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Koba - Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Hiya Toys

Koba Rise of the Planet of the Apes action figure by Hiya Toys


Over the last few years, Hollywood has actually done a pretty good job re-making or re-booting older films. Abrams knocked it out of the park with Star Trek, and movies like Dredd, Fright Night, Total Recall and True Grit prove the second time around can be as good...or better.

One of my personal favorite franchise reboots was the 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes. As a big fan of the originals, I felt this was a movie that remained true to the original concept, but gave it the modern turn it deserved.

Sadly, there wasn't much produced in the way of collectibles. Hiya Toys came through with first a Caesar action figure, and now the follow up Koba. Koba has been shipping for awhile now, and you should be able to pick him up for around $25.

Packaging - ***
He comes in a small window box, easy to store and easy to display. It's also completely collector friendly, always a big plus.

However, like Caesar, Koba doesn't fit particularly well in the inside tray. His nose and chin tends to rub against the window, which can cause paint damage on the figure or window damage to the package.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Koba Rise of the Planet of the Apes action figure by Hiya Toys
Koba Rise of the Planet of the Apes action figure by Hiya Toys
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Koba Rise of the Planet of the Apes action figure by Hiya Toys
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Koba Rise of the Planet of the Apes action figure by Hiya Toys
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Koba Rise of the Planet of the Apes action figure by Hiya Toys
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Koba Rise of the Planet of the Apes action figure by Hiya Toys
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Koba Rise of the Planet of the Apes action figure by Hiya Toys

Sculpting - ***
For a reference to the film version of Koba, check here. Here's another photo, comparing Caesar on the left to Koba on he right.

While this is a decent looking chimp, he's not a great Koba. Koba's distinctive features didn't translate particularly well.

The scar across his right eye is hard to see, especially on the screaming portrait. It's there, but it's lost in the wrinkles and textures of the skin. You can make it out a bit better on the calm portrait, especially above the eye, but it's still not very distinct. They did include the damaged right ear, but again it's much more obvious on one of the two head sculpts.

It's also a bit difficult to pull off Koba's look without the stray hair. The strands around his ears and the back of his head accented his age, and gave him an older, worldly appearance. This sculpt simply doesn't capture that, although they try a bit more with the screaming portrait than with the calm portrait.

Internal scale isn't perfect either, with the hands a bit too large, the feet a bit too small.

Other sculpt issues are more general - there's mold lines and flashing along the chin of both portraits, and some details - like the teeth - are too soft, lacking sharp definition.

He stands about 5 1/2" tall fully erect, but it's up to you whether that makes him fit in properly with 6" figures or 7" figures. I think he can hold his own with either scale, although he's probably more in line with the 6" figures if you want to stick with on screen accuracy.

He stands great on his own, and both hand sculpts - the knuckles down set and the relaxed set - are different than what we got with Caesar.

Paint - **
While the paint work is generally good, it lacks the sort of realism we've come to expect, especially with higher priced imports.

The fur doesn't look a whole lot like fur, and the transition from lighter to darker colors is toyish and obvious.

The color of the oozing scar on his face (blood? formula?) looks very much like what it is - paint. It doesn't help that the screaming portrait has more black in the fur, and is generally darker than the calm face. When it comes to coloration, the two heads should be identical, and they are most certainly not.

It also doesn't help that the colors seem wrong in general for Koba. The area around his chin and nose should be much ore gray and darker, not this lighter tan. The coloration seems more like Caesar in some respects, if Caesar was wearing a raccoon mask.

Articulation - ***
This little ape is well articulated, certainly well enough to get some nice poses.

The ball jointed neck doesn't tilt forward particularly well, but it does have plenty of backward tilt, making it easier to do poses where he's bent forward at the waist or hips.

It's also worth noting here that swapping heads is a bit of a task. The screaming portrait is a VERY tight fit, and you may find that you need to use a little hot water to soften up the inside of the head first.

There's pin and disc elbows, wrists, knees, hips and ankles, and most of these have a good range of movement. There's some restriction due to the sculpt, but it's minor at best.

There's also cut biceps and a ball waist, allowing for even more posability. While the articulation isn't perfect, it's certainly good enough to get several excellent ape-like poses.

Accessories - ***
The only accessory this time around is the extra head and one extra set of hands. While I'm all for extra portraits, at this price point that's a pretty light. A little re-use would have even been acceptable, since some of the accessories that came with Caesar could always have been included here.

While it was a bit tricky to swap the heads, the hands swap easily, and I didn't feel like I was going to break the wrist posts at any time.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
While this figure might have some issues when it comes to matching the character, it's still a very fun toy. The articulation allows for some great 'monkey' poses, and it's a solid build - even the average 6 year old boy would have a tough time breaking this guy.

Value - *1/2
Action figures have gotten more expensive over the last couple years, but $25 is still a pretty big stretch for any in a 6" scale. With so few accessories - and too many paint and sculpt issues - the simple fact is he's not worth the high price tag.

Things to Watch Out For -
Getting that alternate head in place is mighty tough - you might want to use some hot water.

Overall - **1/2
This figure has some general issues with the paint and sculpt, but at $15 they would have been easier to overlook. At $25, they become pretty glaring, and the lack of accessories only accentuates the issues.

Hiya hasn't announced any other figures in this series either, which makes it tough to justify picking up just the two. This is one of those figures that really needs a group around him to look his best.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Big Bad Toy Store has him in stock for $25.

- or you can search ebay or a bargain.

Related Links -
I also reviewed his cuz, Caesar.

Discussion:
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Koba Rise of the Planet of the Apes action figure by Hiya Toys


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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