Sideshow has the Disney
license for it's Premium Format series, and this is the first 'human'
character they've attempted under that license. As you'd expect,
there's a regular version (limited to just 500), and an exclusive
version with a second portrait (limited to just 375). You can pick up
either at Sideshow right now, although I do have some cheaper
alternatives for the regular edition in the Where to Buy section. I'll
be reviewing the exclusive, but since the only difference is the
addition of the Cliff Secord head, it should be easy enough for the
reader to differentiate between the two.
Packaging - ***
The box has some very cool art deco style graphics, based on the look
of the original film. There's not a ton of text, but the interior foam
is the sturdy kind, which works great when it comes to protecting the
statue and it's various parts and not shedding all over the house.
doesn't do Certificate of Authenticity's, but they do include the
edition number on the bottom of the box, as well as the bottom of the
Sculpting - ***1/2
Both versions come with the helmeted portrait, and there are plenty of
photos out there for comparison. Here you can see a shot that's almost
straight on, and here you can see the
of the common complaints with the 1:1 prop replica that Master Replicas
produced a few years ago was that it was squished side to side. I don't
think that's a problem here, and the overall shape is much closer to
the film version.
There are issues, but they are
all minor ones.
The eyes aren't quite the right shape, the mouth guard lacks the
slightly protruded 'lip', and the sculpted wields are a bit too thick
and obvious, and those are the ones my casual eye observes. Still,
considering the scale, it's a fairly accurate version, and certainly
captures the general look and feel of the original.
The second portrait is of Cliff
Secord, played by Bill
in the movie. You'll recognize Cambell as the character, but it's
slightly comic book stylized as well, perhaps in tribute to the
original comic. When I first ordered the exclusive, I thought for sure
that I'd only display him wearing the helmet, but once I had the Secord
head in place, I thought it looked extremely good. We'll get to the
paint issues in a minute, but I like the overall sculpt enough to at
least consider using it as an occasional alternative.
and right hand attach to the body with strong magnets. The post on each
is a pentagram, and the sides are all of equal length. That doesn't
mean much for the head, because the distinct angle of the neck makes it
work in only one pose, but the hand can actually be attached at least
three different ways that all look reasonable. I stayed
hand posed completely straight, but you can have it angled slightly
outward or inward if you think the pose works better.
The base is
an angled solid chunk of polystone, done up in true 1930's movie house
style. It matches the overall designs and tone of the film perfectly,
as well as the style of posters that were used for the movie. Art deco
is a common design element in many home theaters as well, and this base
will make the statue fit in perfectly.
The pose is slightly
awkward from some perspectives, but from key angles it looks good. He's
mid-battle, just ready to blast off, and while I'm usually not a fan of
bases that scream the name of the character right on the front, this
time it works because of the art deco, 30's serial feel to the overall
Paint - Regular ***; Exclusive **
Gah. The most important feature of this statue is the two head sculpts
- and both have major paint issues.
The helmeted version is splotchy
and inconsistent in its coverage. I Know what they are trying to go for
here - the helmet was tarnished
and splotchy in the film, and they are trying to match that
look. Here's another shot showing
the weathered helmet. I understand what they were going for, but in
this scale it doesn't quite seem to work. I applaud their attempt at
screen accuracy, but it has to be more than just an attempt - it has to
work visually in this format. I was originally going to dock the score
another half star here, but I softened after looking at it a couple
days. Still, this might not be to everyone's tastes.
the paint work on the rocket pack itself does not suffer this problem.
It's nice and consistent, reflecting the light in dazzling ways
depending on the angle. The color even seems to shift from a more
silver to a more blue depending on your angle and the intensity of the
light, and it looks terrific. There's some nice small detail work on th
exposed wiring, and the cut lines are clean and neat. Some of the
colors are slightly off from the film (the tops of the cannisters seem
too dark to me), but the quality is top notch.
The boots, gloves and gun are
also all well done, with a very realistic weathering and excellent
small detail work.
wait - there's the second head sculpt that comes with the exclusive!
While I like the sculpt quite a bit, the paint work is exquisitely
lacking. The hair, eyebrows, lips and skin tone are all very good, and
fairly realistic. But what happened to the eyes? The pupils aren't
even, the iris' are different shapes and sizes, and the cut lines
between the colors are sloppy. This is a portrait that's as big as an
entire 4" scale action figure, so there's no problem seeing these
defects with your nekkid eye. At this scale (and price point), it's
just not acceptable.
They've done a marvelous job on
but used a airbrush type weathering to give it an aged appearance. This
works much better than their hand painted attempt at the spotty,
stained look on the helmet.
Articulation - N/A
I always like to include this category with Premium Formats on the off
chance you're new to them. The originals had some basic articulation,
but that stopped fairly early on. The Rocketeer is like most, a true
statue when it comes to joints. This isn't going to effect my
overall score, but is included as an FYI for the reader.
Accessories - Exclusive ***;
Obviously, there's nothing added in with the regular statue. Since the
figure can't stand without the base, it doesn't count as an accessory.
I supposed you could count the pack as an accessory, since you can
remove it and display the statue without it, but me thinks most folks
won't go for that option.
exclusive includes the Cliff Secord portrait which I've already
discussed in some detail in the Sculpting and Paint sections. There's a
separate issue worth noting here, however.
The heads (and right
hand) are held in place with a strong magnet, similar to past Premium
Format statues. This time, the magnets on both heads AND the neck pop
out very easily, almost as though no glue was applied at all. I had to
reglue all three to make them work properly. It's important because
with the sharp angle of the neck and heavy head, it can topple off
quite easily if the magnets aren't glued in place.
I didn't have that issue with
the hand, but it would be worth checking on yours.
Outfit - **1/2
mentioned the boots earlier, but it's worth saying again that they are
extremely well done. Sideshow seems to always do great boots.
also discussed the pack in detail, but I will mention how it attaches
to the rest of the outfit. There are two long thin metal tabs which
slip down into the back the underlying harness. This works smoothly,
and there appears to be little chance of damaging the cloth or
stitching over time.
The pants fit cleanly, and have
necessary realistic components, like pockets and buttons. The light
color matches the film, and gives some more color to the overall
outfit. As I remember, they were more of a riding-style pant, which
early aviators favored, but these have less of that poofyness at the
thighs. I'm all for that, as I'm not a fan of poofy.
jacket, with it's unique snap over flap, is made from the very thin
nylon material that approximates leather so well in this scale. It
looks terrific, and is tailored well to the underlying resin body.
brings us to what causes the score to drop a full star from where it
could have been - the harness. The harness looks good from the back,
and it is very sturdy and well made. However, it is fairly bulky in the
front, probably done in an attempt to be accurate to how it actually
attached in the film. The thin jacket doesn't cover it well, and the
edges poke out in a manner much too obvious for me. I tried to find a
reference photo of the actor wearing the pack that showed the front of
the jacket clearly, but came up empty. The way it looks here - with the
harness this obvious - just isn't working for me. Since it is right up
front, it hurts the overall Outfit score more than something less
immediately visible would.
Value - **
Even buying the regular version at a retailer other than Sideshow,
you'll find yourself three bills lighter. That's a lot of cash for any
statue, but this one isn't particularly complex. At $250, I would have
felt a tad more generous in this category.
Things to Watch Out For -
not too much to worry about, but if your magnets, like mine, tend to
pop out, you'll want to superglue them back in place to avoid losing
them down the road or having the head topple off unexpectedly.
the heavy metal post on the bottom of the foot is a much harder
material than the soft resin base - that means in a battle, it's going
to win. Don't force the peg.
Overall - Regular ***;
This is one of those rare times where getting the extra accessory
actually hurts the statue, rather than helping it. This is due to the
awful paint work on the eyes of the Secord portrait. If Hot Toys can
give me something that looks like
this in sixth scale for $150, then I expect just as good in
quarter scale at more than $300.
regular version isn't hampered by the weaker head sculpt, allowing it
to score slightly better. The quality of the sculpting, outfit and
design are all top notch, but two things hold it back from a higher
score - while I understand what they were trying to do with the paint
work on the helmet, it simply didn't work out well, and I'm not loving
the way the harness is clearly visible under the front of the jacket.
Take those two issues away, and you have a near perfect version of the
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - Regular ***; Exclusive **
Articulation - N/A
Accessories - ***
Outfit - **1/2
Value - **
Overall - Regular ***; Exclusive **1/2
Where to Buy -
Sideshow has both the regular AND the exclusive
in stock right now!
The regular is $330, and the exclusive is $340. If you're looking to
get the exclusive, this is the way to go! Online options for the
non-exclusive include these site sponsors:
- Alter Ego Comics
has him at just $297.
- Big Bad Toy Store
has him at $310.
- or you can search
- for the UK buyers, Forbidden
Planet has him for 270 GBP.
While the Rocketeer hasn't had a ton of merchandise, there has been
some. Medicom has done more than one version in their sixth scale
series, and here's a guest review of version
1.0 and version 2.0.
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