin tone and color is extremely life-like. The lips and eyebrows are clean, and even the hairline has just the right amount of subtle transition from skin to hair. This is the sort of paint job that can be easily washed out in photos though, with harsh lighting or flash.

The torso has a matching skin paint job, with aging and color appropriate to old Viktor. This coloration and age doesn't really translate to the hands though, as mentioned in the sculpt section.

Underworld Viktor sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Articulation - ***1/2
The underlying body that Star Ace is using here is an improvement over what we saw with some of their early releases.  The neck is a double ball, one at the jawline, one at the torso, and while the lower joint is covered by the skin, you can still get some movement out of it.  Likewise, the chest and waist are covered in sculpted skin, but both joints still have some turn and twist action.  It's not as free or stable as without the covering, but it's a trade of I'm willing to take. The belt doesn't move too much on the pants (it's held in place with a couple small tack stitches), so when you see one of the photos that appears to have the belt off center, it's really because the torso is turned to one side.

The arms are not covered, and they sport all the mobility you expect.  The hands swap easily enough, and the hips and knees work well.  The only real issue in this category is the high, solid boots, which take out any ankle articulation. You can hide some of that with the long pants, but it will cause issues getting and maintaining deeper stances.

Underworld Viktor sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Accessories - ***
There are a reasonable number of accessories, but it's not exceptional.

There is an extra set of hands, designed to grip the handles of the bladed weapons.  This goes along with the set of relaxed hands he comes wearing. As I mentioned, they swap easily enough, but are fairly generic.

He has the amulet from the film, on a metal chain. Here's a shot with the amulet clearly hanging from his neck in the movie. The chain is metal, but the amulet itself is a pretty basic plastic sculpt with a simple paint operation. The chain fits easily over his head.

He has three blades - the two distinct knives he brandished in the film, and the larger sword. All three fit nicely in his hands, and the sword has a removable pommel to make placing it in the gripping hands easier. They are plastic though, and the sword is quite thin.

Finally, he has a basic black display stand, with his name, and a waist grapper support.

Underworld Viktor sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Outfit - ***1/2
I'm counting the jacket, pants, boots, belt, and chain that hangs from the belt as his outfit. He also is wearing white leggings, but I'm not quite sure why. Perhaps the consistent white color is less obvious under the black pants than the skin tone plastic, but that would seem to defy logic.

The outer coat looks great, with a screen accurate gold pattern front and back. The collar is slightly adjustable, and there is a thin wire around the outer edge of the coat, allowing for some basic posing. It's not very thick, so you can't get any extreme dynamic poses out of the coat, but it does allow you to get a more natural flow and lay to the costume.

The coat's color varied in the film from light to dark - I like this darker color better, although your mileage may vary.  Again, this likely had to do with lighting conditions in the film.

The pants - yes, those are pants - are billowy and flowing, made from a high quality, thin material. The belt is plastic, and is tacked in place with a couple stitches.  The figure includes a metal chain that clips to either side of the belt, hanging down in front. Here's a shot with the costume they are going for with this release.

The only failing is the boots. I'm not a huge fan of the somewhat clunky, basic sculpt, and the thicker plastic is quite restrictive. You can't see much of them with the big pant legs, but they are the weak link in the costume.

Underworld Viktor sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
This is a fun figure, with a nice set of useful accessories and a body that can take some natural, flowing poses.  The boots are the only negative, but you'll find ways to hide them with the pants and coat, and still get the poses you want.

In the shot below you can see how the amulet is attached to the chain in the center, rather than at one end, allowing it to hang properly on his chest.

Underworld Viktor sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Value - **1/2
The average price for higher end sixth scale figures these days is around $220.  That's full retail on this guy, but you can snag him for $200 with a little persistence.  With the accessories, sculpt, paint, articulation, and outfit, I'd say this guy is a pretty average value at $220.  You also have to take into consideration the likely low production run, which could have easily driven up per unit cost. At $200 you can add another half star to this category.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing. Everything was sturdy and well made, with little chance for damage under normal handling conditions.

Overall - ***1/2
Star Ace continues to impress me with their work.  They are a company that shows off their sculpts early, looking for feedback, and then adjusting their final product accordingly. I suspect that's what is happened with Selene, and why there was a slight delay in her release, allowing Viktor to beat her to market by a few weeks.  Of course, whiny collectors then complain about the early sculpts and act as though the final product will suck, Star Ace sucks, everything sucks. Most companies that have tried to solicit early input have grown weary of this, and now just show their product when it's too late to make any changes.  Hopefully, Star Ace will continue to solicit early input, get useful, constructive feedback from collectors, and make the changes necessary to create the best final product. Viktor has turned out great, and made me all the more excited to get Selene.

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

Underworld Viktor sixth scale action figure by Star Ace

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has a fantastic price at $198.

- comes in at $220.

- Entertainment Earth is at $230.

- Sideshow has him for $220.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Selene will be here soon, but until then, this is the only Underworld release so far.

You should 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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Underworld Viktor sixth scale action 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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