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Sideshow Indiana Jones
Rene Belloq

Indiana Jones Rene Belloq action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

Dr. Rene Belloq is the very first Indy antagonist we are introduced to, and he remains one of the slimiest. He's not psychotic, he's not Satan incarnate - he's just greedy and self centered, and all too common characteristic of true life sleaze bags. Unfortunately, their heads rarely explode in real life.

Sideshow has not yet done much with the Indy license, producing only the Indy 12" figure and the Indy PF. There's a Toht coming too...but what else? No word yet.

There's an exclusive and non-exclusive version of this figure. You'll notice that my box is labeled 'exclusive', but I'm going to break up the figure and the special Fertility Idol Environment he comes with separately. They truly are very distinct pieces, likely to be displayed separately, so I don't think it would be appropriate to lump them together here.

This figure costs $80 on his own, while the exclusive with the environment costs $140. The single figure is waitlisted right now, but you can get the exclusive on second chance, an opportunity that's not going to last long.

Packaging - ***1/2
Sideshow does amazing packaging, even with companies like Hot Toys upping the ante in this category. The Indy figures come packed in a similar box to their Star Wars figures, with the wrap around front and magnetic closures.

There's no twisties, and the box is very collector friendly. Everything pops out and pops back in again fairly easy, but it is surprising that the bottle is packed in a little baggy, taped to the stand. That's unusual, since they normally always design the tray to hold everything, even when there's an exclusive piece.
Indiana Jones Rene Belloq action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
Indiana Jones Rene Belloq action figure by Sideshow CollectiblesIndiana Jones Rene Belloq action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
Indiana Jones Rene Belloq action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
Indiana Jones Rene Belloq action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
Indiana Jones Rene Belloq action figure by Sideshow Collectibles
Indiana Jones Rene Belloq action figure by Sideshow Collectibles

Sculpting - **1/2
Rene Belloq was played by Paul Freeman, in perhaps his best known role. This sculpt is supposed to be that character...I suppose that if I don't wear one contact, dim the lights, and squint just right, I might see Belloq in this sculpt. But the reality for me is that while the head sculpt is realistic, clean, and attractive, it looks very little like Belloq.

There's lots of reasons for this. The lower face and jaw line is much too fat, the eyes are too wide set, and the overall size of the head is slightly misproportioned.

Now, I do want to say that he is not a bobble head by any means. But the head is slightly too big for the Prometheus body, especially with the slooped shoulders.

There are four hands included, two sculpted as fists, a left in a simple grip, and a right in a pistol grip. These look good, work well with the accessories, and are easy to swap.

Paint - ***
While the head sculpt is not ideal, the paint work is solid. The lips are clean, the skin tone even, and there's a good hairline. The eyes have the catch lights - 'doll dots' - that I've found more annoying over time. I still don't hate them as much as some folks, but I certainly do prefer the more lifelike paint work on the eyes of many of the newer Hot Toys figures.

There's something about the eyebrows that bugs me as well, and that seems to be a consistent issue with Sideshow figures these days. Perhaps it's because they have improved the overall paint quality, making the caterpillar look of the eyebrows that much more apparent.

Articulation - ***
The first use of the new Prometheus body was the aforementioned Indiana Jones, and it was big disappointment. In fact, looking back on it, I should have docked it another half star. While it wasn't as loose for me as it was for some, the breaking hip that forced me to replace it was just too frustrating considering the price we're paying for these.

Fortunately, I did not have any real issues with the Prometheus this time. The joints are tighter, but to get another half star higher they have tighten them up just a bit more. The hips are still a little looser than I think they should be, although getting him to remain standing in most poses shouldn't be an issue.

He also has a much, much better neck joint than Indy, who's head tended to flop around. Belloq can tilt and turn nicely, adding tons of personality to any pose, and the head can hold that position even with the hat in place.

These bodies are a huge improvement over the Buck, no doubt about it. Tighten them up just a smidge more, and I'll be giving them a half star more each time. Getting that coveted four stars might be tough, because I'm not thrilled with the shoulder design, which makes most clothing hang funny, but perhaps some minor tweaking can improve that as well.

Accessories - ***
Belloq comes with a reasonable assortment of goodies, including the liquor bottle (with appropriate label...but empty of 'liquid'), his machine gun, that extra sets of hands, his pocket watch and chain, and display stand.

The extra hands are the fists, which swap easily, and fit tightly.

I've mentioned in other recent Sideshow reviews that their weapons continue to improve, and this machine gun is a fine example. The detail work is excellent, the folding stock is much sturdier and works much better than some previous attempts, and the spring action slide actually works. I accidently broke the small handle on mine, so be careful, but the gun looks amazing right down to the leather strap.

There's a separate clip for the gun, and for some reason it comes packed external to the gun this time.

The pocket watch isn't much to write home about, reminding me of something you'd see with a Hasbro figure, but the metal chain and hook look great, and it fits nicely from his belt to his pocket.

While the liquor bottle isn't exactly complex or detailed, the scale is good and it is a scene critical extra.

The display stand has the emblem on the base, and works well enough with the figure. Fortunately, the body is tight enough this time that you won't require it, but I suspect many folks will use it out of fear of the legs collapsing over time.

I do wish there was more here, like perhaps a box with the white dress, especially at this much higher price point.

Outfit - **1/2
I had several issues with the outfit this time around, most of them surprises.

It looks like the costume team doesn't quite have the unique personality of the Prometheus body down yet. The tailoring is off a bit, with the jacket not quite fitting the sloping shoulders. I found that I liked the jacket much better NOT buttoned, although when it is open the large silver snap is quite obvious. However, when it is snapped, it fits across the chest much too tightly, pulling the shoulders down even more. With some futzing it can get better, and perhaps a good soaking treatment would help further, but out of the box it's not particularly pretty.

I know what you're thinking - you'll just take the jacket and tie off, open up the neck and roll up the sleeves, and go for desert Belloq. Not quite. The first issue is the large obvious snap that will be there when you open the collar. Let's say you get rid of that, and you'll still have the issue that there aren't any snaps or cufflinks at the wrists, so there's no way to 'roll up' the sleeves. You can push them up on the arms, which I did in the photo on the left, but its' not quite the same thing.

The tie looks better than the usual Sideshow tie, but the shirt collar still suffers from being slightly oversized. The pants are tailored way up on the chest, old man style, and you can't really bring them down further because they already hang well down on the shoes.

The pockets are real, which is not only nice but necessary for the pocket watch to work correctly.  The thin belt looks good, and you can easily attach the watch hook to it.

The hat and shoes are both sculpted, with very different results. The shoes are fantastic, with a great looking sculpt and fairly decent paint. It seems that Sideshow does footwear better than anyone.

The hat isn't as good, unfortunately. I don't think it's too large, a complaint I've heard from some folks. But it does only fit his head ONE way, because the inside of the hat is sculpted to fit the hair exactly. This makes the hat sit on the head very straight, but the character usually tilted the hat slightly to one side on screen. You can't get that look here because of this interior sculpting, and that was a bit disappointing.

My biggest issue overall though is that I have a seam that is coming apart on the inside of the left arm. I've never had this situation with any past Sideshow figure, so it was quite a surprise, and not a good one.

Fun Factor - **1/2
It's a middle aged white guy in a suit. Sure, it's a white suit...but it's still a suit. While the figure can handle play, it's not one that is really designed for it.

Value - **
I'm glad I bought this figure. I'm particularly glad I bought the exclusive, because I really like the environment it came with (more on that next week). But that doesn't mean I don't realize that this guy is overpriced. The body is better than the Buck, but with the bad seam on the uniform, the generally non-descript sculpt, and the light number of accessories, there's simply no way he's worth the extra $20 - $30 over the older Sideshow figures.

Things To Watch Out For
As I mentioned, I snapped the handle on the slide the first time I pulled it, so take some care there.

Overall - **1/2
As I said, I'm glad I picked him up, and I suspect that the uniform and accessories are going to be used for some very nice Belloq customs. But this is not a figure you have to have, especially if you aren't interested in the environment. If you need a single villain to go up against Indy, that should be Toht, as he's just so much more visually interesting...and recognizable.

I've only returned two 12" Sideshow figures out of the hundreds I've bought over the years. This is one I SHOULD return, because of the bad seam and the broken gun...but I'm not sure I will, since insuring I get the exclusive back might be a problem. Still, the fact that there have been three figures out of hundreds really requiring a return, and two of those three were Indy figures, and they've only released two Indy figures...well, that's not a particularly good sign. Just bad luck? I certainly hope so.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include:

- Sideshow has the regular on wait list, but the exclusive with the VERY cool environment is on second chance right now.

- Cornerstore Comics has this one for $72.

- Alter Ego Comics has the regular for $72.

Related Links -
I've done a ton of Indy reviews, the the one most relevant here is the Sideshow version of the man himself.

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: 3.13

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Indiana Jones Rene Belloq action figure by Sideshow Collectibles



Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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