Battlestar Galactica
12" Silver Cylon and Apollo

Once upon a time, science fiction shows did well on television.  During this mystical time, there came a show called Battlestar Galactica. It wasn't exactly deep, but it had great conflict between those hardy yet almost extinct humans, and the evil, cold Cylons.  Long before the Borg, the Cylons showed what went wrong when your toaster got too smart.

The show brought a new level of special effects to television, driven by the success and style of Star Wars.

With a new version of the classic series now on television, there's been a resurgence in Galactica popularity.  Majestic Studios picked up the license to do 12" figures based on the show, and have plans to do the Cylon of course, along with Apollo, Starbuck (and no, he was here long before the damn coffee shops), and Adama.  They haven't announced additional figures, although it's quite possible we'll see some further additions if these do well.

Tonight's review covers the normal chrome Cylon, and Apollo.  The gold Cylon, exclusive to Tower Records, is also out, but Adama and Starbuck aren't here quite yet.

Packaging - Cylon ***1/2; Apollo ***
Whether you like the boxes are not will depend on a couple things - do you like Sideshows, and do you like a 'star' (and I'm using the term a little loosely here) endorsing product.

Both boxes are very much like Sideshows, although the are slightly taller and wider.  They make good use of both the back and the fifth panel, with lots of text and background info.  The boxes are collector friendly, much like Sideshow's, if you don't mind putting a few twisties back.

I dropped the score on the Apollo box slightly though, because of a rather silly product endorsement by Richard Hatch on the fifth panel.  Ugh.  You may not find it as cloyingly cute as I did.

Sculpting - ***
If you were expecting high end sculpts, you'll be slightly disappointed.  Neither figure is awful, but the lack the extra details and close match that you expect in higher end sixth scale figures.

The Cylon is my favorite of the two, but has a handful of issues.  There are a few burrs left on the chromed parts, where they were detached from the tree, and that ruins the realism.  A few of the parts seem off scale as well, particularly the neck/back pack.  It's much narrower and smaller than I remember, but probably caused issues with allowing the head to move.

There's also a weird proportion issue with the Cylon that doesn't seem there - or seem as obvious - with Apollo.  The Cylon's forearms seem far too long for his body, and it's a combination of actually being long, and having the black and chromed pieces on them, making them appear even longer.

Otherwise, the detail work is good, and the sculpt of the helmet is a highlight.  The hands are designed to hold the guns, and both work well.

Apollo suffers a bit from generic 80's guy look, but it's closer to Hatch than I first thought.  Compare it to the shot from the front of the box, and you'll see what I mean.  His hands are sculpted to hold the accessories, and work well.

Overall scale fits in well with the slightly taller Sideshow or Dragon figures.  These are a little bigger than Hasbro G.I. Joes and 12" o Star Wars, but that's not such a bad deal with certain characters like Luke or Palpatine.  Cylons were supposed to be tall anyway!

Paint/Chrome - ***
The paint ops and chrome plating are both neat and clean, with very few issues.  They aren't stupendous, or a standout, but they do the job well with what's here.

The paint ops are mainly on Apollo's face, and while his skin tone seems a little off, it's consistent and matches his hands well.  The eyes and lips are painted cleanly, and he doesn't suffer from lipstick syndrome.  The hair line is perfect, and the hair is a consistent brown.   Overall, it's a good job, but not surprising.

The chrome plating on the Cylon is his major application, and it's consistent on most items.  I already complained about the burrs as part of the sculpting category, so I won't rehash that.  There's some scratching on some of the chromed parts, but in general it seems to be holding up well.

There are some paint ops though including the silver of his boots and his red 'eye'.  Both are clean, and the silver is consistent, which is always tough to manage with that color, especially over black.

Articulation - ***1/2
I would have guessed these as Sideshow bodies, if not for the extra long forearms on the Cylon.  They have all the expected articulation that has become the standard for sixth scale figures, but the ball jointed neck on both has very little range of movement.

The joints were tight on both of mine, and I had no trouble getting them to stand, or hold unique poses.  These shouldn't be shelf divers, even in awkward stances.

Accessories - ***
Each figure comes with a display stand, once again very similar to Sideshow, with the Battlestar Galactica logo on the base.  They look fine, but you really won't need them for either figure - thankfully.

Apollo comes with his blaster that fits perfectly in the holster, a helmet for flying around in the Viper, and the BG version of a tricorder.  The accessories fit nicely in his hands, and all of them sport good if not super detailed sculpts.

The helmet has very good paint ops and a nice sculpt.  It fits his head loosely, which isn't a bad thing since you wouldn't want to damage his paint job when you're putting it on or taking it off.

The Cylon comes with three weapons, a rifle, short sword (or big knife, depending on your point of view), and a pistol.  Now you know why the humans had such a tough time against these guys - they were always out gunned.

He has no holster though, so he either has to hold both guns, or leave one behind.  The sword fits in a peg hole on his belt, rather than in a sheath, which is a little odd.  It's also WAY too small, since these were actually swords on the show, not big toothpicks.

Outfit - Cylon ***1/2; Apollo ***
Both outfits are fairly intricate, but there's enough cost cutting going on to keep this score from hitting the high notes.

Apollo has his pants, shirt, jacket, two belts, and boots.  The boot sculpt looks good, and the pants fit inside nicely.  The pants and shirt are well tailored, but the jacket is too large, especially the oversized shoulder pads.  Yes, he had pads up there, but they weren't bigger than his head!

The tailoring on the jacket isn't perfect, but it looks great otherwise.  The clasps and collar insignia have nice detail, and the jacket is made from a soft, high quality material.  If it wasn't for those shoulder pads, it would have been perfect.

As I mentioned, he has two belts.  One for his gold thingamabobies (they all had them, and as I recall they were ammo) and his holster, the other just for his pants.  The smaller belt for his pants doesn't stay buckled very well, but that's a small nit.  The recorder has a clasp on the back so it can also be attached to a belt for easy storage.

BTW, I didn't count the gold whatchamacallit as accessories, but rather part of his outfit, because that just seemed to make more sense.

The Cylon has a great outfit, consisting of his black body stocking, a bunch of chrome armor attached with velcro, several pieces of rubber armor, boots, and his belt of chrome pouches.  His pouches or packs don't cover his belt buckle though, which I think is incorrect.

I've beat the chrome to death by now, but I did want to mention that I had to re-glue a number of the pouches to the belt.  Don't be surprised if they start falling off on you, and watch for it so you don't lose any of them.

The velcro works better than I had anticipated, but you'll have to play with the chest piece a bit to get it in just the right spot.  The thigh armor is black, but a matte black.  The thigh armor on the show was quite shiny, sometimes even looking like a black chrome.  It's not a major issue, but enough to mention.

His other major costume error is the lack of any skirt.  I'm not sure why they excluded it, since I don't remember any Cylon that didn't have it in back, but it is the most obvious issue the outfit has.

Fun Factor - ***
The Cylon will fit in with any collection of robots/villains, but Apollo isn't quite as universal.  Still, both have great articulation, nice violent accessories, and seem capable of holding up to basic play.  Kid's can have some decent fun with them, but they're likely to be drawn to the Cylon more than poor old Apollo.

Value - **1/2
At $30, these are about the right price.  Anything more though and you're dropping below average in this category.

Things to watch out for - 
Don't be surprised if you have to glue the silver packs back on the Cylon's belt, but be careful when you do to avoid getting excess glue on the belt, and sticking it to the rubber rib wrap.

Overall - ***
The best description I heard of these figures was from a collector on the Sideshow boards - he said these were in between Hasbro and Sideshow, just like the price indicates.  The articulation and costumes are certainly better than the $20 Hasbro figures, but the quality of the outfits, sculpt and accessories aren't up to the $40 Sideshow (or bbi or Dragon) level yet.

A light up eye on the Cylon would have been the icing on the cake, but I can imagine that it was cost prohibitive. Neither of these figures is perfect, but most fans will still be pleased.  I'm looking forward to Adama in particular, especially if they capture Greene's appearance better than Apollo.  Of these two, the Cylon is the winner, and almost eeked his way up another half star.

Packaging - ***
Sculpt - Cylon ***; Apollo **1/2
Paint - Apollo ***; Cylon **1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ***
Outfit - Apollo ***; Cylon ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy - 
I've seen the silver Cylons at a local Media Play, for around $35.  Online options include:

- Time and Space Toys has them for $40 each, with the pre-orders up for the next two in the series at $38.

Related Links:
As usual, here's a few other links of interest:

- Majestic Studios link of course, to see past and future product plans.

- here's a guest review of the gold Tower exclusive Cylon.

- here's a guest review of the Viper and Raider vehicles from Joyride Studios.

- and here's a review of the smaller Battlestar Galactica Cylon from Joyride.

- if you're looking for other product by Majestic, here's reviews of the 12" Jeepers Creepers, The Fly, Zuni Warrior, Davey and Goliath, and Quisp!

- and if you're just interested in Battlestar Galactica, there's the official site, and of course, many fan sites.  This one is a great resource for the Cylon costume!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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