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Hot Toys Prison Break series 2

 

"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."

Jeff Parker checks in tonight with a terrific guest review of the second series of Hot Toys excellent Prison Break figures. What's the scoop, Jeff!

Back in October of 2007 I reviewed the brothers, Lincoln Burrows (LB) and Michael Scofield (MS) in their prison attire from Prison Break (PB), I was hugely impressed and though relatively simple I thought they were probably the best-produced 1/6 figures I had ever seen from a TV license. 
Well after a two-month wait, we now see the street-clothed versions, and they are every bit as impressive as the last ones, in fact perhaps even a little better.

So with season three nearly upon us (though I have heard rumours it might be re-named, and be significantly shorter due to the writers strike) what better way to welcome it back than with two newly released figures, OK, OK, I know there are better ways, but go with me here!















Packaging - ***
As I said last time, because these aren’t part of the Movie Masterpiece Series (MMS), they don’t have the metallic printed sleeve. They do, however, have a very nicely designed flap-fronted box. Each has a picture of the relevant actor on front in character and the show’s logo, this time in a more detailed colour version rather than the plain white out of the previous ones. The rest of the box has plenty of images of these new figures and of the first set. 

Inside they are in vac-formed trays each held down by five twisties alongside their accessories, well in Lincoln’s case accessory and their stands. All in all, two very nicely designed boxes.

Sculpting - ****
If I were you I’d go and read my previous review for a more detailed account of these two, as they are the exact same sculpt, but as you’ll read they are two incredibly detailed renders that capture the look of the actors who play them fantastically. The only addition is that LB comes with his right hand and MS comes with both his hands in a pistol grip position, and they hold their guns well.

Paint - ****
Sorry but this is pretty much the same as last time as well, so if you read the last review again you’ll get the idea.

I think the paint on MS seems slightly better this time; his hair and stubble certainly seem marginally darker and the eyes seem a little clearer, there is very little in it though.

The LB paint apps are a little lighter on the hair but apart from that all else seems identical. I have to say as far as human skin tones and eyes go the first two were stand-out paint jobs for me last year, at least as strong as the Pirates of the Caribbean (though not quite as complex) and would have been my favourites had Jor-El not just skipped under the radar of 2007.

Articulation - ****
These two once again utilise the HT True-Type base body, one of the sturdiest and most natural looking figures on the market today, and it poses like a dream especially when wearing natural unrestrictive clothing like you find on these two. Here’s the HT website spec.

Accessories - MS ***, LB **
Last time the brothers came sorely lacking in the accessory department, you’ll be glad to hear this time they come packing a little more firepower. 
LB comes the lightest equipped as he just has one automatic pistol, nicely done though, and has a removable clip and sliding cocking mechanism. 

MS however comes with two guns, one revolver with working hammer and the barrel can be flipped open, his other gun is an automatic, and like his bro’s you can remove the clip, and this one even has a ‘spring loaded’ cocking mechanism, the kind of attention to detail that keeps raising HT game. 

MS also comes with a great little baseball cap that is all fabric and beautifully put together. Both have figure stands bearing the character name and show logo. Sadly neither has any extra hands.

So you could hardly call them ‘laden’ with accessories, but what you do get is character specific and very nicely done.

Outfit - MS ****, LB ***1/2
Last time I was blown away by the ‘prison’ outfits; they were relatively simple but done fantastically with working buttons on shirts and jackets, and working pockets throughout. But once again HT have improved on what went before.

This time MS comes in a shirt (no working buttons, just plastic studs, but the shirt front is hidden by the tie), stripped necktie, brown boots, sock tops, beige suit trousers with belt, beige suit jacket and lastly a blue baseball hat. This is a supremely tailored 1/6 suit and is pretty much identical in it’s cut to the one received with the HT Superman/Clark Kent 2 in 1 (in fact Clark, Lincoln and Michael all share the same footwear in varying colours as well). I was however pleased to see HT now has some other 1/6 scale buttons in colours other than white, as the prototypes of MS and Clark Kent showed the suits with white buttons, but they have made them much more in keeping with the colour of their suits for the production figures. 
The shirt is again similar to Clarks and has a working breast pocket and clear plastic press-studs to do it up and around its collar he wears a working tie. His hat fits well and is constructed just like a miniature fabric baseball cap with an elastic strap at the back, you’ll have to futz a little to get the peak to curl, but once there it looks great.

LB comes in the same boots as his brother but this time in black, sock tops, faded blue jeans with working pockets, white sleeveless t-shirt (I guess that makes it an I-shirt), and black leather (well, pleather) jacket with working pockets and buttons. If you’re after civilian clothes you won’t go too wrong with these two outfits, both are outstanding and look very natural even at this scale.\

Fun Factor - ***
As I said last time, I think these figures surprised a lot of people as HT first licensed TV figures; PB didn’t strike me as an ‘obvious’ choice.

But HT went with it and have made some of the best sculpted, painted, and dressed figures to come out in the last year. So if you’re a fan of the show you’re now spoilt for choice, I guess the prison outfits are more iconic, but these street clothed versions are exceptional. 

As with all HT 1/6 figures they are too expensive to be considered toys, but could easily be used as such, as their construction is tight and solid.

Value - ***
Though not from a movie there are still licences to pay, as PB is a pretty popular show commissioned for a third season I can’t imagine it’d come cheap. 

So bearing in mind we have that licence to pay, sculptors, paint artists, scaled tailors, packaging designers not to mention the actual material costs and adding to that these figures are made in limited numbers suddenly $90 each don’t seem quite so high. 

Overall - ***1/2
These are two fantastically put together figures, and HT seem to be redefining the state of the art with each new release, leaving their peers to play catch up. 
The only problem is Prison Break isn’t going to appeal to everyone, and the price, though competitive in the arena of imported collectibles is still prohibitive to many who would like to pick these up as a casual purchase for kit bashing. But figures of this quality just have to get a high score.

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

Where to Buy -
SST have them on in stock for $89.99 each (Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows), but Michael’s sponsor Dark Shadow has both for $89.99 as well. 

If you’re UK-based forbiddenplanet.com have all four on pre-order for 79.99 each, and there are quite a few floating on eBay.

KEEP SCROLLING DOWN FOR LOTS MORE PHOTOS!

 

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Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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