Barney Ross - Expendables
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 thought the new Barney Ross figure from Hot Toys deserved a
double whammy tonight, so I'm checking him out here, and Ryan Kelly is
hitting him up with this guest review - take it away, Ryan!
I’m a huge Rocky fan, which has caused me to become a pretty big
Stallone fan in general. Unfortunately, I missed the boat on Hot Toys’
Rocky figures, since they came out long before I started collecting,
and they only place to acquire them at this point is ebay where they
have tripled in value, typically selling around $300.
Hot Toys has given us another shot at a 1:6 Stallone, albeit a lesser
known character: Barney Ross of “The Expendables.” Though this
may not be an iconic character like Rocky or Rambo, Hot Toys has come
such a long way in their skill level that this is undisputedly their
most lifelike Stallone figure to date, easily beating out their older
Rocky and Rambo figures. While I’m not really so much of a “Barney
Ross” fan per se (the name “Barney,” which reminds me of a retarded
purple dinosaur and a bumbling deputy from Mayberry, just doesn’t work
for a character like this), “The Expendables” was a pretty awesome
movie in my ever-so-humble opinion, and after initially planning to
pass this figure up, I finally gave in and preordered it last month
because it looked like my only chance of getting a Hot Toys Stallone at
a decent price. I was just in time too, since he sold out directly
afterwards at the website where I usually do my preorders.
on this guy ranged from $153 to about $165, depending on the retailer.
The site where I got him was the last place to still have him in stock
at the $153 minimum, so, having likely gotten the last one, I was
pretty lucky. It turns out that he’s been selling out everywhere, and
prices on ebay are already starting to climb. Thus, if you want this
figure and can find a website (or local comic store) that still has him
for a decent price, you’d better go for it, because he’s lasting about
as long as a box of doughnuts at a fat kids’ camp.
It’s been a
while since I’ve seen the movie, but I don’t think anyone was or will
be surprised that Barney Ross is a rough, tough, take-charge kind of
guy who oozes Hollywood masculinity. Pretty much your typical Stallone
character. Ross is, of course, the leader of the Expendables, a crew of
mercenaries comprised of just about every tough guy in Hollywood who
take on dangerous missions in which they administer multiple
ass-kickings while surviving a plethora of gunfire and explosions in
order to rescue damsels in distress and take down corrupt regimes,
managing to make it home just in time for their latest tattoo
appointment. Considering the great ensemble of tough-guy actors we were
presented with in this movie, I’m hoping this will merely be the first
in a great line of “Expendables” figures from Hot Toys. Alright, let’s
get on with it…
has to be the best use of space I’ve ever seen in packaging for a sixth
scale figure, though the packaging of HT’s Aldo Raine figure comes
close to matching it. This figure comes with a TON of stuff, and a box
that’s a good bit smaller than many of their other 1:6 figures’
packaging is able to hold every bit of it. Oh, and it manages to look
awesome while doing it. The box has a white outer sleeve with the
movie’s name and logo that slides off without too much difficulty, and
the box itself (through which you can see the figure through a plastic
window) has a really cool grinning skull design on it. Well-decorated,
convenient, and efficient—this is as good as figure packaging gets. Hot
Toys likes to experiment with different packaging designs and styles,
and does an awesome job almost every time. This is one of their best
Sculpting - ****
is in ‘da house, baby! He certainly has enough unique facial features
to make him easier to sculpt than most, and Hot Toys pulls it off with
breathtaking accuracy. Even Ray Charles would be able to tell that this
is Sylvester Stallone. Everything—head, hands, etc—is in the right
scale. The arms and chest are also sculpted well and add realism to the
overall appearance. Hot Toys nails it again…does this surprise anyone?
Again, are we
surprised? I like Michael’s recent analogy about Hot Toys and great
paint jobs going together like Charlie Sheen and trouble (“Lindsay
Lohan” and “jail” would probably work too). This actually took a lot of
skilled paint work because of the tattoos, which are done perfectly.
The eyes are moist and lifelike. The hair is well-painted and the
hairline is nice and even. The goatee is done perfectly with just the
right degree of subtlety. It’s all good.
Not one, but
TWO outfits, folks. I swear this guy is just one extra head short
of being a DX. His first outfit is a military-style getup with black
pants, black t-shirt, and his “tactical vest.” I had more trouble with
that vest than anything, but I blame that mostly on myself. I found
that the best way to get it on and off him is to undo/redo the little
straps at either side, and redoing them is a pain. You may end up
needing tweezers, though I managed without them. The front and
back of the vest attaches via velcro at his shoulders, which I had to
readjust several times before getting it to look right. Additionally,
there’s a sheath for the knife that attaches to the back of the vest
via a couple of loops on the vest and “magic tape’ on both ends of the
sheath itself. On both ends, you put the strap through the loop, then
pull it down and attach the top of the strap to the bottom via the
magic tape, thus securing it. The magic tape on the bottom part of mine
must have lost some of its magic, because it came off on one side.
Nothing a little superglue won’t fix, I guess.
The belt comes
with three holsters: two—one on either side—for the pistols and one for
the revolver. All three weapons fit snugly in their holsters, which
have straps that enclose securely around them. There are also two
small compartments on the front of his belt for the extra clips. As for
the beret, it’s made of a thin and almost velvety material, and though
it’s difficult to do, you can get it to look OK on his head. It’s hard
to get it to look right, though, and to me, it never really looks
exactly right. I’ll likely be displaying him without it. He also comes
wearing two bracelets on his left wrist and a watch on his right. Hot
Toys left nothing out.
Next, as if all that weren’t enough, we
have his casual outfit: a green t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans and a
western-styled belt. I had to use a pair of needlenose to get the belt
through the loops, and the velcro holding the fly together on the jeans
is subpar; I wish they had opted for small hooks instead of velcro. But
oh well, it’s just a minor nit, and not enough to offset the numerous
positive features in this section.
So, whether Barney’s on or
off the clock, we have an outfit for either occasion. With not one but
two great outfits, Hot Toys spoils us this time, and it’s much easier
to feel like you’re getting your money’s worth.
Also, this figure has underwear. Yep. Underwear. These people are truly hardcore.
I was pleasantly surprised here, because figures on the HT
muscular bodies usually aren’t as well articulated as those on standard
truetypes. With tons of joints all over the place—this looks like a
muscular version of the advanced truetype—Rocky (uh…I mean…Barney) can
assume almost any pose and is virtually unrestricted.
let’s just say I could write a book (don’t worry, I won’t). As someone
who loves getting tons of accessories with a figure, I’m one extremely
happy camper. Two handguns (with extra clips and movable chambers), a
revolver, an assault rifle that extends out at the back, a huge knife
and a sheath to put it in, a pair of sunglasses, pair of goggles, two
necklaces, five extra hands in addition to the pair of fists he comes
with, extra wrist pegs, and a display stand (that you won’t need). Also
there’s the beret, but I’m counting that under the outfit section. The
sunglasses look kind of goofy on him unless you view him directly from
the front, but it’s a minor nit. The guns are kind of fragile, so take
care when putting them in and out of his hands. The hands themselves
swap easily, so there likely won’t be any need for the extra pegs, but
they’re good to have anyway.
you managed to nab this figure in the $150 range, then you got a heck
of a deal. Mine was $153 (actually $147 after a small discount!),
and that’s about as good as it gets. It takes a lot for an action
figure to be worth that kind of dough, and this figure’s got it…and
then some. Even in the $160 range, you’re getting at least a solid
Factor - ****
figure is really durable and would make a great toy. With that being
said, anyone who gives this to a kid should be thrown in a dungeon.
Things To Watch Out For -
guns are pretty fragile, so take care when removing and replacing them
in his little mitts. The sunglasses are pretty fragile, too; don’t
stretch them out too far when putting them on his face since they’re
made out of a very thin plastic that can break easily.
Though I may be
but a lowly guest reviewer, anyone who bothers to read this review
should mark my words: you’re looking at a prime contender for Figure of
the Year. Whether it be the Poppies, People’s Picks, or whatever, if
there’s any justice at all in the world, this figure will be getting
some love somewhere. Watch your back, Arnie.
Though I personally
don’t plan on extending my “Expendables” collection any further (should
HT decide to expand the line), I definitely wouldn’t be able to resist
a Stone Cold Steve Austin, and if they came out with one, I would
probably end up selling a vital organ to acquire the cash. The rest of
my organs will be donated after my wife kills me for spending that kind
of money on an action figure.
This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer.
Photos and text by Ryan Kelly.