By Hot Toys

Hellboy action figure sixth scale by Hot Toys

For those of us in the states, Hot Toys have been fairly quiet through the first half of the year. Some of us have gotten our Iron Man Mark II's and III's, but that's been about the only new goodies since very early in 2009. Ah, but the floodgates seem to be opening.

This week I received both the Hellboy and Abe Sapian, and I see Two Face will finally be hitting my doorstep. The T-700 has also shipped already, and I'm expecting the other Terminator figures hot on its heels. And let's not forget the Predator figures that should be here any day, as well. There's going to be a lot of Hot Toys goodness in June and July.

When they announced the Hellboy license, I was skeptical. I have all the Sideshow figures from 5 years ago, but let's face it - their Hellboy was pretty weak even back then. Still, these aren't cheap figures, and spending that kind of money deserves some thought.

And then I saw the photos. Yep, they were smokin' hot, and I couldn't resist. At $150 each, they are a serious investment of green, but I was hoping to get the best 12" versions of the main characters possible.

I'm just going to look at the Big Red tonight, and I'll cover Abe on his own next week. Yep, he deserves his own review.
Hellboy sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
Hellboy sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
Hellboy sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
Hellboy sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
Hellboy sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
Hellboy sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
Hellboy sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
Hellboy sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
Hellboy sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
Hellboy sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
Hellboy sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
Hellboy sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
Hellboy sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys

Packaging - ***
While the box and corresponding sleeve are just as attractive, sturdy, and informative as always, there was one unfortunate surprise this time around that pulled the score down a bit here - twisty ties! Gah!

There are five twisties holding him down in the plastic tray, and I suggest untying these BEFORE you remove the two top plastic covers. That way you won't dump all the ammo for Big Baby all over the floor when you turn the tray upside down.

Sculpt - ***1/2
This is a stellar sixth scale sculpt, with a tremendous amount of realism in the face and torso. It's extremely accurate to the source material, and is a massive improvement to any previous attempt at this character in this scale.

The torso is covered in a soft rubber material, which Hot Toys has used with other figures in the past, like Rocky. This works well from an aesthetic point of view, hiding the rather ugly shoulder, mid-torso and elbow joints. It means those joints have far less mobility of course, but I'll discuss that in greater detail in the Articulation section.

This soft rubber material also holds a textured sculpt extremely well. In close up photos, it might appear TOO textured, as though the poor guy has a serious skin problem. But in person and in normal scale, this extra texturing adds a tremendous realism to the figure.

The head sculpt has plenty of detail work as well, and extremely life-like eyes. The hair has fine enough stranding to look good, and the rough ends of the cut off horns look simply amazing.

The Right Hand of Doom is just about the right size. Regular readers know I complained that the RHoD on the SS PF was a bit skinny and long, but here it seems to be just a slight bit chunkier, and the look works for me. Again, the details are sharply sculpted, and the rough texture makes it appear as stone, and very distinct from the rest of his actual skin.

While the torso is sculpted with amazing musculature definition, he does seem a bit small when standing next to Hot Toys Abe Sapien. He clocks in at a hair under 12 inches tall, while Abe is 12". It's more apparent without the coat, and it may be a perception issue, rather than an actual inaccuracy. I have to sit down and watch the flick again some time soon to be sure, but I wanted to point it out.

Paint - ***1/2
One of the keys to Hot Toys realistic figures is the exceptional paint ops. I don't know how they manage to get this kind of work in a production situation, but it's quite amazing.

The eyes look perfect, and the hair line and hair color are great. I did drop the score slightly because of the shiny nature of the rubber torso, which ends up looking a little off in comparison with the matte hard plastic head. Still, compared to anyone else on the market, the paint is well above the norm.

Articulation - ***
Speaking in truly general terms, Hot Toys sixth scale figures tend to be the best in the industry in this category. At least right now...just like in real life, having the best body is often a fleeting thing.

Once again we have their heroic TrueType body, with all it's fantastic articulation. Unfortunately, for this particular category anyway, all the great articulation from the pelvis up is covered by the aforementioned rubber skin.

And that rubber skin, while looking good, is mighty rough on the posability. The ball jointed neck, which usually allows for so much expression and personality, is reduced to almost a mere cut joint. The figure comes with a stern warning from Hot Toys not to lift the arms more than 90 degrees at the side or 45 degrees toward the back, and not to bend the elbows more than 90 degrees as well. Over extending or bending the joints repeatedly could easily tear the soft rubber skin.

I was able to get several poses that I was very happy with, and he still has a very natural, realistic flow to the body. But the stiffness of the upper joints and restrictive nature of the skin certainly puts a damper on this category. I originally assumed I'd like to pose him without the coat, but due to the baggy pants (more on that in the Outfit section), I think I'm going to stick with a 'coat on' look, reducing the value of the seamless skin, at least for me.

I did want to mention that the wrist on the RHoD is a ball joint, and it works surprisingly well. You can't get the same range of movement with it as the left hand of course, but it works much better than I expected, allowing for some very subtle but interesting adjustments.

I almost forgot to mention his bendy tail. It's another point of articulation of course, and the bottom third bends pretty well. The upper part of the tail doesn't bend a whole lot, and I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't get more out of it, but I bet you can find one or two excellent poses.

Accessories - ****
The accessories are really quite impressive this time around. Hot Toys is definitely not skimping on the extras.

Since this figure is based on Hellboy II, he comes with both his Samaritan and Big Baby. Both have opening chambers and removable shells, and in fact, Big Baby's ammo comes packaged in the tray, rather than the gun. That's 10 cartridges to lose! Big Baby also has a movable hammer and lever, adding to the complexity. 

Both look extremely good, with excellent in scale sculpts and great paint. The strap on Big Baby is real leather, as is the strip hanging down from the tang of the Samaritan. Either weapon fits in his extra gloved right hand.

And yes, he comes with an extra set of hands. In the package he is wearing the ungloved open right hand, and the fisted Right Hand of Doom. He also has an open right hand, and a gloved gun holding left hand. These swap fairly easily, but do take extra care - they use the same large wrist pegs as the Batman figures, which have had some breakage issues in the past.

I'm also counting the rosary around his left wrist and the one hanging from his belt as accessories, since both are easy to remove. In fact, you'll want to be careful with the one on his wrist when you're swapping hands, since it can get i the way and end up broken.

Both rosaries are done with great detail and high quality materials (including the real metal chain on the one attached to his belt!).

Outfit - ***
His outfit consists of the outer coat, leather pants, heavy boots, and belt/holster.

All of these look terrific, and are made from generally high quality materials. The outer coat is the best, with an excellent fit and properly scaled material. It hangs perfectly on him, and it's pretty easy to remove as well. You can get it off over the RHoD, but it's easier to remove the entire hand and cuff.

The pants are the weak link, being a bit too thick and large. Their puffiness tends to look odd with the muscular upper body, making him look out of proportion. Thinner material was really necessary for this scale.

The belt and corresponding packs (which can all open) look great, and the holster holds the Samaritan perfectly. I did find that the belt tended to fit oddly over the tail, sticking out at a weird angle, but you won't be looking at the rear of the figure too much.

The coat is the best part of the outfit, but it was the one part I had not expected to use. In the end though, I think I'll be displaying him wearing it, rather than going topless.

Value - **
This guy will run you at least $150, and it's possible to pay much more than that depending on the dealer. That's pretty much a standard price for Hot Toys these days, but he doesn't quite have the wow factor of something like Iron Man, or even the new T-600 or T-700. He's not widely overpriced, but something more in line with $120 feels right.

Fun Factor - **1/2
Because of the restricted upper body articulation, he's a lot less fun than some of their other figures. Odds are you'll find one pose you like, and he'll stay that way for quite some time.

Things To Watch Out For
Hot Toys figures are NOT toys, and they are fragile. That's the price you pay for small, intricate details.

However, if you're reasonably careful with Hellboy, you should be fine. He's far less fragile than something like an Endoskeleton, for example. You do want to heed Hot Toys' warnings on posing the arms in extreme ways, as they rubber body suit can rip, and you really want to take care swapping the left hand. Finally, when you're putting Big Baby in the left hand (or removing it, for that matter), watch out for the thin plastic lever. Since it's articulated, it's very easy to bend or break against his fingers if you aren't paying attention.

Overall - ***1/2
Hot Toys is sort of like Pixar these days - it's hard to judge them on the same scale as everyone else, because their work is so far above the competition. It's not fair, but people tend to hold them to a different standard.

Hellboy is not a bad figure in any way. That's why he scores well overall, and he should. But I do have to admit to being a bit disappointed in the jacketless appearance. While the sculpt is the usual amazing sauce, the slightly oversized leather pants and slightly undersized body add up to a slightly off appearance.

That being said, he's still the finest sixth scale version of Hellboy we've ever gotten, and I doubt there will be a better one any time soon. Unless Hot Toys makes it.

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

Where to Buy -
There's plenty of options right now for both Hellboy and Abe:

- Sideshow has them for $165 each, but they are both on waitlist right now.

- Alter Ego has them at $148.49 each.

- CornerStoreComics has them at $148.49 as well.

- Urban Collector has them at $190 each.

- or there's always ebay.

Related Links -
Other Hellboy reviews include:

- my favorite high end Hellboy collectible in my collection, the Premium Format Hellboy II.

- Before that was the Gentle Giant Hellboy busts, which I'm not too keen on.

- 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.

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Hellboy sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys

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

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