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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Judge Dredd - 2000AD Action Figure

3A
Date Published: 2016-11-30
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Judge Dredd 2000 AD 1/12 action figure by 3A

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Introduction

I recently re-watched the 2012 Judge Dredd film Dredd. On a second viewing, I liked it even more, much more than the Stallone version from the nineties. These are two different takes on Dredd though, and each has their flaws and foibles. Like the films, the character has sported a number of different takes, depending on the country, the medium, and the artist. 3A is producing a series of 1/12th scale figures (around 6" tall) based on the original 2000 AD look, while Mezco is doing their own thing with their One:12 Collective releases.  I've covered a couple of the Mezco figures in the past, and tonight I'm looking at the latest from 3A.

The comparisons between the two figures are inevitable, so I'll include my thoughts as we go along. This Dredd is a bit of an early review, and actually came with the Lawmaster.  You can generally pick up Dredd on his own for around $65, while the bike (which I'll review next) comes in around $110. There are some retailers selling the pair, but it's normally at $175, with no real savings.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Judge Dredd 2000 AD 1/12 action figure by 3A

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Packaging - ***
Sadly, these are not packed on collector friendly card backs.  You'll need to destroy the package to free him, all the more disappointing because the backer cards look amazing. The 2000 AD black and white artwork is gorgeous, and the large backer card is very, very heavy stock. You can still save the backer if you carefully cut the plastic bubble free, but it's not quite the same.

Judge Dredd 2000 AD 1/12 action figure by 3A

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Sculpting - ****
One of the fascinating aspects of Dredd is his unknown appearance.  He never removes the helmet, and in that way represents the facelessness of the law. That being said, he does have a very recognizable RBF from the nose down, and the creased, deep frown mouth and strong jawline tells you all you need to know. They've captured that perfectly here, along with the finer details of the armored helmet and shoulder armor.

Perhaps my favorite piece of sculpting is the belt, with it's detailed buckle and pouches. It's not particularly adjustable - like the shoulder pads and badge, it's staying put - but it looks fantastic.

Which brings me to one area of comparison with the Mezco release that could be important to you - the non-removable armor. The shoulder pads and badge on the Mezco version are held in place with magnets, and can be removed or adjusted. Not so here.  Whether this matters or not will be a matter of personal taste, and for me, it's a six to one, half dozen to the other situation.

More important is an aesthetic issue - this armor, based on the 2000 AD look, may be more to your liking. The detailing is quite impressive considering the scale, and Dredd stands just over 6" tall, making him slightly smaller than the Mezco version both in height and bulk.

While the shoulder armor, belt, boots and cuffs are sculpted in a harder plastic, the elbow and knee pads are a very soft rubber. The chain leading from the badge to the zipper is metal of course, and decent scale.

Judge Dredd 2000 AD 1/12 action figure by 3A

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Paint - ***1/2
The overall quality of the paint work is quite high, especially when you take into consideration the size of the figure.  It might seem like I mention it too much, but you can't ignore how much more difficult it is to create a realistic look at just six inches tall.

Small details are great, like the tiny stars and stripes on the belt buckle, or the lightning bolts on the eyes. The slightly dirty, worn look of the boots, gloves, and belt looks good, but I do think the wear effect on the gold armor is a bit much. In some areas it slips from 'wear' to 'poor paint', making it tough to tell the difference.

Still, in hand this is a terrific paint job, and certainly well above the norm for the scale.

Judge Dredd 2000 AD 1/12 action figure by 3A

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Articulation - ****
The design of the underlying body allows for tons of posability, even with the pads and armor in place.

The neck gets plenty of tilt and lean action, allowing you to add lots of attitude to any pose.  The shoulders can raise up to normal heights, thanks to the articulated design of the shoulder pads, and the ball wrists and hinge elbows work in concert with the shoulders to create just about any natural arm pose.

The belt sits high enough on the hips to avoid interfering with even deep stances, and he can maintain those deep stances thanks to the two piece design of the boots and the terrific mobility in the ankles. You should have no trouble coming up with dozens of cool stances, all flowing and realistic.

If I have one complaint, it's with the wrists. These are simple ball joints, not rotating hinge joints. That means there's just a post that goes into the arm with a solid ball on the end, and the hand pops onto the ball. This allows for plenty of movement - don't get me wrong. In fact, I prefer this configuration to the more standard rotating hinge that we see in 1/6th figures because a) the ball is better hidden by the hand and b) the hand usually has smoother movement in all directions.

The problem here is that the post going into the arm pops out with much less force than the hand pops off the ball. When you swap hands, the ball/post will come off with the hand, and you'll need to carefully (I used my teeth) hold the post and apply enough force to remove the hand.  I pushed the post back on the arm, then put the new hand in place.  It was a little dicey, and I was nervous about damaging the posts.

It's a minor nit though, and a price I'm willing to pay to get the rest of the terrific articulation.

Judge Dredd 2000 AD 1/12 action figure by 3A

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Accessories - ***
Dredd comes with a number of goodies, all designed to uphold the law.

There are a whopping 4 sets of hands - fists, relaxed pose, gun grip pose, and tight grip pose. I mentioned earlier that swapping the hands is a bit difficult, but doable with a little care.  More importantly to me, the gun grip hands aren't particularly well designed.  While they work adequately with the Mk1, neither works well with the Mk2.  And when I say 'adequately', I mean he doesn't drop the Mk1 every time you move him, but the fit still isn't perfect.

And yes, he has both the old school Mk1 Lawgiver and the newer Mk2.  The Mk2 fits in a soft rubber holster on his right boot. The sculpts and paint work on both are good, and having two gun grip hands means he can wield both at once, although that's not particularly accurate I suppose.

The tighter grip hands work well with the baton, also called the Daystick. It's not particularly complex, but if looks good in lots of poses.

Had the guns fit a bit better in the hands, I would have been tempted to up this score slightly. It's not a ton of extras, but it's a good assortment which work together to increase the display options.

Judge Dredd 2000 AD 1/12 action figure by 3A

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Outfit - ***1/2
I've already discussed the various pieces of armor, the belt, the boots, etc, which just leaves the cloth body suit for this discussion.

It's made from a very thin faux leather material, and good tailoring means it fits the svelte body well. There's a little bagging around the hips, but nothing that looks unrealistic.

My biggest negative here is the color. I prefer the full on black, or even the blue, to this lighter shade. Of course, that's another one of those aesthetic issues, and you may find it much more to your liking.

My biggest positive is the zipper and collar.  The zipper is just about perfect scale here, a tough thing to pull off in 1/12th.  The collar is also shorter than what we saw with the Mezco release, and I like the look quite a bit better.

Judge Dredd 2000 AD 1/12 action figure by 3A

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
This guy is plenty of fun, and you'll spend hours working on the perfect pose, just to swap it all up again.  3A is also doing a fair number of other judges, so he'll have some additional characters to share the shelf.

Value - ***
At $65, this guy is about the same price as the original Mezco version, and is a very similar value.  I'm going slightly above average on the score here, and I'm very pleased to see this sort of quality at this price point. While it might be three times the cost of a current Marvel Legends release, there's simply no comparison in quality.

Judge Dredd 2000 AD 1/12 action figure by 3A

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Things to Watch Out For -
I already mentioned that swapping hands requires a little care, but that's about it.

Overall - ***1/2
It's fantastic to see the love the 1/12th scale is getting these days, from companies far and wide.  Some are patterned after more traditional action figure, with visible joints and all plastic bodies, others are designed in similar ways to the high end sixth scale market. The one thing the best all have in common is they are toys first, and collectibles second.

That's what you're getting with the Dredd line from 3A.  The articulation, accessories, and playability are all just as high as any mass market toy, but the quality and craftsmanship take them to a higher level.

Of course, the big question is whether to go with the Mezco One:12 Dredd line or the 3A 2000 AD line.  The answer isn't as simple as the question, but I can give you my overall thoughts.

If you're looking for something in line with the 2000 AD comics, it's 3A all the way. There are several other aspects that makes this one stand out, including the better collar/zipper on the suit and the greater mobility in the joints.

For Mezco, one of the big pluses is the slightly bulkier size and build. I'm a big fan of the thicker body, particularly in the legs and arms. I also prefer the sculpted elbow and knee pads, and the jet black color of the standard costume.

While it might not be an easy decision, the good news is that it's largely a decision of taste, not quality. You won't be disappointed in the quality and workmanship with either of these figures, leaving it up to your personal preferences in the look of the character to really drive your final decision.

I'll be looking at the Lawmaster bike from 3A very soon, the perfect companion piece to go with this figure!

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

Judge Dredd 2000 AD 1/12 action figure by 3A

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has him on pre-order for $65, or the set with the Lawmaster for $175.

- Entertainment Earth also has him for $65.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Mezco has their Dredd's in a similar scale, including the black and white NYCC exclusive and the previews exclusive blue version with the Lawmaster. Other Dredd merchandise includes the PCS Judge Dredd statue, and their Judge Death statue.

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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Judge Dredd 2000 AD 1/12 action figure by 3A

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

This page copyright 2000 - 2016, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved.