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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week
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Review of Ichabod Crane Sleepy Hollow 1/6th action figure

Hot Toys
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Rating: 3 out of 4

Ichabod Crane Sleepy Hollow action figure by Hot Toys

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Introduction

Bear with me while I recount two stories of my youth. Regular readers will be familiar with one - I'm not sure I've mentioned the other.

Regulars know that as a kid I loved Marx's Best of the West series of action figures. While I had, and enjoyed, both G.I. Joe and Captain Action, it was Eric the Viking, Sam Cobra, General Custer, and the characters of the Marx series that I spent the most hours playing with. There were two reasons for this: one, they were nearly indestructible; and two, they had a massive number of cool accessories. Take Sam Cobra, the dastardly western gambler, who had a derringer in his belt buckle and a slim dagger that fit in his sleeve. I was in heaven.

The other childhood memory that relates to tonight's review (and yes, they both do, trust me), is one of Sleepy Hollow. I had a Disney record (vinyl, baby!) of the telling of the Headless Horsemen, and while it was intended for kids, it was downright creepy. I loved that story, and remember wanting to hear the album again and again. I wish I still had it around...

And that brings us to Hot Toys release of Ichabod Crane from the 1999 movie Sleepy Hollow. Obviously, I was intent on seeing the movie, and while I was disappointed (weren't we all?), it wasn't due to Depp's performance.  The movie did have a wonderful Gothic air, and the various instruments - and Crane's belief in science - were highlights. Hot Toys have captured that with the butt load of extras included with this figure, making it hard for me to say no to picking one up.

This guy is currently shipping, and will run you about $235 depending on the retailer.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Ichabod Crane Sleepy Hollow action figure by Hot Toys

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Packaging - ***1/2
This is pretty standard stuff for a Hot Toys shoebox style package. The cover incorporates a number of the graphic elements from the movie, and the inside slip cover has two punch out circles that can be threaded on string. Spin the bird while you're pondering the murder!

Of course it's all collector friendly, and there was no need to cut the protective plastic 'booties' or 'gloves' off the figure this time, as they were loose enough to slip off. The included instructions are fairly clear, although I have a couple warnings in the Things to Watch Out For section.

Ichabod Crane Sleepy Hollow action figure by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - **1/2
Johnny Depp is one of those people who will always look much younger than he is. He's only two years younger than me, and I can't believe it. He seemed so young in Sleepy Hollow, yet he was 36 at the time. This portrait is a much younger Depp - as it should be - than the Sweeney Todd or Jack Sparrow that Hot Toys has given us in the past. 

I thought I was going to totally trash this sculpt, once I had it in hand. From the various photos I saw, including their own promo shots, it looked to be as far from Depp as you could get, and certainly not up to the normal Hot Toys standard. I had no doubt it would be realistic, and the sculpted expression was appropriately life-like, but accuracy was sure to be a problem.

Once I had it in hand, I was pleasantly surprised. While it's still not Depp, not even young Depp, it does have several elements that keep it from completely running off the rails. The lips and mouth look good, and the basic shape of the nose is reasonable. The hair sculpt has some terrific detail work, and the skin texture has the usual spooky realism. If you end up displaying him wearing the goggles, you'll hide most of the problems, and the Depp portrait looks all the better for it.

But the miss on absolute accuracy is not the only nit I had to pick this time around. While over sized hands are always a problem for Hot Toys with their TrueType bodies, no where is it so apparent as it is with the slim version. The hands, particularly the relaxed pair, look like bear paws on this svelte frame. It takes an otherwise realistic figure and makes it look toy-ish.

Captain Marvel Ichabod Crane Sleepy Hollow action figure by Hot Toys

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Paint - ****
There's not a ton of paint work here, but the face (skin, eyebrows, lips, eyes, hairline) looks just as you'd expect - pretty much perfect. No slop, no muss, no mistakes.

The right hand(s) sports his ring, and that detail is also nicely done. As you might expect, the majority of the paint ops are on the accessories, and the perfect application makes them all the nicer.

Ichabod Crane Sleepy Hollow action figure by Hot Toys

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Articulation - ***1/2
The underlying slim TrueType has all the excellent articulation you expect, and the design allows for natural, flowing poses. The TrueType remains my overall favorite on the market, although the work by some of the up and coming companies is reaching a level where that position might be in danger.

The costume doesn't restrict the majority of the joints either, which is nice when you can manage it. The only restricted area is the ankles where the soft boots do tend to limit the mobility. Still, as this is not a character that will be displayed in deep ninja stances, you should be fine.

Ichabod Crane Sleepy Hollow action figure by Hot Toys

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Accessories - ****
In this and the next category (Outfit), this figure really shines. And here's where the accessories connection to my childhood comes into play.

There's a ton of goodies here, and they look great as part of any display. Let's start with the extra hands, eight in total. This isn't four sets however, since there are only 3 lefts, but 4 rights. These swap easily, and the hands are soft enough that you shouldn't have any fear of breaking the tiny accessories when placing them in his grip. They are also stiff enough to hold the accesory in any pose, a fine line to walk. There are several poses here designed to work with the various extras, and they all do an admirable job with plenty of pose potential.

He has his large leather bag, complete with a raising set of trays inside. It's a little tricky to get the bag open, but once you do the trays lift up smoothly and easily. You can use them to hold a variety of bottles, which is good - there's a ton of bottles. Fourteen in all, some labeled, most not, all with different colors and styles. There's really seven pairs, so you have seven unique styles. They look terrific, and feed my inner child nicely.

Then there is his funky steam punk 'forensic instruments'. Again, there's a whopping 8 of them, all different, and almost all of them quite quirky. He can hold the majority in various hands, posed to examine a body or the evidence.

Also designed to better examine the evidence are his unusual magnifying spectacles. These goggles fit over his eyes, and tie around the back of his head. It's a smart way to hold them in place, as it's less likely to be damaged over time. There are two magnifying tubes, sort of like monoculars. These two can hang over the lens on either eye. There are also four additional thin lens, and these fit on the ends of the tubes if you'd like. The whole apparatus fits great, and looks just like it did on screen.

There's a couple other odds and ends, specific to the film. There's the small book that played a key role (complete with bullet mark!), as well as a flintlock pistol, brandished by Crane. Both look good, although the hammer on the pistol is made from rather soft material, unusual for a Hot Toys accessory.

To get the goggles to fit properly, they've included a second hair sculpt. The normal hair pops off, the 'goggle' hair pops on, and both are held in place with a magnet. The seam is quite tight too, and they've done an excellent job hiding it.

He also has a lab apron, perfect for working on dead bodies and keeping your puffy shirt clean. It fits over the neck and ties around the waist, and is quite easy to put in place. It doesn't fit the chest and neck area quite as well as I'd like - the edges pop out at the top - but that's a minor nit that can be adjusted with a water treatment.

Finally, there's the usual display stand. You don't really need it, since he's not a figure that will be in dynamic poses and his boots allow for very sturdy long term stances, but for consistency sake it's important that it be included.

Ichabod Crane Sleepy Hollow action figure by Hot Toys

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Outfit - ****
The other area where this figure really shines is in the costuming. The tailoring and fit of the multiple layers is really quite impressive, and the small buttons and gold threading looks fantastic.

When I first handled the figure, I thought the inner and outer coats were actually one piece, with the lapels of the inner coat showing, but a real, full coat not actually existing. I suspect we might see something like that with the One:12 Collective figures from Mezco, when they need to do multiple layers.

The reason I thought that was simple - the fit was so perfect and so well tailored that I couldn't imagine there were three layers.  And I was wrong, as I found out when I went to remove the outer coat.  They are using a micro fabric for both layers that is very, very thin, yet very sturdy. Underneath these two coats is the puffy shirt, as well as the vest. The small buttons, the fine threads, it's all amazing work.

The pants are tight fitting and high waist-ed, perfect for the period. They fit into the tops of the tight, tall boots, and the overall look is extremely realistic and well tailored. I've included photos of him in just the vest, in the apron over the vest, in the jacket over the vest, and with the coat over the jacket, so you can see the variety of options you'll have.

Ichabod Crane Sleepy Hollow action figure by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - ****
All these extras, designed for a steam punk style laboratory setting? You're talking about pure fun! The table you see in the photos is one I have for a Frankenstein style display, but it's perfect with Crane as well, and I can't wait to create an ideal diorama for him with other period figures. There was also very little fear of breakage with the figure or accessories, making it tons of stress free fun posing and re-posing him.

Ichabod Crane Sleepy Hollow action figure by Hot Toys

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Value - *1/2
Ah, but here's the rub. This is an expensive figure, even by current Hot Toys standards. He will run you $235. Compare that to Falcon, with huge wings and a light up feature at $250, Star-Lord with two head sculpts and a light up feature for $235, or Spider-man from the Amazing Spider-man 2 at $230. While accessory numbers and complexity of the outfits might vary, one important factor is the license - the other three I mentioned are all part of the hugely popular and likely expensive Marvel Universe, while poor Ichabod isn't exactly burning up the charts.

I'm not digging this price point as the new average for those licenses, so you can imagine that I have a very hard time justifying it for Sleepy Hollow.

Ichabod Crane Sleepy Hollow action figure by Hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
The one item that gave me pause was the satchel. The instructions aren't particularly clear on how to open it, and if you put any pressure at all on the two hooks on top (they do not move), they will snap. You can also tear the leather loose from the plastic closure if you pull too hard. Focus on the top and bottom halves of the plastic closure - you can separate them with a little care. Once it's open, you'll be fine.

None of the other accessories seemed particularly fragile, and the costume is surprisingly tough.

Ichabod Crane Sleepy Hollow action figure by Hot Toys

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Overall - ***
I thought this figure would be lucky to pull **1/2 stars, but after seeing it in person and having a chance to work with it, I was pleasantly surprised. This is still not an ideal Depp sculpt, but it looks more like him that I had anticipated from photos. In fact, because this sculpt has more personality and life, I prefer it to the slightly more accurate Tonto.

Take into consideration the accessories and outfit, and you have a potential winner...until you get the bill. At $235, he's slightly above average for a Hot Toys release right now, and while I love all the accessories, I can't see anything here that really warrants the price tag.  I also suspect that he's not going to be highly sought after, expect by Depp fans - or fans of the steam punk style looking to kitbash some of these goodies with other figures. I bet we'll see prices on ebay drop into the $180 - $200 market very soon, if they haven't already.

Had the price point been $200 or less, this figure could very well have made it another half star, even with the weak likeness. That's because that one issue, while it's a big one, wasn't big enough to completely overtake the exceptional quality of the outfit or the sheer number of accessories. I plan on displaying mine with the goggles and lab apron on, and in that configuration, he really does shine.

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

Ichabod Crane Sleepy Hollow action figure by Hot Toys

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has him at $235.

- has him in stock at $235.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Ichabod Crane Sleepy Hollow action figure by Hot Toys

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Related Links -
If you're a Depp fan, Hot Toys has done a number of his characters. They've done several Jack Sparrow's, but my favorites are the DX06, and the Cannibal Jack Sparrow. They've also done Sweeney Todd, and Tonto from the Lone Ranger. And if you want to get technical, they also did Rango, another great Depp character.

I'm not forgetting Edward Scissorhands, but since Hot Toys didn't have the rights to Depp's likeness, most Depp fans won't be too interested.

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Ichabod Crane Sleepy Hollow action figure by Hot Toys

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

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