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Indiana Jones from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Sideshow Exclusive version with 'fridge

Indiana Jones Kingdom of the Crystal Skull action figure by Sideshow Collectibles


Did you watch the South Park episode in which George Lucas rapes Indiana Jones in multiple locations and manners? Yep, I'd be one of those that felt it was a pretty accurate assessment of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The fourth film in the franchise has it's occasional moments, but most of the film was just plain awful, and ranks up there as one of the worst sequels in any franchise, including Star Wars. Yes, I thought it was that bad.

Because of that, it was an easy pass for me when Sideshow announced their Premium Format based on Indy from that flick. I love their first version, but I'll hold out on my second Indy PF til we get a TOD version to go with Mola Ram, thank you very much.

But when I saw the KOTCS 12" Indy at San Diego Comic Con with the silly refrigerator, I was sold. I'm not sure why...maybe it was the heady atmosphere of the Con floor, maybe it was just my overwhelming desire to see the Sideshow sixth scale line continue no matter what, or maybe it was just my self destructive streak taking over. In any case, I caved and ordered the exclusive.

As I said, the exclusive version comes with a large diorama style accessory, just like the exclusive Toht and Belloq. This time it's the ice box (and yes, I still call it that thanks to my parents and in the 50's they most certainly would have called it that) in which Indy manages to survive a nuclear explosion. This scene gave us the term 'nuking the fridge', used to describe any truly ridiculous plot device that not only challenges the viewers ability to suspend their disbelief, but outright shatters it. How could I not want one?
Indiana Jones Kingdom of the Crystal Skull action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
Indiana Jones Kingdom of the Crystal Skull action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Indiana Jones Kingdom of the Crystal Skull action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Indiana Jones Kingdom of the Crystal Skull action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Indiana Jones Kingdom of the Crystal Skull action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Indiana Jones Kingdom of the Crystal Skull action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Indiana Jones Kingdom of the Crystal Skull action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Indiana Jones Kingdom of the Crystal Skull action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Indiana Jones Kingdom of the Crystal Skull action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
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Indiana Jones Kingdom of the Crystal Skull action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

There were only 600 of the exclusive produced, with another 1250 of the figure itself released. The regular figure sold for $90 through Sideshow, although I have some sponsors (listed at the end) carrying for less than $85. The exclusive version was a whopping $175, making the frig an $85 add on. Ouch!

Packaging - ***
If you're only buying Indy, your score here will be higher. He comes in the usual exceptional box, with tons of background text, magnetic closures, and cool wrap around lid. It's all collector friendly too, with the figure and accessories easily removed and replaced without any damage necessary.

I'm deducting some here for the frig, however. It comes in the usual plain white box, or at least usual for the extra diorama pieces. But inside that white box is that damn cheap Styrofoam, you know the kind, and next thing you now that crap is all over the house. It's a personal pet peeve of mine, and always costs in this category.

Sculpting - ***
The head sculpts that Sideshow has produced in the Indy series - at least when it comes to Indy - have all been good. They haven't always been properly sized for the Prometheus body, which has hurt some (German Disguise Indy) more than others (ROTLA). Here the head is still slightly too big, but it's as much of a result of the slumped shoulders of the Pro body as the oversized noggin'.

This is old Indy, not 30-ish Indy, and the sculpt reflects that. Actually, I think the sculpt doesn't look as old as it should, oddly enough, but it's still a solid Ford portrait. It doesn't shoot particularly well, but in person I'm reasonably happy with it.

The hat is sculpted in place, always a smart choice. There was really no need for a second hatless portrait, but I'm sure some folks would have preferred it.

The hands he comes wearing are intended to hold the accessories, particularly the Webley revolver and the whip. They work pretty well, and the softer material allows you to place the weapons in the hands without damage.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint work on the head and hat is quite good, certainly better than some releases we've recently seen. The eyes are clear and sharp, and the stubble is some of the nicer production work we've seen from Sideshow. This still isn't quite Hot Toys level, but that's a zenith they're still shooting for.

Problems we've seen before aren't present here. There's no bleed into the whites of the eyes, and the skin tone is very lifelike and consistent. The lips are just the right shade, and the finer hair work (like the aforementioned stubble) is quite realistic.

Even the work on the hat is great, showing wear and highlighting the sculpted texture.

Articulation - ***
This is the standard Prometheus body, and it's much tighter than what most of us experienced with the original ROTLA Indy. The ball jointed neck joint is particularly good, remaining tight in just about any tilted, turned or twisted pose.

The hands swap pretty easily, and each is complete with the full wrist peg. They're quite sturdy, and breakage, while not impossible, is highly unlikely.

I was able to get him to hold some great poses, and the Pro body is certainly an improvement over the old Buck. I still have some issues with the hips, particularly the way they bulge in some poses, and the shape of the shoulders makes the fit of the clothes a bit wonky, but I'm not driven to swap out the body for a TrueType. Oddly enough, I thought the body worked better for the old guy version of Indy than it did for the younger version. Maybe it's the way the pants ride high on the hips?

Accessories - ****
Now this is where this figure really shines! We get a ton of extras, some we saw previously and some that are brand new.

I've already mentioned the pistol a couple times, and it comes with not one but two cylinders that are easily swapped. One is empty, the other is loaded with bullets. The bullets aren't removable, which is a good thing, since they are much too tiny to handle without losing them.

Actually, the cylinders are a little too easy to swap. The Webley doesn't snap closed, and the cylinder can pop out if you're not careful.

The gun fits in the holster on the belt, which is made from real leather. It's a little too thick and oversized, and I didn't like it riding high on the hip like it came in the box. Instead, I loosened up the belt almost all the way and dropped the holster down low on his leg. While it's not particularly screen accurate, it didn't pooch out the jacket as much and I thought it looked better.

This belt also has the small loop with a magnetic closure that holds the coiled whip. The loop is a little small, making it tough to get the whip to stay in place (it tends to force open the magnet), but you can get it to work with a little patience.

The coiled whip looks great, but they also included a bendy version that can be posed above his head, around his feet, or any way you'd like. It's quite long, and the bendy feature works well. The fit in his left hand is a little loose, but he can hold it with a little effort on your part.

Speaking of hands, there's an extra set in a fist pose. As mentioned earlier, they swap quite easily.

This Indy also has his man purse, with a real leather strap and magnetic closures. It looks great, although I'm not convinced that it matches the on screen version perfectly.

Because this is Indy, he comes with a few artifacts as well.  There's the crystal skull, which is really well made. It's a very clear plastic with no mold lines, and perfectly in scale. You may already have one in this size if you bought the Gentle Giant crate that happened to have it inside, but if not this is a great alternative.

There's also a ceremonial Orellana mask, as well as the Nazca dagger. Both are very detailed, with excellent sculpts and paint work. These are nice adds, since you can improve the display of any of your Indy figures with them.

Then there's the fridge. The site claims the fridge includes polystone and metal parts, and there are - the hinges and handle are metal. The racks on the door are plastic as well, so it's truly a mixed media piece.

The size seems a bit small to me, but old refrigerators were certainly smaller than our modern day versions. The polystone outer shell has that sculpted resin look - you know what I'm talking about, that slightly irregular appearance that doesn't translate to a metal or machined appearance. While the concept was cute, and the inclusion of the fridge improves the already great Accessories score, on it's own it is certainly not worth the extra $85.

Oh, I almost forgot - there's also the usual display stand.

Outfit - ***
The quality and materials used on the outfit are top notch but the underlying Pro body makes some of the fit and tailoring difficult.

The leather jacket is a little short, but the fit is about as good as it can get on the sloped shoulders underneath. The pants ride high, but with the jacket closed a bit in front they look pretty good. Hey, he's an old guy anyway - aren't the pants supposed to ride high?

The boot sculpt is excellent, and these fit on the standard ankle pegs. There's also an underlying shirt, s well as the normal belt to round out the costume.

You know, the more I think about it, the more I think I might swap this out onto a TrueType and see how it looks...

Fun Factor - ***
The figure is pretty sturdy considering the price point, making it a decent toy. But since Hasbro couldn't give away most of their movie based action figures, I'd be surprised if any kids felt the need to have this guy either.

Value - *
Remember, I'm grading the exclusive version here, not the regular. Had I just picked up the figure, I would have given him a much better score in this category.

But the inclusion of the refrigerator doubled...yes, DOUBLED...the price. And if we're going to be brutally honest here, it simply isn't worth it. There's no way anyone (even me) would have paid $85 for this ice box on it's own.

Things to Watch Out For -
It's pretty easy to loose the cylinder(s) for the Webly, since it flops open on its own. Keep it in mind to avoid giving the cat something else to play with.

Overall - **1/2
If I were grading the figure by itself, he would have garnered another half star. The saving grace here is the excellent accessories, which really are a nice addition to the display.

However, getting the refrigerator exclusive cost some serious green, and simply isn't worth it. Unless you're a serious Indy fanatic, I'd let the exclusive slip on down the road.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- the exclusive with the fridge was available only through Sideshow for $175. He's long sold out, but you can get on the wait list, or get on the wait list for the regular for $90.

- Alter Ego Comics has the regular edition for $81.

- Big Bad Toy Store has him for $85.

- or you can peruse ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered quite a bit of Indy merchandise:

- Sideshow's last release was the excellent Professor Jones Sr.

- Sideshow has also done the German Outfit Indy, Toht (with Ark), Belloq with the Fertility Idol Environment, and ROTLA Indy himself.

- Medicom has released Dr. Henry Jones as well, and Young Indy.

- and Hasbro did several figures, including Indy in German Disguise, Cairo Swordsman and German Soldier, and two versions of Indy.

- also in approximately this same scale is the Kotobukiya Henry Jones Sr. statue.

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Indiana Jones Kingdom of the Crystal Skull action figure by Sideshow Collectibles


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

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