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Review of City of Tanis Map Room - Indiana Jones
Sixth Scale Action Figure Diorama

Sideshow Collectibles
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Indiana Jones City of Tanis Map Room diorama by Sideshow

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Introduction

I love Indiana Jones. I love sixth scale. I love dioramas. A sixth scale Indiana Jones diorama? I'm on it like hair on a bear.

Sideshow hasn't done a ton with their Indiana Jones license in the last couple years, at least not in sixth scale. Hot Toys seems to be taking that over, and their recent DX version of Indy was a good example. But that doesn't mean Sideshow is out of the game, and in a rather deft move decided to follow up the Hot Toys version with a diorama of the Map Room. This fits in perfectly with the extra Map Room outfit provided by Hot Toys with their DX figure. Not one to pass on such an obvious opportunity, I've used him in several of the photos.

This is a large environment, coming in at about 16" tall, 17" deep, and 26" wide. That's a lot of shelf real estate for one display, but it's a price worth paying for the major Indy fan. Perhaps harder to pay is the $200 suggested retail, but you can find this guy for 20% or so cheaper at some retailers.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Indiana Jones City of Tanis Map Room diorama by Sideshow

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Packaging - *1/2
This box is huge, perhaps the largest box I've ever received from Sideshow, including full size busts. It's heavy too, as you'd expect.

The box is the basic Indy version we've seen with other Sideshow products, and is collector friendly of course. But it has only one real job, and this time (at least for me) it failed.

The two interior trays are supposed to keep the diorama safe - they didn't. One of the small buildings had a broken piece, where the base shifted against the Styrofoam. While it was nothing that a little glue couldn't fix, it's still not cool to spend $200 on something that comes broken right out of the box. Hopefully, mine is a fluke and not a regular thing.

Indiana Jones City of Tanis Map Room diorama by Sideshow

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Sculpting - ***1/2
Lots of amazing detail and texturing on this set. They've taken the hieroglyphics and gone nuts, along with all the small brick work on the tiny buildings.

The floor is sand, and the miniature city scape sits slightly askew in the shifting sands. Every building is adorned with detail, and they look very much like the on screen counterparts.

The back wall is also decorated in Egyptian writing and artwork, with some colorful graphics as well. It attaches to the base with two large metal posts, and is very sturdy once in place.

A particularly nice touch is the inclusion of a deeply cut engraving on the backside of the wall, which means both sides can be used in a display environment.

My only complaint is that the back wall is a little smaller than I'd hoped. Another inch of height and width - just the back wall, not the base - would have gone a long way to making this look a little better with Indy in place.

Indiana Jones City of Tanis Map Room diorama by Sideshow

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Paint - ****
The main color here is sand. Sand, sand and more sand. That pretty much fits in with what you'd expect of an Egyptian archaeological dig site. They've included some shading to give it a bit of variety, and of course some of the wall paintings are done in color.

Overall, the earth tones are very realistic, and sets the diorama apart even with a rather basic palette.

Indiana Jones City of Tanis Map Room diorama by Sideshow

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Articulation - Bupkis
There's no moving parts - no surprise here, and I'm not docking the set for it in any way. Think of this one as an FYI.

Indiana Jones City of Tanis Map Room diorama by Sideshow

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Accessories - Bupkis
See above. While there is a piece you attach (the large Washington Monument-like spike), it's part of the set, and not really an extra.

Indiana Jones City of Tanis Map Room diorama by Sideshow

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Value - **1/2
Suggested retail on this baby is $200 - that's what you'll pay direct from Sideshow. However, you can get it a good 20% or so less, depending on the retailer. While it seems like high price to pay, this is a very large, very heavy, very, very detailed diorama. The Star Wars Dewback was almost $300, making the price here seem a whole lot more reasonable. It's not a great price, but I'm giving it an average score.

Indiana Jones City of Tanis Map Room diorama by Sideshow

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Things to Watch Out For -
Handle with care - it's very heavy, and very easy to chip if you catch one of the small edges on something hard.

Indiana Jones City of Tanis Map Room diorama by Sideshow

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Overall - ***1/2
Indy fans are going to have to dig deep to afford this set and the Hot Toys figure to go with it, but it is possible to find a good custom outfit for your cheaper Sideshow Indy as well. There's several out there that rival the HT version, and cost quite a bit less.

This is one of those dioramas that's very character specific, but it's such a key scene from the classic film that it's well worth the cost and display space.

Along with the Hot Toys Tanis outfit, you can also use the Map Room wall that was included with the figure. Getting it right for a display will take a little creativity, but I used it in the final photo to give you the general idea.

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

Indiana Jones City of Tanis Map Room diorama by Sideshow

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has it for $200.

- has the set for $180.

- has it for $190.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other Indy reviews include:

- Most recent was the Hot Toys DX version, which is also used in the photos for this review.

- other sixth scale figures include Sideshow's Indy and Fridge, the excellent Professor Jones Sr, the German Outfit Indy, Toht (with Ark), Belloq with the Fertility Idol Environment, and ROTLA Indy himself.

- Medicom has released Dr. Henry Jones as well, and Young Indy.

- also in approximately this same scale is the Kotobukiya Henry Jones Sr. statue.

- and Hasbro did several figures, including Indy in German Disguise, Cairo Swordsman and German Soldier, and two versions of Indy.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Indiana Jones City of Tanis Map Room diorama by Sideshow

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

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