SOTW 12" Navy Advisor Junk Force

Formative International, makers of the Soldiers of the World line has brought out a new body with their 12" figures.  You should look for boxes that say "Outstanding Articulation" in a large star on the bottom right front.  This body has a ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, cut biceps, double jointed elbows, wrists, waist, ball jointed hips, cut joint thighs, double jointed knees, and ankles.  

One of the complaints with the early figures from Formative was their cheapness.  Of course, they only cost eight bucks, so some level of cheapness was to be expected.  But they have consistently improved the quality of both their figures and accessories.  I picked this guy up at Target for $7.99.

Packaging - **
Nothing exciting here.  A basic box, with little info provided.

Articulation - ***1/2
All of the 12" bodies are trying to one-up each other these days.  The only one out there that currently out does the articulation on this body is the new Sideshow Toy with articulated feet, but it's not really out yet.  They've done a terrific job with an excellent 12" body.  Even if you don't care for the characters, these bodies are cheap enough to work great for customs.  I'm pretty sure this is exactly the same body they used for the moving soldiers last fall, without the controller.

My only problem is that they joints seem a little loose. It's nothing major, but they were a little floppy.  The body doesn't seem a lot taller than the Dragons - it is slightly taller than 21st Century stuff though.  Check out the picture at the bottom for a comparison.  He is definitely bulkier in the chest though, and would probably work well for super hero customs.

Accessories - ***
The accessories with this figure are a world above some of the previous items from Formative.  The handgun, Thompson, and knife are very hard plastic, and are extremely well sculpted, particularly at this price point.  The dog tags are decent, but the holster and sheath are still not very well done. The cloth bag is very plain, but will hold quite a few items  They need to work on these soft accessories, but the hard plastic ones they are now producing are terrific.  This is another reason to pick these up - the accessories are at a level of quality that they can be used for kitbashing.  

Sculpting - **1/2
The head sculpt on this figure is adequate.  I would prefer if he had his mouth shut, but the appearance would work for any number of customs.  Also, these heads are easily removed if you'd like to swap this body to another figure.

Outfit - ***
The shirt and pants on this figure would make a terrific Ninja outfit.  Jet black, with real pockets in the front of the shirt, this costume is very useful.  The boots are also terrific, and the soft rubber works much better to take them off and put them back on.  The belt fits well, and has a decent clasp.  The only less than exciting item here is the beret - I prefer hard plastic berets to cloth ones, but as cloth ones go this one is pretty good.

Value - ****
One of the best values you'll ever find.  This figure, at eight bucks, goes to show just what is possible.  A clothed, 12", highly articulated figure with good accessories, under $8.  These figures might not be the most exciting characters, but the possibilities for kitbashers and customizers is almost unlimited.

Overall - ***
I highly recommend these figures for two groups - folks who want the bodies, outfits and accessories for customs and kit bashes, and kids, who will get lots of play value out of these reasonably priced figures.  Need to build up your army?  Then Soldiers of the World are for you!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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