Sideshow Indiana Jones
Fertility Idol Environment

Indiana Jones Fertility Idol environment by Sideshow Collectibles

Everyone has their favorite scene from the Indy franchise, and they come from every movie. But I believe that the exceptional opening sequence to Raiders went a long way to creating a lasting character in our minds, and set our expectations and understanding of the fictional hero called Indiana Jones for the rest of the series.

Late last week, I looked st Sideshow's Belloq figure, an interesting but mediocre addition to the line. Perhaps more interesting than the figure itself is the Fertility Idol Environment that the exclusive version came with. The regular Belloq was $80, but for $140 you could also receive this very cool looking diorama piece. They produced 1000 of the exclusives (i.e. 1000 environments).

Why pack it with the Belloq? Hell if I know. Belloq was never any where near this particular item in the film, although he is the one that stole the Idol from Indy once he was out of the cave. I suppose if you WERE going to make this an item that goes with a figure, the only other figure that would make sense would be Satipo, and let's face it, the odds are we aren't ever going to see a Satipo figure.

The more cynical of my readers may say it's because they knew it was the only way they'd sell any Belloqs. Most folks will wonder "why not just sell it on it's own?", but I suspect the results of past items like the Star Wars hologram chess set might have driven them to try a different alternative.

Since I like the environment quite a bit more than the Belloq, I figured it deserved it's own review. Since Belloq would cost you $80 on his own from Sideshow, I suppose you could say this cost $60, but that's not necessarily true. More on that later.

Packaging - *1/2
You'll notice there is no packaged photo. Why, Michael, why? Well, because I figure everyone knows what a white box looks like.

The interior foam keeps the diorama nice and safe, but it's that annoying soft foam, you know the kind. It falls apart every time you touch it, and sticks to everything with static cling. You're finding pieces of foam weeks later in places I don't even want to mention.

And yea, there's no writing, photos, graphics or anything else on the outside of the box.
Indiana Jones Fertility Idol environment from Sideshow Collectibles
Indiana Jones Fertility Idol environment from Sideshow Collectibles
Indiana Jones Fertility Idol environment from Sideshow Collectibles
Indiana Jones Fertility Idol environment from Sideshow Collectibles
Indiana Jones Fertility Idol environment from Sideshow Collectibles

Sculpting -****
If you were expecting resin, polyresin, or something similar, you'll be surprised to find out that the environment is made from a hard plastic, molded with a hollow inside. This makes it much lighter weight than it would have been otherwise, but may also not feel as 'realistic' as you might have expected.

However, it does nothing to reduce the fine detailing of the sculpt, or the realistic look of the textured stone surface. The carved patterns are very film accurate, and have a depth and sharpness to look fantastic at this scale.

The moss is also quite well done, although on close up photos it might look a little soft. The reality is that in person under normal light, it looks just like hanging moss on the rough stone, and there's just enough to give the base added visual flair. It looks like there isn't quite as much as there was in the movie, but there's certainly enough for my personal tastes. Too much and it ends up looking like a planter.

The scale is excellent as well, with the base standing just under 7 inches tall without the idol on top. It works great with the Sideshow Indy, but it will work fine with the Medicom or Hasbro versions as well.

There's an extra hunk of floor that can be placed on any side of the tower, to extend the base as needed. This extension is actually made from polystone, and is very solid and heavy. Even with the difference in material, it matches in color and texture perfectly.

The idol itself is made from solid metal, painted bright gold, looking very, very much like it's on screen counterpart. I've included a shot of this idol with the one that came with Indy for size and sculpt comparison. In the photo below, the idol on the left is the metal one that comes with the environment, while the brighter one on the right is the plastic version that comes with Indy. To me, it's clear how much better looking the actual metal version is. Obviously, Indy can't hold this one in his hands, as it's much too heavy, but it looks fantastic on the pedestal.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint provides a very realistic look to the beautiful textured surface. The hanging moss is given enough variation in color to simulate the actual thing, and the stone surface has subtle variations in color as well, making it appear much like we expect worn columns and pillars in ancient ruins to look.

Design/Quality - ***
At $60, I was hoping for a be more resin, a bit less plastic, and the hollow construction requires that there is at least one small hole in the side of the pillar. I've seen some where this was VERY obvious, but I was one of the lucky ones, and mine is fairly well hidden. 

At this cost, I also think that extending the entire base out as far as the single extension would have made sense.

Fun Factor - ***
Hey, I loved having sets and dioramas to use with my figures as a kid - who wouldn't? Every kid recognizes this key moment, AND it's a moment of tremendous action potential. Not all you need is a big foam rock!

Value - **
The only (normal) way to get this environment is to buy it with the Belloq. You can actually do that right now because it's on second chance opportunity. The figure and base cost $140, while the figure by itself costs $80. You'd assume therefore that the cost of the base is $60.

I'm giving the environment two stars for value. Sixty bucks is a pretty good chunk of change, particularly for a hollow plastic item like this. A number of folks have commented on the annoying hole in one side of the sculpt, necessary for this kind of manufacture, and the hollow nature makes it a tougher sell in general.

Still, it's a nice diorama piece, and it really only feels about ten bucks too high. However, let's be honest here - nobody is going to give you $80 for the Belloq figure. Not even Paul Freeman's mom*. So while you're *technically* only paying $60 for it, you're really paying around $80, which is clearly too expensive.

*Paul Freeman is the actor that played Belloq. Jokes are never as funny when you have to explain them, but since 90% of my readers are brilliant, obviously, that's usually not a problem.

Things To Watch Out For
The idol is not held in place by any sort of magnet (something you might assume based on Sideshow's past history), so he falls off pretty easily. Take it into consideration when you're moving the environment. I've heard others say that theirs DOES have a magnet - mine does not, so it's something to pay attention to.

Overall - ***1/2
I'm extremely happy with the Idol Environment, and it will look fantastic with any Indiana Jones sixth scale figure you decide to pair it up with.

It's only real flaw of any major concern is that it comes packed with Belloq, a figure you may very well have little or no interest in. Unloading Belloq is pretty unlikely, at least for the price you're hoping for, so if you don't want him, getting this environment is going to be a tough sell.

Score Recap:
Packaging - *1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Design/Quality - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **
Overall - ***1/2

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

- or you can search ebay using the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.

Related Links -
As I mentioned, I covered the Belloq that comes with the environment just last week. Also check out the review of the Sideshow Indy, which I used in the photos of the environment.

Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Indiana Jones Fertility Idol environment from Sideshow Collectibles

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: 4.38

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Indiana Jones Fertility Idol environment from Sideshow Collectibles

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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