The Godfather

Marlon Brando had an amazing career, spanning 50 years of film.  Movies like Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and The Wild One made him a Hollywood icon.  But today's generation of movie goers know him best for his classic role as "the Godfather", Don Vito Corleone.

This is a popular license this year, with two companies approaching it from different directions with collectible figures.  Sideshow is producing a large scale figure Premium Format figure based on the Don, but that mixed media statue will run you $250.  Mcfarlane steps up with something much more in line with the average pocket book with their 6" scaled version of the Don, running around $13 - $15.

This guy hit stores about a week ago, but you might have trouble finding him outside of your LCS or your favorite online retailer.  I have some suggestions at the end of the review, as always, of some terrific sponsors that have this figure available.


Packaging - ***1/2
McToys is showing their green side with the new, smaller, less wasteful clamshells.  I appreciate the smaller size, and the graphics are reasonable if not exceptionally creative.

My favorite aspect is the personalization on the back.  I complain often enough when companies don't do it, so it's only fair that I point out when someone is doing it right.  Mcfarlane is showing the tendency to add specific text on each character - Bravo!

Sculpting - ***1/2
I'm giving the figure a bit of the doubt here.  I *think* there's quite a good sculpt under a paint job that I'll abuse a bit more in the next section.

The body sculpt is nice, although some folks may be put off a bit by the scale.  Don Vito is about 6 1/2", making him much too small to fit in with any 7" scaled figures.  He's designed to go with other 6" scale figures, and the reality is that what he looks good with and what he doesn't look good with is going to vary quite a bit.

Ignoring the scale, the body sculpt is quite good.  The right hand is positioned a little far from the body for the thumb to be in the pocket, and the feet are a little odd, but overall he's certainly recognizable from the neck down.

The head sculpt does capture the look of Corleone, from what's possible to tell.  Unfortunately, paint and sculpt go very much hand in hand, but strip away the paint on this head sculpt and I think you'd have quite an accurate job, particularly in this scale.  The mold line around the center of the head is a bit too obvious, but that should have been corrected for with the paint work.

While Don Vito comes with a base and backdrop, it's nice to know you won't need it.  He stands fine on his own in his one sculpted pose, which is good since there's absolutely no articulation.

Paint - **
Great paint can transform a great sculpt into art.  Bad paint transforms a great sculpt into something far less pleasant.  Unfortunately, this time around it's the latter instead of the former.

Let's split this up into body and head as well, similar to the Sculpting discussion.  From the neck down, this figure would actually get another half star, maybe even a whole one.  The black and white colors are fairly consistent, but there's still a fair amount of slop around the cut lines between them.  The hands have that thick, lumpy appearance to the skin tone, and while the did use a glossier black on the shoes than on the tux itself, I was surprised that the stripe down the outside of the paints was not painted a glossier color.  The best small detail from the neck down is his wedding ring, which (considering the rest of the issues) is extremely clean and well done.

The head is a very different story.  Every aspect has some issue, from the crooked misshapen moustache to the clumpy, patchy skin tone, to the mismatched eyes and eyebrows.  Back up far enough and the pallid skin tone is the only major issue, but that's like saying drink enough beer and Rosanne starts looking good.

Articulation - Bupkis
If you were expecting a cut joint here or there, I hate to break it to you - there's none.  Nada.  Zippo.  Bupkis.  Not even a cut neck joint.  He is the very definition of plastic statue.  Whether that matters to you or not is up to you, but it's important to know up front.

Accessories - **1/2
He comes with a small base (looking like a section of wood floor) with a cardboard backdrop.

The backdrop is tough to get into the back of the base, but once it's there it will stay.  His feet fit on the pegs fairly well, but as I mentioned earlier, it's not necessary.  He can stand fine on his own if you want to move him from the forced location of the pegs.

The backdrop really doesn't do much for me.  It barely reaches above his head, and he's taller than the window behind him.  It's also not as wide as the base itself, and looks out of place.  It's much shorter and narrower than in the original prototype photos, so be aware.

At this price point, you really should expect something a bit more, especially considering the lack of articulation and the weak paint ops.

Fun Factor - *
I won't be deducting anything from my overall for this particular category, since I wasn't expecting a toy a kid would really find all that interesting.  But in case you thought your 8 year old would have fun battling his Batman figures with an old guy in a tux, think again.

Value - **
I had to buy this at my LCS, because I no longer have any local retailers carrying this sort of Mcfarlane figure.  I can still find the Sports or Spawn figure, but other lines are pretty much an LCS only sort of thing.  That means I paid a premium at a $15 for him.

If you go the online route, you should be able to get him closer to $12 (plus shipping of course).  Even at that price, you're not getting a whole lot of bang for the buck this time around.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Paint.  And the paint.  And of course, pay attention to the paint.

Overall - **1/2
It doesn't matter how many steroids you take - you can't hit a home run every time you swing at the ball.  This is one of those times where the fast ball got past Mcfarlane.

The sculpt appears to be the usual quality stuff under the nasty paint, as long as you aren't put off by the 6" scale.  But that paint...oh my.  If this is merely an aberration, a glitch that came out of the current market conditions and the juggling of production facilities, I'm not concerned.  I'm just hopeful that these paint issues - which we've seen on a few of the more recent releases - isn't something that is indicative of a bigger quality problem over the course of the year.

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

Where to Buy -
As I mentioned, your options might be limited.  Some FYE and Suncoast stores will have him, as will some LCS'.  Online options include these sponsors:

- Amazing Toyz has him in stock at $12.

- Clark Toys, who carry a ton of Mcfarlane action figures, has him at $17.

- If you're in the UK, Forbidden Planet has him at 12 pounds.

- or you can search Ebay using MyAuctionLinks.

- Related Links -
Not surprisingly, I haven't reviewed any other Godfather related merchandise so far. 

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Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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