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Review of Eowyn - Lord of the Rings 1/6th action figure

Asmus Toys
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Overall Average Rating: 2.5 out of 4

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Eowyn Lord of the Rings action figure by Asmus

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Introduction

While the Hobbit was an enjoyable enough trilogy, it couldn't match the awesome epic that was the Lord of the Rings. Two companies have been competing with the license in the sixth scale market: ACI and Asmus. It appears that Asmus will be the only company producing figures moving forward, and they have just released their first female, the lovely Eowyn.

This figure has just started shipping, and there is no special or exclusive editions. If you did pre-order her, Asmus threw in a new body for the Nazgul figure as well, an appeasement to collectors who ended up with floppy bodies on that release. If you didn't pre-order, you can still pick up the new body separately.

Aragorn is the next figure shipping from Asmus, with both Tauriel and Bard available to pre-order. While Aragorn's price is up to $225, both Bard and Tauriel are still in the under $200 range.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Eowyn Lord of the Rings action figure by Asmus

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Packaging - ***1/2
While this is just a shoebox style package, they've continued with the stylish simplicity that we've seen with earlier releases. As you'd expect, it's all collector friendly, and they've actually gone one better than most of the competition. Rather than use the standard plastic trays to hold the figure and accessories, they've gone with die cut foam, making it a very soft and safe environment for your collectible.

I still have one complaint though - again, no instructions. While you don't have much to do here outside of putting on the cape and attaching the belt (which goes around her shoulder, rather than her waist), it still would have been reasonable to include a simple instruction sheet with a $200 figure.

Eowyn Lord of the Rings action figure by Asmus

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Sculpting - ***
The actress that portrayed Eowyn, the lovely Miranda Otto, was going to be a tough likeness to capture. We've seen how difficult it can be with attractive people - they simply don't have enough abnormality to make them easily recognizable in any context outside of reality.

Still, I have to say Asmus has done an admirable job. If you look at this portrait from three perspectives - life-like, realism, and accuracy - it gets solid marks.  I can see the actress and the character in the soft features, large eyes, and long nose, and the expression is neutral but life-like.  The overall appearance doesn't have the extreme realism that we see with other high end companies, but it's good enough to share the shelf.

The rooted hair was a smart choice in this case, because Eowyn really had a LOT of hair. It's also interesting that I don't have as much of an issue with the hair on a female figure as I do with a male figure...perhaps it's just that Eowyn looking a little Barbie doesn't annoy me as much as Aragorn looking a little too Ken.

The rooting is very well done, with no bare areas or problems filling out the hair around her face. There's plenty of it and it's quite long, but it flows naturally and has just a slight curl out of the package. Futzers who are great with hair are going to have no trouble getting this doo to look terrific.

Eowyn Lord of the Rings action figure by Asmus

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Paint - ***
The softly colored skin and clean work on the eyes and eyebrows highlight the underlying sculpt. There's no doll dots - thank goodness - but the eyes don't have a lot of reflective quality of their own. The lips and eyelashes are deftly covered, with sharp lines and clean edges.

There is a slightly different skin tone between the neck and the face, but it's minor and not particularly noticeable in the full armor.

The hair color is a bit of a sticky wicket, however.  There's no doubt Eowyn was a blond, although it depends on the scene lighting (and how grimy they were portraying her at the time) as to how blond she was. Here, she's VERY blond, with a brighter, shinier color than really looks right. It's an unfortunate coincidence that this is the same blond color as Barbie, only reinforcing some of that impression.

Eowyn Lord of the Rings action figure by Asmus

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Articulation - ***
The underlying female body from Asmus (I believe this is another Kaustic Plastic body) is well articulated, but does have a few issues at key spots.

The neck is a double ball, but feels wonky. The rubbery skin that covers the torso and runs up the neck restricts it quite a bit, forcing it back to center even when it can bend into a different position.  It was a bit frustrating, since she had trouble taking poses with her head tilted back or forward very far.

The body itself has all the ball and pin joints you'd expect, but the structure is a bit stylized. The thin, long legs would work better with a comic or anime type style, rather than an actual person. She needs a bit more meat on her bones, particularly in the thighs.

The height is decent though, and if you do shorten the legs be careful not to turn her into a hobbit. She stands about 11 inches tall, and fits in nicely with both the Asmus and ACI figures. I've included a couple shots with the ACI Aragorn for comparison.

Like the neck, the articulated torso can bend, turn and lean, but has trouble maintaining the pose. Between the outfit and rubber skin, she tends to pop back to center.  A little more maintainable mobility here would have gone a long way with the natural fighting poses.

However, the biggest road block to creating truly natural stances is the ankles. If you use the display base to create your look, it won't be as important to you, but I'm one of those that believes a figure must be able to take a pose on its own and hold it - no cheating.  While I understand the need for stands in situations where you want to avoid shelf diving, I'm feel they ruin the overall aesthetic. And with the very hard, thick boots, there's simply no way that Eowyn can bend her ankles. That rules out having the feet stay flat on the ground in any deeper stances or walking poses, and hurts this score quite a bit.

Eowyn Lord of the Rings action figure by Asmus

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Accessories - ***
She's reasonably well appointed, and what's here has value.

As you'd expect, there are several hand sets - three in total. There's a set of fists, a set of tight grips, and a set of loose grips.  The tighter grips work nicely with the sword, while the looser pose works better with the shield. Swapping hands was a bit tricky, as the holes are on the small side and the bracers tend to interfere, but you can manage it with a little determination. Be careful with the wrist pegs though, as there aren't any extras.

As I mentioned, there's her sword made up of a metal blade and plastic handle. The pommel is removable, making it easier to insert the sword into a tight gripping hand.  The plastic feels a bit flimsy, but the sculpt and paint work are solid. The metal blade itself looks terrific, and she can hold the extra weight aloft without too much trouble. The sword fits into a scabbard that is already part of the belt system, but it doesn't go quite all the way in due to the design of the hilt.

The belt is attractive, and uses real metal for the loops and connectors.  There's something off about the arrangement though, something about where the loops are in relation to the scabbard.  The scabbard should ride a bit higher, and looking at the attachment here, I can see that it's not quite where it belongs.

The belt is also made from the same soft rubber as the torso armor, with a sticky feel.  It will stick to the vest when it's in place, and I'm worried that over time one piece may interact with the other and cause issues with melting. Only time will tell, but I'd advise against putting the belt in place and leaving it that way in the package.

There are two display stands: a regular, black version with the LOTR logo, and a diorama style sculpted and painted to look like the battlefield. Both work well enough, although you probably won't need the support in basic stances.

As I mentioned, she has hands that work well with the included shield. There are two versions here as well, one broken, one not. The broken edition is a nice add, perfect for a displayed battle between her and the Nazgul. However, the plastic was warping a bit on the broken version, making it look very toy-ish and cheap.

If you pre-ordered this figure, you also received a replacement body for your Nazgul.  Those of us that bought the original had plenty of issues with floppy joints, and including a body with a future purchase was a reasonable, if not wholly ideal, solution. It doesn't effect the Accessories score much, but it will come into play with the Value.

Eowyn Lord of the Rings action figure by Asmus

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Eowyn Lord of the Rings action figure by Asmus

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Outfit - **
The outfit consists of her helmet, cloak, vest, chain mail, bracers, undershirt, pants and boots.

The helmet was a disappointment. Made from a flimsy feeling plastic, it does fit over her head easily, but the 'chain mail' that is in back to protect her neck was coming apart and had to be re-glued.  The helmet itself has a weak sculpt and paint job, not matching the on screen look as well as I'd expect. I think the original prototype looked better - at least the silver-ish color of the nose guard was more accurate - but it appears that some paint ops were dropped in the production process.

The sculpted rubber 'leather' armor on the torso looks good, but as I mentioned in the Accessories section, it has a sticky feel to it. It reminds me of the sort of rubber that was used back in the 1970's with the Best of the West figures, and we all know how that rubber reacted with harder plastics and caused melting. Once the belt is in place over the shoulder, I'd be sure to check it occasionally, or even cut a thin membrane of wax paper to sit between.

I really like the sculpted bracers, but there's something about the gold colored cloth chain mail that looks way more like cloth than it does metal. We've seen companies do great chain mail this way before, but either the color, stitching or material itself isn't translating well this time.

The pants are...well, pants. They are tailored appropriately, and cover up the bits they should. The boots are sculpted from a hard plastic, which negates any ankle joint mobility. The sculpt is reasonable however, and in shallow stances they look fine.

The last bit is the cape, a woeful disappointment. It's quite small, cut roughly from some basic cotton material. It almost seems like an afterthought, and lacks the quality you expect from a figure in this price range.

There is some weathering added, and it works better in places (boots, chain mail) and worse in others (cloak).

Eowyn Lord of the Rings action figure by Asmus

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Fun Factor - ***
The fun with a figure like this comes from posing and re-posing, displaying and altering said display. The accessories allow for some great variations, but the articulation hampers the better fighting poses.

Eowyn Lord of the Rings action figure by Asmus

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Value - *1/2
I'm very happy to see companies like Asmus (and Star Ace, and ThreeZero), working in the sub-$200 market with their figures. Just last week I gushed over the Ned Stark from ThreeZero, released at $160. And yet Eowyn is $190, and I'm slamming her for it?

The difference is pretty simple - quality. Ned Stark has an exceptional outfit and accessories, while Eowyn has signs of cutting corners and getting by. It's difficult to see in photos, but in person the soft helmet, rubbery shield, thick boots, and cheap cloak combine to give you an overall feel of lower quality. And at almost $200, that's not something you want.

It is worth mentioning though that some retailers may be over charging as well.  I paid $190, but that may not have been the original SRP. I say this because Tauriel is listed at the Asmus site at $165, and Bard is listed at $175, but they are both $20 higher at retailers in the U.S. If you can pick Eowyn up for around $160 or so, you can add another star here.

Eowyn Lord of the Rings action figure by Asmus

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a lot. Be careful replacing and removing the pommel, since forcing it on can damage the post. And once the belt is on over the chest armor, be sure to check it once in awhile for any chemical interactions that might occur.

Overall - **1/2
Asmus has been hit and miss with their LOTR releases so far.  Figures like the Nazgul Steed and Gandalf have been definite misses, while the uglier characters like Gothmog and Guritz have been solid. ACI did a terrific job with their Aragorn in terms of outfit and accessories, but the price point reflected that quality, and whether their rooted hair was a good choice or not is up for debate.

I waffled around a bit on this final score, largely because she's taking a hit in the price to quality ratio. If she had came in at the $150 - $160 range of other recent Asmus LOTR figures, like Gandalf or Gothmog, she would have picked up another half star overall. Her quality is behind what other companies are doing in this same neighborhood, but she isn't at the lower level that the first Gandalf hit. She ends up with the same score he did, but for different reasons.

In the end, I just couldn't go another half star higher at $190. For LOTR fans thirsty for figures - especially female figures - the price point may be a non issue.  And if you're handy at futzing and bashing, you can replace the cloak with one of your own making and improve the paint on the helmet, moving this figure forward several steps. But out of the box, I have higher expectations at this price point.

I have their Aragorn pre-ordered as well, and I'm interested in comparing him with ACI's. They no longer have the license as I understand it, so Asmus is our go to company for Lord of the Rings, but their prices are jumping up.  Aragorn is $225, moving into Hot Toys territory, and they'll really have to up their game in the outfit and accessories to have a chance to compete for the collector's dollar in that market.

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

Eowyn Lord of the Rings action figure by Asmus

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has her for $190.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I recently reviewed the Asmus Nazgul Steed, and I've also looked at the Morgul Lord, Gandalf, Gothmog and Guritz.

Other sixth scale figures include these by Sideshow - Gandalf, Sam and FrodoAragorn, Faramir, Boromir and Legolas.

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

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