bbi's Aviator
George W. Bush

Guest reviewer Hutt Wigley is back with a terrific review of the new Dragon George W. Bush figure.  Someone should send one of these to Saddam...take it away, Hutt!

On May 3, 2003, President George W. Bush made a historic visit to the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln was returning home from the Persian Gulf, steaming across the Pacific Ocean, toward the Western United States. From the co-pilot’s station, President Bush shared the piloting duties of an S-3B Viking aircraft en-route to the Lincoln, which was landed by a Navy pilot on the carrier’s deck. Shortly after landing on the USS Lincoln, the President declared an end to major hostilities in Iraq. bbi has produced a 1/6 scale, 12” tall George W. Bush action figure to commemorate this event. 

Packaging - ***
It’s basically a shoebox, containing a clear plastic rack, with a clear plastic view window holding the President and all his accessories. The President is arranged in the packaging striking a two-fingered, left-handed saluting pose. Once the lid is removed from the box, the figure and all the accessories are clearly visible. There are 5 twist ties holding the figure in the plastic rack, and cello tape holding all the accessories. The lid of the box features pictures of “Navy 1” and the President in a naval aviator’s uniform. The bottom of the lid it gives specific details of the President’s May 1, 2003 visit to the USS Abraham Lincoln. 

Sculpting - **1/2
Depending on lighting, or the angle you look at the figure, it could be George W. Bush… or… It might be Tom Brokaw. (Also see the “paint” score below).

Paint - ***
All paint ops on the accessories are tight! The items look great, and there is no bleeding or over-spray. The character of the President’s face is conveyed well and the paint jobs done on the eyes, eyebrows and lips work well to this effect. HOWEVER (and this is a HUGE “however”!) I have to throw down a penalty flag on his hair paint ops! The President’s hair is painted a light brown, and highlighted with even lighter browns. I’m pretty sure the President has gray hair, with silver highlights. 

No question! BBI has awesome articulation in their figure bodies! For those of you not familiar with BBI figures, they have 30-plus points of articulation, and are pretty much capable of any pose. The gloved hands limit the wrist articulation some. But since GW is simply going to be posed on a shelf in my home, I don’t think that matters much.

Uniform - *** 
DOPE!!! There are all the complicated pockets, zippers and buckles you’d expect to see on a naval aviator’s uniform. I don’t have a lot of experience with pilots’ uniforms, but it looks like the goods to me! Under the survival vest, however, there is a name tag that says “COUGAR, LT COMANDER”. I thought I recalled that the President had a name tag that said something to the effect of “COMMANDER IN CHIEF”. Also, all the source photos I’ve seen of the President in this uniform featured a dark colored shirt worn underneath his flight suit (Its dark green, blue, or black, I can’t tell for sure!) BBI’s version has a bright yellow shirt underneath. I’m pretty sure BBI re-hashed one of their other naval pilot uniforms, and simply added a GW head sculpt. That is the only discredit preventing this uniform from getting four stars! 

Accessories - ***
There are MANY, and they are well done. First, there is a damn fine modern aviator’s helmet with working sun/wind goggles, die-cast oxygen mask fasteners, a working rubber chinstrap, and rubber goggle covers. There is also a PRC 90 emergency radio, a strobe light pouch, a G-suit tube/wire, flash light, utility bag, 2 spare left hands (one with “thumbs up” and one that is cupped and pliable), stylish watch, and an aviator’s CO2 life preserver. I only have only a few complaints, for which I have to knock off one *: 1) Why include such a cool watch, when G.W. can’t wear it because of his gloved hands? 2) The rubber goggle cover doesn’t stay in place. 3) There are no instructions as to how to affix the life preserver to vest. (I had to research the internet to figure that one out!) 4) There aren’t enough pouches for all his gear! (Namely the radio and strobe light!)

Value - **
Mine was essentially free, because it was a Christmas present from Mrs. Hutt, but I’ve seen them available at and at KB’s brick and mortar stores. Expect to pay about $39.99 for one. Since I never pay more than $20 for ANY figure, this one gets the score that it does. If not for the fact that it was a gift, it probably wouldn’t be a part of my collection. Also, for the brave souls who feel money is no object, I’d expect to see these scalped en-mass on E-Bay. 

Overall - **
Okay. Here’s the skinny: The figure is WAY expensive for what you get, which is essentially a re-hash of one of BBI’s aviator figures, with a head sculpt that may or may not be President George W. Bush (he could be Tom Brokaw!). For full-on 1/6 scale military collectors though, it is a must-have!

Where to Buy:
Finding these at your local stores might be tough, although some hobby shops like Rider's carry a few.  Online options include:

- Red Planet Toys carries a ton of Dragon, bbi and other sixth scale figures.

Figures from the collection of Hutt Wigley.

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