Tony Hawk 12"

Art Asylum is known for doing some unique licenses, quality sculpting, and being extremely creative.  They've turned their talents toward one of those unique licenses in the Tony Hawk series.

If you don't know who Tony Hawk is, then you seriously need to consider getting out a little more often.  One of the original skate boarding phenoms, back when no one knew what an extreme sport was, he invented many of the signature moves of today's skateboarders.  He won many championships, has the best competitive record in the sport, and is considered by many the greatest skateboarder of all time.

He's teamed up with Art Asylum on three action figure lines.  There's the small 3 3/4" series, a mid-sized 6" series, and the large scale 12" series.  That's what I'm reviewing here, and the basic 12" figure comes with a couple different shirt colors and different paint ops on the skateboard.

The retail price on this line is great, with the sixth scale versions under $15 at most Wal-marts.  Don't look just in the action figure aisle - at many stores they are over in the die cast aisle with the Tech Decks and similar merchandise.

Packaging - **1/2
This line of figures is clearly geared toward the kid buyer, and as such the packaging is 80% utilitarian, 20% looks.

The design is basic, with minimal text, and is intended to keep it unbroken on the shelf, and easy for young eyes to see the figure and the cool accessories.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The sculpt is surprisingly good - not that it's surprising that Art Asylum does good work, since they almost always do, but that in the sixth scale world, collectors are accustomed to less than stellar likenesses.

They got it pretty damn close to perfect here though.  The sculpt is a little soft, with less facial detail than ideal, but it is easily recognized as Hawk.

The hand sculpts are well done, and look very realistic.  They pop on and off easily, making switching with the extra set simple and quick.

The shoes are actually sculpted feet, and that was a bit of a disappointment.  Rubber tennis shoes would have worked as well, but obviously would have been more expensive to produce.

Paint - ***1/2
The majority of the paint ops are good, particularly around the shoes and the accessories.  There's not much else, although the paint work on the eyes is slightly off.  That's the only negative, and the only thing that pulls down a perfect score.  There's not a lot of paint application here, but what is here is extremely well done.

Articulation - **1/2
The body is less articulated than I had expected, although there are a couple nifty innovations.

Hawk has a cut neck and a separate ball joint going into the torso, which really provides for a lot of poseability with the head.  This joint works great, and shows some creative thinking on AA's part.

The rest of the body is fairly standard - ball jointed shoulders, elbows, wrists, chest, waist, hips, knees and ankles.  The elbows, ankles and wrists are more restricted than many others due to their design, and they are missing any cut joints on the thighs or biceps.  The fingers have some bendy capabilities, and the knees, while not double jointed, are designed for a wide range of motion.

Some of the joints were a little loose, which seems to be a big issue across the industry these days.  This was really only a problem in the legs, and I was able to get him to hold most poses with a little work.

Outfit - ***1/2
The outfit is pretty basic, but is extremely well made.  There are really five basic pieces - the helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, shirt and shorts.  As I mentioned earlier, the shoes are actually sculpted feet.

The work on the shorts and shirt is great, with good stitching, excellent materials and good tailoring.  The helmet fits nicely, and the rubber chin strap buckles shut.  But the big surprise here are the elbow and knee pads.

Not only are the well made, but they have a unique design that ensures they'll fit well.  The hard pad is sewn to a lycra sleeve.  There are straps around the top and bottom of the sleeves that allow you to tighten the fit around the arm or leg easily.  If they had used something like this for the armor on the Hasbro Jango Fett, collectors would have been throwing themselves out of tall buildings in anticipation of the coming apocalypse.

That means that both the elbow and knee pads look great AND fit great.  Considering how crucial they are to his outfit, it was wise of Art Asylum to go the extra mile.

Accessories - ***1/2
Tony comes with one major and two minor accessories.  The major should be pretty obvious - what would he do without a skateboard?  The minors include his watch, and a sheet of stickers to customize his board (or whatever else you'd like to use them on).

The board looks terrific, and the wheels even spin cleanly.  The graphics on the board are flawless, it looks to be in almost perfect scale, and it is as realistic as you can expect.  The only flaw is the lack of posts - if he had a post or two, with some holes in his feet, it would be far easier to put him in some unique poses on the board.

The watch is one of the nicest sixth scale versions I've seen, although it's just a tad large.  Of course, some men wear huge, manly man watches, so perhaps that's the case here.

The stickers are, well, stickers.  They are attractive, with plenty of color and great designs, and add a lot of value for kids.  As a parent I hate stickers - they're always so damn hard to get on straight.

Value - ***
I paid less than $15 for this figure at my local Wal-mart, and that's good for a sixth scale figure.  To get something in the ten buck range usually means a very stripped down Joe, or a basic soldier from the Soldiers of the World line.  Considering this is a licensed figure, paying another $4 or so is not out of line.
  It's not a fantastic value, but is really spot on in terms of price vs. what you're getting.

Overall - ***1/2
I was pleasantly surprised by most of what I found with this figure.  The only negative was slightly less articulation than I had expected, but overall it's a solid value for a great looking 12" figure.  If you're a big Tony Hawk fan - or know a kid who is - pick one of these up and check it out.

Where to Buy - 
I picked this up at my local Wal-mart.  On-line:

- Amazon ( has them for the slightly higher price of $17.  Just search for Tony Hawk, and you'll see listings for both the black and blue t-shirt versions.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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