Jack Bauer by Enterbay

Jack Bauer action figure by Enterbay

   "The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

You can never have too much of a good thing - and tonight's good thing is the Enterbay Jack Bauer. I covered this figure a couple weeks ago, but Jeff Parker is hitting him up again tonight with another view of everyone's favorite television hero. Take it away, Jeff!

Event television… those ‘must see’ shows discussed in hushed tones by the water cooler, those televisual extravaganzas that come along every now and then that demand your attention, even if you don’t watch them!

They become entrenched in popular culture; have characters and situations that are instantly recognisable and ripe for satire. I mean, how many times have you seen that ticking clock used since this show first aired!

The basic premise is simple and consistent, each season has 24 episodes, each show representing an hour of real time… well its 45 minutes but you have to generate that advertising revenue somewhere!

The thing that grabbed the viewers attention was that in an age of formulaic shows, 24 seemed to be breaking quite a few of the rules; anything could and often did happen. The time frame and length of story arc also allowed for a far greater deal of detail and character development than had often been the case in other ‘cop’ shows. OK, I know Jack isn’t a ‘cop’ as he works for the LA Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU), but the genre came very much from that stable, and Kiefer Sutherland (who hadn’t had a serious hit in many a year) was quite literally perfect for the role of the flawed but determined to do the right thing all American ‘Jack Bauer’, he was just what the US needed in a post 9/11 world.

Using split screens to communicate the fact multiple events were all happening in real time helped keep the pace swift, and kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, literally desperate for the following weeks episode come the dénouement at the close of each show. Sure there were a few plot devices that might get you scratching your head and saying ‘that just wouldn’t happen’ but hey, its television, we are here to be ENTERTAINED.

And entertain it did, but the only problem with any show that draws a good audience is the fact it will be re-commissioned over and over ‘ad nauseum’ as long as people tune in, even if they tune in ever diminishing numbers… just how many bad days can Jack have?

But right here, right now We’re looking at possibly Enterbay’s most anticipated figure to date (well in North America at least) in fact Michael has already given his thoughts on both Jack and Pres Palmer, and very keen he was too.

Enterbay have already managed to set themselves an incredibly high benchmark with the releases of the various Bruce Lee figures, Jet Li and even Mr Bean (who I’ll be reviewing shortly), so can Jack live up to expectation?

Packaging - ***1/2
It’s a competitive playing field out there, getting your product noticed is half the battle. Now virtually all hard-core 1/6 collectors will already be more than aware of this release, hell many have been champing at the bit for what seems like an eternity (and most would buy it in a shoebox, but more on that in a minute!). However the job of this pack is to grab the attention of your more casual buyer or the fan of the show who knows nothing about its existence, and for that, this is a beauty!

The front has a lenticular image of the ‘24’ logo, which appears to shimmer as you move around it, I had hoped there might be more ‘movement’ to make it seem animated, but it’s still very eye-catching. Placed on any shelf in a shop, you’d be hard pressed to ignore it.

The inside continues Enterbay's rule of ‘more is more’ you open the side opening ‘converse boot’ style shoebox to reveal two separate brown boxes emblazoned with the Enterbay logo. One contains all his accessories and accoutrements in a clear vac formed tray, while the other swaddles Jack in black die-cut foam.

So like the Game of Death and Fist of Fury Bruce Lee figures, and indeed the Hot Toys M-icon range, the figure is virtually damage proof, being completely surrounded by a custom cut soft foam silhouette. I’m sure this feature adds quite a bit to the price of the overall package, but it’s another reassurance of quality, and virtually guarantees your figure arriving 100% as it left the point of manufacture.
Jack Bauer action figure by Enterbay

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

Sculpting - ****
This is virtually faultless; YJ Park has done a formidable job in capturing Sutherland’s features. His work might already be familiar to those who visit the e-ureka site from time to time as some of his outstanding work has featured in the past. So it was quite a coup for Enterbay to secure his talents for their first two ‘24’ figures. 

The likeness is a brilliant, if not slightly complimentary representation of Kiefer’s face. Like all us fallible mere humans, Mr Sutherland is prone to the fluctuations of weight and the ever-marching years, this however captures him at his leanest and meanest, after all who wants the Kiefer who turned up bleary eyed with a puffy face after another night at Spearmint Rhino, but this is in no way a criticism, just an observation.

The features are well proportioned and work pretty well from all angles, but the profile is outstanding. Jack’s hair is a difficult one to mimic convincingly when sculpted at this scale, but YJ has given us a great representation, going for a slightly stylised look, but still managing to capture the cut showing its slightly ‘fluffy’ quiff with an unmistakable clarity. But it is the face that shines, as Michael said in his own low-down; even his misshapen ears (has he had them pinned?) are captured expertly.
I mentioned in my recent review for the ZC Girl Carol how I love the idea of positionable eyes, buy have yet to see a 100% perfect pair, as the paint quality, though very well executed and accurate tends to lack the über finer details we get from ‘just’ painted eyes (and my long term worry for anything painted that experiences friction is that the paint may have a long-term susceptibility to rubbing or scratching). That said, this figures eye’s aren’t positionable, but are carried out in the same way, constructed as separate pieces and inserted from behind (ahem!). They are incredibly convincing and while I still maintain more detail could be applied to the iris it doesn’t really detract from how very, very good these look and the hint of blood vessels in the whites is beautiful. The skin texturing works well giving just the right amount of emphasis to slight stubble growth on the chin and the hairline is faultless. He arrives fitted with two relaxed hands and also comes with three alternate versions one extra right for gun grip, two left, one to hold the torch and another in a relaxed but slightly cupped position to cradle the gun or rest on his courier bag, the quality here is good, but not as outstanding as on the face… but hey, they’re hands!

Paint - ****
YJ Park, the guy who sculpted this mini masterpiece was also in charge of the paint application, so it’s fair to say after getting his sculpt so right he didn’t want any bad paint jobs dragging his figure down, and I’m happy to report the jobs a good’un.

The skin tones are warm and convincing and seem to have taken them on another leap forward, even better than the FoF figure I reviewed very recently. 

Hot Toys and Enterbay are in another league compared to any of their competition at the moment, and this is another master-class show casing how it should be done. I know I harp on about how lucky we are to be collecting at this time, but the present hi- end state of this particular art is now surpassing the work of many customisers, and the range of skills shown here with the sublime subtlety used in executing the flesh tones, stubble, eye-brows, and indeed the eyes, is nothing short of magnificent. I just hope my photographs can convey some fraction of how good it looks in hand.
If I had to have any criticism it would be that the shadow tone used inside the ears is a bit too red (at least on mine) making them look a little saw and angry rather than merely in shadow, however, this is still a benchmark paint app for which a full score is undeniable!

Articulation - ***
Jack comes on the Real Masterpiece-1 (RM-1) base body, it’s very much from the same stable as the BL range, so though not as extreme in it’s poseability as the Medicom RAH or Hot Toys TT, it claws back extra merit for its sturdiness, ability to look natural and it’s also still one of the best base bodies out there right now, if you want to show your figure semi dressed. It does however still have a few areas needing to be improved.

Most notably is the ankle area, I even had a bit of a job getting him to stand in some positions, luckily we get the very nice Enterbay stand which when positioned correctly opens up a whole world of possibilities.

However, I don’t like to display my figures with a stand, and for a hi-end figure in this price category I expect to achieve natural poses ‘sans stand’, no problem. Don’t let this be a factor in dissuading you from it’s purchase as after familiarising yourself with its centre of gravity he will stand OK, but for long term display it might be prudent to have him resting against something.

As a breakdown, we get ankles that can spin and swivel (when arranged in the right direction, you can achieve a good flat stance in most positions), double knees, then hips that can turn and spin on a ratcheted ball joint, there’s some ‘very’ limited movement at the waist and some much better articulation at the chest/torso. The shoulders are quite limited as well, as there is no mechanical engineering to allow the shoulders to either hunch forward and let the arms cross over his front (like when holding his firearm in a double hand grip) or turn back for that ‘heroic’ bring it on, groin thrust kind of look. The elbows have no double joint but can turn and bend to just a little over 45 degrees and the wrists have double pegged cut ball joints. Lastly there is movement at the top of the neck, this  is a pretty loose and can tend to wobble about quite a bit, the range is however pretty good and you can inject quite a bit of character to your poses with a simple tilt of the head. I’ll be interested to see if anyone has any solutions to this ‘wobble’ problem, as it can get a little frustrating when you find just the pose you want only for the head to shift again.

So to sum up, it’s a promising body that is constructed solidly, but with a little work on the strength of the ankles and the range at the shoulder it could be a great body.

Outfit - ***3/4
Jack’s attire is relatively simple compared to of many of the historical period, Sci-Fi and fantasy figures we have seen lately, but that doesn’t mean they are done any less well. It’s better to do something simple well, than to attempt something too complex, only for it to fall short.

We get black shoes and socks, the shoes fit nice and tightly so I haven’t attempted to remove them. Next is a pair of black trousers with working pockets and a press-stud fly, I think a piece of good quality Velcro would have been better here for the overall aesthetic, but at least these wont come open too easily. He also comes with a clip on holster I think a belt would have been a nice touch, however I’m not sure how screen accurate that would have been? Following on is his dark navy long sleeve T-shirt, I have to admit I prefer him in just this, without the Kevlar vest, that’s not to say the vest isn’t a well put together piece of kit, as it is, but the simple shirt is tailored so well to this body that it hangs very naturally and in my opinion looks great completely on show with his satchel thrown over his shoulder. So a top quality bit of 1/6 tailoring, that though not as eye catching as some outfits, Enterbay can still be very proud of it!

Accessories - **3/4
Of late we have been spoilt by the quality of the accessories we’ve been getting at 1/6 scale. For years military collectors demanded ever-increasing degrees of authenticity and detail, and now we are at a stage where anything less than an absolute facsimile of the weapon or prop in question just will not suffice. We expect removable magazines and sliding cocking mechanisms as standard, but sadly that is not evident here, the gun fits the hand well, which is obviously important, but it has a rather soft finish to its detail. 

It does however come with a suppressor that fits on the front just fine, by means of a small peg, there’s also a holster, but because of the lack of a belt, I found the best place for this was hanging from the elastic straps on the vest but it will also secure to his trouser pocket should you want to have it there. 

The torch again could use a little more detail work, the reflective sticker does a reasonable job, but a hi-end figure like this really needs some paint detail and a plastic lens to approximate the real thing. His watch is a nice touch, a relatively simple addition, but a well-observed and effective one.

Without a doubt the nicest accessory is his courier style satchel, it has lots of nice details and is constructed very well for this scale, however most of the pics I’ve found of it seem to show it should be an olive drab rather than black.

But… and it’s a big but, where is Jacks cell phone…even if it had not been 100% accurate with this particular outfit Jack should always be packing a cell phone, c’mon!

As I described in sculpting, he also comes with three extra hands. All the hands work well and both the gripping ones hold the allotted accessories well.
We also get the RM-FS100 stand, which is handy as for long term posing the ankles can have a tendency to give way. And lastly we get the certificate of authenticity. I have to admit, I can’t really see the point of this as it has no edition number, no production credits and no signatures. But its there if you want it!

Fun Factor - ***1/2
Like the majority of hi-end figures, the subject matter here is not aimed at kids, no, these are in many ways state of the art display figures, or little pieces of ‘pop art’, so for any hardcore 24 fans this is the figure you have been waiting for. Even with his lacklustre accessories, the over all package has enough of a WOW factor to make you feel pretty darn happy with your purchase. And even though the body is going to need some revisions and development you’ll have no problems finding some key poses for your shelf.

Value - ***
Enterbay is asking for $150 if you purchase direct from them, this is the higher end in terms of price for a single licensed 1/6 figure these days, but this is certainly a good quality hi-end figure. However the few issues with the base body, and the less than impressive accessories means I feel this just doesn’t add up to a full score item. However if you are a 24 fan who has had to make do with the Medicom figure, or worse still the Diamond Select one, then you may feel a whole lot differently.

Overall - ***1/2
This figure is sporting a masterful head sculpt, and a paint job that stands up to the closest of scrutiny, the outfit is solid, quality tailoring and the base body is good, not exceptional, but good, and it hangs with a very natural stance. The only real let down are the accessories, there’s just not enough of them and they simply don’t cut the mustard at this level.

And although the price is becoming the norm, there are still companies giving us comparatively more bang for our collective bucks.

But, if the price doesn’t make you baulk and if you can live with the quality of the gun and torch, then everything else is pretty hunky-dory and you’ll be a pretty happy bunny.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting ****
Paint ****
Articulation ***
Outfit - ***3/4
Accessories **3/4
Fun Factor ***1/2
Value ***
Overall ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Enterbay is still keeping their dealers on a pretty tight leash, so ordering direct can still be the easiest route, only one of Michaels sponsors seems to have it:

Alter Ego -$159.00 Pre-Order

So other than that, it’s time to hit eBay where he’s demanding between $155 to $189, happy hunting!

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

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

Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker

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