SEARCH REVIEWS    LIVING WITH LATE FEES    FEATURES    LINKS    BIO    MISSION    EMAIL    MAIN PAGE >


Zorro
Triad Toys

Zorro sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys


Growing up, I had one all time favorite hero - Zorro. The 1940 film The Mark of Zorro remains one of my favorite movies, and the Guy Williams version for Disney will always set the standard by which other Zorros are judged. Since then, only the first Antonio Banderas film (The Mask of Zorro) has really captured the essence of the character for me, although you can easily argue that the best Zorro in 40 years wasn't Zorro at all, but the Dread Pirate Roberts in The Princess Bride.

Created in 1919, Zorro has several key, unwavering attributes. He is cunning and sly, like the fox (Zorro is Spanish for fox), but is extremely adept at using a sword or whip. He can kick some serious ass in hand to hand combat as well, and he always dresses in black. The style of mask has varied, and whether he wears a cape or not has changed from adaptation to adaptation. But his basic nature - to fight for the justice and rights of the oppressed - has never changed.

As a huge fan of 12" action figures, I've been pining for a Zorro for years now. Triad Toys has finally answered my prayers with their release of a sixth scale Zorro. He's not specific to any particular movie or comic look, but rather is an attempt to capture the general look of the character through the decades.

Zorro is just now starting to ship, and runs $110 - $120 depending on the retailer. The Curse of Capistrano rides again!
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Zorro sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Zorro sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Zorro sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Zorro sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Zorro sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Zorro sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Zorro sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Zorro sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Zorro sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Zorro sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys

Packaging - ***
The box is fairly standard, with the figure in the main section and the accessories attached to the inside of the flap. It's all collector friendly of course, and I had no trouble removing the figure and extras without damaging any the box in any way.

The graphic on the inside flap is a reprint of the wanted poster for the 'man who calls himself Zorro", a nice touch for sure.

Sculpting - ***
Triad didn't go for a specific actor with this release, and that's a wise move. No matter what choice they made, every one would have wanted a different version - "Oh, if it was only Douglas Fairbanks/Guy Williams/Tyrone Power/Antonio Banderas I would have bought one". Instead we get an amalgamation, someone that looks a little like all of them...but not exactly like any of them. This is truly a generic Zorro.

He has the necessary pencil-thin mustache of course, and they've chosen a smirk for his expression. It's a great choice too, as he seems to be playing with you, bemused by your sheer bravery in taking him on.

While this might be a sixth scale figure, it's important to keep in mind that Triad is not yet at the level (or price point) of someone like Hot Toys or Enterbay. They've just started to get their feet wet with more of these licensed characters, and it will take some time for them to hit their full stride.

The general realism of this sculpt is good, but not quite great. I like the soft texture to the skin, and as I said, the expression is perfect. However, the jaw is a bit too Leno-esque, and overall the head is slightly too large. It's not quite bobble head bad, but it's 10% or so bigger than it really should be.

There are also two sets of hands, sculpted to hold the weapons and work with a wide variety of poses. These are in scale, which is one area where Triad has Hot Toys beat.

Paint - ***
I've already pointed this out, but I'm going to be saying it several more times before this review is over: Triad Toys is not Hot Toys. They are still a very, very small company, prone to the schedules, quality and tantrums of their contracted manufacturing resources, and not yet wielding enough power to get everything they want when they want it. Given all that, they are making great headway, and the paint work on the face here, while not quite up to the Hot Toys or Enterbay standard, is very good.

The skin tone is consistent, and the eyes are bright and even. The hair lines are very clean - perhaps too clean. What makes a truly realistic hair line, whether it's the head, mustache or eyebrows, is a subtle transition from skin to hair. Here, the break is pretty sharp, making this slightly more toy-like in appearance. It's a minor nit, but these are the sorts of things that set companies apart.

The lips have a gloss finish, which appears shinier in the photos than it did in hand. The lip color is a little dark, but again, it's pretty minor.

The rest of the paint work - scabbard, hat, sword hilt - looks excellent, with clean lines and no slop.

Articulation - ***
The basic Triad body has all the articulation you need, although a couple of the joints could move a bit better.

While the ball jointed neck isn't bad, I wish it had a little more tilt action to it. Zorro is a character with lots of personality, and this neck can't quite go there.

The rest of the joints have a good range of movement, and the outfit didn't restrict things. In fact, the soft leather boots allowed the ankles a much greater range of movement than I expected. 

The joints are nice and tight too, a big plus particularly with the right arm. The metal sword is quite heavy, but he had no trouble keeping it aloft in any pose.

The one big negative of the overall body is the torso - it's a bit too skinny to fill out the puffy shirt properly. Of course, they could have tailored the shirt down, but that would just make him look skinny in a different way. He doesn't need a superhero torso, but something a bit chunkier would fill out the look of the character better. I'm thinking about swapping this guy over to one of the TrueTypes, and we'll see how it goes.

Accessories - ***1/2
I'm including some of the extras as part of the outfit, but I'll call out a few things here as well.

I'm pulling the hat and mask in as accessories, and both are well done for the scale. The mask is a smidge thick, but it will hold up well to use. The hat is also properly in scale - a huge problem for most companies - and has a very cool sculpted design on the band.

Both the hat and mask have sturdy elastic bands to hold them in place, and yes, Zorro did have a chin strap on his hat. The elastic goes through the hat (and mask) and is knotted to hold it in place, and some people may find this knot visually annoying, but I think it was a smart choice since it makes replacing the straps (or removing them all together) much easier. The hat also fits fine and stays in place without the chin strap, but it is very handy for posing him with the hat hanging on his back.

He also has both his whip and sword, nicely reproduced in proper scale. The sword blade is real metal, with a bright finish and shine. The photo I used for the LifeSize example is not photoshopped - the glint off the steel is real.

The whip is sculpted soft rubber, and has a wire running through to allow for easier posing. It can be looped up and held in place on his belt with the provided strap. The wire runs most of the way too, making it much more posable than some other recently released sixth scale whips.

The sword fits nicely in the scabbard and the scabbard fits on the included belt. The scabbard has a cool sculpted design on the surface, and the real leather straps and metal loops that hold it in place on the belt look great. Unfortunately, I had to reglue both straps as they popped loose while I was working with the figure. Thankfully, they were quite easy to fix, but take extra care.

I'm going to throw his spurs in here, and these are also real metal with real leather straps. The little spur turns, too! The strap that fits around the bottom of the foot in front of the heel is a little long, which means the spur sits on his leg a little high, but it's a minor nit.

Finally, he has two additional hands. He comes wearing the relaxed pose hands, which work great in dozens of stances, and there is an extra set of gripping hands in the box. These can be used with the sword and whip, and swapping the hands was relatively painless.

Outfit - **1/2
The one area which I feel fell short was the outfit. I found working with it more frustrating than I'd expected.

The boots are nice, done in real leather with hard soles. The top edges are a little unfinished, and the seam in back was a little too obvious, but the soft leather allowed for greater movement in the ankles, so it's a trade off I can live with.

The top half of the gloves are also real leather, and again have rather obvious seams. They are nice and tight though, and the leather seems top quality.

Speaking of leather, there's also the laser etched belt. This can hold the straps for the scabbard and whip loop pretty easily. The belt attaches in back by way of a simple string - you thread it through the eyelets and tie it off. At first, I thought this was too realistic, and I was wishing they'd used snaps or velcro. But after taking the belt on and off a couple times with little trouble, I found that I appreciated the realism.

The etching is nice too, but the belt came folded in my box. This fold, hidden in the photos by the scabbard, is pretty obvious and annoying in person. Hopefully that was just a fluke and yours won't have the issue.

They've also included a do-rag that you can tie over his hair under the hat. It gives him another look, but I didn't use it - I have no talent for do-rags. That's why I could never join a motorcycle gang.

Finally, there's the shirt, pants and cape. The cape is very good, and includes a thin wire on the outside edge to aid in posing. You can remove the cape by popping off the head (quite easy to do), and the cape can ether go over or under the collar of the shirt. I tried it both ways, and you'll see photos of him with it either way as well. While I assumed that the collar over the cape would look better, I found that the weight of the cape kept pulling the shirt backward, and I was constantly adjusting it. Perhaps if you use a rubber band around the waist to hold the shirt in place, and iron the collar to begin with, it will work a bit better.

The shirt and pants are pretty straight forward. The tailoring is a little loose, especially on the shirt. As I mentioned in the articulation section, he really needs a stockier torso to fill out the shirt. Both pieces are also very wrinkled coming right out of the box. That's what you'll see in the photos (I don't doctor figures for reviews, since that's not what you'll pull out of the box at home), but a cold water bath and quick ironing should fix that right up.

Other than the wrinkle through the belt, there wasn't one obvious serious flaw with the costume, but in hand it just doesn't feel high enough in quality to be a $120 figure.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
While I would like this on a more robust body, I have to say that as a kid I would have loved it. This guy battling it out next to G.I. Joe and Eric the Viking? I would have been in heaven. I don't see Zorro being done again on screen any time soon, so I doubt most kids would recognize him or care at this point, but at least they have Puss In Boots. Hey, maybe I need to crack out The Mask of Zorro and get my kids to watch it with me...

Value - **
Triad Toys is not Enterbay or Hot Toys - they haven't quite reached that level of quality in their sculpts, paints or outfits yet. They're getting there, and I think given some more time and the right focus they could start knocking on the door. But at $120, they're already about $20 beyond what I think this guy should really be.

Things to Watch Out For -
I mentioned the trouble I had with the straps for the scabbard and whip loop. All three had to be reglued, but it was an easy fix. Take some care and you may not have that same problem.

I also noted that while the sword blade is metal, the hilt is not, and if you exert too much pressure inserting the handle into the fist, you could break it. Stretch the hand out a little first to reduce the risk.

Lastly, the metal spurs were a tight fit on the boots. I just bent them outward - VERY CAREFULLY - a bit and they slipped on much easier. Don't force them over the boots, as the metal can scratch the leather.

Overall - ***
I have to admit it - I really, really wanted to love this figure. It's Zorro, for God's sake! I've wanted a high quality sixth scale version since I can remember, and I've been looking forward to Triad's release for months now. Unfortunately, there were a few issues that hold this back from being all it could possibly be.

None of the issues are in themselves glaring or awful, but added together bring this guy down to around a B for me. I even waffled a bit and almost went another half star lower, largely because of the price tag. Had he been closer to $100, I would have been able to overlook some of the minor issues in the costume, torso size, and sculpt, but at $120 you're getting almost into Hot Toys territory, and that's a playing field for only the very best. Zorro's not bad, but he has to be more than not bad to justify that much green.

Even with my minor complaints though, this is still Zorro. He'll make a great addition to my shelf, although I do have one specific pose I'd love to put him in. Now I just need to find a sixth scale horse sculpted in a permanent rearing pose...

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

Where to Buy -
You can pick him up directly from Triad for $120, :

- Urban Collector has him for $112.

- Big Bad Toy Store has him at $115.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other reviews include:

- he might not be Zorro, but he sure was based on him - it's the Dread Pirate Roberts!

- other classic pulp characters include Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, as well as the Phantom.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Enjoyed this review? Be sure to head back to the main page to find thousands more just like it!

KEEP SCROLLING DOWN FOR MORE PHOTOS!



Share this review with others! 
Google +1
 
Digg it!
 StumbleUpon Toolbar
Stumble It!
 
Reddit

Zorro sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys


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

This page copyright 2000 - 2012, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Click here for copyright permissions! Hosted by 1 Hour Hosting.com