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Indiana Jones Fertility Idol Prop Replica/Bank

Indiana Jones Fertility Idol bank by Diamond Select Toys

Over the last 12 months, we've been treated to a plethora of Indiana Jones product. Fans were starved for many years with little to now Indy merchandise, but it's been like drinking from a firehose in recent months.

That torrent has slowed a bit, but we are still getting a few things, and some of them are a) quite good and b) much needed. Tonight's review covers one of those - the Fertility Idol bank from Diamond Select Toys.

There's lots of famous props from the four films, but I don't think any are quite as well known or iconic as the Fertility Idol that Indy is intent on 'acquiring' when we first meet him. These first few minutes set the tone for the entire franchise, and were critical to the success of the character. And yet, no one has ever really given us a great Idol replica, at least not mass produced.

Diamond Select has just released this 'bank'. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely a bank, complete with slot and plugged hole in the bottom. But that's definitely a secondary function for this guy...er, girl. No, I think most folks will be picking it up as a prop replica for their home theater or movie room.

These are shipping to retailers right now, with an SRP of $20. However, most retailers will be lower than that, and I have a couple suggestions where it's just $16!

Packaging - Bupkis
You'll notice something odd...there's no phot of the package. Hmmm, why could that be? Because there IS NO PACKAGE. Yep, he comes in a plastic baggie, with a price sticker label on the bottom. On the one hand, I applaude DST for realizing this was going to largely be an online purchase, where a fancy package was probably not necessary (and just drives up the cost), but on the other, I fear that perhaps the bag is not enough to protect the bank from damage, particularly to the paint. I will note however that there was no issues on mine that could be attributed to the lack of any sort of box.
Indiana Jones Fertility Idol bank by Diamond Select ToysIndiana Jones Fertility Idol bank by Diamond Select Toys
Indiana Jones Fertility Idol bank by Diamond Select Toys
Indiana Jones Fertility Idol bank by Diamond Select Toys
Indiana Jones Fertility Idol bank by Diamond Select Toys

Sculpting - ***1/2
Yep, this is a bank, but the real question is - does it look like the idol from the film? Here's a photo of one of the originals (there were several made for the film) that came from the famous Forest Ackerman colleciton.

Some versions of the idol have had pupils, and whether or not it should have been debated on various boards. This one, like the one in the Ackerman collection, does not, and I prefer that look. There are others that claim the idol had brown glass eyes that moved, and were supposed to follow Indy around the room. That's not the look they went for here, thank goodness.

This idol is a lightweight, hollow plastic. The sculpt on the movie props was fairly rough, and somewhat soft. You'll notice here that the lips and teeth are much more sharply defined and cut, and the hair 'braids' are not as straight looking. I actually prefer the rougher appearance, and the sharper definition of the sculpt, while not perfectly screen accurate, is more appealing to me from an aesthetic point of view.

Of course, she has the little guy shooting out from between her legs. Depending on which version you compare this too, he might appear to have his head tilted too far up...or just right.

After looking at dozens of photos from screen captures to photos of the supposed actual props, I have to say that I'm very pleased with this one. It's not absolutely perfect, but it's extremely close, and the casual observer is going to recognize it instantly.Perhaps even better, they're going to assume it cost a whole lot more than $20.

And if you were wondering, the bank is a very good size, standing about 8 1/2" tall, and about 6" deep or so, depending on where you measure. In fact, in my hands it seems a little *too* big, compared to the on screen vesion, but not enough to be an issue.

Paint - ***1/2
I'm not positive that this has been painted. I haven't taken a knife to the bottom of it to check my theory, but I'm pretty sure it's cast in this glittery gold/bronze color, making it tough to do much damage to it with normal handling.

The color isn't quite as screen accurate as the sculpt though. It was most definitely gold on screen, with that very bright iconic shine that only gold seems to have. The color here is certainly shine, and it's glittery, but it has a slightly darker almost bronze look to it, even in bright light.

However, the color is even and consistent, with very few odd spots or marks on the surface. As I said in the sculpt section, it certainly will appear on the shelf like a much more expensive collectible than what it is.

Design - ***1/2
The design is pretty straight forward - make it look like the on screen version, and yet allow it to operate as a bank. They've pulled off both.

The bank slot is up high on the back of the head, invisible from the front, and even relatively unobtrusive from the back.

The opening is in the bottom of course, and is plugged tight with a plastic stopper. It's large enough to easily accommodate coins larger than US quarters, but let's face it - after buying all the other Indy collectibles this year, you don't have any change to put in it anyway. Ah, the irony.

The slot in her head would be easy enough for even a basic customizer to fill in and sculpt over. The color matching might be tricky, but it wouldn't be THAT hard. And since this is a bank, you could easily fill it first with something heavy, giving it the kind of weight it so rightly deserves.

Value - ****
If yoiu go shopping for ANY plastic bank in this scale, you'll spend almost as much as this guy costs. And yet he's licensed...and doubles as a film accurate movie prop replica! You can get him for just $16 at a couple of my sponsors (see below) and at that price he's a steal.

Things To Watch Out For
Not a thing.

Overall - ***1/2
How can you not love this thing? At this price point, you're getting a great representation of a well known movie prop. There's some minor issues, but they are just that - minor. And considering how little you get these days for $15 - $20 on the collectibles market, this little bugger is an eye poppingly good value. I expect we'll see this showing up on a lot of Best Prop Replica of 2009 lists come next January.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include:

- Things from Another World has it at $16.

- Urban Collector has it at $16.

- CornerStoreComics has it listed at $17.

- Entertainment Earth has it listed at $18.

- Clark Toys has him at $18.50.

- in the UK, Forbidden Planet has it for 14 GBP. Just search for 'idol'.

- or you can search ebay using the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.

Related Links -
I've reviewed a whole lot of Indiana Jones merchanise this year:

- the best of it all is the Sideshow Premium Format Indiana Jones.

- in a similar scale is the Ultimate Quarter Scale from DST, and Sideshow also has their 12" Indy

- there was the recent Medicom Professor Jones Sr.

- one of my favorite new Indy collectibles is the Mighty Muggs from Hasbro, and I've reviewed waves 1, and 2. Of course, they've already been canceled.

- for the sixth scale collectors, I recently checked out the Hasbro mail away Ark.

- on the cute side, check out the Adventure Heroes.

- then there's the Kotobukiya Indy and Professor Jones Sr, the Blockbuster exclusive DVD case, the 12" German and Cairo Swordsman, as well as both 12" Hasbro Indy's.

- in the smaller scale, I looked at some of the deluxe two packs and several of the single pack figures, with a few more over at QSE.

- There's a number of cool Lego sets, including this one.

- Gentle Giant did a 7" version for the Disney parks.

- Disney has done a few other Indy figures, including this wave of small ones.

- and if you're looking for something a bit bigger, check out the very cool sixth scale Grail diary, or this sixth scale figure.

Discussion:
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: 4.375

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Indiana Jones Fertility Idol bank by Diamond Select Toys



Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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