Thunderball James Bond

If you're a big Bond fan, you have to be fairly happy with what Sideshow has done so far with their sixth scale line.  Oh sure, there's been the occasional bump in the road, but many of the figures have been terrific, especially the various villains.

One of the most requested versions of Bond himself has been from Thunderball, a true classic.  In the movie, James gets into a little underwater fun, and wears one of the coolest outfits of his career.

Sideshow has answered the requests with this latest version of 007.  This is Sean Connery as well, my personal favorite as the super spy.  They've been shipping from Sideshow direct for a couple weeks at least, and should be showing up through other online retailers as well.  Sideshow's price is $65, higher than usual due to the rather complex dive rig he wears on his back.  As usual, there's also a Sideshow exclusive version of the figure that also included a re-breather - that's the one you'll see in the review.  The exclusive version was limited to only 500.

The regular version is limited to 5500, and is still available through Sideshow, but I also have several sponsors listed at the end of the review who are carrying it.

Packaging - ****
The package looks terrific, with original poster artwork on the cover.  It has a very reminiscent look because of the style and graphics, and it's also fairly collector friendly.

Do be careful though removing the dive rig.  I accidentally broke one of the small plastic arms, because a twisty tie wraps through them, and I got a little rambunkscious.

Sculpting - ***1/2
This is a solid version of Connery, although it's not quite perfect.  Of course this is a much younger Connery than many folks are currently accustomed to, but it's quite accurate to the film.

The mouth is sculpted to allow for the regulator to fit in his mouth, and it works perfectly for that.  However, that means that without the equipment on he looks a tad...odd.  It's not terrible though, and they really did go out of their way to try to make it look like he's in mid-sentence, talking to you.

If you have the exclusive version, you'll find it a little tough to get the rebreather to fit in his mouth, but it's doable.  Just don't snap off the sides trying to force it.

The hand sculpts work well with the spear gun, but the trigger guard is very thin.  I broke mine when putting it in his right hand, so be extra careful.

And the sculpt is so good, it doesn't even look like a toupee!

Paint - ****
The paint ops are extremely good, highlighting the terrific sculpt rather than detracting from it.

All the small detail work, particularly the eyes, is extremely clean and neat.  The skin tone is even and consistent, although the matte finish does clash with the shiny legs.  That's fine by me though, since I much prefer the matte face paint.

The hair has a glossier finish, but that works well with the matte face, making it more apparent that they are two different parts of the body.  And since these were the days of BrylCream, nice shiny hair was the standard look for all styling men.

Articulation - ****
If you're a fan of the usual Sideshow body, you'll be happy here.  The neck could have had a greater range of motion though, since it would have been nice if he could have brought his head back further in the swimming position.

The joints are nice and tight, and he stands great on his own, even with the heavy dive rig on his back.

Accessories - ****
Bond is loaded up more than usual, with a spear gun, complex dive rig, diving mask and diving knife with sheath.  The exclusive version goes one better and includes the very small but detailed rebreather.

The knife and sheath fits nicely on his leg, and you can easily slip the rig on his back.  There's lots of small detail and nifty paint ops on the rig as well, making it one of the better accessories we've ever gotten from Sideshow.

Like most Sideshow figures, James also comes with a display stand.  It's designed slightly differently though, and is intended to hold him in a swimming position.  It works pretty well, although you'll have to play around with him to get it just right.

Outfit - ***1/2
Along with the spiffy accessories, 007 comes with a very cool outfit that includes his wet suit upper, white shorts, and flippers. 

The flippers slip on and off cleanly, and don't get in the way of his ability to stand.  In fact, they help him stay standing with the rig on his back.

The red 'wetsuit' is really a pleather type material, but the tailoring is great.  There's no buttons, zipper or velcro though, so it must have been sewn shut over his body.

His shorts are, well, shorts.  Only Bond is cool enough to run around in a pair of white boxers and still kick butt.

Fun Factor - **
For the Bond fans, this is a terrific figure, but it has way too many easily broken or lost pieces for kids to enjoy.

Value - *1/2
At $65, this is one of the most expensive Sideshow sixth scale figures so far.  While I appreciate the uber-cool dive rig, I'm hoping that this figure selling at this price doesn't give Sideshow any ideas.

There are some retailers with better prices, and you can find this for $50 without too much trouble (if you visit my sponsors!).  At that price you can add another star.

Overall - ***
I'm pretty happy with the Bond line overall, and in particular the villains.  Of the Bond figures themselves released so far, this one is easily my favorite, with a solid head sculpt, some terrific accessories, and a classic outfit.

The only thing that holds this back from a ***1/2 star score is the high price point.  I understand that this one is certainly more expensive to make, but considering the usual $40 - $45 price tag, I'm not sure it's worthy of a 50% increase.

However, I have sponsors selling this figure for $50 and under, and at that kind of price point you can easily add in that other half star.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Be careful on two counts - when removing the diving rig from the package, and when putting the harpoon gun in his hands.  I managed to break small pieces both times, and had to get out the old super glue.

And whatever you do, don't try to force the exclusive rebreather into his mouth!  Be careful, because you could snap it fairly easily.

Packaging - ****
Sculpt - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ****
Fun Factor - ***
Value - *1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy - 
I picked this one up through Sideshow, since it's the exclusve, but you have some online options if you're looking to pick up the regular releasel:

- Sideshow still has the regular version available for $65.

- Southern Island has him listed at an AMAZING price of just $41.  That's hard to believe!  Just search for Thunderball.

- Fireside Collectibles has him for the low price of $50.

- Alter Ego Comics has him for $52.

- Killer Toys has him for $60.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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