Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Jack Bauer, President Palmer
24 Sixth Scale Action Figures

Date Published: 2009-03-20
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3.25 out of 4

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24 Jack Bauer action figure by Enterbay 24 Jack Bauer action figure by Enterbay

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I've been a fan of the show 24 since the first hour of the first day. Yes, occasionally the show gets a bit ridiculous but that's been true since the beginning. C'mon, who doesn't remember Kim being chased by a mountain lion? But this show is like watching a Bruce Willis action movie on television for six months - how can you complain? They've also mastered the concept of the cliff hanger, making their fans anticipate every new show.

Jack has had several incarnations of plastic goodness, and there's even the story where some company (whether it was McFarlane or Medicom is part of the unknown, although most folks believe it was McFarlane) sent Keifer a prototype to approve, and in one of his 'party moods' he destroyed it, not realizing they needed it back...ah, that crazy kid, Keifer.

Enterbay announced that they were doing a Jack and a President Palmer several months ago, and based on their fantastic work on the Bruce Lee figures, fans were stoked. Unlike the Bruce Lee's, who were extremely expensive, the 24 figures were priced more in line with Medicom and Hot Toys, running around $150 - $170, depending on the retailer.

Both figures have just started shipping, and your best bet is to pick them up online. Enterbay hasn't announced any additional characters yet, but the hope is there that the demand will drive further figures.

There are more photos in this review than usual, since these guys are just so damn photogenic. That doesn't mean they are without issues, as you'll read, but they sure do look purty. And yes, I know there are more photos of Bauer than Palmer, but one's an action star and one's a guy in a suit. What did you expect?

24 Jack Bauer action figure by Enterbay

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Packaging - ****
Enterbay is looking to pack these in as attractive a way as possible. There is an outer box that has a lenticular full size 'label', that allows the '24' symbol to change color the way it does in the opening credits. Nice!

Inside are two more boxes - one for the figure, and one for the accessories. The figure is swaddled in soft foam inside the box, ensuring that it won't bounce around at all. The accessories are in a double plastic tray, and instructions for using the display stand are included.

This is some of the nicest looking AND safest packaging I've seen, similar to what they do with their far more expensive Bruce Lee figures.

24 Jack Bauer action figure by Enterbay

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Sculpting - ****
I think using the word WOW here is not an overstatement. These head sculpts don't just look dead on to the characters, they look realistic. The closer the photo, the better they look - how often does that happen?

Of the two, I think the Bauer head sculpt is a smidge more accurate to the character. I like the Palmer in person better than in earlier photos, but he's still not *quite* as perfect. Be the skin texturing is amazing, right down to the specific pock marks that are on Dennis Haysbert's face.

The Palmer head sculpt is a little too round though, and Palmer's head was longer, much like Jack's. I think this basic structure issue is what throws off the likeness slightly, but the rest of the sculpt is extremely good.

24 President Palmer action figure by Enterbay

Bauer is outstanding.  Again, he has the skin texturing that makes the head sculpt so realistic, including a slightly heavier texture (only slightly!) to give the impression of stubble.

On the Lee figures, the eyes were movable, but that's not the case here. However, the eyes ARE separate, set back in the head. This really adds to the realistic appearance - look at that first photo and the level of detail in and around the eyes!

The detail of the hair is also well worth mentioning. Palmer's short 'fro is amazingly realistic, and Bauer's hair looks terrific. His is particularly of note because the hair style is so difficult to reproduce in a realistic way in plastic.

I had to double check on that goofy left ear lobe though.  What's up with that? It looks deformed! And sure enough, Keifer has that weird lobe. Enterbay could have just done normal ears and most folks wouldn't have noticed, but they went the extra mile to get the overall appearance as close as possible.

The hand sculpts aren't quite as perfect, as both figures have a bit of the old alien finger thing going on. But the head sculpts pretty much trump all else, making it tough to notice anything else.

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Paint - ****
But it's not just the sculpt that's outstanding - it's the paint, too. A sculptor can practically kill himself (or herself) trying to get a perfect likeness, only to have it ruined by sloppy mass production paint work. We've see it over and over, and right now, only Hot Toys seems to be able to overcome this in sixth scale.

That is, until Enterbay. The paint work on the face and hair is outstanding, some of the finest production paint work we've seen. Sideshow and Medicom need to take a look at these figures, because at the $150 price point, this is how it should be done.

Just like with the sculpt, the eyes are were the real life comes in. There's no painted catch lights, and the finish doesn't have that flat mannequin-like appearance. These eyes aren't just clean and even, they are expressive and human.

24 Jack Bauer action figure by Enterbay

But the paint work on the lips and eyebrows shouldn't be ignored. These are two areas that are often at fault for making a head sculpt look toy-ish rather than realistic, but most people don't pay as much direct attention to them as the eyes. Just look at how exacting the eyebrows are on Jack, or the perfect shading on the lips. Outstanding!

The skin tone on both is also very well done, although at some angles and lighting Palmer looks a squidge dark. Jack's body color (including the neck) does not match the face, but since I'm going to be ragging on the body pretty badly in the next section, I'll leave that complaint for then too.

The hands aren't as nice or realistic as the heads, but much like with the sculpting, the heads are so well done that it tends to overshadow the minor paint issues on the hands.

24 President Palmer action figure by Enterbay

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Articulation - ***
As Mr. Horse would say: No sir, I don't like it. If you thought this review was going to be a complete hippie love fest, that ends now. I don't hate the body - it's no Buck - but it's not up to the level of a RAH or TT.

Let's start with the good, since there's far less of it. The shoulders are cut back at the arm pit so that the arms can fit very tight in to the body. That's a big plus, since these figures should not have that 'body builder' pose where the arms hang too far out.

The body also has a nice heft, with what feels to be very solid construction in both the plastic pieces and the joints.

If you're looking for a basic straight stance, the body does hang well. The pin/post ball ankles allow the feet to stay flat on the floor in any stance, and the body can stand with the weight shifted realistically to one leg or the other.

Unfortunately, stand is not something the body does well, at least not for very long. Some of the joints are very tight, like the shoulders or knees, but other critical joints are as loose or looser than the first Prometheus body. Jack's neck joint is so loose that he can barely maintain any head pose - if he were wearing a hat like Indy was, it would be game over. Both figures have very loose ankle and hip joints as well, making it difficult for them to stand for extended periods. There's no way I'll be able to keep either of these figures standing on their own on the shelf, and you know how much that bugs me.

Ignoring the issues with loose joints, which can vary figure to figure (Palmer doesn't have nearly as loose of a neck as Jack, for example), there are basic issues of mobility. While the shoulders are cut back to allow them to come in on the side of the body tightly, they are not designed to come across the front of the chest. That means that Palmer can't come close to crossing his arms, and Jack can't hold his gun out straight with the other hand supporting it in his trademark pose.

24 Jack Bauer action figure by Enterbay

And then there's the hips. After much careful forcing, I was able to get them to turn, but they are much too tight. Yea, I know, it's awfully odd to complain about a joint that's too tight, since normally it's being too loose that's the problem. But it felt like I was risking a snapped thigh just to get the joint to turn a little, and that shouldn't be the case. A well built body is designed AND manufactured to be not too tight, not too loose. While I'd rather have the body on the tight side, rather than the loose side, if it's so tight that I risk breaking a hip, then it's not a good experience for either of us. Wait, what were we talking about?

And let's finish up with the neck. Ah, that inglorious giraffe neck. As I mentioned in the paint section, the skin tone of the body doesn't match the face, and the neck is the obvious place where you see this. The neck is also long, although this is really only an issue because the outfit we get here does not cover it up. Look at Palmer and you can see that the long neck actually works great for a figure wearing any sort of clothing with a collar, and the photos I've seen of this Jack wearing the hoodie or jacket from the season 5 Medicom figure look fantastic.

So while the length is a tad annoying in the black shirt, it is something that works well in other clothes. However, I'm not keen on the articulation of the neck no matter what he's wearing.

There's only the ball joint at the top of the post, up under the jawline. The overall neck is sculpted sitting forward on the torso, and without any joint at the torso, you get some odd looking angles and bumps when the head is turned even slightly to the side. Some of this can also be corrected by wearing clothes with a collar, and it can be less obvious depending on the head sculpt. Palmer's rounded jawline hides the neck more, while Bauer's sharper, thinner jawline accentuates the neck issues. Damn it, I have to get me that Medicom outfit.

The last complaint is the height. Hey, I don't let Medicom get away with a shrimpy body, why would I let Enterbay?

Actually, I don't have that much of an issue with Jack's size. He clocks in at just a hair under 11 3/4" tall. Sutherland is not a huge guy, coming in around 5' 9", and as you can see in the photo with Connor, it doesn't look that far off.

It's Palmer that takes the bigger hit for his size. Jack and David are the same height, and that is clearly way off. Jack can be on this body and still look alright with other sixth scale figures - David Palmer does not.

BTW, it's worth noting that several of the joints, like the hips and shoulders, are actually 'clicky' or 'ratchet' joints, which click into specific spots for maximum support. On these figures I found it more annoying than useful.

24 President Palmer action figure by Enterbay

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Accessories - Jack **1/2; David *1/2
Palmer gets severely stiffed in this department. He has the Enterbay display stand, which looks better than it works, and as you can tell from the last category, he's going to need it. He also has a Certificate of Authenticity, although there's no edition numbering or size.

And that's it. Yep, no extra hands in Presidential poses, no folders or papers, no American flag to stand in front of or a podium to stand behind. Zippo. That's a huge disappointment at this price tag.

Jack does better here in terms of quantity, but still not at the quality I'd expect. He does have the display stand and COA, just like Palmer, and adds a number of other things.

There's the extra hands, three altogether. There's an extra left designed to hold the flashlight, and an extra right designed to hold the gun. Since the hands he comes wearing are in a relaxed open pose, I suspect most folks will switch to these two. They hold the accessories extremely well, but you have to take a little time getting the gun and trigger finger in just the right spot.

There's also another relaxed pose left hand, that works better for cupping the butt of the gun, or holding the edge of the bag.

The hands swap cleanly, and I didn't have any fear of breaking the wrist posts. No hot water baths were necessary either!

Jack has his man-purse, and it's his nicest accessory. There's excellent detailing including inside and side pockets, and the quality of the material and stitching is top notch.

He also has a gun, which comes with a silencer and holster. The holster is somewhat throw away, since he doesn't wear a belt, so there isn't a particularly good place to attach it. You can hook it right on his pants, but I doubt most folks will be using it.

The silencer fits in the barrel nicely, although you'll want to take care with the small, soft peg.

The gun and silencer are not at the level of detail or quality we've seen with weapons from Hot Toys, Medicom or Sideshow. I'm betting most people will be swapping the weapon out for one that has better sculpting and paint details.

He also has a small flashlight, which fits perfectly in the designated left hand. Like the gun, it's fairly plain, but the silver paper on the lens does catch and reflect light pretty well. None of the photos with the flashlight where the end appears lit have been retouched - I just positioned the light in such a way as to reflect off the sticker.

Finally, Jack has his watch. It's made from a softer rubber, and looks great on his wrist. Just pop his hand off to put it on. It has more detailing in both the sculpt and paint than any of the other hard plastic accessories, and matches the on screen counterpart extremely well.

While that's not bad, at this price point I was expecting a bit more. Certainly a cell phone, and perhaps even shades, although they wouldn't be truly accurate to this specific outfit. The quality of the included accessories needs to be higher too, especially in this market.

24 Jack Bauer action figure by Enterbay

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Outfit - Jack ***1/2; David ***
Both outfits photograph well, but in person there's a couple issues that become apparent.

Jack has his shoes, black pants, black(ish) shirt, and bullet proof vest. It's not a ton of clothes, but it's a fairly screen accurate representation.

The dress shoes are a different sculpt from Palmer's, so they get some extra credit there. The sculpt is good, although not quite as detailed as some we've seen. He has on socks too, matching black.

The tailoring on the pants, shirt and vest is excellent. The clothing fits well and hangs nicely, although you will probably want to futz with the vest a bit out of the box. Mine was riding too high up on the shoulders, but the sides are merely held in place with elastic bands attached with Velcro, so you can adjust and tighten them accordingly.

My only real complaint about Jack's outfit is the large and obvious snap they used at the zipper of the pants. It's low on the crotch, and is large enough that the flap of material doesn't completely cover it. A belt would have been a nice addition, but isn't critical. Oh, and a jacket and/or hoodie please.

Palmer's outfit is a bit more complex, but less exciting. Again, the shoe sculpt is good but not exceptional, and he's wearing some black socks. There's also his two piece single breasted suit, a striped tie, and his dress shirt. Unlike Jack, he has a nice working leather belt.

Again, the tailoring is quite good, especially in photos. The suit is made from a nylon like material though, which doesn't do it for me in person. While the nylon material allows it to be quite thin, it also means it tends to hold wrinkles, and I'm not too sure how well the threads will stay over time. I already had the seam on the left cuff pop loose, and I'm worried that this will happen in other areas with normal handling.

The colors of the outfit, including the striped shirt and tie, look pretty darn close to the screen versions. There's the small flag lapel pin on the jacket, but this is just a screen print - it's not an actual pin. While I didn't really expect an actual pin, this version looks a bit cheap in person.

I have a bit of an issue with the size of the collar on the shirt, which is slightly too big. This is one of those areas that companies consistently have trouble with, but Enterbay did get a perfect collar and fit on the suit coat over it, helping to hide the shirt collar's size somewhat.

My big issue with his overall outfit though is the tie. Similar to the DCD Deluxe Dr. Manhattan, this tie is really tied. Unlike that figure, it doesn't seem like it's easily adjusted. That's a problem, since they tied the knot too far down the fat half of the tie, making the knot too big (and the skinny half underneath too short). I thought I might be able to untie the knot and re-tie it - and you might be able to, but it will take a braver man than me. This is a tight knot, and there might even be some glue involved, although I can't be sure. Proceed at your own risk, but if you're successful, let me know. If not, then we never had this conversation.

This goofy oversized knot really hurts the look of the outfit. Ties are consistently a major problem for most companies, but we have seen good ones so we know it's possible.

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Fun Factor - **
These aren't particularly fragile figures, but the annoying floppiness to Jack's body hurts the score here. I was getting frustrated with him - a kid would toss him pretty quick. And a guy in a suit? We know how that goes.

Of course, you aren't going to be buying these for a kid, so the relevance is a bit questionable. Still, I like sixth scale action figures that remember their roots, and can be good toys even when their too expensive to allow for it.

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Value - Jack **; Palmer *1/2
If you swing a deal, you can get these as cheap as $150, but most places are closer to $170. That's a lot of money, costing more than most newer Hot Toys figures and having less when it comes to outfit and accessories, not to mention a poorer body. David takes even a bigger hit, since he comes with nothing but the display stand.

24 Jack Bauer action figure by Enterbay

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Things to Watch Out For -
You will want to take care putting the silencer on and taking it off. The post is fairly short, and also quite soft.

24 President Palmer action figure by Enterbay

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Overall - Jack ***1/2; David ***
There's no arguing it - the head sculpts and corresponding paint are outstanding. Palmer's likeness isn't quite as perfect as Bauer, but he's damn close, and even has pock marks in the right spots! These are two of the most accurate AND lifelike head sculpts I have ever seen, and deserve all the wonderful things people are saying about them.

I was once told "Just because someone is great looking, doesn't mean they'll be great in bed...but it does mean that no matter how bad they are, they'll still be pretty damn good." I think that pretty much sums up these figures. Yep, they have issues - I really don't like the body, the accessories are weak, and the price tag is too high compared to the current market for what you're getting from the neck down - but those head sculpts are just so damn dazzling, eye popping, jaw dropping good that it's hard to notice much else. Had the my experience with posing the figure been better (less trouble with the hips, tighter ankles and neck), and had the accessories been just a bit better, Jack would have definitely been a four star overall. Even as it is, I'm sure he'll be in the running for Best of 2009.

I really do think I have to get that Season 5 Medicom now though, at least for the clothes. Get Jack Bauer in something that can hide the neck a little more, and he will look outstanding on the shelf. Even without the bulkier clothes, he'll be one of the nicest looking figures you own.

David, not quite as much. Again, an excellent head sculpt that only slightly misses the mark on likeness, with a tremendous production paint job. I'm not happy about the short body, the ugly tie, or the lack of accessories for $150, so even a great head sculpt and paint can't completely save him for me.

All that being said, I want a Tony Almeda from this season!

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - Jack **1/2; David *1/2
Outfit - Jack ***1/2; David ***
Fun Factor - **
Value - Jack **; David *1/2
Overall -Jack ***1/2; David ***

24 Jack Bauer, President Palmer action figure by Enterbay

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has both for $160.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
It should be no surprise that Jack's been done before:

- DST did several 12" versions, but you're better off avoiding these.

- Medicom did a much nicer version in sixth scale, but not quite as nice as this Enterbay.

- Mcfarlane did smaller 6 - 7" scale version, including this one.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

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

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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