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Hellboy II
Sideshow Collectibles Premium Format

Hellboy II Premium Format statue by Sideshow Collectibles

I'm a big fan both of the Hellboy films. They aren't great cinema, but they were both solid summer fare, the kind of good comic book fun that we hopefully won't completely lose in this post-Dark Knight world.

I didn't pick up the first Hellboy Premium Format figure from Sideshow, and I always regretted it. He's such a fantastic looking character, and stands out from the usual movie fare on the shelf. But Sideshow gave me a second chance with their Hellboy II Premium Format statue, and I didn't make the same mistake twice.

It's probably no surprise that there are two of these - a regular with a run of 1000, and an exclusive with a run of 650. The regular cost $325 at Sideshow, while the exclusive was $350. I'm looking at the exclusive today, but the only difference is the extra left hand.

Packaging - ***
He comes in the usual big ass box, but there's only photos of the PF itself, nothing of the film character.

If you were wondering how well the box and interior trays protect the statues, I can tell you that mine had one corner that looked like Hellboy himself had sat on it. And yet, there wasn't any damage inside, and everything arrived safe and sound.
Hellboy II Premium Format statue by Sideshow Collectibles
Hellboy II Premium Format statue by Sideshow Collectibles
Hellboy II Premium Format statue by Sideshow Collectibles
Hellboy II Premium Format statue by Sideshow Collectibles
Hellboy II Premium Format statue by Sideshow Collectibles
Hellboy II Premium Format statue by Sideshow Collectibles
Hellboy II Premium Format statue by Sideshow Collectibles
Hellboy II Premium Format statue by Sideshow Collectibles
Hellboy II Premium Format statue by Sideshow Collectibles

Sculpting - ***1/2
The PF comes to you in four pieces, five if you count the additional hand. They include the main figure, the base, his left hand, and his tail. They fit together easily, as long as you take a little care and don't try to force anything. Pay particular attention to the tail, since it's meant to go in one way.

The overall sculpt is excellent, and I love the selected pose. Yes, it's from the poster and other movie marketing ephemeral, but it's also dynamic and dangerous.

They've gone with the perfect expression for the pose as well, and this is a much, much more accurate Perlman/Hellboy head sculpt than the recent Gentle Giant mini-bust attempt. It's not *quite* perfect to my eye (I think the nose is a tad small here), but the realism of the texture skin and horns makes up for the minor issues.

That realism is particularly worth noting. Many times, Sideshow has done PF's that are much like the smooth statues of old, lacking some of the texturing and variation that lends realism to the look. That's not the case this time, and this is clearly a step in the right direction.

The sculpted tattoos on his body are present, although removing his coat to check for all of them would be a bit tricky. 

The stone like texturing on his Right Hand of Doom looks terrific, but in it's size and proportions is where my quibbles lie with the statue overall. The hand seems a bit too skinny and long, smaller in proportion to the rest of his body than it should be. At the same time, the length of the hand and complete arm seems excessive, making the full arm seem too thin and awkward.

My other issue in this category is with his overall size. He's a bit smaller than I had expected for a quarter scale version, particularly when you place him next to some other Sideshow PF's. The overall statue reaches 22", but much of that is the base. The volume his body takes up - chest, arms, legs - seems to be less than you'd expect, even considering the crouched pose.

The crouched pose does help cover up some of that though, as does the uber cool coat. The slightly wonky looking right hand/arm and the slightly undersized nature of the statue only detract slightly from the overall awesome appearance.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint is great - but not quite perfect. Yours may be better or worse than mine, since my issues are largely those of the specific work on this particularly PF, rather than issues around more general aspects of all the Hellboy II PF's.

The dark red color looks great, and the black hair is clean and neat. Unfortunately, my one big issue that pulls this guy down a half star is related to that black - there's a mark on the top of his head where it looks like the paint ran or dripped while it was still wet.

The eyes are very sharp, clean and even, and have a slight gloss to give them that wet look.

There is one other aspect that bothers me a little in this category: the high gloss glove on both of the left hands. With a bit more of a matte finish it would look more like an actual glove, but it's a minor nit.

Some folks might find the skin itself too glossy for their tastes, but in person I think it works perfectly.

Articulation - Bupkis
As you'd expect with the modern Premium Format figure, he's just a statue. Some past PF's have actually included articulation, so this is worth noting in case you were expecting it, but the lack of it won't effect my overall score.

Accessories - ***1/2
The exclusive version includes an accessory: a second left hand. The normal hand holds the Samaritan, and the additional hand holds Big Baby. 

This is one of those times where the exclusive accessory really is well worth picking up, especially if you want this statue to clearly be a Hellboy II version. If you already have the first version, having the Big Baby in his hand really helps differentiate this one.

The hands swap easily with care, and the post fits tightly enough in the wrist so that it shouldn't fall out on its own. I suspect there's also a magnet up in there, but because the fit is tight, it's not obvious when you're inserting or removing it.

I included a side by side comparison shot of the two weapons in his hand to give you a sizing relative to the body and to each other.

Outfit - ****
The original intent behind Sideshow's Premium Format figure was to produce statues that were constructed from mixed media. That meant not just polystone or polyresin, but cloth, leather, metal, plastic, and other components.  For me, the greater the variety of materials used, the cooler the PF tends to be.

Hellboy is one that uses a wide range of goodies to produce the final realistic look. The clothing includes plastic, cloth, leather and metal aspects, and this mixture really makes him stand out.

The cloth coat is the most obvious feature. It's made from a thin material that's in proper scale, with high quality stitching and a very nice dark lining. The leather collar and straps look great, and they've added wires around the wider collar (around his shoulders, not his neck) and along the bottom of both jacket flaps. This allows the coat to flair out at the bottom in various ways, depending on the look you're going for. The wire in the collar is also crucial, allowing you to get the coat in just the right spot around the shoulders and keep it there.

The black leather pants have plenty of stitching details, and are very well tailored. There's a snap in back to allow you to get the tail on and positioned properly. It takes a little effort to get this re-snapped around his tail once it's on, but the pants are made from a fairly stretchy, microfiber sort of material (not true leather, but a material that certainly looks like it) that has enough give to allow the pants to snap together again with a little work.

The leather belt includes a ton of pouches (glued shut), as well as his leather holster on the right and several important trinkets, like his rosary and a couple monkey skulls.

The outfit is very impressive, and this kind of work is what sets apart the truly great Premium Format figures from just another statue on the shelf.

Value - **1/2
It's not easy for a PF to be worth more than three hundred dollars, but I'd say this one manages it. With the very large base, and the exceptional sculpt, outfit and paint, you'll feel like you're getting what you paid for.

Things To Watch Out For
I've mentioned this with other PF's (and other statues, too), but remember that the metal post that attaches the statue to the base is much harder than the polystone. Be very careful inserting it to avoid chips or breaks.

The same is true of the left hand and the tail - don't force anything and take your time.

Overall - ***1/2
This is the nicest Premium Format statue I've gotten from Sideshow in some time now, and it's in my top ten easily. He has a couple issues that bug me, including the slightly wonky left arm and the black paint mark on his head, but the pose, design and outfit make up for any of these relatively minor issues.

I figured I blew it when I skipped the first Hellboy PF, but I have to admit that now I'm glad I did. I like this pose much better, and the inclusion of Big Baby makes it all that much sweeter.

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

Where to Buy -
Options include:

- the regular and exclusive versions were originally available at Sideshow, and they are both on wait list now.

- Corner Store Comics also it still on pre-order at $292.50.

- for the UK collectors, Forbidden Planet has the regular for 210 GBP.

- or you can peruse ebay looking for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered plenty of Hellboy goodies:

- my last was the Gentle Giant Hellboy busts, and I have a guest review of the new Hot Toys 12" Hellboy.

- if you're looking for another expensive collectible, check out the 1:1 replica Samaritan.

- there's the 3 3/4" line of action figures from Mezco, the SDCC exclusive Hellboy that is also in that scale, as well as their 18" HB II figure, and the smaller scale Angel of Death.

- Mezco released series 1 of their movie figures, which are covered in two guest reviews, one here and one here.

- I ran two 'retro reviews of the old Hellboy movie line - one for Hellboy, and one for Sammael.

- Gentle Giant did some animated versions, including one included in the most recent release of the movies, and there was also a guest review by Poe Ghostal of the first DVD release of Hellboy. I looked at the regular release animated figures as well.

- I also have guest reviews of some of the comic based figures, including Kreigaffe #10, Lobster Johnson, and the old Graphitti Designs version.

- I have my own reviews of the comic based battle damaged Hellboy and 18" version, the stylized Extreme Hellboy, the movie 8" line  (including the Nazi Kroenen in the second series), the 18" version, and even some Mez-itz.

- also movie based, Sideshow has done several 12" figures, including Abe Sapien, Nazi Kroenen, regular Kroenen, and regular Hellboy.

- for those into mini-busts, there's also this version that came with the release of the DVD.

Discussion:
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Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  My score converted to a five star system for comparison: 4.38

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Hellboy II Premium Format statue by Sideshow Collectibles



Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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