Packaging - ***
The package is huge, because the toy is huge. It's a little plain, but
does display the figure extremely well. This baby was twisty tie hell
though, so be prepared with your wire cutters.
Sculpting - ***1/2
I think this is easily the finest Aragorn head sculpt done so far. It
captures the shape, proportion and detail of Viggo's face far better than
anything we've seen up to this point.
That being said, I didn't give it a perfect score. While I don't mind
the action pose, and can actually tolerate the action hair in this case (regular
readers will remember my past rants on that particular subject), my only
objection is in the slightly odd angle to the neck.
The angle of the neck, and direction of the gaze, works well in one or two
poses, but isn't quite as universal as I'd like. Still, the likeness is
As I mentioned, the action hair works fine here, probably because it isn't
overdone, with the hair sticking out at any odd angle. The beard stubble
is also sculpted rather than just painted on, and that works much better than
The detail work on the clothing is also outstanding. All the little
details are included, from the ring on his hand to the pattern on his gauntlets.
The ring is particularly well done in this scale. The gift of the Evenstar
is even around his neck!
I did notice a slightly rougher appearance to the sculpt of the left hand
than the rest of the figure. It was a little out of place, but you have to
really be paying attention to notice.
Scale on this figure is also extremely well done. Weapons look proper -
not over or undersized - as do the other accessories. NECA was very
careful to match the actual size of all the pieces with the figure, using the
movie as a reference. These are much closer in scale than what we've seen
with the 6" line. The only one that seems a tad off is the bow, which
seems a little small to me - but I have to go back over the film a little more
carefully before I can be sure.
Paint - ****
The paint ops are top notch, with excellent skin tone, an appropriate use of
washes, and lots of clean, small detail work.
The face is the first thing you notice of course, and the icey blue eyes are
perfect. The skin is consistent, and the combination of paint and sculpt
for the beard works perfectly. They've added additional 'hair' on the
forehead with just paint, and it depth to the appearance.
While most of the clothing is made up of a brown/gray palette, there are
other, brighter colors that make for a great contrast.
Articulation - **
This isn't intended to be a highly posable figure, so thank goodness the
sculpted pose works so well. That doesn't mean he's completely
There's a ball jointed neck (with a very limited range of motion), ball
jointed shoulders, cut elbows and legs above the boots, and waist. The
articulation that's here is intended to serve two purposes - get him his lower
body and torso in just the right spot to allow him to stand perfectly, and to
pose his arms in a variety of ways. It serves both purposes pretty well.
I do wish the neck was a little more useful, since I'm not thrilled with that
damn angle. But that's a minor gripe overall.
Accessories - ****
Here's a category where this figure certainly doesn't disappoint. There's
plenty of accessories, and they all are extremely well done.
On his back is his quiver with five arrows, all loose, and straps to hold his
bow. Yes, the bow is removable, and the bowstring is elastic.
There's also a bedroll, torch, dagger, Elven knife, and sword. Every
one of these shows tremendous attention to detail.
The sword may be my favorite. It's strong and light, looking like metal
without actually having the weight. It's one of the better plastic swords
I've ever seen, and fits in his hands extremely well.
The dagger fits in a sheath on the outside of the sword's scabbard, both on
his left hip. The Elven knife, complete with Elven decoration on the
blade, fits in another sheath on his right side. And the torch fits nicely in
his left hand, and comes with a surprise! The flame can be removed, and a
red ember end can be seen on what's left of the torch, as though it's just been
lit or has burned down.
Talking Feature - ***1/2
The Epic Force series includes a talking feature. There's a switch on the
back, and when turned on, Aragorn repeats lines from the film.
There are five lines in total:
"We travel light."
"Let's hunt some Orc."
"By my life or death, I can protect you...I will...you have my sword."
"It is an army bred for a single purpose - to destroy the world of
"I am Aragorn, son of Arathor."
The lines are loud and clear, and reproduce very well. There's little
scratchiness or tinniness to the voice, and it sure beats the hell out of my
1968 Talking Astronaut.
There is no button though to get him to say the lines, but rather it's
completely dependent on the motion sensor. Like most motion sensors, it
can get pretty annoying pretty fast.
Fun Factor - ***
While this is primarily designed as a 'collectors' item, it has fun
potential. The biggest problem facing a kid looking to play with Aragorn
is the lack of any bad guys for him to battle.
Of course, the other issue here are the accessories, many of which are either
sharp, brittle or both.
Value - ***
At $40, this figure is not a steal. But comparing him against other
18" figures in this price range, like the Mezco
Hellboy or NECA's own Pinhead,
you'll see that you're getting a decent value. Plenty of accessories,
excellent sculpting and paint, a high profile license AND a talking feature -
certainly more bang for the buck than we're used to.
Overall - ***1/2
This big boy is quickly becoming one of my favorite LOTR action
figures. I'm still not *thrilled* by the neck pose, but I'll get over it.
I wasn't as happy with the Legolas head sculpt as I was with this one.
He looked like he was retaining water, a little too puffy for Orlando
Bloom. But I've heard many other folks who were very happy with him, so
We need more of these, and they have to fill out at least Gimli and Gandalf
for me to be happy, and a Ringwraith and Orc would make the line perfect.
I'm hoping they skip the hobbits - they aren't high on my list for this
While I wasn't thrilled with Legolas on first inspection, just having Aragorn
around the house for a few days has convinced me I need to go back and pony up
the forty clams for his partner.
Where to Buy -
I picked mine up at Spencer's, but Media Play has them as well. On-line
- Alter Ego Comics has a terrific price at just $34. You can add another
half star to the value at that price!
- Cornerstorecomics has them listed at $37 each.
- Killer Toys has him at $38 as a pre-order.
- Aisle Sniper has him for $40.
- Southern Island also has him listed in stock at $40.