East of Eden may have been a
higher brow affair, based on the later
half of Steinbeck’s seminal novel, but Rebel captured the zeitgeist of
the time, dealing with the breakdown in communication between parents
and their disenfranchised teenagers, because as we all know teenagers
hadn’t existed before 1950, and certainly not disenfranchised ones!
was the story of Jim Stark a young man who had courted trouble all his
life, so his family ups-sticks and moves to Los Angeles in hope of a
new life and a new start.
Although desperately trying to keep on the straight and narrow Jim soon
falls in with the wrong crowd and gets involved in switch-blade
and games of ‘Chickie’, this involves accelerating a car towards a
cliff edge, the first to jump out being the ‘Chickie’, needless to say
things go horribly
the way he also manages to fall for the local gang-leaders girl, and
becomes friends with the resident loner who also (unbeknownst to him)
is gay and has a crush on him. So it’s a pretty tangled web having all
the essential ingredients for a good teen melodrama… in fact it
virtually wrote the rule book for teen melodramas and is still
rightfully considered a piece of classic 50’s cinema. These were
exciting times, Marlon Brando had re-invented the rebel in The Wild One
(1953) not just a delinquent, but a angry young man with hidden depths,
Dean was showing young men it was OK to be confused and emotional
(1955) and then to top it all Elvis Presley burst onto the scene in
1956, things would never be the same again, and though it’s impossible
to pinpoint the exact date of the birth of pop
culture, it could be argued that this was pretty much it!
The M-Icon series has brought us some very nicely designed boxes and
with this one it continues to do so.
The first Dean box
was designed to look like denim, then Brandos mimicked
black leather, the Won Ka Kui ones
were colour co-ordinated white, green, red and now this latest Dean has
a spot laminated Schafline style line illustration against a dark brick
wall effect. It again has the ‘Hot Toys’ cast metal corner flash badge,
this time with a copper finish.
Open up the box and there’s a
full colour printed sheet of paper that wraps right round the foam that
holds the figure in place. This has a brief bio and a couple of photos
of the figure, one a face detail the other full figure. This sheet
opens to the left and underneath is a sheet of foam, lift this and
there’s the figure, completely encased in a die-cut foam surround,
along side his stand, three alternate hands and a Polly-bagged
The M-Icon range is very distinct from other HT figure lines, it was a
series I had originally hoped to complete but those darned elusive Won
Ka Kui figures put paid to that, however I’m still happily in this one
for the long haul. 1/6th for the more discerning collector…
who am I kidding, they’re just very cool figures!
There have been a few Deans over the years, some
not so good!
The last Dean by HT was
sculpted by Kang In Ae, but this time Yulli has taken a crack at him,
Dean has one of those faces, that though striking doesn’t really have
anything remarkable about it, a trait that can make capturing a
likeness notoriously difficult. However I still think this is an
amazing job. For some reason I find a profile or ¾ view from the left
hand side is the strongest angle, straight on is also very good but the
right profile doesn’t work quite as well, why that should be I’m not
quite sure, and it may be that others will disagree.
However, for me it’s still the
strongest Dean sculpt so far, marginally pulling ahead of the Giant
He also comes with 3 alternate
hands, two are fists and one is in the distinctive pointing finger pose
used on the movie
I can find nothing to fault
here, the hair is a good mousey brown colour shot through with
occasional lighter streaks, the skin tones are beautiful, gently added
to the translucent base plastic. The lips are picked out well, looking
very natural and the eyes are of a great quality, in the way we’ve come
to expect from JC Hong, catching the light so convincingly it’s spooky.
That’s pretty much it for paint
apps apart from a few details on the boots and a flash of colour on the
filter of the cigarette, but it’s all totally faultless.
Articualtion - ****
Dean is, as you’d expect on the True-Type (TT).
I’ve been over this body too many times to go into specifics here, this
version has a joint at both ends of the neck making for far better
posing, but I did notice this seems to have few newly sculpted details
on the pectoral muscles, apart from that it’s the top quality you
expect from the TT, still the best 1/6 body out there.
This is a relatively simple outfit by HT standards, we have moulded
brown biker boots, blue jeans with working pockets throughout, similar
to those supplied with the ‘Wild One’ Brando. However the
best jeans I’ve ever seen are still those that came with the first
Dean, the material used and the weathering were simply
Next we have a white T-shirt, I
feel the material used here was just a little too thick meaning at this
scale it looks more like sweat shirt material and bunches up a little
around his neck. With some futzing you can make it look just fine but
I’d have liked it to have been just a little thinner. The stand-out
garment is the red windbreaker jacket, the material used, the cuff
buttons, the tiny zip and the working pockets are simply perfect. It’s
fully lined, but the thin, silky, parachute like material hangs with a
perfect feeling for scale. He also comes wearing a pair of white boxer
shorts, I found they filled out the jeans a little too much so I
removed them, but they certainly fitted well.
If you decide to undress or
re-dress him don’t try and undo the zip completely. It’s such a
tiny-scaled zip that it’s sewn shut at the base. Just un-zip it as low
as you can, remove the hands then slip it straight down his body, over
his legs. The boots pop off easily as they are of the ‘no internal
foot’ design so removing and re-attaching is a cinch.
Accessories - **1/2
To be fair Dean comes with all he needs to look very cool on your
We get a stand with his name
printed on, three alternate hands, he comes with relaxed hands attached
so we also have two fists and the pointing finger. Lastly there’s the
tiny cigarette, this is Polly-bagged in its own little compartment, the
filter is painted and the ‘lit’ tip has what appears to be a miniscule
red plastic jewel stuck on, from some angles this does a great job of
catching the light and looking lit.
I’d have loved him to come with
a switchblade, but he wore a different outfit for the fight scene at
the observatory so it’s fair that he doesn’t… but I’d have still liked
Like the other M-Icon figures the choice of character isn’t aimed at
those who want to play, no, this is more discerning cabinet fodder. I
actually bought the old Mattel ‘Barbie’ James Dean a few back, but he’s
in storage and now I think he’ll stay that way, and it has to be said,
posed next to Brando they do look extremely cool!
As with all the M-Icons they don’t come loaded with extras, but they do
give us some very cool characters. If you’ve ever wanted a good 1/6th
representation of Dean then this is the best so far, and the price,
though not cheap I think reflects the current sate of hi-end 1/6th
At the end of the day this was a
classic just waiting to happen, and at last it has!
In many, many ways this should
have been a **** figure for me, just held back by the lack of
accessories, he really should have had a switchblade (OK, I know he’s
wearing a different outfit in the scenes with the knife, but it
would’ve been cool). And the likeness, as much as I love this figure
it’s about 98% there, so it’s that 2% just keeping back from perfection
Design & Assembly: ***3/4
Fun Factor: ***1/2
Where to Buy -
Sideshow has him on Pre-order for $114.99
Ego pre-order $103.49
Store pre-order $103.49
Planet pre-order £89.99
For anyone in the UK still after the first JD he’s on offer there as