Sam and Max statue
Symbiote Studios

Sam and Max statue from Symbiote Studios

As much as I love blasting the crap out of anything and everything in a video game, I have to admit my first love was always for the adventure game, starting with the original Zork. Once they were able to start adding nifty graphics to adventure games, I was an addict.

I first came upon Sam and Max in the early nineties, with the popular game "Sam and Max Hit the Road". They'd been around for years before that, but I hadn't paid much attention til then. The game remains one of my all time favorites in the genre.

Small guys Symbiote Studios picked up the license, and have released a very large statue based on the two characters. The statue is very large, standing over 17" at the tip of the mouse inside Sam's gun, and about 12" deep. The two characters are shown doing what they love to do best, blasting critters.

They are producing 1000 of the statues, and the retail for $75 each.  You can pick them up directly from Symbiote Studios at their website. I love it when a small company gets out there and starts producing interesting product, and Symbiote deserves some kudos for getting several reasonable priced statues and busts out there in a relatively short period of time.
Sam and Max statue from Symbiote Studios
Sam and Max statue from Symbiote Studios
Sam and Max statue from Symbiote Studios
Sam and Max statue from Symbiote Studios
Sam and Max statue from Symbiote Studios
Sam and Max statue from Symbiote Studios
Sam and Max statue from Symbiote Studios
Sam and Max statue from Symbiote Studios

Packaging - **1/2
It's a big box. Not as big as you might first guess though, because the statue comes in a bunch of pieces. I counted at least ten, and they are all relatively well protected in the interior foam. Unfortunately, it's the cheaper style of foam insert, the kind that ends up dropping a few more pieces on your carpet every time you handle it. But it does it's main job of keeping things safe, and does it well.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The sculpting is very similar to the original concept sketches that Symbiote showed almost a year ago. The scale between the characters is pretty good, and since the size of Max to Sam tends to vary at times even in the comics and games, it just has to be close to be accurate enough.

The sculpt is generally smooth, and the pieces are all made from a polystone, not vinyl or plastic. The body of Sam is actually hollow polystone, making him a little lighter weight than he would be otherwise.

There's about the right amount of sculpt detail for these animated characters, and some smaller details that could have simply been paint (like their eyes, or Max's nose) are sculpted.

There's a few assembly points that are a bit more obvious than I'd like, such as the one where the lower jaw on Sam attaches to the head. But for the most part, the sculpt is extremely nice.

Paint - ***
One of the issues I've had with some of Symbiote's cheaper offerings has been the quality of the paint operations. It's nice to see that with a higher price point item, the paint ops are better.

Broad colors are generally consistent in coverage and color, and they've used some airbrushed shadowing to give Sam's suit a little more depth and detail.

There are still some areas where cut lines could be cleaner though, like around the Sam's fingers that are holding his gun, or the stripes of his tie.

While most of the important details are sculpted, they did add a few more with just paint as well. Most notable is the sweat on the forehead of the hot dog stealing rat...and yes, with Max pointing a gun at him, he should be sweating.

Articulation - Bupkis
This is a statue, and has the amount of articulation you expect a statue to have - none. Occasionally, that's not the case, but here you get exactly what you expected.

Design - ***
As I mentioned earlier, there's a lot of pieces to this statue that all come together. For the most part, these attach tightly without having to force them.

Interestingly, you can actually pose Sam's head in one of two ways - looking to his left or right. Now, it's designed for him to look to his left, and the head fits most properly in the torso that way. However, in a couple of the photos I show you that he CAN look to the right, and while the neck doesn't sit down in the shirt quite as far, it looks pretty good in person. This works particularly well if you want to have the statue on the shelf with Max facing forward and the rat's back to you. By positioning Sam's head this way, he can be looking toward you as well.

The hat can fit on Sam's head more than one way too, giving you a little leeway in how it leans on his head.

Most of these pieces attach to each other with metal posts that insert into holes in the resin. Of course, metal is much more durable than the resin, so take care that you don't chip or break it when assembling.

The three figures do NOT attach to the base with metal posts, however. Instead, they have sculpted resin extensions on the bottom of one or more of their feet that fit into large cut out holes in the base. I had a tough time getting some of these to fit tightly, particularly Sam's.

The one piece that didn't fit well for me overall was Sam's tie. The lower half is an independent piece, which attaches to his torso with a metal post. I couldn't get it to sit tightly against his body, but it might be variable from statue to statue, depending on the size of the hole in his chest. If you have this issue, how much it bugs you is clearly going to be an issue based on your viewing angle.

Value - ***
At $75, this large statue is easily the most expensive item Symbiote has produced so far. This is a big statue, and is going to take up a ton of space on the shelf. Considering the low production run AND the small size of Symbiote Studios, I'm pretty amazed that they got it out for this price. It just goes to show that it is possible for a small company to produce great product at a reasonable price.

Things To Watch Out For
Take your time putting the pieces together to avoid damaging them. It's easy enough to chip the paint or polystone if you strike one piece against another.  Also, remember that the attachment to the base is a little weak, so when moving the statue from one location to another, keep a hand on Sam in particular.

Overall - ***
You know me, I'm a stickler for paint. I really would like to see the quality a little higher, although it is pretty much in line with the price point.

But I love the overall sculpt, and it's so rare to get a nice, big, well designed statue any more that doesn't cost ridiculous bank, that I'm willing to cut them quite a bit of slack on any sloppy cut lines.

You're getting quite a bit for your money here, and that seems to be a theme for Symbiote. I'm looking forward to more great product from the company in 2009!

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint -***
Articulation - Bupkis
Design - ***
Value - ***
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
You can get the statue directly from Symbiote Studios, or you can search ebay with the sponsor

Related Links -
I've covered a couple other Symbiote Studios products, including Stykman and Dr. Tran.

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


Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  My score converted to a five star system for comparison: 3.75

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

Sam and Max statue from Symbiote Studios

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2000 - 2008, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour