following is a guest review. The review
and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford
or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the
|I checked out the Hot Toys Indiana Jones
awhile back (with the help of my resident Indy expert, Guy Klender) but
it's doesn't seem complete without a take on this figure from Jeff
Parker. Tell us all about him, Jeff!
Back in late October I was just about to get onto a review for this guy
when all of a sudden…
A- I was asked to preview the figure of the DX06 Jack Sparrow and B-
Mike and Guy got their joint review up in super-fast time.
So I decided I had to give this figure some time to breath, to get
under my skin as it were. After all, in the history of fanboydom a
really kick ass 1/6th Indy had been wanted for a very very long time.
I’d even go so far as to say it has become a Grail if you’d pardon the
I’m sure you all know the genesis of this particular character from
screen to figure, and if you don’t, let me fill you in briefly. Way
back in the early 80’s Kenner gave us the first 12”
version which was basically just a re-dressed, re-hashed and
re-packaged Han Solo from their Star Wars line, it was OK as a toy for
an undiscerning eight year old, and it had a naive charm as a
collectible for Indy completists, but as a display item it was
essentially very poor and woefully lacking.
Next up was the legendary Toys
McCoy figure and legendary really is not too big a word for
it. He was actually pretty darned impressive for the time it was
released (1999), but of course that’s now thirteen years ago, so the
wait for a more contemporary follow up became almost interminable!
But then with the announcement of a new movie in the works and interest
piqued once again in all things Dr Jones, the floodgates opened! In the
deluge we got Medicom, Sideshow, Hasbro and even a threatened, but
never realised version from Takara announced. All had points of
interest, but none ticked ALL the boxes (well for me anyway). The
Hasbro ones were basically (as one would expect) under researched and
poorly sculpted cheap toys. The Sideshow ones had outstanding sculpts
by Trevor Grove but were let down by below par paint apps and a rather
wobbly first outing for the Prometheus body. Which just leaves the
Medicom ones which were virtually ignored by many (though to my eyes
the KOTCS mature Indy they did was the strongest of the lot straight
from the box, and was the only one I included in my collection)?
Of course many of us hoped, and even the godless heathens amongst us
prayed that Hot Toys would be granted a crack at this particular
bullwhip, and then it finally happened with an announcement in January
YES, now we’d surely get the definitive Indiana Jones, the one to cast
all that came before asunder, we could all breathe a collective sigh of
relief and rest easy… or could we?
When the first proto pics were revealed something wasn’t right, sure it
was a ‘good’ sculpt, but from Hot Toys we had got to a place where we
now routinely expected to be totally blown away, with jaws hanging
loosely from our disbelieving faces by a portrait of such unbelievable
magnitude that the angels in Darwin’s heaven would weep tears of joy!
This wasn’t it!
|But Hot Toys has
a history of listening to feedback on the myriad of
collectors’ forums that litter this planet, and often they act upon it.
So we all hoped that a slight tweak here and a small revision there
would still guarantee us the definitive version of the hero that we all
craved… could they deliver?
Well, I’m sure you have already made your mind up, but if not, let me
tells ya how I sees it!
Oh, the DX packaging… at least there are some things in life we can
For their showcase range of figures Hot Toys never scrimp on the luxury
packaging. The front flap that is in effect its cover has a ‘still
life’ image of the iconic fedora and the bullwhip in a grainy sepia
photo-shopped style against a singed parchment background that in turn
has an antique leather like texture. The Indiana Jones logotype is even
given a spot texturisation to feel rough to the touch, a bit like fine
sandpaper… sweet. The front opens by lifting the magnetic side flap and
opening it up like a book. On the right you’ll find a silhouette of
Indy with a brief synopsis and on the left is a sheet of protective
tissue, lift this and beneath is a rather cool map of the world which
is produced to look like another piece of singed parchment and shows
the route Indy takes during the movie in his quest for the fabled Ark
of the Covenant. Like all the DX’s this is a rather cool little extra
and is removable to act like a small prop bonus.
Lift this layer of foam backed board out and you are met by the fully
dressed figure nestled in die cut foam and cardboard, the card can also
be lifted to expose a selection of his numerous accessories arranged
around the figure. Now its time to delve even deeper, lift out this
thick foam layer and you find the two parts of the temple plinth for
the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol, his alternate ‘Tanis map room’ outfit
and the ‘Staff of Ra’… but we ain't finished yet! This layer also lifts
out to show the two alternate figure stands and then below this are the
large printed 2D environment backdrops.
The quality of all the materials used is top notch and the construction
is robust enough to protect the contents perfectly in transit, Dixon
and Monster Jnr have yet again delivered the goods, in short it’s gotta
get a full score, anything else would be churlish.
Sculpting - **3/4
I find myself in a rather strange place with this figure. All the other
DX’s to date have garnered a full score from me, it didn’t even take
too much time to think about it, they were just ‘obviously’ deserving
of the Palme d'Or for consistently exhibiting Hot Toys excellence in
this particular field. And like most collectors who are interested in
the talented people who have helped shape the quality of the 1/6th
market today, you will be familiar with the name of Arnie Kim, who has
been synonymous with the top level of portraits being produced for many
years now. His work on Bruce Lee is almost as legendary as the martial
artist himself (well, if you move in the right/wrong circles that I do)
and his early portraits of Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Indy, Rick
Deckard and even Captain Alexei Vostrikov had collectors foaming at the
mouth and praying that a major manufacturer would sign this talented
Korean sculptor up ASAP!
And so it was that after a stint with Enterbay he moved to Hot Toys
where he delivered some great work, most notably his cool smiling Bruce
Lee’s and the sublime portrait of Christopher Reeve for the classic
Superman figure. So it’s fair to say a lot was riding on how this
particular sculpt turned out… and sadly something has got lost in
The longer I live with this figure the more I like it, it has
subtleties that you notice the more you scrutinise it, but for a DX
that’s just not quite good enough. One (perhaps unfairly) expects to be
bowled over with the uncanny likeness, and it simply doesn’t happen
here. It seems to have ‘something of’ Harrison Ford, rather than
actually being ‘of Harrison Ford’ if that makes sense.
After all the sculpt is strong enough that you can tell who it is,
especially when he’s all kitted up in the iconic outfit. But something
is definitely off. It does seem that this might be a case of a PERS too
far, as the deep set eyes combined with Fords heavy eyelids create the
illusion of him wearing make up, which is truly strange because when
you examine the paint app closely you will note how subtle it is, there
is no hint of it being too dark around the eyes. The fact he looks like
he’s been at Jack Sparrow’s kohl from some angles is purely down to the
way shadows are cast, and this looks to be a by-product of the PERS
So, while on the subject of the PERS (parallel eyeball rolling system),
now is a good time to go over how the feature is applied here. Look
closely at the hair and you will see a fine seam where it can separate
and the whole of the back of the hair/head can be lifted off. The two
hair pieces are held in place by a magnet, so you have to align the
seam perfectly and push firmly into place to make the join as invisible
as possible. The eyes are controlled by a tiny joystick that is
accessible inside the rear of the head. By gently twisting turning and
tilting the small handle you can position the eyes to look in all
directions. If you are new to the feature check this demo out here,
admittedly that was for the Joker, but the principle is essentially the
The overall portrait has many strong points, the shape and size of the
nose is strong and the mouth is good showing the merest hint of a smirk
on the right-hand side of the lips. I did wonder if the bottom lip was
a tad too full, but after re-watching parts of the movie and looking at
stills on line, like this
it actually seems to be on the money. The signature scar can be seen
below the lips and the shape of the face with its deep set lines next
to the nose and the hint of a dimple in the chin all look like pure
Harrison Ford. He comes with two hairpieces that are essentially the
same style but one is reduced in size so that the hat can sit
convincingly on the head... a ‘hat head’ in effect.
So, if the sculpting is all so good why doesn’t the end portrait not
add up to the sum of its parts… it’s a bit of a mystery, but I think
the eyes have it.
I did waver on giving this just 2 stars, as I really saw it as a 50/50
balance, but the longer I look at it, the longer I dissect it, the
stronger it gets. And the cool selection of hands both gloved and
un-gloved (though I’d have liked some relaxed gloved hands as well) is
strong enough to drag this ‘almost’ back to three stars, but I’m
keeping him just shy of that score.
I hope and pray that Arnie is given another crack at this particular
archaeologist from either Temple or Last Crusade, and maybe next time a
straight classic head sculpt with one of JC’s awesome paint apps on the
eyes might be the way to let Arnie's sculpting prowess shine through.
The paint app is of course perfection, the fine detailing and
subtleties of application are spookily life like meaning the work done
by JC Hong and his team of painters continues to dazzle.
It works well on the underlying sculpt and helps showcase the strong
areas while enhancing the overall portrait greatly. The slight beard
growth is deftly handled and the mottling and graduations on the flesh
tones are just as convincing as you’d expect. The leather gloves are
also very realistically handled, and in short this is just whacked
clean out of the park yet again. Full score, no questions!
This is another area where I’m knocked out, the whole outfit comes
together beautifully and manages to look like Dr Jones has worn them in
well and owned them all for years. He comes with a separate hat, which
is always my personal preference, I could see why Sideshow went for two
separate heads, one with the hat permanently attached, but the woeful
SS paint apps once again dumped you out of any illusion of it being
100% convincing by making the hat look plasticky. Where as here the hat
is constructed of thin sculpted vinyl, the final paint app and the use
of a real fabric ribbon around the edge actually manages to look pretty
realistic, and with the right hair fitted to the head and just a little
futzing the fit is convincing too. My absolute favourite part of his
ensemble are the boots, based closely on the Alden 405 ‘Truebalance’
boot, now lovingly dedicated to Dr Jones as ‘The Indy boot’, and still
available from the company in 1/1 scale here
for a mere $470. These small facsimiles manage to replicate the boots
near perfectly for the scale… note I say ‘near’ perfectly as the top
four rows of eyelets should actually be hooks, but for the scale and
considering the tops are covered by the hem of the trousers most of the
time it’s no biggie. Especially as they are constructed so well with
working laces and leather uppers that are welted to a solid sole (that
even have the trademark stripes in the heel as well).
The trousers are a classic 1930’s cut with working belt loops, cut side
pockets and flapped pockets on the rear; they are a generous cut in the
width and have a nice distinct crease down the leg. A webbing belt is
worn through the loops while a leather belt is slung below it with a
loop for the whip and holster for his revolver, both of these features
have magnetic clasps to keep them closed… a cool feature that I hope to
see replicated more often.
Both the jacket and the shirt are items that can be bought in 1/1 scale
from Wested leather (I figured I ought to give them a plug as they are
Limeys as well) the jacket (which they designed and made for the movie)
can be seen here
as can replicas of the shirt. These are also a good reference point for
checking details against the scaled down versions here.
Between you and me THIS
is the one to have for the more discerning fan! And having looked at
the specs for both items, particularly the jacket, the replica here at
1/6th is pretty impressive. Of course there will always be some uber
geek who decides the fact the collar isn’t a micron longer or the
lining 100% cotton to be a crime against their chosen deity… but hey,
get over it… this is actually pretty damned awesome for 12” figure. The
details I feel deserving of a specific mention in despatches are the
vertical bands down the shirts (running over the pockets) and the
perfecto stitching that is evident here (not to mention the sweat
stains down the front button panel) And for the jacket, the working
patch pockets, full lining and the small adjustable straps on the rear
side vents are the stuff that sorts the wheat from the chaff. He also
comes equipped with his handy satchel, which is actually an old British
gas mask bag; I have one of these myself and use it every weekend. One
of its many useful features is the myriad of small pockets concealed
within its main body. I have two kids so have it stocked with
band-aids, tissues, sweets, keys, bottles of water, face wipes, torches
and a Smith and Wesson (I invented the last one… or did I?) and I was
amazed to see they had replicated every feature in miniature here right
down to the breathable air-vents on its bottom and the small pockets at
the base of the side panels. Then throw in the fact that it has an
adjustable strap and magnetic clasps to hold it closed and you have
another tiny marvel of 1/6th creativity. For the bag alone I salute you
Hot Toys, this is the kind of detailing that only a hardcore fan would
notice, but notice it they will, just outstanding!
However, as cool as the main outfit is… for those that plan on
investing in the Sideshow display diorama of the Tanis map room environment,
there is also the added bonus of the Arab robes he uses as a disguise
when he explores the ancient chambers. The robe simply fits over his
usual outfit (with the jacket removed) and ties at the waist with the
sash supplied. The turban needs a little more futzing to get it sitting
just right, the twisted rope like section should be to the front then
the right hand scarf hangs down over his chest while the left hand
section sweeps down under the chin and around to the back to be tucked
into the back collar of the robe. As I said you’ll need to persevere to
get this looking just right, but with the movie on freeze frame and a
little patience you’ll get there. The outfit supplied is definitely up
to the job to look screen accurate, and the tiny brocade work down the
side panels of the front yet again shows why Hot Toys have 1/6th
costuming sewn up!
So, this is another top scoring category, and the tailoring of all the
garments fully deserves to be recognised.
- *** 1/2
I intend to keep Indy fully
dressed, and as such I fail to see why he has been given ‘muscle’ arms,
perhaps they had their eye on the bare arms for the ‘Temple of Doom’
look… but this is the Raiders figure, so WHY?
I admit it is a great looking body, you can examine its configuration here.
So as you can see it’s another one based on a variation of what I call
the ‘Wolverine’ body, as it was on him that it got its first official
outing. Of course that version was sculpted to be a little more
hirsute, and has since been used on releases like The Comedian from
‘Watchmen’ and Brody from ‘Predators’ and this specific one was
recently made available as separate clam-shell packed True Type with a
rather cool Jake
Gyllenhaal portrait (for anyone wanting to bash a
‘Source Code’ figure).
There is no denying it looks great and the basic design and
articulation is solid considering it has its aesthetic as a priority
over its articulation. But as I already mentioned, this is Indy from
‘Raiders’, we don’t need to see his naked arms! I would have preferred
a hybrid of the muscle and classic True Type for maximum looks, form
I’m guessing most will already know what to expect, as from the waist
down it’s a classic True Type as reviewed here, but from the waist
up things are a little different. There is a swivel joint at the waist
and mid torso, universal joints at the shoulders which are slightly
hampered by the rubber covering the upper body. The elbows can bend by
90 degrees and spin, whilst the wrists are the usual free moving cut
ball joint. The neck also affords a good range, and even though it is
concealed beneath a rubber covering, you can still get some excellent
poses from it.
So, not a bad body by any means, and it sure ‘looks’ amazing, but it’s
not the most dynamic in terms of poseability… approach with realistic
expectations and you wont be too upset.
When you purchase a DX figure, one area you generally know you are
gonna get quite a bit of bang for your buck is the accessories, and
this release sure wont disappoint.
The full list is-
Extra hair style for when wearing the hats
One pair of gloved fists
One pair of gloved hands for holding guns
One pair of relaxed hands
One pair of fists
One pair gun grip hands
Arab robe with waist sash
White Arabian headscarf
One Smith & Wesson 455 revolver
One Browning HP automatic pistol
One leather whip
One Staff of Ra with Headpiece
One shoulder bag (gas mask carrier)
One pouch of sand
One golden Fertility Idol
One temple pedestal (in 2 pieces)
One Moleskine journal made with paper + card
Classic black figure stand
Double-sided movie-accurate backdrop
Figure stand with metal plate, movie logo and MMS DX series title.
How do you like them apples!
I already went over all the clothing parts in outfit, but I also listed
them as accessories if you needed to ‘dress’ the figure in them after
unpacking. So I don’t need to go over them again here. But as for the
other items I’ll kick off with the South American temple ‘environment’
pieces as they were the first to appear in the movie. The plinth comes
in two pieces that simply slot and push together. It’s sculpted crisply
with plenty of great texturing and nice observations on the carvings
and glyphs that cover it. I am tempted to get some modellers fake moss
(you can pick it up at miniature railway stores) to drape over the top,
but that’s just be being fussy, as even without it it does look great
and the paint app really helps in translating the underlying textures
It also comes with a plinth/stand to place it on. This has an etched
metal name plate at the front and a reversible cardboard top, one side
showing the floor of the temple to use with the temple backdrop whilst
the other shows a sandy floor to use in conjunction with the Tanis Map
Room back ground. These backdrops are printed on paper which is mounted
onto stiff hardboard that simply folds to stand behind the base, ideal
for display and photography.
Next up is the Chachapoyan
Fertility Idol, which was pretty important even if we hadn’t
got the plinth, but as we did it was downright essential. It’s well
sculpted and molded from plastic with a super shiny gold platting, it
represents the Peruvian Inca goddess Pachamama, who was not just a
construct for the story, but is based on some real indigenous folklore.
You see, Lucas’ anthropology degree did come in handy after all
For the Tanis background he comes with the small replica of the
Moleskine notebook, it has a card cover, paper pages and even a tiny
elastic band to wrap around it. The robes and turban have already been
covered which just leaves the all important Staff
of Ra , this also has some beautifully observed
details on the head with its ancient Hebrew inscriptions, and my only
slight misgiving is that it’s not removable from the staff which would
have made it even cooler.
I think that just leaves the Smith & Wesson revolver and the
Browning HP automatic pistol. Both have plenty of detail with the
revolver having a flip out and rotating cylinder and a cockable hammer
whilst the automatic has a sliding cocking movement, a removable
magazine and it also has a hammer that can be drawn back.
It’s an impressive array of goodies and there is nothing much I can
find to complain about, and the quality and number of the extras mean
this is definitely another full score category.
I got one hell of a roasting for my lack of four stars on the DX06, and
just about the only reason Jack didn’t strike gold in the final score
was his price.
Now, one thing peeps have to understand is that if you are a dedicated
high-end 1/6th collector, and you have amassed an enviable collection
over the last few years, then you will no doubt have become
desensitized to the fact that we are looking at 12” figures with a
price tag of 250 big ones.
However, most people are not!
To huge swathes of the population of this planet we must seem genuinely
certifiable. But our hobbies make us reconcile the joy we get from
collecting with the ability to justify the outlay of our dispensable
income. I know for a fact there are actually people out there who will
spend over $1000 on a golf club, a rod of metal with a lump of wood at
the end. I know, I know it is hard to believe that there are people
that plain weird out there, but they DO EXIST, they are amongst us,
lock your doors and windows! I think I made my point.
So anyway, back to the job at hand. If Jack just scrapped over three
stars and he came with two separate heads with two sets of PERS, a more
complex outfit and a huge ships wheel as an accessory, well I guess it
stands to reason that Indy will not fare quite as well. I can still see
how and why this costs what it does, after all, the outfit is
outstanding and his accessories are very far from lacking. But one
thing it does spell out to me is that if you thought Disney were greedy
when it comes to issuing a licence, they ain’t got nothing on Lucas!
Factor - ***3/4
I have wanted a solid representation of Indy in my collection for what
seems like half a lifetime… Oh, hang on, it’s longer (using how long
I’ve been on this planet as a yardstick). Yes I have the
Medicom ‘OAP’ version, but KOTCS almost doesn’t count!
So, in terms of fun I’m pretty happy, especially as we get the temple
plinth as a display piece as well. My only grievance, and the ONLY
reason he doesn’t get a full score in this section is the base body’s
lack of free movement in the arms. I want to be able to swing the arms
into any pose, I want and to get some even more extreme poses with the
whip, but the arms included on the figure aren’t quite able to meet my
exacting demands. That’s not to say I’m too unhappy, and even though
not quite as articulated as a classic True Type it does have the
flip-side of looking good should you want to remove the shirt or bash
an Indy from Temple of Doom.
So, a good solid figure with a great haul of accessories to pose and
play with, and even though he has a couple of areas where I can see
there is room for improvement, I’m still essentially very happy to
finally have a good representation of Indy in my display, and he’s in
the prime of life rather than the autumn of his years.
There is so much to like here. As you know I already waxed lyrical
about, the outfit which is just beautifully rendered. The head sculpt
is 90% there, and had this been a regular MMS release I could be more
forgiving, but for the DX series which is Hot Toys premiere showcase
line I find it harder to be so. However, the sculpt is backed up with
an awesome paint app and though I would have preferred regular True
Type arms over muscle arms on this release, the articulation is still
up to striking most of the key poses you could want to achieve.
So taking into account the fact that the portrait didn’t manage to
dazzle quite as much as I hoped, and also not ignoring the elephant in
the room that is price… well he gets more than three stars, but only
just. I did flip-flop for a while and he nearly did end up with just
three, but when all kitted up and placed on the shelf alongside his
diorama it does actually look most impressive. Meaning my general gut
feeling was that he just deserved a little more. You may disagree in
either direction, but he just feels like a *** ½ figure to me.
Where to buy
Sideshow still has Indy in stock for $249.99 here or
you can try some of Mike’s sponsors where you could potentially save up
to $20 on the RRP.
eBay where her BIN prices are between $220 to $290.
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.