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The A-Team - Hannibal 12" Figure

Hannibal Smith A-Team talking action figure by Jazwares


Last week, I checked out one of the new small scale A-Team figures, B.A. Baracus. Some felt I was too easy on him, but I don't - when you're dong a portrait that's about a quarter inch tall, it can be tough to get it perfect.

But tonight I'm looking at a larger scale figure from the same flick - Hannibal Smith. He's a sixth scale figure with a talking feature, and as such there comes certain expectations. At twenty bucks, he's not going to be Hot Toys quality, but a larger scale demands better quality, because any issues are all the more apparent.

These figures are showing up at Toys R Us and Target so far, but they'll be popping up all over the place very soon.

Packaging - ***
He comes in a fairly standard box, with a large tri-window that allows you to easily see every aspect of the character. You'd think that would have kept me from buying him.

There's also a hole in back for the 'try me' feature, which works fine.

Like Aang from last review, there's instructions just in case you don't know how to push a button or change a battery.


Hannibal Smith A-Team talking action figure by Jazwares
Hannibal Smith A-Team talking action figure by Jazwares
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Hannibal Smith A-Team talking action figure by Jazwares
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Hannibal Smith A-Team talking action figure by Jazwares
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Hannibal Smith A-Team talking action figure by Jazwares
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Hannibal Smith A-Team talking action figure by Jazwares

Sculpting - **
Remember Mattel's recent problem with their Venkman - the squished elongated head? It was a packaging issue, and by applying a little heat and pressure, it was possible to get him back to a reasonable appearance, but right out of the box he was a horror show.

Poor Liam Neeson has the opposite problem, and sadly, it won't be as easy of a fix. Mr. Neeson has a rather long face, and a very recognizable one. With this much...uh...character in his looks, he should be very easy to get right. Sideshow did a reasonably good job with their Qui-Gonn, as an example, and from the movie stills you can see nothing has altered his basic facial structure yet.

What we ended up with here was a rounded, gumdrop for a head, reminiscent of some early 90's figures like Hasbro's 12" Catwoman and Poison Ivy (remember those?) or the terrible Phantom figures based on the movie. The head IS rotocast and therefore hollow, so you could heat it up and reshape it, but getting it just right is going to take more artistic talent than I have. You can see Hannibal/Neeson in there someplace...but it's going to take some real effort to free him.

Since there is little articulation, the sculpted pose is what you get, and it's fairly boring. If they were going for a collector's line, the pose may have worked - it's alright for basic display. But kid's can't get much of a fight out of the pose they've been given here. 

The sculpted body is an improvement on the head, but the scale between the head and body is off as well. The round head is plopped on top of the pointy neck, making it look like a marshmallow on a stick.

He's a large figure too, standing about 12 3/4" tall and being thicker than most other realistic sixth scale figures.

Paint - *1/2
I'm not sure there could be more slop if you I was doing the painting myself and I was as drunk as this figure sounds. More on that in a bit.

The hairline is terrible, and every cut line between colors on the body is sloppy and uneven. With many of the figures cast in the actual color, it's amazing that they found so many ways to screw up the paint.

There's very little detail work, and at this scale that hurts a figure like this tremendously. There's too much of the same color across too wide of an expanse of plastic, and the naturally glossy look of the cast plastic clothes ends up screaming 'cheap toy' in a way that even the worst sculpting can't manage on its own.

One other thing worth noting is that the face skin tone doesn't match the neck. Again, since the funky pointy neck and bubble head look so odd together, this paint difference stands out even more.

Articulation - *
We have a whopping four points here - cut neck, cut shoulders, cut waist. And that waist doesn't move much.

The arms move up and down, but with the sculpted pose it doesn't do you much good. Worse, the figure wants to fall over backwards, and there's not enough articulation here to find the proper center of gravity.

Accessories - *1/2
There are two old school Hasbro-esque style weapons - one handgun and a rifle. These are overscaled, and clunky, with little definition and no paint detail. Since there's almost no articulation, there's not a whole lot you can do with them anyway. In fact, the handgun doesn't fit in either hand or the empty left shoulder sling properly, so it doesn't have much purpose.

Outfit - N/A
Another 12" figure with a fully sculpted outfit. Nothing to see here, let's just move along.

Sound Feature - *1/2
Pressing a button on Hannibal's back plays one of three sounds. One is an automatic gunfire sound effect and the other two are spoken lines direct from the movie.

One of these is the line "I love it when a plan comes together". After hearing this, I can only assume one of two things: a) the character of Hannibal is drunk when he says this in the film or b) the guy doing the transfer for the toy was drunk at the time he did it. Alcohol had to be involved. Hannibal is slurring the words worse than Foster Brooks on a Friday night. Who in God's name thought that was a good choice?

The other two sounds are fine, but overshadowed by the preposterous inebriated third line. It's all anyone is going to remember.

Fun Factor - *
Too ugly for the collector to put on the shelf, too unarticulated and clunky for a kid to use as anything other than a door stop. Where's the fun?

Value - *1/2
Twenty bucks doesn't seem like all that much for a 12" figure these days - until you hold something like this in your hands.

Things to Watch Out For -
Whether you're a collector or a kid, you have only one thing to watch out for - someone getting the idea that you'd want something like this as a present.

Overall - *1/2
Most companies recognize that there's a "kid's" market and a "collectors" market, but many still don't understand that they really aren't that much different. Collectors may love great sculpting and paint, but kids aren't appeased with crappy sculpts or awful paint jobs.  Kids might like action features and articulation over perfect sculpts, but most collectors aren't satisfied with plastic statues either.

So who exactly are these abominations for? They have the lack of articulation that you expect with a line aimed at adults, but lack the sculpt, paint or quality to entice them. But with no articulation, there isn't a kid out there who's going to spend their allowance on one of them.

I suspect Jazwares was trying to make both camps happy, and managed to incorporate all the worst aspects of either market, creating a complete mess in the process. This toy looks just like something I might have expected on the pegs 15 years ago - it is far below the expectations of even the most basic action figures today.

A few weeks ago, I was worried that there wouldn't be any good contenders for my Worst of 2010 awards come January - now I know there was no reason to worry. Of course, you can always look at the bright side. It's figures like this that make us appreciate the great stuff even more.

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

Where to Buy -
Don't. Please, do yourself a favor and don't. If you must, then these guys are showing up at Target right now, but Toys R Us should have them soon.

Related Links -
I checked out the smaller and better Barracus last week.

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Hannibal Smith A-Team talking action figure by Jazwares


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

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