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Michael Jackson - Beat It Version
Hot Toys

Michael Jackson Bad sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


For their tenth anniversary, Hot Toys threw quite the celebration. Along with the wild party, they produced several figures, including a new version from their popular Michael Jackson series, this time in his red outfit from Beat It. This is the fourth variation on the infamous pop singer that they've produced, and certainly the most limited.

How limited? No exact numbers that I know of, but Michael is going for $250 - $300 on ebay right now, double the usual price for an average Hot Toys figure. Considering the lack of extras, it's quite a mark up.

Personally, I think this sort of move is a bad idea on Hot Toys part. While some people believe producing very limited exclusives generates press that gets your name out there, I think the downside - alienating completists - outweighs the upside for them at this point. They don't need more press, as every sixth scale collector on the planet knows who they are and just how good their figures are. They're regular releases are already highly collectible - they don't need to produce something like this to energize their product.

But whether you like the approach or not, you have to set that aside when you look at the worthiness of the figure itself. And who knows - Hot Toys may find a way to get a Beat It version that's slightly different out to their fans at a later date, making this guy a moot point. Until that happens however, there's no doubt this guy is going to be in demand.
Michael Jackson Bad sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Michael Jackson Bad sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Michael Jackson Bad sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Michael Jackson Bad sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Michael Jackson Bad sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Michael Jackson Bad sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Michael Jackson Bad sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Michael Jackson Bad sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Packaging - ****
Hot Toys packaging is always good - sometimes, it's amazing. This is one of the latter.

The actual box that holds the figure comes packed inside an outer sleeve, bookshelf style. Slip the box out, and on the inside of the very heavy, thick outer sleeve are additional graphics! The interior red box has a top lid that opens to show the figure packed safely in a foam tray. It's very safe, and very high end.

To add to the special nature of the 10th Anniversary, there's a metal (yes, real metal) emblem on the back near the bottom. In the photo, you'll see the plastic cover that protects if from scratches, but this can easily be removed.

This is a terrific package, and is made from very high quality materials. The additional graphics on the inside of the outer sleeve are a very nice touch, and the personalized nature of the overall container really adds a lot to it.

Sculpting - ****
I looked over the previous Michael Jackson figures that Hot Toys released, and I didn't recognize this head sculpt exactly. It's not a huge difference from the Thriller expression, but there's no subtle smile and very different hair.

The hyper-realistic skin texture looks amazing, and the eyes are glassy and life-like. The hair is layered, clearly accomplished with different pieces, but done so cleanly that it looks like the real deal.

The face isn't super animated, with a somewhat blank expression. I don't like this quite as much as the normal Thriller head, but I think it's on par with the Bad version, and a huge step up from their first version.

Paint - ***1/2
What's more rare than this figure? A Hot Toys paint score that isn't four stars! The reason this score drops slightly this time around is pretty minor, as you'd probably expect.

It's certainly not a problem with the face or hair. The work on the eyes is sublime, and the skin tone and immaculate hair line are the usual amazing quality. Even the lips are the perfect tone!

No, the issue is with the various hands. These are not all a consistent skin tone, with some quite a bit darker than others. I'm sure there's a Michael Jackson joke in there, but I'm going to take the high roard this time. I was pretty surprised to see any issue with the paint, let alone something like the hands.

Articulation - ***1/2
The body is highly articulated, with extremely well designed joints that have a tremendous range of movement. Almost any pose that Michael could take this figure can mirror...almost.

Normally this is a four star category as well, especially with this particular TrueType and little interference from the costume. But I did find that his left leg tended to come apart at the knee, certainly more easily than it should. It's not broken, merely a loose fit, and is just a minor annoyance.

Accessories - **1/2
There's not the usual number of accessories here, but there are a ton of posed hands.

In fact, there are four full extra sets of hands in addition to the open pair he comes wearing. There's regular fists, a pointing hand, as well as several funky poses designed for Michael's signature moves. The hands swap pretty easily, and while some are a tad large (and I already complained about the inconsistent skin color), they work well with dozens of poses.

There's some extra wrist pegs too, as well as the usual display stand. While the hands are nice, it's still mighty light for this category.

Outfit - ***1/2
This outfit is the least complex of the releases so far, but it is extremely high quality and very well tailored.

There's the tight black pants with loafers and white socks, Michael's nerdy side coming through. The t-shirt has the French art logo on the front, and this feels like an iron on label. It looks great, and should last quite awhile, assuming you aren't washing it regularly.

The jacket is the clear stand out of course, and has the properly scaled zipper. The sleeves pull up and stay in place on his arms, and the bright red color is clean and consistent. There's even a soft nylon lining!

To top things off, he had a red leather belt and actual chain belt, both already in place around his waist. In fact, there's nothing to put together this time, unless you swap hands.

Fun Factor - ***
The figure is sturdy, and all the costume pieces are high quality. He could actually stand up to normal play, although I think you might find yourself institutionalized if a fellow collector sees you give this guy to a 6 year old.

Value - *
Hot Toys figures are always expensive, and $150 is a pretty average price to pay. However, you usually get quite a few accessories at that price point, something that's missing here. Obviously, Hot Toys was looking to keep the cost of manufacturing this figure low, so that they could produce fewer than normal. But if you're trying to buy one now, you'll pay twice what the usual retail is, making him a pretty weak value.

Things to Watch Out For -
You should always be a little careful when swapping hands, but the posts seem quite sturdy, and I didn't feel like there was any real risk of breakage. There's also the extra wrist pegs included, just in case.

Overall - ***1/2
The big issue here is the value of course, because if this figure was produced at a normal edition size with so few accessories, it wouldn't be worth the average price, let alone twice that much.

However, I'm not hitting the overall too much for it this time, because the extremely limited availability was part of the point. Not everyone may be happy with it, but it was Hot Toys intention.

The sculpt and paint are the usual high quality work we expect, and the costume looks great. He's a tad light on the accessories, but I suspect he's destined to become a Holy Grail for many Michael Jackson fans worldwide. Let's face it, they aren't likely to be deterred by the lack of a few extras.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - **1/2
Outfit - ****
Fun Factor - ***
Value - *
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
These 10th Anniversary figures were very limited, and initially only available in Hong Kong. Finding one now requires hooking up with a dealer that acquired some at the celebration, or trying you're luck on ebay.

Related Links -
Hot Toys already did their DX-03 version of Michael in one of his Bad costumes, their very cool Thriller version, and their first sequined version.

Playmates toys is also doing some Michael figures in a slightly smaller scale - check out their Billie Jean version.

Discussion:
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Michael Jackson Bad sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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