Indiana Jones - Disney exclusive

"The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Last week, my son (who will be turning 7 next month) saw Raiders of the Lost Ark for the first time.  My son had been bugging me about watching it after seeing the cool new Lego sets, and I figured that outside of the final scene, there wasn't much in the film that was outside his age range.  When it was all done, he deemed it 'awesome'.  Another Indy fan is born.

With the fourth film debuting this year, fans may finally get the merchandise they've been clamoring for now for literally decades.  Companies like Sideshow, Hasbro and Gentle Giant have picked up the license, and I'm anticipating some excellent figures, statues and busts hitting the shelves.  And maybe a few worthwhile prop replicas as well.

I already mentioned that the Lego sets are out, but the first figure with a 'real' Indy likeness in a long time is also out...but it's a Disney exclusive.  This 7" figure, sculpted by Gentle Giant for Disney, is just hitting, and runs about $15.

This review is a little different tonight.  It's part MWC review, with my intro and my photos.  But my nephew, who is a serious Indy fan, will be writing the text, and it's thanks to him that Indy was under the Christmas tree for me this year.  So let's turn it over to Guy Klender, for his thoughts on this figure!  Take it away, Guy...

Packaging - **1/2
Disneylandís figure packaging has always been oversized and unfriendly. This INDIANA JONES figure continues the bad tradition. Clamshell packaging would have been fantastic to display this figure, but they chose an oversized card with basic if not boring graphics that bends and dents easily. They had 8 figures the day I was at the park and all 4 I picked up had some sort of card damage so the Mint On Card collector may find it near to impossible to get one.

Sculpting - ***
Harrison Ford is lumped in with a handful of actors that are almost impossible to capture in plastic. Gentle Giant does an all right job here on the head but due to a type of articulation in the neck they tried, from some angles he looks like a Neanderthal. Then we get to the feet that are 1 Ĺ times bigger than they should be so it looks like he has leather clown shoes. The hands are sculpted to fit the accessories and the right hand is in such a way to have the finger on the pistol trigger. The body, his gun belt and side bag, the base, and the accessories, are all some of the best I have seen on any Indy to date.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint on this figure is great. The colors of his side bag, the shirt, the leather jacket, the pants, the ribbon on the hat, all are film accurate. Five Oíclock shadow has always been a problem on figures and this one does better than many before. What impressed me was, they painted the belt buckles metallic so they stand out, as well as the reddish brown dry brushing used to show wear on the jacket. The tan wash on the pants though makes it look cheap. The accessories are also painted, all but the darn vial of antidote, but more on that in accessories.

Articulation - **
It is hard to say how many places he is articulated in, because most of them are block in some way or limited in range of movement. He has cut elbows, rotation wrists and the waist moves somewhat side to side. The arms are ball jointed but without a bicep cut he canít do a whole lot more than 45 degree angles. The hips are done the same as the arms, without a cut in the middle to pose him, but cant move forward much so all you get is side kicking karate Indy. He has cut knees so he can kneel and the shoes wiggle about 1/16th of an inch so maybe thatís one too. The big loser is the head. Instead of a ball jointed neck they tried a square block so he can look down easily, but thatís ALL he can do, NOTHING ELSE. In order for the figure to do this neck tilt, they had to extend the jaw and cut out under it, so from the side he is truly frightening.

Accessories - ***1/2
This section was so close to getting 4 stars and yet fell short for a few reasons. He comes with a large base with a stone pillar, fallen bricks and bamboo. To carry he has his trademark fedora, his whip, pistol, Cairo sword, the golden fertility idol, the Grail Diary, and the vial of antidote from Temple of Doom. Gentle Giant had access to the Lucasfilm artifacts and scanned them, so all of these pieces are dead on. Where it loses the half star is in the choices, and the simple failure to finish the job, for lack of a better phrase. I consider myself one of the biggest Indiana Jones fans, going so far as to travel to Kauai this winter to run across the same field and swing on the same rope as Harrison did in opening of Raider f the Lost Ark, and yet it took a full day to figure out the brown stick in the package was the antidote vial. It looks like a stick or a bit of a cigar, or scrap brown plastic because with all the attention to detail on the figure and accessories this they left unpainted plastic. If it was a mater of a small cheap brown plastic piece why not a Sankara stone or the grail, or simple put a bit of light blue paint on the vial so I know what it is.

Fun Factor - **1/2
For a true Indiana Jones collector this piece will take a place of honor on the toy shelf but as you can't do a darn thing with him but look at him he is not much more than a nice statue.

Value - **1/2
$15.00 for a 7-inch figure with this many accessories a base, he is not all that bad, but consider the 75 dollar ticket to Disneyland as the only way to get one and it becomes a bit more of an investment.

Things to Watch Out For - 
On the shelf (if you can find them at the LCS) you'll want to be picky with the paint.  Once you have them out and about at home, be particularly careful getting the figures on the pegs.  As I mentioned, some are very tight and/or not lined up properly with the holes on the feet, and forcing them can break the pegs pretty easily.

Overall - **1/2
The downfall here was the scale and the lack of poses you can put him in. A 7 inch figure is great, but what I am referring to is consistency in the scale of the sculpt. The odd head, oversized hat, and big clown feet along with the missing cuts in the sculpt make for nothing more than a glorified shelf decoration.

How could they get things like the tiny belt buckles in brass and copper right and miss all together the antidote vial?

All through this review I wanted to be saying great things about this figure, as Indiana Jones collecting is my passion and this is the first out the door of what is to be a huge number of Indy 4 toys, but I couldnít. He can simply sit there on the shelf, and from 2 angles or more he will look pretty good. We still have lots to look forward to from Hasbro, Sideshow and others so I will keep looking and if it is Indiana Jones related you can bet I will be reviewing it right here on MWCTOYS.

Score Recap:
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpt - ***
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - **
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy -
Disney is the place - this is their exclusive.  You can also hit Ebay, and use the sponsor MyAuctionLinks to help track him down.

- Related Links -
Disney has done a few other Indy figures, including this wave of small ones.  If you're looking for something a bit bigger, check out the very cool sixth scale Grail diary, or this sixth scale figure.


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Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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