Leaders of WWII -   Adolf Hitler

Drastic Plastic has been involved in the action figure business for years.  You'd be amazed at all the various companies and toy lines they've worked with, but they're names have never been the headliners.  Now they've started putting out figures with their own name, designed to be museum quality and historically accurate.

The first line of figures are based on the Leaders of World War II.  In series 1 is Adolf Hitler, Franklen Roosevelt, and Stalin.  The second series will include Hirohito, Mussolini and Churchill.  They have a western line in the works, with a General Custer and Crazy Horse in the first series, and a number of military figures as well in various lines planned.

The figure sells at the web site for $49.99, with free shipping right now.  There will only be 10,000 of each figure produced.

I'm not going to get into the political or social implications of an action figure of Hitler.  Believe me, I've seen the subject debated endlessly, and you can make a case either way.  Remember that these figures are designed to complete a historically accurate representation of World War II.  It wouldn't make too much sense to make Churchhill and Roosevelt, but leave out Hitler.  I'll say the same thing that DP says on the inside of the packaging - all figures in this series are for historical purposes only and do not endorse any ideological or political views.  Likewise, my review of this figure has nothing to do with politics or ideology, only how good this figure is in terms of quality and accuracy.

This will be a pretty in depth review, since the guys at DP let me ask any questions I had and pump them for information before finishing the write up.

Packaging - ****
Here's a terrific example of excellent packaging.  I suspect the rather stark nature of the front of the box is due in part to the subject material, but the graphics on the inside flap are well done, with an interesting style and design.  The box is jet black, but in the photo at the left it looks lighter due to the bright lighting.

While the graphics are a bit sparse, the collector friendly aspects are in full swing.  There's no tape on the box, simply tabs on the top and bottom.  The entire interior slides right out, and the figure is already inside the display case, along with the accessories in the usual tray.  The whole case is shrink wrapped, in case you want to display the figure in the case this way.

Once you remove the shrink wrap, the figure comes out of the display case easily, and all the accessories pop right out of the tray.  Included with the packaging is a cardboard Nazi flag design which can be cut out and fits nicely in the back of the case if you'd like. 

There are actually two errors on this early figure, that was corrected after the first 100 were manufactured.  One of those errors is with the flag - it's reversed.  Fortunately they caught that one before too many were made.  I'll mention the second error when I get there later in the review.

Accessories - ***1/2
There isn't too much I'm listing under the 'accessories' title, since the majority of his extras involve his uniform.  The only thing I'm going to put under this category is the display case.

That might not seem like much, until you realize that this is pretty much the same display case that Dragon was selling for $10-$15 each.  I say pretty much the same, because they've improved this case in a major way - it's larger, both in width and depth.

I liked the Dragon case, but this is definitely an improvement.  There's three holes in the back, and two included rings to allow you to attach the figure if you feel the need.  And as I mentioned earlier, you can cut out the flag and fit it into the back of the case as a back drop.

Uniform - ****
This is one of the nicest overall uniforms I've ever seen, and that's saying a lot.  Sure, there are other uniforms that have had this level of quality, but never with this sheer number of pieces.

Adolf starts out with white socks and boxers.  Yes, DP has answered the age old question boxers or briefs for us.  I couldn't resist the photo of Hitler as he might look first thing in the morning.

Over this we have a very well done, cuffed white shirt and brown pants.  These are historically accurate, done in a 'riding' pant style, and include decorative metal rivets at the ankles that you won't even see if you don't remove the boots.

The brown jacket is very well cut, fitting him tightely but well.  The belt and shoulder strap are real leather, with a metal SA buckle, and metal hooks and clips.  Everything that would be metal in real life is here as well.

Soft rubber knee high boots, a SA arm band, a Commander Cap, and a black tie finish off his basic wardrobe.  The tie is the only piece that I can find fault with, as the top of the tie rides too high on the neck band.  That's a minor complaint though.

But that's not the end of his outfit. He also has a full length field coat, also extremely well cut and great fitting.  And to top off his uniform, he comes with three die cast metal badges (WWI Iron Cross, Wound badge, and NASDP pin) and a Iron Eagle tie tack.

The pins are where the second error occurred.  The first 100 figures have a WWI Iron Cross with a swastika in the center.  That's most definitely incorrect - the WWI Iron Crosses had a wreath.  The prototype was correct, but when it got over seas, an overzealous worker 'corrected' it, thinking that what was intended was a WWII Iron Cross, which did have the swastika.  It's been fixed again, this time to it's correct version, so future figures shouldn't have this error.

The quality on this uniform is outstanding, with great stitching, great fit, and excellent materials.  I have great expectations for George Custer, a guy with a really complex uniform, now that I've seen this figure.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The head sculpt was done by Eric Nickel, a well known sixth scale customizer.  One of the cool things I've noticed about DP is that they use the talents of fans and collectors, rather than just industry types.  Another example is Andy Garringer, a long time collector who will be doing the art work for several of the western packages.

Back to the sculpt - it's definitely Hitler, although whether it's the Hitler you expect or not may be very much up to personal bias.  The head is a little small compared to other sixth scale figures, although I didn't notice it until I put him up next to a Dragon figure.

This is an older Hitler, and the choice of a simple expression was wise.  There's no grimacing here, no ranting madness.  There are several Hitler head sculpts floating around right now, and this one certainly ranks well with them.

Paint - ***1/2
There's not a lot to talk about in terms of paint ops here.  Other than the face and cap, there's not really too much with extensive paint applications.

But what is here is excellent.  And yes, Hitler did have blue eyes I'm told.

The paint work has clean lines, with no bleed, and the face does not look zombified, or have any sort of weird flesh tone problems like so many 12" figures do these days.

Articulation - ***
The Hitler package claims 33 points of articulation, and I don't doubt it.  I stripped him down to check out the new body.

DP is going for the same level of poseability as the other major players, like Dragon, bbi and Sideshow.  They've put together a similar, yet quite different approach.

Adolf has a cut joint neck (the heads can be popped on or off the bodies pretty easily, and there's a neck post underneath), interesting ball jointed shoulders (see the close up of the floating joint inside the chest cavity), cut joints on the biceps, ankles and thighs, double jointed knees and elbows, ball jointed waist and chest, wrist joints, and even a jointed foot.

Adding to the articulation, the hands are a soft rubber with wires running through the fingers, allowing you to pose each finger individually if you'd like.  I don't know how well they'll hold a weapon over time, but they worked really well for posing the fingers.

Along with the changes to the shoulders, feet, and hands, they've done something a little different with the double jointed elbows and knees.  The connector between the upper and lower part of the limb is longer than on most other figures, and this means that the two limbs can be brought together even closer, giving the joint a wider range of motion.

The only negative here is possibly the seams of the pieces.  The long pieces of the body are made from a very hard plastic, and I have some concerns that the seams on these pieces may break apart after too much posing.  I'm sure that as DP gets more experience with the new bodies improvements will be made, not to mention the improvements that will occur in the manufacturing process over time, but it's the one area I'm a little worried about.   

Value - ***
$50 is pushing it in the sixth scale market, but it's rare that we see something of this quality.  Sure, in the Barbie world dropping fifty bucks is pretty common, and even Hasbro often thinks they can charge that much.  But most of the smaller companies are working in the $35-$40 range.

Those figures don't include quite this level of detail and accuracy though, and the addition of the display case is an easy ten bucks added to the value.

Overall - ****
I have little interest in the subject material here, but I can't possible ignore the great quality and detail.  The outfit is fantastic, the new body has great possibilities, and the desire for accuracy is evident.  With Sideshow and Drastic both working on some excellent 12" product this year, I'm going to be broke.

Where to Buy - 
I'm not sure of what on-line retailers will be carrying these, but you can pre-order at Drastic Plastic's site for $50, free shipping.  They should be getting in the bulk of the figures very shortly too.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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