Army of Darkness Ash

Last year, McFarlane Toys produced a Movie Maniacs figure of Evil Ash from the hit movie, Army of Darkness.  This year, Sideshow Toy gives us their interpretation of both Ash and Evil Ash from the film.

I'm only reviewing Ash here, but I do have a review of Evil Ash up at another site -  Yes, that's the fictional web site from the film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.  It's fictional no longer, and I do the occasional toy review there.

After you get done reading the review, be sure to head over to this month's Giveaway, where you might win a completely free Sideshow Gwyllm!  All you have to do is fill out a short poll, selecting a couple new choices for future Outer Limits figures, and you will be in the drawing.  It's that easy!

Packaging - ***1/2
The boxes for both the Evil Ash and regular Ash are terrific, if extremely similar.  Great graphics and an eye catching design are the high points, but I was spoiled by the excellent plot synopsis text on the Outer Limits packages.  I wish there was more background text here.

Sculpting - **1/2
This is the lowest score I believe I've ever given Sideshow on a sculpting job, and I suspect that if this was another company - Hasbro for instance - it wouldn't be this low.  But when you consistently set the bar high, people expect quite a bit from you.

This isn't a terrible Bruce Campbell sculpt, but it isn't perfect either.  There is something off about the eyes, but I can't quite put my finger on it.  I've heard comments from the eyebrows causing it to them being too close together, but I think it's more a combination of things.  It's not enough to make him unrecognizable by a long stretch, but similar to the Dark Crystal figures, something is just off.

The other big issue here is scale.  While I didn't have quite as much issue with this on the Evil Ash, the regular Ash is clearly too big for the body.  Without the cape it really stands out, and actually reminds me of a *shudder* Hasbro attempt.

Paint - ***
The paint ops are all extremely nice in terms of quality, consistency and cleanliness.  There's no slop, and the face details are nicely done .

The negative here is in the face color.  The skin tone seems off to me, and is even too ashen, no pun intended.

Articulation - ***
The usual high quality Sideshow articulation, with all the joints and movement you could almost ask for.  I knocked a star off here, similarly to the Evil Ash, because the joints on my legs were looser on both these figures than they have been on any other recent releases.

One of the problems with the looser joints is tied to the heavy chainsaw.  I had a very hard time posing the arm on it's own since the weight of the chain saw caused it to drop.

Accessories - ***1/2
Ash comes with three accessories - his stand, the shotgun, and the extra chainsaw hand.

The stand is based on the new design that Sideshow is including with every figure.  It works well, and can come in handy with this figure, since the loose joints may give you trouble keeping him standing.

The shotgun is a terrific accessory, with break open chamber, and excellent sculpting.  This isn't a reuse of the Wyatt Earp shotgun either, which shows Sideshow's dedication to accuracy. There's also a sheath for the shotgun, which can fit on Ash's back.

The chainsaw hand pops on to the wrist fairly easy, and looks just like you'd expect.  There's plenty of blood stains for the most hardcore fan.

Outfit - ***1/2
The outfit for regular Ash is less complicated than the Evil Ash version.  There's the 'tablecloth' cape, shirt, pants, boots and straps for the sheath and chainsaw to hang.

Everything fits well, and is made of quality material.  Lots of solid stitching, and there doesn't appear to be any shortcuts.  There's not as much detail here as with the Evil Ash outfit, but they've done a nice job with what they could. The boot sculpt is excellent, and perhaps my favorite part of this outfit.

Value - **
As always, it depends on where you pick it up.  I'd suggest finding it for $30 or less if you can, and you can add a star or more to this score if you can find it sub-$30.  The two stars is for the $35-$40 that this is at many on-line sites.

Overall - ***
If you can only pick up one of these, grab the Evil Ash.  If you're a big Army of Darkness fan, take the plunge and pick them both up.
 You won't be disappointed, although the regular Ash isn't quite up to the level that I've come to expect from Sideshow.

Where to Buy
The only bricks and mortar stores I'm sure will have these are the Sam Goody family - Sam Goody, Media Play, and Suncoast.  But there are plenty of on-line options:

- Sideshow themselves of course.  Retail is $40 plus shipping. The big advantage here is that you'll get them right away, since they are shipping them. (MROTW Affiliate)

- Entertainment Earth has both for $70 a set plus shipping. (MROTW affiliate)

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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